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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Agency History

Scope and Contents of the Records

Organization of the Records

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Railroad charters and related records, 1876-1993,

Railroad contracts and conditional sales, 1901-1956,

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas Secretary of State, Statutory Documents Section:

An Inventory of Secretary of State Railroad Records at the Texas State Archives, 1876-1993



Overview

Creator: Texas. Secretary of State. Statutory Documents Section.
Title: Secretary of State railroad records
Dates: 1876-1993
Abstract: Beginning 1876, Texas statutes required persons forming a railroad corporation to have their charters first approved by the Texas Attorney General and then be certified by and filed with the Texas Secretary of State. Railroad charters are created to define the purpose, location and organization of a proposed railroad corporation; charters are approved and granted by the state and give the railroad the legal authority to operate as a corporation in Texas. Railroad contracts and conditional sales are created to accomplish the lease or conditional sale of rolling stock (locomotives and railroad cars) in Texas. These records include railroad charters, amendments to charters, minutes of meetings, resolutions from stockholders and boards of directors, deeds of sale, articles of merger, renewals, articles of dissolution of railroad corporations, orders concerning railroad bonds, valuation reports, railroad contracts and conditional sales, agreements, leases of railroad equipment, leases/conditional sales agreements, first mortgages and deeds of trust, assumption agreements, releases of chattel mortgages, and indexes. These records date 1876-1993.
Quantity: 29.63 cubic ft., 2 reels of microfilm (originals), 7 reels of microfilm (duplicates)
Language: These materials are written predominately in English with scattered Spanish throughout.
Repository: Texas State Archives

Agency History

The Texas Secretary of State is a constitutional officer of the executive branch of state government, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate for a term concurrent with the governor's (a two-year term at first, a four-year term since 1974). The office was first created by the Constitution of the Republic of Texas in 1836, and has been continued by each succeeding Constitution.

The Secretary of State has an enormous number of duties and responsibilities, including the following: authenticating the publication of all laws passed by the state legislature; approving comptroller's accounts against the state prior to payment; maintaining a register of all official acts and proceedings of the governor, and all appointments to state boards and commissions; interpreting and enforcing the Texas Election Code, as the state's chief election officer; keeping the Seal of the State of Texas; maintaining many business-related filings, including corporation and Uniform Commercial Code filings.

The office of the Secretary of State is divided into five divisions: Executive, Elections, Business and Public Filings, Administrative Services, and Information Technology Services.

The Business and Public Filings Division (called Statutory Filings Division prior to 2002), composed of four sections (Corporations, Statutory Documents, Texas Register, and Uniform Commercial Code Sections), assists the secretary in most of his/her duties not related to elections.

The Statutory Documents Section: appoints, reappoints, and commissions all notaries public for the state (since 1940); records the charters of home rule cities; files amendments of charters of incorporated towns and villages; files bonds or copies of bonds for state officers and state employees, members of governing bodies of certain constitutionally authorized political subdivisions, and general law districts; files the constitutional statement of bribery; issues cards to all labor organizers in the state; files labor union annual reports; registers business opportunity sellers in Texas; registers health spas, athlete agents, and credit service organizations; licenses and regulates automobile clubs; files deeds of cession; etc.

Prior to 1876, each railroad in Texas was granted its charter by special act of the legislature. The 15th Texas Legislature approved Senate Bill 144 on August 15, 1876, which required persons forming a railroad corporation to have their charters first approved by the Attorney General and then be certified by and filed with the Secretary of State. Another piece of legislation, Substitute House Bill 227, 23rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session, passed April 8, 1893, required the registration of certificates of stocks and bonds issued by railroads with the Secretary of State, once authorization to issue had been granted by the Railroad Commission.

In 1887 (Senate Bill 272, 20th Texas Legislature, Regular Session), a law was passed to require railroad companies to furnish sufficient cars to transport freight when they agreed with private persons and corporations to do so. Certain penalties were laid out for failure to fulfil this requirement; this law was amended in 1899 and again in 1913. Texas State Archives staff could find no stipulation that contracts to lease or sell railroad cars must be filed with the Secretary of State; but this was consistently done from sometime before 1901, and continued until at least 1956. The filing may have stemmed from the requirement for filing railroad charters with the Secretary of State. By 1992 the Statutory Documents Section of the Texas Secretary of State noted that "these filings are no longer required."

During the 1970s and early 1980s, the Corporations Section filed charters and amendments for railroads; the Statutory Documents Section now handles that function.

