Biography of Wesley S. Guffey
Allegheny County, PA Biographies

WESLEY S. GUFFEY, capitalist and oil magnate. Out of the depths of his wisdom, Carlyle wrote, "History is the essence of innumerable biographies," and Macaulay has said, "The history of a nation is best told in the lives of its people." It is therefore fitting that mention of this distinguished citizen should be made in this publication.

History was at one time almost entirely a record of wars, a tale of conquest in which armed hosts went forth to capture, pillage and destroy, but with advancing civilization it has become a very different chronicle, being now more particularly the story of the onward march of progress, the upbuilding of cities and the establishing of enterprises and interests which contribute to man's happiness and welfare. A man's reputation is the property of the world. The laws of nature have forbidden isolation. As every human being submits to the controlling influence of others, or as a master wields a power for good or evil on the masses of mankind, there can be no impropriety in justly scanning the acts of any man as they affect his public, social and business relations. If he be honest and successful in his chosen fields of endeavor, investigation will brighten his fame and point the paths along which others may follow. Mr. Guffey is a son of Alexander Guffey, a direct descendant of William Guffey, who came to this country in 1738. This pioneer joined the expedition under Gen. John Forbes against the French at Fort Duquesne, and afterwards settled at Loyalhanna Creek, where was established by his aid the first English speaking settlement in Westmoreland county. In 1886 occurred a reunion of the Guffey family, attended by five generations, aggregating 293 persons. Mr. Wesley S. Guffey was born in Madison, Westmoreland county, Feb, 22, 1842, and his career has been a busy and successful one from the beginning. He is the senior member of Guffey & Queen, one of the most prominent, successful and progressive oil, coal and mineral producing firms in the country. This firm is one of the heralds of advancing civilization, recognizing that into the bosom of the earth the hand of nature had placed rich deposits that had been lying dormant for centuries, only waiting for progressive men to open the way that the more timid might follow. Their bold, progressive and successful operations in oil, coal, gas, gold, silver and copper mining have not been confined to narrow limits, but have covered every State in the Union where minerals were to be found. The life record of Mr. Guffey may be chronicled in this brief sentence: Success comes not to the man who idly waits, but to the faithful toiler whose labor is characterized by force and intelligence. It comes only to the man who has the keenness of mental vision to know when, where and how to exert his energies, and thus it happens that but a small proportion of those who enter the "world's broad field of battle" come off victorious in the struggle for wealth and position. His career has been an honorable and upright one, and now, in the evening of life, he can look back over the past without regret. He has performed a noble work for himself and his fellow man, has left the impress of his individuality upon this community, and has inscribed his name high on the roll of Pittsburg's eminent and honored citizens.


From:
Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
personal and genealogical with portraits.
Publishers: Northwestern Historical Association
Madison, Wis. 1904.


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