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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Scope and Contents of the Records

Arrangement of the Records

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Correspondence and reports, 1888-1948,

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Railroad Commission of Texas. Transportation Division:

An Inventory of Transportation Division Correspondence and Reports at the Texas State Archives, 1888-1948, bulk 1894-about 1935



Overview

Creator: Railroad Commission of Texas. Transportation Division.
Title: Transportation Division correspondence and reports
Dates: 1888-1948
Dates: bulk 1894-about 1935
Abstract: The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) had jurisdiction over the rates and operations of railroads, terminals, wharves and express companies. This series consists of incoming and outgoing correspondence, with attachments, of the Railroad Commission of Texas, of the Transportation Division (formerly the Main and Transportation Division, later the Rail Division), dating from 1888 to 1948, primarily between 1894 and the mid-1930s. Other materials present include applications; orders of the Commission; finance dockets; engineers' reports; reports and resolutions of railroad company directors or stockholders; lists of stockholders; petitions; deeds and leases; construction contracts; copies of bylaws, charters, and mortgages; newspaper clippings; and a few plats and maps of railroad property and railway lines. Topics include the registration and issuance of bonds, extensions of track and other construction, property valuations, and the consolidation or merger of railroad companies.
Quantity: 8.7 cubic ft.
Language These materials are written in English.

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).

Railroad regulation was initially overseen by the Main Office, later the Main and Transportation Division, then the Transportation Division and finally the Rail Division. This division was responsible for checking equipment and track, railroad and signal operations, and hazardous material handling; conducting investigations of accidents and complaints concerning railroads; and securing federal funds to improve branch lines and preserve rail service to rural areas. The Division enforced rules aimed at removing obstructions on railroad rights-of-way and operated a crossing safety education program. In 2005, the Rail Division and its remaining function, rail safety regulation, were transferred to the Texas Department of Transportation (House Bill 2702, 79th Legislature, Regular Session). The Railroad Commission no longer has any railroad-related functions.

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

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Scope and Contents of the Records

The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) had jurisdiction over the rates and operations of railroads, terminals, wharves and express companies. This series consists of incoming and outgoing correspondence, with attachments, of the Railroad Commission of Texas, of the Transportation Division (formerly the Main and Transportation Division, later the Rail Division), dating from 1888 to 1948, primarily between 1894 and the mid-1930s. Other materials present include applications; orders of the Commission; finance dockets; engineers' reports; reports and resolutions of railroad company directors or stockholders; lists of stockholders; petitions; deeds and leases; construction contracts; copies of bylaws, charters, and mortgages; newspaper clippings; and a few plats and maps of railroad property and railway lines. Most letters are between the Railroad Commission and officials of various railroad companies (directors, engineers, and others). Topics include the registration and issuance of bonds, extensions of track and other construction, property valuations, and the consolidation or merger of railroad companies. Many of the older documents (pre-1920s), are copies used as documentation in applications of one kind or another.

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

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

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Arrangement of the Records

These files are arranged alphabetically by railroad company as received from the agency. No files are present for the letters J - S. Most files are then arranged roughly in reverse chronological order. Archives staff did not attempt any mifile corrections because we did not know what materials were attached together--any paper fasteners used originally in these records had been removed before they were sent to the State Archives.

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Materials 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

None.

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Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Subjects:
Railroads and state--Texas.
Railroads--Texas--Finance.
Railroads--Texas--Consolidation.
Document Types:
Correspondence--Texas--Railroads--1888-1948.
Financial records--Texas--Railroads--1888-1948.
Reports--Texas--Railroads--1888-1948.
Petitions--Texas--Railroads--1888-1948.
Charters--Texas--Railroads--1888-1948.
Bylaws--Texas--Railroads--1888-1948.
Contracts--Texas--Railroads--1888-1948.
Maps--Texas--Railroads--1888-1948.
Clippings--Texas--Railroads--1888-1948.
Functions:
Regulating railroads.

