Frank Parson Kepler, left, with his first employee, Sam Dotts
Picture and text from Chronicles and Legends of Milton I by George S. Venios: The first major trucking company in Milton was Kepler Brothers Trucking Company started by F. Parson Kepler. He and his family were involved in hauling and moving products, common and contract, both locally and nationally, for over eighty years, beginning in 1917.
Kepler began his business when he was in the eighth grade. Previous to this young age, he worked in a brickyard, a lumber company and on a farm. He next went to work for C.W. Bennett, hauling in and around Milton with a horse and wagon. With his monthly wages of $9, he knew how to save.
Young Kepler, while in his teens, bought the hauling business from Bennett for $300, an arrangement of $100 down and $10 per week. He borrowed the down payment from his grandfather, Parson P. Bruch. The new moving company owner became a close friend with his teacher, Ella Brown, who did his bookkeeping. Because young Kepler was earning more money than she was as a teacher, she encouraged him to drop out of school to build his business.
He used the horse and wagon for three years before trading for a Ford truck, and as the hauling grew by leaps and bounds, he took his brother, George F. Kepler, Jr., into the business in 1922. Instead of one truck, the enterprising brothers had a small fleet of trucks hauling freight from the railroad stations as well as hauling steel, lumber, groceries and furniture for many local companies. The Keplers also received a lucrative contract with the A&P Markets food chain. The business grew and moved operations to several locations, including Lincoln Street and Haag Street, near downtown. During World War II every employee of the company was drafted with the exception of two men, so the trucking firm became involved in the war effort. Parson Kepler went to the Army ordinance Plant at Allenwood as a sub-contractor for Stone and Webster.