No event in the late 19th century had a greater impact on the development 

of Los Angeles than the railroad.  Without it, agriculture would have had a 

limited market, the number of health seekers arriving in the Southland would 

have been lessened, and the population growth that sparked the real estate boom 

of the 1880s would have been impossible.  While other factors - the drought of 

the 'sixties, the breakup of the ranchos, the introduction of the navel orange 

- were important, it can be argued that nothing was more instrumental in the 

transformation of Los Angeles than the coming of the steam locomotive.

    Located miles from the nearest harbor, the old pueblo depended upon stage 

lines and teamsters for its link to the sea until Phineas Banning opened his 

rail line - the Los Angeles and San Pedro - in 1869.  That facilitated movement 

of both freight and passenger traffic between harbor and town, an important 

point as evidenced by the efforts of various financial interests to develop 

ports, with railroad connections to the emerging city, at Redondo, Ballona and 

Santa Monica.  Still, as long as the Southland's tie to the outside world 

depended on a steamer or horses pulling coaches or wagons the full potential of 

Los Angeles remained undeveloped.  That would change with the arrival of the 

Southern Pacific.

    Incorporated in 1865, the Southern Pacific Railroad had been organized by 

Northern California investors who were not a part of the Central Pacific.  The 

railroad, headquartered in San Francisco, obtained authorization from Congress 

in 1866 to build a transcontinental south from that city through Los Angeles 

County to San Diego, then turning east to connect with the Atlantic and Pacific 

R.R. at Needles on the Colorado River.  Before significant construction had 

begun, the S.P. fell under the control of the "Big Four" - Charles Crocker, 

Mark Hopkins, Collis Huntington and Leland Stanford - owners of the Central 

Pacific.  In 1871 they received from Congress the right to construct yet 

another transcontinental, this one along a route from Tehachapi Pass to Los 

Angeles, connecting with the Texas Pacific at Yuma.

    Since the legislation required only that the routes go through Los Angeles 

County, there was fear on the part of some Angelenos that the city would be 

by-passed or that San Diego would become the Pacific terminus of the lines.  

Negotiations with the "Big Four" culminated in a demand by the railroad that an 

amount equal to 5 percent of the assessed valuation of the county be donated to 

the Southern Pacific in return for construction of the line into the city.  

Despite objection from residents who considered this to be extortion, voters 

approved the arrangement in 1872.  In excess of $600,000 was given to the S.P., 

including ownership of Banning's railroad to the harbor.

    In September, 1876, the S.P. completed its line from the San Joaquin Valley 

south to Los Angeles.  The route crossed the Tehachapis to Mojave and made its 

way into San Fernando through what was then the world's longest tunnel.  Los 

Angeles finally had a rail connection to the east although it required a trip 

north to Sacramento in order to join the Central Pacific route across the 

Sierra Nevada.

    By virtue of its land grant arrangement with Congress, the S.P. was still 

required to build east to the California border.  The line to Yuma from Los 

Angeles was finished in 1877, but the Texas Pacific, building west, had not 

even reached New Mexico.  The S.P. continued laying track through Arizona and 

New Mexico, connecting with the Santa Fe at Deming in 1881 to open the first 

southerly transcontinental route east.  In 1883 the S.P. tracks connected at 

the Pecos River east of El Paso with west-bound construction crews, creating 

the "Sunset Route" to New Orleans.  That facilitated participation by 

California's citrus growers in the New Orleans Exposition of 1884, where they 

won major awards.

    To complete its other transcontinental route the S.P. built east from 

Mojave to Needles where it met up with the Atlantic and Pacific, in reality a 

subsidiary of the Santa Fe.  That line also became operational in 1883 but the 

S.P. preferred to route eastbound traffic over the Sunset line or the Central 

Pacific line via Ogden.  

    In 1884 the S.P. leased its Needles-to-Mojave track to the Santa Fe.  

Late the next year Santa Fe trains utilized a newly constructed line through 

Cajon Pass between Barstow and San Bernardino, and through another lease with 

the S.P. connected with Los Angeles over the existing S.P. tracks from 

Colton.  Passenger service began in November, 1885.  The competition between 

the S.P. and the Santa Fe for passenger traffic led to deep cuts in fares from 

the East and Midwest, particularly in 1886, stimulating the rush to Southern 

California that sparked the real estate frenzy of that decade.  By 1887 Santa 

Fe had acquired the S.P. track from Needles to Mojave and had purchased the 

Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley R.R., giving Santa Fe its own tracks into 

Los Angeles.    

