Oldest African American Owned Business

The 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which allowed African Americans the right to vote was ratified on February 3, 1870. Only 11 years later, African Americans William S. Ward, with the assistance of his father, founded the “Ward Transfer Line” moving company based in Columbus. The company was later renamed E.E. Ward Moving & Storage Co. after William’s youngest son. The U.S. Department of Commerce recognizes the E.E. Ward Moving & Storage Company as the oldest continually operating African American owned business in the United States. William’s father, John, demonstrated his passion by transporting escaped slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad in the 1840′s. His interest in transportation persisted and four decades later, with a team of horses, a wagon, and a couple of helpers, the Ward Transfer Line was established. Today, the E.E. Ward Moving & Storage Co. is nationally recognized as a leader in the relocation and transportation industry.



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