Iowa. Board of Railroad Commissioners.

Annual report of the Board of Railroad Commissioners for the ..., Volumes 3-4 online

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Hastings. On the contrary, it appears from the statement of Mr. Genung,
niayor of the town of Hastings, in his argument that soon after the com-
plaint was filed coal began to arrive. The complaint was received January
I iHijO, and the company notified of the same on the same day. Thia ap-
pears to have been the first notice the company had of the trouble at Hast-
ings, as we do not think the doctrine of Mency should have so technical an
application as to hold a company responsible for unjust discrimination in a
state of affairs about which the governing officers had no actual knowledge.
In any event the company officers gave a general order to the coal compa-
nies to prefer orders of private coal dealers to orders of the company for
coal, thus showing the very opposite intention from that of discrimination,
the order being general in its cnaracter. The situation wa3 evidently a new
4nd embarrassing one to all concerned, and no better example can be found
of the farrre§phing evil of stri^ than is set forth by the evidence in this
case. Whole communities suffered from the refusal of coalminers to work
nntil their demands as to wages were complied with. The energy of the
company was necessarily expended in a desperate effort to secure coal for
ite engines, and its care were scattered at different points outside the State.
When the miners resumed work the cnrs were gathered home and the peo-
ple along the line were, as soon as could l)e, supplied. Industry resumed its
ordinary operations, commerce resumed its accustomed course and there is
now no complaint and has been none since the lOth of January, A. D. 1880,
three days from the time this complaint was filed in the office of the Board
of Railroad Commissioners. It is verv apparent to our minds that the sole
^nse of the trouble was the strike or the miners and the disturbance of
business relations resulting therefrom. This fact clearly appears from the
evidence of several coal miners, as well as from the evidence of officers of
the company. To make out a case of discrimination there must be showiM
^me act or acts which clearly distinguish and separate the point in question!
from all other points, and these acts must be unjust in their character. In



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62 THIRD ANNUAL REPORT OP THE [CI.

the results were unavoidable, as in this case, if caused by matters out of or
beyond the control of the company, as in this case, we cannot find any dis-
crimination.

The above being the only complaint ever made to the Commissioners
by a town council under the provisions of section 15 of the act
creating the Board of Railroad Commissioners, it may not be deemed
improper to make some remarks upon the case. The record shows
that the complaint was filed January 7, A. D. 1880, and the case was
not heard until the 19th day of May, A. D. 1880. The same record
discloses the fact that all cause of complaint ceased about Januray 10,
1880, within three days from the time the complaint was lodged in
this office. The same record shows that Hon. L. T. Genung, mayor
of the town of Hastings, was called upon for evidence to support the
charge on the 26th day of February, 1880, on the 19th of March, and
again on the 26th of March, 1880. A period of nineteen datys elapsed
-from the 26th of March, 1880, and still the mayor furnished the Board
with no evidence. The Commissioners, unable to understand the
reason of the Mayor's silence, under the supposition that he had not
received any one of its several official communications above set forth,
addressed a letter on the 14th of April, 1880, to George A. Bailey, Esq.,
of Hastinijs, Iowa, asking him to see the mayor and ascertain if he
had received any of the communications addressed to him. From Mr.
Bailey's letter, found in the record, it appears that he saw the mayor
on the 16th of April, and that Mr. Genung had received the several
letters above referred to and addressed to him from this office, but sup-
posed he had done all that was necessary on his part. Six days
elapsed and on the 22d of April, A. D. 1880, Hon. L. T. Genung,
mayor of the town of Hastings, Iowa, addressed a communication to
this office, claiming that it was the duty of the Commissioners to come
to Hastings to hear the evidence, and filing a formal protest if the
Commissioners declined to do so. Desiring to ascertain the truth with
regard to the complaint the Commissioners repaired to Hastmgs and
heard the evidence offered in support of the complaint, being all writ-
ten testimony; namely, eight affidavits, which could at any time have
been transmitted by mail, and listened to the oral arguments of counsel
for the complainant and respondent. The above facts are thus con-
cisely set forth that the cause of the delay in disposing of this case
may be fully understood. A comparison of the several dates will
make it manifest that at no time from the 7th of January to the 19th
day of May, 1880, could the Commissioners have made a decision Ul



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I

1880. J BOARD OP RAILROAD COMMISSIONERS. 63

the case without having been guilty of the folly of deciding the case
before hearing the evidence. The record discloses the reason why the
evidence was not sooner furnished.

