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possible be put upon equal footing. Distance to a railroad company plays. but a small part. A car once loaded and in a train can, with but little more expense be hauled an entire day, instead of half a day. When a railroad company has constant use for its cars, the time taken to load and unload is a very important item. It takes just as long to load or unload a car of wood which is to be moved only ten miles, as it does where it is to be moved a hundred miles. To a farmer, his distance from market before the advent of railroad transportation was a very important factor in all his plans and calculations. The State and National Governments have lent their aid to the construction of railroads for the purpose of giving equal encouragement and facilities to the producers as well as others, live where they may. Not that the man living one hundred and fifty miles from market should have as low absolute freight to that market as the man living within twenty or thirty miles, but as nearly that as the nature of the circumstances will possibly allow. Taking the case cited in your letter, of the man shipping wood to the city of Des Moines. Let me ask would not you, if a farmer, and living, say eighty miles out on a railroad, want to have rates such as to allow you to compete in Des Moines with the farmer living one-half that distance away?

The railroads become great equalizers among the producers and manufacturers of our State. As fast as the problems involved in the transportation question can be solved, and it is learned what are the proper rates which should be charged, doing justice to all parties, the Commission will endeavor to do its duty in seeing that the citizens of the State have reasonable rates. Very truly yours, L. S. COFFIN.




Filed January 22, 1884.


January 14, 1882, complainant shipped from Adams Station a car of black seed oats via Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, consigned to Carrington, Casey & Company, St. Louis, to be delivered on track. The oats were to be sent to St. Louis, sacked, and forwarded to J. S. Speed, Memphis, Tenn. They were taken to St. Louis, inspected, put into elevator and sold. Investigation was made, resulting in payment of a voucher for damages amounting to $74.89, and the case was closed.




Filed January 22, 1884.

Failure to deliver goods promptly.

Mr. A. B. Beach, of Pattersonville, Iowa, writes the Commissioners that on April 2, 1883, there were shipped to him from Council Bluffs via Sioux City, one fourteen-inch lister, one twelve-inch breaker, and one one-horse drill, which were delivered to the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway at Sioux City, April 5th, and the lister and plow received at Pattersonville April 6th, while the drill was missing. Mr. Beach was a dealer in farm machinery and the drill had been ordered for one of his customers, who declined to wait for it any longer and the sale of it was lost. It was not delivered to him until June 22nd, and by that time the season for the sale of it had passed. Complainant made claim against the railway company for the value of the implement, which was refused. The matter was referred to the officers of the company by the Commissioners and answer was received that they would take the drill and pay Mr. Beach the value of it, which was done.

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Wm. McFarlane and seventy-six other citizens residing at or near Blencoe, Monona county, Iowa, on the line of defendant's road submit the following complaint to the Board:

"We, the undersigned, who are resident in this district, do humbly pray that your honorable Board will take into consideration the advisability of establishing a railroad depot with agent at this place, for the following reasons, viz.:

"First. Freight forwarded to this station has to be prepaid, otherwise great delay is caused in receiving the same.

66 Second. Live stock and produce to be forwarded from here have to be billed from other stations.



"Third. In cold, wet, and stormy weather persons waiting the departure of trains, after stores and other places of business are closed, have no place of shelter from the inclemency of the elements.

"Fourth. When trains are not on time there are no means whereby information can be procured as to arrival.

“Fifih. A great drawback is caused to the further settlement of this district, because there being no railroad depot nor agent here the town is not set down on maps of other railroads."

Mr. M. Standish and fifteen other persons and firms residing elsewhere, but alleging acquaintance with the facts through business relations at this point join with the resident complainants in the complaint.

In connection with this complaint there is an exhibit of the amount of business transacted at Blencoe, tending to show the necessity for the increased station facilities demanded.

Mr. P. E. Hall, general manager of the company, was duly notified of the complaint. Mr. Hall in answer thereto concedes "that the first and third reasons given by the petitioners are good ones." He says he regards the other reasons as of not much weight, but supposes that the main question which concerns the Board is, "whether we ought to be required to erect a station building at that point and maintain a regular agent there." After thus correctly stating the main question, Mr. Hall makes the further concession that "a rather hasty examination of the amount of business done to and from Blencoe the last year inclines me to believe that the whole amount of earnings to and from that station would somewhat more than pay the interest on the cost of the building, the expense of an agent, and the incidental expenses necessary for a regular station of that class."

