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History of Iowa

Volume III



At the Republican State Convention held at Des Moines on the 26th of August, 1885, William Larrabee of Fayette County was nominated for Governor, and J. A. T. Hull for Lieutenant-Governor; J. M. Beck for Supreme Judge; and J. W. Akers for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The Democrats and Greenbackers supported a fusion ticket consisting of the following candidates:  Governor, Charles E. Whiting of Monana County; Lieutenant-Governor, E. H. Gillette; Judge of Supreme Court, C. F. Brennan; Superintendent of  Public Instruction, F. W. Moore.

The Prohibition ticket consisted of the following candidates:  Governor, J. Mickelwait; Lieutenant-Governor, W. M. Steere; Supreme Judge, Jacob Rogers; Superintendent of Public Instruction, W. M. Taft.

The result of the election was the choice of the Republican candidates by an average plurality of about 7,000.

the General Assembly convened at Des Moines on the 11th of January, 1886.  The House was organized by the election of Albert Head, Speaker; Lieutenant-Governor Hull presided over the Senate.  The Governor-elect, William Larrabee, was inaugurated on the 14th of January and delivered an address to the General Assembly.

Among the most important acts of the Twenty-first General Assembly were:

An act for the more effectual suppression of the liquor traffic; an act for the appointment of mine inspectors and defining their duties; an acto to provide for tribunals of voluntary arbitration to adjust industrial disputes; an act reducing the number of grand jurors to five or seven; and act providing for the establishment and maintenance of a Soldiers' Home; an act providing for the election of county attorneys; an act abolishing Circuit Courts and providing additional district judges.

The Legislature appointed a committee to investigate the charges made against J. L. Brown as Auditor.  Upon the report of that committee the House proceeded to frame thirty articles of impeachment against him.

Articles one to six charged Brown with collecting fees as Auditor and failing to render an account of such fees.  Articles seven to eleven charged Brown with official misconduct in relation to the examination of the Bremer County and various other banks.  Articles twelve to fifteen charged him with drawing various warrants for payment of clerks, for which no vouchers were taken.  Articles sixteen and seventeen charged Brown with resisting the order of suspension and exercising the duties of the office after suspension.  Articles eighteen and twenty-two charged Brown with official misconduct in relation to his deputy, Stewart.  Article nineteen charged that he refused to permit the Governor to enter the Auditor's office and examine the records.  Articles twenty-three to twenty-seven charged Brown with exacting, from various banks, illegal fees for examinations.  Articles twenty-eight to thirty charged him with exacting excessive fees for examination of various insurance companies.  After a lengthy trial by the Senate, the Auditor was acquitted on all of the various charges made against him.

It required thirty-four votes to convict.  On articles one to six, inclusive, and eighteen every Senator voted not guilty.  On article twenty, but one Senator voted guilty.  The largest vote to convict was on articles sixteen and seventeen which charged Brown with resisting the Governor's order of suspension, and exercising the duties of Auditor after such order of suspension.  Twenty-nine Senators voted not guilty on every charge.  Governor Larrabee on the 23d of January, upon investigation, revoked the order of suspension and reinstated Brown.  When articles of impeachment were filed against Brown he was suspended on the 13th of April, 1886, and Charles Beardsley was appointed to serve during the impeachment trial.  Upon the acquittal of Brown he was, on the 14th of July, reinstated.  The Legislature subsequently refunded to him the amount he had paid the attorneys who had conducted his defense.

At the Republican State Convention at Des Moines on the 25th of August, 1886, the following candidates were nominated:  for Secretary of State, F. D. Jackson; Auditor, J. A. Lyons; Treasurer, V. P. Twombly; Attorney-General, A. J. Baker; Clerk Supreme Court, G. B. Pray; Reporter Supreme Court, E. C. Ebersole.

At the Democratic and Greenback State conventions the following candidates were agreed upon and supported by both parties:  Secretary of State, Cato Sells; Auditor, Paul Guelich; Treasurer, Daniel Campbell; Attorney-General, C. H. Mackay; Clerk Supreme Court, William Theophilus; Supreme Court Reporter, E. P. Bradley.

The Prohibition candidates were, for Secretary of State, V. C. Farnam; Auditor, J. L. McReynolds; Treasurer, J. Mickelwait; Attorney-General, Jacob Rogers; Clerk Supreme Court, E. B. Howard; Supreme Court Reporter, J. W. Wolfe.

