Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Railroad Commission of Texas, Motor Transportation Division:

An Inventory of Motor Transportation Division Correspondence at the Texas State Archives, 1923-1954, bulk 1929-1942


Creator: Railroad Commission of Texas. Motor Transportation Division.
Title: Motor Transportation Division correspondence
Dates: 1923-1954
Dates: bulk 1929-1942
Abstract: The Railroad Commission of Texas had regulatory power of the commercial transportation of persons and property on state highways during the period covered by these records. Motor transportation activities were handled by the Motor Transportation Division. These files contain applications for motor bus or motor truck certificates or permits (originally accompanied by a filing fee) stating certain facts required by law. Opposition to application requests, formally presented at the hearings by rival motor companies and by railroads, are also in these files, as well as a few photographs. Correspondence files were kept by the Motor Transportation Division on commercial operators who applied for or were granted permits or certificates of convenience to operate for hire on the public highways. Each operator's file contains the application, any opposition to the application from rival carriers, proof of insurance or bond, and any public complaints about the operator. Outgoing correspondence from the Division is limited and is usually a notice of the cancellation of the certificate. Dates covered are 1923-1954 with the majority of records dating 1929-1942.
Quantity: approximately 14 cubic ft.
Language These materials are written in English.
Repository: Texas State Archives
Sponsor: This EAD finding aid was created in part with funds provided by the Texas Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Board for the Texas Archival Resources Online project.

Agency History

The Railroad Commission of Texas regulates the exploration, production, and transportation of oil and natural gas in Texas. Its statutory role is to prevent waste of the state's natural resources, to protect the correlative rights of different interest owners, to prevent pollution, and to provide safety in matters such as hydrogen sulfide. It oversees hazardous materials pipelines and natural gas pipelines and distribution systems as well as propane, butane, compressed natural gas, and liquefied natural gas. It works to make sure a continuous, safe supply of natural gas is available to Texas consumers at the lowest reasonable price. Additionally, the Commission regulates surface mining for coal, uranium, and iron ore gravel, and conducts a program for reclaiming lands that were mined and abandoned before 1975.

The Railroad Commission of Texas had its origin in the demands of the shipping public in the late 1880s that insisted that railroads be subject to regulation based on public interest. An advocate for governmental regulation, Attorney General James Stephen Hogg ran for Governor in 1890 with the issue of railroad regulation as the focal point of the campaign. Hogg was elected Governor in the general election and the voters also approved an amendment to Article X, Section 2 of the Texas Constitution that empowered the Legislature to enact statutes creating regulatory agencies. These elections paved the way for the Legislature to enact on April 3, 1891 "An Act to Establish a Railroad Commission of the State of Texas," that later was placed in the Texas Revised Civil Statutes under article 6444 et seq. (House Bills 1, 3, and 58, 22nd Texas Legislature, Regular Session).

The Commission originally consisted of three members appointed by the Governor for three-year terms. Governor Hogg appointed the first three Commissioners in 1891 including John H. Reagan, who resigned as U.S. Senator from Texas to serve as the first Chairman. The Texas Constitution, Article XIX, Section 30 was amended in 1894 to provide for elective six-year overlapping terms for the Commissioners. That same year John H. Reagan was elected and served until his retirement in 1903.

The Texas Railroad Commission was the first regulatory agency created in the State of Texas and originally had jurisdiction over the rates and operations of railroads, terminals, wharves and express companies. The legal focus was on intrastate passenger and freight activities. Interstate jurisdiction fell under the U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission. For the first twenty-five years of its existence, the Railroad Commission was largely concerned with regulating railroads, setting rates, receiving complaints, and making investigations. As other controversies arose where the Legislature deemed that the public interest could best be served by regulation, additional duties were assigned to the Railroad Commission.

