In 1946, at 18, George Wilcox took a job with the local jeweler, Milton Fuller of Fuller’s Jewelry. He started 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 also worked for Fuller. On December 1, 1947, the business became Smith & Wilcox and a year later they relocated to a shop on Clarks Street. In 1948, George 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 West Main St., which proved to be a much better location. In 1982, Wilcox purchased the Historic People’s Bank Building at 130 West Main St., and transformed it into the current Wilcox Jewelers location that stands today.
Through the years, his four children took part in working within the business. Whether as a clerk behind the counter, like Lisa and Valerie, or engraving like Brian, or becoming the 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 store's sales force in 1984. She worked as a clerk, became a talented saleswoman, and a remarkable engraver. A great friend of Betty's, Bridget Carollo, came aboard around 1965. She spent 20 years working for the Wilcox’s as a dedicated and magnificent sales lady. Bridget's son just so happens to be the beloved Bob Carollo that we know today. In 1967, Bridget asked George if there was a place for Bob at Wilcox Jewelers. At that moment, Bob began his apprenticeship with George, and the rest is history. Bob Carollo is still here today fixing watches and clocks. At this time, he is Semi-Retired working partly in store and at his home.
Third generation at Wilcox Jewelers started with George and Betty’s oldest granddaughter, Heidi. She began working at the ripe age of 15. Heidi worked for her grandparents even earlier than that doing little jobs here and there around the shop. She 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 until her Junior year that she realized her degree should benefit the store, thus 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, Glenn decided it was time for him to retire from the family business. Glenn had worked Wilcox Jewelers for roughly 40 years and loved every minute of it! He was sure going to miss seeing and talking with everyone, but retirement life was just too sweet to pass up.
Four years into retirement, Glenn passed away in October of 2018. He's greatly missed everyday, at home and in the store.
The youngest of the third generation, Maddie, stepped in as a saleswoman in 2017. During this time, she was going to school at Missouri Baptist University getting her degree in Human Services. This was a great addition to our team! Maddie has maintained her position with us and continues to learn about the business her grandfather started.