Thomas Hughes & Co., a merchant tailor shop and dealer in "gents furnishing goods" was established in 1840 by Thomas Hughes, Jr. of Wheeling. Hughes learned the business of merchant tailoring with a Mr. Leach, beginning about 1837. Upon the death of Mr. Leach, in 1940, Hughes took charge of the business and later became sole proprietor. The business was then small; the stock at that time did not exceed $800. By 1860, Products of Industry schedule recorded 100 women working Thomas Hughes & Co.  and by 1903 its volume has grown to be over $100,000 . Originally located at the corner of Water and Monroe (now 12th) streets, it was moved to 1211 Market Street in August of 1878. Some time after Thomas Hughes, Jr. died March 10, 1886, at the age of 64 years, J. Ellwood Hughes, who started as a clerk, salesman, and collector, then advanced in salary and position until he was finally given an interest in the business, took over the business. The firm was incorporated January 6, 1896, the present officers being J. Ellwood Hughes, president, and John P. Troll, secretary and treasurer. The last date Thomas Hughes & Co. appears in the Wheeling City Directory is 1901-02. In the 1903-04 City Directory, a name address change to Hughes & Rice (J. Ellwood Hughes and John L. Rice, tailors), 1424 Market Street. By 1907, Rice had been dropped and Hughes, J. Ellwood, merchant tailor, was listed at 322, Schmulbach Building (1134 Market Street) where he continued to be listed in the City Directory through 1913-14. By the 1915-16 Directory, J. Ellwood Hughes had become a Justice of the Peace operating from 1212 Chapline Street, 2nd Floor (formerly Mendel's Funeral Home, now a parking lot).
 Men of West Virginia, Volume 1, Biographical publishing Company, 1903
 "Neither Lady nor Slave: Working Women of the Old South," Delfino, Susanna; Gillespie, Michele, 2003
â–¶ No. 35, Corner of Monroe (12th) and Water Streets. (1839-1878)
â–¶ 1211 Market St. (1878-1902)
â–¶ 1424 Market St. (1903-1906, as Hughes & Rice)
â–¶ 332 Schmulbach Building, 1134 Market St. (1907-1913, as J. Ellwood Hughes)
â–¶ No additional resources at this time.