About Wheeling 250

The City of Wheeling is observing its Sestercentennial or 250th anniversary of its founding in 2019.

In 1769 the Zane brothers – Ebenezer, Jonathan and Silas – claimed their land grant by tomahawk right and established the settlement that was to become Wheeling. In its early years Wheeling played a prominent role as a strategic frontier outpost. The 1782 siege of Fort Henry is widely recognized as the last land battle of the Revolutionary War. A stronghold of Unionists during the Civil War, Wheeling is the birthplace of the only state born of that conflict.

Wheeling’s strategic location, access to resources and the ambition and skills of its workers and entrepreneurs fostered the city’s ascendance as an industrial and commercial powerhouse. Many of the architectural, cultural and social assets created in 19th and 20th centuries remain, offering a remarkable array of resources for a city of 28,000 people. Today they are being leveraged as the city’s current renaissance takes hold. Wheeling 250 provides the opportunity to celebrate our “bright future and treasured heritage.”

On February 20, 2018 Mayor Glenn F. Elliott, Jr. and City Council appointed a committee of volunteers to develop plans to observe this milestone anniversary. The Wheeling 250 Committee is comprised of over 30 incredibly talented, diverse and passionate stakeholders, representing a broad spectrum of organizations and affiliations. You don’t have to be a committee member to provide a good suggestion for Wheeling 250 and it’s not too late to do so.

A yearlong calendar of events, programs and activities is aimed to attract the broadest and largest audience. We invite you to use this web site as your gateway to Wheeling 250.

Wheeling 250 Committee

  • Jay Frey, Chair
    President, Fort Henry Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution
  • Jeanne Finstein, Ed.D., Co-Chair, Program Sub-Committee
    President, Friends of Wheeling
  • Donna Glass, co-Chair, Twelfth Night Costume Ball
  • Travis Henline, Chair, Arts Sub-Committee
    Museum Project Manager, Wheeling Heritage
  • Olivia Litman, Chair, Events Sub-Committee
    Marketing Director, Wheeling-Ohio County Visitors and Convention Bureau
  • Erin Rothenbuehler, Co-Chair, Program SUb-Committee
    Archival Collections and Web Development, Ohio County Public Library
  • Tammi secrist, co-chair, twelfth night costume ball

  • John Bowman
    Historian and author
  • Keith Brown
    Adjutant, American Legion Post 1
  • Brother John Byrd
    Vice President, South Wheeling Preservation Alliance
  • jodi c. carder

  • Linda Comins
    Journalist, Wheeling Intelligencer
  • Reno DiOrio
    Headmaster Emeritus, The Linsly School
  • Sean Duffy
    Adult Programming and Publicity, Ohio County Public Library
  • Robin Dunbar
    Board of Directors, Wheeling Symphony Orchestra Society
  • The Hon. Glenn F. Elliott, Jr., ex officio
    Mayor, City of Wheeling
  • Hydie Friend
    Former Executive Director, Wheeling Heritage
  • Wendy Hodorowski
    Marketing Director, The Health Plan
  • David Javersak, Ph.D.
    Dean Emeritus, School of Liberal Arts, Professor of History Emeritus, West Liberty University
  • Stephen Johnston
    Business Continuity Coordinator, Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe, LLP
  • Debbie Jones
    Site Manager, West Virginia Independence Hall
  • Rick Jones
    Assistant Superintendent, Ohio County Public Schools
  • John Mattox, Ph.D. *
    Founder and Curator, Underground Railroad Museum
  • Holly McCluskey
    Curator of Glass, Museums of Oglebay Institute
  • Jesse Mestrovic
    Parks and Recreation Director, City of Wheeling
  • Susie Nelson
    Executive Director, Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley
  • Craig O’Leary
    Program Manager, Regional Economic Development Partnership
  • Randall Reid-Smith
    Curator, West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History
  • Michele Rejonis
    Marketing Specialist, City of Wheeling
  • ron scott, jr.

  • Director, Cultural Diversity and Community Outreach, YWCA Wheeling
  • Debi Smith
    Wheeling Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution
  • Joan Stamp
    Wheeling Park Commissioner
  • Erikka Storch
    President, Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Betsy Sweeny
    Preservation Program Manager, Wheeling Heritage
  • Gary Timmons
    Fort Henry Days Living History
  • *Deceased

Twelfth Night Costume Ball Committee

Donna Glass & Tammi Secrist, CO-CHAIRS

Saun Capehart

Mary Beth Hughes

Paula McClure


Host Auxiliary

Missy ashmore

raina burke

emily freeman

laura mull

In Memoriam: Dr. John S. Mattox

Dr. John S. Mattox, 84, of Flushing, OH went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, July 17, 2019.

