National Van Lines, Then and Now

Moving Your Memories

Our moving company is proud to have a history of excellent customer service that goes back nearly 100 years. What started as a one-person operation has now grown into a full-service moving company that provides the best in residential moving, commercial moving, warehouse and storage, and other moving services. Originating in Chicago, Illinois, today National Van Lines offers moving services across the country and the world, and we’re ready to help make your next relocation experience your best and easiest ever!

Where It All Started


From Humble Beginnings

National Van Lines got its start in 1901, when F.J. McKee, the grandfather of current CEO Maureen Beal, began using a wagon pulled by a single pony to deliver ice and coal to the Chicago area. Due to his success in the community, McKee began to expand his services, ultimately moving vaudeville sets for acting troupes, including the world-famous Charlie Chaplin. As word spread about the care with which McKee handled his customers’ belongings, even more success soon followed, and by 1916, McKee had built up an entire fleet of trucks to provide more moving services to more people.


Overcoming Adversity

Despite the early success of F.J. McKee and National Van Lines, there was also adversity to overcome. A fire destroyed McKee’s warehouse in 1917, leaving him with just one truck. McKee was diagnosed with tuberculosis shortly after that, prompting him to move west with his family to recover. Not one to give up easily, McKee eventually moved back to the Chicago area at the age of 50 and began to assist customers with their moving needs again. Little did he know that later that year, in 1929, the Great Depression would change everything.


Passing the Torch

Although things looked bleak for business at the time, the McKee family never gave up. In 1931, F.J. McKee decided to pass the business along to his son, F.L. McKee, the father of our current CEO, Maureen Beal. F.L. McKee was well known throughout Hollywood for being a tenor with an amazing voice, and he performed with famous legends including Bing Crosby and Shirley Temple. Despite his success as a performer, F.L. McKee couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join the family business and continue National Van Lines legacy of providing “famously” top-notch moving services.


National Van Lines Today

Maureen Beal, granddaughter of F.J. McKee, is the third generation leader and CEO of National Van Lines. Beal is proud to be one of the few female CEOs in the moving and storage industry, and through her guidance, National Van Lines has become a worldwide success with over 400 agents, including our military and domestic partners. Maureen Beal understands that moving is about more than simply relocating – it’s about creating new memories as well as protecting existing ones as you move from place to place. National Van Lines’ motto, “Moving Your Memories,” was created to let our customers know that we recognize the importance of your cherished possessions, and we’ll go out of our way to handle your memories with care.
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