ROBERT CLINTON DANCER, WHEELING
From: West Virginians
Published by The West Virginia Biographical Association, 1928
Submitted by Linda Fluharty.
Robert Clinton Dancer was born in Mannington, W. Va., May 29, 1875. He died in Wheeling, November 8, 1926. For nearly twenty years Mr. Dancer was a leading merchant of Wheeling, and at the time of his death was president and general manager of the firm of R. C. Dancer, Inc., merchandisers of wall paper.
Mr. Dancer was the son of Jesse and Sarah (Helms) Dancer. His- father was a Civil War veteran and one time mayor of the city of Mannington. As a boy R. C. Dancer attended public school, and at the age of fourteen went to work in a large general store at Mannington, owned by Snodgrass Brothers. After ten years, he was virtually in charge of this organization, and in 1900, at the age of 25, he bought out the business, with H. B. Beaty, and the store was operated by them till 1905, as Beaty & Dancer.
Mr. Dancer sold his interest in that business in 1905, forming the partnership of Dancer and Burgess, engaged in the wholesale and retail wall paper and floor covering business. With characteristic energy Mr. Dancer put into his business that touch of personal distinction which was later to place him among the representative men in his line in the country. His affairs grew too large for the city of Manningtdn and in 1909 the two partners removed to Wheeling. In 19l4 the partnership was dissolved, leaving Mr. Dancer at the head of the business. In December, 1920, it was incorporated, with Mr. Dancer as president and general manager.
R. C. Dancer, Inc. is today one of the best-known names in West Virginia, due primarily to the rare capacity for distinctive merchandising possessed by Mr. Dancer. He originated countless new methods of contact with his public, and it can be truly said of him that his genius not only made him a great personal success, but also gave to Wheeling and its citizens a business institution that became a new source of community wealth.
R. C. Dancer, Inc., is one of the largest wholesalers of high-grade wall paper in the entire country, being pioneers in the distribution of better wall paper through sample books which are sent to thousands of retail wall paper stores over the United States. Truly it may be said that this sales idea originated by the late R. C. Dancer has been the prime factor in the country-wide business developed by the firm of R. C. Dancer Inc. Mr. Dancer was a business man of sterling integrity and keen foresight and his advanced ideas have been reflected in the growth of the business he founded.
The store and offices are at 1121 Market Street, the store extending to 1118 Main Street.
Mr. Dancer was a director of the Central Union Trust Company of Wheeling. He was a member of Wheeling Lodge No. 5, F. & A. M.; West Virginia Consistory No. 1, Scottish Rite; Wheeling Lodge No. 28, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; the Rotary Club of Wheeling; the Wheeling Country Club and the Fort Henry Club of Wheeling.
He was married, in 1905, at Mannington, West Virginia, to Bessie Craker, who survives him.