The first “water” Wilson, started selling windmills to pump water in the late 1800’s. From there, the business evolved into working on wells, pumps (both before and after electricity was introduced), and various plumbing and water needs. The third generation of “water” Wilson, J.B., started into well drilling in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s. Under J.B and then John R. Wilson (the “son” in J.B. Wilson and Son) the business expanded greatly over the next fifty years, offering a full range of well drilling and pumping system services. At the turn of the 21st century, the next generation of “water” Wilsons, Johnny and Matt, joined the family business full time, expanding the products and services offered even further, adding water treatment to the line-up.
John Sr. grew up working with his dad and the family well business, along with getting things done on the family farm. After graduating from the University of Guelph with an Honours B.Sc. in Microbiology, John worked for General Foods in Coburg and then as Quality Control Manager at Kellogg’s in London. John “retired” in 1977 and came home to work in the well drilling business full-time. John Sr. is the company president, and has served as director and president of both the Ontario Ground Water Association (OGWA) and the Canadian Ground Water Association (CGWA). He was also awarded the CGWA’s highest honour, the Canadian Ground Water Stewardship Award, in 2002.
Like his dad, Johnny jumped in the truck as soon as he was old enough, going with his dad to drill sites and on service calls. After working through high school in the family business, Johnny attended the University of Windsor, graduating with a B.Sc. in Environmental Geology. Johnny is the only person to graduate from the program while holding a valid driller’s licence. Following several geologist placements around the world, Johnny came back to the family business in 2000, but still dabbles in some exploration projects. Johnny has also started a collaboration with the University of Windsor Hydrogeology program, educating the future hydrogeologists about how things work in the field. He is currently the co-Vice President.
Matt also grew up tagging along with his dad and grandpa as soon as he was old enough to jump into the truck. Just like his dad and older brother Johnny, he worked nights, weekends, and holidays throughout high school either on the drill rig or servicing wells and pumps. After graduating from the University of Guelph with an Honours B.Sc. in Molecular Genetics, Matt worked in student leadership for 2 years and then in the pharmaceutical industry for another 3 ½ years. He then joined his dad and brother in the family business in 2004, and is currently the co-Vice President of the company. Matthew is also currently the VP of the Ontario Ground Water Association.