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I would be glad to know whether the over-charges of which you also complain were made by the West Wisconsin Railroad Company alone, or whether companies with whose roads their line connects, have also disregarded the law as amended, since March 11, when it took effect.

The Commissioners appreciate your circumstances and would be pleased to see you relieved from the embarrassments you suffer.


M. PEDRICK, Esq., Fairchild.


Pedrick to Commissioner Hoyt, in reply.

FAIRCHILD, WIs., April 1, 1875.

26th ult. is at hand, in There are certain kinds cars. I have a quanti

DEAR SIR-Your esteemed favor of the answer to my communication of the 24th. of freight that require certain kinds of ty of long timber to ship, and unless I can have flat cars of course cannot ship it. Before engaging to furnish this timber to my customers, I obtained the promise from the station agent here that I should have flat cars to ship it on, and now after I have engaged to furnish the timber, and got it ready for shipment, Mr. Swan writes me that the West Wis. R. R. cannot furnish flat cars to go on to the C. M. & St. P. road. You will readily see that this puts me in a very unsatisfactory and awkward position. Can you see any remedy for me? I do not wish to put myself in opposition to the management of railroads, nor do I wish to complain unjustly, but it looks to me as if there might be a little spite mixed in this refusal to furnish the cars called for. I have only shipped one car load of lumber since the amended law went into effect, as I have been waiting to see if there would not be something arranged satisfactorily with the roads, so that we could know what to depend upon. The car above mentioned was shipped from here about the 20th of March, billed to Fall River, on which ($30) thirty dollars was demanded (and paid under protest) before the car would be shipped. The distance is 138 miles, which would make the freight only $22. If I understand you correctly, you do not undertake to say

whether or not this road comes under the regulations which prescribe the rate of freight charged on other roads.

If it is decided that this road is not governed by the same rate as other roads, it is doing shippers on this road a great injustice, as lumber shipped from here has to compete with that shipped from other points, at a less rate of freight, which would virtually kill our business.

Very respectfully, yours,

JOHN W. HOYT, Commissioner.



Mason, Blood & Co., to the Commissioners.

APPLETON, March 27, 1875. GENTLEMEN: What is our remedy when the railroad refuses to take our cars loaded for the Waupun States Prison, unless freight is pre-paid? The charge is illegal. Advise us and oblige,

Yours, truly,


Commissioner Hoyt, in reply.


MADISON, April 2, 1875.

GENTLEMEN:-In answer to your letter of the 27th, which has only just come to hand, I have to say:

1. That "advance payment of freight shall not be required as a condition precedent to carriage, except in cases of perishable articles and freights of little value." This is the language of the law. (See section 4, chapter 334, laws of 1875.)

2. That, although the penalties for violation are in themselves ample, the remedy at present must be with the individual in the courts.

The injunction granted by the supreme court related to the matter of charges only, and to the then legal charges. The law having been amended, and the rates changed, may have had the effect to dissolve the injunction and leave the Chicago, Milwaukee

& St. Paul and the Chicago & Northwestern companies just where they were.

Should violations of the law as it now is be frequent, so as to demand action on the part of the State, it may become necessary to do the work of last summer over again.

I trust, however, that when these companies have come to fully understand what the law is, they will comply with its provisions. We shall bring your complaints to the notice of the Chicago & Northwestern Company, unless you desire that it be otherwise.

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MADISON, April 3, 1875. DEAR SIR:-Complaint is made that some of your agents are demanding pre-payment of charges on freights, neither "perishable," nor of "little value," in violation of law. (See chapter 334, of laws of 1875.)

Believing that such violations have been due to a want of full understanding on the part of your agents of what the new law is, in this particular, I deem it proper to call your attention to the facts, in order that all ground of such complaints may be removed. In a few days, we shall send copies of the railroad laws of 1875, and of the Potter-law as amended, to each of your agents. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. H. PORTER, Gen. Manager.



Commissioner Hoyt to W. G. Swan.


MADISON, April 6, 1875.

DEAR SIR:-We have received communications from Mr. M. Pedrick, of Fairchild, making enquiries concerning the duties of B

roads under the amended law, and saying that, while "he does not wish to put himself in opposition to the management of the railroads, nor to complain unjustly," he is nevertheless suffering embarrassments on account of the non-supply of platform-cars, (he wishes to ship timber,) and of charges higher than he can afford to pay, as well as higher than he supposes are legal, and that must break up his business if continued.

He seems to fear that he is being punished for asserting his legal rights in the past.

In answering his communications I have plainly given him the terms of the law, but have at the same time expressed the conviction that if he were to appeal to the general officers of the company, he would find them not only superior to the motives he inclines to attribute to their agents, but willing to afford him any accommodations in their power.

Respectfully, yours,


W. G. Swan to Commissioner Hoyt, in reply.


HUDSON, WIS., April 8, 1875.

DEAR SIR:-Your favor of the 6th instant is before me. I have received several letters from Mr. Pedrick, to all of which I made immediate and kindly reply. It seems that he sold some long timber to go on to the Milwaukee & St. Paul road, and that flats were required to load it upon.

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•We have but few flats on this road and they were all being used for our own or other purposes. I was unable to obtain Milwaukee & St. Paul flats, and Mr. Pedrick could not arrange for them himself.

Before receiving your letter, I had, at a sacrifice of our own interests, given him several flats.



Christian Obrecht to the Commissioners:

SAUK CITY, April 12, 1875.

As you will see by the enclosed letter from Rablin Bros. the railroad is yet charging me freight in advance, and the rate, $31.00, from Centralia to Baraboo is above legal rates, to-wit: Wiconsin Valley Railroad $7, West Wisconsin twenty-five miles to Elroy, and Northwestern Railroad from Elroy to Baraboo, thirty-seven miles; making sixty-two miles for which the charges should not be over $16, in all $23. This is my understanding of the law. Please inform me what I can do in the matter.

Truly, yours,



GRAND RAPIDS, WIS., April 8, 1875,

Enclosed find invoice of lumber sent to Baraboo. We had to pay freight in advance and draw on you for the amount, $31,00 which we trust will be satisfactory,

Yours, truly,




Commissioner Hoyt to Christian Obrecht, in reply,


MADISON, WIS., April 12, 1875.

SIR: In answer to your letter of this date, and the letter of Rablin Bro's to you, I have to say, that while the demand for payment of charges on lumber in advance of delivery is clearly a violation on the part of any railroad company of section 19 of the "Potterlaw" as amended, and a violation for which all offending companies will be held accountable by the State authorities, the question of rates justly chargeable by "B" companies may not be so easily settled. If, however, the several roads over which] your lumber passes, have charged you in violation of the law, which provides that they shall be treated as a continuous line, there would seem to be no doubt of their liability on this score, as well as for demanding prepayment of charges.

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