Sullivan Trucks of Rochester (1910 – 1926)

Over on the GenWeb picture page, I added some pictures of Sullivan Trucks that were made in Rochester from 1910 to 1926.

The company was started about 1881 by Kincaid Alanson Hughson who started a factory making horse-drawn carriages on East Avenue near what was then the Village of Brighton. In 1884 Thomas J. Sullivan (born ca. Sept. 1858) started as a bookkeeper with Mr. Hughason. In 1887 Mr. Hughson took on Mr Sullivan an a partner and the firm name was changed to “Hughson & Sullivan.” At that time they maintained a showroom on W. Main St. in Rochester but still had a factory in Brighton. Mr. Sullivan and his brother John W. Sullivan bought out Mr. Hughson in 1890 and the firm changed the name to “Sullivan Brothers.” Mr Hughson would show up in the 1900 US census selling real estate in California.

1910 Sullivan Bros. ad

1910 Sullivan Bros. ad

Very few records of John W. Sullivan (b ca. 1862) exist. He shows up in the Rochester City directories from 1890 to 1893 as living in Brighton but there isn’t any record of him after that.

Dennis E. Sullivan (born ca. May 1876) started working at the firm in 1900. It is not known how he is related to the rest of the family but it probable that Dennis is a son of John W. Sullivan. Also, George T. Sullivan (born ca. May 188), the son of Timothy J. and his wife Anna started working for the firm in 1908.

In 1910 the “Sullivan Motor Car Company” was formed with capital stock of $10,000. The incorporators were  George T. Sullivan (Secretary) & Dennis E. Sullivan (Treasurer) and Henry H. Sickles of Brooklyn. Even though the company had “Car” in the title they only ever made trucks. Note the ad to the right from 1910 that shows they are making both carriages and light trucks. The company changed their name to “Sullivan Motor Truck Company” by 1916.

In July 1915  Timothy J. Sullivan was found at the Maid of the Mist Landing on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. He had disappeared from Rochester about 10 days before. Timothy was identified by his son Leo. Timothy was buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Rochester. His widow, Anna, died 30 May 1917 and was  buried next to Timothy.

Leo J. Sullivan (born ca. May 1889), son of Timothy & Anna, was a mechanical engineer that started working for the company in 1920 but only worked there 3 years and then left to work for Rochester Gas & Electric.

It isn’t known why but the Sullivan Motor Truck Co. ceased operation in 1926. After that Dennis becomes a salesman and George sells autos out of the old factory location on East Ave. just west of S. Winton Road.