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Wheeler H. Bachman

Dry goods jobber and financier

-- from: Callahan, J. M. (1923). Vol. II. In History of West Virginia, old and new (p. 183-4). Chicago: American Historical Society.

Wheeler H. Bachman, Wheeling dry goods jobber and financier

WHEELER H. BACHMAN for a number of years has been a power in the commercial and financial affairs of Wheeling, was formerly in the dry goods jobbing business, and is now member of the investment firm of Speidel & Bachman, Incorporated, of which he is president.

Mr. Bachman, whose citizenship has been distinguished by the broadest cooperation in enterprises for welfare and charity, was born at Wheeling, March 22, 1870. His father, William Phillip Bachman, was born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1838, and was boy of ten years when he accompanied some relatives to the United States. He reached Wheeling, the city destined to be his permanent home, about 1853, and in after years he achieved a position as a successful merchant, with associations with other business and banking affairs. He was a stanch republican. He died at Wheeling in 1898. William P. Bachman married Lucy Wheeler, who was born at Dudley Port, England, in 1845. Her father, Simmons Wheeler was born in Dudley Port, was a shipyard owner there, and was killed when thrown from a horse. He married Martha Simmons, a native of Dudley Port, who cam to the United States when her daughter Lucy was fifteen years of age. Thereafter she made her home at Wheeling, where she died. Lucy Wheeler Bachman, who died at Wheeling in 1919, was for nearly half a century an active member of St. Matthew's Protestant Episcopal Church. She was the mother of two children, Jessie Martha and Wheeler H. The former is the wife of George Grant Ralston, a resident of Martin's Ferry, Ohio.

Wheeler H. Bachman was educated in the public schools of Wheeling, attended Frazier's Business College until 1888, following which he spent seven years with a retail dry goods store, familiarizing himself with the detail of the business and at the same time making a close study of the jobbing phase of dry goods merchandising. In 1895 he embarked his experience and capital in a wholesale dry goods business, and was active in that line nearly twenty years, until 1914. As a jobber he had an extensive general trade through West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and in special lines he did a large volume of business over the United States, especially with jobbing houses in New York City and Chicago. Mr. Bachman became a member of the firm Speidel & Bachman, Incorporated, in 1914. This firm acts as underwriters and investment brokers, and the names of the partners are the highest guarantee of their financial integrity and reliability. The offices of this firm are in the Wheeling Bank & Trust Company Building. Mr. Bachman is a member of the executive committee and a directory of the Wheeling Bank & Trust Company; is secretary of the Carr China Company of Grafton, West Virginia; a director of the United Dairy Company of Wheeling; a director of the Camden Coal & Land Company of West Virginia; and a director and assistant treasurer of the Arizona Mossback Mine Company of Oatman, Arizona. He is also a director of the Equitable Mortgage Company of Cleveland, director of the Fidelity Investment Association of Wheeling, vice president of the Union Mission of Wheeling, formerly secretary and treasurer of the Wheeling Stock Exchange of Wheeling for a period of three years and a member of the Advisory Board of the Lutz & Schraunn Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In 1908, at Wheeling, Mr. Bachman married Miss Edith Carr, daughter of Thomas and Alice (Stockwell) Carr, residents of Grafton, where her father is president and general manager of the Carr China Company. The Carrs were an old family of New York City, while the Stockwells run back into the Colonial history of Vermont. Mrs. Bachman was educated in public and private schools at Wheeling. They have one son, Wheeler Carr, born September 4, 1911.

For a number of years Mr. and Mrs. Bachman have been closely associated with mutual interests and sympathies in many phases of broad and constructive charity and public spirit. They have helped support all the charitable organizations of the city without respect to creed. Mrs. Bachman is a member of the Board of the Aged and Friendless Women's Home, and is a member of one of the "Hospital Twigs," organizations for the purpose of raising funds for the hospitals. She is a prominent member of the Presbyterian Church, while Mr. Bachman is one of the active supporters of St. Matthew's Protestant Episcopal Church and is president of its Men's Bible Class and a vestryman of St. Matthew's Church. He is a republican, is affiliated with Wheeling Lodge No. 28, B. P. O. E., is a member of the Wheeling Country Club, the Fort Henry Country Club and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. His home is a fine old residence at Seventh and Thirteenth streets, and he has other real estate in the city and a summer residence at Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania. During the World war Mr. Bachman was active in the pacing of Government securities, and was a working member of all the committees in the Red Cross, Liberty Loan and other drives.

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