Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hawkeye Truck Company

The Hawkeye Truck was the only motor vehicle ever manufactured in Sioux City, Iowa. The company was organized in 1914 and manufactured their trucks through the late 1920's. The first truck was turned out in 1915 at the first manufacturing location, 313 Jennings Street.

In July of 1918 Ralph Bennett, owner of the company had 2 new single story buildings, covering 41,000 square feet, built at 2700 Floyd River Road, renamed and now called Hawkeye Drive for the name of the truck company. 65 to 70 men were employed at Hawkeye Truck company and could turn out 10 trucks a day. One building is still standing today and still in use by a different company.

Hawkeye Truck Company built 3 models. The one and one-half ton, the two ton and the three and one half ton. Early models were built with hard rubber tires with later models having newer pneumatic tires. They were used in every line of industry and agriculture. One model had a hydraulic safety tower used by a utility company to raise workers up to as much as 45 feet to work on utility poles and lines.

Hawkeye trucks were found all over Sioux City, Woodbury County, Iowa, the mid-west and as far away as England and China. At a London show the Hawkeye trucks were called the "Rolls Royce of commercial vehicles".

Not many of the trucks exist today. Only 3 are known to exist in Sioux City. Two are at the new Sioux City Public Museum, with one currently on display and 1 is on display at the Mid America Museum of Aviation and Transportation Museum

It is unknown if the trucks were sold direct from the factory or through dealerships. One possible dealer may have been at the former Bennett Motor Mart building in downtown Sioux City. Ralph Bennett was owner of Hawkeye Truck Company and the Motor Mart building. Ralph Bennett was one of Sioux City's early automobile dealer's.

Hawkeye Truck Company closed their doors in the mid 1930's.

Sioux City Tribune October 31, 1928:

Sioux City Journal February 16, 1975:

Other articles:

Photos of Hawkeye Truck on display at the new Sioux City Public Museum:

This 1917 One and a Half Ton Model K is on display at the new Sioux City Public Museum. It made it's first debut at the Annual Bill Diamond Antique and Classic Car Show held during Labor Day weekend in 2010:

This 1918 Hawkeye Truck was purchased at an auction in Council Bluffs, Iowa. It had to be completely restored to it's original beauty. The cab is a bit differant than the original.

Article and photos:

Hawkeye Truck Company building:

Hawkeye Dr Street Sign:

Information sources are:
New Sioux City Public Museum and Research Center
Sioux City Public Library

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Sioux City Public Museum

The Sioux City Public Museum system has existed since 1858, created just a few short years after Sioux City became a town in the mid 1850's. But Sioux City's history started in 1804 when Sgt. Charles Floyd was buried on what is now called Floyd's Bluff over looking the Missouri River during the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery expedition.

The new public museum is finally open in downtown Sioux City. This blogger visited for the first time today. The photo's taken and research conducted are an overview of the new facility. He will return to take photos, research and document specific parts of the history of Sioux City, Iowa.

Sioux City Public Museum Timeline:
1858: Formed by a group of local citizens the Sioux City Lyceum was founded. The purpose is to present and collect natural science specimens from around the region and beyond.

1885: the lyceum evolved into The Scientific Association and started collecting artifacts.

1903: The the Scientific Association becamse more historical in focus it becamse the Sioux City Academy of Science and Letters, which aquired the Scientific Association's collections.

1938: Sioux City Public Museum became a division of the City of Sioux City. The museum incorporates the collections of the Academy into its displays in the old Carnegie Library at the corner of 6th and Jackson.

1959: The Junior League of Sioux City deeded the John Peirce Mansion to the City for cultural/educational purposes.

1961: Sioux City Public Museum opened to the public in the John Peirce Mansion.

1974: Sioux City Public Museum becamse accredited by the American Association of Museums, (AAM).

1997: Loren D. Callendar Gallery opened in Sioux City.

1998: The Sergeant Floyd River Museum and Welcome Center, housed in a 1932 towboat, becamse a division of the Museum.

2000: Need for more space, the Museum archives are moved to a downtown store front, named the Pearl Street Research Center.

2002: History website launched.

2006: The City of Sioux City aquired the 607 4th Street property for the new site of the Sioux City Public Museum.

2010: The Museum archives are moved from the Pearl Street Rersearch Center into the new museum site.

April 23, 2011: the Sioux City Public Museum opens its doors at 607 4th Street to the public.

Preview of the new Sioux City Public Museum:

Construction on the new Sioux City Public Museum:

New Sioux City Public Museum: