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Geo. E. Stifel & Co.
George E. Stifel, son of textile manufacturer Johann Ludwig Stifel, in 1843, at the tender age of 14 went to work at Stone and Thomas. For five years, he worked at the then dry-goods retail store and then clerked for 10 years in another dry goods store before he and Fred C. H. Schwertfeger formed a partnership to launch what became the George E. Stifel Co. The dry goods store, which opened on the corner of Main and 10th Streets, grew to be one of Wheeling's outstanding department stores.
Using eye-catching modern display windows to pull people in, the business expanded greatly, and in 1890, the company moved to 1152-60 Main Street. By the turn of the 20th century, over 100 people were employed by George E. Stifel & Company.
A passage from "History of Wheeling City and Ohio County, West Virginia and
Representative Citizens," by Hon. Gibson Lamb Cranmer, 1902, reads:
An immense stock is carried, the first floor being devoted to the sale of silks, dress goods, notions, was goods, linens and flannels; the second floor to cloaks, suits and ladies' and gentlemen's underwear; the third floor to curtains, draperies, upholstery, rugs, etc.; and the fourth and fifth floors are devoted to the reserve and duplicate stock; while the basement is used for toilet and boiler rooms and storage for domestic goods. The building is 135 feet in depth, and is heated with steam and lighted with electric lights, including the mammoth show windows. These windows are always artistically decorated, and present at night a most beautiful and attractive appearance, illumination the street for some distance. This store is very largely patronized, having the exclusive trade of Wheeling.
It was, at that time, the largest dry goods store in Wheeling.
In 1959, the Geo. E. Stifel Co. became Stifel and Taylor’s Value City, continuing to operate as a dry-goods retail store. The company eventually closed in the mid-1970s and the building was razed in August of 1975 to create a parking lot.
▶ 1878: Listed as Geo. E Stifel & Co., corner of Main and 10th Streets
▶ 1879: Listed as G. E. Stifel & Co., 1065 Main Street
▶ 1880-1889: Listed as Geo. E Stifel & Co., 1114 Main Street
▶ 1890-1955: Listed as Geo. E Stifel & Co., 1152-1160 Main Street
▶ 1956: Listed as Stifel-Taylor Corp., 1152-1160 Main Street
▶ 1957-1958 (combined year directory): 1152-1160 Main Street listed as "vacant."
▶ 1959: Listed as Stifel & Taylor Value City, Inc., 1156 Main
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