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Betty June Wymer Warwick China Company collection

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OCPL Archives and Special Collections

Betty June Wymer Warwick China Company collection

About this collection:

Elizabeth J. “Betty June” Wymer, was a longtime resident of Wheeling. Originally from Berlin, Pennsylvania, she worked as a registered nurse at WVU Medical Center and Ohio Valley Medical Center. After moving to Wheeling, she discovered her love for the area’s history – especially for the products made by Wheeling companies and made it her purpose to collect and share them with the public. One of her favorite products to collect was Warwick China. She was involved early on with the establishment of the National Association of Warwick China and Pottery Collectors, participating-in, and then leading the organization until it disbanded in 2015. The NAWCPC, under Wymer’s leadership, spearheaded the Warwick China Company monument project to honor the employees and product of the company which resulted in it being installed at Heritage Port in 2006. She was an active member in the history and history-collecting community of Wheeling until her death in 2019.

Her collection of Wheeling-made and Wheeling-related items and products can be visited at the Oglebay Mansion Museum in Wheeling. 

The Warwick China Company was in existence from 1887 to 1951. They were noted for the IOGA line (produced between 1893 and 1911) and specialized in brown glazed pieces with portraits on Indians, monks, and fraternal emblems, as well as flow blue china and delft patterns. The company made vases, dinnerware, teapots, coffeepots, pitchers, bowls and jardinières using decal or hand painting skills of their many artists to decorate their wares.

The Warwick China Co. factory was located in Centre Wheeling at 2140 Water Street, corner of Alley 18. Following declining sales, in November 1951, the factory on Water Street was sold to the Marx Toy Company of New York for $250,000.00. The property was used as a warehouse by Marx Toys. All the equipment was dismantled and the company records were burned. By the 1980s, most of the factory complex had been demolished with only the original factory building on the corner of 22nd and Water Streets remaining.

The Warwick property was purchased by the City of Wheeling in October 2002 with Community Development Block Grant funds for $183,000. Engineering studies determined the 50,000 square foot original factory building was not structurally sound and it was demolished in 2004.

This collection includes photographs of conventions and “gatherings” of the National Association of Warwick China and Pottery Collectors from 2006-2009; photographs of the Warwick China company buildings before, during, and what remained after demolition in the early 2000s; some papers from the Warwick China Collector’s Club; records from the National Association of Warwick Pottery and China Collectors including minutes, history, membership lists, and newsletters; general research files of Ms. Wymer's concerning china and pottery, collecting china and pottery, and Warwick China in Wheeling; photocopy of 1949 Warwick China catalog; and ephemera, photographs, and presentation scripts from the Warwick China Company monument dedication at Heritage Port.

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Selected photographs from this collection:

Betty June Wymer Warwick China Company collection


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