Biography of Weskey S. Guffey
Westmoreland County, PA Biographies

WESLEY S. GUFFEY, capitalist and oil producer, son of Alexander and Jane (Campbell) Guffey, was born February 22, 1842, at Mathson, Sewickley township, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania. He comes of pioneer Scotch Irish stock, his ancestors on the paternal side being among the first settlers west of the Allegheny mountains For complete genealogy ot the Guffey family, see sketch of Alexander Guffey.

Wesley S. Guffey received a common school education at the Sulphur Spring school, and in his early years assisted his father in his coal operations. He there acquired such practical knowledge as in after years proved a great benefit to him. In 1864, the year following the death of his father, Alexander Guffey, he joined the rush of oil prospectors to Pithole, Pennsylvania. The boom following the great oil strike at Pithole was marvelous while it lasted. At one time the town had a fixed population of fourteen thousand, and a floating population so large that Pithole maintained the second largest post office in Pennsylvania. When the mails were distributed the waiting crowd formed a line, and it was not unusual for the impatient persons to pay large sums of money for a place near the front. To-day, not a brick nor a stone remains to show where Pithole once flourished. Being successful in his first venture, Mr. Guffey devoted himself permanently to the pursuit of oil and gas development, and in subsequent years followed up the operations carried on by the tireless army of prospectors in the Pennsylvania counties of Venango, Butler, Clarion, Greene and Allegheny, and also in West Virginia. One of his most successful ventures was the development of the Gould field in Butler county. At Wildwood, Pennsylvania, in November, 1890, a well producing four thousand five hundred barrels daily was brought in on the day of the election of Robert E Pattison, as governor, on the Democratic ticket. Three Democrats were employed upon the well, and they named it the “Pattison” with the full approbation of Mr. Guffey, who is himself an old school Democrat of the “rock-ribbed” type. In addition to his operations in the oil fields, Mr. Guffey made large investments in coal lands, the \Vest Virginia developments especially engaging his attention. Here the experience of his earlier years stood him in good stead and enabled him to secure rich returns. Mr. Guffey has been conspicuously identified with Pittsburg politics, particularly in connection with movements in behalf of municipal reforms. In every attempt to secure the election of honest and competent men to office; in every struggle to force the enactment of reform legislation for Pittsburg by the General Assembly of the state, he has been a tireless and enthusiastic worker. Frequently he has conveyed train loads of reform advocates to the state capitol at his own expense, and he has been known to remain at Harrisburg throughout entire sessions of the legislature, laboring for the cause of good government. He has uniformly declined to accept public or party honors in recognition of his services. He is a brother of Colonel James M. Guffey, famous in the oil and gas industry and in Democratic politics. Other members of the family in the present generation have also distinguished themselves in their respective fields of activity. Mr. Guffey is unmarried and lives in a magnificent house on corner of Liberty and Atlantic avenues, Pittsburg, over which a married sister presides. Straightforward and unaffected in manners, pronounced in his opinions, loyal to his friendships, fearless in the pursuit of what he deems to be the right, and withal a courtly gentleman, Wesley S Guffey represents the best and worthiest type of American citizenship. and he commands accordingly in an unusual degree the respect and friendly regard of his fellows,

History of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
Vol. 3
By: John N. Boucher
The Lewis Publishing Company
New York - Chicago, 1906

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