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company has fixed and established and exacts rate of freights upon such merchandise as he requires in his business, to wit, wines, liquors, and cigars, that is extortionate, exorbitant, and oppressive, and he is informed and believes that it has made and is making unfair and unjust diserimination in favor of names, persons, and places, and against Bakersfield and its business men, by which he, in common with them, are injured and damaged by being thereby deprived of a large portion of the earnings and profits which he should rightfully derive from his business, and for a special cause of complaint, he alleges that in the month of March, 1880, he received at Sumner, from the agent of the said Southern Pacific Railroad Company, in one instance, on March 23, 1880, two (2) barrels and two (2) half barrels of whisky, which were shipped to him from Covington, Kentucky, for the freight on which was charged, and he paid from Covington to Sacramento, the sum of thirty-six dollars and thirty cents ($36 30), being for a distance of about 2,000 miles, while from Sacramento to Bakersfield, a distance of about 300 miles, he was charged and paid $16 31, which he deems and so declares to be greatly disproportionate, unjust, and unfair. And in another instance, on the twentieth of March, 1880, he received from said agent at Sumner one barrel of whisky and one half barrel of whisky, which was shipped to him from Chicago, Illinois, on which he was charged for freight on the same from Chicago to Stockton, a distance of about 2,000 miles, the sum of $16, and from Stockton to Bakersfield, a distance of about 300 miles, say one sixteenth this distance, he was charged $7 59, which he deems to be and so declares in comparison entirely disproportionate and a great injustice on the part of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. And he prays your honorable body to examine into and adjust the rates of freight of said Southern Pacific Railroad Company so that they shall not be so unfair and unjust and onerous on your complainant and his fellow sufferers. (Signed)
AUG. S. HOFFMAN. State of California, County of Kern, ss.
A. S. Hoffman, being duly sworn, says that he is the plaintiff in the above entitled action; that he has heard read the foregoing complaint, and knows the contents thereof, that the same 'is true of his own knowledge, except as to matters therein stated on information and belief, and as to those matters he believes it to be true.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this second day of September, 1881.
A. C. MAUDE, Notary Public.
COMPLAINT No. 12.
TO THE HONORABLE THE
RAILROAD COMMISSIONERS OF THE STATE State of California, County of Fresno, ss.
The undersigned, Frank Dusy, a resident of Fresno County, aforesaid, respectfully represents to your honorable body that he has been a resident of said county for the past sixteen years, and that for the past eight years he has been and still is engaged largely in the business of raising sheep, and selling sheep and wool in the San Francisco market. That in order to compete with other dealers in the same market it is necessary for the wool growers of Fresno County to send their products to San Francisco on the freight trains of the Central Pacifie Railroad Company, Visalia Division. That the charges of said company for a carload of sheep from Fresno to San Francisco are fifty-four dollars. That an ordinary carload of full grown sheep numbers about 90 head, of an average weight of 100 pounds per head, or 9,000 pounds in the aggregate, or 500 pounds less than half the weight of a carload. The undersigned is informed and believes that it is entirely practicable for said railroad company, at trifling expense, to construct in each stock car used for the transportation of sheep a movable platform, or deek, at half of the inside height of the car, on which can be carried with perfect safety and convenience an additional 90 head of sheep, thus doubling the present loads, but not increasing the entire weight to over 9 tons. If such plan shall be adopted by the company there will be no objection to the charge of fifty-four dollars per carload. But if such plan is not adopted, the undersigned respectfully submits that the present rate of charges is twice as great as it should be, and prays that such steps may be taken, and such order made by your honorable body in the premises as shall regulate such charges of the railroad company, and render them just, fair, and equitable to all parties concerned. The undersigned further respectfully represents that the charges of said company upon wool shipped from said town of Fresno to San Francisco are $100 per carload, and that such carloads of wool do not average over 18,000 pounds, or 9 tons each. That said company charges for a carload of wheat of 10 tons, sent over the same route, only dollars. The reason and justice of so great a discrimination against the article of wool is not apparent to your petitioner, and he, therefore, respectfully prays that you will make such orders in the premises as will place the freight tariff of said company, so far at least as it affects the article of wool, on a basis of justice and equity. Your petitioner further respectfully represents that at the Fresno ticket office of said com
