History Of Briggs Transportation-Part Two

1945 to 1959-Steady Growth

Temporary authority to manage Mueller Transportation Company came from the Interstate Commerce Commission in May 1945. Included were operating rights into Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin and service to the points of Bloomer, Sheldon, Holcombe, Cornell, Cadott, Jim Falls, Colfax, Boyd, Durrand, Nelson, Pepin, Alma, Cochrane, Fountain City, West Salem, Sparta, New Auburn, Cheek, Arkansas, Eau Galle and San Creek. As a result of the pending merger being approved, Briggs moved its general offices from Whitehall to 910 Broadway in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. At this time Briggs had 80 pieces of equipment and had terminals in Eau Claire, Whitehall, La Crosse, Minneapolis, Chicago and Winona.

The management of the company had changed about this time also. George Briggs was President, Henry D Briggs was Vice-President, Bert Durrand was Secretary-Treasurer, Clarence Skogen was Assistant Secretary-Treasurer and Directors were Willis Briggs, Andrew Ambie and Tracy Briggs.

In January 1946 the original dray and ice business in Whitehall was sold and a new terminal opened in Winona, Minnesota at 100 East Wabash Street. (Years later in the 1960’s after the company left Winona the site became an IGA Supermarket!)

New terminals were constructed in 1948 in La Crosse, Wisconsin. In 1953 a new facility was built in St. Paul, Minnesota at 2705 Territorial Road. There were 46 road drivers employed and the names of some of them were Oilman Haug, Clarence Briggs, Eugene Smith, William Ball, Edmund Bautch, Oscar Lovelien, Bennie Nelson, Paul Lovelien, Richard herman, Norman Gabriel, Edmund Halverson, Ivan Stendahl, Carl Lee, Sig Lee, Earl Start, Melford Stendahl, James Hughes, Norval Senvold and Tiger Stendahl. Many of these drivers would end up spending their entire career with Briggs. Another milestone was the corporate name of the company changed to Briggs Transportation, Inc. and corporate offices moved to Minnesota.

The Winona, Minnesota terminal of Briggs Transfer

Briggs had been operating in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area for twenty years and congestion of the city along with larger trucks and trailers required a move. A new terminal was built in Roseville, Minnesota in 1954 on County Road C. The fleet now had 225 pieces of equipment. Revenues reached $2.5 million a year and Briggs had 275 employees.

The next acquisition would take the carrier further north into Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin. The ICC authorized temporary management of Koepp Truck Lines, Inc. on February 16, 1956 and final approval to fully implement the two companies came on the last day of 1957.

While that was happening a new terminal was opened in Chicago, Illinois at 4929 South Central Avenue and another one in Madison, Wisconsin at 2002 East Johnson Street.During 1959 Briggs took delivery of 31 new 40-foot trailers and 22 diesel road tractors, bring the total number of pieces of equipment to 320. Also in 1959 Briggs bought Minnetonka Motor Express. 1959 turned out to be a busy year for Briggs, and it would only get better during the next decade.

Newspaper advertising for Briggs Transportation from the mid 1950’s

I hope you are enjoying the multi-part history of Briggs Transportation. I enjoyed researching and finding out things I didn’t know. Please take the time to consider a donation so that I can continue bringing you the history of carriers that had an impact on trucking history!


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