In a conversation with a member of this Commission, subsequent to making the above statement, Mr. Hall said that the passenger earnings at Blencoe were twice as great as he supposed at the time of making said statement. Indeed, Mr. Hall has shown all through his case a disposition to be entirely fair and to meet the demands of the petitioners, if financially able to do so, and in this connection says that one of the most difficult questions for him to solve is where best to use the limited means at his command. At his request one of the Commissioners accompanied Mr. Hall over the line of his road in Iowa and a portion of it in Nebraska with a view of procuring further light as to what action the Commissioners should take in the matter. And while on this trip the Commissioner became satisfied that the company is under the necessity of giving enlarged station facilities and making other needed changes and improvements at a considerable expense at several points on its line, the fact remains that the complaint of the petitioners in this case is, in the main, just and reasonable, and that to comply with their request is to "promote the convenience and accommodation of the public."

The financial ability of the company complained of to make the improvements called for is one that it seems to the Commissioners they are not at liberty to consider, their duties beginning and ending in a case of this kind

with an investigation as to the improvements and changes which they adjudge to be proper in order "to promote the convenience and accommodation of the public."

With this view of our duty under the law, as found in section 3, chapter 77, laws of 1878, the Commissioners find that complainants are entitled to the increased station facilities they ask and the respondent is hereby notified of such finding, to the end that it may govern itself accordingly.

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The complaint of Messrs. Mooney & Jones states that State Center is a station on a branch of the Central Iowa Railway nine miles south of St. Anthony which is located on another branch of the same road and nine miles further from Oskaloosa than State Center. The rate of freight on coal from Oskaloosa to State Center is one dollar per ton, to St. Anthony one dollar and fifty cents per ton; that the difference of rate is unjust, discriminating and prohibitory, so far as selling coal at St. Anthony is concerned, in the territory between the two points; that this discrimination causes farmers to haul their produce which should be marketed at St. Anthony, to State Center, to the injury and derangement of the business of the former place.

E. L. Dudley, superintendent of the railway, in reply says that the rate on coal to St. Anthony is $1.40 not $1.50 per ton, which is a reasonable rate for the service rendered. State Center is a station on the Chicago & Northwestern Railway thirty-seven miles east of Boone; that here the Oskaloosa mines have to compete with the Boone and Des Moines coal and unless they get the same rate of transportation, they are excluded from the station as a market for their coal.

The revenue derived from this business is very small, and the rate has been given to help the mines out. The inference from the reply is that the company are willing, if the Commissioners insist, to put the rate at State Center the same as at St. Anthony, which means an abandonment of the station as a market for Oskaloosa coal. In case this is done the market price of coal at State Center will not be changed, as the rate of one dollar per ton for thirty-seven miles from Boone to State Center is the rate of the established tariff on the C. & N. W. road.

The Commissioners can see no benefit accruing to St. Anthony by shutting out the Oskaloosa mines from State Center as a market, and as they believe the rate of $1.40 per ton for haulage of coal seventy-four miles is not in itself an unreasonable rate, they do not feel justified in interfering.

Des Moines, February 21, 1884.

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Filed February 1, 1884.


Mr. E. Snow, agent of the Farmers' Exchange at Grinnell, Iowa, writes the Commissioners under date of January 31, 1884, that he shipped from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, via Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway a safe which was damaged in shipment to the amount of $25; also, that there was consigned to him on January 19th a barrel of molasses from the firm of Reid, Murdock & Fischer, Chicago, which was lost entirely in transit. The cost of this package was $33.39, and demand had been made by consignors for payment. Complainant asks the assistance of the Commissioners in adjusting his claims. The complaint being referred to President Cable of the C., R. I. & P. R'y, reply was received from him enclosing a letter from C. S. Tewksbury, lost and damage freight agent of that road, saying that the safe in question was received from the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railway on November 2, 1883, at Englewood, in a damaged condition. A bill for damages had been received from consignee January 7, 1884, and Mr. Tewksbury had written to the P., Ft. W. & C. Railway regarding their liability, and had asked them for authority to pay the claim and charge their line. April 29th Mr. Snow notified the Commissioners that his first claim had been paid and the second was in process of investigation and would doubtless be satisfactorily adjusted.

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