The Railroad Commission's authority was broadened beginning in 1917 with the passage of the Pipeline Petroleum Law (Senate Bill 68, 35th Legislature, Regular Session) that declared pipelines to be common carriers like railroads and placed them under the Commission's jurisdiction. This was the first act to designate the Railroad Commission as the agency to administer conservation laws relating to oil and gas. The Commission's regulatory and enforcement powers in oil and gas were increased by the Oil and Gas Conservation Law (Senate Bill 350 of the 36th Legislature, Regular Session), effective June 18, 1919. This act gave the Railroad Commission jurisdiction to regulate the production of oil and gas. Acting upon this legislation, the Commission adopted in 1919 the first statewide rules regulating the oil and gas industry to promote conservation and safety, including Rule 37. This rule requires minimum distances between wells at drilling sites in order to protect field pressure and correlative rights.

The Gas Utilities Act of 1920 (House Bill 11, 36th Legislature, 3rd Called Session) gave the Commission regulatory and rate authority over individuals and businesses producing, transporting, or distributing natural gas in Texas. In 1937, following a large natural gas explosion in a school in New London, Texas, the 45th Legislature passed legislation giving the Railroad Commission the authority to adopt rules and regulations pertaining to the odorization of natural gas or liquefied petroleum gases (House Bill 1017, Regular Session).

The passage of the Public Regulatory Act of 1975 (PURA) (House Bill 819, 64th Legislature, Regular Session) required certain state regulatory agencies, including the Commission, to set the overall revenues of a utility based on its "cost of service." Regulation of liquefied petroleum was added to the Commission's responsibilities in 1939 by the 46th Legislature (House Bill 792, Regular Session). The legislation authorized the Commission to adopt and enforce safety rules and standards in the storage, handling, transportation, and odorization of butane or LP-gases. Regulation of compressed natural gas was added to the Railroad Commission's responsibilities in 1983 (Senate Bill 617, 68th Legislature, Regular Session).

The Motor Bus Law of 1927, House Bill 50, 40th Legislature, Regular Session, and the Motor Carrier Law of 1929, House Bill 654, 41st Legislature, Regular Session, extended the Commission's regulatory powers to commercial transportation of persons and property on state highways. In 1995, following federal deregulation of motor carriers, the 74th Legislature eliminated the agency's authority to regulate commercial carriers involved in intrastate transport and transferred the remaining responsibilities related to commercial carriers (motor carrier registration, insurance verification, and safety) to the Texas Department of Transportation (Senate Bill 971, Regular Session), and the Department of Public Safety (Senate Bill 3, Regular Session).

(Sources: Guide to Texas State Agencies, various editions; general laws and statutes; and the records themselves.)

Scope and Contents of the Records

The Railroad Commission of Texas had regulatory power of the commercial transportation of persons and property on state highways during the period covered by these records. Motor transportation activities were handled by the Motor Transportation Division. These files contain applications for motor bus or motor truck certificates or permits (originally accompanied by a filing fee) stating certain facts required by law. Opposition to application requests, formally presented at the hearings by rival motor companies and by railroads, are also in these files. Some photos are included in the files. Dates covered are 1923-1954 with the majority of records dating 1929-1942. Correspondence files were kept by the Motor Transportation Division on commercial operators who applied for or were granted permits or certificates of convenience and necessity to operate on public highways. If authority to operate was granted, an applicant had to file acceptable insurance, secure a driver's license, and pay the required plate fees. Carriers and shippers were required to carry public liability insurance or put up a C.O.D. (cash on demand) bond and keep a file demonstrating such coverage with the Division. The correspondence files contain the original copies of these insurance policies or notarized sworn statements of the amount of bond. Outgoing correspondence from the Division is commonly notice of concellation of a certificate, usually due to failure to pay the license tax or to file the required amount of insurance.

Other types of correspondence to be found in a carrier's file include complaints by creditors and consumers. The outgoing replies from the Division explain that they could not settle shipping claims but did offer assistance by disclosing the amount of insurance coverage that the shipper had on file with the commission.

Access to most of the correspondence is by the name of the motor vehicle carrier. The inventory lists the folders containing correspondence, but they are not in alphabetical order. Researchers have to review the entire inventory if searching for a particular motor carrier.

