Over the past 100 years, the Upper Ohio Valley has seen numerous changes. However, a constant has been the involvement of the Wilson Family in the business community.
Wilson Furniture and Funeral Homes was founded by Charles Adolph in the fall of 1898. The business changed names after his son-in-law, Howard Wilson, joined the company. Since that time, five generations of the Wilson family have continued to keep the businesses open and thriving.
In past years, it was customary for furniture store owners to also provide funeral home services, because of their talents in carpentry which lend to building caskets.
According to Belmont County history, Adolph prospered because he was multilingual. His father had been a German immigrant and was a language teacher with a small college in East Liverpool. Therefore, Adolph was able to converse with customers who did not speak English.
Adolph’s wife, Maggie, had also been a success in her own right in Bridgeport. She owned a thriving restaurant at the entrance of the busy C&P Railroad Depot, which was located next to the entrance to the former Bridgeport Bridge.
The son of Howard Wilson and Adolph’s daughter, Charles Adolph Wilson, founded the Wilson Funeral Home in Dillonvale, Ohio, which remains in operation today.
The current owner of Wilson’s is Charles A. Wilson, Jr., who is serving as a US Congressman. Members of the family manage the day-to-day operations for the furniture store and the funeral homes.
The Bridgeport funeral home was originally at the site of Wilson Furniture Store, the company opened in the 1980’s at the current location, 920 National Road, in the historic Frasier home.