History Of Briggs Transportation-Part One

Herman D. Briggs was born June 7, 1890 near Holman, wisconsin. He lived in several places during his early years, including ten years on three different farms. At age nineteen on January 31, 1910 he married Mary Olson of Bruce Valley, Wisconsin and a year later they moved to Whitehall, Wisconsin. He worked for a creamery for three summers. In 1917 he purchased his first horse and wagon team and started in business hauling for the creamery. By 1919 he bought his first Model T truck. During the summers he hauled from the truck and used the horse team in the winters. In 1921 another truck was purchased and Herman hired Otto Sheffield to drive it. Hermans’ brother replaced Otto as driver in 1924.

In 1929 he bought two more trucks and got his brother Clarence M. Briggs and Henry Moe to drive for him. On January 1, 1931 Herman bought the dray and ice business in Whitehall and with the deal came more teams and trucks. Now he was up to eight teams and eight trucks!October 1, 1934 was a historical day for Briggs as he bought his first tractor trailer truck. His son George and Bjorn Christophersen of nearby Pigeon Falls set out for Chicago with their first load of butter from creameries in Whitehall and Independence. They returned with a load of freight from Chicago. Briggs Transfer Company was started!The first office was located in a building Herman purchased from Peoples State Bank that had been acquired a little earlier.

In 1938 Briggs Transfer Company was incorporated with Herman D. Briggs as President, George Briggs as Vice President and Tracy Briggs as Secretary-Treasurer. By that time Briggs had five trucks on the road. In June 1939 a transfer business was purchased from the Walkse brothers and by 1940 Briggs Transfer had 26 employees.

A terminal had been established in Chicago, Illinois by 1942 with Tracy Briggs as manager. In April 1942 it was decided to move the truck repair facility from Black River Falls to a recently purchased garage in Whitehall. The country was in the midst of World War II and with that was a halt on new home construction. With so many Briggs employees getting ready to move to Whitehall there was not enough houses for them to move into due to the housing shortage. Eventually all made the move and the garage was opened.. Among the employees that moved were: Andrew Amble-repair shop foreman, Willis Briggs- dispatcher, and mechanics Paul Everson and Giles Nichols. Others making the move were Oscar Lovilien, Anselm Bautch, Alton Berg, Douglas Mason, Paul Lovilien, Leonard Johnson, Russell Peterson, Edward Halverson, Clarence Halverson, Theodore Johnson, Bill Ball, Omir Stendahl, Alvin Lee, Tom Norva, Rhynold Gutterneck and Bern Peterson.

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