The MPB Story
In 1896, a German immigrant named William R. Ludwig decided that the best way to support his family in the New World was to find a way to use the bookbinding trade that he had learned in his homeland. His new home in Morgantown did not have a commercial binding operation, so he opened The Acme Publishing Company.
In those early years, a significant portion of the business was the binding of ledger books of many different types used in companies around Morgantown, but in the very early 20th century, Mr. Ludwig decided that his company should expand into commercial printing and the move was made. The Acme Publishing Company occupied a new building on Front Street (University Avenue).
In 1914, a group of investors bought the company and incorporated it under the name of Morgantown Printing & Binding. E.M. Grant was the president of the new corporation. They retained W.R. Ludwig as the general manager of the operation until January of 1916.
The Acme Building housed Acme Publishing Company and Morgantown Printing & Binding (after 1914) for the first quarter of the 20th century before it burned in 1927. The building was located on Front Street. (University Ave). This photo is from a postcard that is postmarked December 1909 and Printed by The Acme Publishing Co. In 1927 the company was moved to 163 Kirk Street following a fire that destroyed The Acme Building on Front Street. This location remained as the company headquarters until it moved to its present location on Greenbag Road in 1999.
In February of 1916, the investors sold their interest to a group that included W.R. Ludwig as chairman of the board. Mr. Ludwig was again named as the general manager, and he maintained that association until his death in 1934. The Ludwig family continued to operate the business until the economic stresses associated with World War II caused them to begin to seek a buyer in 1944.
Forest Thompson became president of the board and assumed ownership of the company in 1944. He and the Thompson family operated the business until 1978 when the stock was sold to Albert “Bud” Everly, Jr., who had joined the company in 1945 and operated the business until 1995.
H. Andrew Walls, III, purchased the stock in 1995 and assumed ownership as the 5th owner in the long history of the company. Andy immediately began an aggressive expansion of the business. The Kirk Street location remained as the company’s headquarters until it moved to its present location on Greenbag Road in 1999.
With its 65,000 square foot state of the art production and mailing facility, which boasts the latest in printing technology and quality control, the company has grown from 17 employees to over 55 full-time employees.