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Pacific Railway Commission Hearings

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This page was last updated on August 31, 2017.

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"Report of the Commission, and of the Minority Commissioner of the Pacific Railway Commission"

The report consists of more than 5700 pages in 10 Parts, with parts 2 through 10 also being designated as Volumes 1 through 9. President Grover Cleveland received the report, and on January 18, 1888, transmitted the same report to the U. S. Senate, which designated the report as Senate Executive Document 51.

(Nine of the 10 parts are available via Archive.org; Part 9 [Volume 8] is available via Google Books)

To the President:

The United Stares Pacific Railway Commission, the members of which were appointed by you on the 15th day of April, 1887, pursuant to the provisions of the act of Congress of March 3, 1887, respectfully present to you the following report of their proceedings and conclusions:

The Commission was organized immediately after the appointment of its members by the selection of the Hon. Robert E. Pattison as its chairman.

Deeply impressed with a sense of the magnitude and importance of the duties which had been assigned to it, the Commission took such measures as seemed most appropriate to secure a complete performance of all the matters referred to it, so as to enable it to report intelligently to you, and to make full answers to the many subjects which it was required to investigate.

The Commission selected as its chief accountants Mr. Richard F. Stevens and Mr. William Calhoun. To Mr. Calhoun and his assistants was assigned the duty of a complete examination from the very inception to the present date of the accounts of the Union Pacific Railway Company, including therein the accounts of the Kansas Pacific prior to the consolidation of 1880, and the accounts of the Central Branch Union Pacific.

To Mr. Stevens and his assistants was assigned the duty of making a similar examination into the accounts of the Central Pacific and of its various branch and auxiliary lines and the accounts of the Sioux City and Pacific Railroad Company.

The Commission also selected Col. Richard P. Morgan, Jr., a practical, and experienced railroad engineer, and to him with his assistants was assigned the duty of personally inspecting all the railroads that had been aided with United States bonds and all their branches.

Mr. Calhoun assigned the duty of the examination of the accounts of the Central Branch Union Pacific to G. F. Perrenoud, and Mr. Stevens assigned the similar work respecting the Sioux City and Pacific Railroad Company to Mr. Henry J. Anderson.

The examination of these accounts and of the vouchers and papers connected therewith has been extremely laborious. None of the reports were completed before the month of November, and the final report and tables affecting the Union Pacific Railway Company were received by the Commission near the close of that month. It has therefore been impossible for us to make any critical examination of results reached by the accountants and the inspecting engineer. We submit herewith the respective reports of these gentlemen with the tables, statistics, and exhibits thereto appertaining, which will be found in Volume 8 of the Evidence and Proceedings herewith submitted.

The Commission itself immediately entered upon the duty of personally examining the directors and officers of the respective roads and all witnesses who, in its judgment, were possessed of any knowledge which could shed light on the subject-matter of the investigation.

The principal examinations have been conducted in New York, Boston, Omaha, and San Francisco; but the Commission has also examined witnesses at a vast number of local points (including Salt Lake City and Ogden) for the purpose of ascertaining the relations existing between the different railroads and the local communities, and of giving full and abundant opportunity to all persons who had business relations with these roads to state their views and make known their complaints, if any.

The evidence, statements, and tables relating to the Union Pacific Railway are mainly contained in the first four volumes of the evidence herewith submitted. The evidence, statements, and tables relating to the Central Pacific Railway are mainly contained in volumes 5 and 6.

For the purpose of presenting its conclusions intelligently, the Commission has divided this report into three parts.

The first part relates solely to the present condition of the respective companies, existing relations between the companies and the United States, and to the remedial measures which, in its judgment, should be adopted.

The second part of the report contains a review of the financial operations of the bond-aided companies from their origin to the present time.

The third part contains answers to the various interrogations contained in the bill under which the Commission was constituted.

(Senate Executive Document 51, Part 5, Pacific Railway Commission, Volume 4, 50th Congress)

Hearings were located in Salt Lake City beginning on July 20, 1887


Testimony of W. W. Riter (Salt Lake & Western)

Testimony of W. W. Riter in Pacific Railway Commission hearings at Salt Lake City on 20 July, and on 21 July 1887 at his office in Salt Lake City due to the books of the SL&W being too "voluminous" to bring to the commission, so the commission went to his office. (Serial Set 2506, pages 2194, 2195, 2198, 2199, 2200) (initial research done on March 3, 1982)

Testimony of "Bishop" John Sharp in Pacific Railway Commission hearings on Wednesday, July 20, 1887 at Salt Lake City. (Serial Set 2506, pages 2154, 2155) (initial research done on March 3, 1982)

Notes from Serial Set 2505 (pages 172,173, done on March 2, 1982)

Kansas Pacific paid $32,750.00 for two locomotives on September 25, 1866. (page 4853)

Wasatch & Jordan Valley Railroad sold $10,000 in 20-year First Mortgage bonds (at $800.00 each) to Union Pacific in settlement of accounts against C. W. Schofield for Wasatch & Jordan Valley Railroad and Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd Railroad. Bonds were dated 10 April 1873. Transaction was dated 9 April 1878. Cost to Union Pacific was $8,915.82, at 9% interest.

In November 1882, Union Pacific sold to Oregon Short Line 10 locomotives (page 5294):

Notes from Serial Set 2509, index (done on March 3, 1982)

UP controlled Utah & Northern (Part 2; Volume 1):

UP controlled Echo & Park City, pages 72, 73, 859, 860, 1079

UP controlled Oregon Short Line

UP controlled Salt Lake & Western

Utah & Nevada owned by Union Pacific, pages 67, 68, 889

Utah Central owned by Union Pacific, pages 68, 69, 2154-2163, 2169-2172