HON. GEORGE A. LAUGHLIN, WHEELING
From: West Virginians
Published by The West Virginia Biographical Association, 1928
Submitted by Linda Fluharty.
One of the best known men of Wheeling and the State of West Virginia is Hon. George A. Laughlin, manufacturer and, publisher of The Wheeling Telegraph. He commands public confidence and respect, and the affection of a host of warm personal friends all over the East. He is a native son, of Wheeling, born in that city September 28, 1862, and was educated at Linsly Institute.
Until he was twenty-five years old, Mr. Laughlin continued to reside in the city of his nativity, but at that time went to Cleveland, Ohio, and later to Richmond and Middletown, Indiana, where he was engaged in the manufacture of tin plate until 1899, when he came back to Wheeling, arriving in time to participate in the organization of the Wheeling Board of Trade, in 1900, of which he was made first president. He was re-elected to that office for two successive years. Elected, in 1900, to the West Virginia House of Delegates, he served in that body as a Republican, and was instrumental in having passed some very important and constructive legislation.
Upon his return to private life, he became president of The Wheeling Intelligencer Company, and served as such until 1908, and during 1902, 1903 and 1904 he guided the editorial policies of this newspaper. In 1908 his party further honored him by sending him as a delegate-at-large from West Virginia to the Republican National Convention held at Chicago, Illinois, at which William Howard Taft was nominated for the Presidency.
When the Republican party split in 1912, Mr. Laughlin went with the Roosevelt faction, and was the candidate for Congress from the First West Virginia District that year, and lost the election to Hon. John W. Davis, Democrat, by 164 votes. Mr. Laughlin was the Progressive candidate for Congress again in 1913, and received nearly 4,000 votes. At present he is a member of the W. Va. Capitol Building Commission. It would be difficult to find a man more generally representative of the best interests of his section, for not only is he public spirited, able to discharge the onerous responsibilities of statesmanship, but be is also a sound business man, connected with various large enterprises. At one time he was president of the Cleveland Manufacturing Company, the Cleveland-Canton Spring Company of Canton, Ohio, and chairman of the board of directors of the Western Spring & Axle Company of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Later he leased The Wheeling Telegraph, and is now a member of the board of directors of The Wheeling News and The Wheeling Intelligencer. For years he has been a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. The First Presbyterian Church of Wheeling is his religious home, and he is one of its active members. Through his connection with the Rotary Club he is able to render effective service in upholding the ideals of that organization and advancing the welfare of the city.
In 1884 Mr. Laughlin was married to Lucy Lyons Macdonald, of New Orleans, Louisiana, who died in 1900. In 1906 he was married to Anna Boettger Bruning of New York City. They have no children. Having made Wheeling his home for so many years and taken during that time so active a part in all of its affairs, Mr. Laughlin naturally understands the needs of the community and the best way to satisfy them. His home is on Bethany Pike, Woodsdale, and his office in the City Bank building.