pany no tickets are permitted to be sold, and no tickets can be bought except first class tickets. And that where circumstances make it necessary for a passenger to accept a second elass or third class fare, they have not the corresponding privilege of buying a second class or third class, but are compelled, in all cases, to buy and pay for first class tickets. That the evident and inevitable result is that the passenger from Fresno pays for his trip to San Francisco a much larger amount than many of his fellow travelers over the same distance. He, therefore, respectfully, asks such action on the part of your honorable body as will eventuate in the abolishment of the odious and unjust system that now exists and controls the rates of fares and freights to and from the town of Fresno. Your petitioner further represents that on or about the twenty-third day of July, 1880, he
shipped on the freight cars of the said railroad company, at Niles' Station, in Alameda County, California, thirty-four bucks, to be brought to Fresno. That the freight charges on said bucks-he being in personal charge of them, and assuming all risk of personal injury-was $38 40, of which he does not complain. Said freight train, with said bucks on board, then ran from said Niles' Station into the City of Oakland, in said Alameda County, and thence to Fresno, making a trip of about 222 miles. When said freight train and bucks reached Fresno, he desired to have said bucks transported to Fowler's Station, nine and a half miles south of Fresno, and they were neither taken out of said cars nor was said car unhooked from said train, but continued in its former relative position. But your petitioner was, at Fresno, compelled to make a new contract with said company for carrying said bucks to Fowler's Station, and to pay them the further sum of $5, which sum was afterwards increased to $7, by order of C. J. Wilder, an officer of said company; and such additional charge was paid by your petitioner, thus making a charge of $7 for carrying a carload nine and a half miles, which had just been transported 222 miles for $38 40. Your petitioner further represents that he is charged and compelled by said company to pay them $10 per carload of wool (of 18,000 pounds), from said Fowler's Station to said town of Fresno. Your petitioner, therefore, in conclusion, respectfully asks that your honorable body will give to the foregoing statements such attention and examination as may be necessary and proper, and that you will take such action in the premises as is necessary to establish justice and enforce equity as between said railroad company and those who are compelled to travel or send freight over its routes. (Signed)
FRANK DUSY. FRESNO, September 8, 1880.
Subscribed and sworn to before me, on the eighth day of September, 1880, at Fresno, California. (Signed)
C. J. BEERSTECHER, Railroad Commissioner, Second District.
COMPLAINT No. 13.
FORE THE HONORABLE THE BOARD OF RAILROAD COMMISSIONERS OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA.
J. D. Stockton vs. The Southern Pacific Railroad Company. J. D. Stockton, a resident of Kern County, and a farmer by occupation, complains of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, a corporation duly incorporated under the laws of the State of California, and having its principal place of business in the City and County of San Francisco, and for cause of complaint alleges that the said company has fixed and established, and exacts a price or rate of freight upon the transportation of merchandise and produce, between this place and San Francisco, which is exorbitant, oppressive, and excessive, and tending to injure and destroy nearly every industry in the county; and for a special cause of complaint alleges and declares that he applied to the company's agent at Sumner for an empty freight car, and was asked by said agent what kind of freight he intended to ship; on being told that it was alfalfa seed, he was informed that the cost would be $180 per carload, whereas for wheat the company demanded only $60 per carload. That at that exorbitant rate of freight he would lose his ratio of aggregate $246 on a carload of alfalfa seed, not saying anything about the cost of land, clearing, sowing, and caring for the same, to wit: mowing, $1 per acre; hauling and stacking, $3 per acre, with four men to clear the swath; thrashing, $70 per day (averaging 3,000 pounds); three men recleaning the same, $8 per day; sacking and hauling, half cent per pound; the yield per acre being 100 pounds merchantable seed; or in other words, the cost would be as follows: Cutting
$200 00 Hauling, including the time of men keep the grain out of the way of the horses, $3 an acre.
600 00 Thrashing -
666 00 Sacking and hauling. Cost of car.
$1,746 00 1,500 00
Total 10 tons, at $150 per ton.
My ratio of loss to the aggregate
Wherefore, he prays your honorable body will consider this complaint, and will take such measures as will tend to adjust, arrange, and reduce said rates of freight so that they will bear more equally and less oppressively on the complainant and others of his fellow citizens who are in the farming business in this county.
