Crow Wing County Historical Society (webpage header)


BRAINERD UTILITIES


Throughout the first fifty years of its existence the city of Brainerd struggled to provide clean water along with consistent and reliable electric power. The city had fallen victim to charlatans, cheats and con-men who promised great things, charged high prices and failed to deliver on their promises. The Cuyuna Range Power Company began providing reliable and reasonably priced electric power in 1913; it was purchased by Minnesota Power and Light in 1924. It was not until 1920, when the concrete water tower at the corner of Sixth and Washington Streets was completed, that Brainerd finally had a pure water supply. Raw sewage was still being dumped into the Mississippi River in 1969.

Ann M. Nelson


BRAINERD DAM
BRAINERD GAS & ELECTRIC COMPANY / NORTHERN STATES POWER
ELECTRIC POWER HOUSE (DAM)
ELECTRIC POWER HOUSE (LAUREL STREET)
PUMP HOUSE / WATER WORKS
SEWAGE DISPOSAL PLANT
SEWER SYSTEM
WATER TOWER
WATER AND LIGHT REPORTS
IMAGE CREDITS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


BRAINERD DAM
Mississippi Water Power & Boom Company. This company was formed by Chas. F. Kindred about 1884. In 1886 the officers were C. F. Kindred, president; F. B. Thompson, secretary, John N. Nevers, treasurer; G. S. Fernald, counsel. Its purpose was to build a dam across the Mississippi River. They claimed that available were to be twenty feet of head which were expected to develop 25,000 horsepower and the backbay would provide boomage for 50,000,000 logs. The claim about the horsepower was, we say, grossly in error. All logs destined for Minneapolis would be chuted through the dam. Above the dam a little rice bed would become an enlarged bay, of the Mississippi River, now named Rice Lake.
Delay about building was occasioned by the inability to come to terms with owners of land on the west bank of the river. The dam site was intended to have been a little north of the present Washington Avenue bridge. Had the dam been built there, much of the present lowland within the city in the Second and Third Wards,—the athletic field at the junior high, for example, would today be sloughs or bays. It would have cost much to acquire these flowage rights. Although the delay was aggravating, it eventually became a benefit to all concerned in ways not expected. The dam was built about a mile to the north in what became known as the Mill District. When completed it was made of wooden piling driven inside a belt 100 feet wide and the spaces between were filled with rock. On top the piles were bolted together with heavy planking like a cover. A sluiceway inserted was 50 feet wide. It is recorded that the material used was 2,500,000 feet of pine, 70,000 feet of oak, 800 tons of iron, and 2,800 cords of stone. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 30 & 31)

A bill was introduced into the House on Monday last by Mr. Nelson to authorize the Mississippi Water Power and Boom Company of Brainerd to construct a dam across the Mississippi at this place. This is said to be Mr. Kindred’s object at Washington instead of the Dakota Governorship as has been stated. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 March 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

A Sure Thing.


A Washington telegram of the 22nd says that the sub-committee of the committee on commerce, to whom was referred Mr. Nelson’s bill to authorize the Mississippi Water Power and Boom company of Brainerd, Minn., to construct a dam across the Mississippi river, have agreed to make a favorable report on the bill to the full committee. The bill provides:
The company be authorized to construct across the Mississippi river, not more than two miles from Brainerd, a dam, canal, etc., for water power and other purposes, and in connection therewith a wagon and foot bridge for public travel; provided that the government can at any time construct in connection therewith a suitable lock for navigation purposes; also that the government may at any time take possession of said dam and control the same for purposes of navigation by paying said company the cost of the same, but not to the detriment of the water power created by said dam. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 April 1884, p. 3, c. 4)

THE BRAINERD DAM.


The bill introduced by Congressman Nelson, authorizing the building of a dam at Brainerd, is one of a number of pieces of legislation to be asked in congress and in the state legislature, in which the lumbermen of the Northwest are vitally interested, says the Pioneer Press. The proposition to build the dam is part of a scheme matured some time since, in which Hon. C. F. Kindred is a prime mover, to develop a large lumber business at Brainerd, where two mills have already been built. The banks of the Mississippi are high at that point, and so far as the lumber business is concerned the dam is designed less to furnish a motive power than to create a body of water in which logs can be stored and held. If the company who ask the legislation are successful in their effort to secure permission to build a dam at Brainerd, they will ask the state legislature, at the approaching session, to grant a charter for a boom company. It is part of the project of Mr. Kindred to eventually effect a continuous boom from Brainerd to the limits of the Mississippi and Rum river boom company now at Monticello. There has been nothing recently in the condition of the lumber market to encourage increased lumbering at Brainerd or anywhere else. The manufacturers along the Northern Pacific have, in fact, with but a single market, and that along the railroad, felt more seriously than anybody else the depression in the market. Mr. Kindred, urges, however, that this is only a temporary condition of things, and that on other streams the tendency has been for the business to work up the river toward the forests. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 December 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

THEY WANT THE DAM.
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During the past few days there has been considerable stir on the question of bonding the county of Crow Wing to aid in the construction of a dam across the Mississippi river at this point, and while there is no one who understands anything at all about it denies that it would prove an incalculable benefit to Brainerd and the county, there are some enemies to the scheme, but there is an overwhelming sentiment in favor of the dam and of bonding the county, provided the necessary guarantees are given that the dam will be built. As an explanation to such doubting parties as there may be, we publish in this issue a letter from Mr. C. F. Kindred, which makes the plan and in fact the whole thing clear.
The act passed by the recent legislature authorizing Crow Wing county to issue $50,000 in bonds to aid in constructing a bridge, and which act is published in full in this issue, is what has puzzled many of the voters, as it is known that another bridge is not necessary at this place, but the state constitution forbids the voting of bonds to aid corporations or companies and this is why the project was put through in the shape of a “bridge” bill, and only for the purpose of furthering the project of building the dam. The people are willing to vote the bonds, and we believe they would be willing to vote twice the amount, if they are sure there is no robbery or game intended, but by reading the act it will be seen that the entire matter, so far as the county’s interest is concerned, is left entirely under the control of county commissioners. The DISPATCH would be among the first to protest did we not think that the scheme was straight in every particular, and inasmuch as Mr. Kindred, in behalf of the Dam and Boom company, has offered and agreed to enter into a written agreement with the commissioners of Crow Wing County, if the contract be let to this company, to commence active work on the construction of the dam at once, and to complete it by Jan. 1, 1886. The commissioners will be expected to pay to the company out of the money coming from the bonds such sums as they deem proper as the work advances, and the remainder of the $50,000 on the completion of the work. A bridge will be built on the top of the dam to fill the requirements of the law.
There is work being done with the secretary of the interior to get a permit to dam the river at this point, and it is quite certain that it will be granted, inasmuch as a favorable report has been made by the government engineer for such dam to be put in. The county commissioners have authority from the statutes to grant a permit to dam the river as will be seen by the following, which is found on page 350, section 41: “LICENSE, WHEN AND TO WHOM GRANTED:—The board of county commissioners may grant a license to any person applying therefore, to construct and maintain a dam or dams across any stream within their respective counties and counties thereto attached for record or judicial purposes for the purpose of raising a head of water sufficient to sluice logs, timber or lumber upon being satisfied that such dam is necessary at the point applied for, and that the land on both sides of the stream is in the possession or under the control of the person so applying.”
The county commissioners have been interviewed and they are in favor of issuing the bonds, but to a man would oppose anything where the interests of the people will be put in jeopardy.
The time for voting for or against these bonds has been called for the 7th of April, which will be one week from next Tuesday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 March 1885, p. 3, c. 5)

An Explanation From Mr. Kindred.


To the voters of Crow Wing County:
Gentlemen: Some misapprehension having arisen regarding the proposition to be submitted to you on the 7th prog. to vote $50,000 in bonds to aid in the construction of a bridge across the Mississippi river at this place, I will say as follows by way of explanation of the proposition, on behalf of the Brainerd Dam and Boom company:
The proposition is designed primarily to cover a dam for water power purposes and a bridge, but the fact that the constitution of the state forbids the granting of special privileges by the legislature to private companies and corporations, would have rendered entirely worthless, even if we could have procured its passage, any act authorizing the county to vote aid to our company to build a dam. But the legislature had authority and it did authorize the people to vote aid to the construction of a bridge, that bridge to be such a bridge as the county commissioners agree upon. Thus this act leaves it with the commissioners to require this bridge to be set upon a pier or abutment of solid masonry running clear across the river, and suitably based upon a solid foundation in the bed of the river, and protected above and below by suitable structures; or, in other words, upon an eighteen or twenty foot dam, thereby creating a water power. Title 8 of chapter 32 of the general statutes give the commissioners the power to grant to our company the right to construct and maintain a dam across the Mississippi at this place.
Owing to the inhibition of the constitution referred to, it was not possible to frame a law any more specific than the one passed, which leaves the power with the county commissioners, if they see fit, to appropriate the $50,000 to the construction of a bridge alone. I only wish I could have had a legal act passed conclusive on all the points on both sides, though I have no doubt whatever that the commissioners will appropriate the money if voted, in accordance with the generally well understood wish of the people, viz., for the construction of a dam for a water power and bridge. At all events this much had to be entrusted to them if anything was done, and I think there is no division of opinion upon the question that we have got to do something. I have used my best judgement under all circumstances, and gotten the matter in the best shape I was able. The result rests with yourselves.
So far as our company is concerned, we are ready and would gladly enter into contract with the county commissioners at any time after or before the election; if desired, upon condition that the bonds are voted and the money paid to us from time to time as the work progresses, to erect the dam during 1885, in a good substantial manner, according to the plans in my office, and thus give us the second water power, as well as one of the most substantial and finest structures, in the state of Minnesota, bringing mills, factories, capital, enterprise, population and prosperity to Brainerd, as nothing else I can conceive will.
Respectfully,
C. F. KINDRED.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 27 March 1885, p. 3, c. 6)

Will the Bonds be Voted!
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In our last issue we printed a letter from Mr. Kindred in regard to the building of the proposed dam at this place and which had a tendency to allay the feelings of doubt in the minds of many as to the feasibility of voting the bonds asked for, and at the present time there is no doubt but that the election will carry without any serious opposition, although there are a few persons who are doing what they can to defeat the bonding of the county. There must be some object that these men who are opposing the scheme have which has not been explained. The building of the dam across the river at this point will be the biggest boon to Brainerd that could be imagined. For direct and lasting benefit it will be worth more than a dozen railroads. There are a few people who are raising the cry that these bonds will increase our taxes. There is not one property holder in the whole county who will not be benefitted at least ten times the amount of the increase in taxes. On the other hand it will increase the taxable property in Crow Wing county and in Brainerd so that we will be the gainer in that respect. Over a half million of dollars will be added to our resources for manufacturing and other business purposes. Pine lands and lumber will advance in price, real estate will increase in value, farmers will locate in the now sparsely settled portions of the county, and the direct result of the consummating of this project will be visible on every hand, and every dollar of new capital that is invested here will be taxable, which will, in our estimation, reduce taxes instead of increasing them. Ask any man who is well posted what the immediate benefit would be if active work is commenced this spring. For instance, ask any business man who has been paying $100 or over a month for rent, ask the laboring man who has been idle during the long winter months, ask the hotel keepers what effect it would have on them, ask the real estate men if it would not brace up their business and if they would not get better prices, and ask the farmers if they would not find a more ready market for their products at advanced prices. This matter is of the most vital importance to the future prospects of our city and county, and it is to be hoped that as such the voting for the bonds on Tuesday next will be carried unanimously and without opposition. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 April 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

Bond Meeting.


A meeting will be held at the Opera house on Saturday evening, April 4, to discuss the question of issuing bonds to aid in the construction of the Brainerd dam. Everybody is invited to be there. Come out and hear the question talked over. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 April 1885, p. 3, c. 5)

The Bond Vote.
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The election called on Tuesday to vote on issuing $50,000 of Crow Wing county bonds to aid in the construction of a dam across the river at this place was a very quiet and orderly occasion. In the city there was 731 votes polled, 725 for and six against issuing the same. The vote in the different wards was as follows:
First Ward—239 for and none against.
Second Ward—174 for and two against.
Third Ward—126 for and three against.
Fourth Ward—186 for and one against.
The vote in the outside precincts, as far as have been heard from, stood as follows:
Deerwood—Seven for and eight against.
Bay Lake—Eight for and none against.
Mille Lacs—Seven for and seven against.
Fort Ripley—Five for and sixty-four against.
Fractional township 44—33—Fourteen for and none against.
Thus it will be seen that out of the whole county vote in which there are some 1,500 or 2,000 voters there are less than a hundred men who were opposed to the issuing of the bonds, and these men were undoubtedly misinformed as regarded the real intention of the election. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 April 1885, p. 3, c. 5)

Water Power Company.
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The annual meeting of the Brainerd Water Power and Dam company was held on Tuesday, and the board of directors was reorganized. No change of importance was made. An assessment of 2 per cent on the subscribed stock was made toward the preliminary operations of constructing, and a surveying contract to ascertain the overflowage of the river above the dam was left to F. B. Thompson and O. H. Havill. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 July 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

The engineers began the final survey of the proposed Mississippi dam on Wednesday to determine the amount of damages that will accrue from overflowage. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 August 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

Late in 1886 the aldermen studied a proposal to build a dam and a bridge across the river. They decided $20,000 would be needed to pay for damages due to flooding land south of the brick yard.
This proposal stirred up the electorate. The people in the First Ward hoped to swing influence to build a dam at about where the present bridges now are or, as they said, between Maple and Kingwood Streets. The Brainerd Water & Power Company opposed this site, claiming that the ensuing flooding would put its water plant out of business. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 31)

Dam Statistics.


The following article, although somewhat lengthy, is of an interesting character. After stating a few facts the correspondent of a St. Paul paper says that the mere throwing of a dam into the Mississippi at Brainerd, even though it were known that it would make a big head of water, for power purposes, would be no more than has been done at other points in the river above St. Paul, as at St. Cloud, now constructing, and at Sauk Rapids, long built. But the difference in the Brainerd case is very material, arising primarily in the natural condition of the stream at Brainerd, and above is for twenty or thirty miles; and with in the next place a marked difference in the shape of the stream, depth, banks, etc., at Brainerd, for adaptation to water power and navigation, when improved as proposed. This primary difference will be best set forth in an account of what the dam, as the survey shows, will accomplish, in transformation of the rapids and present impediments to navigation, the other respect of difference may be thus described: At twelve to fifteen miles above Brainerd begin a series of lakes close to the main stream, with inlets more or less marshy, and then follow small rapids, at intervals of a few miles, down to the last rapid, a mile or so above the city limits of Brainerd; also Rice lake comes in at nearly the same point. Immediately below Rice lake and the last rapid the banks of the river become loftier, the bottom lands disappear until the banks now become uniformly of a height on both sides, and that from 35 to 50 feet, approach to a comparatively narrow throat at one particular point. This point is at the Schwartz brick yard works, back of East Brainerd, the particular spot being on a line almost exactly with Fourth avenue prolonged northward to the river bank. From this narrow throat above, over the whole distance mentioned, past the rapids and lake inlets—twelve miles or more, the stream is not navigable, even in a medium stage of water, and only in the very highest of water, at a flood tide, could merchandizing boats of any size get over at all. As a rule, even logs in running from the pineries experience difficulty in passing. The upper narrow throat is one possible site of the dam. From this point downward the stream makes a great sweep around almost three sides of the city of Brainerd, viz., the north side, west, and bending somewhat at the south side. The same high banks continue following the stream downward from Schwartz, but widening out very much while passing the north and northwest faces of the city, forming extended and greatly indented bottom lands along these faces, but coming together closely again when just abreast of the central line of the city east and west, at which point the Northern Pacific crossing was selected, its present bridge lies but a few hundred feet below this second narrowing. Then below this the stream continues narrow for a few hundred yards, then widens again into a bottom land, there is a small (Boom) lake, and here are located the mills and yards including the flouring mill of Howes & Davis and the lumber mills of J. J. Howe & Co. At the second narrowing mentioned viz., less than 1,000 feet above the Northern Pacific and the present wagon bridge is the second proposed site for the dam, directly abreast of the city, and the choice between the two is the active and important question agitating the people, the points concerned which, are influencing the decision, to wit: That it is entirely a question of damages charged by property owners for overflowed lands.
As between the two sites, the difference in estimated cost is not so much, and whether either site is selected the main effect on the stream as to improvements for navigation purposes and as to water power is not materially different. Either would give, on the bottom lands and lakes, large boomage for log storage for mills. But taking up the lower site in detail, the following are the rough figures. The banks at the points of contact of the dam structure, are close to 50 feet above mean water, and the dam face would be about 475 feet. The mill dam surface and pond measurement would give with a dam height of 20 feet, 25,000 horse power. The surveys which were all completed last fall, were 18 foot tall, which will flood 250 to 300 acres of bottoms on the westward of the channel, and about 400 acres on the side, making 650 to 700 acres in all, flooded before the proposed site above is reached at all adding that much to the mill dam capacity over what the upper site would secure. Also these bottoms would be covered by the dam height of 18 feet, with 10 to 12 feet of water, making a great body of water navigable for all boats immediately abreast of the city, with the banks now known as the boulevard stretching around in such a manner as to be most advantageous for docks and wharves. With this arrangement the mills and factories would perhaps go below to the bottom areas toward the present Howe works, the power transmitted by race. Going on up stream as the levels have been run, we will note the effect from this lower dam. At two and one-half miles up Rice lake will be reached, a body of water about one-half by three-fourths of a mile in extent, with deep water. It will be raised over 10 feet and its mouth into the Mississippi, now a small brook, made of large size, all of slack water. Above this lake are fully 3,000 acres of flats, which will be flooded into a heavy body of water. Nine miles up is Rabbit lake, a body two miles long of deep water, a great ducking and fishing ground. This will also receive back water, and its outlet converted into the same water storage. Returning south on the north side, almost abreast of Brainerd proper is Gilbert lake, the city summer resort, now lined with cottages. This lake is several miles in extent, and a very charming place with evergreen banks, high and beautiful in summer with flowers of every description, and the lake itself in nooks and bays in that season is covered with pond lilies and other water flowers. This lake lies in such a manner to the north bank of the river that a cutting of less that 20 rods will equalize this lake to the dam level and connect its waters to the great system. The rapids previously mentioned as in the way of use of the river are known as French and Flat rapids, and that at the north of Rabbit brook all very formidable obstructions, and all completely flowed out by this dam—completely restoring a reach of over fourteen miles by the river, and making navigation good—Brainerd to Aitkin from which latter place it is now good to Grand Rapids, 150 miles making a total of navigable water from Brainerd of some 225 miles. What of water power and log boomage the dam will afford is easily estimated. The mill dam surface and acquirements actual and possible, from flooding the lakes and bottom areas and flats, about 4,000 acres; total 8,100 acres, or exceeding 20,000 square feet, at an average depth of ten feet this would make the enormous amount of over 200,000,000 cubic feet of water, exclusive of the cubic contents of the body of the river itself, through its course of fourteen or fifteen miles, that this dam would accumulate, from the waters above, and add to the bodies and volumes of waters as existing without the dam. It is such an enterprise as thus outlined, leaving out of the question all discussions as to advantages as for milling operations here; at the base of all the upper Mississippi lumber cut of exceeding 325,000,000 annually, and setting aside the question of bearing on the future of this city and other parts of the state in securing such a water power as this, that has engaged the efforts and attention of the public spirited gentlemen pushing it. They began two years ago, expecting at first to obtain from the state legislature all the needful legislation for thus going into the Mississippi. Congressional action was found necessary, and, after tedious work in the last congress, to which Mr. Nelson, the representative from the Fifth district, gave his best efforts, they were disappointed to see congress adjourn and the bill die with the session. For the present congress, forearmed by being forewarned, Mr. Nelson was one of the earliest on the ground, and with the outside assistance simply in the way of presenting the fact that there was nothing interfering, and that the government engineers approved the work, as an addition to the Mississippi reservoir system, Mr. Nelson worked it through the house nearly a month ago, and now Senator Sabin has done the same thing with the senate. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 April 1886, p. 3, c. 6)

Geo. S. Canfield and A. McDonald returned on Monday last from a cruising expedition up the river, where they had been sent by the Brainerd Dam Co. to ascertain if there was sufficient stumpage on the lands condemned for overflowage to furnish the necessary piling for building the dam. They reported an abundance of timber and the company will in a day or two send in a crew of men to get out the piling. It is now understood that the work will be pushed rapidly forward and that the dam will probably be completed next summer. If this should be the case the town would certainly experience a boom next spring. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 November 1886, p. 4, c. 4)

Actual Work Begun on the Dam.


Charles Firman Kindred, ca. Unknown.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Actual work has been begun on the dam. At least one half of the piling necessary for its construction, and a great deal of timber has already been gotten out by a crew of twenty men who have been employed at Rabbit Lake under the foremanship of Geo. S. Canfield, for the past two weeks, and it is reported that the driving of the piles will begin within a week. Stone has also been contracted for in small quantities in this vicinity where it can be obtained, and additional contracts are being awarded every day. Certified checks have been placed on deposit with Clerk of Court, S. F. Alderman to pay claims for damages for overflowage of lands to those who have not appealed from the decision of the commissioners appointed to appraise the amount of damage sustained by each individual on account of overflowage. Mr. Kindred informs a DISPATCH scribe that new plans and specifications have just been completed by Mr. C. J. A. Morris, the engineer who had charge of the construction of the St. Cloud dam, and who will also have the supervision of the building of the dam here. Mr. Kindred also emphatically states that the work will now be carried steadily forward without intermission until the dam is completed, which Mr. Kindred thinks will not take over six or eight months. As to the location Mr. Kindred did not know definitely whether it would be just above the bridge or at the brick yard, but he gave the impression that the lower site would be selected. He said, however, that it would be definitely known in a day or two, as the delivery of the material for construction would begin shortly. It is to be hoped that the lower site will be selected, as it will increase the value of town property in a greater degree than if constructed at the brick yard. Mr. Kindred is to be commended for the push and energy he has displayed in the matter, and he should have the hearty co-operation of all our business men, as it is certainly going to be a great benefit to our town. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 December 1886, p. 4, c. 6)

That Dam Business.


A meeting of the citizens was held at the Villard Wednesday afternoon to look into the matter of the location and which the people are desirous of having near the old ferry. This place the dam company finds impracticable on account of not being able to get a clear title to the land on which the west abutment must rest from Chas. Ahrens, he having appealed from the award. A committee consisting of L. P. White, Geo. Holland and J. H. Koop was appointed to see if it was possible to overcome this difficulty and also to see what arrangements could be made in regard to the damage that would arise by overflowage between that site and the brick yard site. In case no arrangements can be made active work will be commenced at the up river site, nearly all the piling and considerable other timber having been already cut. The building of this dam will be a good thing for Brainerd no matter where it is put but there is a divided opinion as to which place would benefit us the most. There is no doubt but that the majority of our citizens desire to see the improvements located as near the city as possible for if the upper site is selected there is no doubt but that a small berg would spring up around it and although in the city limits it would not cause the immediate result to real estate and other interests that is desired. The DISPATCH would like to see the dam located where the majority of the people want it but if that is impossible we shall be satisfied to see it constructed at the most available place. It is now expected that the improvements will be completed by July next. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 December 1886, p. 4, c. 6)

To Be or Not To Be.


The location of the Brainerd dam has not yet been settled, or rather there are a good many who desire to see it built on the lower proposed site and are striving to bring about a state of things that will succeed in getting it there. To do this it will be necessary to raise money to pay all damages below the brick yard for flowage, which will amount to some $15,000, as the company are willing to locate at this point providing the citizens stand the extra expense. Mrs. Schwartz, it is stated, asks $20,000 damages, and Chas. Ahrens has finally said that he would settle for $5,000. A meeting was held Wednesday evening at the Villard hotel to hear the report of a committee appointed some days ago to look into the matter, and the committee reported that they had not been able to accomplish much. After a general discussion of the subject a motion was made and carried that “it was the sense of the meeting that the city be requested to pay these damages,” and Wm. Paine, W. W. Hartley and J. N. Nevers were appointed a committee to confer with the city council in regard to the matter and report next Tuesday evening at the same place. Mr. Kindred informed the gentlemen present that he expected his pile-driver here next Monday and wanted the matter settled immediately as he desired to get to work as soon as possible. Different opinions were expressed by different people present and there seemed to be a division of sentiment in regard to its location, a good many taking the stand that the brick yard site would be as good a place as any. It is not known what action the city council will take in the matter but it seems to be the prevailing feeling among the people that it will be impossible to meet the necessary requirements in order to secure the lower location and that construction will be commenced at the brick yard. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 December 1886, p. 4, c. 5)

The matter of the location of the dam is still agitating the minds of property holders. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 December 1886, p. 1, c. 4)

Brainerd seems to be willing to bond herself in order to secure the location of the dam at the ferry. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 December 1886, p. 1, c. 4)


In Favor of Issuing Bonds.


There has been considerable agitation during the past week over the location of the Brainerd dam. On Monday night a lively discussion was indulged in by the city dads in in regard to taking steps for the city to issue bonds to pay [for] the overflow below the brick yard in order to secure the lower site, which resulted in a committee being appointed consisting of Aldermen Gardner, Graham and Hemstead and George Holland to look the matter up and report at a meeting Tuesday night, the following being the

REPORT.


To the City Council of the City of Brainerd. Gentlemen: Your committee appointed to confer with the owners of property whose lands will be damaged by the building of the dam at the old ferry, beg leave to report as follows:
S. B. Hitt will take $200 for the damages caused by flooding his lands, and D. A. C. Stoops will accept $400 for damages to his property. We think these amounts reasonable.
Charles Ahrens, for himself and his brother, will take $5,000 for damages caused by the flooding of their lands. He wants $2,000 down and some guarantee for the balance.
Mrs. Schwartz wants $20,000 for damages to her property; that is, $16,000 for damages to the brick yard property, and $4,000 for her bottom land.
F. Hansmann asks $1,200 for damages to his land, and Miss Gillis wants $700 for damages to her land.
John McCarthy will settle the damages to his lands (lots) for $150.
Wm. Paine will donate to the city or Water Power company the damages caused to his land, which the commission fixed at $400, provided the dam is located at the old ferry.
L. P. White, L. E. Lum and G. G. Hartley ask nothing for damages to their lands.
These are the only parties we have talked with or could see in the time given us.
In talking with the attorney of the Mississippi Water Power and Boom company, and on examination of the records in the clerk’s office, we find that Mrs. Schwartz has appealed from the award of the commission only in fixing the amount of the damages to her lands in section 24, but has not appealed from the award of the commission fixing damages to the brick yard property in section 19. We are also informed that the Mississippi Water Power and Boom company have paid the award of damages of the commission to brick yard property, which reduces the amount in question $16,000.
We are agreed that the dam should be located at or near the old ferry, just above the railroad bridge, and that it can be built there without much difficulty, if the city council and the Mississippi Water Power and Boom company work harmoniously together.
We believe that all damages below the brick yard, caused by the over flow, can be settled for less than $15,000. This includes the $5,000 wanted by the Ahrens Bros.
With your permission we would recommend:
1. Ascertain whether the Mississippi Water Power and Boom company will build the dam at the old ferry, if the city council pays the damages caused by flowage below the brick yard.
2. Have the Mississippi Water Power and Boom company appoint a commission forthwith on both sides of the river similar to those heretofore acting.
3. Settle with and pay all those damaged below the brick yard. Be liberal with them, but not extravagant. This should be done as soon as possible.
4. When the commission are qualified and ready to act, bring before them all those cases that cannot be compromised.
In order to carry out these recommendations it will be necessary to have the legislature authorize your honorable body to issue bonds, from the sale of which you will secure the money to pay these damages. We recommend this, and believe the money thus spent will be well invested.
Dated Dec. 21, 1886.
J. S. GARDNER,
WERNER HEMSTEAD.
I cordially approve of the above report.
G. W. HOLLAND.
This report was adopted by a vote of five to four the nays being Aldermen Forsyth, Graham, Percy and Sundberg.
It was decided at this meeting to call an informal election in each ward for Thursday night in order to get an expression from the people in regard to this matter of bonds. Accordingly circulars were issued and scattered over the city, stating, among other things, that the Mississippi Water Power and Boom Company had offered to build the dam between Maple and Kingwood streets, provided the city would pay the damages to be awarded by the commission below the brick yard, and that the works would go in above unless such action was taken; also, the Water Power Company to give stock in its company to the extent of damages paid, and that the vote would not be final, but just an informal expression. The election came off last night in the different wards, there being 634 votes cast, which were divided up as follows:
First ward
Against—2
For—282
Second ward
Against—14
For 100
Third ward
Against—82
For—4
Fourth ward
Against—4
For—126
Fifth ward
Against—0
For—20
Total
Against—102
For—532
Thus it will be seen that of the tax-payers who were interested enough to come out and let people know how they stood there were a 430 majority in favor of bonding the city $20,000 or a less amount as is found necessary to secure the lower location. This vote of course gives the city council an idea of what the people want and their action will be governed accordingly. Before these bonds can be issued an act must be passed by the legislature authorizing the same. In the meantime work must proceed in order to keep the contract with the county good and probably the matter is settled that the ferry site will be the location as in the face of the result Thursday night the dam company could hardly put the work in above the brick yard if they so desired to do.

THE COUNTY BONDS.


On Friday afternoon last the county commissioners issued bonds in the sum of $50,000 to the Water Power and Boom company, they giving a bond of $55,0000 signed by the following citizens: H. J. Spencer. L. P. White, L. E. Lum, J. A. Davis, J. N. Nevers, Geo. Forsyth, E. Y. Farrar, A. E. Taylor, S. Walker, C. F. Kindred, Sara E. Kindred, N. McFadden, who agree to see that work is commenced before January 15th, 1887, and that the dam is completed inside of ten months, and who are to see that the money is expended judiciously and for the purpose that they were issued. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 December 1886, p. 4, c.’s 4 & 5)

The Vexed Dam Question.


The location of the dam has not yet been satisfactorily settled. The city council at its special meeting Monday evening appointed a committee consisting of A. E. Taylor, W. A. Fleming and Dr. Hemstead to confer with the president of the water power and boom company to see if an agreement could be made between the city and the company to insure the construction of the dam at the old ferry, provided the city pays the additional expense for overflow below the brickyard. An agreement was drawn up by City Attorney Fleming and the committee waited upon Mr. Kindred, Wednesday evening, at which time he told them it would be impossible to sign it, as the agreement that the company had offered was that the city give to them the title to the lands to be overflowed, and that he considered the written agreement impracticable, stating his reasons at length. Material is being hauled to the upper site, and if we not miss our guess the works will be located there. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 December 1886, p. 4, c. 5)

Commissioners’ Proceedings.


...The chairman of the board made report that he had disposed of the $50,000 bonds as authorized by the board at a special meeting of said board held Dec. 17th, 1886.
The following resolution was adopted:
WHEREAS, The chairman of the board of County Commissioners of Crow Wing county, Minn., has in pursuance of the resolutions of said board passed Dec. 17th, 1886, sold the fifty thousand dollars bonds of said county authorized by an act of the legislature of the state of Minnesota, approved March 4th, 1886, to Chas. F. Kindred for the sum of fifty thousand dollars.
RESOLVED, That the action of said chairman in making said sale is hereby ratified, confirmed and adopted as the action of this board of County Commissioners.... (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 December 1886, p. 4, c. 5)

The City Council.


The council met in regular session last Monday night. All present.

[...]


City Attorney Fleming made a report regarding the riparian rights connected with the Ahrens property in West Brainerd. The report showed that the shore right needed on the west side for the proposed dam at the old ferry was owned by L. P. White and J. A. Davis.

[...]


Reports were then read regarding the location of the dam, including the proposition made by the city to the Water Power and Boom company; the opinion of G. S. Fernald, the attorney of the company, as to the legal effect of entering into such an agreement as was contemplated in the proposition, and the decision of the board of directors of the company, which met on the preceding Saturday, to not enter into such and agreement. Attorney Fernald’s opinion showed that the city, in its proposition, did not agree to do anything but “make efforts” to do certain things; and many other points were referred to and explained. The opinion, in short, was to the effect that the proposed arrangement would leave the company without any legal remedy to secure it in case the city should be unable or unwilling to settle with the claimants of overflow damages.

[...]


On motion a committee was appointed consisting of City Attorney Fleming, and Aldermen Taylor and Hemstead, to confer with the board of county commissioners and secure an extension of the time for the company to commence the work of construction from Jan. 15 to Feb. 1, to give time to complete negotiations between the city and company.
The council then adjourned, to Wednesday evening.

SPECIAL MEETING.


A special meeting was held Wednesday evening. All present.
The committee above named reported that they had conferred with the board of county commissioners and secured the above named extension until Feb. 1. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 January 1887, p. 4, c. 5)

PROCEEDINGS
_____

Of the Board of County Commissioners Jan-
uary 4th [?] 1887.


[...]


...Agreeable to request presented by a delegation from the city council in reference to extension of time for commencement of work on dam from Jan. 15th, to Feb. 1st, 1887, it was resolved that the time for the commencement of the construction of the dam and bridge mentioned in a certain bond of $55,000 given to this board on the 17th day of December, A. D., 1886, by the Mississippi Water Power and Boom company, with C. F. Kindred, Sara E. Kindred, N. McFadden, Leon E. Lum, H. J. Spencer, J. A. Davis, John Nevers, George Forysth, E. Y. Farrar, Lyman P. White, A. E. Taylor and S. Walker as sureties, is extended from the 15th day of January, A. D. 1887 to the 1st day of February, A. D. 1887, by request of said Mississippi Water Power and Boom company and said sureties. Ayes—A. P. Farrar, P. G. Folglestrom and J. S. Gardner. Nos—J. M. Martin and Harry Patterson. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 January 1887, p. 1, c. 5)

The Tribune at first strongly favored the ferry site for the dam and almost yelled itself black in the face. It now thinks the upper site is preferable. If some one will only suggest to the venerable editor of that sheet that the dam should be built at Jerry Howe’s mill the entire edition of this week will contain reasons why it should be constructed there. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 January 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

Give Us the Dam.


It has been finally settled that the dam will be located and constructed at the brick yard site or not at all. Much as the DISPATCH would like to see the works go in at the old ferry, we do not like to see the scheme die before it has hardly been born because we cannot be entirely pleased in regard to having it exactly where we want it. We are sorry to say, however, that there are in this city a half dozen or so of citizens who are of that make-up, and that preparations have been made by them to serve an injunction as soon as work on the structure has been commenced at the upper site; and they openly avow that they would rather see no dam at all than to see it constructed at the brick yard. Why do they do this? is asked, and the only answer that the writer has heard is because their financial interests are considered instead of the good of the city at large. If this dam is not built now, Brainerd might as well hang up her fiddle for the future, and the fact stares us squarely in the face. Business men, property holders, etc., have been waiting for the last three years for the completion of this enterprise in the hope that it would give new life to our city and make it a prosperous and healthy business place. The time has come, the company are ready to commence work and we are about to enter upon a new era, when a few gentlemen step up and say, “This dam must go in where it will benefit us personally, or we will serve an injunction on it and stop work. We will have it where we want it or the people of Brainerd shall not have a dam at all.”
There is no doubt but to some the action of the Water Power and Boom company looks obstinate when so many people would like to see the dam go in at the ferry, but they state that considering the shape things are in it is impossible to construct it at the lower site. In the first place it is impossible for this city to convey the title to the overflowed lands in time to complete the work this year, which must be done, and it would be impracticable and impossible for the company to do the work without it. It is to be hoped that these gentlemen will overcome their feelings in regard to this matter, and place no obstruction in the way of the early completion of the dam, as it is a settled fact that we must have it and that if it does not go in at the brick yard it will not go in at all.
The following letter was circulated on Thursday for signatures:

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE WATER
POWER & BOOM COMPANY.


BRAINERD, Jan. 13, 1887.

