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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Wheeling in Ohio County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Marsh Wheeling Stogies

A “Workingman's Stogie”

 
 
Marsh Wheeling Stogies Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 30, 2013
1. Marsh Wheeling Stogies Marker
Inscription. Operating in Wheeling for over 161 years, Marsh Wheeling Stogies was the oldest continuous cigar manufacturing operation in the United States. Reflecting Wheeling's early pioneer heritage and spirit, these stogies and their boxes became a symbol of blue-collar pride. Rather than compete with high-end cigar manufacturers, the company's founder Mifflin Marsh took pride in making a "workingman's stogie."
 
Location. 40° 4.312′ N, 80° 43.521′ W. Marker is in Wheeling, West Virginia, in Ohio County. Marker can be reached from Wheeling Heritage Trail. Click for map. Marker is along the Wheeling Heritage Trail near the eastern end the Wheeling Suspension Bridge. Marker is in this post office area: Wheeling WV 26003, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Wheeling (within shouting distance of this marker); Augustus Pollack (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); List House (about 400 feet away); Wheeling Suspension Bridge - 1849 (about 600 feet away); Wheeling Suspension Bridge (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named Wheeling Suspension Bridge (about 700 feet away); Slave Auction Block (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fort Henry (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Wheeling.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceLabor Unions
 
Marsh Wheeling Stogies Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 30, 2013
2. Marsh Wheeling Stogies Marker
Mifflin Marsh, Founder image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 30, 2013
3. Mifflin Marsh, Founder
❶ Mifflin Marsh started Marsh Stogies in 1840 selling cigars out of a basket. He sold his hand rolled smokes at the Wheeling wharf area to anyone who stepped off a riverboat: steamboat captains, dockworkers, and high society passengers. Mifflin Marsh made sure that each Conestoga wagon driver along the National Road had a Marsh Stogie in hand.
close-up of photo on marker
Female Rollers image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 30, 2013
4. Female Rollers
❷ In the Depression of the 1930s Marsh had to adapt by purchasing 46 stogie rolling machines. The highly skilled and highly unionized workers went on strike and were replaced with women, who worked for less money. The women turned out to be very adept at using the machines. An early first-hand account from one of the female rollers attributed their skill to the fact their hands were very agile from sewing and knitting.
close-up of photo on marker
The Heyday image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 30, 2013
5. The Heyday
❸ The 1940s were the heyday for stogie production in Wheeling. The city's stogie makers produced as many as 3 million stogies per week. In 1941, Marsh made 74 million stogies. Despite their success, Marsh tried to maintain its reputation for inexpensive stogies. On December 21, 2001, the last stogies rolled out of Marsh's Market Street factory. Marsh Stogies are now made in Frankfort, Indiana.
close-up of photo on marker
The Wheeling National Heritage Area image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 30, 2013
6. The Wheeling National Heritage Area
The Wheeling National Heritage Area The Wheeling National Heritage Area preserves and celebrates the city's dramatic setting, resources, and history, including its role as the birthplace of the state of West Virginia during the Civil War.

A National Heritage Area is a part of our county's landscape that has been recognized by the United States Congress for its unique contribution to the American Experience.
close-up of logo on marker
Marsh Stogies Factory image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 31, 2005
7. Marsh Stogies Factory
Marsh Tobacco Cigar Box, ca. 1930 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 31, 2013
8. Marsh Tobacco Cigar Box, ca. 1930
A box of stogies on display at WVA Independence Hall.
Cigar Glue Bowl used at Marsh Tobacco, ca. 1930 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 31, 2013
9. Cigar Glue Bowl used at Marsh Tobacco, ca. 1930
on display at WVA Independence Hall
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 585 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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