History of the Upper Ohio Valley
Daniel Whitehead was a leading business man of Wheeling for many years. His birth occurred in January, 1828, at Mount Pleasant, Lancashire, seven miles from the city of Manchester, England. He received a fair education, and then learned the painter's trade, which he followed in England until January, 1858, at which time he came to the United States. Settling in Wheeling, where George Wood, his brother-in-law lived, he worked at his trade until the breaking out of the rebellion. April of same year his wife and two children joined him in his new home. Enlisting in Company E, of the First West Virginia regiment of infantry of the Union army, he served with them two years and eleven months, fighting valliantly for his adopted country. He received an honorable discharge for physical disability and returned to Wheeling, where he resumed his old trade, continuing in this until his death, August 15, 1886. During his business career he carried on one of the largest businesses in his line, employing from ten to twelve men. The Custom house and the Mt. DeChantall college are specimens of his skill. He was a very well read man, pronounced in his views and having the courage of his convictions. He was a born republican, and his republican sentiments were the chief cause of his coming to the United States from England. He was
reared in the Episcopal church and died in that faith. Mr. Whitehead was married in England to Hannah Wood, who still survives him, residing in Wheeling. Three children were born to this marriage: one son and two daughters, one of the latter dying in England; the other one was the wife of James McGranahan, a prominent contractor and builder of Wheeling, Mary H., died in November, 1871. The son is Ralph Whitehead, the subject of this biography. Ralph Whitehead was born in Staleybridge, near Manchester, England, August 1, 1851. He came to Wheeling with his parents in 1858, and has since lived here. He was educated in the public schools of the latter city, and in 1867 entered St. Vincent's college, where he remained for two years.
After leaving college he entered the service of the Western Union Telegraph company as dispatch copier, and in 1871 began to learn the brick layer's trade with John Boring, deceased. He served two years with Boring and then entered the employ of Andrews & Kirk, furnace builders and bricklayers and contractors. He was connected with that firm for four years, and in 1877 started into business for himself as a contractor. Mr. Whitehead carried on this business for some four years, at the expiration of which time he entered the Wheeling postoffice, where he remained for three years. He then returned to brick contracting and met with success in this business until 1889, when he again entered the Wheeling postoffice, this time as
superintendent of letter carriers, and he still holds this responsible position. Since 1870, Mr. Whitehead has been very prominent in political circles. In 1882 he became a member of the
Ohio county republican executive committee, and was its chairman in 1886, again in 1888, and is at present writing, filling this place of honor. He attends all of the state conventions as a delegate. In 1888 he removed from the Fourth ward to a handsome new residence on the Island. Mr. Whitehead is a member of, and the master of Ohio lodge, No. 1, F. & A. M., Excelsior, No. 40, I. O. O. F., is also a member of the Bricklayers' Union, which organization he was a
delegate to in 1889, in the international convention held at Cleveland, Ohio. He was married March 21, 1874, to Miss Lavinia Combs, of Wheeling. They are the parents of four children: Mary, George, Edmund and Stella.
Brant & Fuller, 1890; Vol. I, pages 477-478.