Biography: Joseph Speidel
-from "Men of West Virginia, Volume 1," Biographical Publishing Company, 1903.
JOSEPH SPEIDEL, who has been a resident of the city of Wheeling for the past fifty years, is president of the Joseph Speidel Grocery Company. He established this great business concern January 1, 1863, and it was incorporated January 1, 1892, with the following officers: Joseph Speidel, president; Archie T. Hupp, vice-president; Allen Brock, secretary and treasurer; and Hal Speidel, assistant secretary. The main office of the company is at Wheeling, but it conducts a branch house at Grafton, West Virginia. The building occupied by the plant was erected on Main street, near 14th street, in the wholesale district of the city, in 1884, and is five stories high, with a floor space of 60,000 square feet. The front part of the lower floor is utilized for office purposes, and the rooms are well appointed for the handling of an immense business. The branch house of the company, located at Grafton, contains a floor space of 40,000 square feet, making a total of 100,000 square feet of floor space in its two establishments. It employs about 100 people, and the country covered by the traveling representatives includes Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Mr. Speidel was born at Wellsburg, Virginia, now West Virginia, in 1843. and is a son of Benedict Speidel, who was well known in the early days as a grocer of Wheeling, and died in 1875, at the age of 61 years. He married, at New Lisbon, Miss Fisher, who came to this country from Germany in 1831, and became a resident of Wheeling. They reared several children, but Joseph Speidel is the only one actively engaged in business in Wheeling at the present time.
Joseph Speidel came to Wheeling with his parents in 1850, and in 1855 his business career began as a clerk in his father's retail store in this city. He began wholesaling in 1863, the firm being Speidel & Inderrieden and has built up his present business, serving actively as manager until recent years, when he gradually allowed the more onerous duties to fall upon younger shoulders. His life work is represented in the magnificent business which his untiring energy has so largely built up. He is a director and stockholder in the Dollar Savings Bank, and is interested in various other important business enterprises.
Mr. Speidel was united in marriage, at Wheeling, with Lydia H. Wheat, a member of a prominent family of Wheeling, and they have four children, namely: Hal, who is assistant secretary of the Joseph Speidel Grocery Company: Joseph, Jr., manager of its Grafton branch; Jesse W., a salesman in the Wheeling house of the company; and Eliza, who is at home. Mr. Speidel has a fine home at No. 1308 Chapline Street, Wheeling. Politically, he is a stanch Republican, and has served 16 years as county commissioner. He is a faithful member of St. Matthew's Protestant Church, of which he is a vestryman.