He was the beloved husband of the late Rosalind Mattox; loving father of John R (Jennifer) Mattox Jr., of Blacklick, OH and Suzanne (James) Evans of Solon, Ohio; grandfather of Hillarie and Camille Mattox and Courtney and James Evans Jr.

He was born in Raleigh, NC on June 22, 1935, a son to the late Henry and Susie Mattox.

He is also preceded in death by his brothers, Jackie and William Smith; and close cousin, Dorothy Lee Alston-Williamson. Surviving are many nieces, nephews, and cousins; and close family friends, Howard and Gloria Tyler.

John graduated from Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas. In 2008, he received an Honorary Doctor of Public Services Degree from Ohio University. In addition, John served in the U.S. Air Force from 1959-1965.

Dr. Mattox worked as a senior account agent for Allstate Insurance Company. He retired from selling insurance in 1994, and established the Underground Railroad Museum with his wife. For the past 25 years, he served as the curator for the museum. He lived his life with purpose and vision, educating youth, empowering others, and giving back to the community. His smile and warm personality embraced all that entered the museum.

He was a member of the Trinity Gospel Fellowship Church of Flushing. He was commander of the American Legion Post 366. He enjoyed volunteering with various community organizations and serving on the national board for A Special Wish Foundation. In addition, he served as a board member for Union Local Schools, Harrison Community Hospital, Ohio University Eastern, Sargus Juvenile Center, Belmont Correctional Institution, and numerous other organizations.

Dr. Mattox was a valued and active member of the Wheeling 250 Committee. He contributed as a presenter in two programs, one devoted to Lucy Bagby, the last fugitive slave returned to her owner, and another focused on slavery in Wheeling.  He was also instrumental in planning Wheeling’s first Juneteenth Celebration as part of Wheeling 250. A scholar, historian and presenter, he was generous in sharing his gifts and was a consummate gentleman. He will be greatly missed.

On top of his tremendous contributions to Belmont County, he enjoyed traveling, reading, and spending time with his grandchildren.

Dr. Mattox’s funeral was held on July 20 at Friends Church in St. Clairsville and interment was in Rock Hill Cemetery, Flushing.

Sponsors & Partners


Beyond Marketing (

City of Wheeling (

wheeling heritage (

wheeling suspension bridge 170th anniversary celebration sponsors

As of june 19, 2019


panhandle cleaning & restoration


McKinley Carter Wealth Services 

McKinley Architecture and Engineering

The Health Plan

wheeling heritage


American Electric Power

Wheeling Island Hotel Casino and Racetrack


Bordas and Bordas Attorneys, PLLC

w. peterson holloway, jr.

Main Street Bank

Wheeling Nailers


The diocese of wheeling-charleston

rabbi joshua and rebecca lief

straub automotive

personnel, inc.


ziegenfelder company

Thanks to WesBanco Arena box office for managing our ticket sales!


Supporting Sponsors

City of wheeling

jay frey & michael hires

friends of wheeling

Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe, LLP

Wheeling Heritage



Contributing Sponsors

regional economic development partnership

the health plan

wheeling-ohio county convention & visitors bureau



bonnie D. anderson

marion h. drews

virginia dulany, md

maggie & robert hazlett

naomi & stan klos

jeremy c. mccamic

wendy & phil polack

dr. & mrs. donald robertson

shirley & george weaver

becky & bill wilmoth


  • American Legion Post 1
  • Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley
  • Fort Henry Chapter, National Society, Sons of the American Revolution (
  • Fort Henry Days Living History
  • Friends of Wheeling
  • In Wheeling Magazine
  • Museums of Oglebay Institute
  • Ohio County Public Library (
  • Ohio County Public Schools
  • Ohio Valley Civil War Roundtable
  • Ohio Valley Trail Partners
  • The Linsly School
  • Regional Economic Development Partnership
  • South Wheeling Preservation Alliance
  • Underground Railroad Museum
  • West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History
  • West Virginia Independence Hall
  • Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Wheeling Area Genealogical Society
  • Wheeling Arts & Culture Commission
  • Wheeling Branch, NAACP #3239
  • Wheeling Chapter, National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution
  • Wheeling Chicken and Rib Cookoff
  • Wheeling Heritage (
  • Wheeling – Ohio County Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Wheeling Nailers (
  • Wheeling Park Commission
  • Wheeling Symphony Orchestra Society
  • Weelunk (
  • YWCA Wheeling

City Council Members