News: Spencer History – Transportation


Surnames: Burnett, Randt, Rue

Source: Spencer Centennial Book (1874 – 1974)

With the purchase of an International truck on January 1, 1939, a milk hauling business was begun by Rue Burnett which continued for thirty years. It began with a route which hauled patron's milk to the Romeo Cooperative Dairy. When the Romeo factory closed in September of 1943, the milk route was transferred to the Dairy Belt plant in Spencer. As other rural milk factories closed, Mr. Burnett's number of patrons increased until at the height of the business he was using four trucks. Eventually, when the Land O'Lakes Co. took over the Dairy Belt Co. and ceased to process milk, the milk was transferred to the Gordon Randt Dairy at rural Loyal, where much of it was hauled with a "bulk" milk truck.

In 1952 the Burnett business was expanded to include a small gas appliance business and a bottled gas route which included patrons in Spencer's outlying areas.

When, in 1954, the Willow Brook School was annexed to the Spencer School District, Rue contracted to transport those school students into Spencer and a new 1954 passenger school bus was purchased for that purpose. It was about this time that the business became "Burnett Services." With the annexation of more schools to the Spencer District, the contract was extended and in 1956 two more buses were purchased. Again in 1957 two additional buses were added to the fleet. At the present time of the 1974 school term, the Spencer students are served by five seventy-eight and two seventy-two passenger buses daily.

As the school bus business began to take priority, the bottle gas and appliance business was liquidated and the milk routes were sold to an area hauler who continued in business with the Randt Dairy.

Mass transportation of adults, as well as school children, began to become popular, so, due to demand, a "charter bus" (with reclining seats) was added to the fleet of vehicles in 1960. Although the "charter trip" business goes on throughout the year, it is busiest from late spring through the summer months.
Rue now works with several schools and owns a fleet of 21 buses.



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