LAFE SIMPSON 1913 LETTERS RE: AUDUBON ELECTRICITY
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Contributed by Susie Simpson, March, 2015.
Lafe E. Simpson|
May 10th, 1913
Mr. Chas. Alline,
Des Moines, Iowa.
Friend Alline;- I had a talk with some of the business men after I was talking to you about the present Light situation and from what they say I believe there is no doubt but they will support a good man if you find one. If you can get your friend Cornelius or some other good man to come here and show the people that he means business I believe there would be no trouble about getting a franchice [sic franchise] and I believe the people would go to the present man and tell him to sell the plant.
He paid $3800 for the old plant and personally I believe he would be entitled to about this much to get out of it.
Now if you can get in touch with any one right away I believe it would be a good plan to do so as I think the thing can be figured out all right yet.
Yours very truly,
L. E. Simpson
Ralph M. Burtis
Oshkosh, Wis., June 2, 1913.
Mr. L. Simpson,
Mr. C. F. Alline, of the Electric Appliance Company, has been talking to my associate, Mr. Burtis, regarding the electric light situation in your city; and refers us to you saying you would like to see Audubon have an improved system, and he believes you could give us complete information.
We are interested in various electric light plants, and if your situation is one that can be profitably taken hold of I will come out and look it over, but, first we should like to get as complete an idea of things as you can give us by letter. If it is not too much trouble I should like very much to know how the population now compares with the 1910 census; also what industries you have that are using power; how much the city is paying at present for city lighting; whether your Water Works is owned by the city, and if so how much it costs for pumping, - and how the pumping is done? Could we buy the present lighting system, at what price and what kind of shape is it in? Is the plant on a railroad siding, or would the coal have to be hauled? What is the rate on coal from Chicago? What is the present schedule of rates for lighting and power? Would you or any of your citizens care to become interested if we should form a new company and give you 24-hour service?
We dislike to bother you too much, but if you can give us the above information, also anything further regarding the physical state and valuation of the present lighting property, and the prospects for business, it will be a great accommodation. We particularly would like to know, also, how much gross income the present company has, and what their operating expenses are.
Will you kindly tell us also, something about Exira, - what kind of city it is and whether they have a lighting plant there? If so what shape it is in?
I am inclosing [sic enclosing] [a] stamped envelope for reply, and will be greatly indebted to you if you can answer this by return mail so that I may have the complete information on this by the end of the week, as we would like to take the matter up at once if favorable.
Thanking you again for you courtesy, I am
A. R. Hale