One Day Only
September 19, 2021

Greenwood Cemetery Tour – Sunday, September 19 – free continuous tours from 1:00 to 5:00 (last tour beginning at 4:30). Parking is available at Wheeling Park, with limo service provided by Kepner and Altmeyer Funeral Homes.

Fourteen historic characters will make first-person presentations along two routes in the cemetery. Several people will be included who had a role in the Civil War. Andrew J. Sweeney (Chad Thalman) was the city’s mayor during most of the Civil War and was known to have defied the Virginia Governor when a request was made to secure the Custom House/Post Office for the Confederacy. Lewis Baker (Jay Frey) was co-owner of the Wheeling Daily Register during the war and was arrested and imprisoned in Wheeling’s Athenaeum Prison when he objected to the war. DeMarquis Lafayette “Lafe” Githens (Dave Barnett) served as a private in the 50th Ohio Infantry, was a POW at Cahaba Prison, and survived the ill-fated Sultana riverboat disaster.

With the recent Covid pandemic in mind, two people will portray people with pertinent histories. Dr. James Reeves (Howard Gamble) was Wheeling’s first public health officer, and Mary Elizabeth Doepken (Grandmother Gael Fincham), was a six-month old who succumbed to the 1918 Spanish Flu.

Others will relate stories of scandals in Wheeling. Jacob Grubb (Hal Gorby), Wheeling mayor in 1885, accused the local police chief of turning a blind eye to police officers who were preying on local prostitutes. Grace Schenk (Judi Hendrickson) was the second wife of John Schenk, a wealthy meatpacker whose first wife was tried for attempting to poison him. The family of Emma Feller Taylor (Pat Jeffers)a niece of wealthy brewer Henry Schmulbach, became involved in a series of lawsuits when they contested his will. And Dr. Henry T. Ford (Dr. Jim Comerci) treated a local woman murdered by a man who killed several wealthy widows across the mid-west. Others featured in the tour will be May Hornbrook Carpenter (Jeanne Finstein), an active Wheeling suffragist; Dr. Baswell Henson Stillyard (Ron Scott), an early local African-American doctor and community leader; entrepreneur William Weiss (Frank O’Brien), who began Sterling Drug; J. Sumner Stone (Dave Clutter), son of the co-founder of Stone and Thomas Department Store, and his wife, Katherine “Kate” Elson Stone (Sondra Clutter), daughter of glass maker William Elson; and John Wesley Glasscock Greg Smith), the first West Virginian to play Major League Baseball.