The Republican candidates were elected by a plurality of nearly 15,000.  The Republicans also elected eight Representatives to Congress, while the opposition elected three.

The Republican State Convention of 1887 renominated Governor Larrabee and Lieutenant-Governor Hull.  Gifford S. Robinson was nominated for Judge of Supreme Court and Henry Sabin for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The Democrats nominated T. J. Anderson for Governor; J. M. Elder for Lieutenant-Governor; C. S. Fogg for Supreme Judge, and H. W. Sawyer for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

the Labor organization placed the following candidates in the field:  Governor, M. J. Cain; Lieutenant-Governor, J. R. Sovereign; Supreme Judge, M. J. Jones; Superintendent of Public Instruction, S. L. Tipton.

The Prohibitionists placed in nomination V. G. Farnam for Governor and W. C. Caldwell for Lieutenant-Governor.

The Republican candidates were elected by a plurality of from 16,000 to 20,000.

On the night of August 3d, 1886, an atrocious murder was perpetrated in Sioux City which aroused the indignation  of the public, no only in Iowa but throughout the country.  Rev. George C. Haddock, pastor of the First Methodist Church of Sioux City, had for a long time been the most energetic and fearless prosecutor of violators of the prohibition liquor law in that city, where the saloon keepers were persistent and habitual defiers of law and order.  He had secured the conviction of a number of the persistent lawbreakers and was untiring in his efforts to close th resort of this character.  He was warned by letters containing threats of personal violence unless he desisted from trying to enforce the law against the saloon business.  But he was fearless and conscientious in the crusade against the traffic, refusing to be intimidated.  On the evening of the assassination the Rev. Mr. Haddock with Rev. C. C. Turner procured a livery team and drove to Greenville, returning about 10 o'clock, when Mr. Haddock drove alone to the stable.  As he started towards his home he observed several men standing on the sidewalk near a saloon.  As he started to cross the street a shot was fired from the group which pierced his neck killing him almost instantly.  The murder caused intense excitement and indignation and the next evening a public meeting was held, crowding the court-house.  The respectable citizens expressed their abhorrence of the cowardly crime and large rewards were offered, to which Governor Larrabee added a reward in behalf of the State.  Detectives were employed and every effort possible was made to discover the assassin and evidence to convict him.  But the saloon element made common cause in screening the murderer; and although arrests were made and confessions and strong incriminating evidence secured, able lawyers were employed by the saloons and no convictions were made.

The financial condition of the State at the close of the fiscal year, as shown by the reports of the Auditor and Treasurer, was as follows:  Resources of the State for the biennial period ending June 30th, 1887, from all sources:


Balance from last report........................................... $   147,151.94
From Counties.........................................................   2,882,179.27
From Insurance Companies......................................     140,355.24
From Railroad Taxes................................................       40,302,67
Fees from State Officers...........................................       67,407.36
From Telegraph and Telephone Companies..............       22,559.87
From miscellaneous sources.....................................       21,080.96
Transfers from Temporary School Fund....................       38,073.26
Total........................................................................ $3,359,110.57




Auditor's warrants redeemed.............. $3,231,151.39
Interest on warrants...........................      107,563.95
Cash in Treasury, June 30th, 1887.....        20,393.95

The total assessment for taxation is reported at $495,710,241.  The warrants outstanding July 1, 1887, amounted to $455,987.30.

Reports from the State institutions showed that there were in the tow Insane Asylums 1,498 patients; in the two Penitentiaries six hundred seventy-three inmates; there were but forty-two children in the Orphans' Home and sixty persons in the Soldiers' Home.  In the Boys' Industrial School there were three hundred thirty and in the Girls' Department there were one hundred twelve.

The reports of the public schools showed 12,444 school-houses and 14,829 schools in which are employed 24,675 teachers.  The school houses are valued at $11,360,472.  The permanent school fund at that time amounted to $4,187,839.94.  The total disbursements for the past year for school purposes were $6,323,172.42; the number of children enrolled in the schools was 480,788 out of 638,156 of school age.

