Railways in 1911--Land cost

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Nov 25 10:15:13 EST 2010

Brings to mind a story about an unnamed railroad and the Indians.? The railroad needed a strip of land across the corner of Indian territoty.? The land, seemingly, was not useful and was not significant to the Indians.? But the Indian Chief set a very high price.? Railroad officials argued that the price was too high for "bad" land.? The
Chief nodded, then answered "it pretty good for railroad".? The railroad paid.
?Original Message-----
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Subject: Railways in 1911--Land cost

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
April 26, 1911
??? A railway commission of a state in the middle west has been in the throes of a valuation of the physical properties of all the different systems that touch the state, and the lessons learned are too numerous to enumerate.? One practical course of instruction came from examining the title papers to more than 55,00 [sic.? 55,000?] sales of real estate, involving? more than one hundred millions of dollars, by private owners to railways that needed the lands.
??? From these examinations it was learned that when a railway wants land for a right of way it has to pay more than three times as much as a private party would have to give up.? In cities, where condemnation proceedings are resorted to, it was found that the price awarded by a jury was equal to twice the value of adjacent property.
??? From this it would seem that special privileges are not always with the public service corporations.? The man who owns a strip of marsh that the railroads want seems to be able to practice a bit of graft, also.
Gordon Hamilton

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