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E. M. Statler


Ellsworth Milton Statler (October 26, 1863-April 16, 1928) was the founder of the Statler Hotels chain. He was born in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. A few years later, his family moved to Bridgeport, Ohio, across the Ohio River from Wheeling. As a teenager, Statler began to work as a night-time bellboy at Wheeling’s leading hotel, the McLure House. He quickly rose to night desk clerk and then day clerk, helping to manage the hotel. He remained at the McLure House for nearly 20 years, leaving to open a restaurant in Buffalo, New York, in 1895.

Statler’s dream was to have his own hotel, and in 1908 he opened the Buffalo Statler. He then established a chain of middle-class hotels that set standards for comfort and cleanliness at modest prices. Statler Hotel rooms had private baths, as well as radios and telephones. Statler eventually opened hotels in Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, and New York. Following his death, his widow led the company in building hotels in Washington, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Hartford, and Los Angeles. In 1954, the chain was purchased by Conrad Hilton for $111 million.

E. M. Statler died in New York City. In 1984, he was inducted into the Wheeling Hall of Fame.