Henry: South Wheeling ‘Building Up’

WHEELING – After struggling to find work in the Tippecanoe, Ohio, area, James Tidrick was encouraged by friends and relatives to come to Wheeling.

He moved his family to “a nice little community” – South Wheeling.

“It’s a nice neighborhood. I got no problems with nobody. I get along with everybody,” Tidrick said, noting he works at West Point Products in Valley Grove.

On a cold Thursday evening, Tidrick exited his apartment wearing just a T-shirt and jeans to see who was taking photos of the new community park beside his building on Jacob Street. His hands and clothes stained with ink from a day’s work of refurbishing copier cartridges, Tidrick agreed he is like the neighborhood watchman for his block, keeping an eye on things outside his apartment windows.

Though not a native of the neighborhood, Tidrick may serve as a example of what Councilman Robert “Herk” Henry believes makes South Wheeling a “good neighborhood.”

“South Wheeling is a pretty safe place. … South Wheeling is nice, and the people try to keep it clean as best as they can,” Henry said.

Henry said the neighborhood’s latest developments include the completion of new rental units owned by the Wheeling Housing Authority, Dr. Joseph Goodwin’s new podiatry office and a new Pizza Express shop. Some existing businesses also are either expanding their work areas or parking lots.

For example, Henry said, Tri-State Machine, 3301 McColloch St., is adding to its building. Swisher International, 4000 Water St., recently purchased three or four old houses to raze for additional parking. And the small community park, which includes bird houses and a brick pathway, located beside Tidrick’s building belongs to Dr. Bruce Walmsley.

“Everything is moving south. I think South Wheeling is building up,” Henry said. “I hope they keep on building.”

Henry noted South Wheeling did recently lose the after-hours Animal Urgent Care facility that closed. And the LaBelle Nail Plant also shut down last year.