General Storage Co. was founded by William J. Maier, Jr. in 1946. While helping his father survive in the public warehousing and trucking business during World War II, William learned about the fork truck and pallet system of materials handling in the single-story army depots. Putting that knowledge to commercial use, he built several single-story masonry warehouse buildings in Charleston, Clarksburg, Huntington, and Dunbar, West Virginia, as well as Columbus, Ohio.
In 1973, Edward H. Maier was named President of the company when ownership was transferred to William’s children. After acquiring many of the real estate companies William J. Maier, Jr. had founded, the company was renamed General Corporation. General Corporation is no longer active in the public merchandise warehouse business but instead leases its buildings in whole or in part to a wide variety of tenants. Current tenants include Fortune 500 companies, large and small businesses, non-profit organizations, and state government agencies. These multi-purpose buildings can be used for warehousing, distribution, light manufacturing, wholesale, recreational, or retail because of their flexibility. The buildings can be sub-divided into spaces as small as 5,000 square feet to as large as 200,000 square feet.
In 2011, Edward H. Maier retired after 42 years of service in the family business. Edward remains involved with the company as the Chairman. During Edward’s tenure, General Corporation expanded the real estate portfolio to include several office buildings in Charleston, West Virginia. The current President of General Corporation is Bradley Maier Rowe, nephew of Edward and grandson of the founder, William J. Maier, Jr. Bradley represents the third generation of the Maier family to work for and run the various family companies.
In 1958, William J. Maier, Jr. created the Maier Foundation (formerly known as the Sarah and Pauline Maier Scholarship Foundation), a private, non-profit, charitable corporation. The primary focus of Maier Foundation, Inc. is on the furtherance of higher education in West Virginia and on the higher education of West Virginia residents attending colleges and universities elsewhere. In addition, the Foundation makes educationally-related distributions to cultural and other organizations in the Kanawha Valley. For additional information on the Maier Foundation, please visit www.MaierFoundation.org.