It ¥dll be noticed that in the decision of the case reference is made
to certain statements in a letter written by Judge Tubbs. This letter
was received, having been addressed to Mr. McDill of the Board, and
was called up by a report of the case in the Mills County Journal, in
which Mr. Shinn, of counsel in the case for the Town of Hastings,
made the statement: ^^ Emerson has plenty of coal, but dealers had to
" order it in Judg^ Tubbs' name in order to get it." Under date of May
25, 1880, explaining that he writes because of seeing his name men-
tioned in a report of the case. Judge Tubbs says: " Last winter, when
"the great strike in Iowa among the coal miners was going on, I was
** running a steam mill in Emerson. The company that furnished me
" coal informed me of the trouble, but said that they could furnish me
"coal at a higher price, as they must get it elsewhere. I told them as
*•! must have the coal to send it along, and from the freight bills it
" must have come from Illinois, as on all the bills there were back
"charges. About this time our dealers could get no coal, as there war?
*^ none at the mines. I stopped my mill and turned over all the coal
" that came to them [the dealers]; therefore they had plenty of coal, ex-
"cept for a few days before they told me the situation of things. Now
" this is the reason Emerson had plenty of coal.

"Again, Mr. L. S. Bulla was the principal coal dealer here. In the
"meantime he got out of hard coal. He bought from a firm in Bur^
" lington, Messrs. Cummings & Co. They ran short on account of some
*' trouble east and could not furnish him [with coal]. I was doing busi-
" ness in this county for C. W. Spaulding, of Burlington, a hard coal
" dealer. Bulla asked me if I could not get him a car of hard coal from
"Spaulding, in order that he could hold his trade in coal. I wrote to
"Mr. Spaulding to send me. without delay a car of hard coal. When
"the coal came I turned it over to Mr. Bulla. In regard to this matter
" at Hastings, the talk about suflFering is all a fraud. The winter was
" open and warm. Not one day last winter but that a team could haul
" 2,500 pounds from here to Hastings, a distance of five miles, and I
"think there were but three days that they could not have got coal at
"Emerson if they had come after it."

The above statement seems to eflfectually dispose of the inference
that Emerson was supplied with coal by the company, while Hastingsi



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64 THIRD ANNUAL REPORT OF THE [CI.

was left to snflFer — showing that the coal supply at Emerson was Illi-
nois coal and hard coal from Pennsylvania; and Judge Tubbs' letter
is also suggestive of the idea that, if there was any real sufferini; at
Hastings for want of coal, relief could have been obtained by an easy
journey to Emerson.

N. W. Edwards vs. St. Louis, Kansas City & Northern R'y Co.,
PiLBD January 8, 1880.

Moulton, Iowa, January 3, 1880.

Hon. John H. Gear, Governor of Iowa:

Dear Sir — Inclosed you will find a communication from this place
to the Centerville Citizen, That portion which speaks of the St. Louis,
Kansas City & Northern (now the Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific) R. R.,
does not half tell the story of the miserable and dangerous condition
of that company's road in this State. Please hand the same to one of
the Railroad Commissipneiis. Would l^ave sent it. direct but did not
know their address. I know that this is not the proper way to get at
the matter, but what is "everybody's business is nobody's"; and hav-
ing to ride considerable on said road, I am interested to a sufficient ex-
tent to excuse my action in the matter.

N. W. Edwards.

Respectfully referred to the Hon. Commissioners.

John H. Gear.

Des Moines, January 8, 1880.

T. McKissocK, Esq., General Superintendent W., St. L. dk Pac. R.
R.f St. Louis:

Dear Sir — This office is in receipt of the following communication,
referred to the Board by Hon. John H. Gear, Governor of Towa.
[Here was inserted a copy of complaint above.] The following are ex-
tracts frojn the newspaper article referred to above. Speaking of an
accident to a train of the B. & S. W. R'y, it reads: " No blame can
" attach to the train men, as the accident is due entirely to the miser-
" able condition of the track of the St. L., K. C. & N." "And here let
" us say thafc if there is a track in use in the United States, that is in
** as bad a condition as that of the St. L., K. C. & N. from Coatsville to
** Ottumwa, we have not heard of it," etc., etc. " If there is any piece
"of road in the State that demands the attention of the Railroad Com-
" missioners, it is this. We are satisfied that if they should examine
** it carefully, they would require that no trains should be run over it



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1880.] BOARD OF RAILROAD COMMISSIONERS. 66

" at a greater speed than six miles per hour, until the rotten and wom-
" out iron is replaced by new. Accidents are frequent on this track,
" and if something is not done to remedy the matter, you may look for
" a terrible loss of life through a * smash-up ' this winter."

