Thomas Wilson (industrialist)

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Thomas Wilson was a southern American business magnate who was active from the early 1850s until his death in the early 20th century. He immigrated to the United States in the 1850s from Scotland, where he had been raised by his grandfather, a Scottish laird. Wilson, although he came from an aristocratic family, had little formal education.

He arrived in New York City with less than one pound and a wife in tow. He was hired as an apprentice boilermaker and rose quickly along the corporate ladder. By the end of the American Civil War he owned a change of foundries. By this time he had fathered several children, one of whom had died. He then moved to South Carolina and established a number companies throughout the South.

He served as head of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, the St. Charles Hotel and the First National Bank of Sumter among others. He owned large swathes of land throughout the South, but with especially large ones in Florida. These included all of what is now Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. By the end of his life he was the wealthiest person in South Carolina.