To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.

This finding aid describes one series of the Railroad Commission of Texas records. See Railroad Commission of Texas: An Overview of Records for more records series.


Arrangement of the Records

These records are not arranged, remaining in the order received from the agency. The box inventory is in rough chronological order. The correspondence is foldered by operator's name, but is not alphabetical.


Restrictions on Access

Materials housed in the State Archives do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.

Restrictions on Use

Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted and may be freely used in any way. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements

Researchers are required to wear gloves provided by the Archives when viewing photographs.

Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Commercial vehicles--Texas.
Freight and freightage--Texas.
Document Types:
Correspondence--Texas--Commercial vehicles--1923-1954.
Regulating commercial vehicles.

Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Railroad Commission of Texas, Motor Transportation Division transcripts of application hearings, 1926-1956, bulk 1930-1939, approximately 31 cubic ft.
Railroad Commission of Texas, Motor Transportation Division enforcement and regulation records, 1929-1955, bulk 1936-1942, approximately 23 cubic ft.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Motor Transportation Division correspondence, Railroad Commission of Texas. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession numbers: 1961/005 and others unknown

Some of these records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Railroad Commission of Texas in October 1961 and at other undetermined dates.

Processing Information

Described by Paul Beck, June 1985

Finding aid edited for DACS compliance by Laura K. Saegert, December 2008

Detailed Description of the Records


Motor Transportation Division correspondence, 1923-1954,bulk 1929-1942,
approximately 14 cubic ft.

