WesBanco is a multi-state bank holding company headquartered in Wheeling, West Virginia. It is one of the oldest banks in the state, tracing its roots back to 1870. It was first called the German Bank, the name reflecting the large German population in the area and the fact that its early officers were mostly of German descent. In 1918, with America fighting Germany in World War I, the German Bank changed its name to the Wheeling Bank & Trust Company.
In 1923, Wheeling Bank & Trust Company acquired the Bank of the Ohio Valley. A decade later, in 1933, Wheeling Bank & Trust merged with Dollar Savings & Trust to form the Wheeling Dollar Savings & Trust Company, the largest bank in West Virginia at the time, with assets exceeding $19 million. Wheeling Dollar Savings & Trust continued to acquire competitors, including Citizens Mutual (1939), National Exchange Bank (1949), and South Wheeling Bank and Trust (1964). In 1968, WesBanco was incorporated, and it became a bank holding company in 1976.
After branch banking was legalized in West Virginia in 1982, WesBanco acquired branches, primarily in the Northern Panhandle and Ohio Valley. WesBanco-owned banks could be found in Follansbee, Sistersville, Wellsburg, Elizabeth, Parkersburg, and Charleston. In July 1991, WesBanco changed all of its affiliate banks to the WesBanco name and continued to acquire other banks. WesBanco banks were now found in Fairmont, Shinnston, Bridgeport, Morgantown, and Kingwood, as well as Barnesville, Ohio.
In the 1990s, WesBanco worked to make bank operations more efficient by merging offices near each other. Universal Mortgage Company in Bridgeport was acquired in 1996, and the Hunter Insurance Agency in 1998. The Bank of Weirton, Vandalia National Corporation, Shawnee Banks of Dunbar, Commercial Bancshares of Parkersburg, and Heritage Bank of Clarksburg were also acquired during the 1990s. On January 14, 2000, WesBanco’s four regional banks—Charleston, Fairmont, Parkersburg, and Wheeling—merged to form WesBanco Bank, Inc. Wheeling National Bank and Western Ohio Financial Corporation were merged with WesBanco after the turn of the 21st century.
In 2010, WesBanco Bank, Inc., operated 111 banking offices in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The locations were concentrated in the Upper Ohio Valley with additional West Virginia locations in the Monongahela Valley and Preston County, and in the Charleston area.
Written by Carrie Stollings