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Photo courtesy of James J. Weiler III Marshall University purchased Weiler Steel in 2005.

HUNTINGTON - In the early 1900s, James J. Weiler was a chief estimator for L. Schreiber & Sons Co., a Cincinnati, Ohio, steel fabricating firm. Many of the early buildings along downtown Huntington's 3rd Avenue were constructed with steel produced by Schrieber and no doubt sold to the builders by Weiler.

The steel salesman must have liked what he saw in the Huntington of that era for in 1916 he moved his family here. In 1919 he and his sons purchased a tract of land at Elm Street and Commerce Avenue and opened an iron yard. In 1924, work was completed on a plant which would fabricate structural steel and ornamental iron.

For many years, James J. Weiler was the president of James J. Weiler & Sons, with his sons filling other executive posts. In 1933, he died and his son Francis Xavier Weiler, who had been the firm's vice president and treasurer, became president.

With the coming of World War II, the company threw itself into war production. With the war's end in 1945, the firm went back into commercial steel fabrication for building and industrial purposes throughout the Tri-State area.

Francis Weiler, who at age 85 still ran the steel mill his father had founded, died in 1980 and was succeeded as the firm's president by James J. Weiler II.

In 2005, Marshall University purchased the 2.5-acre Weiler Steel property, and later demolished it. 

Do you enjoy the "Lost Huntington" series?

"Lost Huntington: Volume 1" is a hardcover, full-color book of some of the city's lost landmarks. The book is likely to be of interest to anyone who enjoys history and loves Huntington.

Books are $29.95 plus tax, shipping and handling. To order, visit media.herald-dispatch.com/ecom/ or call 304-526-2720.

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