Based in Conway, Canal Holdings (formerly Canal Industries) has been a cornerstone of the timber industry and its development in the Carolinas since 1937. R. H. “Hutch” Gibson and Edwin Craig Wall, Sr., founded Canal Wood Corporation in September 1937 to supply pulpwood to International Paper Company’s Georgetown mill. Their combined $2,000 investment led to the formation of additional forestry and wood-products companies in the Southeast. The company name was changed to Canal Holdings in 2001. As one of the largest privately owned forestry-products companies in the Southeast, Canal produces wood chips, provides timberland management services and real estate development and sales, and handles the transport of wood fiber through North Carolina ports. At one point the business fortune of Wall, who had bought out Gibson, was estimated to be as high as $100 million.
Installed posthumously in the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame in 1986, Wall was a driving force in the economic development of Horry County. He served on the Horry County Development Board and the State Development Board and was a member of the boards of the Conway Chamber of Commerce, Forest Farmers Association, and Conway Hospital. An original member of the Coastal Education Foundation, Wall also promoted education as a member of the Horry County Higher Education Commission and as chairman of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. He helped organize Coastal Carolina College (later Coastal Carolina University), and its College of Business Administration bears his name.
Bailey, Isaac J. “Canal Industries Sells Largest Subsidiary to N.C. Group.” Myrtle Beach Sun News, February 10, 2001, pp. A1, A6.
———. “Smaller Canal Holdings to Sell Offices.” Myrtle Beach Sun News, December 7, 2001, pp. D1, D3.
Lunan, Bert, and Robert A. Pierce. Legacy of Leadership. Columbia: South Carolina Business Hall of Fame, 1999.