Governor Larrabee appointed Delos Arnold to assist in making a settlement with the Capitol Commissioners who had built the new State House and after carefully examining th records of their work, extending over the entire period, their accounts were approved.  the total amount of expenditures under their direction was $2,871,682.05; it was estimated that it would require about $130,000 to complete the building and grade the grounds.  The entire work was carried on under the personal supervision of Robert S. Finkbine and is an enduring monument to the fidelity and business ability of the Commissioners.

A contest had, for many years, been going on between the farmers of the West and one Greene who had procured a patent on a method of making wells by driving an iron tube into the earth.  By virtue of this patent he and his associates claimed the right to collect a royalty of ten dollars from every person in the United States who used a well made by driving a tube into the ground.  this kind of well had been in use in various parts of the country for a generation.  Encouraged by some of the early decisions of the courts, in granting the board claims to the first patentees of barbed wire, the Greene combination saw an immense fortune for them if a similar decision could be obtained for the drive well patents.  With the aid of good lawyers such a decision was obtained and the crusade against the users of drive wells was inaugurated.  Many well owners paid the demand rather than be forced into expensive litigation.  Others took counsel and formed associations similar to the one which in Iowa was fighting the barbed wire battles.  Then began one of the most determined conflicts in the courts known in the history of litigation in the State.  An association of farmers in Buchanan, Black Hawk, Butler and Fayette counties was organized to carry on the litigation and meet the expenses.  A similar one had been organized in New Jersey which was making a vigorous fight.  The Iowa farmers employed Colonel Jed Lake, a talented lawyer and vigorous fighter to defend them against the Greene combination.  In May, 1883, in a case tried in the United States District Court of Iowa before Judges Shiras and Love, the Court held that the patent of Greene was void on tow grounds.  First, that Greene had slept upon his rights in that he did not apply for a patent until the device had for a long time been before the public.  Second, that a fatal defect in his patent was found in the fact that the reissue embraced an important principle not found in the original application for the patent and was consequently void.  This was a most sweeping decision and left the patent combination no ground to stand upon.  The well owners over the entire country at once refused to pay claims and the Greene combination had but one hope of continuing the extortions so long practiced by threats and intimidation.  The case was taken to the United States Supreme Court in the hope that his decision would be reversed or that the farmers would be unable to continue the expensive litigation.  One hundred and seventy-five suits had been brought against the farmers in the four counties mentioned, in 1878, and one hundred and twenty of them were defended by Lake and Harmon for the Association.  The money was raised and the cass were ably presented in the Supreme Court.  In 1887 the final decision was rendered in which the decision of the United States District Court was affirmed and the so-called patents declared invalid.

It was estimated that this decision saved to the farmers of Iowa, who ere owners of drive wells, not less than $2,000,000; while the heavy expense of carring on the litigation for nine years had been borne by one hundred and twenty farmers of moderate means.  too much credit cannot be awarded the courageous and public spirited citizens who fought this great battle against an extortion of such magnitude in which the farmers of the entire country were deeply interested.  In Minnesota and Legislature made an appropriation of $7,500 to enable the farmers of that State to resist the claim, but in Iowa the entire expense fell upon a few private citizens.

The legal questions involved in the drive well suits were in many respects similar to those raised in the barbed wire contests.  The final triumph of the people in both cases was far reaching, as an adverse decision would have enabled the combinations to have extorted for many years, an annual tax upon the farmers of the entire country, that would have reached high up into the millions and gone to enrich a few eastern capitalists.

The Twenty-second General Assembly convened at Des Moines on the 9th of January, 1888, Lieutenant-Governor Hull presiding over the Senate.  In the House W. H. Redman was elected Speaker.  The Governor and Lieutenant-Governor were inaugurated for a second term.  In his inaugural address Governor Larrabee made a powerful argument for the control of railroad charges by the Legislature.  he presented a strong array of facts and figures to fortify his position, showing the gross injustice of the pooling system inaugurated by the railroads, by which territory and business is so divided among the roads, that there is practically no competition as to rates for transportation.  The Governor preceded to say:

