In 1923, Branston Shoup purchased the Middlebury Bus Line, which consisted of a five-passenger Model T touring car just big enough to service a route between the towns of Middlebury and Goshen, Indiana. Shoup expanded the business soon after to include service to the tiny villages of Shipshewana and Topeka.
Rail service, which was an important link between towns in those days, had been cut back, so there was plenty of demand for Shoup’s service. His passengers consisted of small-town and rural citizens, and particularly members of the region’s Amish population.
The service expanded over the years, with the addition of other vehicles and eventually additional charter bus services that include bus trips to Chicago and other popular destinations. Shoup’s son John grew up in the business, driving buses as early as age 15 and learning everything about their repair and maintenance.
Upon Branston’s death in 1953, John Shoup took over the bus company. In 1954, he and his wife Margaret expanded into the charter bus business with the purchase of Cardinal Buses.
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