Railroad Land Advertisement, c.1907
|The records in custody of the Colorado State Archives primarily
reflect the history of the agencies that regulated and taxed the
railroads. The precursor to the Public Utilities Commission was the
Railroad Commission for which we have several important series. These
include the Annual Reports by the Commission from 1885-1914. The 1885
Report includes 700 pages of information and statistics about the
railroad industry in Colorado. From 1909-1914 Railroad carrier annual
reports exist comprising 11 cubic feet of records. The railroads
were required to file these reports and generally include fiscal
information, operating expenses, stock data, track mileage, equipment
types, and other statistics concerning the railroads. More than 2.5
cubic feet of informal complaints and formal cases consist of complaints, briefs and supporting documentation concerning carrier
service and rates. Administrative files may include general information
about railroad companies while the Railroad Red Book (1904-1923)
consists of station schedules and advertisements. Correspondence between
the Railroad Commission and the governors may be found in the governors
Among the most important of the Public Utilities Commission records are the Investigation and Suspension Docket from 1915-1918 which contain Transcripts of Evidence presented in hearings before the PUC; orders; statements of finding and fact; exhibits; correspondence and petitions. General Orders as well as Rules and Regulations exist from 1914-1936. Decisions of the PUC were published from 1914-1920 in 5 volumes. Annual Reports exist from 1914-1965.
The primary series in the Board of Equalization records are the annual reports (1891-1912). These are organized by railroad and contain information from which the board made assessments. Information found in 5 schedules include the counties in which the roads existed, the amount of main and side track, telegraph line information, right of way acreage; size, character, value and location of depots, station houses, machine shops and other buildings that were owned or controlled by the railway; the rolling stock owned, used, leased, operated or controlled by the road such as engines, cars, baggage, caboose etc. and the value of each; as well as the character and value of any tools, materials, supplies and other personal property used by the railroad. Assessment Filings (1900-1939) comprise another important series which contain the valuation and taxes assessed on railroad companies. Minutes of the Board of Equalization meetings exist from 1888-1920. Additional correspondence between the Board of Equalization and the governor may be found in the governor collections.
Tax Commission records may be found in the Department of Local Affairs collections or the governors' records Appointments will specifically be found in the governors' records as well as correspondence, especially in the administrations of Julius Gunter (1917-1919), William Adams (1927-1933), Edwin C. Johnson (1933-1937), Ralph Carr (1939-1943) and John Vivian (1943-1947). In the Adams collection there is a file folder labeled "Tax Commission Assessment" which spans 1913-1933 and concerns county assessments. The Carlson collection contains a report from the Treasurer and Tax Commission that spans 1915-1917. While there is no specific correspondence identified between the State Treasurer and the Tax Commission, there may be correspondence in the general correspondence files of the State Treasurer that spans 1911-1953. Annual reports for the State Treasurer exist from 1911 to the 1950's which may also have information about the Tax Commission.
Most of the Tax Commission records are found in the Department of Local Affairs. Several series of annual reports exist. From 1912-1970 the Tax Commission published their agency annual reports. There is also a group of more specific annual reports that include such reports as "Budget Statements by County", "Reports for Public Utilities", and "Assessment of Steam Railroads". There are also annual reports for railroads, airlines and utilities from 1926-1961 which include the name of the company, its assessed valuations and equipment inventory data. Separate from this series is yet another group of annual reports from 1939-1946, "Railroad Annual Reports" which appears to have similar information. Minutes of the Colorado Tax Commission exist from 1912-1969.
Miscellaneous items of note are an American Railroad Map of the U.S. (no date), railroad pamphlets that describe various Colorado resorts accessible by rail (1904-1951), Conductor's Register and Stockholders' Reports for the D&RG Railroad (1880-1889), and Railroad Magazine, September, 1948, which has an article about John Evans, "Denver's Forgotten Pioneer."
Collateral information may be found in the Secretary of State
Incorporation Records, the legislative records including bills and
statutes, and the Governors Collections. Filed in the Secretary of State
Collections are "Railroad Filings" (1886-1917, 1/2 cubic foot)
which document agreements, protests, mortgages, contracts, and flat tax
records. Of special note is a collection
of private material from John Evans which includes documents from his
years as an important railroad man in Colorado. Many court cases also
exist at the Archives that may include information about the railroads.
While the cases are filed numerically by case number, the Archives may
have docket books or other records that would index the cases by
caption. For instance, Supreme Court cases from 1874-1959 are
listed in a Grand Docket which is available in microfilm format at the Colorado State Archives.
The Archives also has exhibits taken from some of these Supreme Court
cases which often include maps of railroad lines. Please contact
us so that we may apprise you of what other indexes exist for a
particular court. There is also information at the Colorado State
Archives concerning the Moffat
Tunnel and the D&RG
Railroad Commission and PUC
Administrative Files (1893-1952). 5 cubic feet. May include general correspondence; applications; minutes; incorporation papers; publications; vouchers; reports; statistics; rules and regulations; informal complaints.
Annual Reports of the Railroad Commission and PUC (1885-1953). 3 cubic feet. Information (largely statistical) concerning the operations of the railroads and their regulation by the Railroad Commission and PUC.
Annual Reports of Common Carriers. (1909-1914). 11 cubic feet. Annual statutory reports of common carriers operating within the State of Colorado. Contains statistical and financial information concerning operations within the state required by law. Arranged alphabetically by name of carrier.
