Want Better Mail Service

The quality, availability, and cost of railroad service in a local community often became a contentious political issue pitting locals against non-locals and spilling into local political contests. The Omaha Bee, an enemy of railroad power of any sort, emphasizes the local community's "right" to equal service.


Changes in Railroad Time Schedules Cause a Grievous Discrimination.


As Usual Omaha Gets the Worst of It—Demand Made that the Burlington Meet the Northwestern In Fast Mail Time—Railway Doings.

Since the inauguration of the fast mail and express train on the Northwestern which leaves Chicago at 3 o'clock in the morning and arrives at Missouri Valley at 1:45 p.m., the business men of Omaha recognize that they are woefully getting left and a mighty protest has gone up.

Omaha somehow has been playing second fiddle to the whole territory of Nebraska, so far as the arrangement of train service is concerned, and the business men of the metropolis, having been stirred up over the political situation, are now turning their attention to abuses which the railroads have from time immemorial heaped upon them.

One of the strongest business men in Omaha, regarding the action of the Northwestern, said: "It is an outrage upon the business community of Omaha to give the advantage in mail service to Blair, Fremont, Lincoln, to say nothing of Missouri Valley, by the running of this new train on the Northwestern. The mail carried by this train arrives in Omaha too late to be answered on the same day as it arrives, in view of the fact that it is not delivered until the morning after its arrival, permitting Lincoln, Fremont, Blair, Norfolk and other towns to answer their letters immediately after delivery and in time for freight trains, thereby giving these towns twenty-four hours advantage into New York. I appreciate the fact that the Northwestern does not have the government contract for the transportation of mail between Chicago and Omaha, the same being held by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, but common decency would warrant the Burlington putting on a train that would make the same time as the Northwestern leaving and arriving at some point in Iowa whereby mail might be delivered to Omaha business men by the afternoon carriers instead of being compelled to wait until morning and allowing other towns on the Northwestern to get the advantage over us. While I would not advocate particularly the cancellation of the government contract with the Burlington, I believe the postoffice department should insist upon the Burlington putting on a train that would give us mail in the afternoon for the east instead of compelling us to wait until the next morning. People who stand in the way of progress are obstructers; people who attempt to clog the wheels of commerce are little less than criminals, and should be so regarded. We have a right to insist upon equal treatment so far as mail and express facilities are concerned, with other towns in the state of infinitely less population, and we mean to have our rights, even if the attention of the United States authorities must be called to a palpable act of discrimination."


Eugene Ware Making His Plea on Behalf of Santa Fe Directors

TOPEKA, Oct. 31.—In the Sana Fe hearing before Judge Foster, in the United States district court, Eugene Ware consumed the entire morning. The special point first taken up and dwelt upon at length by Mr. Ware was a reply to General Tracey's argument of yesterday, wherein it was averred that the state of Kansas is not bound by acts of the territorial legislature any more than one legislature is bound by another. Mr. Ware cited as a parallel to the Santa Fe's charter rights an act of February 10, 1859, whereby the territorial legislature granted a charter to the Kansas Medical college. This was the day before the Santa Fe charter was granted. Mr. Ware read from an opinion wherein the supreme court of Kansas held that the charter of the Kansas Medical college was a perpetual one, and the opinion following the provision in the state's constitution that the legislature cannot impair a contract, and therefore, could not annul the Santa Fe charter—a contract with the railroad company.

Taking up the cumulative plan of voting, Mr. Ware declared the right to a noncumulative vote a property right, which cannot be taken away. In summarizing, Mr. Ware took this position: The charter of 1859 declares how the voting shall be done. The custom of the railroad for thirty-five years has become an unwritten by—law, the method of voting so granted and adopted had become a property right and cannot be impaired by legislation.

Robert Dunlap, representing the Santa Fe company, began the second argument in the defense very shortly after 2 o'clock. He devoted considerable time to an attack on the authorities cited by General Tracey, and censured the plaintiff's counsel for seeking to destroy the Santa Fe charter at the critical period of the company's existence. Mr. Dunlap pointed out the fact that the difference between the law of 1876, which contains the provision for cumulative voting, was that in all the other laws, many of which had been ratified by the company, the provisions could be accepted if the company saw fit, while this one attempted to force provisions on this the company whether it desired to have them or not.

A.A. Hurd, solicitor for the Santa Fe, followed with a brief statement of the facts in the case.