State of California, County of Kern, ss.
J. D. Stockton, being duly sworn, says that he is the plaintiff in the above entitled action; that he has beard read the foregoing complaint, and knows the contents thereof, and that the same is true of his knowledge, except as to matters therein contained on information and belief, and as to those matters he believes it to be true. (Signed)
J. D. STOCKTON. Sworn to and subscribed before me this seventh day of September, 1880.
A. T. LEIGHTON, County Clerk.
COMPLAINT No. 14.
BEFORE THE HONORABLE BOARD OF RAILROAD COMMISSIONERS OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA.
P. Galtes vs. The Southern Pacific Railroad Company. This complainant, P. Galtes, a merchant doing business in the town of Bakersfield, Kern County, State aforesaid, complains of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, a corporation duly incorporated under the laws of the State of California, having its principal place of business in the City and County of San Francisco, and for cause of complaint alleges that the rate of freight on merchandise from San Francisco to this place, being at the rate of $1 20, $1 80, and $2 35% per 100 pounds, is entirely too high. That he ought to pay for freight and fares as low rates as on any other railroad of the United States, or at least to obtain the lowest rates established in our own State; for instance, from San Francisco to Arizona, in proportion, and that the company should charge so much per mile both for freights and fares. That the public should not be charged ten cents for State toll for every small bill of goods, but charged only at the rate of ten cents per ton. That some time in May the complainant had in San Francisco the shelvings and counters of his new brick store, whose weight would not quite load two flat cars. He proposed to the company to take two flat cars and to load them with that one class of goods, but the company would not admit of such a proposition, and they charged him the highest rate per 100 pounds, to wit: $2 62} per 100 pounds. That he had about one and three quarter carloads, and that it cost him $492, and that if he is not mistaken, a flat car then cost from $60 to $80. That such abuses ought to be abolished. That the company ought not to charge for goods shipped in bales $180, when the same being in cases are $120, such as overalls, blankets, etc. He claims that if a merchant or farmer has miscellaneous goods (not dangerous), to ship, he should be allowed to load a car by paying carload rates as established. Wherefore, he prays your honorable body will consider this complaint, and will take such measures as will tend to adjust, arrange, and reduce such rates so that they will bear more equally and less oppressively on the complainant and the community at large. (Signed)
State of California, County of Kern, ss.
Paul Galtes, being duly sworn, says that he is the plaintiff in the above entitled action; that he has heard read the foregoing complaint, and knows the contents thereof, and that the same is true of his own knowledge, except as to matters therein stated on information and belief, and as to those matters he believes it to be true.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this
A. D. 1880.
A. C. MAUDE, Notary Public.
Central Pacific Railroad COMPANY, GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT'S Office,
San FerselsceDecember om 1 880.} To the honorable Board of Railroad Commissioners:
GENTLEMEN: On receipt of complaints filed with your honorable Board, I at once took the matter up with our General Freight Agent, and asked him to investigate carefully and report to me on all matters pertaining to complaints relative to the affairs of his department, and his reply is so complete and exhaustive that I deem it well to submit it herewith without com
In reply to complaints made by various parties concerning exorbitant rates of fare, and especially those made by W. H. Scribner and A. Weill, both of Bakersfield, claiming that passenger
rates on the Southern Pacific Railroad are too high, and making comparison with rates prevailing elsewhere, I would say that the nature of the complaints being nearly identical, I will deal with that more especially of Mr. Weill.
He alleges that the rates of fare for passengers between Sumner and San Francisco, and between Sumner and intermediate points, is much too high, being an average price of five cents per mile for each passenger, while the rates in the Eastern and Atlantic States never exceed three and one half cents per mile, etc., and prays your honorable body to reduce the rate of fare to four cents per mile, etc.
If it be a fact that the rates in the Eastern and Atlantic States never exceed three and one half cents per mile, it is no reason why the rates in California should not exceed four cents per mile. Such a comparison is of very slight value, as the rate of fare varies upon different roods, and must vary greatly according to the nature of the country through which it runs. Some roads are located through manufacturing centers-thickly settled sections of the country-on which the amount of traffic ranges all the way from 15 to 2,500 per cent greater than on another class of roads built through grazing and agricultural sections of the State, or other States. Thus, you see the rates are governed by the volume of business and cost of operating. Take, if you please, Massachusetts, which has 238 people to the square mile, and 994 people to one mile of railroad, while California has but four people to the square mile, and 371 people to a mile of railroad.