    While recognizing the benefits derived from rail transportation, many 

Angelenos were skeptical about the management of both the S.P. and the Santa 

Fe.  Dissatisfaction with S.P.'s freight rates in the late 1870s brought 

Charles Crocker to town as the principal speaker at a public meeting called by 

the city council.  Discourteously subjected to what one member of the audience, 

Harris Newmark, thought was a lack of consideration and made the butt of 

stinging criticism, Crocker is reputed to have said:

              If this be the spirit in which Los Angeles proposes to 

         deal with the railroad upon which the town's very vitality 

         must depend, I will make grass to grow in the streets of your 


    Crocker's remark was not an idle threat, for his railroad had bypassed 

cities that failed to respond to its demands for subsidies and its monopolistic 

rate practices were already well known.  Newspaper readers had utilized the 

letters columns of the city's press in the early 1870s to warn against any 

subsidy to the S.P.  Historian James Guinn cited "Taxpayer" and "Pro Bono 

Publico," two pen names that would appear frequently in the Times in the 

'eighties, as examples of letters protesting the 1872 subsidy.  

    Citizens criticizing the S.P. would also use the letters column of the 

Times.  In phrases and charges that foreshadowed the writing of Frank Norris, 

who depicted the railroad as a monster, a soulless force with tentacles of 

steel reaching across the state of California, readers of the Times denounced 

"the octopus" and the unethical practices that came to be so closely associated 

with it: the public be damned, discriminatory freight rates and the issuance of 

free passes to influence political decisions.  These letters, written by 

"Sufferer" in 1887 and by Blanton Duncan in 1889, bring to mind the passages in 

Norris' Octopus, published a decade later, where Magnus and Harran Derrick 

came face to face with the discriminatory short haul policy of the Southern 

Pacific and where engineer-turned-farmer Dyke discovered to his dismay the 

formula by which the railroad determined freight rates.  While there is no 

direct evidence to demonstrate that "Sufferer" was actually Blanton Duncan, the 

content of the two letters suggests that as a possibility.  The letter by 

Duncan is but one of a series on railroad malpractices he published in the 

Times in Feb., 1889.  

                         {Times, Mar. 13, 1887, p. 3}

                        Contrasting Railroad Policies.

              Los Angeles, March 11.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Too much cannot be said in commendation of the policy of the 

         Atchison and Santa Fe Railroad Company.  It has been the 

         making of Southern California.  Had Los Angeles remained 

         under the iron heel of the Southern Pacific she would have 

         been far behind where she is today.  The policy of that 

         company is utterly selfish.  They have never yet comprehended 

         the idea of mutuality in prosperity.  "Live and let live" is 

         not in their code of ethics at all.  Their cardinal doctrine 

         has undeniably been, "Charge all that the traffic will bear," 

         and the practice, quite uniformly, has been to exact more 

         than the traffic would bear.  In scores of instances have 

         they illustrated the fable of the goose that laid the eggs, 

         over and over again killing the goose in their greed to get 

         at the eggs.  Many a promising enterprise has been choked to 

         death by the extortions of that company, which, under like 

         circumstances, would have been fostered and built up by the 

         Santa Fe Company.  It is really strange that the Southern 

         Pacific people have not heretofore seen the error of their 

         policy.  It is as plain as a pikestaff to other people, and 

         it is beginning to dawn on the Southern Pacific Railroad 

         managers that what is good for the public is good also for a 

         railroad.  The Southern Pacific has long sought to prosper, 

         and has, perhaps, for the hour prospered by choking, 

         strangling and crushing out this, that and the other locality 

         which has refused or failed to come up to its requirements.  

         Every approach of theirs to a town, city or county has been 

         preceded by a demand for tribute.  The appeal of the Arab for 

         backsheesh was not more persistent, and woe to the community 

         that failed to respond.  How many years ago is it that they 

         threatened to make the grass grow in the streets of Los 

         Angeles if she failed to comply with their extortionate 

         demands for money and bonds?  How long is it since the good 

         people of San Bernardino committed the indiscretion of 

         denying them tribute, and suffered, in consequence, the 

         mortification of seeing the new town of Colton started up 

         expressly for their ruin?  The audacity of the Southern 

         Pacific people when they had the field all to themselves was 

         fairly sublime.  It has no parallel in this or any other 


              A question may well be raised at this time as to the 

         extent to which their extortions are still binding upon a 

         community.  They were made upon Los Angeles when she was 

         powerless to help herself; it was "your money or your life," 

         and we stood and delivered.  How far has the railroad company 

         performed its part?  Has it lived up to the obligations in 

         all particulars, so as to render a compliance on our part 

         obligatory?  This is worth looking into.  It may be possible 

         yet, in a measure, to free ourselves from the clutch of the 

         tyrant.  At all events, it is practicable to require of that 

         railroad company a much more faithful compliance with its 

         duty than has been shown up to this time.

              In most flagrant disregard of the interests of this 

         city, it has established depot arrangements which would 

         disgrace any half-civilized place on the face of the earth.  

         There is no other town in America where locomotives, railroad 

         trains, street cars, hacks, express wagons, farm wagons, 

         drays, trucks, freight trams, private carriages, buggies, 

         cattle, mules, horses, swine, sheep, men, women and children 

         are mingled together confusedly in a public street.  Arriving 

         in this town by rail from the East or North is an ordeal 

         which no one passes through a second time without fear and 

         trembling.  The timid are subjected to great fright, and the 

         feeble--yes, everybody--in  great danger.

              Isn't it time the Southern Pacific magnates were given 

         to understand that some other people have interests in this 

         world as well as themselves?  The present depot arrangements 

         are not only disgraceful to the last degree, but they are 

         extremely detrimental to the prosperity of this city, and 

         ought not to be endured.                     


                         {Times, Feb. 23, 1889, p. 3}

                               Cheating the Law.

              Los Angeles, Feb. 17.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         The startling charge is made before the Legislature that the 

         boldness of crime has extended to a falsification of judicial 

         records, and that cases before the Supreme Court of the 

         United States have been gained by fraud and perjury against 

         the State.  It is easy for vast moneyed interests to procure 

         corrupt instruments whenever the persons in control are 

         unscrupulous enough to carry into effect their wishes in that 

         line.  If such scoundrelism has really been perpetrated, it 

         is time to institute proceedings which will punish all 

         concerned in the successful falsification of records.  The 

         United States has power enough to do this, even against the 

         vast influence which the Southern Pacific may wield in this 

         State.  The charge is a grave one and made publicly on 

         authority of the Controller.  It must be proved or disproved.  

         It is bad enough that corporations for years contest the 

         payment of taxes, which should be equally borne by all 

         classes of a community.  Whether State or United States 

         officials are the allies of corporations in fraud or evasion 

         of just debts, there should be no leniency in the prosecution 

         and punishment of all offenders.  A telegraphic dispatch to 

         The Times says:

              "Attorney Lezinski, representing Controller Dunn, said 

         that the records were false, and that the Circuit Court and 

         Supreme Court of the United States had been imposed upon, and 

         that the latter tribunal had finally decided against the 

         State of California upon these findings.  The records were 

         examined, and taking up case No. 85, he alleged that the 

         United States Supreme Court had been led to believe that the 

         railroad company was assessed for four miles of water between 

         the foot of Market street and Oakland Mole at the same rate 

         as the regular roadbed, when such was not the case.  Lezinski 

         said that these findings had been prepared in the railroad 

         company's office, and there had been criminal negligence or 

         something wrong on the part of the State's legal 

         representative in signing the stipulation upon which the 

         findings had been based, and this fact would be established 

         before the investigation closed."

              The Southern Pacific is good at preparing reports and 

         papers.  It is currently stated that all the evidence against 

         the syndicate when Congress was examining how they got away 

         with such a vast sum to invest in new enterprises and left 

         the United States to hold the bag, was prepared by the 

         Southern Pacific and sent out to the public.  So it seems 

         that the corporation, in cases against itself, was permitted 

         to prepare the records.

              "Lezinski said that these findings had been prepared in 

         the railroad company's office."

              It is a good thing for a defendant to let him prepare 

         the evidence for both sides!  With such a man as Gov. 

         Patterson of Pennsylvania to represent the prosecution, and 

         his assertions as to the fraudulent misappropriation of 

         $142,000,000 of Government property, it would have been 

         difficult to shape the State pleadings in the interest of the 

         octopus defendant.

              There has been a growing disposition  on the part of 

         corporations to assert greater powers and rights than 

         individuals.  Nothing has been granted to them, which confers 

         any privilege over the humblest citizen.  Anything assumed by 

         the corporation outside of the clearly defined powers of its 

         charter is ultra vires, and before a properly constituted 

         judiciary there will be full and speedy reckoning for all 

         usurpations and wrongs.  The misfortune has been that shrewd, 

         unprincipled and daring men have allied themselves with those 

         who controlled the actions of officials and courts; and for 

         years the unpunished audacity and spoliation by these 

         syndicates has given them a quasi right by prescription or 

         custom, submitted to by those communities which could not 

         successfully for the time defeat their exactions and 

         oppressions.  The time is coming, however, when there will be 

         a wakening up, and a better knowledge and enforcement of 

         rights and justice and law against the arrogant and the rich, 

         who dominate everything on the Pacific Coast, as a privileged 

         and superior race.  It would be far better to have a good, 

         kindhearted, intelligent despot to rule the Pacific, than to 

         permit the worst of all obligarchies - a plutocracy - to have 

         its own way, with but one object, the increase of their own 

         wealth and power by the impoverishment and degradation of the 

         masses, and by open and derisive violations of law made by 

         the mockery of a so-called Republic.  The Legislature has had 

         its attention called to the violation of laws, and it is 

         probable that some legislation will yet be enacted to keep 

         corporations in their proper sphere.  The Congress intended, 

         by its long and short-haul clause, to make citizens of all 

         States equal in the carrying of freights to their respective 

         place of business.  It was provided that the rates should be 

         reasonable and just.  But the railroads, being soulless and 

         without conscience, always set to work the most astute tools 

         - for large pay - to devise some scheme against the spirit of 

         the laws for the protection of all.  So they single out San 

         Francisco, of course, as one of the terminal points.  The 

         Santa Fe compels the selection of Los Angeles and San Diego.  

         But for the Santa Fe having its line here, the Southern 

         Pacific would have but one terminal point - San Francisco - 

         and the whole of Southern California would be under its heel, 

         to pay just such exactions as might be piratically enforced, 

         and every pound of freight for all the local stations - 

         inside the State, and to California citizens - would be 

         hauled to San Francisco, with the additional delay, and then 

         the compulsory payment of freight at the local rate from San 

         Francisco back to the station through which the freight had 

         passed a week before.  There are now three terminal points.  

         But to San Bernardino, Colton or any other point within 

         California west of Yuma, the business of each community is 

         virtually under the control of the octopus, and every pound 

         of freight is brought to Los Angeles from the East and sent 

         back at $60 to $100 per car additional freight, besides the 

         delay and damage to the goods.  Congress has had its 

         attention called to this matter, so has the {state railroad - 

         Ed.} commission, and also members of the Legislature.  

         Merchants in various places have made subscriptions to test 

         the matter before the courts or the commission.  The latter 

         is the speediest, for with the influence of the syndicate 

         with officials and courts, technicalities and red tape would 

         keep off a decision until they had drained the life-blood out 

         of all local commerce, manufactures, and even agriculture.  

         The people have been convinced in many places that law is 

         being made for the benefit of the thief, the scoundrel and 

         the swindler, and not for the due administration of justice 

         and equity.  Not the more common felon who robs and steals by 

         brute force, but the subtle villain, who, knowing precisely 

         what the law says, can by his scheming brain evolve complete 

         evasion of the letter of the law, and find an able ally on 

         the bench to construe it as he has planned, and thus robs 

         whole communities at will.  The Southern Pacific, by its 

         power, has compelled the Santa Fe and other lines to evade 

         the law in a similar manner.  It is the duty of honest 

         citizens and States and communities to resist all these 

         encroachments, by which freedom will be eventually crushed, 

         and despotism will reign.  The changes are decidedly in favor 

         of the latter, because history repeats itself, and the 

         current events indicate the subversion of republican 

         government everywhere.  It would be idle to state to those 

         who simply worship mammon, and have no other guide than their 

         own creed and selfishness, what has been clearly written, and 

         is on the eve of fulfillment.  And even with a knowledge that 

         resistance will not avail, it would be a prouder fate to die 

         in the defense of liberty than to live as a slave to a bloody 

         autocracy of wealth, without refinement, education or soul.  

         I have some suggestions to make as to what you and many 

         others now living will yet see before the century ends.  Very 


                                             BLANTON DUNCAN.

    Other writers may have been less eloquent but were just as irritated with 

questionable railroad policies. 

                         {Times, April 20, 1887, p. 9}

                                 A Conundrum.

                            "Long and Short Howls."

              Los Angeles, April 16.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         want some one to tell me why the railroad company charges 

         more than double the rate on a box of oranges shipped to 

         Kansas City than on one shipped to San Jose.  I sent one to 

         each place on the same day; one costing 40 cents, the other 

         $4.  Now we all know it is not even five times the distance 

         to Kansas City that it is to San Jose.  At the same rate they 

         ought to haul the one sent to Kansas City 4820 miles.  Can 

         you in some way give me a reason?

                                        ANDREW ADKISSON.

              [We give it up.--Ed.]

                         {Times, June 29, 1882, p. 3}

                             Gen. Stoneman's Pass.

              Editor Times:  The letter of the Constitution forbids 

         the Governor of the State to accept a pass from a railroad 

         corporation; does not the spirit of the Constitution forbid a 

         candidate for Governor to stump the State traveling on a 

         pass?  In canvassing the State a decent regard to the 

         opinions of mankind and an eye to the vote of the law-abiding 

         Democracy of Los Nietos will induce Gen. Stoneman to refrain 

         from electioneering on Sunday.  Returning home to rest every 

         Sunday in the bosom of his family he will necessarily do a 

         good deal of railroad riding, and if we call the trip from 

         Los Angeles to some central point, like Sacramento, the 

         average ride, his eighteen or twenty outgoings and incomings 

         will be worth at customary rates, about a thousand dollars.  

         That is, he will be under obligations to Stanford, Crocker & 

         Co. to that amount.

              Now, wherein is it better for the people that a Governor 

         should be inaugurated under fresh obligations to the railroad 

         corporations for favors worth a thousand dollars, than that 

         he should receive those favors six months after election?  It 

         may be, however, that General Stoneman in stumping the State 

         will not use his pass as Railroad Commissioner, and that when 

         he went to San Jose to give Stanford "a black eye" he paid 

         full fare at the ticket office.


                          {Times, Nov. 8, 1888, p. 6}

                                  Free Passes.

              Los Angeles, Nov. 3.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Permit me to emphatically second the suggestion in today's 

         Times as to public officials riding on free passes.  Such a 

         thing is certainly not proper in anyone owing a duty to the 

         whole public, and the acceptance of particular favors from 

         individuals at least lays the recipient open to the 

         reasonable suspicion of partiality to the donor in any matter 

         that may thereafter arise.  Any public servant is able to pay 

         his fare; if not, it will be more dignified and respectable 

         to walk.


    Letter writers also complained about the inconsiderate treatment of 

passengers.  That complaint, however, was not reserved exclusively for the 

Southern Pacific.  Long before Metrolink or the "Big Red Cars" of the Pacific 

Electric, residents of the San Gabriel Valley relied on steam trains for their 

commute to downtown Los Angeles.  Elias Longley and "Tenderfoot" found the 

service offered by the Santa Fe and the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley 

Railroad wanting.  "Arizonan" penned a similar complaint about the Southern 

Pacific's interstate service.    

                         {Times, Feb. 24, 1888, p. 6}

                 Protest Against the Santa Fe Change of Time.

              Los Angeles, Feb. 23.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  It 

         is announced this morning that "the Santa Fe time-card has 

         been perfected."  A large number of the daily patrons of the 

         road take exceptions to the word "perfected," and wish to 

         appeal, through your columns, to the management of the road 

         for one other change.  The reduction of the number of trains 

         going out between 7 and 8:05 in the morning it is hoped will 

         enable the Duarte accommodation to reach Los Angeles on time, 

         viz., 8:25 a.m.  Heretofore, on account of having to meet 

         these outgoing trains, it has had to switch off on side-

         tracks and be delayed until 9 or 9:30, which was too late for 

         business men to reach the city.

              But now comes another serious derangement: The 5:30 p.m. 

         train is taken off, leaving only the 5 p.m. train on which 

         business men can return to their suburban homes.  There are a 

         good many lawyers, court reporters, book-keepers, clerks, 

         etc., who cannot leave their places of business until 5 

         o'clock or later, and of course they cannot reach the 5 p.m. 

         train.  What are they to do?  Many of them who have bought 

         homes in the beautiful towns along this road have for months 

         been rooming in the city, temporarily, in the hope that "the 

         great," "the enterprising," "the accommodating" Santa Fe, 

         would rise equal to the necessities of the people, and 

         furnish such local accommodations as would enable the 

         business men to live in their country homes, and get to and 

         from the city at such reasonable hours as all first-class 

         roads furnish cities of the size of Los Angeles.  But it 

         seems the great railroad manager and "First Vice-President" 

         Smith is not equal to the task.  And now we will have to sell 

         our country homes, abandon the Santa Fe, and move to the 

         city, until such time as the people of Pasadena find 

         themselves able to build a rapid transit road of their own-

         unless the 5 p.m. train is changed to 5:30.

                                           ELIAS LONGLEY

              On behalf of 50 others.

                          {Times, Dec. 3, 1886, p. 4}

                              KICK AT A RAILROAD.

              Sierra Madre, Dec. 1.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  It 

         is an old and true saying that "competition is the life of 

         trade," and in some cases with individuals and corporations 

         it seems to be the only way to compel them to use their 

         customers in a gentlemanly or business-like way.  The case I 

         have in mind now is the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley 

         Railroad, or the employes of this road.  It seems to me (and 

         I find I am but one of many who hold the same opinion) that a 

         more ungentlemanly or disobliging set of men, from the 

         brakemen up to the highest officials, would be hard to find 

         east or west, and the writer hereof has traveled some.

              It is hardly worth while to go into details, but any 

         person who has been obliged to ride over this road, or have 

         freight sent over it, knows only too well what these 

         annoyances are.  Grocers and others along the line, who have 

         had freighting done, are seriously considering whether it 

         would not be cheaper to go back to first principles and do 

         their freighting by horse power as of old.  If only a small 

         bill of merchandise is shipped from their depot to Los 

         Angeles, before it has passed many stations it is all 

         detached, side-tracked and broken up generally, and, instead 

         of reaching its destination all together, as shipped, it 

         comes creeping along for several days, a little at a time.  

         And if time and patience are worth $3 per day, and corner 

         lots are selling for $50 per front foot, how much cheaper is 

         it to have goods shipped on this road than to freight them by 

         mule or horse power?  If any of The Times readers are good in 

         "figgers,' will they please solve the mathematics problem for 

         us.  There has been, and still is, strong talk of the 

         Southern Pacific Railroad running a line from Shorb's winery 

         east through the San Gabriel valley, and that or any other 

         competing line would be hailed by the people of the valley 

         with genuine satisfaction.  We wish to give the devil his 

         due, and the railroad company as well.  Their road has 

         increased the value of property adjacent to it, and without 

         railroads our Golden State would not be the great sanitarium 

         of the world, as it is to-day.  But courtesy and kindness do 

         not cost much, and sometimes they are worth a great deal in 


              Probably this letter will remind your readers of the 

         fable of the "mouse and the lion," but you know the mouse got 

         into the lion's ear and gave him a horrible earache before he 

         got through with him.                       


                         {Times, July 30, 1889, p. 3}

          Treatment of Passengers on the Southern Pacific of Arizona.

              Los Angeles, July 29.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         would like a few lines of your space to protest against the 

         disgraceful manner in which passengers on the Southern 

         Pacific line, through Arizona, are treated.  If my experience 

         has not been exceptional, which, I have no reason to suppose, 

         I wonder that nobody yet has made complaint on the subject.

              Early this month, I, with two friends, bought three 

         first-class tickets for Tucson.  At Colton we stopped over 

         for a week or so.  On leaving Colton we found there was no 

         ordinary first-class car on the train--only a Pullman sleeper 

         and an emigrant car.  The emigrant car was divided in the 

         center, having ordinary seats in front and emigrant berths 

         behind.  Leaving Colton in the evening, we took sleeping 

         berths in the Pullman, at $3 a berth, being compelled to do 

         this or ride in the emigrant car.

              On the return trip, a couple of days ago, we found that 

         the ordinary first-class car is dropped at Maricopa, Ariz., 

         and from Maricopa to Colton, where the ride is in the 

         daytime, there is no ordinary first-class car, and first-

         class passengers are obliged to ride in the emigrant car, 

         being prohibited from entering the Pullman car.  Leaving 

         Tucson at 1 a.m., and arriving at Los Angeles at 9:31 p.m., 

         it is practically an all-day ride, where one has little use 

         for a sleeping car.

              Again: from Tucson to Yuma is nearly 300 miles.  

         Breakfast is served at Yuma at 11 a.m.  From the previous 

         evening until that time, there is nothing to eat all the way.  

         The cook in the Pullman car supplies meals in that car at the 

         moderate rate of $1.25 for a mere apology for a breakfast, 

         and I was obliged to pay 25 cents extra for the privilege of 

         sitting in a Pullman car to eat it.

              The emigrant car was filthy in the extreme.  Men, women 

         and children had to use the same retreat, and await one 

         another's convenience.  All classes were mixed together.  

         Chinamen, emigrants, Mexicans, laborers and people smoking 

         tobacco.  The air was foul, unwholesome and disgusting.  

         There were no conveniences for washing, and only one place 

         for drinking water, which was in an abominable condition, as 

         women and children were continually running there to take 

         water for washing and drinking purposes, spilling it all over 

         the floor.  Besides this, the water ran short between 


              This state of affairs is an absolute public disgrace, 

         and a very great injury to Arizona travel.


    While Charles Crocker and his colleagues at the top were the principal 

target of complaints, not even the Southern Pacific's janitors escaped 


                         {Times, Sept. 4, 1886, p. 2}

                                 How is This?

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  Will you please tell 

         me, through the columns of your paper, if it is the custom of 

         the employes of the Southern Pacific R. R. to appropriate all 

         packages found in the cars, or to take them to the offices of 

         the company for identification by the owner?

              The reason I ask is, the other day, having occasion to 

         remain in the cars of the train just in from Santa Monica for 

         a few minutes after the janitor came in to clean up, I saw 

         him take a lady's hand-satchel from the seat (where it had 

         been left), open it, take out a handkerchief and drop it to 

         the floor.  He then took some money from a small purse inside 

         the satchel--a few dollars, I think--and counted it, and then 

         put it back, and put everything in his pocket, and went on 

         cleaning the car.

              Why did he throw that handkerchief away? 


    Until the Santa Fe made it clear that Los Angeles, not San Diego, was to be 

the major West Coast terminus of its line, a fierce rivalry between the two 

cities marked the 1870s and 1880s.  San Diego had by far the better harbor and 

for a time seemed destined to be the metropolis of the southwestern part of 

California.  That rivalry may have inspired the vandalism that E. S. Turner 


                          {Times, Oct. 5, 1887, p. 6}

                                   BAD WORK.

                  What Became of Our Immigration Literature. 

              Los Angeles, Oct. 3--[To the Editor of The Times.]  On 

         my return from Kansas City to Los Angeles, I saw a large pile 

         of books dumped off the cars at a small station west of the 

         Kansas State line, on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe line.  

         I got off the train and found that they were copies of 

         "Resources of Los Angeles County," {probably a later edition 

         of the Board of Trade pamphlet referred to in the previous 

         chapter - Ed.} the boxes burst open and the books scattered 

         all about. I have been informed that they were shipped for 

         St. Louis, Mo.  It was about the 25th of September that they 

         were thrown overboard.  I found a number of San Diego agents 

         on the train who abused passengers who said they were going 

         to Los Angeles, and twitted them of not having good sense.  I 

         could not help thinking that the whole thing was an outrage 

         on Los Angeles county and city.  Yours, in the interest of 

         Southern California, Los Angeles city and county included.  

                                           E. S. TURNER.

    When the S.P. and the Santa Fe cut passenger fares in 1886 the intent was 

to encourage interstate traffic, not to reduce local fares.  Thus, when the 

Santa Fe fare from Los Angeles to Chicago fell to $15, the passenger paid the 

full fare but received a rebate of $20 at the other end of the line.  The S.P., 

however, did not bother with rebates and sold tickets to Kansas City for as low as

$1 for a short period in 1886.  Most of those tickets were reportedly purchased 

by local travelers, who would otherwise have had to pay $2.30 to go to Colton.  

Not only did the S.P. lose $1.30 in fare, but it also had to reimburse the 

Missouri Pacific, with whom the S.P. had an agreement, 51 cents on the dollar.  

Other passengers bought $1 tickets to the Midwest and rode only to San 

Francisco, causing the S.P. to lose $24 of the regular $25 fare.

    Such inspired and imaginative planning on the part of railroad passengers 

was not new.  Enterprising ticket scalpers were already at work, as revealed in 

this 1882 exchange between "J. F. McA." and Edward Nittinger, operator of a 

real estate/employment office.  In 1886 one railway attempted to stem ticket 

scalping by printing a description of the passenger on the ticket but soon 

abandoned that ploy when other lines refused to adopt it.

                         {Times, Sept. 22, 1882, p. 1}

                               TICKET SCALPING.

                   An Old Offender at his Favorite Vocation.

         To the Editor of The Times:

              I write this article hoping that the experience of some 

         unfortunates may prove a lesson to others.  For some time 

         past it has been the custom of a certain employment office to 

         advertise on the dead walls and other places, "railroad 

         tickets for sale."  To the unexperienced it would seem a 

         novel way of buying railroad tickets.  On presenting himself 

         at the place advertised, he will be told that he can buy a 

         ticket to San Francisco, or some other point, for almost 

         one-half the regular rate for a first-class ticket.  The 

         manager of that employment office is too well versed in legal 

         technicalities to lay himself liable, so he tells the 

         unsophisticated that he does not sell the ticket but for the 

         sum of one dollar he will convey the information where the 

         said tickets are for sale.  If the party should prove to be 

         more than usually inquisitive he is promptly told that he can 

         find no more information, but must pay his dollar and he will 

         be referred to where he can buy the ticket.  In most cases 

         the dollar is paid and a receipt is given telling the bearer 

         where the tickets can be found, and for which information he 

         had to pay his dollar.  Going to the place referred, 

         sometimes it being a regular professional scalper of tickets, 

         and in some instances being parties who had bought their own 

         tickets at contract rates, and which is only good to the 

         party sold to, they affixing their signature to the same.  

         After paying the money to the second party and congratulating 

         himself on buying a first-class ticket at almost half the 

         usual rates, he prepares himself and starts off on the train.  

         All is right till the conductor (whose experiences in that 

         direction have led him to be more than usually sharp) quickly 

         detects an old contract ticket with the party's signature 

         attached, or to be more sure he generally has the party to 

         write their name underneath, which quickly shows he is not 

         the original purchaser.  The train is stopped and the victim 

         is put off minus what he had paid, or if he decides to 

         purchase a ticket again paying as much as if he had bought it 

         at the original starting point.  If this shall save some who 

         have ever contemplated buying such tickets and saving them 

         their money and much trouble, this article shall not have 

         been written in vain.

