News From Terre Haute, Indiana

History

February 10, 2013

Historical Treasure: Eastern Express and the presidential connection

TERRE HAUTE — This week’s Historical Treasure highlights both an artifact and a larger exhibit currently on display at the Vigo County Historical Museum. The exhibit features Eastern Express Inc., a business founded in 1946 by Wilson M. House, and headquartered here in Terre Haute. From the humble beginnings of a $50,000 investment, the business quickly grew to become a nationally recognized multi-million dollar company with an extensive transport network stretching from the Eastern Seaboard to the Midwest.

Welby M. Frantz, who was hired as executive vice president under Wilson House at the company’s founding, was instrumental in Eastern Express’ success. Franz served as the executive vice president until 1962, when he was elected president of the company. In 1970, he became vice chairman of the board.

The historical artifact of focus for this article is a telegram dated Aug. 10, 1964, inviting Frantz to have lunch at the White House at 1 p.m. with President Lyndon B. Johnson. Frantz and approximately 150 other guests attended the lunch and shook President Johnson’s hand.

This was not the first time that Frantz had met a president. Frantz went to the White House in 1961 and met President John F. Kennedy. At that time Frantz was serving as chairman of the board for the American Trucking Association. Newspaper clippings with photos and details of these presidential meetings are in the museum’s archives.

The final presidential connection is a letter from Ronald Reagan, while he was the governor of California, welcoming members of the National Defense Transportation Association, of which Frantz was a member, to their Annual Transportation and Logistics Forum.

All of these interesting connections between a Terre Haute businessman and presidents of the United States are taken from primary and secondary documents stored in the archives of the Vigo County Historical Museum. Come see the exhibit and explore the archives. You never know what interesting things you will find.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
History
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Raw: Man Fatally Shot During Police Standoff S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security Raw: Royal Couple Tours Uluru in Australia Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects Raw: Tesla Delivers First China Cars New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named Raw: Sinkhole Swallows Part of Fla. Yard Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Raw: MN Lakes Still Frozen Before Fishing Opener Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Hong Kong Residents Help Create Green Roofs
NDN Video
Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Raw: Keflezighi, Jeptoo Win Boston Marathon
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity