SAMUEL WILLIAMS HARPER, WHEELING
From: West Virginians
Published by The West Virginia Biographical Association, 1928
Submitted by Linda Fluharty.
Samuel Williams Harper, president of the Wheeling Bank and Trust Company, has been identified prominently with many of the most important enterprises of Wheeling and elsewhere. He is a director of the Wheeling Bank & Trust Company, Wheeling Sanitary Manufacturing Company, Central Glass Works, Ohio Valley Industrial Corporation and Twelfth Street Garage.
Mr. Harper entered business with Harper and Brother, a wholesale hat firm founded by his grandfather, S. D. Harper, in 1828, and which was the oldest hat house in the United States. Meanwhile, in 1909, he was made vice-president and treasurer of the National Telephone Company, and in 1912 this company became the Consolidated Telephone Company, of which Mr. Harper remained vice-president and treasurer until 1914. In 1914 he was made president of the Southeastern Ohio Railroad Company.
In 1913, having disposed of the business of Harper and Brother, he became vice-president of the Wheeling Bank and Trust Company. He has been its president since 1919. That the Wheeling Bank & Trust Company has grown to be one of the largest in West Virginia is credited in great part to the force of Mr. Harper's personality and his capacity as an organizer and executive.
Mr. Harper is a trustee of Linsly Institute and of the Vance Memorial Presbyterian Church. He served as vice-president of the Ohio County Committee on all Liberty Loan drives during the war, and was also director of the Bureau of Personnel of the American Red Cross at Washington, D. C.
He was born in Wheeling, April 7, 1874, son of Henry M. and Marion L. (Williams) Harper. He was educated in the public schools and Linsly Institute, Wheeling. He married, October 17, 1901, Lillie E. Vance, daughter of J. N. Vance, one of the pioneer iron and steel manufacturers of Wheeling. Their children are: Nelson Vance, Virginia and Louise Harper Rownd.
He is a member of the Fort Henry Club; Wheeling; Wheeling Country Club; New York Athletic Club; Duquesne Club, Pittsburgh; and is a Mason.