Since the gentleman draws the comparison, however, between the roads of California and those of other sections, it is perhaps proper I should mention the fact that the number of passenger trains running between Sumner and San Francisco, 314 miles, is one a day each way, with a very light passenger business, the rate for a round trip ticket being $27, or 430 cents per mile; while the distance from New York to Washington, for illustration, is 230 miles, fare $750, or at a rate per mile of 33 cents; New York to Baltimore, 188 miles, $6 20, or 31% cents per mile; New York to Hartford, 110 miles, $3 75, or 3A cents per mile. There are run, per time table, between New York and Philadelphia, over which line this Washington business goes, 56 passenger trains per day; between Philadelphia and Baltimore, 14; Baltimore and Washington, 48; and between New York and Hartford, 20. All these trains have many cars filled with passengers.
The inequality alone in the volume of traffic would seem to fully justify the rates now in force upon the Central Pacific Railway.
Still another illustration : Between London and Paris, distance 283 miles, a single trip ticket, first class, is $15, or 51 cents per mile; round trip ticket, first class, is $23 75, or 4*4 cents per mile. The distance from San Francisco to Sumner is 314 miles; first class single fare is $17, or 5 cents per mile; round trip ticket (as already stated) is $27, or 4% cents per mile. Thus it will be seen that the rate between the two largest cities of Europe, between which there is an immense through as well as local traffic constantly passing, where labor and all railroad supplies are far below what they are in California, the charge is but one tenth of a cent per mile less than that of the Central Pacific Railroad Company, over which the business passing is but a mere trifle when compared to that enjoyed by the great lines between London and Paris. I may also add that the passengers are allowed but 56 pounds of baggage there, while the Central Pacific allows 100 pounds to every passenger free.
I know how easy a matter it is for people to complain who are expected to pay for what they have or enjoy, whether it be for the necessaries of life, for luxuries, or for railroad service. And, indeed, it is really surprising to me that your honorable Board has received so few complaints from the people of the many places you have visited.
Those of a specific character we have endeavored to answer in a way we believe will prove satisfactory to your honorable Board-making corrections of errors and misstatements made by some of the complainants. Those complaints of a general character are more difficult to meet, except by a general denial, and the broad and open declaration that the rates in California are lower in proportion to the amount of traffic, cost of labor, number of inhabitants to the mile of road, or to the settlement of the territory, than in any other State or Territory in this or any other country in the world that we have any knowledge of.
In conclusion, I will say, that a diversity of opinion exists as to what is a fair charge to be paid for certain services performed by the railroads of the country, and it seems to me no one can have a better knowledge of this than those who are most competent to judge of the carrying capacity of a road, and the amount of disbursement absolutely necessary to meet its obligations, and to operate and keep the property up to the highest standard of excellence, which is as essential to the patrons as its owners.
I am, very respectfully, yours, (Signed)
A. N. TOWNE, General Superintendent.
Central Pacific Railroad COMPANY, SGES FRANCESES Becember's, 185OLF, A. N. Towne, Esq., General Superintendent Central Pacific Railroad, San Francisco :
Dear Sir: I beg to own receipt of your letter of the 2d instant, covering copies of eleven (11) complaints filed with the Board of Railroad Commissioners during its several tours through the
apeake and Ohio Railroad, it certainly is not unreasonable to difference of from 32 per cent to
State, and instructing me to carefully examine same, and report fully upon the facts and circumstances connected with each case.
The complaints referred to are as follows: No. 1, by E. P. Wheeler, merchant, Bakersfield; No. 2, by Richard Hudnutt, farmer, Bakersfield; No. 4, by M. Hirshfield, through H. Hirshfield, merchant, Bakersfield; No. 6, by Michael Purcell, sheep raiser, Kern County; No. 7, by J. A. Clarke, farmer, Kern County; No. 9, by R. M. Holtby, stock raiser, Kern County; No. 10, by George C. Doherty, bee raiser, Kern County; No. 11, by A. S. Hoffman, liquor dealer, Bakersfield; No. 12, by Frank Dusy, wool grower, Fresno County ; No. 13, by J. D. Stockton, farmer. Kern County ; No. 14, by P. Galtes, merchant, Bakersfield.