4-5/20A Donoho, B.P., 1940-1941
[Includes State vs. B.P. Donoho, 17th District Court, Tarrant County.]
Edens-Birch Lumber Company, 1923-1939
Dunn Brothers, 1934-1936
Edelman, A.H., Oak Cliff Storage Company, 1943
East Texas Motor Freight Lines 1937-1942
[Includes East Texas Motor Freight temporary file.]
Richard English Truck Line violations, 1936
El Paso-Arizona Motor Freight Lines, 1935
Enders, H.H., 1935-1936
Cockrell, L.C., et al., International Bag Company, 1939
Cockrell, L.C., et al., Lubbock case - 99th District Court, 1939
Capps & Teachworth applications, 1937
Carter, Wilkie judgment, 1937
Joe Coleman vs. Commission, 1936-1938
Cathey & Carroll, 1941
Carr, A.B. injunction, dismissal, 1940
Commissioner Smith (Lon A. Smith, Chairman), 1939-1940
Bryant, Bays R., 1941-1942
P.P. Ewald case (U.S. Government vs. P.P. Ewald), 1937-1939
Clarence English case (English, C.T.), 1937-1938
Docket No. 2197, 1939-1942
Dixie Truck Line (Becker, A.O.), 1942
Davis, W.E., 1941
Day Lumber & Timber Company, et al., 1936
Bruce & Sons, 1942
Bus inspections - rest rooms, etc. (Bowen Bus Lines), 1942
Bowen - Greyhound investigation, 1942
Cain's Truck Lines investigation, 1942
Cancellations completed, 1942
Cancellation letters, 1941-1942
A.B. Carr vs. Commission, 1934-1937
Receipts - departmental order, 1940
Bulletin re: drivers' licenses, 1941
Equipment reports,
[blank forms]
Blank complaints under Oil and Gas Division, 1937-1939
Complaints on buses - drivers,
Consolidation of certificates, 1942
Consolidated certificates of common carriers, 1942
Contract carrier circulars, 1941
Special commodity carriers, 1940-1941
Common carrier restrictions, 1942
Common carrier circulars, 1939-1940
4-5/1 Johnson, Albert H., 1929-1931
Baxter, W.H. & Schuessler, Woody, 1929-1931
Rountree, Roy, 1929-1930
Broadway, L.H., 1929-1930
San Angelo Fast Freight Lines, 1929-1930
Nesloney, Adam, 1929-1930
Robson, C.G., 1929-1930
Woodell, Ben, 1929-1930
Ward Truck Line, 1929-1931
Riley, B.A., 1929-1932
King, B.C., 1929-1931
Miller, Moody, 1929-1930
Hight, O.H., 1929-1930
Pevehouse, Louis Floyd, 1929-1932
Brown, James F., 1929-1930
Odom, Ollie, 1929-1930
Atkins, John B., 1929-1930
Hughes, William E., 1929-1931
Brown, W. Maurice, 1929-1930
Atkins, Cecil, 1929-1930
Jones, Hearl K., 1929-1930
Guthrie, Albert E., 1929-1930
Langley, T.W., 1929-1930
Reagan, C.B., 1929-1931
Harryman, Willie Moore, 1929-1930
Pfeil, Robert, 1929-1930
Basse Truck Lines, 1929-1931
Knopp & Metzger, 1929-1931
Garcia, Rufino, Jr., 1929-1931
Cowell, E.C., 1929-1932
Common carrier motor carrier dockets - applications, 1926
[44 envelopes]
4-5/3 Allen Motor Freight & Terminal (J.W. Allen), 1928-1938
Yellow Cab Transit Company, 1930-1939
Palmer Truck Line (Jack Palmer), 1930-1937
Bain, H.R. (Dumas Truck Line), 1930-1938
Dalby Truck Line (Dalby, A.R.), 1929-1935
[2 folders]
Hardage, L.S., 1930-1937
Johnson Storage & Distributing Company & Freight Lines, 1929-1933
Johnson Transport Company, Incorporated, 1929-1941
[2 folders]
Laredo Freight Lines (Leyendecker, Joe P.), 1930-1934
Red Arrow Freight Lines, Incorporated, 1931-1932
Riley, J.B. dba [do business as] Plunkett Freight Line, 1929-1939
4-3/385 Regarding Class A permits 1929
[one folder in the box]
2-10/560 "A" regarding permits, 1929
[one folder in the box]
2-10/580 "K" regarding permits, 1929
[one folder in the box]
4-5/11 Mosley, Curtis, 1929-1930
A.B.C. Motor Freight Lines, 1929-1931
Fuson, M.P., 1929-1932
Johnson, James M., 1929-1930
Sam Boswell Transfer, 1929-1930
Higlin, R.E., 1929-1930
Smith, J.H., 1929-1930
Garrison, George Lee, 1929-1930
Jones, Thomas William, 1929-1930
Bargsley, Albert C., 1929-1930
