Our History - Strong Future

From Axle Grease to the 21st Century

In 1871 three intrepid brothers-in-law founded Blish-Mize after making the long journey from Chicago to Atchison, Kansas. David Blish, Edward Mize, and Jack Silliman had big dreams and they worked hard to build a respected distributor to outfit wagon trains headed west from the Missouri River. Their hard work payed off, and in just a few short years the company was distributing all types of goods to over 800 hardware stores, lumberyards, and general stores throughout the Midwest.

From axle grease, horseshoes, and firearms in the 1800’s, to distributing over 60,000 items today, Blish-Mize has delivered reliability and profitability to its customers for almost 150 years. Today, Blish-Mize is still family-owned by the fifth generation of descendants from the founders, which is part of what makes us unique among other hardware distributors.

A Strong Future

We are one of the oldest and most successful wholesale hardware distributors of our kind in the nation, and we are a leading distributor in the Midwest. Our over 1,500 valued customers in 13 states throughout the Midwest, the Rockies, and the Southwest include hardware stores, lumberyards, home centers, industrial supply, and paint store retailers. Some of our current customers have been with us for over a century!

Over the years, we have learned to evolve with the marketplace and worked hard to improve every aspect of the business. We put value for our customers above all else, because we know that without those customers, we wouldn’t have a storied past or a promising future. Our dedication to our customers, and to providing progressive products and services, is what keeps Blish-Mize growing and going strong into the future. We provide services today that the founders could never have imagined, such as e-commerce fulfillment services for some of the largest e-commerce retailers. The Blish-Mize family looks forward to an even brighter future as we continue to provide the best in wholesale hardware distribution and marketing services to our valued customers.

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Our Founders
An Early Invoice