Carl Wickman was born in Sweden in 1887. He moved to the United States and in 1914 began a bus service in Minnesota where he transported miners from Hibbing to Alice at 15 cents a ride.
In 1915 Wickman joined forces with Ralph Bogan, who was running a similar service from Hibbing to Deluth. The name of the new organisation was the Mesaba Transportation Company and it made $8,000 profit in its first year.
By the end of the First World War Wickman owned 18 buses and was making an annual profit of $40,000. In 1922 Wickman joined forces with Orville Caesar, the owner of the Superior White Bus Lines. Four years later, Wickman reached agreement with two West Coast operations, the Pickwick Lines and the Pioneer Yelloway System.
In 1926 Wickman's bus operations became known as the Greyhound Lines. Wickman, who was president of the company, continued to expand and by 1927 his buses were making transcontinental trips from California to New York.
Wickman's business suffered during the Great Depression and by 1931 was over $1 million in debt. However, with the improvement in the economy, the Greyhound Corporation began to prosper again. In 1935 Wickman was able to announce record profits of $8 million. By the outbreak of the Second World War the company had 4,750 stations and nearly 10,000 employees.
Wickman retired as president of Greyhound Corporation in 1946, and was replaced by his long-time partner, Orville Caesar. Carl Wickman died at the age of sixty-seven in 1954.