Follett Corporation was founded in 1873 when Charles M. Barnes opened a used book store in his Wheaton, Illinois home. Three years later, Barnes moved his business, now named C.M. Barnes & Company, to Chicago where he opened a store at 23 LaSalle Street. Here, he sold new and used textbooks, stationery and school supplies. Charles Wolcott Follett (1883-1952) joined the company in 1901 as a stock clerk. The following year, Charles Barnes retired and his son William became president. The company had now evolved into a wholesaler, selling used books throughout the Midwest and as far away as the Oklahoma Territory. In 1908, the company was reorganized as C.M. Barnes - Wilcox Company when John Wilcox, William Barnes' father-in-law, became the companys primary shareholder. Four years later, in 1912, C.W. Follett became vice president and a shareholder of the company.