"Steel rails can now be purchased for one-third of the price paid for iron rails fifteen years ago; and engines, cars and coal have depreciated in cost nearly as much while local freight and passenger rates have not been reduced in any perceptible degree.  The railroads of Iowa have received as donations from various sources a value of over $50,000,000.  The tracts of land granted to them by the Nation, State, counties, municipalities and private individuals which aggregate an amount equal to more than one-eight of the total area of the entire State.  The total amount of money actually invested in Iowa railroads by stockholders and bondholders probably does not exceed an average of $15,000 per mile and $13,000,000 of net earnings which are annually distributed among them would be a fair profit upon twice the amount which they have actually invested . . . .Railroads have in the course of time usurped powers dangerous to the public welfare and have practiced extortions perhaps less cruel, but in the aggregate more gigantic than those of the British landlord.  It has been found necessary to limit the power of public officers to levy taxes for the maintenance of our schools and the support of the State, county and municipal government, notwithstanding the fact that those taxes are used for the benefit of the people.  Yet a few railroad managers are free to meet in Chicago and levy an extra tax of one, two or even five million dollars upon the people of Iowa without giving them anything in return. . . . It is impossible to compute or even approximate the loss sustained by the people of Iowa in consequence of railroad discriminations. . . .  By granting special rates, rebates, drawbacks and other favors here and there to men of influence in their respective localities, they have secured the favor of many who, after having divided with them their spoils are ready to defend their wrongs and to advocate a policy of neutrality on part of the State.  By retaining the ablest attorneys, by influencing the press and by flattering and favoring politicians they have for many years managed to prevent an open outburst of popular indignation; and their long continued success greatly added to their boldness to unsurping unlawful powers and invading public rights.  When it is considered that the railroad companies doing business in Iowa, have an annual cash income of over $100,000,000, their past influence can readily be appreciated.  It is not an extravagant statement that the power exerted by them has in many instances proved greater than that of the State to which they owe their corporate existence. . . .  Setting at naught the power of the State they nullify with impunity the principles of equity which for centuries have been enunciated by the courts.  Such combinations as are maintained by them would, in other branches of business, be considered conspiracies against the public welfare and would subject their originators to indictment."

This inaugural address was the most courageous arraignment of the railroad corporations and the most fearless exposition of the extortions and wrongs inflicted by them upon the people of the State, ever made by a public official in Iowa.  Governor Larrabee had long been a prominent member of the State Senate and was thoroughly familiar with the great influence which the railroad companies had been able to bring to bear upon legislation through an ever present lobby sent to watch their interests at each session of the General Assembly.  The liberal distribution of free passes and other special favors to members, had long prevented what they were pleased to term "hostile legislation."  This indictment of the railroad officials and the unimpeachable recital of their extortions by the new Chief Executive of the State fell like a bomb in the camp of the railroad managers.

In the Governor's message sent to the General Assembly a few days before, he made the following recommendations:

"First.  I recommend the passage of a law destroying the pass system root and branch.

"Second.  I recommend that maximum passenger fares on first class railroads be fixed at two cents a mile.

"Third.  I recommend the passage of a law fixing reasonable maximum rates of freight on the principal commodities transported by rail; and also authorizing and requiring the Railroad Commissioners to reduce said rates at any time when in their judgment they are too high.

"Fourth.  The salaries of the Commissioners should be paid by the State and not by the railroad companies."

On the other issues before the people the Governor was equally outspoken.  He said:

"Much progress has been made in the enforcement of the prohibitory law. . . .  Many judges have given strong testimony in its favor, showing that where it has ben well executed there has been a marked reduction in criminal offences and also in court expenses. . . .

"There has been a decided falling off in penitentiary convicts and a very large number of jails have been empty, some of them for the first time in years.  While there is very little difficulty in enforcing the law in rural districts and in a very large majority of the counties, there are still a few portions of the State, particularly in some of the larger cities, where the law is not enforced.  This does not include all such cities,  however, for Des Moines, Sioux City and Cedar Rapids, three of the largest cities of the State, the prohibitory law is now, and has been for the past year well enforced.

"Our people are strong in their convictions that this law should be enforced as well as others and it is the duty of the Legislature to provide the means.  The authority of the Legislature in these matters is no longer a subject of dispute.  The recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States settles that question on grounds so broad and just as to make it impregnable and final. . . .  With this powerful support it only remains for the friends of good government and law and order in Iowa to press patiently, yet resolutely, forward with this great reform until the saloon and all illegal manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors are utterly destroyed.  Such amendments should be made to the law as are needed and are best calculated to make it thoroughly effective in accomplishing its purpose."

