WILLIAM L. SHARP, whose long business career at Steubenville was terminated by his death, on December 21, 1902, for many years was one of the city's most aggressive, successful and honorable business men. He was a native of Ireland, born in County Cavan, March 10, 1810, and was a son of James and Christiana (Linton) Sharp.
James Sharp, with his son, William L., then a lad of ten years, emigrated to America in 1821, the mother remaining in the old country with the expectation of joining husband and child at a more convenient season. Her desires were never fulfilled for death overtook her within six months. The father then sent for his other children and they settled in Philadelphia, where he died two years later, leaving these children with the aid of their relatives to make their own way in the world, in a strange land.
Courage and industry William L. Sharp undoubtedly possessed for by the time he was twenty-one years of age, he had acquired a good common school education and a thorough knowledge of the tinner's trade. In 1832 he left Philadelphia and went first to Cadiz, O., and later to West Middletown, Pa., remaining for three years at the latter place. In 1845 he came to Steubenville, where he spent the remainder of his life. In addition to manufacturing he enlarged the scope of his business, adding hardware and stoves to the goods, handled, and in 1847 he organized the Ohio Foundry, which was later conducted under the firm name of W. L. Sharp & Son, and is one of the largest in its special line in the country, the plant being located in that section of Steubenville bounded by Slack Street and the Pan Handle Railroad. He remained alone until 1865, when he took his son, George E. Sharp, into partnership in his foundry business and later his grandson, A. B. Sharp was admitted, but William L. Sharp continued his personal interest until the close of his life. The present business is conducted by George E. Sharp and his son, A. B. Sharp, under the firm name of The Ohio Foundry Company.
In 1830 William L. Sharp was married to Miss Isabella McFadden, who died November 21, 1883. They had six children, some of whom went into business, while several of the sons became ministers in the Presbyterian Church, of which Mr. Sharp ws a member for a half century. He was a man of sterling character and commanded the respect of all who knew him. Rising entirely through his own efforts, he achieved a well deserved success.