To the Mississippi Water Power and Boom Co., Brainerd Minn.
Gentlemen: Recognizing the fact that there has already been a great deal of delay in the enterprise you are undertaking, some of it necessarily incurred in obtaining the requisite legislation and in other legal proceedings, and more thrown away in futile efforts to effect a compromise on location, and believing no arrangements are possible within any reasonable time by which the lower site can be obtained, the time already getting very short for the completion of the work the present season, we, the undersigned citizens and tax-payers of Brainerd and Crow Wing county, being extremely desirous that the dam be completed the present season, earnestly request that you entertain no further delays, but push the work to an early completion at the upper site, if the lower is unobtainable forthwith. We want the dam somewhere, and want it now, not next year, or after we are all dead; therefore, relying on your own interests to induce you to do all for the best, we urge you to proceed, and pledge you our aid, sanction and moral support.
Respectfully yours,
J. S. GARDNER,
J. W. SLIPP,
W. E. CAMPBELL,
W. A SMITH,
FELIX GRAHAM,
H. I. COHEN,
JAMES YOUNG,
W. J. RICHARDSON,
J. M. HAYES,
R. PARKER,
J. L. SMITH,
HALSTED & PENNEL,
C. L. SPAULDING,
A. V. SNYDER,
LEOPOLD BROS.,
M. K. SWARTZ,
W. W. HARTLEY,
D. M. CLARK,
H. S. TOTTON,
J. H. KOOP,
T. McMASTER,
D. E. SLIPP,
N. McFADDEN,
E. M. WESTFALL,
M. McFADDEN,
J. W. KOOP,
S. KOOP,
ED. MAHAN,
WHITE & WHITE,
GEO. FORSYTH,
GEO. N. DAY,
JAMES MEAGHER,
E. Y. FARRAR,
FRED. LUKEN,
GEO. MOSHER,
J. C. FOOTE,
J. A. McCOLL,
S. P. FLEMING,
J. L. CAMP,
BRADBURY & P’B’DY,
INGERSOLL & W’L’D,
D. W. WHITFORD,
K. S. PAINE & CO.,
ROBERT CAUGHIE,
GEO. A. KEENE,
W. M. DRESSKELL,
H. C. STIVERS,
I. SEYMOUR,
F. M. CABLE,
PARKER & TOPPING,
W. A. FLEMING,
J. C. ROSSER,
CHAS. KINKILI,
ANDREW E. VEON,
PETER ORT,
D. D. SMITH.

_____


Brainerd, Jan. 12, 1887.

Mr. J. H. Koop: You desire to know my sentiments on the “dam” question. I say emphatically, if the Water Power Co. and owners of flowage cannot agree so as to build the coming season at the old ferry, then build the dam across Rice lake, French rapids, or the brick yard. We want and must have the dam this year 1887.
Truly yours,
C. B. SLEEPER.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 14 January 1887, p. 1, c.’s 5 & 6)

The location of the dam is a thing of the past. It is located and work on it is progressing rapidly. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 January 1887, p. 1, c. 3)

The dam is now fairly underway despite all efforts of the kickers. The threat by letter to “put a bullet through Mr. Kindred” if he built the dam at the brick yard did not stop the pile driver for a moment and the work goes merrily on. The man who wrote that letter should be found out and given a chance to leave town or be punished for his murderous threat. Talk about the Chicago anarchists, we should say our city comes very near having as dangerous characters located right in her midst. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 January 1887, p. 1, c. 4)

Alas! Too Late!


C. F. Kindred is about as clever a politician as I have met for a long time, and a good illustration of his shrewdness cropped out at the capital yesterday. Mr. Kindred had a bill introduced into the house and senate Friday for a change in the location of a dam in the river at Brainerd. It was rushed through with lightning like rapidity in both branches. Friday evening Mr. Kindred got the speaker and clerk of the senate to fix the bill up for the governor’s signature, and aroused the latter from his bed to sign it. Yesterday a delegation came from Brainerd to oppose the bill, but found it had already been made a law.—Minneapolis. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 January 1887, p. 1, c. 6)

Red-Headed People.


Charlie Kindred, of Brainerd, is keeping up his record for scheming. He induced the county commissioners of Crow Wing county to consent to the location of a dam about a mile and a half above Brainerd, and to issue a $50,000 bond for it, although the city council of Brainerd was opposed to it. He then prevailed upon representative Lum to introduce a bill legalizing the action of the county commissioners. It went through both houses, and Kindred drove around in a hack and got Gov. McGill to sign it before anybody tumbled. Now Messrs. Howe, Pain and Taylor are down here red-headed, and say that Kindred has got a monopoly on God’s water.—Pioneer Press.
The red-headed part of the article is undoubtedly true, but the county commissioners never consented to any location and the city council had nothing to do with the county commissioners issuing bonds, and last Mr. Lum did not introduce the bill to legalize the action of the county commissioners as Mr. Flynn had the honor. The Press man must have been “stuffed” by some interested party. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 January 1887, p. 1, c. 7)

The people of the Third ward will meet in mass convention Saturday evening at the hose house and will pass resolutions denouncing the scheme of trying to stop the construction of the dam. We have casually heard it remarked that it will be a d----d interesting meeting, especially to the opposition. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 January 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

Wants to Realize.


The following letter was received at the Dispatch office this morning:
MR. EDITER:—I want tew ask you a questen. I can to Lotts nere the park whitch i wanter sell so that I can gow away from hear. If the damm is bilt up to old Miss Swarts brick yard I cant never do it; neither kan Billy Paign, nor Mr. tailer, nor mister Steal or davis, and a lot more whitch I no wont to. Now wat I want tow no is what rite that skunk of a kindred hass to put that damm up there so we cant sell out. Me and my wife is ankshus to go awa and i think something cood be done to help up. So does all of us men. Cant you ask governor McGill to kum up hear and stop Kindred from bilding the damm up the river.
Yours truely,
J. B.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 21 January 1887, p. 4, c. 5)

They Will Bridge It.


During the past week various rumors have been afloat in regard to the much talked of dam. In fact the subject has almost degenerated to a chestnut. Nevertheless work is progressing rapidly, another pile driver has been put at work and about 90 piles have been driven. People talk that the work will be stopped in a few days but the indications are entirely in the other direction. The theory is advanced, by the the few who would rather deprive the people of the city of Brainerd of the dam entirely, than to let it go in at the brick yard, that the work is only a sham in order to sell off real estate in that vicinity and then suspend operations, and in the meantime that the Water Power and Boom company will succeed in expending the $50,000 of county money and we will be no better off. This is all bosh, at least we believe it is, for in the same breath they say that Kindred will never get a cent of the county money. If this is a fact why endeavor to throw obstructions in the way of the work? If the gentlemen who are straining every muscle to stop the building of the dam succeed in so doing, which is not at all probable, and the dam is not constructed, before the year is out there will be such an outburst of indignation among our citizens that these gentlemen will be glad to escape to some secluded retreat, no matter how sincere they may be in the matter at present.
We were at the site this morning and found the work progressing much more rapidly than we supposed, and as we left the 98th pile was being driven, the steam pile driver being at work on the east side of the river, and the horse power on the west side. Instead of being mere fence posts as has been said by some of the kickers, the piles are all of sufficient size to insure a good solid structure, and are driven about eighteen feet into the ground, the water being but three feet and a half deep at that point. There are some twenty teams engaged in hauling rock and timber to the place, and about 30 men are at present engaged in driving and getting the piles in shape. If there is a man in the city that can go there and view the work and the arrangements that are being made, and then say that they actually think the whole proceedings is a fraud and only for effect, we would like to see him.
Another new feature is the erection of a sawmill which has just been begun. This mill will have a capacity of 75,000 feet daily and will be used to saw the timber for the dam, after which it will be converted into a saw mill for general use. The foundation for the same was being commenced while we were there, and it will be rushed to completion.
Mr. Kindred informs us that the obstructions placed in the way of getting the money that was voted for the construction by the people, will not stop the work, and that he will go ahead and fill his contract with the county and that the money part will come all right; that the Boom Company is entirely competent to manage and sustain their rights in the matter. The people who expect to stay in Brainerd and depend on it for their livelihood are all anxious to see the work go ahead at this point because it is impossible to build it anywhere else, while the people who want to sell out and realize their property are on the opposition. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 January 1887, p. 4, c. 5)

Work Progressing.


A DISPATCH scribe visited the site of the Brainerd dam this morning and found that the work was being carried on with the utmost speed. There are up to to-day 350 piles driven and by Tuesday noon all the piling in the river will be in. One hundred and fifty-two men are employed on the work, the greater part of whom are engaged in excavating the west bank of the river for the abutment. The machinery for the new saw mill is expected to arrive to-day and will be placed in position immediately with Wm. Seelye in charge. Mr. Kindred informs us that he contracted with a Mr. Lennon of Minneapolis to put in a large flour and feed mill, power to be 600 horse, and the dam company proposes to give any company or corporation the use of the power free that will put in mills at this point, the time to run twenty-five years. It is something to the credit of the company to see that they are not trying to make a large sum from the use of the power, but on the contrary are offering to donate it to anyone who will utilize the same. This shows conclusively that the dam company are trying to benefit the city and county in return for the money which was voted by the citizens to help the project along. Even the gentlemen who were so much opposed to building the dam at the brick yard are now convinced that everything is for the best and that the work is being put in in good faith, although they stated at first that the project was only a scheme. The dam is being put in to stay and Brainerd’s future prosperity is assured. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 January 1887, p. 4, c. 5)

INJUNCTION PROCEEDINGS.
_____

Parties Who are Opposed to Building
Up Brainerd and Improving the
Water Power Succeed in
Getting an
_____

INJUNCTION ON THE MONEY.
_____

Will it Stick?


Last Saturday, much to the surprise of a large portion of the people of this city, it was ascertained that injunction papers had been issued to stop payment of the $50,000 which had been obtained from the sale of county bonds, to the Mississippi Water Power and Boom company. Friday evening an attorney came here from St. Paul representing O’Brien & O’Brien, lawyers, and Saturday he commenced proceedings by serving a notice on the First National bank where the money is on deposit. The complaint was filed with the clerk of the court, and the names appearing thereon as plaintiff’s are as follows:
J. J. Howe, A. E. Taylor, Walter Davis, Wm. Steel, Max Shapiro, J. M. Gray, A. E. Losey, J. C. Congdon, I. T. Dean, T. R. Congdon, C. H. Douglas, G. H. Stratton, S. H. Relf, Henry Mahle, A. O. Narrow, John Anderson, Thomas Wilson, August Hallquist, Peter Nelson Buck, H. Rosenblatt, John Murray, H. Guillot, John Bubar, P. D. Davenport, John De Gregg, James M. Quinn, Iver Benson, Christ. Nelson, August Beck, Hans Svorkmo, John Hultin, John Iverson, Hans Hauker, W. H. Erb. Geo. Wilson, Geo. F. Burton, Martin Anderson, Charles Greve, John Willis, Andrew Anderson, Ole Erickson, Louis Larson, Andrew Peterson, Charles Peterson, Joseph Blomberg, John F. Jackson, O. A. Lindberg, A. M. Peterson, John A. Johnson, Ed. Hazen, Charles Otto, Nels Paulson, Carl Gustafson, Nels Nelson, Geo. C. Hastings, A. F. Daggett, James McDonald, Nicolai Eilerton, J. E. Ambly, J. A. Eckberg, A. V. Snyder, K. S. Paine, F. M. Cable, W. S. Martin, J. Young, R. Parker, J. M. Hayes, Fred. Luken, Peter Mertz, Wm. Paine, Jr. and S. W. Searles.
The Defendants are named in the complaint as follows:
The board of county commissioners of the county of Crow Wing, the Mississippi Water Power and Boom company, the First National Bank of Brainerd, C. F. Kindred, Sara E. Kindred, N. McFadden, Leon E. Lum, H. J. Spencer, J. A. Davis, J. N. Nevers, George Forsyth, E. Y. Farrar, L. P. White, A. E. Taylor, S. Walker, J. M. Martin, Edward Mahan, Louis Tache, J. S. Gardner, A. P. Farrar, Harry Patterson and P. G. Fogelstrom.
The complaint sets forth among other things that each are residents and tax payers of Crow Wing county, and that their taxable and real property in said county and state amounts to $150,000. That during the year 1885 the plaintiffs and other residents were desirous of having a bridge built across the Mississippi river, and that the legislature authorized the county commissioners to issue bonds not exceeding $50,000 to aid in such construction, provided that a majority of the voters were in favor of so doing. That all these things were done and that the county commissioners issued the bonds on Dec. 17, 1886, and that the chairman of the board without seeking or advertising for bids sold them to C. F. Kindred for their face value, although the plaintiffs claim they are informed they were worth much more than their face value. It is claimed further that this Water Power Company never intended to build a bridge or to use said money in building a bridge but intended to build a dam SEVERAL MILES outside the city limits, and that to give color of compliance with the law they intended to build a small structure on top of the dam as a bridge. That the county commissioners well knew what was intended, and the said board of county commissioners and the Water Power and Boom company for the purpose of cheating and defrauding the county and diverting said proceeds from the sale of the bonds turned the proceeds over as aforesaid. They claim further, that the company has no authority from the United States to construct the bridge where it is being constructed, and that it will constitute a nuisance and obstruction to navigation. That unless restrained by injunction the Boom Company will spend all or nearly all of said funds in building a dam by consent of the county commissioners and bondsmen, and appropriate the same to this use to the great and irreparable injury of these plaintiffs as well as all other tax payers of said county.
The plaintiffs demand judgment that said proceeds be declared to be the property and funds of Crow Wing Co., and that the company and bondsmen be enjoined from drawing or receiving any of said fund from said bank, and that the commissioners be forbidden from paying said money to the Water Power company for the building of a bridge at the place where the dam is now being constructed, or at any other place than as specified in the act of 1885. The complaint ends with the request that these funds be declared the property of Crow Wing county, and they be turned into the county treasury.
The object of these proceedings is well known to every resident of the city, though previously the scheme is more clear to-day to some of the gentlemen who were induced to sign the paper when the petition was being circulated, and that is, to get the matter before the courts in such a light as to prevent the building of any dam at all at Brainerd. The gentlemen directly interested did not inform the men they induced to sign this paper that they intended to stop the whole proceedings if such a thing was in the power of man to do. Oh, no. These men were led to believe that it was a last resort as a remonstrance to building at the upper site, and would serve as a leverage to bring it down to the ferry; and while they wanted it at the latter place, still they desired to see it constructed somewhere, and at the brick yard if it was impossible to get it where they most desired. Have you, dear reader, any remote idea that Minneapolis wants this city to build up into a large manufacturing town? Do you think Minneapolis lumbermen desire to see a fine water power here at Brainerd with lumber ills, etc.? If you do you are mistaken, and the power behind all these proceedings lies right in that direction urged on by men directly and indirectly connected with lumbering concerns of that place.
When the people of this city voted those bonds they did it with a direct understanding that the money derived therefrom was to be expended in a dam. Why do some of these same men now step up and say “you are defrauding us by building a dam instead of a bridge?” It is simply a thin, gauzy excuse and the people of this city know it. Over half the names on that list were obtained by misrepresentation and several have told us that they never signed any paper at all. Is that what is called a good square business transaction between fellow citizens? If the gentlemen who signed the petition ten days or two weeks ago could have their names taken off to-day not ten would appear upon the list.
It is a settled fact that if the work is stopped now we will not get a dam at all, but it is not probable that such will be the case. Col. C. D. Kerr, of St. Paul, and G. S. Fernald of this city have been retained for the Water Power company and the hearing will be had some time the following week and Mr. Fernald expresses it as his opinion that the matter will come out all right.

A CITIZENS’ MEETING.


A meeting of indignant citizens was held at the opera house Monday evening and even the standing room was taken. Hon. L. P. White presided and in a few words expressed his views on the subject. He wanted the dam built below but could not be pleased in that respect and he was willing to see the work go on at the brick yard. C. B. Sleeper, H. C. Stivers and others addressed the meeting. John Willis stated publicly to the audience that he should ask to have his name taken from the injunction paper. The following resolutions were adopted without a dissenting vote:
WHEREAS, A few obstructionists whose action is based exclusively on selfish interests, and not the public good, whether as hired attorney or owners of river front property, by overt act indicated that if they could not rule they are disposed to ruin the best interests of the citizens of Brainerd; and,
WHEREAS, The power behind the throne in this obstruction movement has always opposed the development of a water power at or near Brainerd and, in the opinion of this people would have interposed, if possible, total obstructions to the construction of a dam at the old ferry; and,
WHEREAS, This attitude is not or plainly manifest in the effort to now lead many of our citizens by using their names without their authority to institute proceedings to prevent the dam from being built, but inventing a malicious and vindictive spite by using the same influence to detach Cass and Itasca counties from Crow Wing, thus taking from our county treasury considerable of the annual revenue, as appears from the effort on the part of this power to carry these measures through the present legislature; and,
WHEREAS, This power behind the throne only regards its monopoly, and desires to shut out any line of competitive manufacture in the city of Brainerd; and,
WHEREAS, We find amongst us these self-styled liberal, whole-souled citizens who would sacrifice a dollar in one minute to make $400 for themselves, and not a dollar in ten years to help any one else make anything, and whose almighty self is pregnant with lofty aspirations for self enrichment, while the public welfare goes to an old maid’s grave without the promise of even a jack pine headboard.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That we, as citizens of Brainerd, believe that the general prosperity of this community is worth the individual enrichment of a dozen obstructionists.
RESOLVED, That we sincerely believe that the construction of the dam on the upper site is in the best interest of Brainerd, and that it would be a great injustice to the Water Power and Boom Company to be compelled to build on the lower site at an extra cost of $50,000, merely to oblige a few people who own property adjacent and on the river front.
RESOLVED, That we as earnestly condemn the efforts of attorneys and others in misleading citizens to sign a petition purporting to express a preference simply for the lower site, when in fact said petition is an attempt to prevent the construction of a dam anywhere, by interposing judicial proceedings to embarrass, hamper and worry said Water Power and Boom company in its efforts to establish a manufacturing centre at Brainerd.
RESOLVED, That while we so condemn, we believe that no citizens of Brainerd, except paid attorneys of non-residents, realize what a calamity such opposition is likely to result in, to the industrial development of the city; and that we believe and predict that in a very short period of time no man can be found in our midst who will have the effrontery to father the action for an injunction, or will be willing to pay his share of the costs and attorneys’ fees, or put up his share of damage the Water Power and Boom company is likely to demand for any hindrance or delay occasioned by said injunction.
RESOLVED, That we extend to said Water Power and Boom company our hearty support in carrying on this enterprise to completion, believing that nearly all the people of Brainerd deplore any delay, and condemn any interference with the work now in progress, and that the selfish obstructionist should be ignored, in view of the vital question of a dam, and that at once and now.

STATEMENT:


We, the undersigned, wish to state to the citizens of Brainerd that we are not plaintiffs in the action taken against the Mississippi Water Power and Boom company, and that our names were used unauthorized. If any petition we signed was intended to put an injunction upon the money voted by the county to be used in the construction of the bridge and dam, we did not understand it. We want the dam, and want it built where it is now located and under construction.
A. V. SNYDER,
F. M. CABLE,
R. PARKER,
GEO. C. HASTINGS,
JOHN WILLIS,
CHAS. GREVE,
K. S. PAINE,
J. O. YOUNG,
J. W. MURRAY,
H. ROSENBLATT,
A. O. NARROW.

I want the dam built.
J. C. CONGDON,
A. E. LOSEY,
I. T. DEAN.

(Brainerd Dispatch, 04 February 1887, p. 1, c.’s 4, 5 & 6)

Not Consistent.


Mr. Holland, the county attorney, seems to lack that very essential qualification which is called consistency. He is one of several gentlemen who are opposed to the putting in of works at the upper site and was foremost in getting petitions around for signers to stop the work. When the injunction papers appeared for inspection it was noticed that the constitutional objection of issuing money for a dam instead of a bridge was the strong and principal point that the injunction papers contained. Let us go back a few weeks and see how Mr. Holland stood on that point at that time. It will be remembered that the talk of raising money to pay for overflow by the city was indulged in and a meeting of the council was held to discuss the matter. Mr. Holland was present and his opinion was asked in regard to this matter of constitutional objection, and he gave it out cold that it didn’t make any difference, that that part of the question was no figure in the case, and the city could lawfully vote the money to be used for that purpose. His attitude at this stage of the game is entirely different. If he had desired to appear in a just light before the people who elected him to that office he would have requested the county commissioners to secure some other legal advice during this case which has been brought against them, considering his attitude in the matter. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 February 1887, p. 1, c. 7)

Jas. Gardner, chairman of the board of county commissioners had called a special meeting of that body for Monday, the 14th inst. Although not stated it is understood that this meeting will be to take steps toward employing an attorney and getting legal advice in regard to the suit brought against the commissioners by the obstructionists for DEFRAUDING and CHEATING the county. It looks well in print, don’t it. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 February 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

The City Council.


...A motion was made to instruct Hon. L. E. Lum to introduce a bill in the legislature to repeal the act authorizing this city to issue $25,000 to aid in building a bridge, which was carried without a dissenting vote. This latter action now practically does away with any forlorn hope that may exist in the breasts of some that the dam company will finally build the dam at the lower site if plenty of kicking is done. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 February 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

Items of Interest Briefly Told.


The bridge will be built in spite of all the DAM kicking.

Let the croakers croak, the moss on their back will be thicker still if they succeed in their undertaking.

How’s the dam! Rats. Better ask how the gentlemen who are opposed to a dam under all circumstances. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 February 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

The new saw mill at the dam is being pushed to completion. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 February 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

Everything is Lovely.


The order of Judge Mills dissolving the injunction which had been placed on the $50,000 which was received by Attorney Fernald last Friday afternoon after the Dispatch had gone to press, was very pleasant news to the people of this city. The following memoranda which accompanied the order will be of interest to our readers:
It is conceded that the bonds were properly issued, and I can find nothing irregular in their sale, much less any conspiracy. It is quite common in issuing county and city bonds in this part of the state to have a purchaser in view before the same are issued, and there is nothing unusual in completing the sale on the day of the issue of the bonds, and six per cent bonds of northern counties sold at par are generally considered well sold. The act of 1885 authorized the bonding of the county, and fixed the location of the bridge, and the amendatory act of 1887 allows the change of the location and ratifies and confirms all proceedings already had. I can see no constitutional objection to the amendatory act. The title shows just what act it intended to amend, and there can be no doubt of the authority of the legislature to amend it so as to change the location of this bridge, and the insertion of a provision legalizing the proceedings had under the former act is not objectionable. They were already legal, and under the law as it stood the commissioners undoubtedly had a right to contract for building a bridge, and had so contracted with the defendant, the Mississippi Water Power and Boom company, a corporation organized under the general laws of this State. But it is urged that this corporation had no right to enter into this contract, and the contract on its part was ultra vires. This contract had been made and fully completed so far as the county of Crow Wing is concerned, and this corporation has received the benefit thereof, and where a private corporation has entered into a contract with a third party, which has been fully performed by the third party, and the corporation has received the benefits thereof, the corporation will be held bound by its contract, even if in the first instance it was ultra vires.

[...]


...From a careful examination of the complaint and answer, I find that all the equities alleged in the complaint are fully met and denied in the answer, and in such case the general rule is the injunction should be dissolved, and there is nothing in the case why an exception should be made to the rule. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 February 1887, p. 4, c. 6)

The work at the dam goes merrily on and everybody is happy. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 March 1887, p. 4, c. 7)

View above the completed dam, ca. 1888.
Source: Northwest Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Volume VI, Number 7, July 1888., E. V. Smalley, Editor and Publisher
View below the completed dam, ca. 1888.
Source: Northwest Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Volume VI, Number 7, July 1888., E. V. Smalley, Editor and Publisher
Work at the dam is being pushed with all possible speed, the pile driver being at work day and night in order to get the sheet piling in before the ice goes out. The progress so far has been entirely satisfactory and it is indeed surprising that so much should have been accomplished in so short a space of time. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 March 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

The railroad company has extended the brick yard track to the dam which will greatly facilitate work at the latter place. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 April 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

The case of R. K. Whiteley against the Mississippi Water Power & Boom Co. for damages on account of overflowage on his land was on trial Thursday and Friday last before the district court. The jury was out until Sunday morning and then brought in a verdict of $2,500 for Mr. Whiteley, but we understand the company will endeavor to get a new trial and that the hearing will be had April 5th before Judge Sleeper. In the case of Mrs. Whiteley against the same company the jury awarded her $10 an acre. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 April 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

Wanted at Once.


The undersigned want immediately, delivered at the dam, 500,000 feet of oak timber, 20 to 30 feet in length, that will square not less than 8 inches at the top, for which $9 per thousand feet will be paid; also 1,000,000 feet of Norway or white pine, in 16 or 24 foot lengths, same size, at $6 per thousand feet. Also 1,000 tons of stone for which $7.50 per cord will be paid.
MISSISSIPPI WATER POWER & BOOM CO.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 08 April 1887, p. 4, c. 7)

Rushing Things.


Brainerd Dam Construction, ca. 1887.
Source: Carol Weise
Brainerd Dam Construction, ca. 1887.
Source: Carol Weise
We were at the dam yesterday looking over the improvements that are being made. Everything is rushing and the eighty men constantly employed are as busy as bees. The work has progressed to such a degree that it is not difficult to detect the progress which is made from day to day. Just above the dam a track has been laid out over the water and a dump-cart is continually piling sand from the hill into the river, although not actually necessary this will be followed up across the river and when completed will take the greater part of the strain off the dam proper. A large force of men are at work loading flat boats with stone and floating them down to the works where they are used to fill in with and still another crew are at work rolling cord after cord of stone down the bank which is conveyed by a push-cart to its destination. Men are at work placing the timbers that form the apron and also laying the floor of the flume, which will be corked with cakum.
Brainerd Dam is complete, ca. 1908.
Source: Unknown
The west abutment or crib rises some thirty-five feet above the water and the hill back of it is being graded down to fill in with and a large force of shovelers are at work. When completed the dam will be as solid as a wall of rock. It is claimed that when completed there will be power enough to drive the wheels of all the factories that can find location in this vicinity. As soon as things are in running order the pump house of the water company will be removed to the dam and run by water power which is much cheaper, as statistics show that in Philadelphia the cost of pumping per million gallons by steam was $38.51 and the same amount by water power cost but $1.35. Of course fuel in this region is cheaper than in the east and the difference would not be as great but the saving will be a big item to the water company alone. The completion of this work will be something more than the average Brainerdite imagines. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 September 1887, p. 4, c. 5)

In October of 1887 the city council issued $25,000 in bonds to build and acquire land on which to build approaches, at or near the city. It has often been charged that about $2,500 of the total was spent on building a bridge and the remainder used for the dam. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 32)

Brainerd Dam, ca. 1895.
Source: Postcard
Last Sunday was a beautiful day, and fully five hundred people viewed the improvements at the dam. The street cars were crowded all day long. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 November 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

The City Council to be Asked to Give
$25,000 to the Dam Company.
_____

A Scheme That Didn’t Work.


Our citizens will remember that at the last session of the legislature there was passed a bill authorizing the City of Brainerd to issue bridge bonds to the amount of $25,000. The real purpose of this bill was to enable the city to pay for the overflow of lands, provided that Mr. Kindred built the dam at the lower site, and it was the understanding of the city council when they authorized this bill to be passed that the dam would be placed there providing they would take care of the overflow. Finding that the dam was to go above the city near the brick yard, before the bill became a law, they sent a delegation to St. Paul to stop the passage of the act but it seems they were unsuccessful, and the dam company now proposes to ask the city council to issue these bonds to aid them in the completion of the work.
A meeting of the council has been called tonight (Friday), and we are informed that the matter of issuing these bonds is to be discussed. Inasmuch as several of the aldermen are on the bonds of the company given to the county guaranteeing the completion of the dam at a certain date, the question as to their right to vote on the matter, being interested parties, will be brought up.

A PECULIAR MEETING.


On Friday evening last at about six o’clock the city clerk notified the aldermen that a call for a special meeting had been issued by President Taylor and Alderman Forsyth at 8 o’clock that evening. The matter in some manner leaked out during the afternoon that a quiet meeting was to be held and promptly at 8 o’clock the council room was packed by tax payers and interested parties. Occasionally an alderman would drop in look around and retire, and after waiting until 9 o’clock the crowd left the room and the lights were put out. It was a very mysterious proceeding to the average citizen, and the idea exists in many minds that the council was called together to secure the issuing of the $25,000 before the people of the city had time to know what was going on. But as the scheme was frustrated the issuing of the bonds will be asked for publicly, as it should have been done in the first place, and it would have stood a greater chance of success. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 November 1887, p. 4, c. 6)

Done in Council.


...C. F. Kindred then appeared before the council, and, after explaining that the dam company had expended the $50,000 county money besides $40,000 raised in other ways, and the work was still unfinished, asked the council to issue bonds in the sum of $25,000 in order that the work might proceed. At the conclusion of Mr. Kindred’s remarks Alderman Gardner made a written motion to the effect that the bonds be issued. The motion was put to a vote and carried, Aldermen Gardner, Searles and Cullen voting in favor of it, and Aldermen Doran and Graham voting no. The president and Aldermen Spencer and Forsyth were excused on the ground of being interested, as they were in the bonds issued by the county as sureties. The council adjourned. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 November 1887, p. 4, c. 6)

THE BONDS ISSUED.


The Brainerd Dam is completed in April 1888, Frank Jay Haynes, 1888.
Source: Haynes Foundation, Montana Historical Society
The Brainerd Dam is completed in April 1888, Frank Jay Haynes, 1888.
Source: Haynes Foundation, Montana Historical Society
The city council at its meeting on Monday evening authorized the issuing of city bonds in the sum of $25,000 to aid the Mississippi Water Power and Boom Co. in constructing the dam at this place. The action of the council, while supported by a majority of the citizens, has received much adverse criticism and elicited considerable comment unfavorable to the aldermen who voted for the measure. While we do not favor the issuing of bonds on general principles, nor as a remedy for every strait into which bodies and corporations may get, we are of the opinion that the aldermen who voted for the measure did so honestly and conscientiously, and, having the welfare of the city at heart, we think they were justified in so doing. The county had given the dam company $50,000 to aid the enterprise which had been expended and Mr. Kindred had himself put in $40,000 more, and being unable to raise money on the dam as was expected, a difficulty arose, and there was only one way out, for the city to come forward and by voting these bonds secure the completion of the work which otherwise would necessarily have been stopped. There is not a candid, intelligent citizen in Brainerd to-day but what will say that he would rather the city would issue these bonds than to see the project abandoned just as we were about to reap the benefit of the gigantic enterprise. There is sense in everything, and if Brainerd ever expects to take her place among the leading cities in the state as a manufacturing center, the people must work in harmony and unity. Look at other cities, St. Cloud, Little Falls, and elsewhere, rivals of Brainerd we might say, are they opposed to aiding legitimate enterprises that will build up their town? Do they wait until there is a pressing demand on them to help these projects out for fear they will fail for want of aid? No, they have voted $100,000 in one instance and $125,000 in the other and this before the work was commenced. But in regard to the Brainerd dam it is different, for we have a structure in the river that has already cost $100,000, built in a substantial manner and lacking completion only for the want of funds, $25,000. The city council is asked to extend this aid and after discussing the matter they concluded that the best thing they could do was to comply with the request, and they did so. We think that insinuations made by some parties that there was any “boodle” connected with the transactions are entirely unwarranted and uncalled for, and that the man who will so far forget himself in his frenzy and hatred of certain parties, regardless of logic or common sense, should be made to prove his assertions, or answer to the law for criminal libel. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 November 1887, p. 1, c. 5)

WILL COMPLETE IT.


The rumors that have been afloat that there was a heavy opposition to issuing the $25,000 bonds is in part erroneous, and some of the gentlemen who opposed the measure the strongest say they believe that if the matter had been put to a vote in the city it would have carried. That they themselves are not opposed to it if the sum was actually necessary to complete the work, which would otherwise have been stopped. The fact is, the city of Brainerd cannot afford at the present time to be niggardly when so much is at stake. The sum given the dam company will finish the work, and such being the case, we doubt if there are any who will say six months hence the council did an unwise thing. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 November 1887, p. 1, c. 6)

The dam company have granted a perpetual franchise of 200-horse power to the city at the dam. This the city can use as they see fit, sell it or give it away. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 November 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

Brainerd Dam, ca. 1895.
Source: Brainerd's Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923
The water at the dam is now running entirely through the canal, consequently work is progressing much more rapidly than heretofore. The completion of the dam is now a matter of but a few days time. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 December 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

Over 100 men are at work on the dam and it is expected and hoped that the completion will be effected early next month. Parties who have not paid much attention to the matter can hardly appreciate the gigantic enterprise, but to a comprehensive mind the building of this dam is one of the grandest accomplishments that could have been devised for Brainerd’s future welfare. Take a stroll up the river some of these balmy days and see if you are not surprised. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 February 1888, p. 1, c. 3)

It is expected that the bridge at the dam will be ready for teams to cross Saturday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 March 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

Mart Scott was in Brainerd a few days ago and says that the dam at that place makes the best boomage facilities he ever saw. There are good facilities for storing and handling all the logs that are cut on the upper Mississippi, and that city has all the advantages necessary to make it a great lumbering point.—Little Falls Transcript. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 April 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

The water at the dam began running over the structure for the first time on Tuesday. Above the dam the water has reached the depth of about 25 feet while below there has hardly been enough to float a log. The marshes and boom reservoirs have all been filled and are ready to hold every log that comes down the river if necessary. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 April 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

NOTE: For more about Mr. Kindred follow the links at:
SEE: Brainerd Gas & Electric Company / Northern States Power
SEE: Electric Power House (Dam)
SEE: 1878 Brainerd by a Stranger-1 in the Early Accounts of Brainerd page.

The water mains will be extended to the dam immediately and the power for driving the electric light machinery will be furnished by the dam as soon as it can be removed to that place. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 April 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

There is a plan on foot to build a boat house at the dam and stock it with a good assortment of pleasure boats. The stock is nearly, if not all, subscribed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 May 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

Boat Club Formed.


For the purpose of building a suitable boat house on Rice Lake and near the dam, and having in view the formation of a boating club the undersigned have agreed to take stock in the same to the amount of $5 each:
N. W. Wheatley, C. B. King, F. W. Mallott, Geo. C. Hastings, I. E. Fox, Fred Allen, W. A. Fleming, Jas. Dewar, G. H. Gillman, A. T. Taylor, Thos. Blackburn, Jas. Clark, V. H. Smith, L. Cooley, A. M. Wallace, John Temlin, A. G. Michie, Dan. Caffrey [sic], Fred Laufer, W. J. Bain, J. L. Camp, G. W. Holland, C. F. Miller and Wm. Dresskell.
Geo. Hastings is doing the soliciting and has met with good success so far. It is expected that as many more names will be added to the list during the coming week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 May 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

There is talk of having a celebration over the successful completion of the water power in this city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 May 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

The Rice Lake Celebration.


The members of the Brainerd Boat Club can congratulate themselves on their successful celebration at Rice Lake. Of course the demonstrations were not on a gigantic scale but everything passed off satisfactorily and nothing happened to mar the pleasure of the occasion. The dancing was one of the principal features of the day, and we are informed that the club intend to enlarge and greatly improve their hall in the near future, and erect a platform 30x60 feet. The grounds will also be improved and the place will soon become a favorite resort for picnic and pleasure parties. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 July 1888, p. 4, c. 6)

About twenty-five couples were in attendance at the dance given by the Brainerd Boat Club, last evening. Under the inspiring musical strains of Messrs. Whitford and Coutu these happy people enjoyed themselves until the morning dawned. A special train was run and private conveyance was furnished, all free of charge. Many of the visitors taking advantage of the occasion, enjoyed a pleasant boat ride upon the lake. Altogether it was a first class time. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 July 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

We understand that the Brainerd Boat club have purchased the steamer Lotta Lee from the owners and are bringing the boat to this city where she will be repaired and put in the water at Rice Lake for a pleasure boat. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 July 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

Mike Cullen went to St. Paul Tuesday to purchase a new boiler and engine for the steamer Lotta Lee, the new pleasure boat which will be put on Rice Lake. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 July 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

SEE: 1888 Mr. Kindred Takes his Leave of Brainerd in the Early Accounts of Brainerd page.