With but few exceptions, they uniformly state that the rates of freight charged by this company are excessive, the language of some being that the charges are such as to deprive them, the complaining parties, of the large portion of the profits to which they are justly entitled, and that they tend to destroy every industry of Kern County and prohibit production. In nearly every case the tariff of this company is measured by the information and belief of complainants concerning the tariff's of the railroads in the Eastern States. The general statements are nearly all accompanied by examples of special causes of complaint. By noticing these I think the whole ground will be covered.
COMPLAINT No. 1, States that the freight rate for general merchandise between San Francisco and Bakersfield (Sumner) to be, for first class, $2 351, second class, $1 80, third class, $1 20 per 100 pounds, and that those rates are unfair and unjust, by coinparison with those charged on eastern railroads for like distance. As examples of the charges on eastern railroads, the following are given: Atlantic and Great Western Railway, first class, 69 cents, second class, 47 cents, third class, 37 cents per 100 pounds. Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, first class, 81 cents, second class, 73 cents, third class, 58 cents per 100 pounds. These rates-that is, the rates of either or both of above roads—are deemed reasonable, and such as merchants might live under. The extent of the inquiry and investigation made by the first party to this complaint, is shown by the fact that at the start he misrepresents the rates charged by this company. Instead of being $2 351, $1 80, and $1 20 per 100 pounds, on first, second, and third classes, respectively, between San Francisco and Sumner, they are but $1 20, $1 07, and $1 01, per 100 pounds, respectively.
His information and belief concerning the charges of the eastern roads, whose rates he professes to give, may be no better than they are above shown to be concerning the charges of this company. Therefore his statements are not entitled to credence, however honest his motives may be. But, assuming that he gives the correct rates of the eastern roads referred to, he admits that the rate of either or both “are quite reasonable, and under them a merchant might be able to live." Yet there is a difference between the schedules for like distances, of 21 per cent, 35 per cent, and 36 per cent, for first, second, and third classes, respectively. He, therefore, inust regard it wholly reasonable for one railroad company to charge more than another for a haul of the same length, and that it is possible for merchants on these different roads to live.
I call attention to this point simply to illustrate what is known by all intelligent men who have given the subject of transportation any attention, namely, that the rates of railroad companies are and must be governed by circumstances, such as the conditions of trade, the character of the road, and nature and extent of competition, the volume, kind, and distribution of the traffic, the cost of labor, fuel, supplies, etc. Now, then, if the party to this complaint can, from a disinterested standpoint, justify a difference of from 21 per cent to 36 per cent between the charges for a similar service of the Atlantic and Great Western Railway and those of the Ches
he standing in the same relation to this company, he could as easily justify a 42 per cent (which is all there is) between the charges of this company and those of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Company for a similar service. The eastern roads referred to run through the thickly peopled States of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Virginia. They carry a thousand tons of freight and a thousand passengers to one carried by the line on which Sumner is located. The products, manufactures, and supplies of over forty millions of people are more or less tributary to their lines, which, as a rule, are taxed to their maximum capacity. The roads of this company have but a limited traffic. The products and supplies of less than a million people are tributary to them, and the ordinary capacity of their single track is from five to twenty times greater than their traffic. Under these circumstances a comparison of the charges of this company with those of the railroads in the Atlantic States, which does not include all the elements bearing upon the question and necessary to an intelligent judgment upon it, is not a fair comparison, and certainly will not aid the Board of Railroad Commissioners to an intelligent determination of the questions brought before it. What has been said above is equally applicable to all the complaints before me of excessive charges. The sole ground for each complaint is the alleged information and belief of complainants regarding the relative charges of Eastern roads.
COMPLAINT No. 2, Charges that the freight rates between San Francisco and Bakersfield are per carload as follows: First class, $1 20, second class, $1 09, third class, $1 01 per 100 pounds, and that even these rates are much less than what are actually collected, because infinite subdivisions of each class of freight are made, and the railroad agents will not take freight at the rates