Augustus Pollack Monument In Wheeling
-from a Wheeling News-Register article on the Labor Temple, February 10, 1935. Reprinted with permission.
One of Labor's great friends in Wheeling and the Ohio valley was the late Augustus Pollack, a union man from stretch and there were none of his stogies but what bore the stamp of the union. So, in appreciation for what Mr. Pollack had done for labor the local labor unions did something to commemorate him. As a result, the world's only memorial monument to an employer, erected by union labor, is located in Wheeling. It is the Pollack memorial, located at Chapline and Fifteenth streets in the yard of the city-county building property. The part that the Ohio Valley Trade and Labor Assembly played in the erection of the monuments well known. At a meeting of Garfield local No. 1, National Stogie Makers League shortly after the death of Mr. Pollack, founder and head of the Augustus Pollack Stogie company, in the early part of May, 1906, George W. Kaiser, a member of a committee to devise ways and means for the purpose of having a public monument erected in honor of Mr. Pollack, the committee to have full power to carry out the project, with explicit understanding that no contributions should be accepted from any source outside of organized labor. This resolution was adopted by the stogie makers unanimously and like action was taken by the Ohio Valley Trades and Labor Assembly.
The $8,700 60,000 pounds granite monument was dedicated in 1916, ten years after Pollack's death in 1906.
The 1941 WPA Guide, WEST VIRGINIA: A Guide to the Mountian State, describes the monument in the following way: "On the northeast corner is the TRADES AND LABOR MONUMENT, erected by employees of the Pollack Tobacco Company in honor of Augustus Pollack, one of the first tobacco manufacturers in Wheeling and a supporter of organized labor. The figures of a workman and an employer clasp hands in front of a slender fluted Corinthian column, atop which stands an eagle with outstretched wings."
An inscription on the monument reads: "Erected by Trade Union Members of United States in Memory of Augustus Pollack Whose Business Life and Actions Were Always in Sympathy with Organized Labor."
The monument was moved from the grassy area near the Henry K List House property (827 Main Street, near the 1-70 on-ramp in North Wheeling, just north of the Fort Henry Bridge) in 1956 when the old City-County Building was demolished. In 2013, the monument was restored and moved from its North Wheeling to Wheeling's Heritage Port.
▶ 1916-1956: Grounds of the Old City-County Building, corner of 15th and Chapline Street.
▶ 1956-2013: North Wheeling near on-ramp of Fort Henry Bridge
▶ 2013-present: Wheeling Heritage Park
Materials in the Library:
▶ Vertical File: Augustus Pollack Monument, Wheeling Room, non-circulating, ask for access at Reference Desk.
▶ Vertical File: Wheeling Monuments: A-Z, Wheeling Room, non-circulating, ask for access at Reference Desk.