R. K. Whiteley vs. Brainerd Water Power & Boom Co., damages for overflowage. Verdict for the plaintiff in the sum of $1,800. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 September 1888, p. 4, c. 6)

We understand that several gentlemen at the shops, among whom are N. W. Wheatley and Wm. Percy, have purchased 16 acres of land of Mrs. Robinson, in the vicinity of the dam, for which they paid $2,000. This looks as though the rumor that men high up in the N. P. railroad company had acquired control of all the enterprises formerly owned by Mr. Kindred, was true. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 October 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

As early as November of 1888 the council authorized buying timber to repair the dam. Next it purchased wood to build a railing for the bridge over the dam. As late as 01 May 1899 the council condemned the bridge over the dam and ordered it closed, not repaired. Thereby getting into Brainerd from the north was stopped, not facilitated. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 32 & 70)

As to the Syndicate.


It is not known as yet what date the members of the syndicate will visit Brainerd, H. C. Davis [Northern Pacific], whose return from the coast was looked for before anything definite could be stated, is back but he will go to New York immediately, and it is not known whether the party will come before he is able to accompany them or not. He stated to a couple of gentlemen from this city, however, that the deal has been closed. Wm. Seelye, who is in charge of the men in the woods, went to St. Paul yesterday and on his return will go up to be absent three weeks. Geo. S. Canfield has not yet returned from Chicago,, but it is understood he has sent some very encouraging news by wire to parties in this city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 January 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

To Remove the Dam.


R. K. Whiteley, through his attorney, Leon E. Lum, has commenced suit against the Water Power company to compel them to remove the dam in the Mississippi river, or pay the amount of the judgement obtained by him against the company for overflowage of his lands. The amount of the judgement is $1,800 and the time for payment has expired, hence Mr. Whiteley’s action in bringing the suit. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 February 1889, p. 4, c. 5)

The Dam Sold.


A letter has been received by W. E. Seelye, of this city, from C. F. Kindred, in which Mr. Kindred says that the Water Power Co. has sold all its right and interest in the dam to a syndicate headed by P. Lorillard, the millionaire tobacco manufacturer, of New York City. The possession of this property by such a powerful syndicate as this must be, judging from the name of the gentleman at its head, means everything for this city. We have always possessed superior advantages, but not the means to utilize them. And as Mr. Lorillard alone is worth many millions this syndicate will have the means to develop and utilize these resources and advantage, and while conferring a blessing on this community, will be amply repaid themselves. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 February 1889, p. 4, c. 5)

The repairs on the dam so badly needed will be begun in a few days, W. E. Seelye having charge of the work. The cost of the repairs will be nearly $3,000. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 March 1889, p. 4, c. 3)

Council Proceedings.
_____


The council met in regular session on Monday evening, Ald. Graham, Cooley, Searles, and Mr. President being present.

[...]


A. W. Atkinson was directed to place railing on the bridge at the dam, under the direction of W. S. McClenahan, receiver of the dam company. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 April 1889, p. 4, c. 7)

The dam is now undergoing the repairs needed to withstand the June freshets. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 April 1889, p. 4, c. 3)

The repairs at the dam have just been completed. Some $5,000 have been expended. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 May 1889, p. 4, c. 3)

Last week we published an item concerning a telegram from Mr. Kindred, asking the council not to dispose of the dam until they heard from him. Well, Mr. Kindred has been heard from and he wants the council not to dispose of the plant to the syndicate unless the syndicate would admit the validity of certain bonds that the Water Power and Boom company had issued. As this council isn’t disposed to conduct the affairs of the city for Mr. Kindred’s personal benefit, no attention has or will be paid to his communication. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 May 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

Satisfactorily Settled.


The deal will undoubtedly be completed in a short time whereby the syndicate will become the owners of the dam property and the entire Swartz [sic] interests in that neighborhood. Mrs. Robinson [Magdalena Schwartz married Andrew Robinson on November 28, 1887.] has received $5,000 of the $30,000 that she is to have, and there is probably nothing that can now happen to stop the improvements at the water power, although it is not expected that immediate work will be commenced, as Mr. H. C. Davis was in Brainerd last night and in consultation with Leon E. Lum told him that they were not quite ready to close the deal, and that he was on his way to the coast to see Mr. Oakes in regard to the matter that concerned the railroad interests probably in regard to the N. P. pine. However, he left word for Mrs. Robinson that everything was all right and that she would get her money, but for her not to stop operations at her brick yard. That is exactly the way the matter stands at present, and although we may not see any active operations for some weeks, there is no doubt but that these things will all come. A good healthy growth will be worth more to Brainerd for time to come than a wild cat boom. The Weyerhauser Lumber Co., a firm with unlimited means and probably one of the largest institutions in the United States of its kind, are interested in this deal, and their mill which is to be located here will employ from 400 to 500 men. Large bodies move slowly, and in a business transaction of this magnitude it takes time to complete all the details and get things in shape. Our people can congratulate themselves on the bright prospect for future prosperity. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 June 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

H. C. Davis, of the Northern Pacific, one of the syndicate who have acquired the water power privilege at Brainerd, is endeavoring to interest P. Musser, of Muscatine, and other of the Middle Mississippi lumbermen, in the opportunity presented at Brainerd for the development of the lumber business at that point. Mr. Musser looked the property over last week.—Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 June 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

We understand that a party of gentlemen interested in the improvement at the dam are expected on the noon train tomorrow, (Saturday). (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 July 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

They Saw It.


A party of business men, accompanied by H. C. Davis, of the Northern Pacific, and three brothers of the Musser family, members of the Weyerhauser Lumber Co., made a trip to the dam and Rice lake on Sunday morning, these gentlemen having arrived the night before in their special car. After thoroughly viewing the improvements at the water power the party was invited aboard the steamer Lotta Lee, and were taken around the lake and up the river some six or seven miles. As the gentlemen had never seen the excellent advantages that we possessed in the way of boomage, etc., they were surprised and pleased with the facilities offered for safely handling an immense amount of logs. The gentlemen express themselves to individual members of the party in the strongest terms regarding the boomage as they had nowhere seen anything to equal it and they are lumbermen of experience. There is no doubt but that as soon as the question of timber can be settled that these gentlemen will begin the construction of mills as that appears to be the only matter now to be considered. It is expected that they will be here again on the 27th, when the estimates of stumpage, etc., will all be in and some definite understanding will be arrived at. An extract from a private letter to the editor by a gentleman who accompanied the party of mill men from Brainerd reads as follows:
“I came down with the gentlemen last night and feel certain that the matter is a go. They are well pleased with Brainerd and the people, and the only thing it hinges on is the amount of pine the Northern Pacific has tributary to the Mississippi and Brainerd.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 July 1889, p. 4, c. 5)

The suit brought by R. K. Whiteley against the Dam Company, seeking to get the dam cut down in order to take the overflow from his lands was heard before Judge Holland the first of the week. Ambrose Tighe successfully defended the interests of the bondholders on the dam property. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 July 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

The cruisers who have been looking over the N. P. lands estimating the timber for the Weyerhauser Lumber Co., have completed the job and returned to this city. It is said that the amount of timber is fully up to the expectations and that the mills will be built. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 July 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

C. F. KINDRED is endeavoring to prove to the citizens of Philadelphia that unless they get their drinking water through a canal, of which he owns a controlling interest, they will be liable to sickness and death from impurities. There are no flies roosting on Charlie’s clothes even in that large city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 August 1889, p. 1, c. 5)

The case involving the validity of certain Water Power & Boom company bonds amounting to $50,000 was argued before Judge Holland on Monday. C. F. Kindred desired the case transferred to the United States court and previously the case had so been transferred, and the petition was to rescind the order. Judge Holland reserved his decision. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 August 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

The case of J. J. Howe & Co. against C. F. Kindred, which was carried to the supreme court by the defendant, has been decided against him. The sum in controversy was about $4,000. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 February 1890, p. 4, c. 3)

The sale of the Brainerd dam has again been postponed, this time until May 5th. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 April 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

The Brainerd Dam Sold.


The property of the Brainerd Water Power and Boom Company was sold at sheriff’s sale on Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock sharp, to satisfy a judgment of $17,657.37. The property was bid in by Ambrose Tighe, for Finnessy, Armstrong & Co. subject of course to the valid mortgage bonds of $50,000 and $49,000 worth of other bonds the validity of which is disputed. Parties in the city, headed by Geo. S. Canfield, claim that there is something behind this hurry to sell the property and assert that it was distinctly understood that an adjournment for another week would be granted, Mr. Canfield having paid to Mr. Tighe $50, the cost of the adjournment. The sale of course has to be approved by the court and there are legal complications which are now liable to arise that may tie the property up in litigation and retard the improvements contemplated. On the other hand it is claimed that this sale does not in any way tend to prevent the proposed improvements and that, in fact, things are in a trifle better shape than before. Mr. Tighe offered to sign a contract with Mr. Canfield agreeing to sell the claim of his clients for the amount of the judgement but the gentleman refused to accept it. No new developments have been brought to light since the sale. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 May 1890, p. 4, c. 5)

SALE OF THE DAM.


George S. Canfield, timber cruiser, ca. 1900.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
The Minneapolis Tribune of Wednesday contained the following letter from Mr. Canfield, giving his side of the story of the much-talked of sale of the dam property:
BRAINERD, Minn., May 6.—I have seen, with your other reader in this city, your publication in recent issues regarding the so-called “Sale” of the property of the Mississippi Water Power & Boom company and the purported denials made by Attorney Tighe, of St. Paul, attacking your correspondent’s reports. In justice to the Tribune and for the general information, so important interest being at stake, and inasmuch as I am personally cognizant of all the facts and that it was thought a breach of agreement with me that Mr. Tighe effected the sale, I gave you in the following an exact statement of all the circumstances, to the truth of which I will make affidavit if desired, and for which there is any amount of corroborative evidence.
With prominent and able Northwestern business and railroad men who believe in developing the Northern wilderness of this state, I have devoted a solid year to the so-called Weyerhauser syndicate deal, and have in that way been familiar with every step taken. The syndicate required as a basis, after the timber on the Upper Mississippi was secured, the acquisition of the dam company’s property of water power, flowage for logs, storage and lands for mill sites at this city. The company got into [the] hands of [a] receiver, how it is needless at this time to state, but the receiver, W. S. McClenahan of this city, had for his attorney Ambrose Tighe, of St. Paul, who represented Finnessey & Armstrong, of Springfield, Mass., who are holders of $50,000 of the company’s bonds. There was $50,000 more bonds out, held by New York, Philadelphia and Western parties, $100,000 in bonds having been issued in all. The last named $50,000 of bonds were held by parties who also owned a controlling interest in the company’s stock. When the syndicate was apparently ready to get the dam I was sent on east and negotiated for the control and secured in through C. F. Kindred, of Philadelphia, for an agreed nominal sum, which was the amount that had been obtained on the bonds, a little over $20,000, the owners of stock yielding to aid the project of securing the Wyerhauser people at Brainerd. Meanwhile the Tighe party had attacked the other or Kindred party by suit against its bonds, but the latter relying on our agreement with him, made no fight, submitting the case on the pleadings, as Mr. Atwater, of your city will inform you; although as a matter of reserve of rights an appeal from the court’s adverse decision has recently been taken to the supreme court. Meanwhile, also, the Tighe party pressed for a receiver’s sale, got through a cast-iron decree of foreclosure and receiver’s sale without redemption, and its date approved, set for March 25. The syndicate not yet ready to close for the dam, the Kindred party threatened action in United States court in self protection, members of the syndicate urged us to secure more delay. Receiver McClenahan, so urged Mr. Tighe, but he would not consent, and in the dilemma citizens of this city which has $75,000 in the property while Mr. Tighe’s principals have perhaps two-thirds as much in, secured an order of Judge Holland for four weeks’ postponement, to April 21. Again the sale date approached, and delay was as imperatively needed as before by all interests, and certain members of the syndicate wrote me that with two weeks more delay they could get around and act. Telegrams also informed me of the beginning of dreaded litigation unless postponement was again sure. I went to St. Paul and on Thursday forenoon, April 17, had an interview with Mr. Tighe in his office. He was at first very bitterly opposed to postponement, but finally said he would postpone for two weeks if I would pay the expenses. I asked how much it would be and he said $50. I agreed, made him a check for the amount, which he sent immediately and had certified. We agreed as to the notification of those interested, he to notify Receiver McClenahan at Brainerd. I notified all my parties, including Attorney Atwater. Mr. Tighe, instead of so notifying his, came to Brainerd on the sale day, April 21, and had Judge Mills make an order postponing for one week, and those persons, including Receiver McClenahan, Leon E. Lum, Sheriff Spaulding and others, who, having been informed of the two weeks agreement (I have meanwhile gone to Chicago) were naturally anxious, he quieted with the statement that he “preferred to postpone from week to week.” At the end of one week, viz., April 28, Mr. Tighe arrived here a few minutes before the hour set and sold the property through a deputy sheriff, exactly in the manner described in the Tribune’s reports, with not a solitary bidder present except himself. This community are very emphatic in the view that the proceeding constituted what the Tribune’s headlines denominated the act, viz., “Snap Judgment.”

GEO. S. CANFIELD.

(Brainerd Dispatch, 09 May 1890, p. 1, c. 5)

Mayor Stivers has called a special meeting of the city council for tomorrow evening, to consider a proposition from Ambrose Tighe, receiver of the Water Co., relative to the extension of the water mains recently ordered by that body. Mr. Tighe, we understand, will make the extensions if the council will agree to take the additional hydrants provided for by the ordinance governing extension of water mains. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 June 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

Some extensive repairs are contemplated at the dam. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 November 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

W. A. Fleming has been appointed receiver of the dam property. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 May 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

Slush boards are being put on at the dam and the water will be raised some eighteen inches in order to increase the power. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 December 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

Wonderful Facilities for Handling
Logs.


It takes a season like this to demonstrate the wonderful facilities for handling the Mississippi out at this place that the Brainerd dam and booms afford. The flowage thereof extends, in high water, over twenty miles and in low water ten to twelve miles. A week ago there was twelve to fifteen miles of solid logs in the flowage, all of which were as safe and secure, as would be a handful in any mill pond. A guess is that half of the whole upper Mississippi cut or 150 to 200 millions, is thus safely housed in these booms, and can be so held until the Boom company wish to let them into their limits, then they can be sluiced out at any desired rate per day, without the shadow of danger of a jam or break beyond control.
It looks like a continual picnic for the Boom company, from here down, the whole season. There is not a stick of timber afloat, to Little Falls, all gone down. J. J. Howe & Co., a little below the upper limit, are naturally a little anxious on account of so many logs in the flowage, but have enough logs in their own side boom to allow a reasonable time for getting a clear river above. A noteworthy innovation has been the steam whistle of the little boat of the Boom company, which now covers the river between here and Little Falls, the first steamboat of any kind ever on this part of the river, with a single exception. This was a little boat called Lottie Lee, brought from Shell river by the Crow Wing. She was transferred to above the dam, and run in the log business as far as Grand Rapids, until last season. This spring the early logs down caught her and smashed her to pieces and she lies a wreck in the Brainerd flowage.—Minneapolis Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 July 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

The City Council.


[...]


The report of the water committee regarding reports on the dam was accepted, and an extension of time granted with power to complete the work. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 January 1893, p. 4, c. 6)

The dam in the Mississippi is being thoroughly repaired this spring under the direction of J. N. Nevers, receiver of the dam company. A. G. McCoy has charge of the work. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 March 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

Have a Clear Title.


The Brainerd dam was sold by Deputy Sheriff Slipp on Tuesday morning at an execution sale, which has been advertised for several weeks past in the Journal. There were present at the sale, Mr. H. J. Jaquith, of Boston, president of the Traders bank of that city, who owns forty-one of the bonds issued by the Water Power company, and Judge T. M. Brown, a capitalist of Springfield, Mass., who owns the other thirty-four bonds, there being seventy-five in all. Ambrose Tighe, of St. Paul, attorney for the bond holders, was also present. The property was bid in by Mr. Jaquith for $5,015.37, which amount does not represent the value of the property by any means, but covers all outstanding debts against the property for repairs and other expenses. The title to the property was acquired by the bond holders at the foreclosure proceedings instituted a couple of years ago, so they now are absolute owners and have a clear title without an encumbrance of any character.
In the afternoon after the sale the above named gentlemen, with W. E. Seelye and H. C. Stivers, of this city, chartered H. Poppenberg’s steam yacht and made a trip up the river with a view of ascertaining if sufficient land had not been condemned by the dam company to raise the height of the dam five or six feet without causing a great deal of additional overflowage. The party were unable to proceed but four or five miles up the river on account of the jam of logs, but they were satisfied that the improvement could be made without much damage, and a large amount of additional power obtained. These gentlemen stated that they intended to put the property in first-class shape to accommodate any enterprise needing power, by building canals and making other necessary improvements, and they are men of large capital and are able to do as they say. In fact these improvements are necessary to put the property on a paying basis, hence we have no doubt but that it will be done at once. And the influence of these wealthy men will also be exerted to securing manufacturing establishments to locate here, so that their power will be utilized and their property put on a paying basis. It is exceedingly fortunate for this city that the bonds have fallen in their hands. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 August 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

The lumbermen of Minneapolis will hereafter keep their logs above Brainerd until they are needed below and will settle with drivers at the point where they bring the logs out into the Mississippi instead of paying for the driving of the logs over the dam at this point. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 June 1894, p. 1, c. 4)

The Lumberman says that Minneapolis lumbermen are now confronted with the question as to just how many logs they want turned over the Brainerd dam for the season’s sawing. Only so many can be sawed this summer and with the large number left over in the store boom between here and Brainerd it won’t take many additional new logs to suffice for the season. The old logs must be sawed first for the longer they remain in water, of the less value they become. The intention now is to bring down to the mills the old logs and only turn below Brainerd such additional logs as will be needed, and at the same time, when the drives on the tributary streams come out onto the Mississippi they will be left at the place where they come into the main river, and the river above Brainerd will not be driven until late in the summer. Minneapolis lumbermen are going slow on the log question and are not going to take any chances on any of them going over the falls at the first high water next spring. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 June 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

Extensive improvements are being made at the dam under the supervision of Wm. E. Seelye. The sluice way will be entirely rebuilt and the entire structure will be overhauled. The expense will be something like $8,000, and the work is well under way. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 December 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

The City Fathers.


A communication from the superintendent of electric lights was read, stating that it was necessary that the flush board be placed on the dam again and that the sluice way be closed. A motion was carried that the city pay one-half the expense of doing the above work. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 December 1894, p. 4, c. 5)

The work of repairing the dam is progressing slowly under the supervision of J. N. Nevers. About ten or twelve men are employed there at driving piles for the new pier. Mr. Nevers says the cost of the repairs will aggregate six thousand dollars. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 March 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

The Boom company began sluicing logs at the dam yesterday, and unless the wind interferes, the work will be be continued day and night at the rate of 10,000,000 a day. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 April 1895, p. 4, c. 3)

Flush timbers, 22 inches high, are being placed on the dam to raise the water for the electric light station, and also to assist in sluicing logs. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 April 1895, p. 4, c. 3)

Regular Council Meeting.


[...]


A communication from Stevens, O’Brien, Cole & Albrecht, ordering the city to remove the water wheel and other fixtures from the dam, was read and laid on the table.
A motion was made and carried to place a telephone in the central hose house when the system is put in. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 May 1895, p. 4, c. 7)

Higher Than Ever Before.


The high water, mention of which was made in our last issue, continues unabated. On Friday night of last week the water reached the grates in the fire box at the pumping station, but Mr. Elder raised the grates and kept the fires going, leaving open the doors of the furnace to create a draft. The fireman at the pump house stands continually in water above the hips as he feeds the fire in the furnace. The water has raised slowly but steadily since our last issue until the last two days when it has remained stationery, but quite a raise is expected again today, as a gain of several inches is reported from Aitkin yesterday. Aside from the inconvenience at the pumping station not much damage has been done by the extraordinary stage of the water here. The dam is so solidly built that a considerable increase could be experienced without affecting it. The fine booming facilities at Brainerd Mill Co.’s mill are such that the high water has not interfered at all with the working of the mill, and while this mill here continues to manufacture over 300,000 feet every 24 hours, the mills at Little Falls, Cloquet and other points have had to cease operations. This is a great advantage for the local mill, and more lumber is shipped every day in consequence.
Our neighboring city of Little Falls is not so fortunate as we are in this matter. A jam of many million feet of logs blocks the river a short distance above that city, which, if it should give way under pressure of the high water, could not help destroying all the works and improvements of the water power company, and flood large portions of the city with several feet of water. It is said the water above the jam is sixteen feet higher than below, so it can readily be seen that the releasing of this enormous head of water at once by the jam giving way, could not fail to bring destruction to everything in its path below. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 May 1896, p. 4, c. 7)

How the Logs are Moving.


The Mississippi & Rum River Boom company has matters on the river as well in hand now as though the ice and logs had not seriously crippled them during the early part of the season. Everything at Minneapolis in connection with the turning of the logs to the mills is working smoothly. There are about 30,000,000 feet of logs at the upper gap and more are running in all the time. There is a crew of men at Elk River working the logs out of the sloughs and moving gradually in the direction of Minneapolis. The logs are coming over the Little Falls dam at the rate of from six to eight million feet per day. There is a crew working at Olmstead bar about five miles above that place getting off a lot of logs that have stranded there. They are working to finish while the water is held up by the big jam above Little Falls dam. Logs are being sluiced over the Brainerd dam and being allowed to run down the river. Above that dam the logs that were out and put into the river this winter have been stopped by the boom, and all the old logs will be over the dam in the course of a week or ten days.—Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 June 1897, p. 1, c. 4)

Repair the Dam.


The city council should take steps at once to repair the Brainerd dam. The dam is said to be badly in need of repairs, in fact it is intimated by some who are capable of judging, that extensive repairs are necessary before the spring rise in the river to prevent the dam from being taken out. If the dam should go and the magnificent booming privileges at Rice Lake be destroyed, there is no doubt that it would result in the moving of the Brainerd Lumber Co.’s extensive plant elsewhere up the river, a loss which would be fatal to the city. Hence, as a measure of self-protection, the council should see to it that the dam be repaired at once and all danger removed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 December 1898, p. 4, c. 1)

The Dam Will Be Repaired.


A committee of the council and Mayor Koop on Tuesday inspected the dam to see what repairs were required to render the structure safe during the spring freshets. The committee found the dam badly in need of repairs, in fact an expenditure of three or four thousand dollars is necessary to put the property in first class shape, but the expenditure of several hundred dollars it was thought would render it safe for the present, and it was decided to do the work at once, and deduct the amount from the annual power rental. But this will not be necessary, as the mayor today received a letter from the Mississippi & Rum River Boom company authorizing the city to go ahead and made necessary repairs and the Boom company would foot the bill. Hence the dam will at once be put in proper shape. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 February 1899, p. 1, c. 4)

Water Too High.


Edward Lavoy, foreman of the Mississippi & Rum River Boom company, who took a crew of men to Brainerd several days ago to repair the sluiceway of the Mississippi dam at that point, returned home Sunday morning with his crew without having accomplished the purpose of the trip. The reason for his failure was that the water is too high to permit the work to be done at present. About six feet of water is running through the sluiceway and it is impossible to do the work required under such conditions. An engineer was there for the purpose of directing the work, but under the circumstances, it was not advisable to begin, so the work has been deferred to a more opportune time.
Mr. Lavoy says that the logs have done considerable damage to the sluiceway, and are continuing to do so, but sluicing will not be stopped at present.—Little Falls Transcript. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 April 1900, p. 4, c. 3)

BAD BREAK IN THE DAM.
_____

Only Very Hard Work Prevents a
Bad Washout.
_____


A break occurred in the Brainerd dam on Tuesday evening that came very near destroying the entire structure, and it was only the hardest work on the part of a large force of men and teams that the calamity was prevented.
The break was discovered on Tuesday evening about six o’clock by a river driver. He was walking along the embankment between the power house house and the retaining wall of the flume when he noticed a slight depression in the embankment. A hasty examination revealed the fact that the embankment had been pierced beneath the surface and the waters were rushing down through the break which led beneath the flume. He hastily summoned all the river men, and all the men and teams that could be found were rushed to the spot, and an attempt made to stop the hole by throwing in logs and timber and brush and bags of earth and sand. The force of the rushing water, however, rendered all efforts futile until early Wednesday morning, when the flume gates were all opened, which relieved the rush of water to the break, and the opening was gradually closed during Wednesday and Wednesday night, and the flood has now been entirely stopped. It can only be temporary, however, until a retaining wall is built or piling driven and sheeted with plank. This should be done at once, and another bad break prevented. Had the water been high, as in previous years, nothing could have saved the dam. It was fortunate, too, that the break occurred in the day time. Had it been at night when no one was about, the property would have been destroyed before it was discovered.
The flow of water was so great from the break and gates that it raised the river nearly four feet at the pumping station on Wednesday morning, and the water in the dam was reduced to such an extent that it was doubtful if the wheel at the electric light power house could be operated, but the lights were not interfered with. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 July 1900, p. 1, c. 5)

The M. & R. R. Boom company, owners of the dam, reported that they would repair the dam as requested as soon as the stage of water would permit, and that a shut down of the electric light plant for two weeks would probably be necessary in order to do so. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 October 1900, p. 2, c. 1)

The electric light will not be shut off at present as reported and expected, as the repairs to the dam will be postponed until after the holidays. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 November 1900, p. 8, c. 1)

POWER AT DAM WILL BE LEASED.
_____

Owners Have an Offer for All Power
Not Leased by the
City.
_____


Hon. Leon E. Lum stated yesterday to a DISPATCH representative that Mr. Chute, manager of the Mississippi and Rum River Boom Co., the owners of the dam, had stated to him a day or two before that the company had an offer from a big manufacturing concern for all the power there is at the dam except the 500 horse power the city uses. As this power is variously estimated from 3,000 to 5,000 horse power, it can readily be seen it must be a mammoth concern that is negotiating for it, and whatever it is will mean a great deal to the city. Mr. Chute also told Mr. Lum the company had decided to accept the offer, if a better one was not received, so the power will surely be leased, and it must be a responsible concern and a bona fide offer, or the Boom Company would not waste its time considering it. Mr. Lum did not ask his informant what concern it was and Mr. Chute did not volunteer the information, but no matter who it is, it cannot help but make Brainerd the largest city in northern Minnesota. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 March 1901, p. 1, c. 2)

...It seems that there has been another gymnastic maneuver in the ownership and control of the dam in this city, which until last night was supposed to be the property of the Mississippi & Rum River Boom Co. Some time ago a communication was received from President Chute, of the boom company, in which was enclosed a bill for $2250 rental for water power. The bill at the time was referred to the city attorney with instructions that he notify President Chute that the city held a contra bill against the company. City Attorney Crowell did as he was instructed and a communication was received in reply, which was a surprise to the councilmen. The communication was from Cohen, Atwater & Shaw, attorneys, of Minneapolis. It was stated that the Brainerd dam is the Northern Water Power Co.’s interest and not the Mississippi River Boom Co. As regards the city’s claim against the company for reduction of rent and expenses incurred in work on the dam Mr. Chute informed the attorneys that his experts reported that the break was caused entirely by the negligence of the city improperly placing its wheels. The matter was finally settled by motion, which was unanimously carried, instructing the city attorney to write the gentlemen interested in the dam that if the amount of the claim of the city of $400 was reduced from the amount of the bill the balance due the company would be forth coming at once. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 November 1901, p. 3, c.’s 2 & 3)

Northwest Paper Pulp Mill located on the north side of the river just below Ahrens Hill, ca. 1910.
Source: Postcard
Northern Water Power Company eventually became the owner of the dam, and in 1903 this company was purchased by the Northwest Paper Company. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 32 & 33)


SOMETHING MAY BE DOING SOON
_____

Lines May Be Taken in the Near
Future Near the Pulp Mill for
a New Structure
_____

IMPORTANT MATTER TO SETTLE
_____

The Dam Will Have to Be Raised
a Foot Before Enough Head
Can Be Secured.


There is a matter which the Commercial Club can take hold of and do some good for the city in connection with the Northwest Paper company property in this city. There is some talk that there will be something doing in a short time in the vicinity of the dam and that action may be taken shortly to ascertain the most advantageous location for a large paper mill. The DISPATCH reporter had a conversation with one who is well acquainted with the condition and he stated that he thought something would be done this summer in this direction, but he stated also that there was another question which would have to be settled first and that is the matter of more power for a paper mill. The dam at its present status will not meet the requirements, but will have to be raised a foot before enough head can be secured. This will also mean that some action will have to be taken regarding the securing of the necessary overflowage rights from the owners of the land. The raising of the dam a foot would raise the water a foot for twenty miles up river.
If the proper arrangement can be made, however, it is thought that the Northwest Paper company will proceed very soon with the work. It is said that when they do build a paper mill here it will be of the most modern type, of large capacity, and over 400 people will be employed.
The pulp mill here has been a great success, as evidence that for the first time since the cold weather set in the mill will, if this weather continues, shut down from six o’clock tomorrow morning until seven o’clock Monday morning. The machinery has been running continuously, night and day for nearly four months and much repair work has accumulated which must be attended to. During cold weather it is impossible to shut down because of the danger from ice in the flume, but with the present soft weather it will be possible to give the hands a Sunday once more and do the needed work on the plant. In summer the machinery is started at 7 o'clock Monday morning and not stopped until six o’clock Sunday morning. The run has been very satisfactory to the management as they have turned out about thirty tons of pulp daily. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 25 February 1905, p. 3, c. 2)

PINION BROKE
_____

Putting the City in Semi-Darkness. One
Waterwheel Put Entirely Out of Com-
mission for the Present


Through the breaking of a pinion at the power plant one of the waterwheels of the light plant is entirely out of commission and a large part of the residence district is again in darkness. There was not sufficient power Saturday night to decently light the downtown district. Supt. Baker had duplicate parts ordered before the accident and as soon as they arrive they will be put in place. They should be on the way now as it was promised that they would be shipped last Wednesday. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 04 March 1907, p. 2, c. 4)

The water in the Mississippi river is reported as falling very rapidly and it will probably be necessary to put flash-boards on the dam it is said in order to supply water for the pulp mill and electric light plant. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 27 January 1908, p. 2, c. 3)

THE LIGHT GOES OUT IN BRAINERD
_____

Electric Light Station Burns to Ground
_____

DAM PIERS BURNED
_____

Two Piers and Five Gates of Weyer-
hauser Dam Burned Down—Repair Work
Commenced at Dam—City Will Make
Temporary Connection With Shop
Electric Light Plant.


The city electric light plant at the dam burned to the ground at nine o’clock Saturday night. Nothing was saved, arc machine and alternators, pulleys and shafting being reduced to a tangled pile of scrap.
John B. Lanouette, electric light engineer, was on duty at the time and states that the fire started on the north end of the building near the roof at about nine o’clock in the evening. As everyone who was on our streets that day or evening is aware, there was a fierce wind, and when the fire started it did not take the gale long to envelope the whole plant in a blast furnace blaze. The fire burned from the north end to the south end of the building.
Lanouette states there was no wiring near the fire when it first started. The nearest wiring was over twelve feet away. He telephoned for help and rushed back to save something. Of all his belongings he was able to save only his wheel.
He is not sure how the fire really started and believes it may have commenced from outside sparks, claiming sparks may have come from the saw mill immediately north of the light plant. He said he saw steam coming from the McKinley mill, as it is usually called. Lanouette is an old city employee, having worked for the city over eight years and during that time, as he states, never having had any trouble.

FIRE SPREADS TO DAM.

The building rests on a stone and cement foundation on the east side of the dam and near the two large wooden piers on that side. The fire quickly ate its way through the light frame building of the power house and leaped to the piers. These were soon a blazing mass. When the writer stood on the high bank east of the fire at about ten o’clock in the evening the foundation stringers of the building were reduced to blazing lines of light and the two piers were silhouetted in flame against the dark rushing waters of the dam.

FIRE DEPARTMENT HELPLESS.

The city department could not do much as this territory is out of the fire district. No adequate fire protection seems to have been provided for an emergency of this kind. For a time it looked as though the fire would spread to the Northwest Paper Co.’s pulp mill, which occupies the west bank of the dam. It was reported first that a pile of coal near the electric light plant and at the east foundation of the dam was on fire, but later reports discredit this and it is said no coal was stored near the dam.

PLANT INSURED.

A member of the city water and light board stated that the electric plant and building is covered by sufficient insurance to cover financial loss on machinery and building.
Insurance carried was $4,600 which was as much as the water and light board could place on the building and contents. The new dynamo was insured for $1100, its full value. While this amount is not large it is probably all the old plant was worth.

DAMAGE DONE TO DAM.

The two main piers on the east side of the dam are burned to the water’s edge. Three gates are burned on the outside of the flume. The pier foundations appear to be sound. The wheel pit of the dam is safe, the cogs being burned out.
Mr. Lanouette says he believes the state of water now to be about normal. The loss of the gates released the water and it is said to have fallen 14 inches at a point above the dam.

CITY TO PUT IN PLANT.

As stated by a member, the water and light board will meet the emergency by installing a steam or gasoline plant and providing service just as soon as a new plant can be built, which will be from 60 to 90 days.

TEMPORARY POWER SECURED.

The water and light board is making arrangements with the N. P. railway company to connect with the electric plant at the shops, and it is thought the necessary arrangements can be made by Tuesday or Wednesday. To do this it will be necessary for the board to provide two transformers at a cost of over $3,000, as the current at the shops is a higher voltage and two phase while the city plant was a single phase, but the board has rightfully decided that it was its duty to serve the public no matter if it does cost considerable. However, it is thought that the electrical company will take them back charging only for their use.
The destruction of the plant is a great inconvenience to concerns using motors for power and they have resorted to all sorts of schemes to keep going. The Northwestern Telephone company has a storage battery system that will keep them going for a week, but they got busy and connected with the N. P. wires on Sunday.

FIRE LOCALS.

Koop’s Unique theatre hustled around and installed a gas plant and never missed a performance. They played to crowded houses yesterday.
Mahlum Lumber Co.’s planing mill shut down on account of no power. They always handle a lot of custom work.
The Daily Dispatch is badly put out by the fire as the machinery of the office is run by motors. A gasoline engine has been installed temporarily to run the presses, but we are unable to use the linotype and hand composition must be resorted to which will reduce the local reading matter considerably.
The lecture by Dr. Laura Lane at the Methodist church was in progress when the lights went out, plunging audience and lecturer into darkness. The lecturer calmly continued her address and resolutions were adopted in the dark urging Congressman Lindbergh to assist in establishing a national department of health.
Charles Weyerhauser, accompanied by Messrs. Musser and Richie, came up from Little Falls Sunday afternoon in his Packard automobile and the party inspected the damages sustained to the Weyerhauser dam. The gentlemen returned to Little Falls in the evening.
Fred W. Low, of the new Grand theatre, stated his theatre would open tonight with the usual vaudeville features.
T. L. Truss, of the Bijou theatre said his house would run with the usual vaudeville features.
Thomas G. Johnson, superintendent of the Northwest Paper Co. and a crew of men are engaged in throwing up a wing dam from the east shore of the river to the burned piers. Water has fallen so rapidly that it is necessary to sheer the water to the west bank to keep the pulp mill going. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 25 April 1910, p. 1, c.’s 1 & 2)

DAM NEARLY GAVE OUT LAST NIGHT
_____

A Hole Formed Near the East Bank
Which Nearly Proved
Disastrous
_____

THE DANGER IS NOW PAST
_____

Foreman Tom Long, and a Crew of
Men Worked all Night Repair-
ing Break


The Weyerhauser dam nearly gave out last night. A big hole is reported to have formed at the east bank near the burned piers and for a time it looked as though the water would sweep through the break and carry everything before it.
Tom Long, of the Northern Boom Co., with a crew of men worked heroically all night repairing the break. The dam itself is holding its position. The danger now, as it showed itself last night, is in the crumbling of the bank near the east shore.
Should there be heavy rains or a sudden rise in the river it would prove a menace to the dam. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 26 April 1910, p. 3, c. 3)

DAM OUT OF DANGER
_____

Officials of the Company Owning the
Dam Inspect It This
Morning


Monday night’s break in the Weyerhauser dam has been promptly repaired and the immediate danger is past.
Men of the Northern Boom Co. and the Northwest Paper Co. pulp mill are engaged in the repair work. They are putting in a wing dam from the east shore to the burned piers and are placing slush boards in positions.
Messrs. Charles Weyerhauser and R. D. Musser, of Little Falls, Pres. Chute of the Mississippi & Rum River boom Co., and C. I. McNair, of Cloquet are in the city personally inspecting the work. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 27 April 1910, p. 3, c. 2)

W. F. Benjamin, of St. Cloud, is engaged in making repairs on the Weyerhauser dam. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 11 May 1910, p. 2, c. 3)

BRAINERD FACED CATASTROPHE

SECTION OF OLD DAM WENT OUT
_____

FLUME AT THE OLD

PULP MILL LOCATION
_____

Broke Away at 3 o’clock This Morn-
ing, Releasing Head of 16 Feet,
Nearly Drowned Pump House
_____

Waters Crept Within Inch of Fire Boxes of
Pumping Station, Supplies City and
Shops with Water

HIGH WATER SUBSIDING
_____


At 3 this afternoon the river had receded 23 inches at the city pump house and it will soon be possible to drive teams across.

