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W. H. Everest, Crow Wing,
Inefficient Station Agent.
Alexander Baker, Avoca,
Lack of cars.
E. A. Brown, Luverne, No. 47.
C. St. P. M. & 0. Ry. Refusal to switch cars from warehouse on Omaha tracks to B. C.
R. & N. road. Company sustained by the commission.
W. A. Hackley, Sanborn, W. D. Smith, Lamberton, N. W. L.
Jaeger, Minneota, John G. Lund, Canby,
C. & N. W. Ry.
Lack of cars. Cars supplied.
Patrick Rafferty, Northcote,
. Of the cases pending at the close of our last report, the fol lowing have been disposed of as follows:
Twin City Iron Works, No. 59.
C. St. P. & K. C. Ry. Complaint dismissed.
W. F. Myers, Wells. No. 60.
C. M. & St. P Ry. Reported in full.
Robert A. Smith et al, Sandstone, No. 63.
vs. Eastern Ry. of Minn., G. N. Ry., St. P. & D. R. R. and Kettle
River R. R. Reported in full.
John D. Farrand, Fargo, N. D., for farmers north of Moorhead,
Great Northern Ry. Following is the correspondence, complaint and answer in full:
FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA, Jan. 31, 1891. Secretary Railroad Commissioners, St. Paul, Minn,:
DEAR SIR:- At the request of the petitioners, I hand you herewith their petition, which speaks for itself. As these parties are desirous of shipping their wheat, they hope you will bring it to'the attention of your board at the earliest possible moment. Yours truly,
JNO. D. FARRAND.
STATE OF MINNESOTA,
ST. PAUL, Feb. 2, 1891. W. P. Clough, Esq., Vice-President Great Northern Ry. Co., City:
DEAR SIR:- Enclosed herewith please find original petition from farmers tributary to your Moorhead and Northren branch, complaining that they cannot ship their wheat over your line to Moorhead.
Will you please advise the commission of the facts in this case, and with your reply return the enclosed petition. Yours truly,
A. K. TEISBEBG, Secretary.
PETITION. To the Honorable Board of Railroad Commissioners of the State of Minnesota : The petition of your petitioners respectfully shows:
That your petitioners are farmers and residents of the states of Minnesota and North Dakota, through which the Great Northern Railroad operates its line.
II. That the most accessible shipping point for the grain and other products raised by your petitioners, is Halsted, Norman county, Minnesota, the only railroad touching that point being the Moorhead and Northern branch of said Great Northern Railroad.
That your petitioners are able to sell their wheat to the best advantage to the millers in the city of Moorhead, Minnesota ; said firm or corporation being known as the Red River Milling Company.
IV. That said city of Moorhead is on the main line of said Great Northern Railroad, in the county of Clay, state of Minnesota.
That said Great Northern Railroad, in the endeavor, as your petioners believe, to compel them to ship their wheat to Minneapolis or Duluth, Minn., absolutely refuse to consign said wheat for your petitioners to said Red River Milling Company, at Moorhead, aforesaid, and to issue bills of lading, or shipping receipts in favor thereof, although often requested so to do.
That said Red River Milling Company has offered for, and will purchase your petitioners' wheat, at several cents per bushel above the Minneapolis and Duluth market price; and if your petitioners are not permitted to sell and ship their wheat to said Red River Milling Company, it will cause a great loss to each and all of them,
VII. That the efforts of said Great Northern Railroad to prevent your petitioners from selling and shipping their wheat, as aforesaid, to where the best price is obtainable, your petitioners believe to be an assumption of power, contrary to public policy, its obligations as a common carrier, and the statutes of the state of Minnesota in such case made and provided. [ Wherefore, your petitioners pray that you will take such summary action in the premises as will grant your petitioners immediate relief, as the exigency of the case requires.
And your petitioners will ever pray, &c.
GEO, D. WEIR,
Honorable Railroad and Warehouse Commission. IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION OF GEORGE D. WEIR, H. S. EASTON. ET AL. vs. THE GREAT NORTHERN RAILWAY COMPANY, RELATING TO WHEAT SHIPMENTS AT HALSTED, NORMAN COUNTY.
The Great Northern Railway Company for an answer to the petition herein alleges :
FIRST.-That the complaint is without merit for the reason that the Red River Milling Company caused the petition to be circulated and the complaint made solely for its own advantage, and with that view it made an offer of prices for wheat in excess of the market value at Minneapolis and Duluth, and in excess of what it had been paying shortly before the filing of the petition, and in excess of what it is paying at the present time.
That such offer was made knowing that the Great Northern Railway Company would not accept wheat tendered to it under a contract or bill of lading, to deliver it to the mill of said milling company, and for the purpose of making a case which it is thought might justify action on the part of the commission.
SECOND.--The mill of the Red River Milling Company is located on the line of the Northern Pacific Railway and upon the Red River, a distance of a mile or over from the depot and yard tracks of the Great Northern Railway Company in Moorhead. There is a connecting track between the line of the Great Northern Railway Company and the Northern Pacific Company in Moorhead.
The Great Northern Railway Company did accept a few consignments of wheat under shipping receipts or bill of lading requiring it to make deliverv to said mill. The Milling Company repeatedly refused to pay the rates charged for such shipments upon weights of the elevator at shipping point, and also in several cases upon weights confirmed upon track scales ät Moorhead or Fargo.
