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Daily Bus Line Connected Springfield

Daily Bus Line Connected Springfield

MUSEUM NOTES BY MARILYN STONE

Did you know that Springfield used to have a daily bus line between here and Sioux Falls?  I remember it, although I never rode it, but along with carrying passengers the bus line carried the newspapers, ice cream, perishable drugs and rush orders for all kinds of express and machine parts.  The following information is listed in the Springfield Centennial Booklet published in 1970:

The Springfield Bus Line was started in 1929 by Roy Overman.  He operated in for 6 years and then sold it to Hugh and Gloria McNeely.  There had been a need for such a line to connect Springfield with other passenger lines and to enable the people here to get some kinds of express more rapidly.  Mr. McNeely built up the business from one auto bus to several regulation passenger buses. He had at one time a 33 passenger, a 30 passenger, a 25 passenger and a 12 passenger all in service. He furnished excellent passenger and express service to Tyndall, Scotland, Olivet, Menno. Freeman, Marion, Monroe and Sioux Falls. At Tyndall, connections were made with the Platte-Yankton Line to all points east and south and in Sioux Falls connections with larger bus lines to all parts of the country.

A charter service was built up and many school teams, clubs and organizations used this method of transportation.” (The school district did not have bus service at the time.)

“During World War II when Mr. McNeely served for two years in the Navy, Lyle Irish and Glenn Roddan carried on the service. This was a busy time for buses because of the rationing of gas, tires and parts for private cars.  After the war when Mr. McNeely returned home Glenn Roddan continued to help him for a few years.

In 1955 after 20 years of very successful operation, the bus line was sold to Charles Langley. Mr. Langley operated the line until his death about eight years later. The Langley family sold the permit to Harold Halsey who again operated a successful business for over a year before selling to Merle Ferwerda.” 

Ferwerda was the owner and operator of the bus line at the time of Springfield Centennial in 1970.  If you have more recent information about the end of the bus line service, we would welcome your addition to our information. See you at the museum.