Brainerd faced a catastrophe at 3 o’clock this morning when the old flume at the old pulp mill went out at the west end of the Mississippi river dam and the rush of water, a sixteen foot head, nearly submerged the city pump house below.
The water crept within 6 inches of the fire box at the pumping station and the crest of the flood appears to have passed. Ice has been dynamited out below to reduce any possible gorge forming.
The section of the dam out will have to be coffer dammed. The water rose and reached the grinder room of the Northwest Paper Co.’s new plant.
Stations south of Brainerd were warned to prepare for the rush of water. The city pump house men are working valiantly at the plant which is a tiny island in a water waste. If submerged Brainerd would be without water and the Northern Pacific shops would have to lay off.
The city pump house men were heroes. They stuck to their post as the water raised to within an inch of the fire box. The water is now receding and is 16 inches from the fire boxes. The city plant supplies Brainerd and the Northern Pacific railway shops with water.
Rice lake, an arm of the Mississippi north of the dam, fell five feet and ice cutting operations were abandoned. The island in the river below the dam is nearly submerged.
The water is flowing under the ice and raising it. The worst danger appears over at 10 o’clock.

At 3 o’clock Monday morning the old pulp mill flume at the west end of the dam at the Northwest Paper Co. plant on the Mississippi river in Northeast Brainerd went out, carrying with it a section of the west bank of the river, the old site of the old pump mill and some material stored on the bank.
The break released a 16 foot head of water which quickly submerged the flats below and came with an inch of putting out the fire box of the city pumping station.
The island directly below the dam is covered with water, only tree tops being visible. Considerable working equipment, pile drivers, engine, etc. are under water at the new plant.
The log chute was being repaired and a week more would have witnessed the cutting open of the west bank so as to bring the water to the new power plant. The old pulp mill house, however, was not able to stand the pressure centered there and gave way.
The old wagon bridge, directly north, has given way in the center and may wash out any time.
At Boom lake water forced the ice up five feet or more. The hockey rink, where Ironton and the St. Paul Northern Pacifics played at the Brainerd Outdoor Carnival, is now an elevated one. Below Boom lake the flats are rapidly filling up.
Ice piling up at the Northern Pacific railway hospital bridge was dynamited early in the morning.
E. E. McQuillin, engineer at the pumping station, went to his work by paddling out in a boat. Charles H. Varner stayed at his post all night, keeping pumps going when the water was within an inch of the fire box.
Ice above the dam is holding, and the natural flow of the river is now following the new channel cut through at the west side.
At 11:30 in the morning the water had fallen 10 inches and no more danger was feared. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 12 February 1917, p. 1, c.’s 1 & 2)

Break in Dam Closed Rapidly
at Brainerd, Minn.
Old Dam Across Mississippi Breached February 12
Was Restored and Power Service Was
Resumed April 16


Brainerd Dam Repair, 28 March 1917, A Century of Papermaking: 1898-1998.
Source: Potlatch, Brainerd, Minnesota
Brainerd Dam Repair, 1917.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
On Feb. 12 part of the old pulp-mill dam near the site of the Northwest Paper Co.’s new plant at Brainerd, Minn. gave away, causing the Mississippi River to make a detour to the west, carrying out more of the old structure and cutting its way through and washing out the westerly bank, 75 ft. high, a distance of 800 feet. Representatives of George F. Hardy, consulting engineer, New York, the C. L. Pillsbury Co., Minneapolis, and N. F. Helmers, of the contracting firm of Siems, Helmers and Schaffner, St. Paul, at once made tentative plans for a structure to replace the break. The contract was awarded to the latter firm.
Working in the most severe winter weather, with the railways blocked by snowstorms, and in the face of the abnormal car shortage, 8,000 yd. of rock and more than 500,000 ft. of timber, 10,000 ft. of piling and 12,000 yd. of earthwork were placed and the full head of 16 ft. developed by Apr. 12. The work was carried on day and night, being illuminated with arc lamps.
Not the least obstacle was the inaccessibility of the work, which necessitated the rebuilding of 100 ft. of trestle highway bridge 60 ft. high, and the reinforcing of 300 ft. more, the placing of two cableways, erection of two piledrivers and laying of a mile of track before work was under way.
This turbine, removed from the Brainerd hydro dam and placed in front of the BPU Service Center, was allegedly installed in the dam in 1916 and was removed in 2016.
Source: Brainerd Dispatch, 2016
A temporary barrier dam was first built out from the shore 110 ft. into the stream, across the washout, to retard the current. It consisted of random piling driven to refusal and filled around with rock. At the same time tons of rock were hauled across the bridge in 1 1/2-yd. cars and deposited in the washout by skidding down the bank or unloaded from the 1-yd. skips of the cableways to pave the bottom of the river. Cribs 3, 4, 5 and 6 were then built and slid into position after cutting the necessary opening in the ice.
The two key cribs for closing the dam were floated into position Apr. 4, and filled with rock.
The work was carried on under the direction of N. F. Helmers, of the contracting company. D. Fairchild, superintended the construction. H. Bennett, civil engineer, represented George F. Hardy, of New York, and the paper company’s interest. (ENGINEERING NEWS-RECORD, 16 August 1917, p. 313)


Ice Damages
Northwest Paper
Mill Dam Here


Ice is endangering the Northwest Paper Mill dam here, it was reported today.
Leo Gayou, manager of the mill, said ice has damaged the superstructure of the dam and two of the 13 spill gates went out yesterday.
Until the water recedes, Gayou said, it will be impossible to estimate the damage to the superstructure done by the ice.
At present, engineers and officials are attempting to spill water from the dam to relieve it of pressure.
Gayou said there was an unusual amount of water at the dam site. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 May 1950, p. 1, c. 5)

Rising Waters
Threaten Power,
Pumping Station


Rising flood waters of the Mississippi river here today were threatening the city power and pumping station and at least one family was evacuated this morning from lowlands along the river.
Water which showed a rise of six inches during the night was within one-half inch of the floor of the pumping station today and crews employed by the water and light board constructed a dike in a move to save the station from inundation.
FAMILY MOVED
The family of Robert Hunt, living at the foot of Pine street was moved out of its home this morning as waters crept around the house. The family was moved by the fire department who assisted in removing the family and valuables.
At the Northwestern Paper mills today the public was barred from mill properties while workmen battle to strengthen the mill dam where four gates had given way under the pressure of water Saturday and Sunday. Machinery was in use on the west side of the river today building a dike in a drive to halt the rush of waters through the dam.
FOUR GATES OUT
Four gates, two on each side of the dam, were reported out and at the mill it was said that the dam today had not been threatened by ice from the upper river.
Waters from the river rolled over the road which separates Boom lake and the river and covered most of the river flats which border the Mississippi.
Crews began working at the dike at the power and pumping station Saturday morning, worked through the night and all day Sunday.
CLEAR DIKE
The dike is holding the water back from the station, while a small “puddle” inside the dike was being pumped out Sunday at the rate of 750 gallons an hour.
Estimates of the expected rise of water at the pumping station indicate that the water may rise a foot from its present flood stage.
Had the water been allowed to enter the power and pumping station, the city may have been without electricity and water. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 08 May 1950, p. 1, c.’s 6-8)

New Break in Dam
Renews Threat to
Pumping Station


A new threat to Brainerd’s pumping station and power plant developed last night when about six feet of superstructure of the Northwest Paper company’s dam washed away. The remaining spill gates were opened.
But paper mill officials are working closely with the city authorities to prevent the excess water from reaching the power and pumping station.
SANDBAG DIKE
Crews worked through the night filling and sandbagging at the dike. The road near the pumping station is completely under water from the turn-off which leads to the sewage disposal plant.
But crewmen believe they can keep the water from the pumping station barring a large and sudden surge of water.
The superstructure, usually extending about six feet above the water at normal stage, gave way to the pounding pressure of water behind the dam. Besides the water pressure, debris had piled up behind the dam, exerting added weight on the superstructure.
SPILL GATES BROKEN
All but about six spill gates broke through and the remaining gates were opened after precautions had been taken at the pumping station to handle the excess water.
The remaining gates were opened to protect the banks of the river on both sides of the dam, officials report. Opening the gates allows the water and debris to flow down the river instead of wearing the banks on each side.
PROTECT BANKS
Paper mill crews have been working continuously to prevent wear on the banks by filling and sandbagging. At present there is about six feet of fill and sandbags on each side of the dam.
The water at the dam is approximately five feet above the normal river stage.
While the superstructure has gone, officials and engineers believe the base of the dam is intact, but they cannot be sure since the base is several feet below the surface of the water.
UNITE EFFORTS
Paper mill and city authorities are working hand-in-hand to prevent disaster at the power and pumping station. This was manifest last night when the gates were opened at the dam.
Such action would, of course, send more water into the Brainerd lowlands where the power and pumping station is situated. Paper mill officials, keeping in close contact with city maintenance crews, warned of the necessity of opening the remaining gates.
CHECK DIKE
The power station dike was checked so the surge of water would not reach the station.
A rumor began circulating last night that the dam would be dynamited. The story probably grew from action of the officials of blasting the debris behind the dam.
DYNAMITE DEBRIS
Leo Gayou, manager of the mill, said the dynamite used was not at the base of the dam. It was used to break loose the debris piled against the dam. The amount of explosives used would have been insufficient to damage the dam itself, Gayou added.
Meanwhile, engineers expect the river to continue to rise for several days, which means Brainerd’s crest will not come for three, four or five days. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 12 May 1950, pp. 1 & 2, c.’s 6-8)

Red Cross, Army
Alert Equipment
For Brainerd


Water purification units and power generator equipment was alerted at Red Cross and Fifth army headquarters in St. Louis to be flown to Brainerd in the event the Brainerd pumping and power stations are inundated due to rising waters in the Mississippi river here.
Major Rae M. Smith, officer in charge of the Organized Army Reserve here, contacted both the Red Cross and army headquarters at St. Louis last night. This morning the major was informed that necessary equipment had been alerted in St. Louis for immediate transport here if needed. Crews to fly this equipment here, Major Smith said, are under standby orders. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 12 May 1950, pp. 1 & 2, c.’s 6-8)

Local Flood
Drops; May
Hold Steady


1950 Mississippi River floods lower portion of the road to Evergreen Cemetery, 15 May 1950.
Source: Postcard
Head waters at the Northwest Paper mill dam have receded, according to officials of the paper company.
The water dropped three-tenths of an inch, and the tail water, that portion in front of the dam, held its own.
Flood waters lapping the power and pumping station dike in Brainerd also held their own last night.
A spokesman at the pump house said the dike is holding well and crews are working continuously to strengthen and enlarge the dam.
Meanwhile waters from the Mississippi have seeped into the fill by Franklin junior high school, covering the football field and Cemetery road.
Predictions of when the flood will reach its crest cannot be made accurately, but the river is still rising at Aitkin. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 15 May 1950, p. 1, c.’s 3-5)

29 March 1951. Two 85-foot gates, each seven feet high, have been installed in the new dam at the Northwest paper mill. The local paper mill site is one of five dams in the nation equipped with such gates, the others all being found in New England. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 29 March 2011)

City Will Pursue Dam in Bidding Process


Brainerd city officials will bid on the hydroelectric dam that once helped power Wausau Paper.
The Brainerd City Council voted during a closed meeting Monday to draft a letter of intent to buy the dam and the adjoining 37 acres of land on the west side of the river. The letter of intent will serve as a formal bid.
The bid amount and just how the purchase would be funded cannot yet be made public, said City Administrator Theresa Goble.
The council will hold another closed meeting Friday morning to approve the wording in the letter of intent and to set a dollar amount for the bid, she said.
The dam would generate just under 10 percent of Brainerd’s power on a normal day, said Todd Wicklund, Brainerd Public Utilities finance director. The dam gives the same output as a typical wind turbine.
If the city is awarded the bid and buys the dam, Brainerd residents won’t notice a big dip on their electric bill, Wicklund said.
“We’re not going to see our bills go down $10 because of this,” he said.
Instead, it could help keep future rates more level or smaller, he said.
Another benefit, Wicklund said, is that its cheaper for the city to generate its own power. Currently, Brainerd buys all of its energy from Minnesota Power.
At the closed session meeting, Goble said council members talked about the pros and cons of buying the property.
“This is a rare opportunity. These things don’t come up for sale very often,” Wicklund said.
Wicklund added: “I think this will be a good investment. It’s just a line of business we haven’t done in the past because there was no opportunity.”
There’s a big interest in hydro facilities, Wicklund said, and therefore there is the potential for several bidders on the dam.
The bidding session closes Friday afternoon and the bid winner will be announced after Wausau officials accept an offer. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 July 2013, p. 1)

City Submits Bid for Wausau Dam


Brainerd city officials submitted a bid on the hydroelectric dam that once helped power Wausau Paper.
After the conclusion of a closed meeting Friday, the Brainerd City Council approved submitting an offer to Wausau Paper Mills to buy the dam and the 37 acres of land to the west of it.
At a previous closed meeting Monday, the council agreed it would submit a bid, but the wording and the bid amount was approved at Friday’s closed session.
The bid amount will not be made public until after the bidding session is closed, city officials said.
The dam would generate just under 10 percent of Brainerd’s power on a normal day, said Todd Wicklund, Brainerd Public Utilities finance director.
If the city is awarded the bid and buys the dam, Brainerd residents won’t notice a big dip on their electric bill, Wicklund said. Instead, it could help keep future rates more level or smaller.
Another benefit, Wicklund said, is that it’s cheaper for the city to generate its own power. Currently, Brainerd buys all of its energy from Minnesota Power.
The city expects to hear from Wausau on Monday regarding its proposal. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 August 2013, p. 1)

Wausau, City Officials to Discuss Dam Bid Further


Wausau officials are interested in “further discussing the city’s offer to purchase the hydroelectric dam,” according to a statement released by Brainerd officials.
Late last week, the Brainerd City Council agreed to draft a letter of intent to buy the dam and the adjoining 37 acres of land on the west side of the river.
The bid amount is still not able to be released, said City Administrator Theresa Goble.
The dam would generate just under 10 percent of Brainerd’s power on a normal day, said Todd Wicklund, Brainerd Public Utilities finance director. The dam gives the same output as a typical wind turbine.
If the city is awarded the bid and buys the dam, Brainerd residents won’t notice a big dip on their electric bill, Wicklund said. Instead, it could help keep future rates more level or smaller.
Another benefit, Wicklund said, is that it’s cheaper for the city to generate its own power. Currently, Brainerd buys all of its energy from Minnesota Power.
No meetings have been set yet between the city and Wausau to discuss the offer to buy the dam.
“The city and Brainerd Public Utilities Commission continue its due diligence in the research of all the issues involving ownership of a hydroelectric dam,” the statement read. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 August 2013, p. 1)

Wausau Plant Facility has Potential Buyer
City Enters into Letter of Intent Over Dam


The Wausau Paper facility might have a potential buyer.
City officials will soon meet with the potential buyer of the facility “to discuss options or alternatives that might be available to facilitate the return of the mill to productive operations,” according to a statement released by city administrator Theresa Goble.
The name of the potential buyer hasn’t been released, and Wausau officials did not return a phone call Wednesday for comment.
Wausau Paper closed its production doors in April, citing an exit from the print business and economic weakness as key factors in the decision.
Since then a task force made up of representatives from the city and business committee was formed to help pull in potential buyers.
The city of Brainerd also placed a bid on the hydroelectric dam last month, which is being sold separately than the building facility itself.
The dam bid was “looked favorably upon” by Wausau officials, who drafted a letter of intent with stipulations on officially accepting the bid.
The letter was reviewed by the city attorney and changes were suggested, and recently the two lawyers agreed on a final document.
The letter of intent allows the city 90 days to do their due diligence with an 10 percent escrow amount paid to Wausau. If, after the 90 days, the city decides not to move forward with the purchase, the escrow amount is refunded.
Goble said in that period, there will be inspections done by Brainerd Public Utilities consultants and review of any reports that will be made available to BPU.
On Monday, the Brainerd City Council adjourned into closed session after the regular meeting to receive a status report on the letter of intent to purchase the dam.
During the meeting, discussion was held on the proposed letter of intent drafted by the two lawyers, Goble said.
After the closed session meeting went into open session, the council voted unanimously to approve the letter of intent and to authorize proper signatures.
The letter of intent and purchase price are not public information yet, Goble said.
The council then voted to a form a committee of the mayor, council president Bonnie Cumberland and Goble to meet with BLAEDC, PUC officials, and the potential buyer of the Wausau plant facility, to discuss options or alternatives that might be available to facilitate the return of the mill to productive operations.
“We hope it works out with the potential buyer,” said Wausau Task Force member and city councilman Gary Scheeler. “To put a business in this plant would be extremely good news for the area. It’s too early to tell exactly what the outcome will be.”
Scheeler added that there’s been 100 percent agreement within city council in moving forward with the dam purchase
“It says something about the direction we are going,” he said. “For Brainerd, we couldn’t ask for a better thing to happen.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 September 2013, p. 1)

Brainerd Officials Tour Wausau Dam
City has Submitted a Bid on the Hydroelectric Dam


City officials tour the Brainerd dam, 24 September 2013.
Source: Brainerd Dispatch, Steve Kohls
Brainerd city officials Tuesday received an up-close look at the Wausau Paper dam, a facility the city has expressed interest in buying.
The dam, which Wausau officials said dates back to the late 1800s, generated electricity for Wausau Paper before that company ceased production at the northeast Brainerd plant in April. City officials said earlier this month they were in discussions with an unidentified potential buyer for the plant facility. The dam would be sold separately from the Wausau Paper facility.
The tour was part of an adjourned Brainerd Public Utilities Commission meeting and included some Brainerd City Council members. One of the council members, Mary Koep, said at the conclusion of the tour she wanted to know the immediate and the long-range cost to the city that would come with a dam purchase as well as significant and verifiable evidence indicating benefits outweighed the cost. She suggested two years was a suitable time period for when the city should realize the benefits of a potential dam purchase.
“If you can’t do that, then to me, it’s not worth it,” she said.
Council member Chip Borkenhagen said Tuesday that immediate payback is not always possible and sometimes an investment has to be made in the future. Borkenhagen said the city has made no final decision on the possible purchase of the dam.
“There are all kinds of stones that have to be overturned,” he said.
Koep said she’ll be interested to see what the city’s consulting engineers on the potential purchase have to say about the dam’s potential benefit to the city.
Shawn O’Brien of Wausau Paper, who conducted one of the tour groups, said the dam generated an average of 17 to 18 million kilowatts a year, which is sold back to Minnesota Power.
O’Brien said four full-time personnel and some part-time relief help staff the dam 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The grates in front of the generators are operated manually, he said. The heat source for the dam building is steam and electric, he said.
“These generators are not new but they’re built like a tank,” he said. “Not much can go wrong with them.”
He said government regulations strictly dictate the level at which dam operators can keep the river. O’Brien also described how the cement apron immediately downstream of the dam helps break up the flow of water and protects the dam’s structure. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 September 2013, p. 1)

Brainerd City Council: Environmental
Law Group to Look at Wausau Dam


The city will retain the Environmental Law Group to provide legal counsel and assistance to city officials in the potential sale of the Wausau Paper facility.
City officials approved the move at the Brainerd City Council meeting Monday. There will be no cost to the city.
The city of Brainerd placed a bid on the hydroelectric dam in August, which is being sold separate from the building facility itself. A potential buyer of the building facility has been in discussions with city officials but the name has not yet been released.
Brainerd legal counsel from the Kennedy & Graven law firm requested city officials retain the law group to provide advice on specific environmental issues relating to the project and to identify any concerns on the site.
City Administrator Theresa Goble said there will be no cost to the city, as Minnesota Power pledged $5,000 and the Initiative Foundation pledged funds as well.
Goble said the potential facility buyer offered additional monetary help, should the city request it.
City councilwoman Mary Koep questioned how reliable the study would be if it is funded through a group that might have interest in the outcome. Koep said she would vote against the motion if the bill came to the city.
Goble said the law group will not know who is contributing the funds, as it is the city that is paying the bill with funds given to the city beforehand.
After the city placed the bid on the dam a few months ago, the bid was “looked favorably upon” by Wausau officials, who drafted a letter of intent with stipulations on officially accepting the bid.
The letter was reviewed by the city attorney and changes were suggested. Recently the two lawyers agreed on a final document.
The letter of intent allows the city 90 days to do their due diligence with an 10 percent escrow amount paid to Wausau. If, after the 90 days, the city decides not to move forward with the purchase, the escrow amount is refunded.
In that period, there will be inspections done by Brainerd Public Utilities consultants and review of any reports that will be made available to BPU. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 October 2013)

Brainerd City Council: Purchase Agreement
to be Signed Wausau Dam


A purchase agreement will be signed by the city in regard to the potential purchase of the Wausau dam.
The unanimous approval at the Brainerd City Council meeting Monday was to have officials sign the agreement.
With the signing of the purchase agreement, the official 90-day due diligence period can start. During that time period, there will be several studies and inspections into the facilities at the dam to make sure it would be a good investment for the city.
Even with signing the purchase agreement, the city can still back out of buying the dam should those inspections come up unfavorable.
City councilman Kelly Bevans said he supported the purchase agreement completely.
“To produce electricity without burning something is a huge step forward for the city,” he said.
The city of Brainerd placed a bid on Wausau Paper’s hydroelectric dam and the adjoining 37 acres of land on the west side of the river in August, after the paper company close its doors earlier in the year.
The purchase price will be $4.115 million. This is the first time the price has been publicly available.
The purchase price will be offset by the cost to connect the dam’s powerhouse to city water, sewer and natural gas lines, all of which Wausau officials agreed to pay for by lowering the purchase price.
Mayor James Wallin said this is an “opportunity few cities have.”
Wallin said there are probably other costs involved but he said in the long run, the dam would be a benefit to the city.
The dam would generate just under 10 percent of Brainerd’s power on a normal day, said Todd Wicklund, Brainerd Public Utilities finance director. The dam gives the same output as a typical wind turbine.
If the city is awarded the bid and buys the dam, Brainerd residents won’t notice a big dip on their electric bill, Wicklund said.
Instead, it could help keep future rates level or smaller, he said.
Another benefit is that it’s cheaper for the city to generate its own power. Currently, Brainerd buys all of its energy from Minnesota Power.
Wicklund addressed the concern from a letter from former council member Bob Olson, who suggested a dam might be better run in the hands of a private entity or business.
Wicklund said dozens of cities own various types of power generating devises, a few being dams.
With Brainerd potentially owning a dam, it’s a step forward in trying to keep energy costs as low as possible in the future.
He noted this is just one way BPU is looking at to make the city more energy efficient.
The dam is being sold separate from the building facility itself. Liberty Paper Co. officials showed interest in buying the facility, but officially backed out a month ago.
City councilwoman Mary Koep said there should be a public hearing on the proposed dam purchase, as well as an informational session about the benefits and potential costs.
City councilman Gary Scheeler added, “this is the smartest, biggest investment the city ever made.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 November 2013, p. 1)

Brainerd City Council: Due Diligence Extended
in Dam Purchase


The due diligence period in regard to the potential purchase of the Wausau dam has been extended so officials can gain legislative approval for acquiring the dam.
The Brainerd City Council approved the move at its meeting Tuesday.
The official 90-day due diligence period started in November with the signing of the purchase agreement and it was set to expire at the end of the month.
City leaders recently found out that in order to buy the dam they need legislative approval. It was found that state law says the city can’t buy the dam until it gets approval from the Legislature or the legislative session ends without the Legislature prohibiting it, said council member Gary Scheeler, who also is a member of the Wausau Task Force.
Scheeler continued that the requirement is in place because transferring the dam to a public entity means additional liability, as well as state grants will become available for future maintenance.
During the due diligence period, there have been several studies and inspections into the facilities at the dam to make sure it would be a good investment for the city.
The city of Brainerd placed a bid on Wausau Paper’s hydroelectric dam and the adjoining 37 acres of land on the west side of the river in August after the paper company close its doors earlier in the year.
The purchase price will be $4.115 million. The purchase price will be offset by the cost to connect the dam’s powerhouse to city water, sewer and natural gas lines, all of which Wausau officials agreed to pay for by lowering the purchase price.
The dam is expected to generate just under 10 percent of Brainerd’s power on a normal day. It gives the same output as a typical wind turbine.
If the city buys the dam, Brainerd residents won’t notice a big dip on their electric bill, officials previously have said. Instead, it could help keep future rates level or smaller.
Another benefit is that it’s cheaper for the city to generate its own power. Currently, Brainerd buys all of its energy from Minnesota Power. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 February 2014)

Brainerd City Council: Koep Voices Disagreement
for Closed Session


Brainerd City Council member Mary Koep disagreed with going into a closed session meeting Monday concerning the Wausau dam.
“I don’t see anything in the material presented that it shouldn’t be public,” Koep said. “It’s all about the dam and the studies done and the consultant report.”
The city first signed a purchase agreement with Wausau for the dam late last year. There are 10 days left in the due diligence period of the agreement.
The meeting can be closed because the council will consider if, based off the engineering reports recently received, the city should stick with the initial $4.115 million purchase price or adjust it based on what is inside the reports, said City Administrator Patrick Wussow.
According to state statute 13D.05, Subdivision 3 c3, a meeting may be closed “to develop or consider offers or counteroffers for the purchase or sale of real or personal property.”
During the open forum of the regular meeting Monday, resident Jeff Czeczok also spoke his opposition to the closed session meeting.
Czeczok argued that the document given to council members in regard to the meeting should be public. He also argued that there was a violation in the open meeting law because the city has already offered a purchase price in the letter of intent.
City Attorney Eric Quiring said that offers and counteroffers are an on-going process, and the ability to close a meeting on that topic continues until an offer is accepted or withdrawn.
Koep wouldn’t say the meeting was against the law, but argued that since public funds were used to pay for the engineering firm to complete the studies, the findings should be public.
“The public’s right to know is very much compromised,” she said. “So much of this has been done behind closed doors.”
Those engineering reports will be public if the city buys the dam, Wussow said. Should the city decide to not buy the dam, the reports will be destroyed, per an agreement with Wausau.
Koep said she could see why the meetings were closed initially when first setting an offer price.
“But after that, nothing should be closed,” she said.
Still, Koep participated in the closed meeting to voice her thoughts and hear what happens.
“I gain nothing if I don’t participate,” she said.
Koep said her fear is that if the city moves forward with buying the dam, the talk will be brief and won’t allow for adequate discussion with the public and won’t give people enough time to “mull it over.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 March 2014, p. 1)

Public Hearing is Needed


It’s clear the Brainerd City Council needs to conduct a full public hearing before it makes a decision regarding the purchase of the dam at the former Wausau Paper plant in northeast Brainerd.
It’s a big decision that involves considerable financial resources and one that isn’t within the normal realm of council decisions. In other words, the council doesn’t negotiate a deal to buy a dam every day. The price could be more than $4 million as well as ongoing maintenance costs and responsibilities.
As far as we know the Brainerd City Council has every right to meet in closed session on this issue. However, the potential price of this purchase — possibly more than $4 million — and the ongoing maintenance costs and responsibilities that would accompany the purchase make it imperative that all sides of the issue be fully examined. The council makes better decisions when it fully involves staff, outside experts and its citizens.
Buying the dam might be the best decision for the city but there are still many unanswered questions. We have yet to hear anyone fully articulate why the purchase makes sense for the city.
The city shouldn’t let the approaching end of the due diligence period be an excuse for a rushed decision. This due diligence period can likely be extended. There has been no evidence that another potential buyer for the dam has been knocking down the doors.
The Brainerd City Council should take its time on this decision. Supporters of the purchase should fully explain why it makes sense. To rush into a purchase without a full public hearing would be short-sighted and possibly harmful to the interests of the city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 March 2014)

Council Agrees on Lower Hydro Dam Price


The purchase price for the Wausau hydro dam has been lowered to $2.6 million. That’s a drop from the original $4.115 million.
At a special Brainerd City Council meeting Monday, the group voted to accept the lower purchase price.
The purchase is contingent on legislative approval, which the city recently found out was required. State law says the city can’t buy the dam until it gets approval from the Legislature or the legislative session ends without the Legislature prohibiting it.
The council also voted to extend the due diligence period until April 1 so the city can complete the reviewing of the title work for the hydro dam.
Voting against the purchase price was city council member Mary Koep.
With the vote, the city will also be responsible for water and sewer connections to the site, which could cost about $330,000.
City Council member Gary Scheeler, who serves on the Wausau Task Force, said the move was “the best thing we ever did for the city. It’s one of the biggest investments we can make.”
Scheeler added that Wausau took the “lion’s share” of the capital improvements.
Those specific capital improvements are not able to be named, said City Administrator Patrick Wussow.
Contrary to what Wussow previously said, the five-page summery engineer report on the dam will never be public information.
Wussow said he was misinformed when he said the engineer’s report would be public information if the city buys the dam. Instead, it cannot be released because Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulations make the reports non-public because it has information on specific engineering, vulnerability, or detailed design information about critical infrastructure.
The dam is expected to generate just under 10 percent of Brainerd’s power on a normal day. It gives the same output as a typical wind turbine.
If the city buys the dam, Brainerd residents won’t notice a big dip on their electric bill, officials previously have said. Instead, it could help keep future rates level or smaller.
Another benefit is that it’s cheaper for the city to generate its own power. Currently, Brainerd buys all of its energy from Minnesota Power. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 March 2014, p. 1)

Needed Upgrades Revealed in Brainerd
Hydro Dam Purchase


“It’s a piece of crap, pure and simple,” city council member Mary Koep said. “It will be difficult for both the city and (BPU) to show it’s not for the next few years.”
Key reasons for the lowering of the hydro dam purchase price are now being named by Brainerd Public Utilities officials

Brainerd Dam, 23 June 2014.
Source: Brainerd Dispatch, Steve Kohls
The biggest factors are needed upgrades, including a $1.5 million spillway apron, as well as total generation equipment improvements at the cost of $600,000, which would most likely be spread over a five-year period.
The Brainerd City Council recently agreed on a lowered price of $2.6 million for the hydro dam, which is a drop from the original $4.115 million. Voting against the agreed price was city council member Mary Koep.
The dam purchase, as well as the major upgrade projects, will be funded through local bonding.
The purchase is contingent on legislative approval, which the city recently found out was required. State law says the city can’t buy the dam until it gets approval from the Legislature or the legislative session ends without the Legislature prohibiting it.
The council also voted to extend the due diligence period until April 1 so the city can complete the reviewing of the title work for the hydro dam.
Between maintenance, yearly inspection costs, insurance, wage costs and utilities, the annual cost to operate the hydro dam will range from $600,000-$700,000.
Maintenance costs will be similar to any other facility that Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) operates, said Scott Magnuson, BPU superintendent.
The costs that are avoided are what offsets that, said Todd Wicklund, BPU finance director. The city is expected to save $1 million in avoided costs, which would have gone to buying energy from Minnesota Power, he said.
“The annual cost savings compares what we currently pay as to what we project our annual operating costs are anticipated to be,” he said.
“So the bottom line is, it’s a $250,000-$300,000 net benefit a year at the end of the day,” Wicklund said.
There are a few upgrades that need to be addressed right away, which helped lower the purchase price to $2.6 million. Those are:
-The spillway apron (the concrete flat area below the dam) will need to be rebuilt this summer at an estimated cost of $1.2-$1.5 million. This project is required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), so there are some time issues, as the city can only go out for bids after the ownership is completed.
-Water and sewer connections to the site, which could cost about $330,000.
-Automation improvements could cost $100,000 to $200,000, and should be completed in the next several months. The upgrades would allow the machines to run semi-automatically, therefore reducing staff levels from the current 24-hour-a-day operation to staffing just a single shift.
The four full-time and one part-time Wausau dam workers will become BPU employees with the purchase. When the automation improvements cause for less staffing level needs, some of those five employees will be placed in other positions at BPU.
Wicklund expects to lose some of the current dam employees over time to attrition. He doesn’t think any will be laid off.
“We hope to keep them around,” he said. “They have the experience.”
Not unanimous agreement:
There has been one city council member who has objected since the beginning over the lack of public input in the hydro dam purchase.
“I’m very disturbed that there’s been no opportunity to hear what the public has to say or to be involved and ask their questions,” she said.
Koep is not only against the “secrecy” of the purchase, but says the dam is a bad idea in general.
“It’s a piece of crap, pure and simple,” she said. “It will be difficult for both the city and (BPU) to show it’s not for the next few years.”
Koep argues that the engineer report on the dam should be made public, although other city officials argue it can’t be because FERC regulations make the reports non-public, as it has information on specific engineering, vulnerability, or detailed design information about critical infrastructure.
Despite BPU’s calculations of an annual $250,000-$300,000 net benefit, Koep argues it will be hard to prove there will be money made in the purchase.
City council member Gary Scheeler, who serves on the Wausau Task Force and who first brought the idea of the dam purchase forward, said it’s the numbers that make the purchase smart.
“The revenue exceeds expenses. As business person, the first place I look is at revenue,” he said.
Scheeler argues there are no downsides to the dam purchase.
According to BPU, three engineering companies and FERC inspected the dam and there were no findings noted of the dam being in poor condition. The hydro dam was also inspected by the Department of Natural Resources, which listed the dam in “fair condition,” and by the League of Minnesota Cities insurance underwriters, which listed nothing about the dam being in poor condition.
An early March underwater dive inspection “showed no significant dam safety design issues.”
The dam would generate just under 10 percent of Brainerd’s power on a normal day, Wicklund said.
With the dam, Brainerd residents won’t notice a big dip on their electric bill, Wicklund said. Instead, it could help keep future rates more level or smaller.
Another benefit, Wicklund said, is that it’s cheaper for the city to generate its own power. Currently, Brainerd buys all of its energy from Minnesota Power.
The dam would also invest in energy independence and puts a stake in renewable energy, BPU leaders say.
Several utility companies and outside parties have approached the city to inquire about possible partnerships in running the hydro dam, Magnuson said.
“Right now we just want to get through the transaction,” Wicklund said. “We’ll deal with partnerships down the road.”
In the end, if the city doesn’t buy the dam, there are potential buyers “lined up” for it, Scheeler said.
He also noted that the city can always sell the dam down the road.
Wicklund said contrary to some public belief, “we’re not trying to pull wool over people’s eyes. We’re trying to do the best thing for city of Brainerd.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 March 2014, p. 1)

