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Serving the animal health industry since 1941

“I Will Never Quit” History

RJ Matthews Company History


Your #1 Source for Horse, Pet and Livestock Health Products & More!

Serving the Animal Health Industry since 1941
We are proud to be one of the oldest family owned and operated Animal Health Products Distributors in the U.S.A!
Just like back in 1941, you can still count on us for top-notch, exceptional personal service, great selection and great competitive prices every time you contact us or we contact you. YOU ARE ALWAYS PRIORITY #1 WITH US. 
We have grown from very humble beginnings and one product (Rex/Viobin Wheat Germ Oil) to now offering 12,000+ Horse, Pet, Livestock and Human Health Products and Supplies, and so much more. The product offering and brands we have available continues to grow every day and we are constantly adding more new products every week. To help serve you better, we are always looking for new items and lines to offer -- such as hot best sellers from current suppliers, as well as new items from new suppliers. We are always looking for exciting new opportunities. We will do our best to keep our offering exciting and fresh and bring you products that you want and need for your business success and to keep customers coming back to your store.     
You can be assured that we work really hard to keep the products we offer from the 400+ suppliers we buy from, in stock and ready to ship year-round, so we can ship them to you the same day your order is received. We will do our best to have product in stock and ready to ship upon receiving your order. 
Your order is handled and processed with great care by our Customer Care Specialists; then carefully picked, packed and shipped by our experienced Shipping Specialists. Orders are shipped promptly from our 68,000 sq. ft. Warehouse/Distribution Center in Massillon, Ohio. 
As a Wholesale Distributor of thousands of products for animals large, medium and small, you can count on us as your #1 Stop for Animal Health Products & More. 
Plus, we save you money with Super Saver Pricing and very competitive prices every day. Throughout the year, be sure to also take advantage of Special Buying Events, Bookings and Promotions to help save even more money (which also means more profit to you). We encourage you to participate in these Special Dealer Buying Events when they happen--because they are limited time offers created especially with you in mind.   

Our History

The RJ Matthews Company was Founded January 2, 1941

Bob and Kathryn's family

Founders Robert J. Matthews and Kathryn M. Cox were married on November 21, 1940. The company really all began with Bob and Kathryn’s love for one another, as well as for all animals, and faith in an exciting new product, Rex Wheat Germ Oil. They had no money, but they had an idea, integrity, determination and a 1939 Underwood Typewriter.

Over the years, Robert and Kathryn’s little family grew along with their company. In addition to the nine children, animals were always part of the family mix. From horses, ponies, donkeys, chickens, cats and dogs to weeding geese, rats, mice, snakes, birds, an owl and raccoons too...all were welcome in the Matthews family. The more the merrier!

Robert and Kathryn’s 9 children
Shown here are the nine children
(left to right): Robert, George, Dan (top center) and Steve,
Row 2: Chuck (on lap), John, Elizabeth, Kathryn, and Elaine (front center). 

As they each grew older, all of the kids got involved in the family business in one way or another and as of today, four of the Matthews siblings (now adults) still work in the company in various capacities. 
Dan Matthews currently presides over the company as Chairman of the Board & President; Robert K. Matthews serves as Vice President; George Matthews, is the Fleet Manager; and John Matthews serves on the Board of Directors.    

The Leading Brand for Nearly 80 Years

Robert and REX Wheat Germ Oil
Robert J. Matthews discovers Rex Wheat Germ Oil in the Breeders Gazette. He believes the product has great potential for livestock, horse and pet owners, and contacts the Viobin Corporation to become a distributor. He was one of the first distributors of the product in the U.S.A.
Back in 1941, Rex Wheat Germ Oil was nationally advertised with the following features and benefits:
• Helps females settle
• Helps improve activity in males
• Contains a vigor factor
Did you know: One teaspoon is the oil from 5 pounds of fresh wheat? It's true!
Because Bob had witnessed, as a young boy, the troubles farmers had when their animals had to be put down because they could not reproduce, he knew this product had potential--and he was very excited for this great exciting new natural solution to a big problem.  

What made this product extra special? Rex Wheat Germ Oil was and still is 100% pure, unrefined wheat germ oil extracted through a unique process that preserves more of the essential vitamins and nutrients of the wheat germ as they are found in nature. It is an all-natural, nutritional supplement that contains Natural Vitamin E and Octacosanol, as well as Omega-3 and -6 Essential Fatty Acids. Today, Omega's are in the news everywhere, because the benefits of this product have withstood the test of time and are still selling today! 

Bob said, “If this stuff does what it says, I know I can sell a lot of it because there is such a big market for it.”

REX Wheat Germ Oil over the years
Did you know: For 70+ Years Bob & Kathryn took a teaspoon of Wheat Germ Oil every day? Yes, it's true! Oh, and by the way, they both lived healthy, happy lives until the ripe age of 95 years young!       
Today – Rex Wheat Germ Oil is still popular and selling to  horse, livestock and pet owners nationwide for the same reasons advertised back in 1941. Growing interest and popularity in natural products, Vitamin E and the benefits of using a proven product help keep Rex Wheat Germ Oil sales strong in the animal health industry.
Rex Wheat Germ Oil continues to stand the test of time and salespower. We still highly recommend Rex/Viobin Wheat Germ Oil today and keep a healthy fresh stock of it in a variety of sizes available for immediate shipment today!    

