Miami Transfer Company is probably the oldest continuously-operated firm in Miami. It established in 1896, when Henry Flagler needed help hauling the heavy cargo his new railroad was bringing to Miami. Georgia native George Coates formed Miami Transfer Company, and Flagler used the mules and horse-drawn wagons and carriages to move machinery and supplies from the North to destinations in Dade and Monroe Counties. Early Miamians relied on Miami Transfer for conveyance of all kinds; at the turn of the Twentieth Century, the company had the only funeral hearse in town.
George's Daughter Ellie E. Coates was born in 1896, just two months after Miami was incorporated as a city. When she died in 1990, her obituary in the Miami Herald stated that she was "the first white woman born in Miami." Her father's company was at 229 Twelfth Street, near what is now the Federal Court House in downtown Miami. A 1904 directory lists the telephone number of Miami Transfer Company's general office as 81; its stables on nearby Eleventh Street could be reached by ringing up 74.
By the late 1930s, Frank R. May and his family owned Miami Transfer Company. After Mr. May died in the early 1960s, E.R. Siddall and family took it over. Since 1985, Miami Transfer Company and its affiliate, Florida Rigging and Crane, have been owned by members of the Utvich family. Michael Utvich, originally from the Buffalo, New York area and later Dayton, Ohio, is CEO. He and his wife Lorna Randal Utvich, who is Corporate Secretary of the company, and their family, have lived in Coral Gables since 1966. Their sons Gregory, Daryl and Michael Edward oversee daily operations of both companies throughout Florida. David Utvich, their eldest son, retired sales manager for Bellsouth Business Systems in Central Florida, serves on Miami Transfer Board of Directors.
In addition to offices in Miami, the companies have divisions in Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa. Miami Transfer Company maintains over 250 pieces of heavy duty equipment to handle three distinct types of activities: heavy and specialized hauling, equipment and machinery moving, and rigging and cranes. Skilled and certified operators and personnel and provided with all equipment and services.
Now in its second century of service, Miami Transfer Company proudly continues the tradition of integrity that has been associated with its name for over 100 years.