Hydro Dam Responsibilities Named for City


A few responsibilities the city will undertake with the possible ownership of the hydro dam were spelled out Tuesday.
Bill Forsmark, director of business development and vice president at Barr Engineering, told the Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Commission about some key duties at its meeting Tuesday.
“It’s my responsibility to teach, inform you folks so you become independent in owning and operating the dam,” he said.
Forsmark added that the city has a lot of resources to turn to, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Wausau officials, Barr Engineering, and other state municipalities that own dams.
The Brainerd City Council recently agreed on a lowered price of $2.6 million for the hydro dam, which is a drop from the original $4.115 million. Voting against the agreed price was city council member Mary Koep.
Here are the responsibilities Forsmark said the city will be tasked with in buying the dam:
-Safety elements: The city will need to have an “owners dam safety program.”
City leaders need to be sure that if an employees sees a safety issue, they know who to bring it to and will do so without worry over fiscal responsibility or other concerns.
Dam safety can be added to the BPU safety committee, said Scott Magnuson, BPU superintendent.
-Security needs to be a No. 1 concern, especially with any potential acts of terrorism or vandalism.
-Training in unique operations: Some operational issues might be similar to existing utilities that BPU operates but other issues are unique to a dam. Staff needs to be trained properly.
-Public safety: The public will want as much access as possible, but safety and security need to be a concern.
The purchasing process for the hydro dam is still moving forward, said Todd Wicklund, BPU finance director. The title work is getting close to being completed.
Purchasing the dam is still important, he said, as the city aims to manage its costs of buying power.
Over the last 11 years, the average annual adjustment was a 6.7 percent increase in power costs in buying from Minnesota Power, Wicklund said.
“The rates can’t keep up to that rate of growth,” he said. “Using a hydro facility, it’s a hedging mechanism to reduce rate adjustments.”
Wicklund added that it makes sense for the city to look into options like the hydro dam.
“It makes sense when we have adjustments like this,” he said.
Still, there are questions in the purchase, which the public has yet to weigh in on officially through a public hearing.
During open forum, Koep presented the commission with three pages of questions she wants answered about the hydro dam.
Koep said she didn’t expect answers right away, but would like a response in a couple of weeks.
The list included questions such as:
What in the engineer’s reports do you believe are addressed in homeland security rules? What funds will be used to pay for the engineer’s reports? Will those funds be contained in the accounting of funds for the dam? How will the costs of the dam be kept separate from other public utility costs? Has a business plan been developed for operating and maintaining the dam?
“Transparency had been a stranger in this project and now the public is being fed only what you want them to know,” Koep said. “The questions I ask are relevant to the public and assessment of this project.”
Koep added that she will ask the questions and try to “separate the hype from the truth.”
There have been five engineer reports done on the hydro dam since the process started last summer, Wicklund said.
Each has been paid for by BPU and is listed in the bills approved at each meeting, he said. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 March 2014)

Resolutions to Help Secure Hydro Dam,
Project Financing


Two resolutions approved Monday will help secure financing for the purchase of the Wausau dam and future projects at the facility.
The resolutions were approved by the Brainerd City Council at its meeting Monday.
Voting against both was council member Mary Koep.
The first resolution is an official intent of the city to reimburse certain expenses from the proceeds of bonds to be issued by the city related to the dam.
The second resolution is an official intent of the city to reimburse certain expenses from the proceeds of bonds to be issued by the city related to water system improvements.
The move doesn't issue debt. That will come before the council at a later date.
The dam will be purchased later this week, said City Administrator Patrick Wussow.
The council's move Monday is part of the process to secure financing for the hydro dam and water projects that Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) will complete in the next few months.
The resolutions are similar to what the city does when there's a street improvement, said Connie Hillman, finance director for the city.
In having a reimbursement resolution in place, the city is able to reimburse itself from the bond processed for expenses until financing is secured, she said.
The council also approved a two-year contract and authorized signatures to bring on the five hydro dam employees as city workers.
It's "very similar" to what other city employees receive, Wussow said.
The significant difference is that each dam employee works a 12-hour shift instead of the regular eight.
The dam employees will also teach BPU officials information about the dam.
Koep questioned the number of dam employees being brought on to the city, saying that she remembers four employees being estimated, and with anticipated automation, leading to two employees being needed.
"That clearly is an increased cost," she said.
Automation at the dam is still in the works, Wussow said.
At least one of the dam employees is at the edge of retirement, he said. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 June 2014)

Hydro Dam Purchase by City Now Official


Brainerd Public Utilities Superintendent, Scott Magnuson, stands at the dam once owned by Wausau paper, 23 June 2014.
Source: Brainerd Dispatch, Steve Kohls
It's official. The city of Brainerd is now the owner of the hydro dam, formerly operated by Wausau Paper.
All of the papers were signed and documents exchanged last week, said Scott Magnuson, Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) superintendent.
City council member Gary Scheeler, who serves on the Wausau Task Force and who first brought the idea of the dam purchase forward, said the move marks a "golden" investment.
"I wouldn't sell it for $20 million. It's worth at least that to the city," he said. "It can generate $20 million worth of energy in 15 years."
The purchase price was $2.6 million, which is a drop from the original $4.115 million. It included 37 acres of land and a dam substation.
The dam purchase, as well as the major upgrade projects, will be funded through local bonding.
The biggest factors in the price drop are needed upgrades, including a $1.5 million spillway apron, as well as total generation equipment improvements at the cost of $600,000, which would most likely be spread over a five-year period.
Work will start some time this year for the spillway, Magnuson said. Work for water and sewer connections to the site, which could cost about $330,000, will start in a couple of weeks.
Automation improvements could cost $100,000 to $200,000, and should be completed in the next several months. The upgrades would allow the machines to run semi-automatically, therefore reducing staff levels from the current 24-hour-a-day operation to staffing just a single shift.
Brainerd Dam, 23 June 2014.
Source: Brainerd Dispatch, Steve Kohls
"The dam and equipment are in good shape," Magnuson said. The only major issue, he said, was the spillway.
"There's no downside," he said. "The only problem would be is if there's a natural disaster. Otherwise it's a win-win. It's free power."
The dam will generate just under 10 percent of Brainerd's power on a normal day, BPU officials say.
Brainerd residents won't notice a big dip on their electric bill. Instead, it could help keep future rates more level or smaller.
Another benefit, officials say, is that it's cheaper for the city to generate its own power. Currently, Brainerd buys all of its energy from Minnesota Power.
"It's going to be a good thing," Magnuson said of the purchase.
City council member Mary Koep, the sole voice of opposition in the purchase among the council, said buying the dam is a "mistake."
Instead of saving residents money, Koep says it will instead be "very costly."
"It's a disaster for the city," she said. "It's a terrible mistake. There's a lot of misinformation put out. That bothers me. The public has been kept in dark so much on this. Information has all been hush hush."
Koep questioned how the city would repay the bonds, questioning the projected revenue that would be generated from the dam.
Between maintenance, yearly inspection costs, insurance, wage costs and utilities, the annual cost to operate the hydro dam will range from $600,000-$700,000.
The costs that are avoided are what offsets that, said Todd Wicklund, BPU finance director, in a previous interview. The city is expected to save $1 million that would have gone to buying energy from Minnesota Power, he said.
“It's a $250,000-$300,000 net benefit a year,” Wicklund said.
"It's still the best investment and time will prove it," Scheeler said.
He added that there's already informal talk of extending a trail to the dam and adding a visitor site.
Scheeler said the move puts Brainerd ahead of the curve when it comes to producing good, clean energy.
"It's the way the economy is going," he said. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 June 2014, p. 1)

Council Approves Bonds Issuance for Hydro Dam


A total of $5.3 million in bonds will be issued and sold to fund buying the hydro dam and for some initial improvements.
At Monday's Brainerd City Council meeting, the group voted to approve the issuance and sale of the $5.3 million in electric utility revenue bonds on behalf of Brainerd Public Utilities. The bonds will reimburse the commission for the cost to buy the hydro dam, as well as fund some improvements.
Voting against the move was council member Mary Koep.
The purchase price for the hydro dam was $2.6 million, which included 37 acres of land and a dam substation.
Some improvements included in the bond issuance are: a $1.5 million spillway apron; total generation equipment improvements at the cost of $600,000; water and sewer connections to the site at about $330,000; automation improvements could cost up to $200,000.
Proposals will be received on the bonds Aug. 4, and the council will award them at its meeting that night.

[...]

(Brainerd Dispatch, 08 July 2014, p. A5)

'First of its Kind' Turbine to be Installed
at Brainerd Hydro Dam as Part of Study


A hydroelectric turbine generator will be installed at Brainerd's hydrodam next spring.
The new, improved technology will hopefully generate more electricity for the city, said Bob Schulte, vice president of marketing for Amjet Turbine Systems, the Iowa-based designer of the turbine generator.
At least that's the goal with the project, which is the first of its kind, he said.
Amjet will pay for just about everything during the study, like the installation, cost of the turbine and the operation.
The only tab Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) will pick up comes with a feasibility study, said BPU Superintendent Scott Magnuson.
Up to $15,000 will be paid by BPU, with the rest being covered by Amjet.
The study, which was conducted Tuesday, will detail the potential future capability for technology at the hydrodam.
It can be used in the future as the city looks to upgrade the hydrodam, Magnuson said.
The next step is to install the unit at the dam, which will happen sometime next spring.
"We're hoping to demonstrate to the world that this technology works," Schulte said.
Brainerd will be the sole test site. Three other dam operators were interested in the study, but Brainerd proved the best, Schulte said.
A neutral third party, Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, will follow and document the test throughout the six-month period.
The turbine itself is 5 feet long and 7 feet in diameter, which is smaller than traditional turbines. It can generate enough to power up to 600 homes, Schulte said.
The goal is to produce electricity at dams for significantly lower costs, Schulte said.
The city will keep any profit and electricity generated during the six-month study.
The current five generators were installed at the hydrodam site 80 to 100 years ago. While they still operate well, the older technology isn't as efficient as the new, Schulte said.
"The new technology allows for more electricity to be made," he said. "There's more water there than the dam uses to make electricity. We think Brainerd can get more electricity out of the dam than it's currently getting."
Just how much more isn't clear yet, but Schulte says it's "significant."
The hydroelectric turbine generator that will be installed in Brainerd is the first of its kind, Schulte said.
The Department of Energy helped fund the project through grants, and will be watching the project closely, Schulte said.
If it's successful, it could have international attention, he said.
At the end of the six months, the city will have the choice to keep the hydroelectric turbine or not.
If they don't, Amjet will absorb the costs and remove the turbine. Amjet will restore the site to what it was.
If the city keeps it BPU can buy the turbine right away or wait as long as it wants.
The cost is yet to be determined, but Schulte said it would be discounted.
The decision to buy the turbine falls to the BPU Commission, Magnuson said. Though if BPU has to borrow money, it will be a city decision.
Either way, Brainerd will have the knowledge of what works and what doesn't in advanced technology for the future, Schulte said.
Magnuson said there are no cons in the deal.
"If we don't want it, he takes it out," he said.
Magnuson added that if something happens to the current generators in the future, they'll have an existing plan of what they can and can't do to remedy the problem, and if the new technology works. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 August 2014)

Hydro Dam Work Delayed, Design Plan Being Altered


Repair work at the city's hydro dam is taking a lot longer than expected following this year's high water levels.
There's also a hiccup in the project that will likely change the original design of the new spillway apron, which crews started working on earlier this year.

Repairs to Brainerd's hydro dam are taking longer than expected. The spillway apron is being rebuilt. High water levels have delayed the project extending past the November 28 expected completion date, 2014.
Source: Brainerd Dispatch, Steve Kohls
At a Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Commission meeting Tuesday, the group heard an update on the project, as well as residents' concerns about whether the public is being informed on the changes.
The spillway apron (the concrete flat area below the dam) started being rebuilt this summer. This project is one of the upgrades needed at the site, per the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). It comes at a cost of about $2.4 million.
The project, which was originally scheduled to be done Nov. 28, has been delayed several times because of high water levels. That means it won't be completed before winter hits, so officials are contemplating what to do for an "interim fix," which means just getting the slab done and getting it back to the correct elevation, said Scott Magnuson, BPU superintendent.
"We're not going to be able to get the whole project done, so we need to concentrate on getting ready for spring, but move forward with the design," he said. "We don't want to pour this concrete and tear it out in the summer."
Magnuson said those suggestions should be brought forward by the engineers in the next few days.
One other issue that might alter the project is the thickness of the current apron. Radar showed some areas might not be four feet thick as originally thought, Magnuson said. So crews are continuing to assess the thickness of the apron, and might have to alter the project based on what they find.
That could mean a change to the cost, whether it be an increase or decrease, Magnuson said.
If there is a price increase, it would have to come before the BPU Commission for approval.
During the public forum at Tuesday's meeting, Brainerd residents Guy Green and Jeff Czeczok took issue with the extra work and both questioned if the public was being made aware about the new work and potential new costs.
Czeczok said the public needs to know if "unforeseen issues" will cost money.
"You are saying there's a likelihood that there will be more cost," he said.
Magnuson said, "There's a likelihood that the design will change."
Officials don't know how that will alter the cost. It could be less, Magnuson said.
Green pushed the issue further, noting that the cost will likely go up.
"Did (officials) offer you a scenario in which the cost would not rise?" he asked.
"No," Magnuson said.
There is no estimate on when the project will be done.
Water is still flowing at the site, though normally generators are shut down by this time of year, Magnuson said.
"Water is higher than high," he said. "That's good for making power, but not good for construction work."
The project should be ready to operate by March 1, he said.
Construction work can be done year-round, but it isn't optimal for crews because of the cold conditions.
An interim plan will get the hydro dam through winter and able to operate in the spring, when the work can be continued.
In the meantime, BPU officials are looking into breaking up the repair work into up to three separate projects, to maximize on potential Department of Natural Resources grants.
For this first part in the project, BPU was too late to apply for DNR grants. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 November 2014, p. 1)

Hydro Dam Contractor Wants Payment,
BPU Suggests Mediation Over Disagreement


Top construction company officials are demanding $554,000 they say they're owed for work they've done at the hydro dam, or hinted at a possible lawsuit.
At a tense Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Commission meeting Tuesday, Park Construction president Jeff Carlson and company attorney Justin Short said the company is due the payments, despite being denied because of five "non-conformance issues."
"We're heading toward litigation because we're not getting paid," Carlson said.
Ultimately, after a closed session, the BPU Commission decided to pursue mediation to mend the tension.
Park Construction was first brought on last year to complete the repair work on the hydro dam's apron. The $2.4 million project, which was originally scheduled to be done Nov. 28, has been delayed several times because of high water levels.
In October, officials discovered the apron wasn't four feet thick in every area, as originally thought. That meant officials will have to alter the original project design.
With the delays, officials needed an interim fix to get the hydro dam ready for spring.
To do that, Park Construction crews are currently replacing the one foot of concrete they took out on the east side, which is part of the original plan, said Scott Magnuson, BPU superintendent. That will make the hydro dam ready to take water come spring.
When that's done, they'll concentrate on how to fix the concrete thickness issue, Magnuson said.
But there's a disagreement between Park Construction and the project engineers/BPU when it comes to payment and the project itself.
"I have real issues with this project. It's not the same project we bid on," Carlson said, noting that there are "errors and misrepresentations" in the plans.
Short added, "We were asked to do a patch. What is out there is really bad concrete and we've been asked to patch it. It's not what we originally bid to do on the project."
The condition of the apron concrete is "horrific" Carlson said.
It ranges from six inches thick to three feet in most areas, he said.
Here's the timeline of events, according to Park Construction:
Oct. 15, 2014: Park Construction told Barr Engineering about the severe deterioration in the apron.
Nov. 5: Park Construction wrote a letter to Barr Engineering, asking how to proceed. Getting no immediate response, Park Construction finished up the work they could do.
Nov. 25: Park Construction wrote another letter to Barr Engineering, explaining that they had to stop work at the site because they were never told how to proceed. Park Construction pulled its workers from the job.
Dec. 23: After nearly two months, Park Construction got a letter from Barr Engineering, instructing them to make the interim repairs right away. The company put workers back on the site to complete the work.
Jan. 8: Park Construction met with BPU officials to address not getting paid for the work. There was no resolution at that meeting, though Park Construction was told they would get paid.
"For months, we notified Barr of major problems. They just don't respond at all. Nothing," Carlson said.
"We'd be done with this project by now but Barr doesn't respond," he said.
Carlson said, "My company is a 100-year-old company. We're not getting paid for the work we've done and you want to force us into continuing working, which we have on good faith."
He continued that five non-conformance issues identified by Barr as to why Park Construction is not getting paid are "absolutely false."
Those issues were not publicly released Tuesday.
Park Construction listed a few other demands at the meeting:
● A written letter of commitment that they'll be paid another $515,000 for the interim apron repair, which is the work they're doing now at the hydro dam.
● That Adele Braun, a representative with Barr Engineering, be removed as the liaison between the engineering firm and Park Construction. Carlson said Braun hasn't communicated well with Park Construction during the project. "We have no respect for her," he said.
● That Park Construction not be responsible for liquidated damages, which resulted after the company put work on hold when not getting direction from Barr Engineering on next moves. The damages were not detailed Tuesday.
BPU Commission President Lucy Nesheim said BPU has a "different interpretation" on the situation.
Commission member Mark O'Day said this was the first he was hearing of any problem, so he suggested they meet in closed session to decide what to do.
Brainerd City Administrator Patrick Wussow pointed out Park Construction has been paid for some pieces of the project.
Todd Wicklund, BPU finance director, said the money the company is requesting comes from some "disputed items" that were initially shot down for payment.
Gary Scheeler, Brainerd City Council liaison to the BPU Commission and supporter of the hydro dam since the beginning, said he's "sick to his stomach" over the new information presented about the structure's condition.
That should have been brought to the attention of the council and commission by the engineers well before Tuesday, he said.
"None of us were informed that this was going on," he said. "Now we're on the back side where we have to make knee-jerk decisions based on timing."
Scheeler said he's "mad" that there isn't a plan in place today for a permanent fix on the apron repair.
"We're doing an interim plan, but the long-term plan should be in front of us now," he said.
He added, "This on-the-fly engineering has got to stop."
While the hiccup in the apron repair wasn't planned, Scheeler cautioned people from rushing to conclusions about the cost.
"We don't know the final dollar amount," he said. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 January 2015, p. 1)

Former Hydro Dam Worker Concerned
on Condition of Brainerd Dam


A former worker on the hydro dam apron repair was cut off from expressing concerns at a public meeting after he started sharing what officials said was confidential information.
"You guys got your heads up your (explicit)," said Larry Prahm, a retired crane operator for Park Construction, the Spring Lake Park company completing the apron repair on the hydro dam, before storming out of the Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Commission meeting Tuesday.
Prahm was at the meeting to spell out concerns he had over the condition of the hydro dam, as well as the work currently being done at the site.
Repair work on the hydro dam's apron began late last year.
The $2.4 million project, which was originally scheduled to be done Nov. 28, has been delayed several times because of high water levels.
In November, officials discovered the apron wasn't four feet thick in every area, as originally thought. That meant officials will have to alter the original project design.
With the delays, officials needed an interim fix to get the hydro dam ready for spring.
To do that, crews are currently replacing the one foot of concrete they took out on the east side, which is part of the original plan, said Scott Magnuson, BPU superintendent. That will make the hydro dam ready to take water come spring.
When that's done, they'll concentrate on how to fix the concrete thickness issue, Magnuson said. There's no estimate on what plan alterations could cost, whether it be an increase or decrease, he said.
But that delay in work is problematic, Prahm said.
It is "critical" to have the dam repaired by the spring thaw, Prahm said in an interview with the Dispatch. If something isn't done there is "a danger of washing the whole dam out."
Prahm, who lives on Gilbert Lake, said his previous projects included work on the 35W bridge project in Stillwater. He recently applied to be on the Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Commission, but was turned down because he lives outside the city.
He retired Dec. 1 from Park Construction in good standing, company officials confirmed.
Prahm argues the structure is "capable of failing" and the BPU Commission or Brainerd City Council should know it.
Todd Wicklund, BPU finance director, said The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave its approval on the interim repair, and that if the agency had any concerns, BPU would address them.
Wicklund added that leaving the dam the way it is - with a foot of concrete off - would create a problem with water flow in spring. But the BPU Commission has no intention of halting the project. On the contrary, the first phase of the apron work is in motion and scheduled to be done mid-February.
March 1 is the federally regulated date that a dam must be ready to take water, Magnuson said.
"The dam is not in imminent danger of washing downstream," Wicklund said. "To say that (it is) is not true."
"I think you're wrong," Prahm shot back.
His evidence: A photocopy of an X-ray Prahm said he got from the worksite. The X-ray shows that "90 percent of the dam is in failure mode," he said.
Park Construction officials said they did not give Prahm the X-ray.
Commission member Mark O'Day said he doesn't believe that Prahm got the image from the Brainerd dam site.
After Prahm showed the image, BPU Commission President Lucy Nesheim cut him off and said he was done talking.
Just before leaving the meeting, Prahm shot back, "You guys got your heads up your (explicit). Have a good day. That dam better get fixed before water starts running."
Adele Braun, a representative with Barr Engineering, assured the commission that the needed repairs does not mean the hydro dam "is going to imminently fail." (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 January 2015, p. 1)

Disagreement on Actions Taken Following
Closed Brainerd Public Utilities Meeting


There's a disagreement on the action taken following a closed session Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Commission meeting last week, where officials discussed a contractor's demand for payment for work done on the hydro dam apron.
Park Construction Company wants $554,000 they say they're owed for work already completed. Company officials hinted at a possible lawsuit.
According to BPU Commission President Lucy Nesheim, the motion made after the closed session meeting last week was to authorize payment to Park Construction, contingent on proper documentation being provided (for work done up to that point) and having it reviewed and approved by Barr Engineering. It was a unanimous agreement, she said.
Gary Scheeler, Brainerd City Council liaison to the BPU Commission, who was in the closed session meeting when the action took place, had a different account of what happened.
Scheeler said he knows nothing about the vote Nesheim said took place.
"I don't remember them authorizing payment or the motion," he said. "I don't know where the motion came from."
Scheeler said he left the meeting with the understanding that the commission had a consensus that they would pursue mediation. That could include negotiation all the way up to mediation, he said.
Scheeler said the city attorney and the Park Construction attorney are already working on steps toward mediation.
The meeting was not recorded during the motion.
Commissioner Bill Wroolie agreed with Nesheim's account, along with both Scott Magnuson, BPU superintendent, and Todd Wicklund, BPU finance director.
The other commission members could not be reached as of late Friday.
Wroolie said the group talked about the idea of mediation, but mediation can't happen until someone makes a formal demand.
"That hasn't happened yet so you can't go into mediation," he said.
The BPU Commission will conduct a special meeting at 11 a.m. Monday to talk about the payment dispute and possibly take action on the payment request from Park Construction. The meeting will likely be closed, due to attorney-client privilege.
Park Construction was first brought on last year to complete the repair work on the hydro dam's apron. The $2.4 million project, which was originally scheduled to be done Nov. 28, has been delayed several times because of high water levels.
In October, officials discovered the apron wasn't four feet thick in every area, as originally thought. That meant officials will have to alter the original project design.
With the delays, officials needed an interim fix to get the hydro dam ready for spring.
To do that, Park Construction crews are currently replacing the one foot of concrete they took out on the east side, which is part of the original plan, Magnuson said. That will make the hydro dam ready to take water come spring.
When that's done, they'll concentrate on how to fix the concrete thickness issue, Magnuson said.
But there's a disagreement between Park Construction and the project engineers/BPU when it comes to payment and the project itself.
At a BPU meeting last Tuesday, Park Construction president Jeff Carlson and company attorney Justin Short said the company is due the payments, despite being denied because of "non-conformance issues."
Those issues include disagreements between Park and the engineers on specific areas on the contract that spell out when parts of the project should be done and the amount to be paid for each part and when.
Carlson said the two entities are heading toward litigation although Park Construction continues to work on the project.
"I have real issues with this project. It's not the same project we bid on," Carlson said last week, noting that there are "errors and misrepresentations" in the plans.
Short added, "We were asked to do a patch. What is out there is really bad concrete and we've been asked to patch it. It's not what we originally bid to do on the project."
The condition of the apron concrete is "horrific" Carlson said.
It ranges from six inches thick to three feet in most areas, he said. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 January 2015, p. 1)

Partial Payment for Dam Work Approved by BPU


The Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Commission authorized a partial payment in a dispute with Park Construction Company, the contractor repairing the apron at the city's hydro dam.
After a closed session meeting Friday, the commission unanimously approved a partial payment of the $554,000 Park Construction says they're owed for work already completed on the hydro dam.
Just how much of a payment was approved, among other details of the contract, will only be public information after Park Construction agrees to the terms, said James Strommen, an attorney representing BPU.
As of late Friday afternoon, that had not happened.
"We're hopeful that they will agree," Strommen said.
If Park Construction doesn't agree to the payment amount, that could mean more negotiations, mediation or having the issue possibly ending up in court, he said.
Friday's meeting was a continuation of a closed session meeting Monday on the same topic, where no action took place.
A light was first shined on the payment dispute when Park Construction recently appeared before the BPU Commission, demanding the $554,000 they said they're owed. Company officials hinted at a possible lawsuit should BPU not pay up.
Park Construction was first brought on last year to complete the repair work on the hydro dam's apron. The $2.4 million project, which was originally scheduled to be done Nov. 28, has been delayed several times because of high water levels.
In October, officials discovered the apron wasn't 4-feet thick in every area, as originally thought. That meant officials will have to alter the original project design.
With the delays, officials needed an interim fix to get the hydro dam ready for spring.
To do that, Park Construction crews are currently replacing the one foot of concrete they took out on the east side, which is part of the original plan. That will make the hydro dam ready to take water come spring.
When that's done, they'll concentrate on how to fix the concrete thickness issue.
But there's a disagreement between Park Construction and the project engineers/BPU when it comes to payment and the project itself.
At a BPU meeting a couple of weeks ago, Park Construction president Jeff Carlson and company attorney Justin Short said the company is due the payments, despite being denied because of "non-conformance issues."
Those issues include disagreements between Park and the engineers on specific areas on the contract that spell out when parts of the project should be done and the amount to be paid for each part and when.
Carlson said the two entities are heading toward litigation, although Park Construction continues to work on the project. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 February 2015)

Contractor Accepts Partial Payment for Hydro Dam Work


Park Construction will be paid $380,000 for work the contractor did on the city's hydro dam.
It's a partial payment agreement that covers some past work the company did, as well as some future work at the site, said Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Superintendent Scott Magnuson.
The BPU Commission approved the partial payment late Friday afternoon, pending Park Construction officials agreeing to it. Park Construction signed the agreement later Friday evening, which made the dollar amount public information.
"It's basically an agreement to get them money they're owed and get the concrete poured and get this (apron) ready for spring runoff," Magnuson said.
The payment serves as an avenue to keep the project moving forward. Officials from both sides will continue to talk about the rest of the money Park Construction says they're owed, as well as future costs in the project.
The disagreement between the two entities will likely end up in mediation, Magnuson said. A tentative date for that is March 2.
This step is "good news," Magnuson said, noting that BPU officials know they owe Park Construction more money.
"It's just a matter of how much," he said.
Park Construction did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.
The company started pouring the concrete for the apron Monday.
According to the signed agreement, Park Construction will complete the project while the payment dispute continues.
The issue of the payment dispute came to light when Park Construction recently appeared before the BPU Commission, demanding the $554,000 they said they're owed. Company officials hinted at a possible lawsuit should BPU not pay up.
Park Construction was first brought on last year to complete the repair work on the hydro dam's apron. The $2.4 million project, which was originally scheduled to be done Nov. 28, has been delayed several times because of high water levels.
In October, officials discovered the apron wasn't 4-feet thick in every area, as originally thought. That meant officials will have to alter the original project design.
With the delays, officials needed an interim fix to get the hydro dam ready for spring.
To do that, Park Construction crews are currently replacing the one foot of concrete they took out on the east side, which is part of the original plan. That will make the hydro dam ready to take water come spring.
When that's done, they'll concentrate on how to fix the concrete thickness issue.
But there's a disagreement between Park Construction and the project engineers/BPU when it comes to payment and the project itself.
At a BPU meeting a couple of weeks ago, Park Construction president Jeff Carlson and company attorney Justin Short said the company is due the payments, despite being denied because of "non-conformance issues."
Those issues include disagreements between Park and the engineers on specific areas on the contract that spell out when parts of the project should be done and the amount to be paid for each part and when. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 February 2015, p. 3)

New Committee to Keep Tabs on Hydro Dam Finances


A new committee of Brainerd City Council members will aim to eliminate questions surrounding the finances of the city's hydro dam.
It's an effort to create transparency in anything related to the hydro dam, said Brainerd City Council President Gary Scheeler, who first promoted the idea.
"The public comes to the council for answers," he said.
"This (committee) will create transparency between BPU and the council, and the council can give that information to the public."
At a Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) meeting Tuesday, the group heard details about the committee, which was set up at the last city council meeting. It's called the "finance overview committee for the dam."
On the committee will be council members Scheeler, Mary Koep and Kelly Bevans.
The three will meet with BPU leaders sometime in the next month to get on the same page over issues like Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) compliance, future repairs and the upcoming mediation with hydro dam contractor Park Construction.
The committee will also help at the end of the year during the budget session, Scheeler said. It will help avoid confusion and get questions answered about hydro dam finances before the BPU budget is presented to the council, Scheeler said.
"In the past, it was a quick decision to approve their budget when they brought it to us," Scheeler said.
With the committee, the council will have designated spokespeople to keep the group up to date on hydro dam finances and issues throughout the whole year. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 February 2015, p. 1)

No Resolution Yet on Brainerd City
Hydro Dam Payment Dispute


The dispute continues between Brainerd Public Utilities and Park Construction for work the contractor did on the dam, 2015.
Source: Brainerd Dispatch, Steve Kohls
Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) and Park Construction officials have met in one mediation session over a payment dispute and came out with no resolution.
No future meetings are set.
The two groups have been communicating via phone since the March 2 mediation session, said BPU Superintendent Scott Magnuson, adding the mediation is still active.
Details of the mediation session and on-going discussions are confidential, he said.
The mediation stems from a dispute between the two entities for work the contractor did on the city's hydro dam.
Recently, the BPU Commission agreed to pay Park Construction $380,000, which served as a partial payment for past work the company did, as well as some future work at the site.
The rest of the dispute will be combed through mediation.
Meanwhile, Park Construction continues to work on the hydro dam site. There’s probably a couple of weeks left of work, Magnuson said.
Background on the dispute:
The issue of the payment dispute came to light when Park Construction recently appeared before the BPU Commission, demanding the $554,000 they said they're owed. Company officials hinted at a possible lawsuit should BPU not pay up.
Park Construction was first brought on last year to complete the repair work on the hydro dam's apron. The $2.4 million project, which was originally scheduled to be done Nov. 28, has been delayed several times because of high water levels.
In October, officials discovered the apron wasn't 4-feet thick in every area, as originally thought. That meant officials will have to alter the original project design.
With the delays, officials needed an interim fix to get the hydro dam ready for spring.
To do that, Park Construction crews are currently replacing the one foot of concrete they took out on the east side, which is part of the original plan. That will make the hydro dam ready to take water come spring.
When that's done, they'll concentrate on how to fix the concrete thickness issue.
But there's a disagreement between Park Construction and the project engineers/BPU when it comes to payment and the project itself.
At a BPU meeting a couple of weeks ago, Park Construction president Jeff Carlson and company attorney Justin Short said the company is due the payments, despite being denied because of "non-conformance issues."
Those issues include disagreements between Park and the engineers on specific areas on the contract that spell out when parts of the project should be done and the amount to be paid for each part and when. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 March 2015, p. 1)

Brainerd Public Utilities:
First Phase of Hydro Dam Apron Repair Done


The first phase of apron repair work is done at the city's hydro dam.
Now, crews have about a half day of work left in cleanup, which will be completed sometime this week, said Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Superintendent Scott Magnuson.
Magnuson gave an update on the project at a Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Commission meeting Tuesday.
"It looks good," he said of the site. "They did a very good job cleaning it up."
Park Construction will finish the cleanup after more ice melts.
Meanwhile, BPU is still in mediation with the contractor, Park Construction, over a payment dispute on the project. Officials met in one mediation session and came out with no resolution. They continue to talk, Magnuson said.
The mediation stems from a dispute between the two entities for work the contractor did on the city's hydro dam.
Recently, the BPU Commission agreed to pay Park Construction $380,000, which served as a partial payment for past work the company did, as well as some future work at the site. The rest of the dispute will be combed through during mediation. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 March 2015)

BPU Commission Authorizes
Second Partial Payment for Dam Work


The Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Commission unanimously agreed Thursday to pay Park Construction another $30,000 for its work on the hydrodam.
The dollar amount was agreed upon at a March 2 mediation session by Jeff Carlson, president of Park Construction, and Bill Wroolie, a BPU commissioner, and came before the full commission in closed session for approval.
The partial payment is the second one approved since Park Construction leadership appeared before the commission in January, demanding $554,000 they said they were owed for work on the dam apron. Company leadership hinted at a possible lawsuit should BPU fail to pay.
Since then, the parties have met in mediation sessions in an attempt to resolve the dispute. In February, BPU agreed to pay $380,000 to the company, covering past work at the dam site and some work that had not yet been completed. Work was completed on the apron at the end of March, in time to prepare the dam for the impending spring thaw.
The partial payment authorized Thursday does not represent a full resolution of the disagreement and mediation will continue, said Scott Magnuson, BPU supervisor. Many of the details of the dispute will continue to be withheld until a final agreement.
There is no date set for the next meeting between the parties. Included in the agreement was a provision noting by agreeing to the payment, the BPU commission was not admitting fault and should the dispute reach court, BPU is free to argue for the return of the money paid should they find reason.
The disagreement over payment stems from different readings of the company's contract to complete the repair work by officials from Barr Engineering and Park Construction. Payments were withheld because of "nonconformance issues" on the $2.4 million project.
The project was originally scheduled for completion by Nov. 28, 2014, but high water levels caused delays several times. In October, officials on the project determined the apron was not 4 feet thick in every area, as was originally thought. This meant the original project design would need alteration and a temporary fix to prepare the hydrodam for spring became the focus.
A more permanent fix needs study and it will be six months to a year before officials know what work needs to be done at the site, Magnuson said. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 April 2015, p. 1)

Settlement Reached on
Brainerd Dam Project Payment


A settlement has been reached between the Brainerd Public Utilities Commission and a construction company tasked with working on the city's hydro dam.
The terms of the settlement include BPU paying Park Construction Company $675,000 for work done at the dam, and both sides agree to make no more claims on the issue. The figure was more than the $554,000 partial payment the company was seeking, which led to the mediation.
"We did a lot more work than we requested at that point and time," Jeff Carlson, Park Construction President/CEO said. "They continued to direct us to do more work after that, and would not pay us."
Carlson said he's not satisfied with the resolution.
"In layman's terms, the BPU did not act in good faith, they did not pay us for the work we did," Carlson said. "They forced us to do work, otherwise they'd file on our bond."
Scott Magnuson, BPU commissioner, said he's happy the situation is resolved and avoided going to litigation.
Issues with the project arose when Park Construction inspected the dam's apron and found it ranged in thickness from 3 feet to 3 inches, instead of the assumed 4 feet.
Park Construction informed BPU of the issue in October, Carlson said, and BPU didn't provide a fix for the problem until right before Christmas. The parties then differed over what the company should be paid for the new task.
"We just wanted to get paid for what they wanted us to do," Carlson said.
BPU filed a work change directive, which required Park Construction to complete the tasks not outlined in the original contract, Carlson said, like pouring a temporary concrete cap over the apron.
Park Construction ended up settling with BPU because attorneys' fees started accumulating, Carlson said.
"We took our losses, and didn't want this carrying on for another year and a half in court, and sucking up everybody's time," Carlson said. "So we decided to settle, and we settled at a loss."
Now, BPU is going to "take a step back," Magnuson said, and evaluate the downstream part of the dam, which is the river bottom below the apron. A redesigned project probably won't be let until March of 2016.
"We can stop, and not have to worry about going to court," Magnuson said. "Stop, file that, and go forward." (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 May 2015, p. 2)

