November 12, 1844: Wheeling Businessman Henry Schmulbach Born
Henry Schmulbach was born in Germany on November 12, 1844. When he was a child, he and his family immigrated to Wheeling. By the time he was a young adult, Schmulbach had become one of the city’s most successful businessmen, selling retail groceries and wholesale liquor.
In 1881, he purchased Wheeling’s Nail City Brewery. The next year, he changed its name to Schmulbach Brewing and increased the plant’s annual output to 200,000 barrels of beer. Schmulbach was one of many German immigrants who turned Wheeling into an important brewing center in the late 1800s.
He was a bit of a business Renaissance man. He served as president of the Wheeling Bridge Company and the German Bank, which is now WesBanco. He also built a popular amusement park in South Wheeling to boost the number of customers for his streetcar company. His inclined railway could carry as many as 1,200 passengers an hour up a steep hill to Mozart Park. And in 1904, he started construction on the state’s first high-rise office building.
Henry Schmulbach died in Wheeling in 1915 at the age of 70.