Trucking In Bloomington, Indiana In 1955

  • Imagine you are a contestant on the TV show Jeopardy and you are about to answer a question in the bonus round. “Alex, I’ll take Trucking Company Headquarters For $1000”, you say as you hope for an easy to remember answer. Then Alex Tribec says, “ The answer is “What was the city in which BB & I Motor Freight was headquartered in?” You try to think BB&I? What do the initials stand for? You try to give an answer you hope is correct. “Chicago!” you answer. Alex Tribec looks down and says”I’m sorry, the correct answer is Bloomington, Indiana.”

Bloomington, Indiana? Yes, Bloomington! BB&I was originally known as Bedford, Bloomington and Indianapolis Motor Freight. We will continue to look at BB&I later in this article, but for know let’s get a glimpse of Bloomington in 1955 to understand how trucking would fit in to the big picture.

In 1955 Bloomington, Indiana was a industrial city  as well as the home to Indiana University. Radio Corporation of America (RCA) had a huge television assembly plant south of downtown. Another company that made parts to be used in the RCA plant was also in the city. Hundreds of employees worked in those two plants. Bloomington was also known for numerous limestone quarries that shipped cut limestone all across the country. Not bad for a city of only 29,000 residents living in a city that was only less than 4 square miles in size. A total of 52 industrial establishments in Bloomington employed 3200 men and 2200 women in 1955.

There were only three trucking companies headquartered in Bloomington. One was Moon Freight Lines, a flatbed carrier that transported limestone out of Bloomington to the south and east. Another one was Griffith Motor Express. The other companywas BB&I Freight Lines, Inc. which served Indiana, Chicago and Louisville.

Here is an alphabetical listing of employees that worked for BB&I in Bloomington in 1955 and their position with the company:

  • Delbert F Arthur, driver
  • Russell W Arthur, driver
  • William H Bayne, mechanic
  • Dexter Bays, driver
  • Lewis M Beard, dock worker
  • James A Beckman, mechanic
  • Ernest W Bennett, rate clerk
  • Bernard W Bland, driver
  • Floyd H Bryant, driver
  • Frank M Bryant, foreman
  • George E Byers, driver
  • Richard Campbell, dock worker
  • Herbert H Campbell, dock worker
  • Virgil C Combs, dock worker
  • Eugene R Elliott, driver
  • Carlos Fortner, dock worker
  • Jo Ann Gardner, office secretary
  • John R Gill, delivery man
  • Sheldon V Hackler, Delivery man
  • Benjamin M Hall, dock worker
  • Henry H Hammond, janitor
  • Thurman E Harden, delivery man
  • Norman C Hetrick, accounting
  • William Hoard, dock worker
  • Dallas A Howell, driver
  • Ezra O Johnston, mechanic helper
  • George W Johnston, foreman
  • Wilburn E Kern, driver
  • Roger K Kerr, dock worker
  • Bertha L Litten, file clerk
  • Jane Lunsford, clerk
  • Lois J Lunsford, machine operator
  • Glenn E Martin, driver
  • L Ray McLaughlin, parts manager
  • Earl E Miller, traffic manager
  • Glenn O Owens, accounting
  • Leland D Padgett, parts washer
  • Joan D Ress, clerk
  • William L Richardson, mechanic
  • James N Rumple, mechanic
  • Marceillus Rumple, mechanic
  • Burdette W Schweer, dock worker
  • Gilbert Scott, driver
  • Murrell E Scott, driver
  • Richard Steele, dock worker
  • Mrs Betty J Stockeell, clerk
  • Calvin K Summitt, mechanic
  • Ann M Taylor, clerk
  • Eugene J Taylor, delivery man
  • Wayne Taylor, delivery man
  • Forrest Thompson, mechanic
  • J Reece Tribby, dock manager

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Trucking In Bloomington, Indiana In 1955

  1. Knew Delbert Arthur and his wife Ina very well as well as their daughter Polly and her husband Earl. Delbert later drove for Griffith Motor Express also out of Bloomington In. Delbert died of a heart attack one day as he was attempting to climb into the cab of one of the Griffith trucks (don’t remember the year)

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  2. One more thing, I worked for Beasley Logistics (Also known as Beasley Produce) from 1991 to 1998 out of the same building that used to be the Bloomington BB&I terminal at 501 North Rogers Street. It was quite a feeling to know that I was working in the same building that my dad had worked in forty years before me

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