Catawese Coach Lines was founded in 1961 by Charles Napierski of Catawissa, Pennsylvania. Charles began as a school bus contractor with two school buses. In 1965 with charter rights for only five townships in Columbia County PA, Charles bought a 37 passenger GMC 3751, his first motor coach. This bus served the company until 1967 when a second coach, a 41 passenger GMC "Silver Side" was added to the fleet. With the desire to offer service to a broader area, Charles purchased North Branch Transit Company of Bloomsburg PA in 1970, and in 1971, the Harry Sill Bus Company of Towanda PA and Johnson Bus Company of Ulster PA. With these purchases Catawese was able to offer charter services to a large portion of north central PA.
In 1975 a major change took place when Charles purchased the former Shamokin & Trevorton Bus Line Company in Shamokin, PA and moved operations from Catawissa to the S&T garage and offices in Shamokin. Shortly thereafter, the first new motor coach was purchased, a 1976 GMC 4905. Two new MCI MC-8's were added to the fleet in 1977 and in 1978 Charles acquired his final bus company, the George K. Renn Bus Company of Shamokin, PA. This purchase again expanded the Catawese service area by providing increased PUC charter rights which were necessary at that time in order to do business in defined coverage areas. By 1984 the company had grown to 26 motor coaches, five limousines and 3 airport express vans.
During the year of 1988 Charles felt it was time to retire and made the tough decision to put the business up for sale. The business was purchased by Carl W. Kephart Jr. who, along with his father, owned and operated Susquehanna Transit Company in Avis PA. Carl continued operating Catawese from the Shamokin location and in 1995 purchased two brand new MCI D3's. With the purchase of these new coaches came a new logo-trademark: a large multi-colored Indian head with flowing headdress which adorns each bus. This unique logo-trademark remains with us today and is easily distinguishable from the many coaches you will see traveling the road. The logo and our web site was designed by Lawrence McCaffery a former driver of Catawese Coach Lines. Carl also followed the tradition of assigning the name of a famous Indian chief to each bus, giving the bus not only a number, but its own identity. To this day you will see Lepackpitton, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, and others traveling the open roads. To provide more space for operations in 1997, Carl purchased the former Darwin Feese Sales property just west of Shamokin on Route 225. It is from this location we still operate today.
In 1990 Bill Milbrand, who was serving as mechanic for the Shamokin Area School District, came to Catawese looking for a part time driving job. Bill was hired and for 17 years drove mostly weekends and assisted with some bus maintenance.
In 2007, Bill felt it was time to pursue the dream he had for many years, owning a bus company. Bill contacted Carl for a full-time position and became General Manager of Catawese in June of that year. It was at this time Carl and Bill entered negotiations for sale of Catawese and on October 28, 2010, William D. (Bill) Milbrand became the third owner of Catawese Coach Lines, Inc.