(Sources include the following: Handbook of Governments in Texas (1983); Manual of Texas State Government (1950); Guide to State Agencies (1st-9th editions, 1956, 1964, 1970, 1972, 1978, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996); Texas Constitution, Article IV, Sections 1 and 21 (and others); Gammel's Laws of Texas, 1836-1879; the enabling legislation, 1876, 1887, 1893, 1899, and 1913; and biennial reports of the Secretary of State, 1870-1922 and 1932-1934.)

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Scope and Contents of the Records

Beginning 1876, Texas statutes required persons forming a railroad corporation to have their charters first approved by the Texas Attorney General and then be certified by and filed with the Texas Secretary of State. Railroad charters are created to define the purpose, location and organization of a proposed railroad corporation; charters are approved and granted by the state and give the railroad the legal authority to operate as a corporation in Texas. Railroad contracts and conditional sales are created to accomplish the lease or conditional sale of rolling stock (locomotives and railroad cars) in Texas. These records include railroad charters, amendments to charters, minutes of meetings, resolutions from stockholders and boards of directors, deeds of sale, articles of merger, renewals, articles of dissolution of railroad corporations, orders concerning railroad bonds, valuation reports, railroad contracts and conditional sales, agreements, leases of railroad equipment, leases/conditional sales agreements, first mortgages and deeds of trust, assumption agreements, releases of chattel mortgages, and indexes. These records date 1876-1993.

The charters (in more recent years called articles of incorporation) date 1876-1993, and provide the following information: name of the proposed railroad corporation, location and distance of track, principal place of business, life span of the corporation, amount of capital stock, names and addresses of those forming the corporation and of the first board of directors, and the number and amounts of shares. Orders to register, exchange or cancel bonds, or to extend bond maturity dates are interfiled with the charters under the name of the individual railroads. The legislation requiring bond registration also required that railroads submit statements on the value of all of their lines of railway, and railroad property, rights and franchises. These statements include the value of the land for transportation expenses, the right of way and depot grounds, track ties and steel rails, bridges, embankments, furniture and fixtures, depots and section houses, and engineering expenses. Some of these valuation reports are filed with the railroad charters, mostly dating 1920s-1930s. Two additional volumes serve as alphabetical indexes to the charters, 1876-1929 and 1876-1943.

The railroad contracts and conditional sales, for the lease or conditional sale of railroad cars and locomotives (what is normally referred to as "rolling stock"), date 1901-1956. The types of contracts include agreements, leases of railroad equipment, leases/conditional sales agreements, first mortgages and deeds of trust, assumption agreements, releases of chattel mortgages, etc. Two additional volumes serve as alphabetical indexes to the contracts and conditional sales, 1909-1929 and 1927-1947.

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Organization of the Records

These records have been organized into two series by the State Archives staff:
Railroad charters and related records, 1876-1993, 8.08 cubic ft. (originals), 7 reels of microfilm (duplicates)
Railroad contracts and conditional sales, 1901-1956, 21.55 cubic ft., 2 reels of microfilm

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Railroad charters Books A-K, and the two indexes, are restricted due to their fragile physical condition, so researchers must use the microfilmed copies of the volumes.

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

Microfilm readers are available in the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building. Ask staff members for exact locations.

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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--Texas.
Valuation--Texas.
Railroads--Texas--Buildings and structures.
Railroads--Texas--Design and construction--Costs.
Railroads--Texas--Equipment and supplies.
Railroads--Texas--Track.
Railroads--Right of way--Texas.
Railroads--Texas--Rolling-stock.
Document Types:
Charters--Texas--Railroads--1876-1988.
Articles of incorporation--Texas--Railroads--1876-1993.
Resolutions--Texas--Railroads--1876-1988.
Minutes--Texas--Railroads--1876-1993.
Deeds--Texas--Railroads--1876-1988.
Orders--Texas--Railroads--1876-1988.
Reports--Texas--Railroads--1920-1930.
Contracts--Texas--Rolling-stock--1901-1956.
Leases--Texas--Rolling-stock--1901-1956.
Mortgages--Texas--Rolling-stock--1901-1956.
Deeds of trust--Texas--Rolling-stock--1901-1956.
Functions:
Registering charters.
Registering bonds.