The Commissioners instruct me to say that after their inspection
during the summer, the worn and rough condition of this track was
the subject of considerable discussion. Noting the small amount and
unremunerative character of your traffic over this portion of your
road, they refrained from calling upon you to make such extensive re-
pairs as the condition of the road seemed to demand. They now in-
struct me to call for a copy of your time-card, and to ask what imme-
diate improvements you have in view for this portion of your road.

J. S. Cameron, Secretary,

Des Moines, January 28, 1880.

T. McKissocK, Esq., General Superintendent St. L., K, C, dt N. B'y,
St, Louis:

Dear Sir — I am in receipt of your time-card, dated November 9,
1879, for which please accept thanks. By this card the running time
of your trains from Coatesville to Ottumwa — 43^ miles — ^is two
hours and forty minutes, or 16-^ miles per hour. The B. & S. W.
time from Moulton to Bloomfield — 14i miles — is fifty-five minutes, or
fifteen and one-half miles per hour. When the letter of Mr. Cameron,
Secretary, under date of January 8, 1880, was sent to you, the Board
expected some reply to the suggestions made, and some intimation of
the course you propose to pursue. It is evident that this rate of speed
is entirely too fast for a road in the condition of this piece of line, and
the Board directs me to call your attention to section 3, chapter 68, of
the laws of the Seventeenth General Assembly, a copy of which I
herewith inclose.

The judgment of the Board, as at present advised, is that a rate of
ten miles an hour is as fast as any train should run, even if that rate
is safe, upon a track in such condition as yours. You will see that the
Commissioners will be remiss in their duty if they allow the present
state of things to continue. Please inform the Board at as early a time
as possible whether you propose to begin renewals of your track, and
when; also whether you propose to reduce rate of speed, and when.

E. G. Morgan, Secretary.

9



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(56 THIRD ANNUAL REPORT OF THE [CI.



Office of General Supebintendent,
Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railway.
St. Louis, January 28, 1880



■I



J. S. Cameron Esq., Secretary Board Railroad Commissioners ^ State
of Iowa, Des Moines:

Dear Sir — Yours of the 8th, covering a communication to the
Governor, enclosing a newspaper extract in regard to the track of this
road, came duly to nand.

This company have, in the past three years, expended a very con-
siderable amount of money on the fortv-three miles operated in Iowa.
The cross-ties have been constantly replaced, and the bridges and tres-
tles, of which there are an unusually large number, have all been re-
newed by very substantial structures. Tne Des Moines River bridge,
at Ottumwa, was rebuilt late in the past year. It was the intention
of the company to have renewed much of the rails, and have made
very marked improvement in the track before this day, but they have
been somewhat delayed by various causes.

It is proposed at an early day to remove the old rails and substitute
better, and in part of the line new ones. As you remark, the busi-
ness of this line has been very light, and it has not been at all remu-
nerative to the company in tne past three years, the expenses of the
bridge repairs alone oeing greater than any net receipts; and it seemed
proper to make the first Targe expenditures on these structures. I am
instructed to say that there shall be no delay as to the further im-
provements.

T. McKissocK, Gen, Supt.

Des Moines, January 30, 1880.

T. McKissocK Esq., General Superintendent W,, St L, dk P. Ky Co, :

Dear Sir — ^Your letter of the 28th inst. received and contents noted.
The Board had observed that you were replacing your mechanical
structures with new work, and that your road was unusually well sup-
plied with ties. On the 28th, not hearing from you, I was instructed
to inquire if you regarded the rate at which you were running over
your iron as safe, and to suggest the propriety of a reduction of speed;
also, to inquire when you proposed to begin replacing the iron.

An early answer will oblige.

E. G. Morgan, Secretary.

Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railway, )

Superintendent's Office, >■

St. Louis, Feb. 4, 1880. )

E. G. Morgan, Esq., Secretary Board Railroad Commissioners, Des
Moines:
Dear Sir — I have yours of January 28, followed by yours of the
30th, in which you acknowledge receipt of mine of the 28th. This



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1880,] BOARD OF RAILROAD COMMISSIONERS. 67

of mine had been somewhat delayed in the writing by the consolida-
tion of the line, change of organization, etc.

