Wheeling. 1 Village (1990 pop. 29,911), Cook co., NE Ill., a suburb of Chicago; founded c.1830, inc. 1894. Machinery, computer supplies, metal and paper products, security devices, insulation, and chemicals are manufactured.
2 City (1990 pop. 34,882), seat of Ohio co., W.Va., in the Northern Panhandle, on the Ohio River; settled 1769, inc. as a city 1836. It is a manufacturing and commercial center in an area rich in coal and natural gas. Its many industrial products include metal products, chemicals, ceramics, glass, plastics, textiles, tools, tobacco, and paper goods. The city is the seat of Wheeling Jesuit Univ. Points of interest include the site of Fort Henry; St. Joseph's Cathedral; and Oglebay Park, with museums, a nature center, and an outdoor theater.
Fort Fincastle, renamed Fort Henry, was built at what is now Wheeling in 1774; in 1782 it was the scene of one of the last skirmishes of the American Revolution, in which a party of British and Native American attackers was driven off. Wheeling became the western terminus of the National Road in 1818, a port of entry in 1831, and a railhead in 1852. A center of pro-Unionist activity during the Civil War, the town was the site of the Wheeling Conventions (1861–62), which provided a means of forming a new state out of the northern and western counties of Virginia. Wheeling became the first capital of West Virginia in 1863 (see Charleston).