May, 1832, a man and his wife with their three boys came to New York on an emigrant ship laden with men, women and children seeking freedom from the "slavery of pauper labor" in Scotland. Members of this family - James, William, and John Westwater, their father, arrived in Columbus, Ohio July, 1840. They began business thereafter as John Westwater & Sons. That company, which became J.M. & W. Westwater Company, initially sold cut glass and china, and later gas and electric fixtures. This company ceased to exist in the early 1940's and although not the actual predecessor to Westwater Supply, gives an idea of the family's history selling fixtures in Ohio.
James Westwater "Jamie" when he arrived in New York, was a longtime member of the Columbus Board of Trade. An extensive Memorial to him, adopted March 6, 1894 by the Columbus Board of Trade, describes him to have been "in all that stands for true worth, integrity, kindliness and genuine charity, as a business man, as citizen, as neighbor and as cultured gentleman…" The Memorial also provides an extensive summary of James" involvement with the "Underground Railroad". It states that he was in charge of the Old Station house on Chestnut Street that "was a harbor of safety, where food and rest, and secretion from the search of United States Officers, were furnished without money and without price..."
The Westwater Supply Company actually dates from 1892 and was first owned by William Gulick Westwater. In 1909 it acquired Engineers & Plumbers Supply Company in Columbus, Ohio; in 1991 it acquired Southeastern Sales in Springfield, Ohio; and, in 1999 it opened a branch in Zanesville, Ohio.
Its business is wholesale plumbing and heating supplies. The long history of the Company, in conjunction with the first class emphasis on service, has provided generations of working relationships throughout central Ohio. It currently services thousands of customers in the industrial, commercial and residential plumbing and heating trades.
November 25, 2000, William Marc Westwater, the owner and grandson of William Gulick, died suddenly. Since that time 92% of the ownership has been held by his widow, Lisa. The Company has continued its history of expanding distribution opportunity and growth via the recent acquisition of the assets of Probst Supply, Marion, Ohio in March of 2008. Implementing significant internal and external programs to continue to operate successfully, Westwater Supply looks forward to being around for its second century.