BPU to Have Model Built of Hydro Dam


The Brainerd Public Utilities Commission Tuesday approved a contract to construct a model of the city's hydro dam.
Scott Magnuson, BPU superintendent, presented to the commission a contract from Barr Engineering to develop and complete a model of the dam in order to come up with a better design for the facility.
The contract, totaling $130,100, is for building the model and testing 20 different modifications for the dam, Magnuson said.
"(They'll) put some riprap in, see what happens, put an end sill in, see what happens," Magnuson said. "To come up with the ultimate design of what is needed out there."
The contract also includes work on an emergency action plan BPU has to complete, Magnuson said.
The commission approved building a model pending attorney review at its May 26 meeting. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is also "excited" about the model, Magnuson said.
"When the actual testing is done, FERC wants to go out there and look at it," Magnuson said.
"They're definitely involved and want to be involved."
The motion to approve the contract passed on a 3-2 vote, with commissioners Don Samuelson and Dolly Matten voting against.
Matten said she thought the commission approved building a model, but not the engineering firm that would complete it.
"I didn't know we actually approved which engineer would be moving forward with it," Matten said.
Magnuson responded BPU had been working with Barr Engineering "all along."
"I guess we never confirmed that they would be the engineers helping us," Magnuson said.
In other business, Magnuson presented the commission with a contract to install a new drain and driveway at the dam. The current driveway and drains are old and outdated, BPU reported.
Magnuson presented a contract from Anderson Brothers Construction for $26,864 for the project, and it was the only contract submitted for the project. Commissioner Mark O'Day said he'd like to see more bids for the project before committing to one.
"I don't know what the costs are," O'Day said. "I always like to see more than one."
There is no start date for the project, so Matten said it could be put off while BPU seeks more bids for the project. Magnuson confirmed he would seek more bids for the project.
O'Day referenced the previously approved contract from Barr Engineering to build a model of the dam, which was the only bid received for the project.
"If we have more than one, I feel a little more comfortable," O'Day said. "Because I don't know if we're getting screwed or not."
Commissioner Lucy Nesheim said BPU has worked with Anderson Brothers in the past, and they have "been very satisfactory." O'Day said he didn't disagree with Nesheim's assessment of Anderson Brothers' previous work for BPU.
It should become BPU's common practice to get multiple bids for a project, in order to ensure the organization isn't overpaying, Matten said.
"If they're all within a few percentage difference, that's one thing," Matten said. "To me, it's just always nice, regardless of the project."
The commission asked Gary Scheeler, who was in attendance, for his opinion on the issue. Scheeler serves as the Brainerd City Council's liaison on the commission.
Scheeler said when contractors are busy, they will bid projects high in order to control the amount of work a firm is doing.
"If they're really super busy, they're going to throw out twice the number," Scheeler said.
"That's how they curb the amount of work that comes in their door."
During the president's report, Nesheim provided a summary of performance evaluations of Secretary/Finance Director Todd Wicklund and Magnuson, which had been conducted in an hour-long closed session at the May 26 meeting.
About Magnuson, Nesheim said he "is a great team player and works effectively with our other employees. He does a good job of mentoring new, young employees."
Nesheim said Wicklund "is an excellent employee in all aspects of his position. His leadership and management, his efforts have been outstanding."
Nesheim also thanked both Wicklund and Magnuson for their "hard work this past year, especially regarding the dam projects and everything else." (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 June 2015)

BRAINERD GAS & ELECTRIC COMPANY / NORTHERN STATES POWER

CITY COUNCIL IS PROGRESSIVE


The franchise for a gas plant known as Ordinance No. 259, as asked for by the Light & Power Co., of St. Cloud, was given its first reading. A. G. Whitney, president and H. A. McKenzie, secretary of the Public Service Co., of St. Cloud, were present. Mr. Whitney said, that if given the franchise, the Brainerd Gas Co. would be organized to handle the Brainerd plant. Mr. Whitney offered Brainerd a gas plant built by a company which had the financial strength to immediately commence work and which offered 1,000 cubic feet of fuel gas for $1.25 net and 1,000 cubic feet of gas for lighting at $1.40 net. These were figures which would give service of a standard kind with no breaks. In the six years that Mr. Whitney had managed the St. Cloud gas plant there had not been one second’s interruption in service, said he.
The vote on the first reading of the ordinance stood 6 in favor and 3 against it. Those for it were Aldermen Mahlum, Stallman, Smith, Hess, Peterson and Lagerquist. Against it were Aldermen Anderson, Betzold and Haake. Excused from voting was Alderman Gallupe.
Alderman Haake said later he voted against it because of his stand on franchises. he favored a municipal project whenever feasible. Where such a plan was not possible, then he favored the best that could be secured in the way of a private plant. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 20 January 1914, p. 3, c. 1)

COUNCIL PASSES GAS FRANCHISE
_____

By a Vote of 6 to 4 Council Favors
Project of St. Cloud’s Leading
Capitalists
_____

IS NOW UP TO MAYOR TO SIGN
_____

Construction is to Begin in Six
Months, Operation Within
Eight Months


The council passed the gas ordinance last night by a vote of 6 to 4. The aldermen voting for the proposition which gives a franchise to some of the leading capitalists of St. Cloud were Aldermen Mahlum, Stallman, Smith, Hess, Peterson and Lagerquist. Opposed to the ordinance were Aldermen Anderson, Betzold, Haake and Gallupe.
The franchise Ordinance No. 259, as given to the Light & Power Co., now needs the mayor’s signature to become a law. Applying for the franchise were A. G. Whitney and H. A. McKenzie of St. Cloud. These gentlemen are president and secretary respectively of the Public Service Company of St. Cloud. Mr. Whitney has said that if the franchise was awarded them, they would organize the Brainerd Gas Company.
Under the terms of the ordinance fuel gas is to be furnished for $1.25 net and gas for lighting for $1.40 net based on a consumption up to 20,000 cubic feet with further reductions on a sliding scale to persons using more. It is agreed to commence construction of the plant within six months and operation within eight months and to install nine miles of mains. When the consumption reaches 25,000,000 cubic feet it is proposed to reduce the cost 5 cents per thousand cubic feet.
A suitable plant will cost in the neighborhood of $100,000 and its installation means the spending of a lot of money in Brainerd for labor and material. When mains are laid it means that grades will have to be furnished for streets traversed.
Gas is something that the majority of Brainerd people want. The matter has been agitated for two or more years past. This council has taken the first step to pass a gas ordinance and has awarded the franchise to men financially able to immediately commence operations.
Of the four councilmen against the proposition Alderman Anderson said he favored a municipal plant and on that account voted against the franchise. He wanted the people to express their opinion by a vote as to whether they favored a municipal or private plant.
Alderman Lagerquist retorted that to have added this amendment to the last election ballot would have resulted in a defeat of all the bond issues.

[...]


During the discussion over the gas franchise Mayor Henning read two letters, one of them from the Empire Gas and Construction Co. of New York City, referring to prices charged for gas.
Alderman Mahlum said the city was amply protected by the state law which allowed the acquisition of a public utility in any five-year period, the valuation to be determined by arbitrators. This, in his mind, was public ownership with a vengeance. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 03 February 1914, p. 3, c.’s 1 & 2)

AGITATION IS NECESSARY
_____

If You Want Gas in Brainerd Let
Mayor R. A. Henning Know Your
Sentiments

_____

THE CRITICAL PERIOD IS NOW
_____

Telephone, Write or Call on the May-
or, at Least Do Something if
You Want Gas


There now rests with the mayor, R. A. Henning, for his approval, the recently adopted gas franchise and if people want the St. Cloud company to furnish Brainerd with gas, if they approve of the terms of the franchise, let Mayor Henning know about it.
It will take but a short time to telephone, to write or to call on him. The franchise was passed by a 6 to 4 vote. Aldermen Mahlum, Stallman, Smith, Hess, Peterson and Lagerquist voted in favor of the gas franchise.
Aldermen Anderson, Betzold, Haake, and Gallupe, of the socialist party and of which party the mayor is a member, voted against the franchise.
Alderman Anderson stated he wanted the matter submitted to a vote of the people. He favored a municipal plant where possible. Some comment was made that the rates proposed were too high. Alderman Mahlum referred to the state law under whose terms the city can purchase the plant, thus giving municipal ownership whenever so desired.
There the matter stands. If the gas users in Brainerd desire a voice in the matter, now is the time to address the mayor and state your opinion.
The ordinance as prepared by the gas company is practically the same as the one prepared by Charles L. Pillsbury, consulting engineer of Minneapolis, who was employed by the special gas committee last summer to prepare an ordinance that would safeguard the interest of the city. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 05 February 1914, p. 3, c. 1)

STRONG POINTS OF GAS FRANCHISE
_____

City of Brainerd Protected at All
Times by the Terms of the
Franchise Granted
_____

NOT AN EXCLUSIVE FRANCHISE
_____

Permits the City to Purchase the
Plant at Any Five-Year Period
it May Designate


Some of the strong points of the proposed gas ordinance as adopted by the city council and which now awaits the signature of Mayor R. A. Henning are as follows:
This is not an exclusive franchise, its operations being limited to thirty years, and during its entire period it is covered by the laws of 1905 which permit the city to purchase the plant at any five-year period.
It requires the gas company to file annually with the city clerk a sworn statement of its gross earnings and expenses.
The ordinance provides that the company must at all times furnish an adequate supply of gas of a gross heating value of 550 British Thermal Units and of 16-candle power.
The company must commence work on the plant within six months and have at least nine miles of mains in operation in eighteen months.
The rates are on a sliding scale from $1.25 per thousand cubic feet down to $1 per thousand cubic feet to large consumers.
The ordinance makes the gas company liable for all damages or damage suits that may be brought against the city on account of any negligence on the part of the company.
It further provides that the ordinance may be annulled by the city council if at any time the gas company fails to operate or to furnish an adequate supply of gas for thirty days.—Advt. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 05 February 1914, p. 3, c. 3)

NECESSITY OF ACTION
_____


The people of this city should bestir themselves in the matter of securing the gas plant, the proposition of which is now up to Mayor Henning, and which hinges on his approval or veto. For years the people of Brainerd have endeavored to accomplish something along this line but success had not crowned their efforts in the past and now that it is among the possibilities to secure for the city a gas plant backed by parties financially able to build and operate it it would seem that there should be no hesitation on the part of the mayor in signing the ordinance which has been passed by the council granting a franchise.
The people of this city should not be denied the privilege and benefits to be derived from a plant of this kind because those who are opposed to it favor a municipal ownership plant, for the city is in no position now to finance a proposition of this kind and within a reasonable time the state law provides that the city may take the plant over upon an appraisement by arbitrators, which is a safeguard as to the city’s interests in the matter and could be acted upon whenever the city sees fit to take the matter up and its finances are in shape to handle the proposition. Mayor Henning should look at this matter from the standpoint of the welfare of the city instead of from the standpoint of immediate municipal ownership. He has it in his power to give the people who elected him mayor a commodity they have long wished for, and it is his duty to do so. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 February 1914, p. 4, c. 2)

MIKE REILLY HEARD FROM
_____

Says Mayor Should Sign the Ordinance—Gas Needed in
Brainerd


Editor Brainerd Dispatch,
Brainerd, Minnesota.
Dear Sir:
Last fall when Bush won a game of ball from New York, the citizens of Brainerd spent considerable money telegraphing congratulations and they also tendered him a banquet on his return, all of which was perfectly proper. All this was done because they thought it was a good boost for Brainerd.
Now the city council of Brainerd has passed an ordinance granting a gas franchise and there seems to be some doubt as to the mayor signing same. As a citizen of Brainerd, I consider this the most important thing they have done in Brainerd for many a year and it ought to receive his signature without a question. If the people will get together and show the same interest that they do over winning a game of ball, they might be able to show His Honor that he ought to sign it. I, for the life of me, cannot see how anyone can object to it.
Let those who do not want to use gas leave it alone, and let those who want it and are willing to pay for it have the privilege of having it. I know there are a lot of people who do not really know the advantages of gas as a fuel. There is nothing nicer for a quick meal, and I as a taxpayer want to go on record as being in favor of this franchise and want to congratulate the members of the council who voted for it.
Respectfully yours,
M. J. REILLY
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 February 1914, p. 5, c. 1)

CITY IS WELL PROTECTED
_____

Forfeiture Clause in Gas Ordinance
is Well Drawn, Says M. E.
Ryan
_____

THE CITY RETAINS CONTROL
_____

Council Can Put Gas Company Out
of Business if Terms Not
Lived up to


Former city Attorney M. E. Ryan in an interview with the Dispatch representative this morning said:
“I have given the gas franchise considerable study and particularly have I studied the forfeiture clause. The forfeiture clause of any franchise is by far the important feature of it and that clause in this franchise is certainly well drawn and amply protects the citizens of Brainerd. Under this clause the city council retains absolute control of the gas company’s conduct and unless the company measures up to the full requirement of the contract, the council can put it out of business in thirty days. The forfeiture clause, together with the right given by the statutes to take over the plant at any five year period is absolute protection to the people of our city.
“No, I don’t believe the city should even think of building a gas plant. My activity in this organization, and work in the old municipal ownership league which resulted in taking over the waterworks system is sufficient evidence that I believe in municipal ownership, but the taking over of an established utility that is on a paying basis and the installation of a new utility, followed as it always is by several lean years, is a vastly different thing.
“My plan would be to give the franchise and just as soon as they got it to paying operating expenses, take it away from them under the statutes and add it to our water and light business.” (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 February 1914, p. 5, c. 2)

SIGN THE GAS PETITION QUICK
_____

If Committees Have Failed to Get
Your Name on the Petition in
Dispatch Office
_____

ACT NOW, FOR NOW IS THE TIME
_____

Five Days for Mayor to Consider Gas
Franchise are Up on Monday,
Feb. 9 at 11 A. M.


Today committees are working energetically in every ward of the city getting signers to the petitions favoring the gas ordinance as granted by the council.
If your name has been omitted, call at the Dispatch office and affix your signature to the petition there. The more names that can be added the more formidable the petitions become and the more effect it will have on Mayor R. A. Henning.
At 11 in the morning of Monday, February 9, the five days’ limit expires. If the mayor has not vetoed the ordinance, it becomes a law without his signature.
The time to get gas in Brainerd is now. Think of the industries booming Brainerd within a short time! A $75,000 city hall, $22,000 bridge fill, $100,000 gas plant, if the gas ordinance is signed by Mayor Henning, a street railway system, and lots of other businesses of all kinds.
Don’t throw any monkey wrenches in the wheels of progress. The sentiment of the people is for gas NOW not ten years hence.
There have been circulated in every ward of the city petitions bearing this heading:
“We the undersigned, residents of Brainerd, desiring the use of gas for cooking purposes in our homes, and having familiarized ourselves with the provisions of the gas franchise recently passed by the city council, and now awaiting the signature of Mayor R. A. Henning, and realizing that the city is in need of this modern necessity, and now has the opportunity of securing a gas plant that will be a needed convenience in our homes and a credit to our city, do respectfully urge Mayor Henning to sign said franchise.”
In the first ward are these signers: Nick Lauer, of the Iron Exchange Hotel; Henry Spalding, of the Spalding Cafe; Maurice LeMoine, of the Antlers Hotel; W. T. Larrabee, of the Ideal Cafe; Andrew Carlson, of the Hotel Earl; O. H. Johnson, of the Ransford Hotel; Iver Holden, of the Central Hotel; Henry I. Cohen, T. H. McIntyre, T. H. Schaefer, Wm. Ragan, Wm. Brady, W. V. Turcotte, A. P. Drogseth, M. W. Price, Ed. Ovig, O. L. Ovig, A. G. Parker, J. A. McMannis, C. J Evensta, of the City Hotel, Wm. Schlange, H. B. Van Sickel, Severn Swanson, C. A. Bevier, B. L. Lagerquist, A. B. Anderson, Fred Drexler, R. W. Sherlund, Andy Wesley, S. V. Long, George H. Gardner, P. B. Nettleton, Andrew Fall, Lars Ericcson, of the Ericcson Brothers Bakery.
These are just a few names gathered this morning and indicate that practically every hotel man approached is in favor of gas.
In the second ward these have signed the petition: D. E. Whitney, E. S. Houghton, J. A. Cochran, F. S. Parker, John Carlson, Sam Parker, W. E. Parker, O. D. Larson, R. L. Russell, O. A. Peterson, H. F. Michael, G. A. Beale, F. M. Koop, J. W. Koop, I. U. White, C. M. Patek, Dr. H. Ribbel, Senator C. D. Johnson, Judge Mal Clark, S. P. Coffrain, Clyde E. Parker, E. F. Murphy, Dean White, Fred L. Sanborn, R. J. Hartley, R. M. Johnson, Neil I. Brooks, J. E. Brady, Si. Hall, James Buley, Julius Deering, Dr. J. L. Camp, Lewis Lee, James Fraser, Mrs. J. A. McColl, Carl J. Wright, Dr. H. G. Ingersoll, F. W. Wieland, W. W. Latta, James M. Elder, J. B. Schmidt, David R. Craig, G. E Neegard, Louis Sandberg, V. Dewald, Erick Kronberg, Mrs. John Willis, J. St. Cyr, A. J. Ellison, Gill G. Mantor, Geo. Berggreen, Fred Luken, W. J. F. Peiffer, J. W. Lee, W. W. Brandt, G. W. Mosier, J. A. Larson, E. E. Calkins, S. E. Engbretson, F. S. Vanderwerker, G. T. Fenno, C. Bruhn, Mons Mahlum, E. B. Darling, A. T. Fisher, L. S. Budd, W. S. Orne, H. A. Kaatz, John Peterson, B. C. McNamara, H. E. Kundert, L. M. Depute, E. P. Slipp, R. P. Nolan, W. D. McKay, Carl Zapffe, J. E. Rotthaus, Dan C. Peacock, C. J. Duffey, A. P. Reymond, P. Johnson, Frank G. Wright, J. P. Barney, Wm. Bartsch, G. W. Chadbourne, F. A. Farrar, R. B. Withington.
The petition circulated in the fifth ward bears these names: G. Halvorson, A. J. Starritt, Mrs. George Hess, Mrs. Englund, Mrs. M. E. Morrison, E. E. McQuillin, J. H. Roderick, F. H. Grant, Rev. M. L. Hostager, A. P. Cardle, F. B. Winslow, W. B. Cutler, E. L. Stallman, A. P. Nelson, C. Kaatz, W. H. Britton, Christ Schwabe, A. K. Lukens, Jens Molstad, W. H. Johnson, L. T. Gresbeck, Robert Peterson, Pat Shannon, W. L. Curtis, C. E. Peabody, J. McNaughton, Wm. Burris, Fred J. McNaughton, Mrs. A. Angel, Mrs. George Williams, Mrs. W. H. Nelson, Mrs. J. Hanson, L. T. Noggie, Mrs. C. G. Waffle, Mrs. W. H. Everest, Frank Wise, August Beck, Mrs. G. M. Lukens, Wm. Bourquin, Mrs. C. A. Nelson, James W. Montgomery, Mrs. J. C. Conant, Mrs. F. Brending, George Kaupp, J. I. Dillan, Mrs. M. L. Nelson, Charles Peterson, Mrs. A. Purdy, Fred T. Lux, A. Hagberg, John A. Hoffbauer.
The notable feature of the fifth ward’s petition is the number of housewives signing the same. There are other petitions out in the fifth, one bearing 200 names and the circulator was so busy he could not be reached to bring it to the Dispatch office.
On Saturday the other ward petitions and other names added to the petitions mentioned above will be published. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 February 1914, p. 5, c.’s 3 & 4)

MEANS MUCH TO BRAINERD
_____

P. B. Nettleton Urges Strong Points
in Favor of Gas
Ordinance


To the Editor:
I have been asked my opinion on the gas question which is now agitating the minds of many citizens. It is a very important matter and the correct solution has quite a bearing on the subject of making Brainerd a desirable city in which to live. It would be a good thing to say of Brainerd, we have both electric lights and gas.
I have had 20 years experience with gas in Minneapolis and Seattle, “Cook with Gas” is the slogan of the gas company. My wife says she couldn’t keep house without gas for cooking. She simply turns on the gas, lights a match, a flash and the fire is built.
When through using simply turn off—no wood box, coal scuttle or ashes. No extra heat in summer. In a house without a heating plant, I used a common heating stove below, upstairs in the bedrooms and bath I used small gas heating stoves costing $1.50 to $3.00 each. Before retiring I light the gas stove—in a few minutes the room is warm then turn out and turn in.
In the morning, repeat, light the gas, turn in—in a few minutes turn out into a warm room to dress. In late fall and between seasons in spring, the gas stove will take off the chill in any room before starting main fires.
The greatest gain is the convenience and comfort in cooking. I pity any woman who has to cook without gas after having once used it. I scarcely need mention the saving of time and temper in starting a fire especially when in a hurry, and the advantage of regulating the blaze instantly. As to cost, that depends largely on the user much like burning lights, one may be wasteful or economical like burning lights. My gas bills in Seattle run from $2.50 to $3.50 per month for cooking gas. It would be very convenient for heating here but whether it would be economical or not can only be told by trial.
For cooking I would choose gas at almost any price because of its convenience and comfort. Women who do their own work are more interested in this gas matter than anyone else and if any of them have any influence with Mayor Henning or the four aldermen who opposed it, they would do well to shout in their ears the slogan, “Cook with Gas.”
I believe this gas franchise means much to Brainerd and that if the mayor and opposition aldermen were familiar with the practical advantages and the importance of saving time in starting they would withdraw all opposition. If we act favorably now it will be one and a half years before the plant is finished. Who wants to wait longer?
P. B. NETTLETON.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 February 1914, p. 5, c.’s 4 & 5)

The people of Brainerd would like a gas plant and if Mayor Henning has his ear to the ground he will hear the rumble. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 07 February 1914, p. 2, c. 2)

BOOSTERS FAVOR GAS FRANCHISE
_____

Resolution Presented by P. B. Nettle-
ton is Adopted at Meeting Last
Night by 30 to 6 Vote.
_____

ALDERMAN HAAKE’S PLAN
_____

Said Appeal Could be Made to the Wards


There were busy times at the Booster club meeting in the council chambers last night. By a vote of 30 to 6 the Booster club placed itself squarely on record as favoring the gas franchise. The discussion on gas lasted two hours or more.
Mayor R. A. Henning outlined his position at this meeting of the Booster club and went into details regarding municipal plants, their construction and operation.
The resolution favoring the gas franchise was introduced by P. B. Nettleton and reads:
“Resolved by the Booster club of Brainerd in regular meeting assembled that we hereby go on record as favoring the gas franchise recently passed by the city council and respectfully express the hope that our honorable Mayor Henning may see his way clear to approve the same.”
Mr. Nettleton said gas was one of the most important propositions before the people of Brainerd. The ordinance had been passed by the council and now lacked only the approval of the mayor to make it a law. A gas plant meant payrolls for labor, the laying of many mains, the expenditure of money for gas fittings, etc. The city was safeguarded insofar as it had the privilege of acquiring the plant at any five-year interval.
“I tell you,” said Mr. Nettleton emphatically, “if we do not approve this gas ordinance, let us change our name from Boosters to Kickers.” And he sat down amid heavy applause.
All speakers of the evening paid Mr. Nettleton the courtesy of standing very near him so he was enabled to hear most of the discussion on hand and was thus able to champion the cause of the people who want gas now and who consider the St. Cloud people as competent to install a plant satisfactory to all.
Mayor R. A. Henning took the floor when the discussion was opened on the resolution. He spoke of the information bureau which the socialist party maintained at Milwaukee and which was in charge of Carl Thompson. Brainerd had solved its, water, electric light and street railway problems and that of gas remained. He took exception to Mr. Nettleton’s assertion that Brainerd could not get a municipal plant at this time. Mr. Henning claimed it was more to the credit of Brainerd to say, “We own this gas plant and not St. Cloud.” He believed the question of municipal ownership should be submitted to the people at an election. He quoted from a letter that the Empire Gas Co. of New York offered $1,000 for a gas franchise in Brainerd and further offered the city 10 percent of everything in excess of 10 percent profits. He quoted from a letter from C. F. Kindred, of Philadelphia, and said Kindred had offered to furnish gas at $1.20 net and to finish the gas plant in a year.
He suggested that a gas franchise be drafted by the city and that it be advertised in the gas papers for bids. He quoted southern cities which were supplying gas and their rates. He dwelt on the savings effected in the water and electric light departments of the city. He said Brainerd was paying $27 for arc light service and St. Cloud $65. In issuing bonds for a municipal gas plant the city would start under fairer conditions than it did when taking over the crippled water plant.
Mr. Nettleton, in reply, said he did not want to dispute the figures given, but would like to have an expert figure them. He mentioned that under municipal ownership of electric light current, there was a fixed charge of 75 cents a month for each householder, regardless of whether a house was occupied or vacant. He was not against a municipal plant, but he did not see how the city could finance one at present. It would take a long time to vote on it, issue bonds, and build the plant.
“Take these improvements while you can get them,” said Mr. Nettleton in conclusion.
Richard L. Spiering, a practical gas man of 21 years’ experience and for years superintendent of A. G. Whitney’s gas plant at St. Cloud, stated he would answer questions about the proposed gas plant, its operations, etc.
He said gas could not be manufactured as cheaply in Brainerd as in Virginia. Fuel cost more in Brainerd than it did in the south.
Mr. Spiering said that 18,000,000 [sic] cubic feet were manufactured at the St. Cloud plant. Coal near some of the southern gas plants sold as cheaply as $1 a ton. Mr. Spiering said he had built three plants and would like to build the Brainerd plant. He had been seven years with Mr. Whitney, and a fairer and squarer man was hard to find. Gas was being sold to big consumers in St. Cloud at $1 a thousand.
President Anton Mahlum, of the Booster club, on request explained the provisions of the 1905 state law which permits the city to buy at any five-year period a public utility like the proposed gas plant, the cost to be ascertained by two arbitrators acting for the company, two for the city and one appointed by the four. The goodwill of the company or the value of the franchise were not to be computed in a valuation of the plant. The value was to be estimated at the actual cost of reproduction at that period.
A. L. Hoffman said the city could decide to buy just when the plant was making money at the end of the first five years.
Mr. Spiering said he had built four [sic] plants, one at LaCrosse, Wis., another at Appleton, one at St. Cloud and it took three years or more to put a gas plant on a paying basis. He said money had to be made in summer to carry a gas plant through the winter. It would take energetic work to get enough consumers to make enough to pay the interest charges on $100,000. In Brainerd it would be good figure if the consumers all told averaged $2.25 each a month.
There was more power in the hands of the people to condemn or control a plant owned by Mr. Whitney, than a municipally owned plant, said Mr. Spiering. The council can shut down the Whitney Brainerd plant if it does not conform to the terms of the contract. That is more than can be done with a city plant. It would take an election there to do it.
P. T. Brown said he believed in municipal ownership, but thought it better to go easy and wait for some other offer.
P. B. Nettleton said the subject of gas had been talked on four years in Brainerd. There was but one proposition before us and that was the franchise as passed by the council and which awaited the signature of the mayor. He hoped the mayor would act to his best judgment and for the whole people. The plant would give employment to many men who would bring their families here. Brainerd was on the upgrade and was prospering. There was but one way to vote and the club should vote for the gas franchise now passed by the council.
Alderman Haake sounded a new note in the proceedings. He urged that ward meetings be instituted through the third and fourth wards the same as was carried on during the street railway discussion. The people of these wards could register their opinions and the vote would serve as a guide to the aldermen in voting for that ward.
George I. Reid was called on. The president of the Minnesota Central Railway company, which has a franchise to put in and operate a street railway in Brainerd and which also contemplates an interurban line with Brainerd as its center, spoke shortly and said to the point:
“Mr. President and fellow members of the Booster club. I am a writer, not a speaker, and so I have set down briefly my opinion as to the future of Brainerd.
“Brainerd, I believe, will soon be the fourth city of Minnesota. Your water power means more for the industrial development of Brainerd than you realize. Brainerd is the center of a great iron range, likely to rival any iron range in the world in richness and extent. Surrounding Brainerd is a splendid agricultural country which is being developed rapidly.
“A second great railway system is within a dozen miles of Brainerd and is bound to come into this city soon. Brainerd is the geographical center of the state and therefor a logical distributing point. Eventually Brainerd will be an important railroad, manufacturing, jobbing, mining and agricultural center.
“Brainerd, like Duluth, is just on the eve of its greatest growth. Brainerd will rank next to Duluth in the list of Minnesota’s principal cities.
“From personal knowledge I will say that the Booster club has been foremost in every movement for the betterment of Brainerd.”
There was loud applause when Mr. Reid closed his crisp, short words, eloquent in their appeal and convincing to all.
“I have every dollar I have invested in Brainerd,” said Mr. Reid. “I think Alderman Haake’s suggestion of carrying to the wards the final decision on the gas franchise is a good one. Let the third and fourth wards express their opinions and let their aldermen be guided by the sentiment of the people.”
“Gentlemen,” said Mr. Mahlum, “I hope you will all be as good Boosters after this discussion as we have been before. Let this argument embitter no one. We have our differences of opinion on many subjects and if this was not so, there would never be any debates. We will now take a vote on the resolution endorsing the gas franchise and passed by the council and expressing the hope that the mayor will sign the ordinance. You will please rise and be counted, all those in favor of it.”
A total of 30 votes was recorded for the resolution. Six voted against it. President Mahlum declared the resolution adopted. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 07 February 1914, p. 3, c.'s 1 & 2)

SEE: Brainerd Dam
SEE: Electric Power House (Dam)

SIGN THE GAS PETITIONS QUICK
_____

If Committees Have Failed to Get
Your Name, Sign the Petition
at Dispatch Office
_____

ACT NOW, FOR NOW IS THE TIME
_____

Five Days for the Mayor to Consider
Gas Franchise are Up on Mon-
day, Feb. 9 at 11 A. M.


Committees are still energetically circulating petitions about the city and it is difficult to corral them all for publication, for many would rather get more names than give them for publication, losing that much time in the campaign.
This afternoon the Brainerd Musical club meets at Elks hall and the ladies will discuss gas and Mayor Henning will face 200 or more women and the great majority of these favor gas, and favor it now under the ordinance as passed and which plant is to be installed by St. Cloud people.
Additional names on petitions are A. Keating, Thomas Pillon, J. M. Quinn, R. E. Quinn, J. J. Quinn.
The fourth ward shows up with this imposing list of names: P. G. Fogelstrom, Hulda C. Fogelstrom, Hannah Swanson, H. A. Swanson, J. P. Finne, Mrs. Pete Anderson, Fea Finne, W. E. Erickson, K. S. Bredenberg, O. F. Erickson, A. C. Erickson, J. Stenberg, Mrs. John Stenberg, Mrs. E. H. Jones, Walter H. Northrup, Sadie Hill, Julius Twist, Mrs. Julius Twist, Mrs. K. S. Bredenberg, Bessie Bredenberg, Mrs. Andrew Anderson, Mrs. H. Wade, Mrs. K. A. Gustafson, K. A. Gustafson, Henry Squires, Mrs. Henry Squires, Thos. Evans, Mrs. Thomas Evans, Mrs. W. E. Erickson, R. Peterson, Esther Fogelstrom, F. M. Milloch, Mrs. Maria Heimblad, P. A. Erickson, R. L. Erickson, Matt Olson, Arthur Olson, Wallace Olson, J. A. Erickson, Amy Erickson, Mrs. J. A. Erickson, Felix Graham, Mrs. Felix Graham, D. M. Graham. Size up this fourth ward petition and see the number of Southeast Brainerd housewives who have signed the petition and want the St. Cloud company in Brainerd.
Here are some of the fifth ward signers: Dr. C. A. Nelson, Lou Swelland, C. H. Turner, A. Hagberg, Helen Gustafson, Mrs. M. Bone, Mrs. Ed. Hall, Mrs. Gendron, Mrs. B. S. Armstrong, Mrs. W. F. Kunitz, Mrs. C. D. Peacock, Mrs. August Swanson, Mrs. Conrad Fosth, Mrs. O. M. Olson, Mrs. August Hallquist, Mrs. L. Broman, Mrs. G. Swanson, Mrs. R. Peterson, F. F. Wise, Mary Wise, A. G. Schnell, Charles Warren, J. M. Hayes, P. J. Daveau, D. Frayer, Mrs. G. R. West, Mrs. V. N. Roderick, W. A. Warnecke, Mrs. J. Merkouris, Mrs. A. F. Victor, Mrs. M. A. Warnecke, A. N. Jacobs, Mrs. E. Levant, E. G. Rau, James Graham, Mrs. F. B. Winslow, Mrs. W. N. Dix. Ed. Levant, H. A. Levant, Mrs. E. Lund, Mrs. Harry Wikie, Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Early, Mrs. W. I. Rounds, Mrs. R. L. Mathews, Charles Goeirch, C. H. Krech, Mrs. George Rappel, Chris Jensen, Mrs. E. Darling, Mrs. M. K. Martin, Mrs. Oscar Hill, Mrs. W. R. Ashby, Mrs. H. McGinn, Mrs. W. F. Dieckhaus, Rev. W. J. Lowrie, H. P. Dullum, J. A. McKay, Mrs. M. Hoerner, Mrs. Martin Olson, F. W. Frost, John D. Gile, Ole H. Nilson, Mrs. Ages Thoe, Mrs. Annie Wilson, Mrs. H. Betzold, Henry Hurley, A. M. Opsahl, Charles S. Olson, Mrs. W. B. Cutler, Mrs. G. P Thienes, Mrs. Wm. Butts, A. Morton, R. Knutson.
The 2nd ward have been added these names: James Alderman, Karl H. Hoorn, W. H. Onstine, A. G. Trommald, Fred J. Reid, W. A. M. Johnstone, H. D. Treglawny, S. R. Adair, H. W. Linnemann, Charles E. Cole, Martin Berggreen, Frank G. Hall, P. W. Donovan, W. F. Wieland, Dr. C. G. Nordin, Louis Johnson, J. Henry, I. R. Bolstat, G. F. Heck, H. A. Rahler, Dr. C. D. Blackford, W. W. Michael, Thomas Beare. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 07 February 1914, p. 4, c. 4)

CITY INTERESTS ARE SAFEGUARDED
_____

It is Not an Exclusive Franchise and
Does Not Defeat the Municipal
Ownership Idea
_____

THE CANCELLATION CLAUSE
_____

Franchise Void if Gas Company Fails
to Operate or Furnish Gas for
30 Days


It is not an exclusive franchise and does not defeat the idea of municipal ownership for the reason that it is governed during its entire period by the state law which permits the city to purchase the plant at any five-year period.
The cancellation clause in the franchise provides that if the gas company fail to operate or to furnish an adequate supply of gas for a period of thirty days that the franchise becomes void.
The gas company agree within six months to commence work upon the plant and to have it in operation with nine miles of mains laid within eighteen months.
All work in connection with installing the gas plant and mains must be under the supervision of the city engineer and upon plans and specifications that have been duly approved by the city council.
All streets, avenues and alleys must be replaced at the expense of the gas company and the ordinance provides a penalty if the same is not done promptly.
The gas company is also required to change the location of mains whenever required by the city council without expense to the city.
The gas company is made liable for all damages or damage suits that may be brought against the city caused by their negligence and they are required to furnish the city a two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) surety bond during the period of construction.
The gas company is required to file with the city clerk on April first annually a sworn statement of their gross income and expenses.
The ordinance requires the gas company to furnish either coal gas, carburetted water gas or a mixture of the two of a gross heating value of 550 British Thermal Units, and of the standard of sixteen-candle power at the following schedule of rates:
For the consumer using 20,000 cubic feet or less, one and 25/100 dollars ($1.25) per thousand cubic feet, with a reduction of five cents per thousand cubic feet for each 10,000 additional cubic feet consumed, thus reducing the price for large consumers to one dollar ($1) per thousand cubic feet.
The ordinance further provides that when the annual output of the plant shall have reached 25,000,000 cubic feet that the price will be reduced five cents per thousand cubic feet.
The gas mains are to be extended upon a petition of residents on any street in the proportion of one consumer for every 125 feet of main.
All meters are to be furnished by the company and may be tested for accuracy as often as every six months.
The city officials have free access at all times to the plant of the gas company for the purpose of testing the quality of the gas furnished.—Advt. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 09 February 1914, p. 2, c. 4)

