Women's History Month
The first Woman-owned bus company, Red Ball Transportation of Iowa, was started in 1922 by
Helen Schultz, known as “Iowa’s Bus Queen.” Over the years, she faced many challenges
including securing enough capital to face upcoming obstacles, opposition from the railroad
as they viewed her business as a competitor, state legislature and regulatory commission
over licensing and regulatory issues from the government, and of course being a working
woman in a man’s business.
By the fall of 1923, she had acquired eleven 24-seat coaches, the Red Ball Transportation
Company was the leading bus company in Iowa. In 1930 Helen retired and sold the transit company for $200,000.
To learn more about Helen, visit IR.UIowa.edu/annals-of-iowa/vol53/iss4/3
Walsh, Margaret. “Iowa’s Bus Queen: Helen M. Schultz and theRed Ball Transportation Company.” The Annals of Iowa 53 (1994), 329-355.