A portrait of Samuel Bloch of Wheeling has been presented to his homeplace.

Born in 1850, the co-founder of Bloch Brothers Tobacco actually lived in the mansion now known as Elmhurst the House of Friendship.

Elmhurst House

His portrait hung for generations in the Ohio Valley Medical Center (first called Ohio Valley General Hospital), which Bloch also founded.

Now that the former hospital is set for demolition, city officials presented the picture to Elmhurst.

“From the City’s perspective, we’re very pleased that we’re able to preserve this photograph of Mr. Bloch that’s hung in the hospital for over 120 years and be able to present it here at Elmhurst so they can proudly display it,” said Bob Herron, Wheeling city manager.

“The mansion you see here on National Road was actually Samuel Bloch’s family home,” said Jamie Crow, Elmhurst executive director. “It was their summer home. His children actually gifted us the home in 1940.”

They plan to hang his portrait in the living room at Elmhurst, where those of his son, daughter-in-law and other relatives are displayed.

Samuel and his brother Aaron were the first to manufacture chewing tobacco by adding flavors like licorice.

It became the world famous Mail Pouch Tobacco.

Elmhurst began as a home for women only, but now accepts men and couples as well.

There are currently 39 residents there.