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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, Rail Division. Annual reports of railroad companies, 1859-1867, 1873-1885, 1890-1996, 380.24 ft.
Railroad Commission of Texas, Outgoing correspondence, 1891-1934, 34.38 cubic ft. (255 letterpress copybooks)
Railroad Commission of Texas, Incoming correspondence, 1891-1942, 52 cubic ft.
Records relating to Railroads, 1842-1939, 9.4 cubic ft.
Texas Secretary of State, Statutory Filings Division, Statutory Documents Section: An Inventory of Railroad Charters and Related Records at the Texas State Archives, 1876-1988, 7.84 cubic ft.
Texas Governor James Stephen Hogg, Records, 1889-1894, undated
Texas Legislature, Joint Committee to Investigate the Receivership of the International and Great Northern Railroad, Records, 1891, 5 inches [Restricted] [There is not a finding aid for these records, the call number is 1988/61.]
John H. Reagan Papers, 1846-1904, 12.5 linear in.
James C. Langdon Papers, 1944-1979, 19.5 linear ft.
Miscellaneous photographs removed from Railroad Commission records, 1922, 1930, 1931, 1933, 1942, 1948, fractional cubic ft.
Prints and Photograph Collection, Hornaday Collection [railroads, oil and gas industry - fields, wells, etc.]
Prints and Photograph Collection, Troendle Collection [railroads]
Prints and Photograph Collection, Texas Scenes Collection [railroads]

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Administrative Information

Accession Information

Accession number: 1991/008

These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Transportation and Gas Utilities Division of the Railroad Commission on September 20, 1990.

Processing Information

Processed by Laura K. Saegert, April 1991

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

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Detailed Description of the Records

 

Correspondence and reports, 1888-1948,
8.7 cubic ft.