Authorities. (1907-1917). 1.5 cubic feet. Correspondence containing copies of authorities for different interstate railroads to charge emergency rates and classification of commodities, goods and passenger fares, without the standing statutory notice of 30 days, or in connection with special items like proportional rates, general special rates, free hauling, tariff publication and correction of errors. Also contains correspondence of freight agents.
Cases. (1908-1918). 11 cubic feet. Transcripts of formal cases and complaints, briefs and supporting documentation. May include extracts of the minutes of the Commission, newspaper clippings, statistics and miscellaneous exhibits.
Complaint Docket. (1922-1932). 1 volume. Complaint number, names of involved parties, dates, in regard to, complaint, remarks.
Decisions of the PUC. (1914-1920). 5 volumes. Decisions made by the PUC.
Digest of Public Utilities Reports, Annotated. (1917). 1 volume. Summaries of PUC Reports.
General Orders. (1914-1927). 1 cubic foot. Orders 1-47 (missing 39, 42, 46). Regulations issued by the PUC.
Index to Filings. (1886-1921). 1 volume. Name and or topic, date, subject. While the filings are not in custody of the Colorado State Archives, the index can be used as a chronology. Topics include: land exchanges; stock information; agreements; line construction; authorities; expenditures; appointments and other actions of the Railroad Commission and PUC.
Investigation and Suspension Docket. (1915-1918). 1 cubic foot. Transcripts of evidence presented in hearings before the Public Utilities Commission.
Map. (N.D.) American Railroad Map of the United States. 4' x 5'.
Pamphlets. (1904-1951). 1/3 cubic foot. Pamphlets describing various Colorado resorts accessible by railroad.
Railroad Red Book. (1904-1923). 4 rolls of microfilm. Station, dates, times, advertisements.
Referendum. (1913). 2 cubic feet. List of names appearing on petitions and statements of those who collected signatures.
Registers. (1880-1889). 1 cubic foot. Information submitted to the Railroad Commission in support of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad's tariff requests.
Reparations. (1909 and 1914-1916). 1 cubic foot. Requests by common carriers to be allowed to make customer refunds, copies of PUC replies and grants of authority including some supporting papers.
"Comparative Study of State Public Utility Commissions." (1954).
"Evidence Taken Before the Special Railroad Committee of the State House of Representatives." (1885).
"Report of the Special Railroad Committee to the State House of Representatives." (1885).
"Treatise on the Law of Public Utilities." (1913).
Rules and Regulations. (1907-1970). 1 cubic foot. Sporadic years only.
Administrative Files. (1940-1955). 1 cubic foot. Correspondence; reports; summaries; publications; statistical reports; memorandums; minutes.
Annual Reports. (1891-1912). 18 rolls microfilm. Organized alphabetically by railroad. Includes information upon which the assessments were made such as: main track location; rights-of-way; other real estate owned for the use of the operation of railway; improvements (road, bed, bridges, culverts, side tracks, etc.); track mileage; depot information; size, character, value and location of depots, station houses, machine shops and other buildings; rolling stock owned, used, leased, operated or controlled by the road (engines, cars, refrigerators, etc.); character and value of tools, materials and supplies.
Assessment Filings. (1900-1908). 2 cubic feet. Organized alphabetically by county. Name of county, date, list of corporation, railroad or property location, valuation, supporting documentation. Filed with the Secretary of State's Office.
Correspondence. (1883-1939). 5 cubic feet. Arranged chronologically and alphabetically by correspondent. 1 cubic foot is devoted to "protest" correspondence. The rest of the correspondence spans 1897-1912.
Minutes. (1888-1920). 3 rolls microfilm. Minutes of the Board of Equalization meetings.
Petitions. (1917-1921). 1 cubic foot. Name of county, name of petitioner(s), dates, resolution of county commissioners, recommendations of assessor.
Report Filings. (1901-1939). 3.5 cubic feet. Name of county, date, name(s) of corporation or railroad, taxes assessed, taxes paid, petitions and complaints, correspondence, statements, reports. Filed with the Secretary of State.
Rights Of Way. (1907). 1 roll microfilm. Atchison Topeka & S.F. through Rio Grande Southern.
Annual Reports - Railroads. (1939-1946). 1.3 cubic feet. Name of company, date, assessed valuations and equipment inventory data.
Annual Reports - Railroads, Airlines and Utilities. (1926-1961). 7 cubic feet. Name of company, date, assessed valuations and equipment inventory data.
Annual Reports of the Tax Commission. (1912-1970). 3 cubic feet. Annual agency report submitted to the governor and published.
Annual Reports (Misc.) of the Tax Commission. (1929-1969). 37 cubic feet. Topical reports by various agencies and entities related to the Tax Commission. Few reports relate directly to the railroads.
Appointments. (1911 - present). Appointments made to the Tax Commission. Governors collections.
Correspondence. (1911 - 1965). Correspondence between the governors and the Tax Commission and between the treasurers and Tax Commission. Also general correspondence of the Tax Commission from 1959-1965.
Manual of Assessment Procedure of Personal Property. (1935). 1 volume.
Minutes of the Colorado Tax Commission. (1912-1969). 7 cubic feet. Dates, frequency of meetings, those attending, subjects, exhibits, copies of resolutions, voting records.
Tax Commission Assessment Reports. (1913-1933). Compiled during W. Adams administration from 1927-1933. Statistical reports concerning county assessments.