Tharp, Paul A. (Reuel), 1929-1930
Millwee, John F., 1929-1930
Petroleum Transport Company, 1929-1930
Little, Thomas Wm., 1929-1930
Ely Truck Line, 1929-1930
Gonzales, A.A., 1930
Bryant, L.P., 1929-1932
Goss, L.H., 1929-1930
Hamrick, D.B., 1929-1932
Cook, S.D., 1929-1930
Hickman, J.S., 1929-1930
Frost Motor Line, 1929-1932
Allen Motor Transportation & Terminal, 1929-1930
Green, David Memo, 1929-1930
Ellison, G.E., 1929-1930
Shaw, E. Richard, 1929-1930
Rollins, J.H., 1929-1930
Dodson Transfer Company, 1929-1931
Evans, S.C., 1929-1931
Schooler, Will Joe, 1929-1930
Lasiter, Henry Homer, 1929-1930
Wilson, T.A., 1929-1930
Preddy, Sam, 1929-1930
Anderson & McCown, 1929-1930
Looney, O.L., 1929-1930
Royal Neighbors of America, 1930-1931
Truman Transfer Company, Incorporated, 1929-1931
J.E. Watts Transfer Company, Incorporated, 1929-1931
Stanton, G.B., 1929-1930
Jones, Rowell B., 1929-1930
Good Brothers Truck Line, 1929-1930
Campbell, W.G., 1929-1931
Davis, Burl, 1929-1930
Bullington, James Clifton, 1929-1931
Freeman, Mrs. J.F., 1929-1931
Tucumcari Truck Line, 1929-1930
Wilkerson, H.W., 1929-1931
Montalvo, Ismael, 1929-1932
Carter, Frank, 1929-1930
Grusendorf, William Fred, 1929-1930
Roberts, C.A., 1929-1931
Wright, D.J., 1929-1930
Reader, Richard J., 1929-1930
Moore, Carroll (Carroll Moore Transfer), 1929-1931
Marchall, Harry, 1929-1931
Crenshaw, R.C., 1929-1931
Harper, Homer, 1929-1930
A & M Transfer Company, 1929-1930
Merrill, W.H., 1929-1932
Evans, H.A., 1929-1931
Oliver, O.L., 1929-1930
W.M. Kelly Transfer & Storage Company, 1929-1932
Fitzhugh, Newton Earl, 1929-1930
Oliver, T.C., 1929-1930
Keith, J.N., 1929-1930
McCaul (R.R.) & Parson (J.E.), 1929-1931
Koehler, A.F., 1929-1931
Kyle, Henry, 1929-1931
4-3/413A Correspondence and interstate memos, Attorney General opinion re: motor carrier law, photo, documents, Senate Journal, 44th Legislature, 1st Called Session, 1935-1938
Applications in general and alphabetically arranged applications for John B. Barbour Trucking Company through Winn, H.H., Jr.
Forms, 1931-1932
4-3/397 Johnson Motor Lines (Johnson, W.A.), 1929-1939
[2 folders]
4-3/401 Dalby, A.R. dba Dalby Truck Line, 1929-1934
Louis H. Hardy Truck Line, 1929-1937
Reichenau, R.M. (Reichenau, John F.), 1929-1938
Hilderbrandt, O.L. dba Comfort Truck Line, 1929-1937
Garrison, W.C. dba Levelland Truck Line, 1929-1937
Bowman, Robert Tullie, 1929-1937
Webster, M.S. & Marshall dba Webster Truck Line (M.S. Webster Truck Line), 1929-1931
Tarry, J.P. dba Tarry Motor Freight Lines (Tarry Warehouse & Storage Company, Incorporated), 1929-1938
Brown, Harry P. dba Brown Express Incorporated, 1939-1940
Price, B.M. dba Southwestern Motor Transport, Incorporated (Kellog Truck Line, Incorporated), 1929-1933
Milum, Glen dba Port Isabel Express Line (Mankin, T.J. & Johnson, W.T., Jr. dba Port Isabel Express Line), 1932, 1934
4-3/398 Donaho, Joe C., 1930-1936
Wharton Truck Line (Smith, J. C.), 1929-1937
Sproles Motor Freight Lines, Incorporated, 1929-1941
4-3/399 Baker, Jesse M., 1933-1937
Republic Motor Lines, Incorporated, 1929-1938
Buice, W.Y., 1929-1934
Thomas, J.K. dba B & T Truck Line, 1929-1937
Baker, H.D. dba Pennell Truck Line (Pennell, F.E. dba Pennell Truck Line), 1929-1941
[2 folders]
4-3/402 Brown, H.P. dba Brown Express Incorporated, 1933-1941
Boruk, Mike dba Boruk Truck Line, 1929-1937
Republic Motor Lines, Incorporated (Jones Motor Freight Lines, Incorporated), 1929-1938
Jones Motor Freight Lines, Incorporated, 1936-1938
Milum, Glen dba Port Isabel Express Line (Mankin, T.J. & Johnson, W.T., Jr.), 1929-1937
4-3/400 Binyon O'Keefe Fireproof Storage Company, Incorporated, 1929-1942