Box Folder
1991/008-1 1. Abilene and Northern Railway, 1940
2. Abilene and Northern Railway, 1907-1908
3. Abilene and Northern Railway, 1906-1907
4. Abilene and Southern Railway, 1911
5. Abilene and Southern Railway, 1909-1912
6. Artesian Belt Railroad, 1914
7-8. Asherton Gulf Railroad, 1924
9. Asherton Gulf Railroad, 1921
10. Asherton Gulf Railroad, 1909-1913
11. Asphalt Belt Railway, 1923-1925
12. Beaumont and Great Northern Railroad, 1909, 1912
[See also Waco, Beaumont, Trinity, and Sabine Railway.]
Beaumont, Sour Lake and Western Railway:
13. 1910-1913
14. 1910
Box Folder
1991/008-2 1. 1905-1910
2. 1905
3. 1904-1906
4. Beaumont Wharf and Terminal Company, 1900, 1910, 1930
5. Beaumont Wharf and Terminal Company, 1898-1901
6. Belton and Northeastern Railway, 1895
7. Blackwell, Ennis and Texas Railway, 1904, 1947-1948
8. Blackwell, Ennis and Texas Railway, 1901-1904
9. Brownwood North and South Railway, 1911-1912
10. Burr's Ferry, Browndell and Chester Railroad, 1906-1911
Calvert, Waco and Brazos Valley Railroad
[See International and Great Northern Railroad.]
Cane Belt Railroad:
11. 1905, 1917-1918
12. 1899-1905
13. 1899, 1931
14. 1899-1901
15. 1917, 1924-1931
Box Folder
1991/008-3 1. Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway, 1908-1902, 1928-1932
2. Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway, 1902-1908
3. Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway, 1903-1904
4. Chicago, Rock Island and Mexico Railway, 1902-1903
5. Chicago, Rock Island and Texas Railway, 1902-1904
6. Chicago, Rock Island and Texas Railway, 1892-1903
Choctaw, Oklahoma and Texas Railroad
[See Chicago, Rock Island and Texas Railroad.]
7-8. Clinton, Oklahoma and Western Railway, 1929-1932
9. Clinton, Oklahoma and Western Railway, 1929-1931
10. Concho, San Saba and Llano Valley Railroad, 1910, 1924-1926
11. Dallas, Cleburne and Southwestern Railway, 1902-1909
Dallas, Fort Worth and Gulf Railway
[See Dallas Terminal Railway Union Depot Company.]
Dallas Terminal Railway Union Depot Company:
12. 1917-1918
13. 1904-1906
14. 1894-1901
15. 1894-1903
Box Folder
1991/008-4 1. Dayton Goose Creek Railway, 1922-1932
2. Denison, Bonham and New Orleans Railroad, 1901-1911
3. Denison Union Pass Depot Company, 1906
4. East Beaumont Terminal Company, 1917
5. Eastern Texas Railroad, 1902-1904
6. El Paso and Northeastern Railway, 1898
7. El Paso Southern Railway, 1898
8. El Paso and Southwestern Railroad, 1903
9. El Paso Union Passenger Depot Company, 1903-1905, 1937
10. El Paso Union Passenger Depot Company, 1903-1905
11. Fort Worth Belt Railway, 1903-1904, 1915-1916
12. Fort Worth Belt Railway, 1903-1904
Fort Worth and Denver City Railway:
13. 1921-1922
14. 1921
15. 1936, 1940
16. 1935
Box Folder
1991/008-5 1. 1907-1908
2. 1905, 1908
3. Fort Worth and Denver Northern Railway, 1935
Fort Worth and Denver Terminal Railway
[See Fort Worth and Denver City Railway.]
4. Fort Worth and Rio Grande Railway, 1911
5. Fort Worth and Rio Grande Railway, 1904, 1909
6. Fort Worth Union Passenger Depot, 1905
Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway:
7. 1911
8. 1910
9. 1911
10. 1910-1912
11. 1897, 1910
12. 1910
Galveston, Houston and Henderson Railroad:
13-14. 1914
Box Folder
1991/008-6 1. 1912-1914
2. 1923-1924
3. 1917-1923
Galveston, Houston and Northern Railroad
[See Galveston, La Porte and Houston Railway.]
Galveston, La Porte and Houston Railway:
4. 1894-1898
5. 1892-1895
6. 1895-1899
7. 1899-1900
Galveston Terminal Railway:
8. 1909, 1938
9-10. 1938
11. 1908-1909, 1929
12. 1906-1908
Box Folder
1991/008-7 1. Galveston and Western Railroad, 1897, 1924
2. Galveston and Western Railroad, 1897
Galveston Wharf Company:
3. Purchase by city of Galveston, November 29, 1940
4. 1929-1931, 1940
5. 1926-1929
6. 1912, 1926
7. 1897-1901, 1912
Georgetown and Granger Railroad
[See Trinity, Cameron and Western Railroad.]
8. Glen Rose and Walnut Springs Railway, 1909-1916
9. Groveton, Lufkin and Northern Railway, 1908-1909
10. Greenville Northwestern Railway, 1909-1915
Gulf, Beaumont and Great Northern Railway:
11. 1924-1930
12. 1924, 1930
13. 1923-1930
Box
1991/008-8 Acquisition by Santa Fe:
