"Mr. Brooke County" is an apt name for Wellsburg native Elmer H. Vincent, known for his numerous civic and government involvements over the years.
The 1941 Wellsburg High School graduate went to work at Wheeling Steel's Beech Bottom plant until entering the U.S. Navy in 1943. He married his first wife, Dolores, in July of 1942. She died in 1995.
Upon his discharge from the Navy in 1946, Elmer returned to Wellsburg and began serving his apprenticeship in the floral business under the GI Bill. His return home sparked a foray into community service, which continues today.
Working at Wilkin's Flower Shop at first on a part-time, then full-time basis, Elmer took over full ownership of the business in 1966, operating it up until his 1997 sale of the shop. All the while, the father of five became more entrenched in community service and local government, serving in a number of capacities over the years.
In the late 1950s, Elmer served as vice president of the Brooke County Council on Education, which worked to bring about the consolidation of three area high schools. Elmer was a strong advocate of providing vocational training for students.
He also was instrumental in starting the first Brooke County Senior Center. Elmer also served on the Wellsburg Recreational Council, which provided summer employment opportunities and activities for young people.
Elmer served as a Wellsburg council member from 1962 to 1966 and as a Brooke County Commissioner from 1967 to 1972.
Additionally, Elmer has given years of service to the Brooke County Mental Health Board, the Brooke County Library Board and its Civil Service Commission, as well as a number of levy committees. He has the distinction of being only one of two people honored with a lifetime membership on the Brooke County Salvation Army Board, which he has served for 46 years. An elder at the Wellsburg Presbyterian Church, Elmer is active with the Wellsburg Masonic Lodge and Master Masons Lodge, the Elks, the Wellsburg Kiwanis Club and the Wellsburg American Legion Post 2, where he has been a member since 1946.
The 1993 Wellsburg Chamber of Commerce's "Citizen of the Year," Elmer is the father of four daughters, Kathleen Prebil, Judith Vincent, Debbie Smith and Leona Thompson. His only son was killed in military service in 1974. He has 11 grandchildren. In 1996, he and his second wife, Dorothy, were married.