I observe your reference to speed, and in reply would say that we
wfll reduce speed, and endeavor to conform to your views as to the
safety and condition of track. I presume the Board of Commission-
ers do not intend that the speed should be made ten miles per hour on
all the forty-three miles in Iowa, but only on such portions as call for
80 reduced a rate.

I am instructed to say that at a very near day the company vvill
b^in replacing the worn iron with better, and to a great extent with
new rails, for which they have already negotiated. The great number
of ties — very much greater to the mile than the usual rate — adds
largely to the percentege of safety.

T. McKissocK, Gen*l Supt.



Des Moines, February 6, 1880.

T. McKissocK Esq., General Superintendent W.,St,L. <& P. Railway,
St. Louis y Mo, :

Dear Sib — Your favor of the 4th at hand, and contents noted. The
only object that the Board have in interfering in the running of your
trains is to insure safety, and it is only on those parts of the forty-
three miles where the iron is evidently unsafe that they desire speed
reduced. The Board feels that it would, with its knowledge of the
condition of a portion of your track, be remiss in duty if it did not
insist upon such regulations of trains as might be expected to guard
against accident.

E. 6. Morgan, Secretary.

Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railway,
Superintendent's Office,
St. Louis, February 16, 1880.

E. Q. MoBOAN Esq., Secretary Railroad Commissioners:

Deab Sir — Inclosed please find copy of our time table of North
Branch, taking eflTect Sunday, February 15, 1880.

T. McKissocK, Gen'l Supt.

This time table shows a material reduction in the rate of speed be-
tween Ottumwa and Coatesville, the portion of the road called in
question.



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68 THIRD ANNUAL REPORT OF THE [CU

J. W. Stockbr and S. Mills vs. Chicago & Northwestbbn Rail*

WAY COMPAKY, FiLED JaN. 16, 1880.

Logan, Iowa, January 15, 1880.

To the Railroad Commissioners of Iowa:

Gentlemen — I would most respectfully call your attention to the
matter of the shipment of live stock from points in the western part
of this State to Council Bluflfe. The grievance I have to complain of
at this time is an order of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Com-
pany that no stock car can be taken on the day freight, but all stock
must be taken on No. 13, or the train arriving in Council Bluffs about
ten o'clock. By this arrangement the stock is not weighed until next
morning, and a consequent shrink of about 200 pounds per car load
occurs. Then we are compelled, if we accompany the stock, to stay
all night, and if we see our stock weighed and settled for, must stay
all next day, owing to the arrangement of the running of the trains.
By this arrangement we have to load and unload in the nighty
and are materially inconvenienced, and at least lose from $8.00 to
$10.00 per car. I think this order emanated with J. B. Owen, at
Boone, and am not advised as to whether officials higher up have any
knowledge of the order.
All of which is respectfully submitted.

J. W. Stocker,
S. Mills,

Stock Shippers.

Boone, Iowa, Nov. 22, 1879.

To all Agents — We will not take shipments of stock for Council
Bluflfe on No. 9 until further orders.

J. B. Owen, Train-muster.

Des Moines, January 16, 1880.

J. W. Stocker, Esq., Logan, Iowa:

Dear Sir — I am in receipt of your communication to the Board of
the 13th inst. A copy of your complaint has been sent to the Gen-
eral Manager of the C. & N. W. R. R. Company, and as soon as his
reply is received the Commissioners will notify you of the result.

E. Gt. Morgan, Secretary.

Des Moines, January 16, 1880.

Marvin Hughitt Esq., General Manager C. dk N. W. Ry, Chicago^
Illinois:

Dear Sir — This office has received a communication, of which the
following is a copy: (See letter of complaint above). The following



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1880.] BOARD OF RAILROAD COMMISSIONERS. 69

is a copy of the order inclosed: (See copy of Owen's order above).
By general order of the Board I submit to you the above copy of
■complaint, with the request that at an early day you forward to the
Board such answer as you may wish to make to them.

E. 6. Morgan, Secretary.

Chicago & Northwestern Railway Co., )

Office of the Freight Traffic Manager, [•

Chicago, January 28, 1880. )

^. G. Morgan, Esq., Secretary Board of Railroad Commissioners,
State of Iowa:

Dear Sir — Mr. Hughitt being out of the city, your favor of the
16th inst. has been referred to me, regarding the complaint made by
Messrs. J. W. Stocker, and S. Mills, Bve stock shippers of Logan, in
iheir letter of the 13th to you respecting the order issued by J. B.
•Owen, train-master, Boone, November 22, addressed to all agente, stat-
ing that shipments of live stock for Council BluflFs would not be taken
•on train No. 9 until further orders.

