Wilson Boots was established in 1945 by Carl Wilson - a saddlemaker in Miles City, MT. Fellas that he built and repaired saddles for kept saying someone needed to build a good sturdy boot for the working cowboy that they could afford.
Carl thought - well if I can build a saddle to fit - why not a boot. It took a while to get everything right and to his specifications, but the Wilson Boot was born.
Most people are not aware, but the spur shelf was first introduced by Wilson Boots. Since then many other companies have added them as well.
In 1968 Carl decided it was time to retire. Sterling Bowman who was an employee of Carl's; bought the business along with his wife Dixie, and their young son Wayne. For 45 years it had been a thriving family business. At one point the factory was going strong, and Wilson even had stock boots sitting on shelves with several retailers in Montana and Wyoming. But the economy hit the business hard as it did with so many. The factory got shut down, and the business went back to building boots per individual order.
Sterling passed away several years ago, Dixie retired and Wayne continued on the family business, but over the years lost his passion for building boots. So he quietly put the word out he was looking to sell, but he wanted to make sure that whoever bought the business, would keep the quality and the reputation of the boot alive.
When Virgil & Paula Babione got wind of the possible sale; they contacted Wayne. Virgil had been a customer for 32 years as a working cowboy, and is a living testiment to the quality of the boot.
It is our promise to all the old customers as well as the new; that we may develop the line - but we will not cheapen the product in any way.
On the 3rd of April, 2013 we closed on the sale of the business. If you are ever in our neck of the woods, stop in and say Hi. We would love to meet you!
Virgil & Paula Babione
Babione's Wilson Boots Emporium