[2 folders]
Foster, Buy E. & Fred B. dba Shiro Truck Line, 1929-1941
Alcorn, Oscar Newton dba Alcorn Truck Line, 1929-1937
Luker, N.B. & Son, 1930-1937
Rose, Carl dba West Texas Transportation Company, 1930-1938
4-5/2 Orts, E.P. & W.A. dba Houston-San Antonio Freight Lines, 1929-1937
Red Ball Motor Freight Lines, 1929-1942
[4 folders]
Southern Transportation Company, Incorporated, 1929-1938
Velvin Brothers (F.A., B.W. & J.P.) Truck Line, 1929-1934
Tisdal, R.S. dba Tisdal Truck Line, 1929-1937
Moore Truck Line (Verett Moore), 1931-1937
Liberty Film Lines, Incorporated, 1929-1938
4-5/20B Brunson & Brunson (Brunson, H.W. & D.W.), 1941
Report of Inspector Raymond South on Blue Goose Truck Lines, 1935-1938
Brown Brokerage Company, 1936
Busy Bee (Busy Bee Transfer & Storage Company), 1936-1942
J.B. Blalack case, 1937-1938
Brown Cracker & Candy Company, 1935-1937
Brown Cracker & Candy Company vs. Robinson Truck Lines, Incorporated, 1942
CIE - Marshall, Texas state case, dba D.P. Bonham Transfer (van to Tyler), 1937
Bus investigation - Bowen-Greyhound, 1934-1939
Bus terminal investigation, 1939-1941
Bus inspection reports, 1941
Bus investigation (Sour Lake, Beaumont, Houston, Defense projects), 1942
Texas bus lines investigation, 1942
Bus complaints and investigations, 1942
Barrett & Goolsby (& Tucker, C.R.), 1942
Brown, R.B., 1941
Brown Express re: bridge in Bastrop County, 1941
A.E. Bates - Truck Line, 1937
Butts, J.T. - Elite Truck Line application and orders, 1939
Ball Glass Corporation, 1937
Bayshore Bus Lines investigation, 1935-1936
Bobbitt, Roy, 1938
Burton, Elmer Allison, drunken driving - immediately pending, 1937
Barnes, Loyce P., 1937
Carr, William - G & H Motor Freight Lines, Incorporated, report of speeding and reckless driving, 1937
Fausset, John Arnold - W.C. Wells, 1937
R.W. Byram & Company industrial reports, 1936-1937
Applications passed on by Commission, 1938
Tatum, Clyde G. case, 99th District Court, Lubbock, 1939
All-O-Tex Trucking Company - Hasting, E.M., 1940
Anderson Truck Lines, 1937-1939
[2 folders]
Austin Fireproof Warehouse Company (storage), 1937
Urbandale Bus Line - Community Transportation Company, 1941
Anchor Mills Company - rice haulers, 1939-1940
Acme Motor Coaches, 1941
Alamo Freight Lines, 1934-1942
Alamo Freight Lines safety violations, 1941-1942
Bowen bus collision accident report photographs, 1942
4-3/452 Applications for permits and notices of hearings, 1937
[one folder in the box]
4-5/8 N, 1948-1953
O, 1947-1953
P, 1948
Powell, G.B., et al., 1950
Q, 1948-1954
R, 1947-1954
Red Arrow Freight Line, 1951-1954
J.H. Robinson Truck Lines, Incorporated, 1949-1954
S, 1947-1954
[2 folders]
T, 1946-1954
Texas Motor Coaches, 1949
U, 1947-1954
V, 1947-1953
Victory Truck Lines, 1947
4-5/10 W, 1947-1954
X, Y, Z, 1946-1952
Budget recommendations, Woody Callan, 1947
Motor Transportation Division general order #70, 1945
Ninety Day order, 1947
Oilfield Haulers docket, 1943-1944
Texas Motor Bus Association semi-annual meeting proceedings, 1950
General files of the division including application material and forms,
Common Charter docket transcript of testimony, volume 2, 1949
Correspondence of the division including newspaper clippings and the Statewide Citizens Economic Committee, 1950
Citizens Committee correspondence, 1950
General correspondence includeing the Statewide Citizens Economic Committee, 1950
General correspondence - W.J. Murray, Jr., Chairman, Railroad Commission and Statewide Citizens Economic Committee, 1950
Statewide Citizen Economic Committee press clippings, 1950
Texas Petroleum Research Committee, 1947-1950
[2 folders]