Watson Bros. Transportation Company in 1947

The company operated over a system of regular routes between  Chicago on the east, Denver Colorado and Scottsbluff Nebraska on the west, Kansas City Missouri and Topeka Kansas on the south, and numerous points in northern Nebraska on the north. There were 143 pieces of equipment in the fleet.

Between Chicago, Illinois and Omaha, Nebraska Watson Bros. operated 3 regular routes while serving such intermediate points such as Davenport, Iowa and Council Bluffs, Nebraska.

Between Chicago, Illinois and Des Moines, Iowa it rendered daily service with a minimum of 2 trips in each direction between the two cities.

Omaha was the hub of its operations, and its’ terminal there could accommodate 70 trucks. Other terminals were located in 23 cities, including 10 in Nebraska, 5 in Iowa, 4 in Missouri, 3 in Kansas and one in Colorado.

The volume of freight increased from 5 million pounds of freight in 1940 to 13 million pounds in 1944. The volume of traffic over its routes between Chicago, Rock Island, Des Moines and Omaha was about 16% of the total volume of freight transported over its entire system.


11 thoughts on “Watson Bros. Transportation Company in 1947

  1. Have double fold brochure listing State by State adjusters for accident or injury : Watson Bros. Transportation Co.,Inc-802 South 14th St.-Omaha, Nebraska-At. 3456
    Also papers titled “OMAHA GENERAL SHOPS” 4/24/58 & “RULES FIR WATSON BROTHERS TRANSPORTATION COMPANY LOS ANGELES SLEEPER DIVISION” plus other company booklets & Line Drive Diary 1958-59; my deceased father in law’s records. Is there an archival organization per serving Watson Brothers historical legacy donating these artifacts?


  2. I have an interesting Christmas album with two red gift tag likenesses with the words “Watson Transportation Co.” on the left tag and “wishes you a Merry Christmas” on the right and below the tags encircled by a holiday wreath is a cabover red semi truck pulling a Watson truck through a winter scene. It is not a photograph, it is a drawing or painting. Music on the album includes Robert Wagner Chorale, Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians, Virgil Fox, Eddie Dunstedter and St. Luke’s Choristers. I believe it is from the mid-late 1940’s or early 1950’s. I cannot find another on the internet, so guessing this to be a bit of a rare and interesting find. Can anyone share information about this company and/or this record? Thank you!


    1. Hello! Thanks for your comment and for reading the article. You have a unique find in the record album.
      Watson-Wilson Transportation was a large trucking company that was the result of a merger of Watson Brothers Transportation (mostly east to west routes from Omaha, Nebraska to New York) and the smaller Wilson company that was generally from Nashville, Tennessee northward into the Great Lakes states. The combined Watson-Wilson system became a money loser due to poor management and was absorbed into the Yellow Freight System in the 1960’s.
      Your record album would not be desirable among record collectors, however those who collect memorabilia from fallen flag trucking companies might be interested. Trying to sell on EBay would be an option if using the correct category. Your best bet would be selling it under Trucking Company Collectibles or similar category to get the most chances.
      Your album from Watson is definitely before the Wilson merger and is from an earlier period that most collectors find harder to locate historical items. Hopefully this information helps in determining what you have.
      Again thanks for reading and letting everyone know what’s out there!
      Ed Craddock, Editor


      1. Thanks Ed! I am not looking to sell the album because I love collecting interesting albums and I do listen to them. I did a bit of restoration on the cover and it looks pretty nice! Would you like me to send photos of it?



      2. Thanks Ed! I am not looking to sell the album because I love collecting interesting albums and I do listen to them. I did a bit of restoration on the cover and it looks pretty nice! Would you like me to send photos of it?



      3. Hello Ed! I sent photos of the album to your email. There should be 4 emails with two photos each. Feel free to use them as you wish! 😊 An interesting side note…..my Dad remembers Watson Trucking! He has been in the trucking business most of his life. He owned the Ogdensburg Garage in Ogdensburg, WI. since the 1950’s and I grew up working there. Now my brother Bruce is the owner but Dad still works there every day at the age of 89! He is amazing. Our whole family grew up driving anything with an engine and Dad even had my sister and I out driving trucks home for him. It was awesome! Enjoy the photos and if anyone has any more information I’d love to hear it!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s