General Tracey insisted, however, the point had been opened for answer. He then claimed that when the Santa Fe charter was granted, there existed a law of 1855 which provided that all charters issued without a time limit should run for five years, and further, that they should be subject to repeal or modification by the state legislature.

"The claim of the defense," said General Tracey, "that this act was repealed by the act of February 9, 1859, is a mistake. That act related to colleges, and had no relation to corporations. It was on February 11 of the same year that another act was passed repealing all laws passed previously to 1857, but it was not to be effective until the following June, therefore the charter of the Santa Fe company, granted February 11, was limited by a territorial law."

Later, the general claimed, a state law extended the time of the charter's existence to twenty years, and this, he said, supported the motion of complainant, that the company and its charter was subject to state laws. After reviewing several of the points touched in his main argument, General Tracey closed and Mr. Wollman made a brief closing argument for the plaintiff.

Mr. Ware replied in a few words explaining his side of the point made by General Tracey about the old territorial law. He showed by reading its title that it not only referred to schools and colleges, but companies as well. This was chapter xxxvi of the laws of 1859, and had reference to enabling bodies to become bodies corporate. Upon February 9, 1859, all acts and parts of acts therefore passed upon this subject were repealed. This went into effect February [unclear] and from then until the state was organized there was no law under which corporations could be organized except by special statute. After the repeal of February 9, the Santa Fe charter was granted by a special act of the territorial legislature.

Robert Harbison, an attorney from Hartford, Conn., who represtented[sic] a number of outside Santa Fe interests, spoke for ten minutes, supporting and commending very highly the position of the defense.

Judge Foster adjourned court until Monday morning, when he will render his decision.

More Burlington Changes.

The Burlington, not satisfied with the changes made in its schedule last Sunday, announces additional changes for next Sunday, which it is thought will be much more acceptable to the public. No. I. the Denver, Deadwood, Hot Springs and Billings train, will leave at 4:35 p.m. instead of 4:50 p.m., arriving at Billings at the same hour, 9:45 p.m., the following night. The train will arrive at Hot Springs at 10:10 a.m., and Deadwood 1:20 p.m., shortening the time to all Black Hills points fifteen minutes. No. 11, which arrives from the east at 5:55 p.m., will, after the date mentioned, arrive at 6:06 p.m. From the west. No. 12, which heretofore arrived at 6:50 p.m., will arrive at 7:15 p.m., and instead of leaving at 7:02 p.m., will leave at 7:50 p.m., arriving in Chicago at the same hour, 2:15 p.m. No. 11 which has heretofore left at 6:50 p.m., will leave at 6:45 p.m.

Another change will go into effect Sunday which will be acceptable to a large number of Iowa travelers. No. 2 eastbound, which leaves Omaha at 4:45 p.m., is carded to arrive at Peoria at 6:45 a.m., making connection at Galesburg with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy stub line between Galesburg and Peoria.


Stockholders Very Much Dissatisfied with the Condition of Affairs

LONDON, Oct. 31.—The long expected and much discussed meeting of the stockholders of the Grand Trunk railroad of Canada has taken place and a large number of angry stockholders were present to make things lively. Sir Henry Tyler, president of the road, and the directors, as they appeared, were received with loud cheers from their supporters, and with equally strong manifestations of displeasure in the shape of groans and hisses from those who were displeased with their policy.

The business of the meeting began with a protest against the re-election of Lord Claude Hamilton as a director. Sir Henry Tyler answered this protest by saying the objection to Lord Claude Hamilton came too late. Referring the affairs of the railroad the president said that they had met with a succession of disasters in Canada and in the United States. The serious business depression in the United States during the past two years, the question as to the currency of silver and the tariff question had delayed or destroyed all traffic. Then there was the coal strike, which was followed by the sympathy strike at the Pullman works and its serious consequences. The Grand Trunk suffered seriously in the delay of its traffic and from low rates, and especially on the Chicago division, which, under the circumstances, was now surprisingly bad. Continuing, President Tyler said that the board employed experts in Canada in order to examine the books, and anybody was welcome to make the fullest inquiry into the affairs of the company. The directors had nothing to conceal and welcomed the investigation. But the matter was too serious to admit of discussion among the stockholders, therefore he asked them to support the directors.