Would say that this order was issued by direction of J. S. Oliver,
Superintendent of the Iowa Division, and for the following reasons:.
Train No. 9 is our through express freight from Chicago to Council
Blu£&, aud is run for the purpose of making this companv's delivery
of freight at Council Blufis equivalent in time to that of the Rock
Island or C, B. & Q. Roads. For some time after this train was put
on it made a practice of receiving live stock shipments from points
on the Iowa Division destined to Council Bluffs. It was soon found,
however, that this was impracticable, as the time consumed in switch-
ing so heavy a train, and in waiting for hogs to be loaded, put the
train behind time from one to three hours in reaching Council Bluflfe
-every day, hence it was found necessary to issue the above order.

The local freight train which now does this business reaches Coun-
cil Blufis at nine or nine-thirty o'clock, p. m., and we would suggest
that if arrangements are made with the receivers of hogs at that
point to weigh the hogs immediately on arrival, the shrinkage com-
plained of by Messrs. Stocker and Mills will be obviated, and the com-
pany will extend every facility in its power in the way of switching
^ars at Council Bluffs to accommodate both the owners and receivers
of hogs, if the above suggestion is adopted.

H. C. Wicker, Freight Traffic Manager.

Des Moines, February 10, 1880.

J. W. Stocker, Esq., Logan, Iowa:

Dear Sir — ^Your complaint against the Chicago & Northwestern
Railway Company, with regard to a recent order as to stock ship-
ments, was by us referred to Mr. Hughitt, and we have received a re-
ply, a copy of which is herewith inclosed. (See letter of H. C.



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70 THIRD ANNUAL REPORT OF THE [CI.

Wicker, above.) Please advise us if the suggestions made by Mr^
Wicker, if carried out, will be satisfactory to you.
By order of the Board. E. Gt. Morgan, Secretary.

Des Moines, March 23, 1880.
J. W. Stocker, Logan, Iowa:

Dear Sir — On the 10th of February, I addressed you a letter in
reference to the complaint made by you against the C. & N. W. R'yr
sending a copy of a letter received by the Board from H. C. Wicker,.
Freight Traffic Manager, and as yet have received no reply. The
Board would be glad to hear from you.

E. G. Morgan, Secretary.

Logan, Iowa, March 25, 1880.

To the Board of Railroad Commissioners of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa."

Gents — The suggestions of Mr. Wicker are all good, but the pack-
ers in Council Bluffs will not receive and pay for hogs in the ni^ht.
They cannot do it well; they must have daylight for properly sorting
and grading hogs. Of course, I do not expect to ship any hogs this-
summer to Council Bluffs, so it will make no difference, but I cannot
see how it takes more time and hinders trains more to switch out a car
at Logan, than at Missouri Valley. The train never is detained for
me to load a car, if they will give me the car before the train arrives,,
and I have shipped three hundred cars of stock from the several sta-
tions in the western part of the State in two years. I know that
when I could not ship on train No. 9, the same train took stock from
Missouri Valley. Of course, I know why this is, but do not think it
a fair discrimination. I am in hopes that there will be, by another
winter, a sufficient number of packers in Council Bluffs and Omaha to-
employ the time of a commission firm at the transfer yards, so we can
ship to the yards and have them sold there, and not have to ship ta
individual packers.

J. W. Stocks.

Des Moines, March 26, 1880.

H. C. Wicker, Freight Traffic Manager Chicago <k Northwestern R')f
Co., Chicago, III. :

Dear Sir — Your attention is respectfully called to the inclosed copy
of a letter of Mr. Stocker. I am directed by the Board to say that
Mr. Stocker seems to give a good reason why a night train to Council
Blufife will not meet the difficulty heretofore suggested by him. Un-
der the circumstances, the Board respectfully suggest that it seem»
right that you should allow shippers from Logan an opportunity to



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1880.] BOARD OP RAILROAD COMMISSIONERS. 71

reach Council Bluflfe by the day train. Please advise us of your ac-
tion.

By order of the Board. E. 6. Morgan, Secretary.

[Inclosed with this was Stocker's letter above, dated March 25.]

A response to the above letter has not been received at this oflSce.
The Commissioners hope that hereafter such arrangements will be
made by the Chicago & Northwestern Railway Company as will be



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