History of Dixie-Ohio Express, Inc.

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    Original routes in Ohio
  • 1934- The company was organized on December 22 by Clarence A. Kelley and Edward W. Swartz. The original name of the firm was Dixie Ohio Express Company.

1935- First load of freight hauled on January 22 from Akron, Ohio to Atlanta, Georgia

1938- Dixie-Ohio seeks common carrier permit to operate in Kentucky between Newport and Lexington on US 27

1939- In the first four years the company has grown to 200 employees, 125 trucks and terminals in Buffalo, Cleveland, Erie, Columbus, Dayton, Springfield, Mansfield, Loiusville, Chattanooga, Nashville, Knoxville, Atlanta, Birmingham and Montgomery. General offices are in Akron at 207 Wooster Avenue. In December land was purchased in Cincinnati at the corner of Flint and Dalton Streets for a 20 door terminal, to replace a facility at 806 West Sixth Street.

In 1940 the company was in financial difficulty and William N. McGee, president of the firm desired to sell his stock. E.C. McCormick, Jr. was willing to buy the stock of Swartz and Kelly declined to do so. They were not interested so McCirmick acquired McGee’s 40 percent share of the company. McCormick was in the trucking industry insurance business in Akron and had helped Dixie Ohio with financing in the past. At a directors meeting on the same day as the stock purchase, on July 5, 1940, Swartz was elected president, McCormick was elected vice-president and Kelly as secretary and treasurer. During the preceding month McGee had resigned as president and a director.

During 1942 each stockholder personally advanced funds to the company for operating expenses, as during World War II there were many trucking companies that were struggling.

Between 1944 and 1950 Dixie Ohio Express Company did not have capital sufficient for it to acquire equipment and terminal facilities needed in its operation. McCormick at the time was willing to invest funds in noncarrier realty companies to fulfill the needs but not directly into the company. Swartz, McCormick and Kelly organized Dixie Ohio Truck Company and Mansfield Properties. The new companies acquired or constructed terminals at nine cities in four states, leasing them to Dixie Ohio Express Company.

1945- In June acquired Blue & Gray Transportation Co. of Cincinnati, at 1333 West Seventh Street. Blue & Gray assets purchased included a terminal in Atlanta, Ga and 60 tractor-trailer units.

In October 1953 the State Of Ohio enacted an axle-mile tax law, precluding the state from joining with others in reciprocal agreements exempting motor carriers from tax payment. The company thus became subject to tax penalties on each vehicle bearing an Ohio license tag when operating in certain states belonging to an 11 State reciprocity pact, including Alabama and Georgia. To alleviate this problem, Dixie Ohio Express, Inc was organized in Alabama on February 15, 1954.

1954- By this time DOX has 345 trucks and tractors, 485 trailers and 22 terminals.

1956- Edward Swartz sold his interest in Dixie-Ohio

1967- The company centralized road operations and established major maintenance shops in Cincinnati, Ohio at 360 West Seymour Street.

1968- Talks are underway to sell the company to Great Lakes Express Company of Saginaw, Michigan. GLX is mostly an east-west carrier and would merge DOX routes which are mainly north to south.

1969- The Interstate Commerce Commission approved the sale.

Dixie-Ohio Express routes acquired by Great Lakes Express and later merged into Branch Motor Express

  • Between Akron, Ohio and Louisville, Kentucky serving all intermediate points ( from Akron over US Hwy 224 to Lodi, Ohio; then over US Hwy 42 via Delaware, Ohio to the junction of US Hwy 42 and US Hwy 40; then over US Hwy 40 to Springfield, Ohio; then over Ohio Hwy 4 to junction with US Hwy 127; then over US Hwy 127 to Cincinnati, Ohio; then over US Hwy 42 to Louisville, Kentucky)
  • Between Akron, Ohio and Cincinnati, Ohio serving all intermediate points ( From Akron to Delaware as described above, then over US Hwy 23 to Columbus)
  • Between Dayton and Sharonville, Ohio over US Hwy 25 as an alternate route for convenience only in connection with carriers authorized regular- route operations, but serving no intermediate points.
  • Between Akron and Warren, Ohio over Ohio Hwy 261 and Ohio Hwy 5, as an alternate route, serving no intermediate points.
  • Between Cleveland and Lodi, Ohio over US Hwy 42, serving no intermediate points.
  • Between Mt. Gilead and Columbus, Ohio over Ohio Hwy 61 and Ohio Hwy 3, serving no intermediate points
  • Between Columbus, Ohio and junction of Us Hwy 40 and 42 serving no intermediate points.
  • Between Junction of US Hwy 40 and 42 and Cincinnati, Ohio serving no intermediate points
  • Between Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio via Washington Court House, Ohio using US Hwy 42 and US Hwy 62, serving all intermediate points
  • Between Cincinnati, Ohio and Louisville, Kentucky via Versallies, Madison and Jeffersonville, Indiana, using US Hwy 50, US Hwy 421 and Indiana Hwy 62, serving no intermediate points
  • Serving Twinsburg, Ohio as an off-route point in connection with regular-route operations to an from Akron and Cleveland, Ohio
  • Serving the site of the General Motors Corporation Euclid Division plant located on Ohio Hwy 91 near Darrowsville, Summit County, in connection with regular-route operations to and from Akron, Ohio
  • Serving the site of the Ford Motor Company Lorain Assembly Plant located at the intersection of US Hwy 6 and Bawmhardt Road, Brownheim Township, Lorain County, as an off-route point in connection with the regular route operations from and to Akron and Cleveland, Ohio
  • Transporting molded and extruded rubber products, metal wheels, plastic wheels, mounted where’s and tires, rubber sewer gaskets abd rubber hose- serving Conneatsville, Pennsylvania and points within five miles thereof, as off-route points in connection with regular route operations

The map shows many of the Ohio routes acquired by Branch Motor Express when it acquired Great Lakes Express. These routes were originally authorized by the ICC to Dixie-Ohio Express. Branch kept most of DOX routes north of Cincinnati, while selling the southern Dixie-Ohio routes to Interstate System.


2 thoughts on “History of Dixie-Ohio Express, Inc.

    1. I worked for Dixie Ohio Express while attending College in Columbus Ohio in 1956 57. It started my career with Ryder truckload lines and Central truck lines. Ending as Terminal mgr in Ft lauderdale Fl


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