Frederick Judson “Fred” Hoagland 1880–1961 — Founder of the Yellow Cab Company in Elgin, Illinois

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Frederick Judson “Fred” HOAGLAND


 My Great Grandfather

Frederick Judson Fred Hoagland Pedigree
Frederick Judson “Fred” Hoagland, founded Yellow Cab Company in Elgin, Kane County, Illinois, Pedigree

My connection:
Helen Marie HOAGLAND (1907 – 1965)
daughter of Frederick Judson “Fred” HOAGLAND
Capt. Frank Hunt BOSWORTH II (1933 – )
son of Helen Marie HOAGLAND
The daughter of Capt. Frank Hunt BOSWORTH II

“Fred J. Hoagland”as written by my grandmother, his daughter, Helen Marie Hoagland about 1950:
“He attended the same grade school I did, George P. Lord, also the same high school. We had a few of the same teachers. He excelled in mathematics and business. He had a great love of dogs. When I was born he had a Dalmatian named Tony who went everywhere he did. Tony lived until I was about age 15. Dad attended the Baptist Church and Sunday School when he was a boy. 
When my father was a young man, a popular weekend trip was by boat to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In the summer of 1905, he met my mother Mabel Gladys Hawley on one of these excursions. He has told me that he was attracted to her because she was the most beautiful girl on the boat! They were surprised to find each other afterward on the train to Elgin after the boat, as he said they were each playing a little deception game whereby each had considered it a ‘shipboard romance’ only.
They were married June 12, 1906, on his 26th birthday, at the First Methodist Church in Elgin with the most beautiful wedding of the Elgin 1930’s. I was told repeatedly of the beauty of my mother on her wedding day, by people who remembered her when I was a girl.
My father became a member of the Masonic Lodge in 1904 at the age of 24 and was a member for 56 years. On his 50th Anniversary as a member, he was honored by the Shrine Temple of Chicago with a life membership. He was also a member of the Scottish Rite Bodies and the Elgin Lodge 117 AF & AM.
My father was in business with his father with the livery from 1900-1913, when he established the Hoagland Taxicab Co., starting the business with five cars. In 1919, he founded the Elgin Yellow Cab Company and introduced the first cab meters in that part of the country. The rate at that time was 25 cents first mile and 10 cents every 2/5 mile thereafter. Dad drove his own cab from 1913-1946. In all that time, he had never been ‘held up’ or delivered even one baby. His peak day was in 1922, when he grossed $125 on a trip to Chicago and then to Rockford. In 1946, he also purchased the Terminal Cab Company. Shortly afterward, he installed two-way radios in all of his cabs. When he passed away in 1961, there were nearly 30 radio equipped cars. After 1948, his son Charles F. Hoagland was engaged in the business but Dad still had it at his fingertips in his office and at home, where he listened to the business over the radio. His pleasure of the day became visiting the office and going to the bank. On his death, his son Charles and his associates purchased the business, so as long as the Elgin Yellow Cab Company is in existence, Fred Hoagland’s memory will be perpetuated. (Some of this information came from an article which appeared in the American Taxicab Association News on his 50th year in business in 1950.
My parents were divorced in the late 1930’s and my father remarried in 1944 to Mary Wells, who had for years worked for him. She became a kind companion and a loving wife until his death February 3, 1961, after a stroke weeks prior.
He was a great lover of dogs all of his life, so I must mention his last pet, a Boxer named “Taxi,” a handsome dog that gave my father great pleasure since 1951. When Dad went for a ride, “Taxi” was always there and went with him to California and to Mississippi to visit children and grandchildren. Most of my life, when I saw my father he was with his dog. Tony, Freida, Jiggs, Smoke, and Little Keith were some of the dogs that we learned to love because they were Dad’s.

Fred Judson Hoagland written by Grandson Frank H. Bosworth – 1985: 

I became first truly aware of my grandfather as a real person, when he was able to spend time with me after our 1947 Kankakee, Illinois auto accident.  I’ll always remember his looking to be about 7 feet tall at my hospital bedside, standing net to my Uncle Bob Mogler.  He lit a cigar and offered one to me before he thought of my age (14), looked piercingly at me, and asked if I smoked.  I stated that I did not and his penetrating eyes that were kindly but seemed to see through me, he chuckled and smiled and said, “You’d better not!”  He really loved my mom, my brother, and me.  He later came to the Gulf Coast, Biloxi, to see us with his dogs “Taxi” and “Chevy”-a matching pair of beautiful boxers.

When Frederick Judson “Fred” HOAGLAND was born on June 12, 1880, in Elgin, Kane County, Illinois, his father, Samuel, was 24 and his mother, Maria, was 25.

Fred was a resident of Elgin, Illinois, all his life.

Fred attended George P. Lord Grade School & went to high school.

He married Mabel Gladys Hawley on June 9, 1906, at the First Methodist Church in Elgin, Illinois and they had six children together:

Helen Marie Hoagland 1907-1965
Richard Samuel Hoagland 1909-1952
Charles Frederick Hoagland 1913-2009
Edyth Louise Hoagland 1915-1998
Robert Judson Hoagland 1917-1975
Ruth Lucille Hoagland 1920-2012

Fred and Mabel were divorced on April 6, 1938, in Elgin, Illinois, when he was 57 years old. He then married Mary Wells.

