DAVID ALLEN BURT, WHEELING
From: West Virginians
Published by The West Virginia Biographical Association, 1928
Submitted by Linda Fluharty.
D. A. Burt, member of the investment firm of Hazlett & Burt, president of the Fidelity Investment Association, and one of the foremost figures in West Virginia industrial enterprises has had a business career remarkable in many aspects. Setting out in life, his heritage of this world's goods was negligible; his equipment for the competition consisted mainly of that spark of genius and personal force which has distinguished the careers of such a large number of self-made men.
He began his business career as a newsboy at the age of ten, following the death of his father, and for some time contributed to family support, which depended largely on the earnings of his mother, a school teacher. Today he is, besides the connections already mentioned, a director of the Wheeling Steel Corporation, Hazel-Atlas Glass Company, Dollar Savings & Trust Company, Wheeling Bank & Trust Company, Woodward Iron Company of Birmingham, Ala., Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company.
He is also chairman of the West Virginia State Tax Commission, appointed by Governor Gore, in which work he set aside his personal affairs for nearly a year, and traveled throughout the State on investigations which be used in preparation of what is perhaps the most exhaustive and intelligent taxation report ever submitted to the State Legislature. This service has caused Mr. Burt frequently to be suggested as a candidate for Governor, the demand coming from various parts of the commonwealth.
Mr. Burt was born in Wheeling, W. Va., December 24, 1876, son of John Lukens and Martha (McKelvey) Burt. In 1892 he was graduated at Wheeling High School and entered the employ of the Whitaker Iron Works, in which he advanced steadily, until he became paymaster. He then went to work as chief clerk, shipper and general office man for the Aetna-Standard Steel Company, and later, about 1900, became general bookkeeper of the La Belle Iron Works, Steubenville, Ohio. His advance with this firm marked the initial step in his later rise to prominence. At the time he was elected president the company had more than 5,000 employes and, besides two large steel plants in West Virginia and Ohio, owned and operated coal mines in Pennsylvania and iron ore mines in Minnesota. In 1920 the famous merger of the La Belle Iron Works with the other large iron and steel companies now comprising the Wheeling Steel Corporation was effected. Mr. Burt was elected vice-president and treasurer of the new corporation, the fourth largest steel company in the United States.
He gave up his industrial activity in 1923 to pursue his financial and banking interests, forming the firm of Hazlett & Burt, with H. C. Hazlett, which, acquired the investment business of Howard Hazlett & Son, which had been founded in 1892 by Howard Hazlett. It is today one of the largest investment houses in West Virginia. The Fidelity Investment Association, of which he is president, is a comparatively young organization, dating its founding to the year 1912. It has grown with tremendous strides and is now one of the very important American companies engaged in creating estates through systematic saving.
Mr. Burt has been consistently a man to depend on for leadership in the larger civic undertakings and, especially during the war period, did he accomplish many valuable achievements. He was prominent in all the principal drives, and was on the war board in Brooke County that directed all Liberty Loan campaigns, Red Cross activities and similar matters.
He married, in 1901, Miss Elizabeth McLain. Their children are David A., Jr., associated with his father in business; Martha S. and William L.
Mr. Burt is a member of the American Iron & Steel Institute, the Academy of Political Science, the Masonic Orders and the Presbyterian Church. He is a Republican. His clubs are the Duquesne of Pittsburgh and the Fort Henry of Wheeling.
Home: Echo Point, Wheeling. Office: Wheeling Steel Corporation Building.