How A Family Business Was Born
In October 1935, Mr. & Mrs. E.E. White began their business in Twin Falls. By the age of 17, Mr. White had already been selling Maytag washers in Utah, Colorado & Nevada. Mr. White gained a reputation as the "Maytag Man" in Ely, Nevada when he operated a Maytag retail outlet and went door to door with Maytag washers strapped to his Oakland automobile. However, the Maytag Company eventually decided to become a wholesale company and shut down retail stores. In fact, the store located in Nevada was the last one to close its doors. Meanwhile, Mr. White found another job working for a Nevada banker, O.G. Bates, who would eventually become the co-founder of Wilson-Bates Furniture. O.G. Bates agreed to take him and the Maytag laundry line under his wing, so long as Mr. White would work for him.
It was this new relationship with Mr. Bates that prompted the Whites to move to Twin Falls, where they opened a branch location of the Nevada store. A year later, they purchased the store. The Whites continued to open stores across the Magic Valley. In 1955, they purchased the store in Ely, Nevada and that of Elko in 2013.
Wilson-Bates has been a family-run business since 1935. The business is now being operated by the Whites two sons and their daughter, who also have their current children who are involved in the business. Mr. White retired in the late 1970s, while Mrs. White continued to work until 1983, when her health compelled her to retire.
Aside from hard work and making our valued customers feel at ease to find the right furniture that agrees with their budget and their needs, we are also a social-purpose business. We believe in helping our communities by lending a helping hand for a school fundraiser or taking part in a community-wide outreach. Ultimately, we aspire to impact individuals, families and even wildlife. We are committed to doing our part.
Here are some of the organizations that Wilson-Bates has been actively working with; The Boys & Girls Club, The Salvation Army, Idaho Food Bank, Pet Shelters & Clinics, Valley House, Safari Club, The College of Southern Idaho Scholarship Fund, United Way, Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Hospice Visions, Red Cross, National Wild Turkey Federation, St. Luke's Foundation, Toys For Tots, Sportsmen For Fish & Wildlife, Special Olympics and many other community organizations throughout Idaho and Nevada.