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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, Annual reports of railroad companies, 1859-1867, 1873-1885, 1890-1996, 380.24 cubic ft.
Records Relating to Railroads, 1836-1950, undated (bulk [ca. 1880]-[ca. 1910]), 9.4 cubic ft.
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Ad valorem tax volumes [specifically the series Records of taxable property of railroads, 1873-1876, 1883-1890, 1892-1919, 3.40 cubic ft.]
Texas State Property Tax Board records, 1977-1991, 2.75 cubic ft.
Texas Secretary of State, Statutory Documents Section, City charter and railroad charter files, ca. 1887-ca. 1953, 3 cubic ft. [There is no finding aid available for these unprocessed records, which seem to duplicate the existing holdings of railroad charters. Call numbers are 1984/018-1 thru 3.]
Texas Secretary of State, Statutory Documents Section, Railroad charters, September 1960, 1.4 cubic ft. [There is no finding aid available for these unprocessed records. Call number is 4-20/534.]
Publications
[Railroad charters prior to 1876 may be found by consulting the Laws of Texas. See also Biennial Reports of the Secretary of State: virtually every report between 1878 and 1920 contains lists of railroad charters and amendments.]
The Laws of Texas, volumes 1-8, 1836-1879, by H.P.N. Gammel (compiler and arranger). Austin: The Gammel Book Company, 1898. (Also online at: http://texinfo.library.unt.edu/lawsoftexas)
Biennial Report of the Secretary of State of the State of Texas, 1878-1920. Austin: various publishers.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item and cite the series), Texas Secretary of State railroad records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession numbers: 1960/024, 1974/129, 1990/019, 1992/080, 1992/303, 2000/005, 2004/033, 2005/003

These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Office of the Texas Secretary of State on August 23, 1961; by the Administrative Division (Legal Counsel) of the Texas Secretary of State on May 15, 1974; by the Statutory Documents Section of the Texas Secretary of State on October 19, 1989; March 18, 1992; August 20, 1992; September 9, 1999; and September 7, 2004; and by the State and Local Records Management Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (charters on microfilm) on October 7, 2003.

Processing Information

Initial processing by Paul Beck, March 1988

New accessions added by Tony Black, April 1990, September 1999

Finding aid encoded by Tony Black in EAD Version 1.0 by Tony Black, October 2001

Finding aid converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by TARO using the conversion stylesheet v1to02.xsl, July 2003

Microfilm reels added by Tony Black, October 2003

New accession added by Tony Black, September 2004

Finding aid expanded to include second series, and further corrections to DACS standards by Tony Black, June 2006

Corrections by Tony Black, December 2008

Appraisal Information

These records were appraised as archival by an in-house appraisal of Secretary of State records on December 15, 1998. See that appraisal report online at http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/arc/appraisal/sosstate.html#49 and http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/arc/appraisal/sosstate.html#50, or in paper in the State Archives reading room.

Accruals

The Texas Secretary of State's office periodically transfers railroad charters to the Texas State Archives, typically once every five to ten years. Railroad contracts and conditional sales are no longer required to be filed with the Texas Secretary of State.

Other Formats for the Records

The originals of Railroad charters Books A-K, and the two corresponding indexes, were microfilmed (on 35 mm microfilm) in 2003 by the State and Local Records Management Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. The reels are available through interlibrary loan; contact your local librarian for details.

The originals of Railroad contracts and conditional sales, 1953-1956, were microfilmed (on 16 mm microfilm), probably by the Texas Secretary of State, and the originals destroyed; these reels are not available through interlibrary loan.

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Detailed Description of the Records

 

Railroad charters and related records, 1876-1993,
8.08 cubic ft. (originals), 7 reels of microfilm (duplicates)

