How the Nation’s Oldest Black-Owned Business Survived 141 Years

E.E. Ward Relocating & Storage Co. is not your run-of-the-mill moving business. John T. Ward launched it in 1881, in Columbus, Ohio, building it now the oldest Black-owned business in the nation.

But Ward was far more than an entrepreneur he was a conductor on the Underground Railroad 1st. He transported enslaved persons from just one depot to the up coming utilizing two horses and a wagon.

Brian Brooks and his wife Dominique Brooks, owners of E.E. Ward Moving & Storage in Columbus, OH, stand outside a moving truck on February 26, 2019. E.E. Ward Moving & Storage is the oldest continuously operating black-owned business in the United States.

Brian Brooks and his spouse Dominique Brooks, house owners of E.E. Ward Relocating & Storage in Columbus, OH, stand outdoors a going truck on February 26, 2019. E.E. Ward Relocating & Storage is the oldest constantly operating black-owned enterprise in the United States.

Following slavery was abolished, he turned his means of transportation into a going business and later passed it on to his son, William Ward. Then William’s son, Edgar Earl Ward, started jogging the organization in 1899. Later Eldon, Ward, William’s grandson, joined the family company in 1945, producing him the final Ward spouse and children member to possess the enterprise.

Eldon didn’t have any children to have on the succession, but Brian Brooks, a Black entrepreneur, took about as co-proprietor of the business. Brian’s father was E.E. Ward’s lawyer for 20 many years and their families were being so shut Eldon Earl Ward was Brian’s godfather.

Eldon Ward, great-grandson of the founder of E.E. Ward Moving & Storage Co.

Eldon Ward, fantastic-grandson of the founder of E.E. Ward Relocating & Storage Co.

Determined to maintain the organization alive, Brian purchased the organization from Eldon with his organization companion in April 2001. When his affiliate remaining the company in 2014, Dominique, Brian’s wife, replaced him. She manages the firm’s branding and marketing.

Prior to E.E. Ward, Brian experienced tiny practical experience with the going business, but he had an MBA from Franklin College and experience setting up his family’s true estate organization.

E.E. Ward moving trucks.

E.E. Ward moving vans.

E.E. Ward genuinely stood the check of time. The business survived the Jim Crow South, the Reconstruction era, the civil rights movement, and a pandemic. E.E. Ward has moved like an unstoppable coach for the previous 140 decades, and many thanks to new proprietors Brian and Dominique Brooks, that motor is nonetheless heading.

Study complete tale at Finurah listed here.