The discussion which followed developed considerable angry feeling. The motion to adopt the report was amended so as to postpone the acceptance of the accounts until the investigation was completed. The amendment was carried by one vote. Sir Henry Tyler demanded a poll.

At the adjourned meeting this morning the result of the poll was announced, showing that 15,223 shares personally and 271,458 shares by proxy voted in favor of Sir Henry Tyler's report. On the other hand, 4,832 shares personally and 6,756 shares by proxy voted in favor of the amendment to postpone the approval of the accounts until the expert investigation shall have been completed.


Missouri, Kansas & Texas Puts Cheap Excursion Tickets on Sale.

CHICAGO, Oct. 31—More trouble has been created among the western line by the action of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas. That line has announced excursions from its terminals at St. Louis, Hannibal and St. Joseph, and has moreover tendered the reduced scale at which the excursions are to be run to the lines of the Central Traffic association,[unclear] basing rates from eastern territory to points beyond St. Louis. In order to meet this action of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas, the Atchison has declared that it will bring this rate up to Chicago and make it apply from here. This will leave the other lines in the Western Passenger association no other recourse but to follow the lead set them by the Missouri, Kansas & Texas and the Atchison. The rate for the excursions which will be run November 20 and December 4 and 18, will be one fare for the round trip plus $2.

Receivers Advised to Pay Interest.

NEW YORK, Oct., 31.—In the United States circuit court today Judge Lacombe handed down an opinion in the petition of the Farmers' Loan and Trust company to compel John King and John G. McCullough, receivers of the New York, Lake Erie & Western railroad, to pay the interest due on several coupon mortgages that have fallen due, but have been unpaid since the property entered the receivers' hands, because of an insufficient fund. The bonds are first and second mortgage funded coupons and aggregate $7,000,000.

The holders of the first mortgages have not foreclosed, but the mortgage stipulates that foreclosure can result only after the nonpayment of interest on six successive coupons.

Judge Lacombe says that the interest on these, as well as on the Chicago branch, should be paid by the receivers, the system maintained as a whole, and the property preserved for the full benefit of the creditors. To allow the property or any part of it to be sold, would, in the opinion of Judge Lacombe, be inexcusable on the part of the receivers. He advises payment of the interest.

Snow Shed on the Union Pacific Burned.

CHEYENNE, Wyo., Oct. 31.—No. 8 snow shed, 300 feet long, on the Union Pacific at Sherman, Wyo., was burned at an early hour today. It is supposed the fire was started by a spark from a locomotive. All the wires are down. A special train with linemen and material has been sent out from here to repair the damage. It is expected that telegraphic communication will be restored by noon. All trains are held at Cheyenne for the present.

The track was cleared, wires restored, and the movement of trains resumed at 4 o'clock, this afternoon. The long snowshed was completely destroyed, causing a loss of several thousand dollars.

Another Cut in the Lehigh Shops.

HAZLETON, Pa., Oct. 31.—A notice was posted in the Lehigh Valley shops at Westherley this morning informing the men that commencing tomorrow, November 1, a reduction of 20 per cent in the wages would be made. This is the third cut within a year at this shop.

Southern Pacific Train Exhibited.

NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 31.—The Southern Pacific railway had on exhibition in front of the Sugar exchange its new vestibuled dining and sleeping car train that will run between New Orleans and San Francisco. The train will make the run in seventy-seven hours.

J.O. Philippi has gone to Kansas City.

T.K. Sudborough of the Pacific Express went to Chicago yesterday.

C.A. Goodnow, general superintendent of the Milwaukee, was in town yesterday.

A meeting of Missouri river and Colorado lines has been called at Kansas City Friday to consider rates for the next meeting of the National Educational association, which will be held at Denver if rates are satisfactory.

Thomas M. Schumacher left yesterday for Salt Lake. From there he will go to Portland and will assume the duties of general agent of the freight department of the Union Pacific at San Francisco November 10. A number of friends were at the train to see him off, among them Freight Traffic Manager Munroe.

To Helena and Butte.

There's only one (best) route—the Burlington. Leave here at 4:50 this afternoon and you are in Helena or Butte a few minutes after 9:00 a.m., day after tomorrow.

Tickets and full information at 1324 Farnum street. M.J. DOWLING, City Passenger Agent.

About this Document

  • Source: Omaha Daily Bee
  • Citation: 8
  • Date: November 1, 1894