August 7, 1887|
|Died||February 5, 1954
Daytona Beach, Florida, United States
|Known for||Founder of Greyhound Lines|
Carl Eric Wickman (August 7, 1887 – February 5, 1954) was the founder of the Greyhound Lines, Inc.
Wickman was born Martis Jerk in the small village Våmhus, 15 km north of Mora in the province Dalarna, Sweden. The distinctly Dalecarlian name Martis Jerk literally means "Martin's Eric", i.e., 'Eric of Martin's farm'. In 1905 when Martis Jerk arrived in the United States as a Swedish emigrant he changed his name to Carl Eric Wickman.
In 1905 he arrived in the U.S. and worked in a mine as a drill operator in Hibbing, Minnesota until he was laid off in 1914. In the same year, Wickman became a Hupmobile salesman as a partnership-owner. When he could not sell the first Hupmobile he received, he began operating a livery route from Hibbing and Alice, Minnesota. By using the seven multi-seat Hupmobile, he drove his former colleagues between the mines and homes. This was the start of what would later become Americas' largest bus line, renamed "Greyhound" in 1929.
By 1934, he had expanded to 50 buses and had revenues of $340,000. In 1952, he sold out of the business for $960,000. Wickman began buying up small businesses, establishing Northland Transportation Co. In 1954, Great Northern Railway bought 80% of Northland for $240,000. Leaving that concern largely in Great Northern's hands, Wickman formed Greyhound Corp., a holding company for other bus lines which he and associates proceeded to buy.
In 1916 Wickman married Olga Rodin, a Swedish-American. They had two children Robert (Bob) and Peggy (Margaret). John Wickman, Eric's brother and President of the Florida Chapter had three children. Olga, Jeanine and Kathryn Wickman. Olga and her two children David Porter and Dorothy Porter.
Historic list of companies involved as founder
- Mesaba Transportation Company - 1915
- Motor Transit Corporation - 1922
- Northland Transportation Company - 1925
- Greyhound Pacific - around 1930
- The Greyhound Corporation - 1933
- Transport: Bus Race (Time Magazine, March 10, 2001)
- C. Wickman Dies; Headed Bus Line (New York Times. February 6, 1954)
- Baum, Arthur W Everything happens on a bus (The Curtis Pub. Co (1946)
- Lewis, Anne Gillespie Swedes in Minnesota (The People of Minnesota) (Minnesota Historical Society Press; 2004)
- Sundquist, Nils. Martis Jerk, Eric Wickman 1887-1954: Våmhuspojken Som Blev USA:s Busskung (1969).
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