M. Marsh and Sons Plant
- from West Virginia: A Guide to the Mountain State, Wheeling section, pg. 289, 292
The M. MARSH AND SONS PLANT
The M. MARSH AND SONS PLANT, 919 Market St., founded in 1840, is the oldest stogie manufacturing company in Wheeling. The company operates in two box-shaped brick buildings, the main plant on Market Street and other at 18th Street. The company employs 600 persons and produces between one and three million stogies a week. In the Market Street plant three brands are produced by machine. In the 18th Street plant the original Old Kentuck, now the Old Reliable branch with which the company began business, is rolled by hand much as it was nearly a hundred years ago. Tobacco from Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Tennessee is used in the Manufacture of Marsh stogies.
Stogies, sometimes called tobies, originated with the National Road. Wagon and stage drivers demanded a cheap brand of rolled tobacco to smoke, and a Pennsylvania manufacturer began to roll long thin twists of tobacco, conveniently shaped to carry in a driver's boot (a favorite spot for carrying knives, pistols, and other small objects), which sold four for a cent. These became popular with the drivers and were at first called Conestoga cigars, for a type of wagon common on the Pike. Later the name was corrupted to stogie. Stogies are sold all over the United States, but have their heaviest sale in Pittsburgh and northern West Virginia region where they originated. Wheeling has five stogie manufacturing companies, producing most of the stogies consumed in the country.