Fortified by the determined stand taken by Governor Larrabee in his message and inaugural, for legislative control of railroads, the General Assembly at once proceeded to grapple with the subject in a most vigorous manner.  A bill was carefully framed to meet the abuses so long suffered by the public and to provide adequate remedies.  The Commissioners were given power to fix schedules of charges for transportation and ample authority to enforce their mandates.  Under the this bill the Railroad Commissioners were clothed with power to protect the people from all of the oppressions of the corporations which had been for years the subject of complaint and for which no remedy by law had been provided.  The bill met with the most determined opposition from the railroad officials and all of the personal and political influence it was possible for them to command, at every stage of its progress.  But for the first time since the famous Grange Legislation these corporations found an organization equal to their own.  It could not be circumvented, intimidated nor beaten.  It was active, aggressive, intelligent and uncompromising.  It was sustained by a large majority of the people and in the end succeeded in placing on the statute books a series of acts which provided ample remedies for most of the wrongs perpetrated by the railroad managers and at the same time deprived them of no rights of property.

The repeal of the Grange Legislation by the General Assembly of 1878, was followed so closely by a business revival due to other causes, that the people of the State for a time lost sight of the railroad question as a political issue.  The problem of the control of common carriers had not, however, ceased to claim the attention of a large and influential element of the country's population east as well as west; and the agitation for National control of some sort continued without interruption until the year 1887, when an act to regulate commerce between the States was given a place on the statute books of the Federal Government.

A revolt of the Republicans in the Eighth Congressional District, composed of the southwestern counties, resulted in the election of Albert R. Anderson; and the election of General James B. Weaver in the Sixth, or central District, and emphasized the desire of the people of Iowa for affirmative legislation on the subject of railroad control.  The interstate commerce law prohibited discriminations in freight charges between shippers and localities; the pooling of railway earnings by competing carriers and the charging of a higher rate for a shorter than for a longer haul, the shipment being over the same line, in the same direction and under substantially similar circumstances and conditions.

The railway managers unused to legal restraints during the formative period of the railway system of the country, at first resented even the moderate limitations imposed upon their freedom of action by this conservative statute and manifested a disposition to use the provisions of the measure oppressively and in such a way as to discommode shippers, irritate the public and convince the country that legislation in relation to transportation was not particable.

Throughout this period local freight rates were relatively higher than charges on shipments from the great commercial centers.  The manufacturers and jobbers of the State were able to compete with their rivals in the large cities only by means of the rebates paid them by the railways.  These rebates were now withdrawn and the Iowa shipper informed that since the enactment of the interstate commerce law, he must if he desired to continue in business, remove to those large and important terminal points from which, alone, it was possible to grant living rates.  The business outlook in the cities of the State was gloomy.  Factories and wholesale houses were closing their doors and removing to other States.  Agriculture was depressed by the prospect that its future markets would be in distant cities, restricting its activity to the production of bulky staples and cutting off those miscellaneous refined products so profitably grown when populous cities are near.

Previous to this time there had been little cooperation between the rural and urban population of the State in efforts  to obtain legislation controlling railroad charges.  If there had been a community of interests it had not been discovered on either side.  Of partism cooperation on moral and political issues there had been many cases; but the capacity to work together for common purposes connected with their industrial interests had not been developed.  It has awaited the opportunity now at hand.  Leaders were not wanting.  A score or more of earnest and well informed men of affairs, engaged in commercial, financial and agricultural pursuits, several of them learned in the law, now came into prominence as organizers of a movement for the solution of the difficult problem of saving important industries of the State from destruction.

Each of the chief political parties of the State furnished champions of the rights of the people of Iowa  to a share in the industrial life of the country.  They worked together with a patriotism rarely equalled and with results which may serve as an inspiration to legislators in the future.  In the Executive chair Governor William Larabee, in the General Assembly James G. Berryhill, on the Board of Railway Commissioners Frank T. Campbell and Spencer Smith, were the prime movers in teh work which gave the State its railroad legislation and the practical solution of problems of administration there under.  So important was the part taken by each of these public officials that it way safely be said that if any one of them had at any time flinched the formidable work might have met defeat.