MAYOR VETOES GAS FRANCHISE
_____

States His Objections in a Lengthy
Communication Covering
Three Columns
_____

DESIRES MUNICIPAL OWNERSHIP
_____

Is Given as His Principal Objection
—Several Provisions of Fran-
chise Are Inadequate


The Mayor has vetoed the gas franchise is a lengthy communication to the council, courteously supplying the Dispatch with a copy for its readers, as follows:

Brainerd, Minn., February 7, 1914.
To the President and Members of the
City Council, Brainerd, Minnesota.
Gentlemen:—
I am returning to you, unsigned, Ordinance No. 259, same being an ordinance granting to the Light and Power company, a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Minnesota, the right to construct, operate and maintain a plant for the manufacture and supplying of gas for all purposes in the city of Brainerd, and fixing the rate to be charged for supplying gas for household, domestic and other purposes.
In considering the question of a franchise to be given to a private corporation, for the operation of a public utility concern, for the purpose of distributing to the citizens of Brainerd a commodity that will be commonly used by our citizens, I have considered the question of granting the franchise from the following standpoints:
First. The question of the city establishing a municipal gas plant.
Second. The advisability of city officers granting to private corporations the right to use our streets and other public property without the consent of the citizens of Brainerd.
Third. The question of the amount of protection afforded to the citizens of our city, in the various clauses or sections of the franchise.
Fourth. The question of comparison between the franchise which the city council has passed, with other offers made the city, with a view of determining who has and will make the city the best offer for a gas franchise in the city of Brainerd.
Taking up briefly each of the questions enumerated above I have the following to say:
FIRST. The question of a Municipal Gas Plant in Brainerd, is not a proposition of such colossal proportions, that it is beyond the possibility of accomplishment in the city of Brainerd. Unlike the street railway franchise wherein we realized that it would be necessary for the corporation to extend its field of operation beyond the limits of our city, in order to derive sufficient revenue in order to be self-sustaining, the question of a gas plant and its field of activity can be limited to the city of Brainerd and still be made to be a paying proposition.
It has been repeatedly said of late years that the government and development of American cities has been improving at least fifty percent faster than the government of our states and nations. In other words the progress of government in cities is improving faster than in states or the nation.
Considering the question of public ownership of public utilities the history of American cities shows that after they have acquired and operated as municipal enterprises the Water & Light utilities of their city, that the acquirement and operation of the gas plants is the next step in the advancement of public ownership of public utilities, and therefore the question of municipal ownership of the gas plant in Brainerd should receive serious consideration before a franchise is granted to a private corporation.
SECOND. The granting of the franchise to the private corporation grants with it the right of the corporation to the use of the streets and other public property of the city, for the purpose of using the streets and other public property in its endeavor to make a profit for those interested in the corporation.
The streets and other public property together with such values as the franchise and good will of the city of Brainerd, are the property of all the citizens of Brainerd, and in my opinion, no officer of a municipality has, and should not have sufficient power to give away that which is collectively owned without direction from the citizens he represents.
Therefore I, as mayor of the city of Brainerd refuse most emphatically to give away such rights as may by ownership be vested collectively in the citizens of our city. Every city today that is at all progressive has a charter in which is a clause which explicitly forbids public officials from doing that which our city council is doing, and I can conceive of no reason which would warrant me in placing myself in a position of authority, above that which time and experience has demonstrated that it is not safe to place in any set of officers.
THIRD. The question of the amount of protection afforded by this franchise to our city, involves a careful examination of the franchise, both from the standpoint from the office of mayor and the office of city attorney, and in addition to my objections to various sections of the franchise, I attach herewith a letter from our city attorney, Mr. Haggard in which he outlines the objections from a legal view, in response to my request that he advise me of any legal objections that he may have in the different sections of the franchise.
Section 1. This section permits of the sale by the corporation of gas for lighting purposes, and while the extent of the competition with the city municipal light plant would depend to a great extent upon the rate charged for the gas, I am not in favor of permitting competition to enter into Brainerd, in competition with any public utility now owned by the city.
Section 3. This section provides for filing with the city by the gas company of detailed plans of the mains, etc. showing the location and also, etc. but does not include the location of valves, and in referring to the plans of the building does not demand that detailed plans be filed of the location of the gas plant, and of the buildings and equipment as proposed to be installed under this ordinance. This I consider to be important as when taken in connection with the provisions for the purchase of the plant would enable the city if complied with, and with the additional requirement of the following paragraph of the franchise enable the city to at all times have on file a complete set of plans of the entire gas plant and distributing system.
Section 4. In this section I believe that the objection can be raised to the words “as in the judgment of the grantee” and I would recommend that they be stricken out of the franchise and make it obligatory upon the part of the company to place their mains at sufficient depth so that frost will not interfere with the quality or flowage of the gas supplied.
Section 7. This section does not in my opinion fully protect the city. I recommend in lieu thereof the section recommended by Mr. Pillsbury and which has also received the approval of parties to whom I have submitted the franchise. This provision to be as follows:
“The grantee shall furnish said city a proper indemnifying bond in the amount of the ten thousand dollars, ($10,000.00) for the period of construction and of not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) for the balance of the life of the franchise, same to be furnished by some responsible surety company, and approved by the common council, conditioned that said grantee, his associates, successors or assigns, shall faithfully observe and fulfill all the terms, conditions and requirements of this ordinance; and the common council may require the renewal of said bond from time-to-time in the same amounts, with the same or additional securities. Said bond shall be furnished and approved by the council before any work shall be done by the said grantee hereunder.”
Section 8. This section in a measure is condensed from the report of the expert employed by the city of Brainerd at an expense of $150.00 and while it in a measure might meet all the demands that may be placed upon it. I am of the opinion that on account of the value being attached to the purchase clause in this franchise, that the sections recommended by the expert Mr. Pillsbury are of considerable importance and therefore recommend the substitution of Mr. Pillsbury’s recommendations as follows:
“The said grantee shall file annually, at such time as may be designated by the council of the city, at the office of the city clerk such financial and operating statement, and such other information relative to the plant of grantee, and to the business transacted under the franchise and privilege hereby granted and conferred, as may be from time-to-time be required by said council. All such information and settlements furnished to the council by the grantee under the provision of this section shall be in writing and shall be certified to under oath by the President, Secretary or other officer of the company.
“The grantee shall at all times, keep within the city, proper an accurate book of accounts, records and vouchers, which shall at all times show correctly and in detail all its financial transactions, including all its receipts, and disbursements, and the particulars thereof, and all data needful for the preparation by competent accountants, of complete bills and vouchers of the said grantee, relative to the said business, shall at all reasonable times, be opened to inspection and examination by such officer of the city or person or persons as said council may by resolution designate.”
Section 9. This section does not meet with my approval, in that it specifies that the gas furnished shall have not less than five hundred fifty (550) British Thermal Units power per cubic foot of gas.
In my estimation this should not be less than 600 British Thermal Units, and in support of my contention submit the following from men well versed in the gas business.
From H. J. Thorkelson, professor of steam and gas engineering the University of Wisconsin:
“For heating purposes gas is compared upon the basis of heat generated, the unit of measurement being the British Thermal Unit, which is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit, and a gas of 600 B. T. U. will give ten times as much heat as one of 60 B. T. U.”
From E. W. Bemis a noted gas expert:
Since gas of 16-candle power is nearly as good for all purposes, save in open flame burners as a 20 or 22-c. p., and is much cheaper to make the tendency is to permit 16-c. p. and 600 heat units with corresponding low prices.”
From Mr. C. L. Pillsbury in his recommendations to the city:
“The gas furnished by said grantee to the city and its inhabitants shall have a monthly average gross heating value of not less than 600 British Thermal Units per cubic foot of gas; and the daily average gross heating value of the gas shall not, on any day, be less than 550 B. T. U’s., nor shall a minimum of 550 B. T. U’s. be maintained for more than three successive days.”
From the opinions of three experts it is easy to see that 600 British Thermal Units is the minimum number of B. T. U’s. which should be required and therefore the number required being 50 B. T. U’s. below the amount set for the securing of most efficient service, or that gas of 550 B. T. U’s. will only produce ninety-one and two-thirds percent of the value in heat units as compared with gas of 600 B. T. U’s. Considering that it is expected that the gas will be used mainly for cooking and heating purposes it is the heating value of the gas which is one of the most important features to be considered.
Section 10. This section relates to the price to be charged for the gas and provides for a discount if the consumer pays his bill before the 20th of the month, the amount of the discount varying so that the larger the consumer the larger the discount thereby bringing the net cost of the large consumer down to a possible $1.00 per 1,000 cu. ft. as compared with the net cost to the small consumer of $1.25 per 1,000 cubic feet. There is considerable objection to this feature of the franchise whereby the large consumer gets his gas at a less rate per 1,000 cu. ft. The arguments in favor of this plan are all commercial in nature. At the least the small consumer ought to have an equal chance for an equal rate. The principle of an equal charge is already well established and the best authorities agree with Delos Wilcox who says:
“Generally speaking, public utilities are in such wide-spread demand, that good public policy would tend to favor the maintenance of a uniform rate per unit of service to all consumers irrespective of the amounts they use.” Municipal Franchises, v. 1, page No. 54.
“While I do not desire to take issue with the amounts to be charged for gas upon commencement of the operation of the gas plant, I do desire to criticize sharply the term of the franchise which permits of only one reduction of 5 cents per 1,000 cu. ft. of gas used during the life of the franchise. This provision for reduction in price of the cost of gas to the consumer is not sufficiently protecting the interests of our citizens. In marked contrast with the provision in regards to the rates to be charged by the sections in this franchise, is the report of the expert hired by the City, wherein he provides that there shall be provision made in the franchise whereby the Council at every five-year period can review the rates charged for gas and the business of the company and regulate the rate to an amount commensurate with the earnings shown by the company. Further his provision of a means of arbitration of the rate at these five-year periods give to the company protection that it should have in that rates should not be arbitrarily set at an amount which will not bring the company a fair revenue.
Section No. 16. In this section as outlined by the opinion of our city attorney, I believe there should be incorporated the statement that in case the city desires to purchase the plant at any five-year period that no value shall be placed upon the earning power of the plant, nor any value upon the unexpired term of the franchise.
Section No. 17. This section provides that the franchise extends for a period of thirty years. In my opinion twenty years should be the limit for which any franchise is granted.
There should be added as recommended by Mr. Pillsbury a section providing for the pressure to be uniform and describing just what is required from the corporation.
In preference to simply referring to section No. 2843 of the revised laws of 1905 in the matter of the purchase of the plant, it is my opinion that the franchise should specifically provide for the manner of purchase by defining the appointment and selection, number of arbitrators and such other conditions as it would be necessary to include in such provisions.
There is absolutely no provision made for labor in connection with either the construction or operation of the gas plant. In my opinion the franchise should grant certain protections to the labor that may be necessary in its construction and operation, namely:
First. The guarantee of the right to organize, with provision for manner of handling questions of differences which may arise between employer and employee.
The franchise should contain provisions whereby the number of hours of labor shall not exceed at any time nine hours per day and when the eight-hour day is established for any considerable number of Brainerd citizens, then also shall eight hours be the length of the days labor performed under this franchise.
The franchise would contain an agreement that labor shall be paid an amount equal to the standard prevailing union-wage in Brainerd wherever possible and in no case when in comparison with labor in unorganized fields as common labor (generally termed) shall it be less than the rate paid for like service in Brainerd.
The franchise should make definite provision for arbitration between employer and employee so that some assurance will be provided for the protection of both labor and the interests of the city.
That covers most of my important objections to various sections of the franchise, but does not cover all of my objections as many of them are of minor consideration and should be easily worked out by the seeker of the franchise and the city.
In regards to other offers from other sources I have to again inform the city council that the Empire Construction Co. of New York City, has made an offer to take the same franchise now known as Ordinance No. 259, pay for it to the city $1,000.00 before beginning work and ten percent of all profits in excess of ten percent. Mr. C. F. Kindred has offered to put in a gas plant and furnish gas at $1.20 per 1,000 cubic feet to the consumer.
These offers contain advantages to the citizens of Brainerd which if other conditions in regards to the protection necessary to the city could be arranged satisfactorily should receive the consideration of our city council.
In conclusion let me state that the very best franchise is not as good as public ownership. Sometimes things that seem impossible can be accomplished, and we ought not to lose a chance in any direction to secure the greater good and the real solution.
In my opinion after carefully considering the various franchises that have been before the City of Brainerd, the report of the expert that was employed by the City of Brainerd, Mr. Pillsbury of Minneapolis, and the recommendation of men qualified by experience with whom it has been possible for me to get in touch and get information, I have come to the conclusion (with all due respect to the petitioners) that this franchise is not for the best interests of the city of Brainerd, and that it is my duty to veto same.
Yours very truly,
R. A. HENNING,
Mayor.
Signed this 9th day of February, 1914.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 09 February 1914, p. 3, c.’s 1 & 2; p. 4, c.’s 1- 4)

SEE: Brainerd Dam
SEE: Electric Power House (Dam)
SEE: 1878 Brainerd by a Stranger-1 in the Early Accounts of Brainerd page.

PETITIONS ARE BEING SIGNED
_____

Mayor Henning’s Action Causes No
Cessation to the Circulation of
Petitions for Gas
_____

MANY FAVOR GAS FRANCHISE
_____

Petitions Generally Circulated at the
Shops Receive Many Signers
Today


Notwithstanding the mayor has expressed his disapproval of the gas franchise, the petitions favoring gas from the St. Cloud company continue to have names attached by the score.
These names were secured in the shops: Fred Allison, L. A. McCulloch, C. W. Eastman, J. F. Lawrence, Charles Holmstrom, Thomas Russell, Arthur Cartwright, Oscar Killin, Fred Cartwright, H. F. Kleinschmidt, O. E. Anderson, A. Backen, M. Fortie, H. A. Edstrom, Andrew Hill, Tom Kocaliares, Sverie Peterson, J. M. McIntyre, Lucas Boeman, Simon Pederson, Alfred Severtsen, Elmer Montgomery, Chris Temple, Otto Johnson, Louis Johnson, Ed. Nolan, Chas. Dahl, L. Petterson, O. B. Rasmussen, H. W. Kitchen, V. A. Root, L. P. Gray, Aug. Homblad, H. Hanson, G. Twist, H. Bullock, O. C. Elledge, Rudolph Lindbergh, Ernest Hunt, G. A. Tracy, Joe Midgley, Jack Mooney, Martin Olson, Chas. Nash, H. G. Thaw, A. J. Temple, O. F. Erickson, Theo. Miller, C. H. Ohm, A. M. Anderson, F. G. Drilling, E. R. Blake, A. A. Anderson, H. George, J. J. Cummins, H. A Carmichiel, A. D. Johnson, W. P. Barker, Louis O. Johnson, O. C. Johnson, Martin Anderson, Ed. R. Murphy, W. W. Anderson, J. M. Mraz, B. V. McGivern, Henry Shields, E. A. Ohm, Carl Sorman, Peter Englund, Gust Krueger, N. A. Jeppson, E. O. Webb, A. Funk, Henry Stein, Ray Heller, A. C. Lemon, Paul Kalucha, Andrew Anderson, A. Ludwig, J. Kulba, Victor Lund, L. Moilanan, A. Holm. C. Isle, Sr., A. Spengler, A. Aro, H. Kretzman, H. Albers, F. Kinsmiller, M. Lund, D. McGill, Chas Volke, N. Sundberg, C. P. Horton, P. Anderson, O. Nilson, F. Blanck, Con Isle, Jr., Joe Liners, John Hackett, Edward Wallace, John A. Peterson, Henry Buchnass, Allen McLearie, E. A. Luck, M. E. Holmes, H. C. Behme, J. A. Maloney, Harry Taylor, Ernst Richman, F. Stycke, C. H. Ritter, H. C. Hansen, H. Greener, T. A. Skatten, C. A. Wood, T. F. Mooney, H. C. Stunt, Joe Goedderz, Geo. Leitner, Pete Goedderz, N. Mattson, J. L. Neary, Louis Nelson, Isaac Sundquist, Jule Voss, J. H. Emmels, C. E. Wittner, Joe Hoerner, Joseph Koeppl, H. Wassermann, Val Furst, H. Blanck, Louis Olson, J. P. Goedderz, John Kangas, Frank Keneger, Wm. Lee, Fred Seller, Frank Betzold, P. Peterson, J. Christianson, Ira Connolis, Omar Liners, F. Beckley, F. E. Jackson, Chas. Mohler, Paul Kretzman, David Smith, James Work, Pat Burke.
Downtown these additional names were added: Mrs. Joseph Flanagan, Peter Umhofer, John Ernster, Judge W. S. McClenahan, Judge W. A. Fleming, Judge A. D. Polk, Judge S. F. Alderman, George W. Moody, Dr. J. A. Thabes, Dr. Bergh, Mrs. Grandelmyer.
On a 5th ward petition have been attached these additional names: Aloys Maine, J. Hehtran, Vicktor Erickson, S. H. Turner, R. L. Maine, Paul Wutrens, J. W. Blake, John Nolan, Edwin Anderson, Thos. C. Deakes, Joseph Miller, Dan Tough, Albert Pfremmer, C. H. Lawson, Anton Anderson, W. H. Cartwright, W. H. Durham, Mrs. John A. Hoffbauer, W. K. Mack, W. J. Seacox, C. Newgard, Joe Brandt, F. C. Reese, C. H. Stedfeldt, Joseph Baakkonen, Elsa E. Warren, Erik M. Seger, Adolph Peterson, Philip Teichner, John Olson, Alex Nykonen, Albin Nelson, Fred Hass, John Olson, Andrew Anderson, E. L. Ellison, Henry Hass, Rob Silverberg, G. A. Erickson, C. R. Benest, Swan Anderson, Charles Tindell, J. C. Alexander, John Rosslund, J. A. Liad, Gust Maxe, C. A. Menz, Herman T. Menz, John K. Johnson, John Lund, Nicholas Beste, C. G. Howe, Wm. A. Hanna, R. A. Kunde, J. A. Erickson, J. F. Kobel, Bruce Meyer, J. A. Peterson, A. L. Biern, Arthur Finney, M. H. Mayo, Jacob Wotl, Charles Devieau, Joe Devieau. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 10 February 1914, p. 3, c.’s 2 & 3)

CLAIMS FRANCHISE IS NOW A LAW
_____

Said that Mayor R. A. Henning Ex-
ceeded the Time Limit and Gas
Franchise is a Law
_____

WITHOUT HIS SIGNATURE
_____

Claimed that Presentation of Ordin-
ance Was Made on Evening
of February 2


There are rumors in the city that the gas ordinance became a law without Mayor R. A. Henning’s signature and that the executive of the city returned the ordinance after the five days time limit had expired, thus nullifying his veto.
It is claimed that on Monday evening, February 2, in the presence of councilmen, the ordinance was presented to the mayor by the city clerk.
The mayor, says the city clerk, thereupon returned the ordinance to him and then asked that it be sent to him on the morning of Tuesday, February 3. On Tuesday morning it was sent to the mayor, Chief Quinn acting as messenger.
The point now argued about in the city is regarding the date of presentation. The Dispatch previously telephoned the city clerk as to when the time for returning the ordinance expired and he said it was Monday morning, February 9.
However, the law governs what a presentation is. Section 18 of the city charter reads in part: “If any ordinance or resolution shall not be returned by the mayor within 5 days, Sundays and holidays excepted, after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall have the same force and effect as if approved by the mayor.” (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 11 February 1914, p. 3, c. 3)

CITY ATTORNEY’S OPINION
_____

Given to Mayor R. A. Henning Be-
fore He Vetoed the Gas
Franchise


Feb. 7, 1914.

Honorable R. A. Henning,
Mayor of the city of Brainerd.
Dear Sir:
Replying to your request of the 7th last for my opinion as to the legal sufficiency of the gas franchise, being Ordinance No. 259, recently passed by the council of the city of Brainerd, I beg leave to submit the following opinion:
1. The ordinance expressly incorporates by reference Section 2843, Revised Laws 1905, which provides for purchase of the plant by the city at any five-year interval, but does not include a reference to Section 1376, General Statutes 1913, which provides that, in the event of such a purchase, neither the value of any earning power of such utility, nor the unexpired portion of the franchise granted, shall be included in the valuation at which the city may purchase.
2. The ordinance provides that the quality of gas furnished shall not fall below sixteen-candle power, nor below five hundred and fifty British Thermal Units, but provides no way for enforcing such provisions other than the general forfeiture clause, which, would not furnish an adequate remedy, since it would be manifestly inexpedient to forfeit the franchise after the citizens had placed themselves in a position where they would be more or less dependent upon a supply of gas. In my opinion there should be a provision imposing a penalty in the shape of liquidated damages, or a reduction the price of the gas, in case this provision in the ordinance is violated.
3. There is no provision in the present ordinance requiring a constant pressure. Mr. Pillsbury, the expert to whom the question of a gas franchise was submitted last summer expressed the opinion that such a provision should be in a gas franchise.
4. Section 6 of the ordinance provides that the council shall have the right to condemn any pipes or other appliances placed in the streets “whenever the same are unfit for use, or dangerous to life or property,” but leaves the question of fact as to such unfitness or dangerous condition one which should have to be determined as the result of litigation. In my opinion, this section should provide for condemnation by the council, or preferably by the city engineer, whenever, in his opinion, the conditions mentioned exist.
For the reasons above indicated I cannot give my approval of the ordinance in its present form.
Very truly yours,
(Signed) D. A. HAGGARD,
DAH-N. City Attorney.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 11 February 1914, p. 3, c. 4)

RESOLUTION
_____


To Members of Brainerd City Council,
Dear Sirs:
Whereas, the citizens of Brainerd are desirous of securing the service of gas, it being a modern convenience, and
Whereas, it has been fully demonstrated that municipal ownership of all public utilities is the only logical manner in which a commodity commonly used by a community should be supplied, and
Whereas, the city council refused by a 6 to 4 vote to allow the people to decide the question of ownership at the special election, therefore
Be it resolved that we, the members of the Pine City Lodge No. 116 of Boilermakers and Iron Ship Builders of America, hereby go on record as favoring a municipal gas plant, and
Be it further resolved that we enter our emphatic protest against the dictatorial conduct of our six aldermen in attempting to decide this question of public importance, and
Be it further resolved that we demand of our city council that they submit this matter to the people and that they be governed solely by the express wish of the people in all matters of granting rights pertaining to public welfare, and
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be sent the City Council and a copy to the daily and weekly papers.
J. L. ELLIS,
President.
L. A. RIFENRATH,
Secretary.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 17 February 1914, p. 2, c. 4)

SAYS FRANCHISE IS A VALID ONE
_____

A. G. Whitney Addresses the Council
and Says Work Will be Com-
menced Under Same
_____

THE MAYOR’S VETO IS READ


All members of the city council were present Tuesday evening. President Lagerquist presided.

[...]


A. G. Whitney of St. Cloud, addressed the council and said he and his associates had a valid contract with the city of Brainerd for building and operating a gas plant and that they would proceed to work under its provisions. He was very sorry the aldermen had not seen fit to vote unanimously on the proposition. He and his associates had accepted the contract as made and would build the plant. He hoped it would not be necessary to engage in any litigation.
“We shall stand on the contract as made,” said Mr. Whitney in conclusion.
Alderman Haake, seconded by Alderman Betzold, then made a motion that the gas ordinance be adopted.
Alderman Mahlum, seconded by Alderman Stallman, amended the motion to read that action be deferred to the next regular meeting. On a roll call on this motion the vote stood:
6 ayes, Aldermen Mahlum, Stallman, Hess, Smith, Peterson and Lagerquist. 4 nays, Aldermen Anderson, Betzold, Haake and Gallupe.
A. G. Whitney said he had been let to believe upon inquiry and reading of the franchise discussion that at least 90 percent of the people of Brainerd favored the gas ordinance and that was what he had based his present action on.
Mayor Henning addressed Mr. Whitney and said that in response to the appeal made by the Dispatch to have people write, telephone and talk to him on the matter of a gas franchise, he had received 7 letters, 4 telephone calls and the petitions. Then they had ceased. He said no people had stopped him on the street to protest about the franchise.
President Lagerquist then said, “You know why that happened,” and the mayor answered, “Yes.”
Mr. Whitney said there was not a fairer or more equitable franchise in the state of Minnesota. Any engineer would say so who had examined its provisions.
Mr. Whitney asked Mr. Henning where he gained the material for some of his objections and he said from engineers’ reports and from the city attorney, the latter giving him the legal phase.
The mayor started to talk to the council on the gas franchise and the president of the council waved his gavel. Mr. Henning sat down, objecting.
“You are on the floor more than any other citizen,” said Pres. Lagerquist. “You must give the ten councilmen some credit for having brains of their own. When we want information we shall ask you for it.”
Mr. Whitney resumed the floor and said that any competent engineer would give it as his opinion that the city was amply protected. Regarding the 550 British Thermal Units so much referred to, he said their plant at St. Cloud ran from 575 to 625 British Thermal Units year in and year out. The city had the right to inspect the quality of the gas. He believed in being conservative in his statements regarding gas pressure. But he assured people that Brainerd gas which he would furnish and the gas at St. Cloud which he now furnished would come nearer the 600 mark when tested. It was in the interest of every gas company to keep its gas near the 600 British Thermal Units work. The standard throughout the country was 16-candle power and 550 British Thermal Units.
A resolution from the boilermakers union on the gas franchise stating they favored a municipal plant was read, accepted and filed without debate. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 18 February 1914, p. 3, c.’s 1 & 2)

GAS FRANCHISE DECLARED VALID
_____

Judge C. W. Stanton Sustains Attor-
ney M. E. Ryan on Every
Point He Advanced
_____

MAYOR TOO LATE WITH VETO
_____

Judge Stanton Reviews Controversy—Determines Date of Present-
ment as February 2


A decision by Judge C. W. Stanton, of Bemidji, sustains in every point the contentions of the Light & Power Co., of St. Cloud, that Mayor Henning’s veto was too late to invalidate their Brainerd gas franchise. It is a great victory for Attorney M. E. Ryan, counsel for the company.
The case was taken to the district court and entered State of Minnesota ex rel, Light & Power company, a corporation, petitioner, vs. V. N. Roderick, as the city clerk of Brainerd, correspondent.
In legal phraseology it states that “the above entitled proceedings came before the court at chambers, in the city of Brainerd, in said fifteenth judicial district, on the 16th day of March, 1914, the return day of the alternative writ of mandamus theretofore issued herein, Mr. M. E. Ryan appearing as attorney for the relator, and Mr. D. A. Haggard appearing as attorney for the respondent. On petition and motion Mr. R. A. Henning was permitted by the court to intervene as a party respondent and to interpose his answer, to which order objection was by by the relator. To the ruling of the court the relator excepted.
Respondent V. N. Roderick made return and answer to the petition and alternative writ, whereupon the relator demurred to the answer of both V. N. Roderick, the respondent, and R. A. Henning, intervener, on the grounds that the facts alleged in said answers, and each of them, failed to show a defense to the petition and writ herein.
After careful consideration of the petition and answers and the arguments of counsel, and being fully advised in the premises,
It is ordered that the demurrers to each of said answers be and they are hereby sustained; and
Ordered further that a preemptory writ of mandamus issued herein as prayed for.
Let judgment be entered accordingly.
Dated April 1, 1914. Signed, C. W. Stanton, District Judge.
In his memorandum Judge Stanton reviews the case and says: “the determinative question in this controversy is whether, under the agreed facts as disclosed by the pleadings, the ordinance was ‘presented’ to the mayor on February 2nd or on February 3rd. If it was presented on Monday, February 2nd, it must have been returned by the mayor not later than Saturday, February 7th, in order to give the mayor’s objections any legal effect; or, in other words, if not returned on or before February 7th, it became a legally adopted ordinance without reference to any subsequent act of the mayor. But, if it was not presented until February 3rd, the mayor could make his objections effective by returning it on Monday, February 9th.
“That the ordinance was not only presented to the mayor by the city clerk on February 2nd, but then actually delivered to and taken into physical possession by the mayor, is admitted by the answers; and the mayor’s answer recites, further, that he ‘returned said ordinance to the city clerk’ and requested the said clerk to ‘take back said ordinance.’
“There seems, therefore, to be no room to doubt that the ordinance was fully and completely presented to the mayor on February 2nd and that he knew and understood just what it was. His duty and responsibility was then plain. He had five days thereafter in which to act, and if he failed to act within that time the ordinance would become a law pursuant to the mandatory provisions of the city charter. He certainly could not avoid this responsibility and nullify the requirements of the charter by returning the ordinance to the clerk and directing him to ‘take it back’ and to present it again on the following day. If he could thus extend the time in which the city charter required him to act, for a day, it follows logically that he could in the same manner have extended it for several days, or a week, or a month, or for any period of time to suit his convenience or inclination.
“On principle it therefore seems plain to me that the ordinance was presented to the mayor on February 2nd. And there is judicial authority to sustain this view.
“The substance of the opinion in State of Louisiana vs Michel, 49 L. R. A. 218, is set forth in the syllabus as follows:
“A bill which has passed both houses of the general assembly, and been signed by the presiding officers thereof, is presented to the governor within the meaning of the constitution, when the clerk of the house of representatives or secretary of the senate carries the same to the executive office and offers or tenders it to the governor or his secretary.
“See also McKenzie vs Moor, 14 L. R. A. 251.”
The franchise of the gas company having thus been declared legal by a court decision, Brainerd may soon see the building of the plant, the laying of the mains, the erection of the gas tank, all giving employment to many men and being a contributing factor to an era of prosperity this season such as Brainerd has never witnessed before. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 02 April 1914, p. 5, c.’s 1 & 2)

LOOKS FOR AN APPEAL
_____

Whitney Says Gas Plant Contemplat-
ed for Brainerd Will Cost from
$100,000 to $125,000


The St. Cloud Journal Press quotes A. G. Whitney regarding the recent decision in the gas plant matter as follows:
“A. G. Whitney of this city, president of the Light and Power company in speaking of the matter said that the decision was just as he expected it to be but said nothing in regard to the erection of the plant would be done for several weeks.
“We expect,” said Mr. Whitney, “that Mayor Henning and the City Attorney of Brainerd, since they are firm in the belief that they are in the right, will not stop with the district court on so grave a matter, but will appeal to the supreme court in an effort to prove the righteousness of their stand. In view of this belief,” Mr. Whitney went on, “the Light and Power Co. do not feel justified in going to any more expense than is necessary until assurance is given that the gas franchise ordinance question is entirely settled. Our opinion is that the decision of the district court was proper and we believe that the supreme court will sustain and confirm the decision of the lower court. However, until this is done we will hold from doing anything definite in the way of the erection of a plant.”
When asked what sort of a plant the company had in mind, Mr. Whitney replied: “Our present idea of the gas plant to be erected in Brainerd is an exact duplicate of the plant in this city, which we think is as perfect as a gas plant is able to be. The capacity is sufficient to supply gas to the city without being taxed and since Brainerd is not larger than St. Cloud we think a duplication of the local plant in that city will be entirely satisfactory. The erection of such a plant will cost between $100,000.00 and $125,000.00.” (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 03 April 1914, p. 3, c. 3)

DECIDE ON SITE
_____

Gas Company People Headed by A. G.
Whitney Purchase Location
and Deal is Closed


The St. Cloud people headed by A. G. Whitney who are to put in a gas plant in Brainerd are reported to have decided upon the site and the purchase price and the deal will be closed in a few days. Abstracts of the property are now being examined by the attorneys. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 14 October 1915, p. 5, c. 2)

GAS PLANT STARTS WORK
_____

Light & Power Co. of St. Cloud, Com-
menced on Sewer, 200 feet
Being Laid
_____

SUPT. SPIERING IS IN CHARGE
_____

Site of 300 Feet Square Near Laurel
St. Bridge Purchased from
A. A. White


The Light & Power Co. of St. Cloud, headed by A. G. Whitney, has commenced operations in Brainerd starting their gas plant. A site measuring a whole city block 300 feet square was purchased from A. A. White and is situated near the Laurel street river bridge.
George Spiering is in charge at Brainerd and a crew of men brushed out a path 10 feet wide and the laying of a sewer from the river to the site is underway, some 200 feet having been laid. Plans are now being made for the plant proper and the gas holder. Plans have also been made for nine miles of mains in the city. These will be five inch mains.
Supt. Spiering showed his goodwill toward Brainerd by purchasing every bit of material and supplies in Brainerd. Labor will be trained to various positions at the gas plant thus making it practically a house concern. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 26 October 1915, p. 5, c. 1)

CONSTRUCTION TO START SOON
_____

A. J. Bemis, General Manager of the
Light & Power Co. Gives the
Dispatch an Interview
_____

HOPE TO COMPLETE IT IN MAY
_____

Company Anxious to Push the Work
and It is Hoped Suitable
Trackage Can be Located.


A. J. Bemis of Chicago, recently appointed general manager of the A. G. Whitney public utility interests arrived in Brainerd last night and will be in the city for a few days.
“Construction on the Brainerd gas plant will begin just as soon as the council passes favorably on the location of the side track to the proposed plant on the south side,” said Mr. Bemis in an interview given the Dispatch. Mr. Bemis’ trip to Brainerd has been to get in touch with the local situation, meet the people, look over the ground and see what has been accomplished.
“We hope to complete the plant before May,” said Mr. Bemis. “Three months from the time the frost is out of the ground we should have all mains laid to the business district and to most of the residential sections.”
“Delay in operations cannot be traced to the Light & Power Co.,” said Mr. Bemis. “The company has been anxious to push the work and it is hoped that suitable trackage can be located in the most advantageous situation for the company, for upon it will be brought in the material and equipment and unloaded directly upon the ground.”
“The company will spend in Brainerd from $50,000 to $100,000. Local men will be employed except where experts are necessary. The gas holder will be one of about 50,000 cubic feet capacity, and the plant modern in every respect.”
Mr. Bemis will devote a good deal of his time to Brainerd in connection with the new work and is very much impressed with the town’s future.
The public utilities controlled by A. G. Whitney embrace the electric, gas and street railway at St. Cloud, together with twenty other towns which include Annandale, Paynesville, Cokato, Maple Lake, Dassel, Howard Lake, Eden Valley, Watkins, Kimball, Waverly, Rockville, St. Joseph, Richmond, Cold Springs, Sauk Rapids and of these properties and the gas plant at Brainerd, Mr. Bemis is general manager. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 17 January 1916, p. 5, c. 1)

COUNCIL HAS LONG SESSION
_____

Trackage Ordinance Permitting Gas
Company to Cross Laurel Street
Adopted Unanimously


The most important business considered was the trackage ordinance which was adopted without a dissenting vote, all aldermen being present, and which gives the Light & Power Co. and Northern Pacific railway the right to cross Laurel street with a continuation of the spur track now passing the flour mill and extending to the site of the proposed gas plant.
The city attorney maintained that some compensation should be named for the use of the street as provided by statute and $1 was designated. A. J. Bemis, general manager of the Light & Power Co., thanked the council for the consideration shown the company and stated that material would be on the ground as soon as the frost was out of the ground. The best gas plant known was to be built. They wanted to boost Brainerd and make it twice its size.
Accompanying Mr. Bemis was C. D. Grinnelis [sic] of St. Cloud and H. G. Williams. Mr. Williams has had much experience in the manufacture of gas having been with the United Gas Improvement Co. of Philadelphia and the American Gas Co. of the same city. He has put in the past ten years with gas companies. He will have charge of the gas plant in St. Cloud, Brainerd, Sauk Rapids and East St. Cloud.

[...]

