Congressman, businessman, and state founder Chester Hubbard died in Wheeling on August 23, 1891, at age 76. The Connecticut native moved with his family to Wheeling as a child.
Hubbard joined his father’s lumber mill business and helped develop Wheeling as an iron and steel manufacturing center. He was president of the German Bank of Wheeling; the Pittsburgh, Wheeling & Kentucky Railroad; and C. D. Hubbard and Company.
As a delegate to Virginia’s secession convention in 1861, he passionately opposed leaving the Union. He wanted to, quote, “show those traitors at Richmond . . . that we are not to be transferred like the cattle on the hills or the slaves on their plantations, without our knowledge or consent.”
After returning to Wheeling, Hubbard was elected a colonel of Union volunteers. He served in the First and Second Wheeling Conventions, which established the pro-Union Reorganized Government of Virginia and paved the way for West Virginia statehood. He was a member of the first state Senate and later served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Chester Hubbard is buried in Wheeling’s historic Greenwood Cemetery.