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Chester Hubbard: Businessman, Politician

June 20, 2013
By SARAH HARMON - Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Born in Connecticut but raised in Wheeling, Chester Hubbard served as a delegate for both the First and Second Wheeling conventions and was a prominent businessman in Wheeling.

Hubbard also was a delegate of the Richmond convention and was one of the representatives from the western counties of Virginia who "vigorously opposed" the state's secession from the Union. He is quoted as saying, "we need to show these traitors at Richmond ... that we are not to be transferred like the cattle on the hills or the slaves on their plantations without our knowledge or consent."

Another state father, Waitman Willey, wrote that Hubbard immediately left the Virginia Convention after delegates approved secession and called for several meetings to gather support for the "Restored Government of Virginia" to become West Virginia.

After only two days, Willey wrote, Hubbard had gathered two companies of soldiers and in a week a full regiment was organized.

When the new state was formed, Hubbard served in the state's first Senate and was later elected to Congress.

Hubbard was educated in Wheeling schools and graduated valedictorian of his class at Wesleyan University of Connecticut in 1840. After graduation, he entered his father's lumber mill business. Hubbard was the president of German Bank of Wheeling, the Pittsburgh Wheeling & Kentucky Railroad and C.D. Hubbard and Co., which served the iron, tin, nails and other industries.

He is know for his help in developing Wheeling as an iron and steel manufacturing center in the country.

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