                                                 J. F. McA.

                         {Times, Sept. 23, 1882, p. 4}

                                Ticket Scalping.
         To the Editor of The Times:

              Please publish this answer to an article in your issue 

         of Sept. 22d, 1882, signed J. F. McA.

              I keep an employment office and a bureau of information, 

         where one can be informed that they can buy a horse or wagon, 

         find a boarding house, and where parties can be found that 

         have for sale first-class unlimited railroad tickets, which 

         they have purchased without signing a contract at the time of 

         purchase.  I do not give any information or take the address 

         of any party that has for sale an emigrant or a limited 

         contract ticket.  A notice of my system of doing business is 

         posted in my office, and I make a charge for information and 

         receipt for the same, but if parties do not negotiate after a 

         careful inspection, then on return of the receipt, signed, I 

         return fee charged for services rendered.

                                                 E. NITTINGER.

              Los Angeles, Sept. 22, 1882.

    During the railroad construction craze of the mid-1880s, "G" offered this 

uncannily prophetic view of railroad development in the coming years.  His 

prediction should be compared with a map of Southern California rail lines 

existing in 1900.  "G's" only major miscalculation, related to the erroneous 

conviction that rails, once laid, would never be abandoned, was his belief that 

the California Southern's Temecula Canyon line was a permanent route.  After 

the tracks were again destroyed by an even greater flood in 1892 the canyon 

route was abandoned in favor of a coastal line to San Diego.  Ysidora, a 

California Southern station, was on the Santa Margarita River near Oceanside.  

In 1885 the Atlantic and Pacific acquired the California Southern, which 

eventually became part of the Santa Fe.

                          {Times, June 22, 1886, p. 2}

                            Local Railroad Building.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  It seems to be the 

         fashion now for editors and other people to hazard guesses on 

         whether a certain movement of railroad surveyors means this 

         or means the other, and I want to take my turn.

              My guess is (and I want to file it for record) that the 

         California Southern Railroad is going to do everything I have 

         seen guessed in Southern California papers, except abandon 

         any part of any line now built.

              Take your map of these three companies and see if you do 

         not agree with me.  If you were the rich and powerful 

         Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Company wouldn't you 

         buy and complete the San Gabriel Valley Railroad to the main 

         line near San Bernardino?  have the most direct entrance to 

         Los Angeles, the metropolis of the southern coast, and tap 

         the great foot hill fruit belt?  I have never been a rich 

         railroad company, but the above would be my move.

              Then wouldn't you build another branch from the main 

         line near Riverside down that great and rich valley parallel 

         with the Santa Ana river and into another equally good for 

         other purposes, cross the river near Anaheim, take that place 

         and perhaps Garden Grove and Long Beach on the way and reach 

         tide water in the biennially improving harbor at Wilmington?  

         I would.

              Then I would build from Los Angeles, by something near 

         the old stage route, through a rich country, to my main line 

         at either Ysidora or Oceanside, and thus connect the 

         metropolis with Wilmington harbor and also the great harbor 

         and future great commercial city of San Diego, by the more 

         direct route.  Then I would build a crosscut.  I would tie my 

         three lines together by a line (now being re-surveyed) 

         running from Elsinore station, on the main line, past the 

         village, the lake and the coal mine, down the Temescal creek, 

         crossing the Riverside and Los Angeles branch and the river 

         near Temescal wash, developing the rich Rincon and princely 

         Chino ranches, tapping my competitor at Pomona and my San 

         Bernardino and Los Angeles line a few miles further north.

              I would want some short branches--one from Los Angeles 

         to Santa Monica; one from Perris to the thriving four-year-

         old colony and town of San Jacinto; one to Escondido, and one 

         to El Cajon.

              Then I would say, "this southern country is mine, and 

         the fullness thereof."  And following the traditional record 

         of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe of faithful service to 

         my patrons along established lines, I would use their every 

         mile to increase the demand for transportation over them.  If 

         anybody should say anything about abandoning the Temecula 

         Canyon road, I would only laugh; because I would remember 

         that when only two years ago that road abandoned me, I took 

         some months to consider, settled it for all time and spent a 

         quarter of a million dollars making that road so good that it 

         carried me through similar floods last winter, and will, 

         without doubt, continue to serve me as well in future.  Why, 

         I never heard a case of abandoning a railroad; did you?

              Now, I hope none of your readers will think I am in the 

         secrets of the company because I have so fully outlined the 

         very policy they are going to pursue.  I want to have the 

         credit of my guess.