The Milling Company did not handle the cars of the Great Northern Company delivered to it for unloading within a reasonable time. It refused to comply with the requests of the railroad company in reference to unloading cars. By its negligence the railroad company sustained much inconvenience and loss, and parties desiring cars for shipment of wheat were also subject to delay and loss in consequence of not receiving cars as required for shipment. The railroad company then refused to deliver its cars to the connecting line for said mill, and refused to permit its cars to be removed from its tracks at Moorhead to said mill. It received all shipments tendered it of wheat for said milling company and delivered the same to said company in its yard and upon its tracks at Moorhead.
It refused to give shipping receipts or bills of lading to said milling company, not only for the reasons as stated above, but for the further reason that it would be held liable for loss of wheat while it remained in the cars and upon the tracks of the Northern Pacific Company at and around the mill during all the time that it was kept on those tracks and before it was accepted and unloaded by the milling company.
The Northern Pacific refused to be held responsible for such wheat or to accept it as a connecting carrier. It acted only as agent in switching service.
The Great Northern Railway Company denies that the Red River Milling Company offered for wheat several cents in advance of the market price at Minneapolis and Duluth, except for the purpose as above stated.
It denies that it has made efforts to prevent shipments of wheat to said mill, or to prevent the petitioners from receiving the best price obtainable for their wheat.
It admits that it refused to issue bills of lading and shipping receipts compelling it to make delivery of wheat in its cars at said mill for the reason stated, among others.
It alleges, that the milling company refused to accept wheat for milling in transit and to pay the cost of switching the same with a reasonable charge for carrying the product to market, in Duluth, Minneapolis or St. Paul, via its line.
THIRD. From the 15th day of November to the date of filing the petition, the total shipments of wheat from Halsted for said milling company did not exceed eight car loads.
FOURTH, It denies that the petitioners or any of them, requested of it that it ship wheat by the car load to be delivered at the mill of said milling company.
It alleges that the shipment of wheat from Halsted for said milling company were in car loads; that its cars were placed upon its said tracks at Moorhead as its place of delivery, and the wheat was hauled by teams from such cars to said mill by the milling company.
THE GREAT NORTHERN RAILWAY COMPANY. By M. D. GROVER, Attorney.
RAILROAD AND WAREHOUSE COMMISSION,
ST. PAUL, March 19, 1891. Š Ino. D, Farrand, Esq., Fargo, North Dakota:
DEAR SIR:-Referring to petition from farmers tributary to Halsted station, on the line of the Great Northern Railway in Clay county, Minnesota, which petition you forwarded to this commission under date of January 31st, 1891, the commission herewith encloses copy of the answer of the Great Northern Railway Co., by Mr, Grover, its attorney.
The answer is complete and specific. As far as the facts set up in the petition and in the answer are at variance with each other the commission could not express an opinion without a hearing in the case.
As to the legal obligation of the railway company to receive grain offered for shipment and to deliver the same either on its delivery track or to some elevator or warehouse located on its line of road at point of destidation, the commission holds that it is the duty of common carriers to so receive and deliver freight; and the railway company, in its answer, admits that such is its duty; and further it claims that it always has been willing and ready to do this.
A railway company cannot be compelled to allow its cars to go off its own line or tracks to make delivery. The mill of the Red River Milling Company, being located off the tracks of the Great Northern Railway Co., this commission could not issue and successfully enforce and maintain an order compelling the Great Northern Railway Co. to deliver grain to said mill: but said railway company cannot refuse to receive and transport grain from any point on its line to its terminal tracks at Moorhead at just and reasonable rates for the service.
If there are any points with reference to the facts in the case that the petitioners desire to be heard upon, the commission will grant such hearing and appoint a time and place to suit the convenience of the parties thereto.
If you will kindly communicate these matters to the petitioners and advise us of their wishes in this regard, the commission will be obliged to you. By the Commission.
A. K. TEISBERG, Secretary.
FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA, March 230, 1891. A. K. Teisberg, Sec’y Railroad & Warehouse Commission, St. Paul Minn
DEAR SIR: Your favor of the 19th inst., in matter of petition of Geo. D. Weir et al, vs. Great Northern Railway Co., has been received. Since its receipt I have seen personally several of the petitioners, who inform me that subsequent to filing the petition, the railroad acceded to their requests, and there will consequently be no occasion for a hearing. Thanking you and the commission in their behalf for courtesy and attention in the matter, I am.
Very truly yours,
JNO. D. FARRAND.
STAR ELEVATOR CO., DULUTH,
vs. GREAT NORTHERN RAILWAY AND EASTERN RAIL
WAY OF MINNESOTA. FREIGHT RATES ON THE GREAT NORTHERN LINE BETWEEN ELK RIVER,
ANOKA, ETC., AND DULUTH AS COMPARED WITH THROUGH RATES BETWEEN ST. PAUL AND DULUTH. In September, 1890, the Board of Trade of Anoka complained to this commission that the Great Northern and the Northern Pacific railroads discriminated against Anoka in the matter of rates on coal, in that they charged $1.50 per ton for coal from Duluth or West Superior and Minneapolis or St. Paul, while they charged $2.00 per ton from the same points to Anoka, a shorter distance by 29 miles than to St. Paul on the same line in the same direction.
The companies complained of were cited before the commission to either justify such discrimination or change their tariffs.