Mr. Berryhill was the lawyer who made a careful examination of the constitutional points involved in the proposed legislation.  Familiar with the decisions of the State and Federal Courts in relation to fixing rates, he so framed the bill that unquestioned principles of constitutional law were back of every part of the statute.  While some of the more radical reformers were impatiently urging the fixing of inflexible rates, Mr. Berryhill firmly urges that the State could not safely go beyond the point of establishing a maximum rate which should only be prima facie evidence of a reasonable rate.  While this simply shifted the burden of proof in the event of litigation from the shipper to the carrier and left the former with nothing more substantial than a better standing in court, the outcome proved that this was all that the shipper really needed in the way of laws.  The railroad companies were so thoroughly convinced of the constitutionality of the legislation that they never permitted the controversy to go to the Supreme Court of the United States.  They preferred to submit to what they declared to be disastrous reductions of rates, rather than permit the legal questions involved in railway control to go to the court of last resort on grounds chosen for the test by the framers of this statute.

The battle-ground of the movement was in the first instance in the State Legislature, after years of agitation through the press and the Granges.  The preliminary skirmishing was in the Twenty-first General Assembly, while the Twenty-second carried the struggle to a conclusion.  James G. Berryhill was the acknowledged organizer and leader in the House of Representatives of the two General Assemblies and the committees of that branch of the Legislature were made up largely with reference to friendliness to railroad restriction.

Governor Larrabee had long been a recognized leader in the State Senate and was conservative as to railroad legislation.  His first term as chief Executive of the State was nearing its end before events convinced him of the need of legislation which later he did so much to promote.  Most men become more conservative under official responsibility; but Governor Larrabee had the genius of a thorough business man and the conscience of a New Englander of Puritan stock.  When  he became the Executive of the people of Iowa in business affairs, it was inevitable that he should have a clear insight into their rights and an invincible determination to secure and safeguard their interests.

The test came in the Glenwood coal case.  The railroads charged a rate for transporting coal to a State institution which the Governor believed to be excessive, unjust and discrimination.  He determined to resist the over-charge and appealed to the Board of Railway Commissioners, the tribunal created by the Legislature of 1878, which he had helped to enact as a substitute  for direct legislative control of railways.  The Commissioners decided that they had no power to remedy the abuse complained of, that their functions were merely advisory.  That decision convinced the Governor of the inefficiency of the Railway Commission and the necessity of clothing the tribunal with some real power to remedy wrongs.  From this time Governor Larrabee became the leader of the movement for legislative control of railways, of which prior to that time he had apparently been a disinterested observer.

In the appointment of Ex-Lieutenant Governor Frank T. Campbell a member of the Board of Railway Commissioners, Governor Larrabee had selected the able leader of railroad control who led the contest in the enactment of the Grange legislation many years before.  The Governor now had become convinced of the necessity of direct legislation for the regulation of business transactions between the people and the powerful corporations which controlled the transportation of the country.  He gave the problem careful investigation as chief Executive of the State and his influence was a powerful factor in securing the needed legislation.

There had long been a general belief among the people that "friendly legislation" for the railroads had been largely influenced by the distributation of free passes to public officials, such as member of the Legislature, judges of the courts, Railroad Commissioners and assessors; and the prohibition of this practice had been strongly demanded by the people since the first movements for railroad control.  yet the free passes were distributed so judiciously and effectively by the various companies, to all officials who had the power to curb the extortions of these powerful corporations, that bills to prohibit this system of influencing public officials were always defeated.  All efforts made by the reformers before the Twenty-first General Assembly to prohibit free passes to public officials; to make the Railroad Commissioners elective by the people, and to give the Board power to fix freight and passenger rates, were defeated, notwithstanding the earnest efforts of the antimonopoly members of the various political parties.  James G. Berryhill of Polk, George L. Finnof Taylor, Silas Wilson of Cass, Thomas Teale of Decatur, J. G. Brown of Marshall, and S. A. Converse of Howard were foremost among the advocates of railroad control in the House of Representatives during this session of 1886; the Senate giving little attention to the subject.

When the Twenty-second General Assembly convened in January, 1888, the advocates of railroad control realized the importance of thorough and systematic organization of their forces and able and aggressive leadership.  In the Senate were George L. Finn, Lafayette Young, J. H. Sweney, F. D. Bayless and other firm and aggressive advocates of the reform.  In the House were James G. Berryhill, L. W. Lewis, N. B. Holbrook, John F. Dayton, John T. Hamilton, John W. Luke, James A. Smith, John C. Hall and W. H. Redman who was chosen Speaker.