"I Will Never Quit"

Robert and I will never quit

Bob just wanted to sell as much Wheat Germ Oil as he possibly could using his “spoke and wheel” selling technique. He would load up their black 1933 Chevy Coupe with cases of Wheat Germ Oil and drive north, south, east or west, and call on feed mills and drug stores in a teardrop shaped area so he could be home by nightfall. He was also working full-time in the Maintenance Dept. at Diebold Safe & Lock at the time to pay the bills and put food on the table.  For 100,000 miles, this little black car was the sales office, warehouse and delivery system!
Bob wrote and taped this infamous "I WILL NEVER QUIT." inspirational notecard to his dashboard after he had a flat tire in the throes of a driving snowstorm, and had to unload all the Wheat Germ Oil out of his car to lighten the load, jack up the car and change the tire.  

Bob said, “No flat tire was going to discourage me; I loved what I was doing and was determined to be successful.”

Kathryn's Perfection

Kathryn Matthews
Kathryn graduated at the top of her high school class and knew the world was changing fast (it was 1940) and that business skills were important to embrace. So, she continued to mastered her business writing skills on the (then new) revolutionary "typewriter". What a great invention! 
Bob was smitten with not only her beauty, but also her  intelligence, her interest in the business, her love for animals, and her dream to have a big family...and boy, did they have a big family!     
When Kathryn wasn’t feeding a baby, unloading a freight truck at the curb, making suet cakes in the basement, washing diapers, or peeling potatoes, she was paying bills, typing invoices, or typing perfect letters on her trusty 1939 Underwood Typewriter. Today, you would say her outstanding writing and typing skills were definitely her "jam"!  

Bob said, “Kathryn never used an eraser and insisted on perfection. Her letters made us look like we were a bigger company than we really were.”

1946 – It's Official

The first company logo
In 1946, the Robert J. Matthews Company officially became a full-time business. The life-long dream of having a business, dedicated hard-working associates, an office and a warehouse full of animal health products was slowly becoming reality. 

The Robert J. Matthews Company was on a mission to become a full service Animal Health Products Distributor that would be retail dealers’ preferred supplier by offering the extraordinary customer care, products, pricing and service they deserved. 
Bob and Kathryn were on their way to fulfilling their dream, day-by-day, week-by-week, year-by-year, step-by-step, never giving up, never giving in. they had high points and low points, and everything in-between, but they kept going, kept their heads and spirits high, they were doing it together and forever.   

A Love for Horses

Bob and Kathryn with horses
Bob & Kathryn shared a love for animals large, medium and small. 
In addition to their nine children, animals were always a part of the family mix. From horses, ponies, donkeys, chickens, cats, dogs, weeding geese, rats, mice, snakes, birds, an owl, and raccoons too...all were welcome in the Matthews family. 
It was not like the Matthews family to turn away an animal--they loved them all and had names for all of them too. They were a of their family and they welcomed them with open arms. 
The more the merrier!

Kathryn lovingly said, “Bob loves horses more than anything, including me!”

A True Love Story

Bob and Kathryn in 2010
Shown here in 2010, Bob & Kathryn were featured on the front page of the local Canton, Ohio Newspaper with the headline: "70 Years Later, She's Still His Type". They celebrated 70 years of marriage on November 21, 2010 and were always firm believers in the benefits of Wheat Germ Oil and took a teaspoon a day, every day, for 70+ years! In love and in business for 70 years. A true, real-life inspirational LOVE STORY! 
Kathryn passed away September 8, 2011.
Robert passed away January 24, 2013.       

We will forever remember and honor them for their character, morals, faith, love, courage and sacrifices. They were truly a one-of-a-kind duo that will never be forgotten. 

We are proud to continue their dream in serving the Animal Health Industry, and you can be assured we "WILL NEVER QUIT" caring about you and your business success!          

Living and Fulfilling Their Dream

Bob and Kathryn at the groundbreaking of a new building in 2001
So happy and excited! Shown here in their early 80's at the groundbreaking of a new building back in 2001, Bob & Kathryn never stopped believing in the future, in the Animal Health Industry and in their dreams. They never had a new building before, so this was definitely a day for victory fists!   
These are two very special people who made a difference in the animal health industry and in the lives of everyone they met or knew. And they left this physical world we know and live in every day a much better place when they earned their wings in 2011 and 2013. 
Everyone should be so lucky to have a Bob & Kathryn in their lives. Thank you Bob & Kathryn for making a difference and for creating the RJ Matthews Company back 80 Years ago. You are our INSPIRATION to us all!

Bob and Kathryn said, “Always follow your heart and never give up on your dreams. Never give up, never quit!”