1. 1906-1908
2. 1902-1908
3. 1901-1902
4. 1899-1901
5. Gulf, Beaumont and Kansas City Railway, 1928-1929
6. Gulf, Beaumont and Kansas City Railway, 1929
7. Gulf and Brazos Valley Railway, 1899-1902
8. Gulf Coast and Provident City Railway, 1910-1911
9. Gulf Coast and Provident City Railway, 1910
Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway:
[See also Gulf, Beaumont and Great Northern Railway.]
10. 1931
11. 1924-1930
12. 1917, 1923-1924
Box Folder
1991/008-9 1. Sale of Texas, Louisiana and Eastern Railroad, 1925, 1895-1917
2. Lometa - Eden extension, 1917
3. Subsidiaries, 1895, 1927
4. 1924-1926
5. ICC docket 5900, 1926
Gulf and Interstate Railway:
6. 1924-1926
7. 1926-1927
8. 1897-1906
9. 1895-1897
10. 1894-1895
11. 1894
Box Folder
1991/008-10 1. Gulf, Texas and Northern Railway, 1898-1899, 1926
Houston Belt and Terminal Railway:
2. 1937, 1941
3. 1937
4. 1909-1912
5. 1905-1912
6. Houston and Brazos Valley Railway, 1899-1910
7. Houston and Brazos Valley Railway, 1902-1910
8. Houston and Brazos Valley Railway, 1900-1901
Houston Oak Lawn and Magnolia Park Railway
[See International and Great Northern Railroad.]
9. Houston and Port Arthur Railway, 1927
10. Houston Sabine and Red River Railway, 1906
11. Houston and Texas Central Railroad, 1889-1900
12. Houston and Texas Central Railroad, 1888-1900
Box
1991/008-11 International and Great Northern Railroad:
1. 1899-1901
2. 1899-1901, 1917
3. 1922-1929
4. 1922-1925
5. 1904-1926
6. 1902-1904
7-8. 1901-1902
Box Folder
1991/008-12 1. 1901-1903
2. 1902-1904, 1910-1911
3. 1901-1911
4. 1907-1914
5. 1911
6. 1911-1912
La Porte, Houston and Northern Railroad
[See Galveston, La Porte and Houston Railway.]
Box Folder
1991/008-13 1. Temple Northwestern Railway, 1910-1912
2. Temple Northwestern Railway, 1910
Texas Central Railroad:
3. 1893-1909
4. 1892-1909
5. 1886-1893
6. 1906-1911
7. Texas City Passenger Pier Company, 1912, 1921
8. Texas City Passenger Pier Company, 1916, 1921
Texas City Terminal Railway:
[See also Texas City Passenger Pier Company.]
9. 1921
10. 1916, 1921
11. 1940-1941
Box Folder
1991/008-14 1. 1941
Texas City Transportation Company
[See Texas City Passenger Pier Company and Texas City Terminal Railway.]
2. Texas Electric Railway, 1935-1936
3. Texas and Louisiana Railroad, 1902
4. Texas - New Mexico Railway, 1928
5. Texas Short Line Railway, 1902-1904
6. Texas Short Line Railway, 1902, 1920
7. Texas South-Eastern Railroad, 1906-1909, 1932
8. Texas South-Eastern Railroad, 1908, 1931-1932
9. Texas Southern Railway, Receivership, 1904-1905
10-11. Texas Southern Railway, 1902-1904
12. Texas Southern Railway, 1892-1904
13. Timpson and Henderson Railway, 1910-1914
Box
1991/008-15 Trinity and Brazos Valley Railway:
1. 1904-1908
2. 1902-1908
3-4. 1904-1908
5. 1905-1908, 1939
6. 1904-1907
7. 1904-1908
8-9. Trinity, Cameron and Western Railroad, 1894-1896
Trinity, Neches and Sabine Railway
[See Waco, Beaumont, Trinity and Sabine Railway.]
Box
1991/008-16 Union Passenger Depot Company:
1. 1896-1907
2. 1896-1898
3. 1898
4. 1898, 1907, 1928-1929
Union Terminal Company:
5. 1915-1916
6. 1912-1914, 1931
7. 1912-1913
8. 1897, 1912
Velasco, Brazos and Northern Railroad
[See Houston and Brazos Valley Railway.]
9. Vining and Coleman Railway, 1895
Box
1991/008-17 Waco, Beaumont, Trinity and Sabine Railway:
1. 1909-1912
2. 1908-1912, 1922
3. 1909
4. 1909, 1923-1924
5. 1922-1924
6. 1906, 1923-1924
7. Weatherford, Mineral Wells and Northwestern Railway, 1901-1908
8. Wichita Falls Railway, 1895-1900
9. Wichita Falls and Northwestern Railway, 1907-1909
10. Wichita Falls, Ranger and Fort Worth Railroad, 1926-1927, 1942
Box Folder
1991/008-17 11. Wichita Falls, Ranger and Fort Worth Railroad, 1926-1927
Box
1991/008-18 Wichita Falls and Southern Railroad:
1. 1929, 1937
2. 1929-1932
3. 1929-1938
4. 1922, 1927
5. 1908-1910
6. 1910, 1921-1922
7. 1927-1928
8. 1928-1929
Box Folder
1991/008-19 1. 1927
2. Wichita Falls and Wellington Railway, 1910
3. Wichita Valley Railroad, 1908-1909, 1935, 1940
4. Wichita Valley Railroad, 1905-1908, 1940
5. Wichita Valley Railroad, 1894-1895, 1906-1908

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