This is The Oldest Black-owned Business in the United States, Launched in 1881 and Still Going Strong

E.E Ward is the oldest Black-owned business in the U.S and it is still thriving to this day.

Abena Talks
2 min readMar 17, 2021


John T. Ward founder of E.E Ward. Image credit:

E.E Ward Moving & Storage launched in 1881 and is the oldest Black-owned business in the United States.

The moving and storage company was initially a small stop on the Underground Railroad but it eventually became one of the most celebrated moving companies in the U.S.

The company began with two horses and a wagon and is now a multi-million dollar business.

In the 1840s, John T. Ward, the founder of the company was a conducter on the Underground Railroad. He used the horses and wagon to help escaped slaves.

Ward began working on government contracts during the Civil War. The company transported equipment and supplies for the United States Army at the time. Ward’s son William joined forces with his father and eventually they introduced the Ward Transfer Line in 1881.

The storage component of the company launched in 1899 and the company was rebranded as E.E Ward Transfer and Storage Company. At this point, Edgar Earl Ward, the grandson of John T Ward was the main proprietor of the company.

The company introduced motor vehciles in the 1900s and by 1921, horses and wagons became obselete.

E.E Ward was acquired by attorney Brian Brooks and business partner Otty Beatty in 2001. At the time the company had two office staff members, five movers and drivers, four trucks and four trailers.

The company now utilizes a fleet of more than a dozen long haul traul trucks and two warehouses in Columbus and Charlotte, North Carolina. The company’s annual turnover is approximately $5million.

E.E Ward is now owned by Brooks and his wife Dominque since Beatty moved on from the company in 2014.

The E.E Ward company prides itself on giving back to the commmunity. Each year they partner with multiple sponsors to hold a fundraiser to raise funds to send children from low-income homes to swimming lessons and water safety classes.

E.E Ward is a shining example for contemporary Black-owned business as they continue to work tirelessly to provide a high-quality, customer-focused service for their many clients.

Contact me here for collabs and content creation>> or connect with me here>>>Abena D

My most popular article on Medium:



Abena Talks

💰Build a 7-figure income with niche blogs + faceless content pages. Digital investor + Pro Niche Blogger 📩💰