The bills making the office of Railroad Commissioner elective by the people, empowering the Board to make rates prohibiting discriminations and placing the entire business of railway management and operation under a system of legal control, were easily carried through the General Assembly.  public sentiment had become irresistible and there was little opposition to the reform in either branch of the General Assembly.  The railways succeeded in defeating the House bill establishing a schedule of maximum freight rates only to see substantially the same rates adopted and put in force by the elective Railroad Commissioners a few months later.  This schedule was based upon rates voluntarily adopted by the railroad companies for shipments between Chicago and other Illinois points.  The diplomacy of Mr. Berryhill secured the adoption of a most effective long and short haul clause in the general railway law enacted at this time.  There was a disagreement between the House and Senate upon a number of material points in the bill under consideration, which were referred to a conference committee composed of Senators, J. H. Sweney, Ben McCoy, Lafayette Young, O. W. Schmidt and James Dooley, and Representatives James G. Berryhill, A. b. Cummins, Silas Wilson, John W. Luke and John T. Hamilton.

A section was reported by the conference committee which made any low fixed rate by any carrier over any part of its line applicable to its entire system.  This provision was stronger than any requirement incorporated int he original bill as it passed the House.  Its adoption was in effect the most advanced position taken by the antimonopolists in regard to discriminations in rates.  Its far reaching importance was not discovered by the railway managers until after the amended bill became a law.  It is recognized as the keystone of the arch of Iowa railway legislation.

The railway companies appealed to the Federal Courts to enjoin the Commissioners from putting into effect the schedule of freight rates adopted by the Board; but, as before indicated, the new laws had ben so carefully prepared that the corporations had little expectation of having them set aside.  A few months later litigation was suspended; the Commissioners' rates were accepted by the roads and peaceful relations were finally established between the people of Iowa and the railroads.

The ruin predicted in some quarters as certain to result from the legislation of 1888, did not ensue.  The loss of revenue to the companies foretold by the opponents of moderate rates did not take place.  On the contrary the Iowa earnings of the railroad companies doing business in the State were increased by several million dollars per annum.  This effect of establishing such local freight rates as would permit the people of Iowa to interchange their products among themselves had been predicted by the farmers of the measures, and justified the prediction.

Futile efforts have been made by the railway companies to secure a reversal of the popular verdict, and by the reformers to carry the movement into National politics; but the public has failed to respond to either of these appeals, and within a few years the railroad question has substantially disappeared from the politics of the State.  The attempt to abolish free passes over railroads to public officials was again defeated; but railroads were required to fence their tracks and keep the fences in repair.  The Twenty-second General Assembly will be long remembered for the inestimable service it rendered to the people, in the framing and enactment of laws controlling railroads which have proved to be wise, just and beneficial.

James F. Wilson was elected to the United States Senate for another full term of six years.  The Legislature revised and amended the prohibitory liquor laws and made better provisions for their enforcement.

At the Republican State Convention held at Des Moines on the 22d of August, 1888, Frank D. Jackson was nominated for Secretary of State; J. A. Lyon for Auditor; V. P. Twombly for Treasurer; C. T. Granger for Supreme Judge; John Y. Stone for Attorney-General and Spencer Smith, John Mahin and F. T. Campbell for Railroad Commissioners.

The Democratic State Convention nominated the following candidates:  Secretary of State, Walter McHenry; Auditor, D. T. Ockerson; Treasurer, Amos Case; Supreme Judge, P. H.. Smith; Attorney-General, J. C. Mitchell; Railroad Commissioners, Peter A. Dey, C. L. Lund and H. E. Willis.

The labor Union Convention nominated J. B. Van Court for Secretary of State; C. M. Farnsworth for Auditor; James Rice for Treasurer; M. M. Jones for Supreme Judge, and D. H. Williams for Attorney-General.

The Prohibitionists nominated J. Mickelwait for Secretary; Malcom Smith for Auditor; E. O. Sharp for Treasurer.

This being the year for Presidential election the campaign was conducted with considerable spirit on the part of the Republicans and Democrats.  Grover Cleveland was renominated for President by the Democrats and Allan G. Thruman for Vice-President.  The Republican National Convention nominated Benjamin Harrison for President and Levi P. Morton for Vice-President.  The Labor Union party nominated A. J. Streter for President and C. E. Cunningham for Vice-President.  The Prohibitionists nominated C. B. Fisk for President and J. A. Brooks for Vice-President.

