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RAILROAD COMMISSIONERS' REPORT.
STATE OF IOWA,
DES MOINES, December 1, 1892.
To Hon. HORACE Boies, Governor of Iowa:
As required by law, we submit the Fifteenth Annual Report of the Board of Railroad Commissioners, including the returus made by the several railroad companies doing business in the state, from June 30, 1891, to June 30, 1892, together with information tabulated therefrom.
The report gives the capital stock and indebtedness, the general traffic, earnings, operating expenses and condition of the railroad companies, and the investigations and decisions made by the board up to date in cases where complaints were determined, investigations of serious accidents, statements regarding cases decided by the courts during the year, and litigation pending in suits instituted by the board to enforce its decisions and orders, a digest of the decisions of the supreme court of Iowa made since the last report in which the relations of the citizen and the common carrier are involved, a digest of the decisions of the Inter-State Commerce Commission for the past year, a review of the proceedings of the National Convention of Railroad Commissioners held in Washington, D. C., April, 1892, together with other matters of interest on the subject of transportation and its relation to the public.
The board organized January 11, 1892, elected Spencer Smith chairman, and W. W. Ainsworth secretary. Peter A. Dey qualified to fill vacancy caused by the expiration of term of service of Frank T. Campbell.
The reports of the railroads doing business in the state are given as prepared and submitted by the officers of the various companies. These statistics give the capital, indebtedness, earnings and expenditures of the entire lines and are generally full and complete as regards the systems. If the only business of the Iowa Railroad Commissioners was to treat these systems as an entirety, without, as the statute requires them, “to make a report to the governor of their doings for the preceding year, containing such facts, statements and explanations as will disclose the working of the system of railroad transportation in this state, and its relation to the general business and prosperity of the citizens of the state," there would probably be but little information desired beyond what has been furnished. As the commissioners understand the duty imposed, the reports of the companies fall very far short of the information necessary to enable them to comply with what they regard as the provisions of the law.
This report will first take up the general condition of the roads and afterwards treat of such statistics of state business as the commissioners have been able to obtain.