February 1, 2010
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Tom Wilson, 91, died last month in Austin, TX. Mr. Wilson was a long-time successful entrepreneur in the granite business and will be remembered for bringing granite produced in Texas to prominence during the construction boom of the 1970s and 1980s.

He was born and raised in Yazoo City, MI, educated at Louisiana Tech University and served in the Army Air Corp in World War II as a fighter pilot, escorting bomber raids from England over Germany. He returned to Austin after the war to raise his family and was working as an engineer for the Texas Highway Department when his next door neighbor, John Alexander -- President of Cold Spring Granite at the time -- persuaded him to go to work for Texas Granite (a division of Cold Spring Granite) in the late 1950s. Mr. Wilson became the sales manager and then general manager for Texas Granite before striking out on his own in 1962.

He formed Capitol Marble & Granite and began opening granite quarries and building factories. In 1980, Capitol Marble built the first major granite fabricating factory in the U.S., employing new technology of granite gangsaws and automatic polishing lines. Capitol also discovered and opened several new major granite quarries in Texas and Oklahoma. Mr. Wilson loved spending his days with land owners, discussing the virtues of introducing granites from their properties to the marketplace. Mr. Wilson was also an avid industry proponent, active in Building Stone Institute and Marble Institute of America.

Capitol Marble & Granite furnished the granite for many prominent buildings in the U.S. and in other countries, including Everett Dirksen Senate Office Building (Washington, DC), Williams Square at Los Colinas (Dallas, TX), Federal Reserve Bank (San Francisco, CA), Capital Center (Indianapolis, IN), Battery Park (New York, NY) and 333 Collins (Melbourne, Australia).

Mr. Wilson retired when he turned 60 and enjoyed traveling with his wife, Elizabeth, around the world for the next 20 years. Capitol Marble & Granite was later purchased by Cold Spring Granite. Mr. Wilson’s descendents, son Kelley Wilson, son-in-law Jack Seiders, daughter Peggy Wilson Seiders and grandson Chad Seiders own and operate Architectural Marble & Granite (AG&M) in Austin, TX.

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