Start-Up or Up-Start?
R. D. Wilson was an up-start…
In 1854, aged 15, Robert Dick Wilson boarded a ship bound for the shores of the United States of America. On that steam-liner with a steerage full of like-minded souls, R D Wilson had his suitcase packed with flannel lined coats, rag wool socks, leather boots and dreams.
After a run at farming in Wisconsin, Robert D. Wilson made his way back east to Cumberland, Maryland. At the turn of the 19th century, he took root in Clarksburg, West Virginia a trending destination for merchants and retailers. This Scottish Up-Start was ready to create a Start-Up.
In 1903, our founder positioned his wholesale distribution business on a railroad spur in the Glen Elk district of Clarksburg. The warehouse could ship product and receive inventory right from the loading dock saving time and cost of labor from day one. Marketing dry goods of this new 20th century, Wilson dealt in animal hides, wool, hemp rope, leather tanning supplies and industrial paper.
We are in the fourth generation of Wilson ownership. Keeping the company in the Wilson family has been a source of pride for us. Many family enterprises close as family members sever ties or choose to sell out to a bigger entity.
Not us! We are proud our company remains owned by the ancestors of Robert D. Wilson. Robert’s grandson, Mark (1918-2007), was a grand steward of the family business. As a soldier in World War II’s European Offensive, Mark Wilson landed on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, D-Day. A fact he seldom shared with others beyond his family and close friends. Upon return, Mark re-joined the family business and became sole proprietor.
New Building, Same Philosophy
We said good-bye to the railroad district 4-story warehouse in 2006 and moved into a single level facility with 4-lane highway access and lots of space to grow. The state of West Virginia is a great place to do business. Our long-term relationship with healthcare, tourism, education and industrial sectors continues to strengthen. You can count on R.D. Wilson to deliver to the top of mountain in skiing weather and send out a technician at 3 a.m. when the hospital’s laundry facility needs a tune-up.
We never stop thinking, innovating, trying or caring.
Founded on dreams, toughened with hard working employees and supported by loyal customers the future starts now. We are R D Wilson, your one stop supplier of safety, sanitation, janitorial, food service and now office supplies.