JOHN B. GARDEN, WHEELING
From: West Virginians
Published by The West Virginia Biographical Association, 1928
Submitted by Linda Fluharty.
Great, cities are built through the enterprise of men of large calibre. A great debt of recognition is owed by present-day Wheeling to the pioneer work of John B. Garden, general manager of the Wheeling Electric Company, which represents the splendid culmination of the industry he founded. He is the sole survivor of the group of five men who made Wheeling one of the first American cities to develop electricity on a practical scale. As a young man with a bent for scientific work, he joined with his father, Alexander T. Garden, A. J. Sweeney, John M. Sweeney and A. T. Sweeney, in the installation of a crude plant to generate electricity to light the shops of the business center. In twenty years, as the science of electric power developed, the plant expanded, occupying three successive new locations, until the Wheeling Electric Company became a subsidiary of the American Gas & Electric Company and built the ten-million-dollar plant at Beech Bottom, supplying Wheeling's industries and homes with power and light, and numerous adjacent cities besides.
In all these developments Mr. Garden has been from the beginning to the present a prime force for progress. His name will go down with great West Virginia industrialists as a true builder of Wheeling's modern supremacy. He is at present also the president of the Community Savings & Loan Company of Wheeling. For a number of years he was a member of the Wheeling Board of Education, and has consistently taken a lead in civic matters. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Wheeling and the Elks.
He was born at Wheeling, February 27, 1860, son of Alexander T. and Mary M. (Bankard) Garden. His grandfather, a native of Scotland, settled in Wheeling in 1816. On June 17, 1885, Mr. Garden married Mary Ralston Sweeney. They have two children: Alan, a Wheeling attorney, and Gertrude Alice (Mrs. R. R. Thorp).