This endowment fund was made possible through a gift from the estate of C. Z. Ruth, a long-time community leader. Born in Shade, Ohio in 1878, Mr. Ruth came to Parkersburg as a young man. From small business beginnings, he became one of the city's leading retailers. His first business venture was a store at 13th and Avery Streets. Later, he established a wholesale fruit store on Ann Street, and in an adjacent building he opened a secondhand furniture store. His interest in furniture developed through the years until at one time he owned and operated five furniture stores in Parkersburg.
Many charitable organizations in Parkersburg benefited at one time or another from Mr. Ruth's generosity. For example, his support made possible a new wing at St. Joseph's hospital. He also generously supported the American Red Cross and the Humane Society of Parkersburg.
Through his gift to establish the endowment for the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley, Inc., Mr. Ruth's generosity continues to impact our area.