History of Southwire

Jul 9, 2013

When Roy Richards Sr. founded a wire and cable manufacturing business to help bring electricity to rural Carroll County, Georgia, he had a particular customer in mind, his grandmother.

Fresh out of the U.S. Army, Richards sought to run power lines to his grandmother’s home. Getting the lines there was no problem. Richards owned a construction company that erected poles and ran wire for utilities. The trouble was finding enough wire.

During a conversation with a wire manufacturer, Richards learned it would be three years before the company could deliver wire to western Georgia. A company representative asked why Richards was in such a hurry, joking that farms in the area had operated without power for hundreds of years. Richard’s stern reply brought his vision into clear focus.

“My grandmother is 85 years old, and she has never had the pleasure of sitting under an electric light in her own house,” he told the manufacturer. This pivotal moment marked the start of Southwire Company. On March 23, 1950, Southwire Company started producing wire with 12 employees and second-hand machinery.

In the past 63 years, Southwire has grown exponentially into one of the world’s largest wire and cable manufactures, while maintaining the culture of a small family owned business. It’s common to find fathers and sons, husbands and wives, and brothers and sisters working alongside each other in Southwire’s plants and offices.

“Southwire has always been a company that recognized change as good and necessary to keep growing. This allowed the company to grow and its people to expand alongside the company. Southwire has been a great company to grow up with. It has been a blessing to my family, one that I can never repay” said Richard Davis, VP of Construction Sales, who started working for Southwire in 1972.

Southwire is more than a business. There is a shared sense of history and legacy that drives every employee to build upon the success of those who have come before us. “I feel very fortunate to have been a part of the Southwire family all these years.  I’ve seen changes in the company’s growth and technology and have worked with so many talented people.  Southwire is just a great company” said Linda McWhorter, who has been a member of the Southwire family for over 53 years.

Southwire all started with one man’s desire to make life easier for his friends and neighbors. “I believe in doing what one man can.” Roy Richards’ commitment to technological innovation, customer service, employee empowerment, and improving our communities remains the cornerstone of Southwire today.

- Whitney Agan