Fred founded the Elgin Yellow Cab Company in Elgin and introduced the first cab meters in that part of the country. In 1946, he added the Terminal Cab Company to his business.

According to my family history notes, Fred was a “great dog lover all his life.” 

Fred attended the Baptist church.

Fred was a member of the Masons through the Elgin Lodge 117 AF & AM Masonic Lodge for 56 years. As a Master Mason, he was part of the Freemasonry appendant bodies called the Scottish Rite. He was honored by the Shrine Temple of Chicago with a life membership.

He died on February 2, 1961, in Elgin, Illinois, at the age of 80, and was buried there in the Bluff City Cemetery.


Excerpt from “ – Elgin: Days Gone By”


For more than a century, through four generations and changingmodes of transportation, the Hoaglands hauled freight and people around Elgin.

Zephania Hoagland’s aunt and uncle pioneered east of town in Hanover Township in 1837. Born in Steuben County, New York, Zeph also was an early arrival here, but didn’t settle down in Elgin until he had tried his luck as a’49er seeking gold in California. Zepbania became a teamster whose horse-drawn wagon carried goods around the little mill town that grew into an industrial city during his lifetime.

Zeph’s son, Sam C. Hoagland, was born in Elgin in 1855. He worked for his father and then purchased his own one-horse express wagon in 1876. The livery (a stable keeping horses and vehicles for hire) he bought four years later became one of Elgin=s largest. He also ran buses to and from the factories and supplied a big Tally-Ho wagon for picnics.

Sam Hoagland was a prudent businessman who maintained a card index on the cost of every animal and piece of equipment in his stable. His records indicated what each horse had eaten and earned. He also knew each one’s habits. When a drummer had rented a rig to go to Dundee, be complained on returning that the horse had balked. Sam charged him more than originally agreed because the rig had gone all the way to Algonquin. How did Sam know? Old Betsy never stalled except on the Algonquin bill.

Some customers desired well-dressed drivers as well as a carnage. In the Hoagland wardrooms were 15 outfits of fur coats, gloves, and caps. There were enough neatly brushed silk hats to costume a half-dozen minstrel shows.

By the time be retired in 1913, Sam Hoagland owned 26 horses, 11 full-sized closed carriages, three hearses, three fancy conveyances, opera hacks, pallbearer wagons, two-seat carriages, picnic wagons, and one-seat light driving rigs of all descriptions.

Sam’s son, Fred J. Hoagland, was born in Elgin in 1880 and joined the business after leaving high school. When the livery closed, he adapted to the motor age and started the Hoagland Taxicab Company with three Model-T Fords and two Reos, all black. Meters were introduced in 1919, and the original fare they tallied was 25 cents for the first mile and 10 cents for each succeeding two-fifths mile. After World War I, Fred began buying Yellow cabs manufactured in Chicago by John Hertz, and the firm’s name was changed to the Elgin Yellow Cab Company.

The early Yellows had tonneaus in which only the passenger compartment was enclosed. The driver was in the open air, exposed to rain and snow. After Hertz sold out to General Motors, Hoagland switched to Chevrolets.

Two-way radios, which reduced cost and response time, were introduced in 1946. At its operating peak in the 1950s, Elgin Yellow had about 60 full and part-time employees, including three full time dispatchers, two telephone operators, maintenance shop repairmen, and drivers. The firm had 18 cars on the streets in the summer and 25 in the winter. The cars averaged about 7,000 mile per month. Eight new cars were purchased each year. By the end of the decade, Elgin Yellow had switched from Chevrolets to Checkers made in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Fred’s son, Charles Hoagland, was born in Elgin in 1913. While still a boy, he learned the ropes by guiding new drivers around the city. He eventually became a partner in the business, withdrawing in 1964, but was driving his private livery until he reached the age of 70. – Elgin: Days Gone By – E. C. Alft



World War I Draft Registration Cards 1917-1918

Fred Hoagland WW I Draft Registration 1
Frederick Judson Hoagland WW I Draft Registration 1
Fred Hoagland WW I Draft Registration 2
Frederick Judson Hoagland WW I Draft Registration 2
Fred Hoagland WW II Draft Registration 1
Fred Hoagland WW II Draft Registration
Fred Hoagland WW II Draft Registration 2
Fred Hoagland WW II Draft Registration – Back of Card


I was one of the grandchildren listed in Fred’s obit:

1961 Chicago, , Illinois, USA Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage, & Death Announcements, 1851-2003
Bluff City Cemertery Interment for Fred Judson Hoagland
Elgin, Kane, Illinois, USA Bluff City Cemetery – The Mary listed as interred in 1990 is actually Mary Wells Hoagland, 2nd wife of Fred Hoagland. Susan Sears is by her first husband’s last name, not her second husband’s last name, Lester.
Record of Funeral - Conn Schmidt Stout Funeral Home, Volume 7, Page 2.
Fred Judson Hoagland – Record of Funeral – Conn Schmidt Stout Funeral Home, Volume 7, Page 2.
Fred and Mary Hoagland Bluff City Cemetery Elgin IL
Fred and Mary Hoagland Bluff City Cemetery Elgin IL
Fred and Mary Hoagland Bluff City Cemetery Elgin IL 2
Frederick Judson Hoagland and Mary Wells Hoagland – Bluff City Cemetery Elgin IL

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