SCHOOL BUS SERVICE

At first there was no bus service for children to get to school, and they walked long distances.  If they were lucky, someone had a horse-drawn sleigh to give them a ride.

 The first bus was a Model T and was used to transport students on the north side of the Park.  The first bus driver was Axel Lindquist. By the mid-thirties school enrollment was expanding and the first school bus contract was let with Bradley Transfer Company. George and LeRoy Bradley were the two brothers who worked in the business.  Schools involved initially were Brookside, Fern Hill, Eliot, Lenox, Oak Hill and the Jr.- Sr. High School.

 In 1939/40 Superintendant N. H. McKay talked with George Seirup about supplying the bus service as the Bradleys were moving to Alaska (or so recalls Virgil Neitzel, who took over the bus service).  Seirup and his father, J.K. Seirup, had a gas station and Ford dealership across Highway 7 from the high school (now Central) and that became the headquarters for the bus service.  There were only two to four buses by this time. 

 Virgil Neitzel was an auto mechanic at the Ford garage, and in 1948 he entered into a partnership with Seirup to create the Park Bus Co.  Virgil drove one of the seven buses during the day and did mechanical work on the fleet on evenings and weekends.

 At its peak, Park Bus had 28 buses and served 11 schools. 

 In 1959 there were 6,500 students per day riding on the bus, with 252 runs logging 1,000 miles per day.

 Virgil Neitzel was president and partner for 30 years.  In 1972 John D. Barnes bought out the Seirup interests, and when Neitzel retired in 1978 Barnes became president.  Barnes operated the business until 1989 when his son took over the company.  The company closed in 1994 when Medicine Lake Lines got the contract for transporting Park students.