The result of the election in Iowa was the success of all of the Republican candidates, except John Mahin for Railroad Commissioner, who was defeated by the railroad influence being used against him and for Peter A. Dey one of the Democratic candidates.  The Republicans elected ten of the eleven Representatives in Congress.  In the Second District the Democratic candidate, Walter I. Hayes, was chosen over P. W. McManus, Republican.

The total receipts of the State Treasurer for the biennial period ending June 30th, 1889, were $3,292,665.19.  The total equalized assessment of the property of the State for the year 1889 was $522,567,000.  The total amount paid out for school purposes that year was $6,848,128.  There were 8,298 miles of railroad in the State, the assessed value of which was $43,271,008 and the net earnings amounted to $9,515,957.71.  The farm products for the past year were estimated to be worth $365,179,917.

The Republican State Convention met in Des Moines on the 14th of August, 1889, and nominated J. C. Hutchison for Governor, A. N. Poyneer for Lieutenant-Governor, Josiah Given for Judge of Supreme Court, Henry Sabin for Superintendent of Public Instruction and Spencer Smith for Railroad Commissioner.  The platform affirmed the principles and policy of State railway regulation and declared in favor of absolute prevention, by Congress, of rebates and discriminations.  The fifth resolution declared:

"That we reaffirm the past utterances of the Republican party of Iowa upon prohibition which had become the settled policy of the State and upon which there should be no backward step."

The eighth resolution declared in favor of courts of arbitration for the settlement of labor difficulties.

The Democratic State Convention met at Sioux City on the 18th of September and nominated Horace Boies for Governor, S. L. Bestow for Lieutenant-Governor, W. F. Brannan for Judge of Supreme Court, T. M. Irish for Superintendent of Public Instruction and David Morgan for Railway Commissioner.  The resolutions declared in favor of the Australian ballot, the regulation of railroads and other corporations against unjust discriminations and oppressive charges, in favor of a license law where desired by a majority of the voters.

The State Convention of the Union Labor party, held at Des Moines, nominated the following ticket:  S. B. Downing for Governor, E. Brownell for Lieutenant-Governor, M. H. Jones for Supreme Judge, Harriet J. Belange for Superintendent of Public Instruction and L. H. Griffith for Railway Commissioner.  The convention endorsed in platform of the National Labor Union platform of the past year.

The Greenback party put the following ticket in the field:  for Governor, Elias Doty; Lieutenant-Governor, J. M. McDonald; Supreme Judge, E. M. Farnsworth; Superintendent of Public Instruction, T. F. Tobin; Railway Commissioner, R. Garrett.  On the issue involved in the State campaign the party declared for local option in the liquor traffic, for the single land tax and government ownership of railroads.

The Prohibitionists nominated the following candidates:  for Governor, Malcom Smith; Lieutenant-Governor, J. W. Murphy; Supreme Judge, J. W. Rogers; Superintendent of Public Instruction, Mrs. M. H. Dunham; Railway Commissioner, J. W. Noble.  The resolutions favored rigid prohibition, women suffrage, arbitration of labor disputes, Australian ballot, opposition to all trusts and monopolies.

The campaign was confined largely to the liquor controversy, the old conflict between license and prohibition and for the first time in the history of the State a majority of the voters cast their ballots for the leading candidate who boldly advocated alcohol option license law.

The principal contest was between the candidates for Governor, nominated by the Republicans and Democrats, who ably advocated the respective positions taken by the two parties on the absorbing issue of license against prohibition.  The result was that a great number of Republicans in the river counties, where the sentiment was strongly for license of the liquor traffic, voted for Mr. Boies, the Democratic candidate, electing him by a plurality of 6,573.

The Republican candidates for Supreme Judge, Lieutenant-Governor, Superintendent of Public Instruction and Railway Commissioner were elected by pluralities ranging from 1,781 to 8,480.  Counting the entire vote cast for the candidates of the two parties, which in their platforms declared for license, it amounted to 185,690 for Boies and Downing; while the combined vote given for Hutchison and Smith, who stood on prohibition platforms was 174,891, which appeared to indicate a change in sentiment on this issue among the electors of the State since the prohibitory amendment had been adopted, of more than 20,000 votes from prohibition to license.


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