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Jan 31

First Bus Line in Royal Oak

Posted on January 31, 2021 at 6:11 PM by Judy Davids

Frank Vilas
This is the first photo of my grandfather , Frank F. Vilas . The license plate is 1922 . 


Frank Vilas


My grandfather Frank F. Vilas started the first bus line in Royal Oak. I have a copy of the state registration in 1921, photos of the buses, including a blown up photo of a 1922 license on a bus. He had three or four, plus drivers.

His first run was from downtown Royal Oak to the State Fairgrounds and return. All dirt/mud roads. Woodward wasn’t paved until 1925 I believe. I saw in the book history of Royal Oak someone else got credit for first buses, before Martin. Not sure what year he gave-up, quit or sold.

I have included a photo of part of his 1926 income tax return, it is his summary of costs for 1926 that went with his tax return. 

I remember they lived two houses east of Troy Street on Lincoln . Big house. I was 6 or 7 years old, about 1950.

His buses were kept at 303 South Troy Street. All parking lots and buildings now.

By the way my mother Amethyst Mae Vilas graduated ROHS in 1935, my father Russell H. Hemp ROHS in 1933 . 

Bill Hemp

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