In 1946, at 18, George Wilcox took a job with the local jeweler, Milton Fuller of Fuller’s Jewelry, starting as a clerk and worked towards becoming a watch maker. After 18 months, he saw an opportunity to open his own shop with Walter Smith, his fellow co-worker who worked for Fuller. On December 1, 1947 the business became Smith & Wilcox and a year later they relocated to a shop on Clarks St. In 1948, Wilcox married Betty Stevens who became his future business partner. Around 1949, Wilcox bought out Smith’s share and later he moved the store to 122 W. Main St. which proved to be a much better location. In 1982, Wilcox purchased the Historic People’s Bank Building at 130 W Main St. and transformed it into the current Wilcox Jewelers location.
Through the years, his four children took a part in working in the business, whether as a clerk behind the counter like Lisa and Valerie, or engraving like Brian, or becoming the store’s jeweler like Glenn. Along with Glenn, other family members emerged. George’s nephew Raphael Dorr came to work for him while in high school back in the ‘60’s. He worked a lot with repairing watches before Bob came around to claim that as a full time occupation.
George’s daughter-in-law, Marlys, Brian’s wife, joined the stores sales force in 1984. She worked as a clerk, and became a talented saleswoman, and also a remarkable engraver. Also starting out young in the business as another watch maker is Bob Carollo. In 1967 Bob began his apprenticeship with Wilcox after his mother Bridget asked if he could find a place in the business for her son. Sure enough, he did and Bob is still here today fixing watches and clocks. Bridget also spent 20 years working for the Wilcox’s as a dedicated and magnificent sales lady.
The third generation at Wilcox Jewelers became George and Betty’s oldest granddaughter, Heidi starting at the age of 15. Heidi worked for her grandparents even earlier than that doing little jobs here and there and learned what she needed to know about the business to later become a full-time employee. After her high school graduation in 2000, she worked every hour she could around her college schedule. It wasn’t till her Junior year that she realized her degree should benefit the store. Graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management in 2005 and acquiring her Diamond Certificate and Colored Stone Certificate from GIA, Heidi hopes to assist her grandparents with every facet of the business.
In 2014, at the age of 86, George passed away leaving his legacy of being the kind business man that he was and his third generation jewelry store, to his wife, children and grandchildren. That same year, his son Glenn, decided this was the time for him to retire.