Supreme Court sales tax decision

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in 5-4 decision to require on-line and mail order vendors to collect applicable sales tax for the state of the purchaser, a major victory for brick and mortar stores who claimed they were at a disadvantage. It appears smaller vendors with sales at less than $100,000 a year will be exempt from the requirement.

A similar tax loophole was used by Wheeling businesses in the pre-shopping mall era. Wheeling’s merchants would offer to deliver the purchases to Ohio addresses, saving the purchaser the cost of the sales tax.

Colvig’s Local Connections

The news this month that old Colvig’s Store at 1056 Main Street Wheeling would come down after the rear of the structure collapsed, ends the history of a store that spanned 115 years.

Colvig’s was opened by Mary Ann Marsden Colvig in the Civil War. She was the second wife of John Baptiste Colvig, a native of Leesburg, Va. of French decent. Colvig’s first wife, Mary Ann Andrews of Somerton was the daughter of Samuel and Mary Ann Andrews. She, like her parents, was a native of Somerton, England. Her father suggested the name of Somerton when the Somerset Twp. village secured a post office in 1827. Many Andrews’ descendants live in the area even today.

In 1858, John Colvig, a cabinet maker, and Mary Ann moved to Barnesville. Three years later, she died. Afterwards, the widower married Mary Ann Marsden of Wheeling, 26 years his junior, in 1863. The newlyweds setting up house in the Virginia war capital, soon the capital of West Virginia.

She, the second Mrs. Colvig opened the millinery store. A Wheeling Intelligencer piece on July 5 noted at one time "21 women were employed there to make hats".

Their son, William Henry "Will" Colvig (1871-1928), ran the store during the profitable pre-Depression years. He was an early auto enthusiast. In 1904, he drove his auto mobile from Wheeling to the St. Louis World’s Fair, and back.

The same year he motored out to Somerton to visit extended Andrews kin making his the first auto to travel through town. Hearing the coming mechanical clatter, six-year old Ernest (Edo) Detling covered his ears and jumped into the ditch in front of his house, certain the world was coming to an end!

After Colvig’s closed in the Bicentennial year of 1976, several other businesses used the four-story building including a couple of night clubs.


In 1943 while he was serving as Ohio Senator from Belmont County, Enterprise editor Ray Palmer started writing a column he titled "This Week - Here and There". Our modified title is "Here and There".