Marsh Wheeling Stogies
Founded in Wheeling in 1840, Marsh sold hand-rolled stogies out of market baskets to crews and captains on Ohio River steamboats. Founder Mifflin Marsh walked up and down the bank of the Ohio River selling his stogies to every crew member, captain, and passenger.
Presidents including James Monroe, John Adams, and Abraham Lincoln smoked Marsh Stogies, as well as General Lafayette and General Sam Houston. Other famous fans of Marsh Stogies were P. T. Barnum, Black Hawk, John Wayne, Andrew Mellon, Annie Oakley, and Mark Twain, who said, “Then once more, changed off so that I might acquire the subtler flavor of the [Marsh] Wheeling Toby … I discovered the worst cigars, so called, are the best for me, after all.”
Marsh Stogies appeared in movies like Jaws, Missing, Fool’s Parade, and How the West Was Won.
According to legend, Marsh also sold his stogies on the side of National Road and made sure every Conestoga wagon driver had one going in and out of Wheeling. [see Wheeling by William A. Carney & Brent Carney and Legendary Locals of Wheeling, various authors].
The first Marsh factory was located on Water Street, between 12th and 14th streets. Later the factory was moved to 12th Street, between Main and Water streets. Mifflin Marsh died in January of 1901. The following year M. Marsh and Son was incorporated. Though the control of the new corporation passed from the Marsh family, Mifflin's son, William stayed with the firm until his death in 1921. In 1908 a new factory was established at 913 Market St. The operations were moved to 915 Market St. in 1920. Later, one floor was added to the original building, and two five-story brick buildings were erected. In the spring of 1940, the plant was further enlarged by the purchase of an adjacent building.
The Marsh Wheeling Stogie plant in Wheeling closed its doors in 2001. Marsh Wheeling Stogies are now produced by the National Cigar Company which moved production to Frankfort, Indiana.
▶ Read the 'M. Marsh and Sons Plant' entry in the 1941 Works Project Administration publication: West Virginia - A Guide to the Mountain State.
▶ 912 Main Street to 919 Market Street (now empty, but still standing)
Materials in the Wheeling Room: (non-circulating - ask for access at reference desk)
Materials in the Library's Archives: (non-circulating, view by appointment only*)
*Call 304-232-0244 or send an email to make an appointment to view archival materials.