Beginning 1876, Texas statutes required persons forming a railroad corporation to have their charters first approved by the Texas Attorney General and then be certified by and filed with the Texas Secretary of State. Railroad charters are created to define the purpose, location and organization of a proposed railroad corporation. Charters are approved and granted by the state and give the railroad the legal authority to operate as a corporation in Texas. These records consist of railroad charters and related documents filed with the Texas Secretary of State, dating 1876-1993. The charters (in more recent years called articles of incorporation) provide the following information: name of the proposed railroad corporation, location and distance of track, principal place of business, life span of the corporation, amount of capital stock, names and addresses of those forming the corporation and of the first board of directors, and the number and amounts of shares. The related documents include amendments to charters, minutes of meetings and resolutions from stockholders and boards of directors, deeds of sale, articles of merger, renewals, articles of dissolution of railroad corporations, orders concerning railroad bonds, and valuation reports. The charters and related documents are contained in fourteen bound volumes (Books A-K), plus three boxes containing four expanding folders (Books L-P). Two additional volumes serve as indexes with an alphabetical listing of the railroads, 1876-1929 and 1876-1943. The earlier volumes of charters (pre-1920) are mostly handwritten copies of the charters with some typed copies and some original documents taped onto the pages. The later volumes are photostatic copies. Orders to register, exchange or cancel bonds, or to extend bond maturity dates are interfiled with the charters under the name of the individual railroads. The legislation requiring bond registration also required that railroads submit statements on the value of all of their lines of railway, and railroad property, rights and franchises. These statements include the value of the land for transportation expenses, the right of way and depot grounds, track ties and steel rails, bridges, embankments, furniture and fixtures, depots and section houses, and engineering expenses. Some of these valuation reports are filed with the railroad charters, mostly dating 1920s-1930s.
Railroad charters prior to 1876 may be found by consulting the Laws of Texas. See also Biennial Reports of the Secretary of State: virtually every report between 1878 and 1920 contains lists of railroad charters and amendments.
Arrangement
These records are arranged by the Secretary of State chronologically in the order that they are filed; the indexes are listed after the microfilm.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Railroad charters and related records, Texas Secretary of State railroad records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession Information
Accession numbers: 1974/129, 1990/019, 2000/005, 2004/033, 2005/003
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Administrative Division (Legal Counsel) of the Texas Secretary of State on May 15, 1974; by the Statutory Documents Section of the Texas Secretary of State on October 19, 1989; September 9, 1999; and September 7, 2004; and by the State and Local Records Management Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (the microfilm) on October 7, 2003.
Restrictions on Access
Railroad charters Books A-K, and the two indexes, are restricted due to their fragile physical condition, so researchers must use the microfilmed copies of the volumes.
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
Microfilm readers are available in the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building. Ask staff members for exact locations.
Processed by
Initial processing by Paul Beck, March 1988
New accessions added by Tony Black, April 1990, September 1999
Microfilm reels added by Tony Black, October 2003
New accession added by Tony Black, September 2004
Further corrections to DACS standards by Tony Black, June 2006
Corrections by Tony Black, December 2008
Railroad charters (microfilm), 1876-1952
Call-number Reel
385.09764/R132c/ TSLAC-Ref 1 Book A, 1876-1883
1 Book B, 1883-1887
2 Book C, 1887-1891
2 Book D, 1891-1897
3 Book E, 1897-1903
3 Book F, 1903-1909
4 Book G, 1909-1914
4 Book H-1 (pp. 1-231), 1914-1923
5 Book H-2 (pp. 233-497), 1923-1926
5 Book H-3 (pp. 499-695), 1926-1929
6 Book I-1 (pp. 1-419), 1929-1931
6 Book I-2 (pp. 420-683), 1931-1937
6 Book J, 1937-1942
7 Book K, 1942-1952
Railroad charter indexes, 1876-1942:
Call-number Reel
385.09764/R132c/ TSLAC-Ref 7 Index to Books A-J (Charters, 1876-1942) and Books 15-23 (Contracts, 1927-1947), 1876-1947
7 Index to Books A-H (Charters), 1876-1929
Railroad charters, 1953-1993
Box
1990/019-7 Book L, 1953-1962
Book M, 1962-1973
Book N, 1973-1982
Box
2000/005 Book O, 1984-1988
Box
2005/003 Book P, 1989-1993

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Railroad contracts and conditional sales, 1901-1956,
21.55 cubic ft., 2 reels of microfilm

