HARVEY L. KIRK, WHEELING
From: West Virginians
Published by The West Virginia Biographical Association, 1928
Submitted by Linda Fluharty.
A precursor of a new type of public administrator, which modern political evolution is turning to for the solution of the vast and complex problems of public affairs in a new age of industrial power, Harvey L. Kirk has gained the respect and admiration of every informed person in West Virginia for his high achievements in removing the affairs of the city of Wheeling from the ancient disorderly methods of administration, methods which now stand sentenced to oblivion through the work, in every section of the modern world, of such high-minded and capable citizens as Mr. Kirk. Mr. Kirk's acceptance of the task of city manager of Wheeling in July, 1925, was a response to an insistent and universal demand for a strong hand to take hold of city affairs in an emergency. Great debts had accumulated, and the city demanded not only relief but restoration of efficiency and order. Mr. Kirk has done those things for Wheeling. No one will say that the word "miraculous" is an emphatic description of his achievement. The people of Wheeling have the satisfaction of seeing their money spent as a successful corporation administers its funds. Wheeling under Mr. Kirk is one of the country's truly fortunate municipalities.
Mr. Kirk's record in Wheeling is common knowledge. His conduct of affairs as Mayor of Wheeling from 19l2 to 19I7 was aggressive and intelligent. Prior to that time, as a member of the city council, he was easily a leading personality in the city's government. In private life success has come to him through the same qualities that have made him important to his city's public functioning. He is president of the Kirk Brokerage Company, president of the Wheeling Savings and Loan Association, president of the Real Estate Finance Company, and a director of the Homeseekers Insurance Company.
He is a former chairman of the Republican Executive Committee of Ohio County, W. Va., and served as a member of the staff of Governor H. D. Hatfield, with the honorary title of Colonel. He is also a former member of the Wheeling Board of Control
Public leaders in every section of the state have been outspoken in their predictions of a high destiny for Mr. Kirk, and definite plans to place him in high state office promise to extend his usefulness to a broader sphere. That he will in the next decade be heard from authoritatively in affairs of state is questioned by none.
Mr. Kirk was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, March 11, 1874, son of William and Lydia J. (Greenfield) Kirk, and attended public school and Valparaiso (Indiana) University. He has been engaged in business in Wheeling since youth. He was married, in 1899, to Fannie M. Nichols, of Morristown, Ohio. Their children are Myron Paul Kirk, Secretary of the Ohio Valley Industrial Corporation, and Ruth Kennon Kirk.
Mr. Kirk is a member of the Fort Henry Club and Cedar Rocks Country Club.