Motor Freight Corporation History

Motor Freight Corporation began in 1928 by Harry Adams with one truck operating between Terre Haute and Brazil, Indiana. About a year later another truck was added and service was extended to Bloomington and Bedford and a little later to Indianapolis. Adams Motor Freight moved to Terre Haute, Indiana and was renamed.

In 1939 the company acquired Southern Freight Lines with authority between Evansville and Chicago. In 1946 authority was acquired to St. Louis.

Haeckel’s Express was a 1959 major acquisition giving Motor Freight access to numerous areas in Ohio. In 1966 20 door terminals were built in Louisville, Kentucky and Columbus, Ohio and a year later a 65 door terminal and shop was opened in Cincinnati. In early 1967 Durrett Transfer Company was sold to Motor Freight Corp. In early 1969 Northwest Industries wanted to acquire Motor Freight Corp. by already owned Chicago & Northwestern Railway and the owners of Motor Freight did not want a prolonged battle while the ICC figured out if a company could own a railway and a trucking firm at the same time. To prevent a long battle, the owners of Motor Freight found a white knight in BF Goodrich Tire Corporation and quickly sold out on March 7, 1969. Also in 1969 Motor Freight contracted to purchase AAA Trucking, Inc. of Columbus, Ohio.

Selling To BF Goodrich made sense since this was during a period of time when big conglomerates owning trucking companies was the newest thing. Fuqua Industries owned Interstate Motor Freight System, and Gerber Products owned CW Transport, so BF Goodrich was not far fetched. It seemed as if Goodrich only wanted to save Motor Freight from a long legal battle so it wasn’t long before another owner appeared for the Terre Haute trucker. Enter Branch Motor Express, who was in an era of expansion. Branch had operations as far west as Cleveland and Detroit due to acquiring Middle Atlantic Transportation. Getting Motor Freight would take Branch into Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska and Nashville, Tennessee. Branch did acquire Motor Freight Corporation with ICC approval. 8CFBCCF6-8D05-4E96-BE31-F08790A9AE5D50223159-6D11-4FE6-A05F-7FC87BC60075

Roster of Employees in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1967:

Carter H Adams (dispatcher), Seibert J Allen (Vice President), Gene C Bailey ( business machine operator), Cornie E Banta (driver), William T Barbe (driver), Garland H Bedford (driver)

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