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Eric Wickman

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Eric Wickman
Born(1887-08-07)August 7, 1887
Våmhus, Sweden
DiedFebruary 5, 1954(1954-02-05) (aged 66)
Daytona Beach, Florida, United States
Known forFounder of Greyhound Lines
Eric Wickman statue
Eric Wickman statue

Carl Eric Wickman (August 7, 1887 – February 5, 1954) was the founder of the Greyhound Lines [1]


Wickman was born Martis Jerk at Martisgården, a family farm located near the small village of Limbäck in the parish of Våmhus, 15 km north of Mora in the province Dalarna, Sweden. He was the eldest of five siblings. The distinctly Dalecarlian name Martis Jerk literally means "Martin's Eric" or "Eric of Martis farm". His father Victor Wretman had earlier used the surname Wickman when he had worked in the United States. In 1905, when Eric arrived in the United States as a Swedish emigrant, he changed his name to Carl Eric Wickman. [2]


Wickman 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 the largest bus line in the United States, renamed "Greyhound Lines" in 1914. [3] [4]

By 1934, he had expanded to 50 buses and had revenues of $340,000. In 1952 he sold the business for $960,000. Wickman began buying 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 The Greyhound Corporation, a holding company for other bus lines which he and associates proceeded to buy.[5]

Personal life

In 1916, Wickman married Olga Rodin, a Swedish-American. They had two children Robert (Bob) and Peggy (Margaret).[6] In 1940 King Gustav V of Sweden awarded Wickman with the Order of Vasa, first class. [7]

Companies founded

  • Mesaba Transportation Company - 1915
  • Motor Transit Corporation - 1922
  • Northland Transportation Company - 1925
  • Greyhound Pacific - around 1930
  • The Greyhound Corporation - 1930


  1. ^ "Greyhound Lines Inc". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  2. ^ "Martis Jerk - Busskungen från Våmhus". Greyhound Lines, Inc. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  3. ^ "Wickman Opened a Hupmobile Dealership". Bus Digest Magazine. August 1, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  4. ^ "The Swede behind the legendary Greyhound bus". Nordstjernan. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  5. ^ Transport: Bus Race (Time Magazine, March 10, 2001)
  6. ^ C. Wickman Dies; Headed Bus Line (New York Times. February 6, 1954)
  7. ^ "Martis Jerk - Greyhound". Greyhound Lines, Inc. Retrieved December 15, 2015.

Additional sources

  • Jackson, Carlton (1984) Hounds of the Road: A History of the Greyhound Bus Company (Popular Press) ISBN 978-0-87972-271-5
  • Lewis, Anne Gillespie (2004) Swedes in Minnesota (Minnesota Historical Society Press) ISBN 978-0-87351-753-9
  • Lundell, Kristin (2014) Busskungen- Svensken som grundade Greyhound (Stockholm: Norstedts) ISBN 978-9-11306-121-4
  • Sundquist, Nils (1969) Martis Jerk, Eric Wickman 1887-1954: Våmhuspojken Som Blev USA:s Busskung (Malung: Malungs Boktryckeri AB)
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Eric Wickman
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