Railroad contracts and conditional sales are created to accomplish the lease or conditional sale of rolling stock (locomotives and railroad cars) in Texas. Records in this series consist of copies of "railroad contracts and conditional sales," for the lease or conditional sale of railroad cars and locomotives (what is normally referred to as "rolling stock"), filed with the Texas Secretary of State, dating 1901-1956. These are bound in 43 volumes, plus one volume with a general index to volumes 3-15. The earlier volumes contain fair copies, both typed and handwritten; the later volumes contain printed copies and also negative photostatic copies of contracts. The types of contracts include agreements, leases of railroad equipment, leases/conditional sales agreements, first mortgages and deeds of trust, assumption agreements, releases of chattel mortgages, etc.
Book 1 (dating prior to October 1901) and Book 4 (dating 1913-1915) were missing at the time the volumes were transferred by the Secretary of State (August 1961).
Railroad contracts and conditional sales dating 1953-1956 are in microfilm format only.
One volume (2-1/149) is a general index to railroad contracts and conditional sales, covering Books 3 through 15, 1909-1929. Book 2 (which is the first volume extant in the series) contains a forward and reverse index of its own. The general index contains the following information: the names of both of the parties to the contract, sale, agreement, etc.; the volumes and pages numbers; and (beginning with entries for volume 12, 1925) dates (presumably of the filing of the contract). There is also a microfilmed index to Books 15 through 23 (Contracts dating 1927-1947), which also contains entries for Books A-J (Railroad charters, 1876-1942).
Historical Sketch
In 1887 (Senate Bill 272, 20th Texas Legislature, Regular Session), a law was passed to require railroad companies to furnish sufficient cars to transport freight when they agreed with private persons and corporations to do so. Certain penalties were laid out for failure to fulfil this requirement; this law was amended in 1899 and again in 1913. Texas State Archives staff could find no stipulation that contracts to lease or sell railroad cars must be filed with the Secretary of State; but this was consistently done from sometime before 1901, and continued until at least 1956. The filing may have stemmed from the requirement for filing railroad charters with the Secretary of State. By 1992 the Statutory Documents Section of the Texas Secretary of State noted that "these filings are no longer required."
Arrangement
These records were arranged by the Secretary of State chronologically by date of filing with that office.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Railroad contracts and conditional sales, Texas Secretary of State railroad records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession Information
Accession numbers: 1960/024, 1992/080, 1992/303
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Office of the Texas Secretary of State on August 23, 1961; and by the Statutory Documents Section of the Texas Secretary of State on March 18, 1992; and August 20, 1992.
Restrictions on Access
The index to Books 15 through 23 is restricted due to its fragile physical condition, so researchers must use the microfilmed copy of this volume.
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
Microfilm readers are available in the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building. Ask staff members for exact locations.
Processed by
Finding aid expanded to include second series, and further corrections to DACS standards by Tony Black, June 2006
Corrections by Tony Black, December 2008
Railroad contracts and conditional sales, 1901-1956
Volume
2-1/106 Book 2, October 1901-February 1909
(with index)
Volume
2-1/107 Book 3, February 1909-February 1913
Volume
2-1/108 Book 5, November 1915-January 1919
Volume
2-1/109 Book 6, February 1919-June 1920
Volume
2-1/110 Book 7, July 1920-May 1921
Volume
2-1/111 Book 8, June 1921-August 1922
Volume
2-1/112 Book 9, July 1922-December 1923
Volume
2-1/113 Book 10, June 1923-August 1924
Volume
2-1/114 Book 11, March 1924-March 1925
Volume
2-1/115 Book 12, November 1924-May 1925
Volume
2-1/116 Book 13-14, April 1926-May 1927
Volume
2-1/117 Book 15, October 1927-September 1929
Volume
2-1/118 Book 16, November 1929-June 1930
Volume
2-1/119 Book 17, November 1930-October 1932
Volume
2-1/120 Book 18-A (pp. 1-578), December 1932-September 1935
Volume
2-1/121 Book 18-B (pp. 579-1169), October 1935-January 1937
Volume
2-1/122 Book 18-C (pp. 1170-1560), October 1936-June 1937
Volume
2-1/123 Book 19-A (pp. 1-575), July 1937-May 1939
Volume
2-1/124 Book 19-B (pp. 570-1060), May-November 1939
Volume
2-1/125 Book 20, November 1939-May 1940
Volume
2-1/126 Book 21-A (pp. 1-952), May 1940-April 1941
Volume
2-1/127 Book 21-B (pp. 953-1614, April-September 1941
Volume
2-1/128 Book 22 (pp. 1-819), September 1941-July 1942
Volume
2-1/129 Book 22-A (pp. 1-257), July-December 1942
Volume
2-1/130 Book 23, April 1942-March 1947
Volume
2-1/131 Book 24, July 1946-July 1947
Volume
2-1/132 Book 25, June-October 1947
Volume
2-1/133 Book 26, October 1947-January 1948
Volume
2-1/134 Book 27, January-April 1948
Volume
2-1/135 Book 28, March-August 1948
Volume
2-1/136 Book 29, August-October 1948
Volume
2-1/137 Book 30, November 1948-February 1949
Volume
2-1/138 Book 31, February-April 1949
Volume
2-1/139 Book 32, April-August 1949
Volume
2-1/140 Book 33, August-November 1949
Volume
2-1/141 Book 34, December 1949-April 1950
Volume
2-1/142 Book 35, April-June 1940
Volume
2-1/143 Book 36, June-December 1950
Volume
2-1/144 Book 37, December 1950-April 1951
Volume
2-1/145 Book 38, April-July 1951
Volume
2-1/146 Book 39, July 1951
Volume
2-1/147 Book 40, August-October 1951
Volume
2-1/148 Book 41, October-November 1951
Box
1992/080 Railroad contracts and conditional sales/chattel mortgages, 1953-1956
[2 microfilm reels]
Indexes to railroad contracts and conditional sales, 1909-1947
Volume
2-1/149 Index to Books 3 thru 15, 1909-1929
Call-number Reel
385.09764/R132c/ TSLAC-Ref 7 Index to Books 15-23 (Contracts, 1927-1947) and Books A-J (Charters, 1876-1942)

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