(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 08 February 1916, p. 5, c. 1)

Now that the matter of trackage is settled it is expected that work on the new gas plant will be pushed to completion as soon as spring opens. The St. Cloud gentlemen who appeared before the council last evening and who have been gathering data in the city for some days expressed themselves as well pleased over the prospects and assured the people of Brainerd that the plant would be in operation by July 1st. It now seems that the long expected advent of a gas plant in Brainerd is to become a reality. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 08 February 1916, p. 4, c. 1)

GAS COMPANY FILES INCORPORATION PAPERS
_____

Brainerd Gas & Electric Co., of St.
Cloud, Makes Brainerd Princi-
pal Place of Business
_____

IS CAPITALIZED AT $100,000.00
_____

Northern Pacific Railway Co. to Soon
Build Spur Track, Gas Tank
to be Built Soon


The Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. has been incorporated for $100,000, by St. Cloud capitalists, with Brainerd as its principal place of business and St. Cloud as its principal branch office. The incorporators are President, A. G. Whitney, vice president, R. L. Gale; secretary, A. J. Bemis; treasurer, F. H. Collingson, and G. W. Plank.
Mr. Whitney is one of the most prominent capitalists of the northwest, being at the head of the Whitney utilities of St. Cloud and surrounding territory, his activities include the operation of gas and electric plants, electric street railway and other industries.
R. L. Gale is the president of the Cold Storage Co. of St. Cloud A. J. Bemis is a well known engineering expert and the general manager of all of the Whitney utilities. F. H. Collingson is of St. Cloud. G. W. Plank is the private secretary of Mr. Whitney.
Construction work will soon be underway for the large gas plant in Brainerd. the Northern Pacific railway is about to commence construction of a spur track to the gas plant site. Mains will soon be laid and the town served in summer.
Mr. Whitney has been in Florida some time and is expected in Brainerd and St. Cloud within two weeks and will devote much personal attention to the project. H. G. Williams in charge of gas plants, will superintend operations in Brainerd and is enthusiastic over Brainerd and the prospects for doing business.
G. W. Plank, private secretary of A. G. Whitney, was in Brainerd today and recorded the incorporation papers. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 13 April 1916, p. 5, c. 1)

...The extra gang of 25 men is now engaged in laying the spur track to the site of the new gas plant, the track to extend 400 feet south of Laurel street at a point near the Mississippi bridge. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 18 April 1916, p. 5, c. 1)

MATERIAL ARRIVING
_____

Two Cars of Brick, Three Cars of
Tank Material Arrive at Gas
Company Plant in Brainerd


On completion of the spur track to the site of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. proposed plant, two cars of brick and three cars of gas tank material have arrived and it marks the commencement of active work at the plant. The gas company superintendent of construction is on the ground and has established his home in Brainerd. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 24 April 1916, p. 5, c. 3)

BIG CREW LAYING GAS MAINS HERE
_____

45 to 50 Men Under Orton Houck
Putting in Mains for Brainerd
Gas & Electric Co.
_____

SOLICITORS ARE COMING SOON
_____

House-to-House Canvas to be Made
for all Desiring to Use Gas—
Route of the Mains


Forty-five to fifty men are now given employment in Brainerd laying the mains for the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. Orton Houck is in charge of the work. Mains have been laid down Broadway to Oak and east on Oak.
Wednesday a four-horse breaking plow attacked the alley between Front and Laurel streets, on the north side, starting work for the pick and shovel men and today they are out in force digging from Broadway west to the plant.
In a few days solicitors for the gas company will make a thorough canvass of the city to get subscribers for gas service. The company is fulfilling every pledge made and is assured of doing a successful business in Brainerd. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 18 May 1916, p. 5, c. 4)

LAYING OF MAINS SOON FINISHED
_____

Brainerd Gas & Electric Company has
About Two or Three Miles More
to Lay in City
_____

25,000 GALLONS OIL RECEIVED
_____

Machinery Being Unloaded—Pushing
Machine Shoves Mains 182 Ft.
Under Railway Crossing


G. E. Whitney, head of the Whitney Public Utilities, of St. Cloud and A. J. Bemis general manager, were in Brainerd today, accompanied by H. G. Williams, general superintendent of the gas departments of the company, and inspected construction work at the site and the laying of mains being done by the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co.
Mr. Whitney presented gas to Brainerd early in July, and the novelty of a Fourth of July dinner cooked on a gas range is a possibility. Mr. Whitney has recently returned from the south and Panama where he spent the winter. After a short swing about the streets inspecting the varied activities of his many companies, he will attend the graduation exercises of his son at Yale and his daughter at an eastern school. He looks well and hearty and his southern trip has restored him to his usual good health.
The Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. is making continual progress and is rapidly finishing its system of mains about the city. Two or three miles more remain to be laid and will be put in within a week. Orion Houck has charge of the crews.
What bothers some Brainerd people is wondering how the company will shove a main under cement paving. They have a pushing machine for such a purposes. The machine has pushed 182 feet of gas main under one of the railway crossings. Under the Broadway crossing the machine pushed 161 feet.
25,000 gallons of crude oil have been received. A carload of machinery is being unloaded at the site today. Within a week six or seven crews of five or six men each will start on service work connecting houses to the gas mains.
Sales and display rooms will be maintained in the Citizens State bank building, 613 Laurel street. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 02 June 1916, p. 5, c. 1)

GAS COMPANY PLEASES PEOPLE
_____

Crews Take up Sod to Lay House
Connections and Replace Grass
Very Carefully
_____

SUBSCRIBER PRAISES CREW
_____

Fifteen Houses Connected Saturday
—Three Pipe Fitters and Help-
ers are at Work


The gas company is now busily engaged with crews laying connections from the street mains into the residences. One of the Dispatch subscribers says that his heart jumped when he looked out of his window one morning and saw 75 feet of his sod dug up, but when he returned later in the day it was virtually impossible for passersby to see that the lawn had ever been stepped on, much less cut into. He is full of praise for this crew and wants to advise others who have smart looking lawns that they need have no fear when they see the “gas men” in their yards. It is seldom that laborers take such pains not to undo in one day what a property owner works at for a long time to have appear neat.
On Saturday connections had been made with 15 houses on the north side. Canvas is placed on the lawns and the sand from the excavations is placed on the same. Dirt is tamped from the bottom up when replaced and the utmost care is exercised so that the lawn shows no ill effects.
Three pipe fitters and a crew of helpers are working steadily putting in the connections.
The Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. will have its offices at 613 Laurel street, Citizens State bank building. Brainerd paperhangers and decorators were sent to St. Cloud to view the company’s offices there and to gain first hand the style of decorations to be used at the Brainerd quarters. It is expected to open the Brainerd office within ten days. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 19 June 1916, p. 5, c. 3)

PROMISES GAS BY AUGUST 10
_____

H. G. Williams, Superintendent of
the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co.
Made the Statement
_____

START WITH ABOUT 400 PATRONS
_____

Meters to be Installed Just Before
Service Given—Restaurants
and Others to Use Gas


In a statement made, H. G. Williams, superintendent of gas plants of the Whitney Utilities, promised gas in Brainerd on August 10. Delays have been occasioned by the non-delivery of needed material in the construction of the gas plant. These have now all been surmounted.
Crews are at work connecting houses with the mains. Meters will be installed shortly before the plant operates.
It is expected to start with at least 400 patrons when gas is turned on.
To many a Brainerd housewife this will be her first experiment in cooking with gas and the results will be watched with interest in every block in town. Confectioners, newspapers, garages, restaurants, hotels, etc., are also installing gas.
The local plant will be managed by Supt. Williams. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 03 August 1916, p. 5, c. 1)

STRIKE IS CALLED OFF
_____


Following a satisfactory adjustment of the differences at the gas plant, of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co., where tanks and holders are in course of erection, the strike of boilermakers and helpers has been called off, said J. G. Brown, business agent of the boilermakers’ union.
There was no trouble whatever with the gas company, the differences arising over wage scales as paid by the subcontractor of the general contractor. H. G. Williams, superintendent of the gas company, and C. O. Tenney, vice president of the American Gas Construction Co., were anxious to adjust all matters and things have been arranged to the complete satisfaction of all involved. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 17 August 1916, p. 5, c. 2)

BIG TRUST DEED FILED IN COUNTY
_____

Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. Gives
Deed to Chicago Savings Bank
& Trust Company
_____

BONDS AUTHORIZED $600,000
_____

Real Estate Enumerated, Conduits,
Etc., Secured by First Mortgage
6 Percent Gold Bonds


The Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. has given a trust deed to the Chicago Savings Bank & Trust Co. and William T. Bacon, Trustee, covering their gas plant in Brainerd, real estate, conduits, etc., secured by a first mortgage of 6 per cent gold bonds of a total authorized base of $600,000, dated September 1, 1916 and due Sept. 1, 1936.
The real estate includes all that portion of government lot 2 to section 25, township 43, range 31, lying and being between the southerly line of Laurel street and the north line of Bluff Avenue (now Maple street) produced west, and between the west line of Bluff Avenue and the Mississippi river, the company excepting riparian rights therein from its warranty of the real estate mentioned.
It is expected to supply Brainerd with gas on or about August 25. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 18 August 1916, p. 5, c. 2)

FIRST GAS MADE IN BRAINERD TODAY
_____

Machinery Started up at Brainerd
Gas & Electric Co. Plant in Pres-
ence of Invited Friends of
_____

A. G. WHITNEY, OF ST. CLOUD
_____

Head of Whitney Public Utilities
Much Pleased to See the Plant
Commence Operations


At the invitation of A. G. Whitney of St. Cloud, head of the Whitney public utilities, the man who made possible a modern gas plant in Brainerd, friends witnessed the starting up of the machinery and the making of the first gas ever manufactured in this city.
The plant of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. is situated near the Mississippi bridge and Laurel street. The gas station is a two-story brick building 85 feet long and 45 feet wide, two stories in height. In it are located the generator room, compressor room, etc., and attached to it is the coke shed.
At 12:30 o’clock in the presence of President Whitney, D. C. Tenney, vice president of the American Gas Construction Co., H. G. Williams, general superintendent of the gas department, Jerome Spiering, the local superintendent, and these Brainerd citizens, Henry I. Cohen, N. H. Ingersoll, F. A. Farrar, R. R. Wise, R. M. Sheets, M. C. Sheets, J. W. Koop, F. H. Simpson, John A. Hoffbauer, Carl Adams, C. E. Hansing, steam was turned on and the blower started. At 12:55 the compressor started in action.
The making of gas was now underway and by evening the gas lights will be turned on at the office of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co., 612 Laurel street, in the Citizens State bank building. Tuesday morning the installation of meters will be carried on at homes, restaurants, schools and other places contracting to take gas, following which the mains will be pumped clear of air and the gas turned on.
D. C. Tenney, constructor of the plant, gave a talk on how the gas was manufactured and explained every step of the process. It is known as the Tenney carborated water gas process. The visitors inspected the generator, blower, holder, condenser, two purifying boxes, compressor, the six gas storage tanks, each having a capacity of 10,000 cubic feet at 80 pounds, and the oil tank nearby. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 28 August 1916, p. 5, c.’s 1 & 2)

ENTERTAINS AT LUNCHEON
_____

A. G. Whitney of St. Cloud, Host at
a Dinner at the Ransford Hotel
at 1 O’clock


At 1 o’clock A. G. Whitney, president of the Whitney Utilities, was the host at a dinner at the Ransford. It was an informal affair and signalized the auspicious day when gas was first supplied the city of Brainerd.
At the head of the table sat Mr. Whitney. The guests included R. R. Wise, F. A. Farrar, N. H. Ingersoll, C. E. Hansing, R. M. Sheets, M. C. Sheets, A. B. Witling, H. G. Williams, Jerome Spiering, J. W. Koop, F. H. Simpson, John A. Hoffbauer, Carl Adams, Henry I. Cohen.
Mayor R. A. Beise was out of the city and so was not able to respond to the invitation to dinner.
As the meal progressed, Mr. Whitney told of his experience in Brainerd.
“Two years ago in May I asked for a gas franchise in Brainerd,” said Mr. Whitney. “Since then it has been steady work and the surmounting of considerable obstacles in the securing of material and supplies to finish the plant. Brainerd now has one of the most modern gas plants in the country.”
“Henry I. Lee of Chicago, a gas expert, said it was just a little better than the best he had seen,” said Mr. Whitney.
“I want you all to take a look at the lights at the offices of the gas company in the Citizens State bank building this evening. You will find them the best lights Brainerd has ever had.”
Sixteen years ago, said Mr. Whitney, he took over the gas plant at St. Cloud, which was then in the receiver's hands. By close application to business, by putting in needed improvements, by giving the best of service, the plant has been put on a good paying basis and it has the good will of the citizens.
“You have capable men in your employ,” said Mr. Cohen, as he waved his hand in the direction of Mr. Williams, Mr. Spiering and the others.
“Yes,” said Mr. Whitney, “I have not been in Brainerd since June 1. At that time things were in such fine shape that I went home pleased and happy over everything. Since then the boys have worked hard to complete the plant and they have been successful inspite of all obstacles which may have cropped up.”
Mr. Whitney motored to Brainerd this morning, making the trip from St. Cloud to Brainerd in two and a half hours. He praised the good roads.
It is no wonder that operations conducted by Mr. Whitney are successful. He has that eye for detail and that grasp of affairs which spells success, and he stirs up the enthusiasm of all associated with him in his numerous enterprises. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 28 August 1916, p. 5, c. 5)

EXPLAINS PROCESS
_____

D. C. Tenney of American Gas Con-
struction Co., Tells How Gas
is Made


D. C. Tenney, vice president of the American Gas Construction Co., explained the process of gas making to the visitors. The gas is what is known as carborated water gas, being the latest thing for towns of 15,000 people.
The blower, which was first started up, gets the heat on the gas generator, which is heated to about 2200 degrees Fahrenheit. The steam is introduced on the body of coke and decomposes the steam into blue water gas.
From the generator the gas passes into the carburetor, where oil is jetted on the gas, giving it its illuminating qualities. From there it passes through the super-heater, where the gas is fixed. From there it goes to the wash box and then into the relief holder.
It is then brought back through the purifier to the compressor and pumped into the high pressure storage tank and then distributed through the governor to the street mains.
It enters these mains at a pressure of five pounds and is reduced down to supply gas to the consumer at two and one-half inches.
The gas is of standard quality running from 18 to 20 candle power and has a heating value of 550 British thermal units. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 28 August 1916, p. 5, c.’s 5-7)

Brainerd now ranks with those cities which offer among other commodities for the comfort of present and prospective citizens gas for lighting and cooking purposes, and the people of this city hail with delight the fact that work on the plant of Brainerd Gas & Electric company has progressed so far that the product is now being made and that within a very few days the gas plant will be in full operation. The acquisition of a gas plant gives Brainerd one more point to her advancement and Mr. Whitney and his associates, who made gas possible in this city, are to be congratulated upon their efforts. The plant is up-to-date, adequate, neat in appearance and furnishes Brainerd one more industry that employs labor and adds to the wealth of the community. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 29 August 1916, p. 4, c. 1)

GAS TURNED ON
_____

Offices of Brainerd Gas & Electric
Co. 613 Laurel Street, Illum-
inated Last Night


The offices of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. 613 Laurel street, of the Citizens State bank building, were illuminated Monday evening with gas. The new fixtures showed up in fine shape. Many visited the offices and examined the gas stoves, fixtures, etc.
Today men are busily engaged in installing meters in the residences, restaurants, schools and other places contracting to take gas. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 29 August 1916, p. 5, c. 3)

400 MORE HOMES TO GET GAS SOON
_____

Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. Soon to
have Twenty Men at Work
Putting in Service Mains in City
_____

Shortly Afterwards the Crew of Ten will Fol-
low and Make the Connections
for the Gas Ranges


From 200 to 400 residences are to be given gas service this spring and the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. will soon have a crew of twenty men, all experienced, at work under the direction of Foreman Fred T. Tracy adding so many more patrons to the service.
Miles of gas mains were laid last year and the company was unable to supply all with gas as it was impossible to lay the additional service mains after the heavy frosts set in.
Shortly after the service mains are put in this spring, a crew of ten men will follow and connect up the gas ranges. Supt. Jerome C. Spiering has local men for all this work, men who take pride in doing as little damage, if any at all, to any lawn which must be taken up in spots to permit excavation work. Every bit of sod is carefully replaced, and all dirt is placed on canvas, to be replaced when the job is finished. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 20 April 1917, p. 1, c. 1)

DEMONSTRATION A GREAT SUCCESS
_____

Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. and Do-
mestic Science Girls Received
the Visitors
_____

GAS RANGES PUT THRU PACES
_____

Food Prepared Before Visitors’ Eyes,
Gas Shown to be a Cheap Fuel
in This City


The gas range demonstration given under the auspices of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. at their offices in the Citizens State bank block attracted scores of visitors July 9 and 10.
J. W. Forbes, of Aurora, Ill., who has been twenty years with the Rathbone- Sard Co., manufacturers of gas ranges and A. J. Allen of Minneapolis, district salesman of the company, and a number of the domestic science girls of the Brainerd high school demonstrated the advantages of cooking and baking with a gas range.
Mr. Forbes is sales manager for western territory and in addition a designer and so knows the ranges and every point of excellence.
“During the demonstration here,” said Mr. Forbes, “the main object was to show the operation of the gas ranges and the efficient work that can be done with them.”
“It is a fact that gas is the cheapest fuel in the city today,” said he.
“The splendid cooking and baking as exemplified by the domestic science girls shows that by the perfect operation of gas as fuel a girl 13 or 14 years old can step into a kitchen and bake and cook as the best housewife. Their results attained shows the ranges hold the proper heating temperature. A gas range will produce any amount of heat required by any housewife,” said Mr. Forbes in conclusion.
Miss Grace Drexler marshaled the girls and those present were the Misses Myrtle Bredenberg, Martha Moe, Helen McCaffrey, Myrtle Olson, Cecilia Furst, Mary Peterson, Elsie Anderson, Marie Gabiou and Cleo McGill.
That the demonstration was a success it may be noted that 95 stoves including two hotel ranges were sold and are ready to be set up as soon as the crew of men get to it.
The Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. wished especially to thank Miss Elizabeth Sheldon, Principal R. R. Denison and their pupils in the high school for their kindly cooperation. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 11 July 1917, p. 5, c. 3)

Four connections a day with home ranges are being made by the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. Ten men are engaged in ditch work and two house piping crews are steadily at work. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 16 July 1917, p. 2, c. 3)

STATEMENT BY THE BRAINERD GAS & ELECTRIC CO.
_____


Citizens of Brainerd:
No one regrets as we do the shutdown of our gas plant on December 24th. All of the gas making machinery was furnished by one of the largest and best manufacturers of gas machinery in the country, approved by our Chicago engineer of national reputation, and we believed that from an operating standpoint a shutdown of the plant was practically an impossibility for many years to come. However, the flues in the boiler gave way and the only thing we could do was to shut down the plant and make the necessary repairs. This has been done by working a crew of men night and day and the gas was turned on to the mains this morning.
I want to say to the citizens of Brainerd that we are ordering a second unit, which will be installed in the gas plant as soon as it can be delivered and as soon as this unit is installed, we will have everything in duplicate, putting us in position to eliminate the danger of a recurrence of a shutdown of this kind. Under present conditions it will take a reasonable length of time to get the necessary apparatus on to the ground and get it installed, but I can assure you no time will be lost on our part. I have been engaged in the public utility business for eighteen years and this is the first trouble of this kind that has ever occurred, and no one feels this loss of service as I do, not only for myself but for our many good customers at Brainerd.
Thanking you for your patience, I am,
Yours very truly,
A. G. WHITNEY,
President of the Brainerd
Gas & Electric Company.
December 27, 1917.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 27 December 1917, p. 5, c.’s. 4 & 5)

DUPLICATE GAS GENERATING PLANT
_____

The Brainerd Gas and Electric Com-
pany Announce that They Have
Purchased and Will Install
_____

AT AN ADDITIONAL INVESTMENT
_____

Of $10,000 This Unit by June 30
Which Will Insure Continuous
Service at the Plant


The Brainerd Gas and Electric company announces the purchase of a duplicate gas generating set. This machinery will be shipped to Brainerd on April 1st, 1918, and be installed and ready for operation by June 30th, 1918.
This unit will represent an additional investment by the company at this time of over $10,000, and is being installed to insure a continuity of service, and will practically preclude future shutdowns at their plant.
The American Gas Construction company, of Newton, Ia., have the contract for this installation.
The company aim to make the Brainerd plant second to none in the northwest and will give the best service that any first-class institution of this character can be expected to furnish. It is the wish of the officers to cooperate with patrons in every way possible and any complaints will be taken care of in a perfectly satisfactory manner. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 19 March 1918, p. 5, c. 3)

GAS COMPANY FILES ANNUAL STATEMENT
_____

Year’s Business Ending Dec. 31, 1917
Conducted at a Loss of Over
$8,000 in Brainerd
_____

A. G. Whitney Exhibits Faith in Brainerd by
Ordering Installation of Additional
$10,000 Unit


The Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. has filed with the city clerk its statement of the gross earnings and net earnings of the gas plant and property for the period commencing January 1, 1917, and ending on December 31, 1917 and shows a net loss of $8,582.77.
Gross earnings on gas were $13,386.23 and custom work and merchandise $4,221.68, making a total of $14,607.91. The operating expenses amounted to $23,190.68.
When the franchise was first granted the gas company, A. G. Whitney anticipated some loss would be incurred in the first five years, especially as gas was a new thing in Brainerd and time would have to be spent in a campaign of education in the use of gas.
The war raised the price of coal and coke to high points never figured on. The war has also advanced the costs of oil, machinery, etc.
In the face of all these high costs, the company exhibits its unlimited faith in Brainerd and plans the addition of a duplicate gas generating plant costing over $10,000, the machinery of which will be shipped to Brainerd on April 1 and be installed and ready for operation by June 30.
The unit is being installed to insure a continuity of service and will practically preclude any future shutdowns at the plant. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 26 March 1918, p. 1, c. 7)

A MAN OF HIS WORD
_____


When A. G. Whitney promised Brainerd good gas service he meant it and his words have been backed up by the announcement of the installation of a second unit to supplement the first and to obviate any breakdowns and guarantee continuity of service.
Mr. Whitney is not a man given to words and lets his deeds speak for themselves. The Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. is daily extending its service to the homes of Brainerd and housewives have become so accustomed to the use of gas for cooking that many could not get along without it and all wonder how they ever attended to kitchen economics without such a great convenience.
The company is facing high costs in coal, coke, oil, machinery, etc., war costs never anticipated by an engineer, but Mr. Whitney maintains his faith in Brainerd and the country at large and orders the extra unit.
Brainerd may well be proud of the St. Cloud man and his company who are in charge of the gas utility of this city. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 26 March 1918, p. 4, c. 2)

COUNCIL HAD LONG MEETING LAST NIGHT
_____

Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. Asks for
Increase in Gas Rates Owing to
Increased War Costs
_____

A. G. Whitney Presents Cause of Company


A. G. Whitney of the Gas & Electric Company presents his case to the public for an increase in rates, 11 May 1918. A 864x1344 version of this photo is also available for viewing online.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
A. G. Whitney of St. Cloud appeared in behalf of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. and asked for an increase in rates on gas charged consumers, owing to the increased war costs on materials, supplies, labor, etc.
Wages, said he, had increased from 10 per cent to 40 percent. Steam coal had increased 120 percent in cost since the war started. Gas coal increased 160 percent. Gas oil 233 percent. Lubricants 40 percent. Boiler room supplies 29 percent. Wrought iron pipes 150 percent. Fire bricks 100 percent. Purifying materials 60 percent. Generating apparatus 100 percent.
The scale of rates for Brainerd under the ordinance had been prepared under normal conditions and no one at that time anticipated a European war. Taxes had increased, freights, etc.
On August 28, 1916, the plant had been started in Brainerd and it was expected to lose money the first two years. Last year the people did not buy stoves as freely as anticipated. The year 1917 was closed with 475 consumers in Brainerd. Today a high mark of 495 had been reached. There was carried $9,000 in supplies, stoves, etc., and on account of the war the company could not get the business.
There was a heavy loss for the company of $8,582.77 as mentioned in the statement filed with the city clerk.
Mr. Whitney asked for a general increase of 50 cents a thousand and the council committee had suggested 35 cents. Mr. Whitney asked for the raise during the war or until conditions had stabilized.
Last winter the company experienced a shutdown and to obviate any more trouble another unit had been ordered costing $10,000. The people of Brainerd were entitled to 100 percent efficiency in gas, water, electric light or any other public utility. He said the rates in Brainerd were low at the beginning and lower than many cities of the state enjoyed. Brainerd’s rate was $1.35 a thousand while Hibbing paid $1.80. Bemidji $1.85 and Crookston, too, was higher.
An increase of 35 cents a thousand would enable the company to do business until conditions became normal. It was the intention of the company, said Mr. Whitney, to extend gas service from Brainerd to neighboring towns. The Brainerd gas plant was essentially a Brainerd institution, at Brainerd and for Brainerd. The company had subscribed to the Liberty Loan, Red Cross, were members of the Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Plank of the company had been in conference with the council special committee, Aldermen Stallman, Lyonais, Strickler and Hall.
Another meeting called for Monday was not held, said Mr. Whitney, as he had arrived late in Brainerd and believed that a complete report made to the council as a whole would do away with covering the same ground twice.
Alderman Lyonais said he thought company representatives would meet the people at a mass meeting. The people had some voice as they paid for the gas.
Mr. Whitney said the council represented the people, all the wards.
Alderman Andrew Anderson said there were three public utilities, and telephone and electricity and care should be taken in setting precedents.
The average bill for gas in Brainerd, counting 475 consumers, was $2.63 a month, said Mr. Whitney. A great deal depended on the care exercised in using gas. They had a cook in their family who served good meals and gave them plenty to eat and the gas bill was $7 a month. Another cook was engaged later when the first one left them, and she used $16 a month in gas and gave them nothing to eat.
Alderman Strickler wanted to know how the present gas tested, and was informed it was 16 to 18 candle power and that there was testing apparatus at the plant.
Alderman Anderson said the special committee should make a report. There was a recess of ten minutes and they conferred and then said they would report on Tuesday evening, at which time the council elects new officers.
Aldermen Hall and Turcotte expressed themselves in favor of granting the increase asked. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 07 May 1918, p. 1, c. 1; p. 5, c. 4)

GAS EXPERT ENGINEER
_____

Gas Company to Send Man to Brain-
erd to Visit Various Homes in the
City for Rechecking


A. G. Whitney, of the Brainerd Gas & Electric company, was in the city from St. Cloud this morning and in discussing the matter of a raise in the price of gas in Brainerd owing to war conditions, said:
“It has been brought to my personal attention that with some of the gas ranges the flame is too high and too red and that the flame pops out, and that some of our consumers have thought it was due to the quality of the gas. This is not the case. The gas manufactured in Brainerd averages fully 580 British Thermal Units in heat value and 16 candlepower continuously, while the standard is but 550 British Thermal Units and 16 candlepower. I know positively that there is not a plant in the state of Minnnesota that is furnishing a better quality of gas than the Brainerd plant. This trouble is purely local and is due wholly to improper regulation of the air mixer on the stove or an accumulation of dust in the burner. In order to correct this condition we shall send to Brainerd at once an expert gas engineer to visit the various homes in this city and carefully recheck and regulate, where necessary, every range and gas appliance including the governors. This expert will also give special instructions to all housewives and servants in the regulation of their ranges and other gas appliances. It is always our aim to furnish the best possible service to our consumers.” (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 15 May 1918, p. 5, c. 3)

EXPRESSES HIS DISAPPOINTMENT
_____

A. G. Whitney of Brainerd Gas &
Electric Co., Wished Action on
Gas Amendment
_____

ASSERTS HIGHER RATE NEEDED
_____

Gives Order to Hold in Abeyance In-
stallation of New Unit—Boiler
Trouble at the Plant


In an interview with A. G. Whitney, of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co., the latter said:
“We were disappointed last night when your city council failed to pass the ordinance permitting the Brainerd Gas and Electric company to add a surcharge to its gas bills during the period of the war. Much to our regret the matter was laid over for two weeks. This delay is exceedingly serious in view of the fact that our plant is not safe to run in its present condition with only one generating unit. We will have faith in the fairness of your local authorities and instead of canceling the order outright for our duplicate unit, costing $10,000.00 which unit is absolutely essential for continuity of service—the only service we would think of giving Brainerd—we have this morning sent the following telegram to the American Gas Construction Company of Newton, iowa, from whom we are purchasing the new unit:
Brainerd Minn., May 21, 1918.
American Gas Construction Co.,
Newton, Iowa.
Please hold order in abeyance, if possible, until after June third next council meeting here. Cannot accept any part of apparatus at this time and unless council permits increased rates will necessitate our canceling the order outright June fourth. Letter follows.
(Signed) THE LIGHT & POWER CO.
of St. Cloud,
A. G. Whitney, President.
“Yesterday, unfortunately we had the same trouble with our boiler that we had last Christmas and it was only the very best of good luck and by working a large force of men continually yesterday and all of last night that we were able to resume the making of gas this morning at 6:30. Due to the city water being shut off yesterday without notice we were not able to carry the usual quantity of stored gas. Our anxiety and haste in this matter is due to the fact that with but one generating unit installed, which has been in continuous service since August 28, 1916, the plant is left in a dangerous condition as it is well known that it is necessary to shutdown a boiler at regular intervals in order to keep it in a high state of efficiency. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 21 May 1918, p. 5, c. 2)

ANENT THE GAS RAISE
_____


Not many months ago, the Brainerd gas plant failed to deliver the goods and many of our good housewives lost what they had prepared for the feast days of that time.
Mr. Whitney was very sorry that such a thing should come to pass and stated that in his many years of serving the public he had never failed before—or words to that effect. He added that a second unit would be ordered without delay and that it would be rushed so that no interruption would occur again. He would give this fair city of ours the kind of service it should have, the best, and asked us to have patience for just a short time and all would be satisfactory. We do not attempt the exact words of the head of our gas plant—they are a matter of record in the press—but we repeat the usual understanding taken from the statements made by Mr. Whitney and his superintendent at the time referred to.
On the 21st of this month, the Dispatch printed an interview with Mr. Whitney in which that gentleman is reported to have said that he is sorry that the city council failed to “pass the ordinance permitting the Brainerd Gas & Electric company to add a surcharge to its gas bills during the period of the war.”
Right there is the first thing that causes us to question the whole proposition and we ask why the whole condition was not mentioned in Mr. Whitney’s statement for that ordinance so reads that the surcharge might be claimed for a very much longer period than for the duration of the war.
The gas company have given us all to understand that we would be supplied in the best manner with a good quality of gas and that it was only right that another unit should be added to the first one and that such was the original plan.
We have been given to understand that a plant would be installed in Brainerd which would give service equal to that given in any other city and the rate to be $1.35.
This rate looked pretty high when considered with the Duluth rate and the difference in cost of coal at the two places. However, we wanted gas and were willing to stand for the rate and otherwise boost for the improvement.
It would seem from the interview given out by the gas company on the 21st inst., that they have changed their minds about what is the right thing to do and now modify that proposition about installing the second unit unless the consumers pay for it by standing for a “surcharge” of 35c for the duration of the war and then some.
To show that the gas company is not bluffing (?) in this matter, they gave the press a copy of a telegram which, when given space in the paper, is only another way of saying that unless the gas consumers get this measure through there will be no second unit and they may not get uninterrupted service as was promised by the gas company.
Mr. Whitney states that his plant, or the boiler part of it, at least, is in a “dangerous condition” owing to there being only one unit installed. It would seem to us that it would be good business on the part of the gas company to install another unit and thereby protect its plant and keep to its word and agreement.
The city has done its part, just as it has agreed to do it and the consumers have done what they agreed to do. Both the city and the consumers have a right to expect the gas company to do as they have said they would do.
It is to be regretted that the war has reached its awful arm in our direction and we wish it might be over with as soon as possible. However, it is one of those conditions which have to be discounted when undertaking and business. If all the contracts being carried out by the consumers or some of them could also be favored with a ”surcharge” it might make a difference. Some of the rest of us did not figure the discount large enough and we are having to stand for it. We fail to see why we should have to stand for the failure of the “other fellow.”
If the city of Brainerd or the consumers have to pay for a second unit for the gas company, it might be good business to buy it for themselves and call it their first unit. It might be a good business. It is in Duluth and the rate there is 75c per. They have a good rate and good gas.
GAS USER.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 24 May 1918, p. 4, c. 2)

GAS RAISE IS AUTHORIZED
_____


The council Monday evening with seven members present voted 6 to 1 and passed the amendment to the gas ordinance permitting the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. to raise the price 35c a thousand for the duration of the war and not to exceed two years after peace is declared. (when it is believed normal conditions will be restored), and the older cheaper rate automatically takes effect again.
Voting aye were Aldermen Turcotte, Ole Anderson, Andrew Anderson, Gustafson, Stallman and President Koop.
Voting nay: Alderman Strickler.
Absent: Aldermen Hall, Peterson and Lyonais.
The amendment takes effect a week after its publication.
Speakers for the gas company and favoring granting the increase included M. E. Ryan, O. J. Oberst, F. H. Simpson, Henry I. Cohen and Carl Adams. Mr. Adams asserted that at the $1.60 net rate consumers would save 40 to 50 percent over any other kind of fuel. It must be remembered that all kinds of fuel have advanced in Brainerd.
Alderman Andrew Anderson reported a meeting of gas consumers he had called in the fourth ward for the purpose of getting their attitude on the increase in rates. Thirty-six were notified and twenty-five came to the meeting. When a vote was taken, twenty-three favored the increase. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 04 June 1918, p. 1, c. 1)

ORDINANCE NO. 295


An Ordinance to amend Ordinance No. 259 of the city of Brainerd, Minnesota, entitled “Ordinance Number 259, an Ordinance granting unto the Light & Power Company, a corporation, organized under the laws of Minnesota, its successors and assigns, the right to construct, operate and maintain a gas plant and works for the manufacture and supplying of gas for all purposes in the city of Brainerd, Minnesota, and fixing the the rate to be charged for supplying gas for household, domestic and other purposes.”
The Council of the City of Brainerd do ordain:
Section 1. That Ordinance No. 259 of the ordinances of the City of Brainerd, Minnesota, is hereby amended by amending Section 10 thereof to read as follows, to wit:

Section 10. For and in consideraton of the rights and privileges granted by this ordinance, the said Grantee hereby agrees during the term hereof to furnish an adequate supply of gas of standard make, either carburetted water gas, or coal gas, or a mixture of the two, of the quality in this ordinance set forth, at a maximum price to private consumers not to exceed One and 50-100 Dollars ($1.50) per thousand (1,000) cubic feet of gas used for illuminating purposes, and not to exceed One and 35-100 Dollars ($1.35) per thousand (1,000) cubic feet of gas used for fuel purposes.
It is provided, however, that a discount of ten cents (10) cents per thousand (1,000) cubic feet shall be made to any consumer who shall pay the amount of his bill, less said reduction at the office of said Light & Power Company, its successors or assigns, in the City of Brainerd, Minnesota, in cash on or before the 20th day of the month succeeding that for which his bill is made; this discount to be for those using twenty thousand (20,000) cubic feet or less per month. For those using over twenty thousand (20,000) cubic feet and less than thirty thousand (30,000) cubic feet, fifteen (15) cents per thousand cubic feet; for those using over thirty thousand (30,000) cubic feet and less than forty thousand (40,000) cubic feet, twenty (20) cents per thousand (1,000) cubic feet and less than fifty thousand (50,0000) cubic feet, twenty-five (25) cents per thousand (1,000) cubic feet; for those using over fifty thousand (50,000) cubic feet and less than sixty thousand (60,000) cubic feet, thirty (30) cents per thousand (1,000) cubic feet; and for those using sixty thousand (60,000) cubic feet or more, thirty-five (35) cents per thousand (1,000) cubic feet.
Provided, further that the said Light & Power Company, its successors or assigns, hereby agree with the City of Brainerd, Minnnesota, by the acceptance hereof to furnish said city for street lighting purposes only, street lamps to be furnished by the city, wherever its pipes may be located, such gas as may be required by the city for ninety (90) percent of the regular minimum price at the time gas is used.
Said Light & Power Company, its successors and assigns, further agree to reduce the price of gas at the rate of five (5) cents per thousand cubic feet when the output shall have reached twenty-five million (25,000,000) cubic feet per annum.
Provided, however, any provision of this ordinance to the contrary notwithstanding, that, by reason of the sudden and unprecedented increase in the costs of manufacturing and supplying artificial gas resultant from conditions brought about by the present war, said Grantee, its successors and assigns, is hereby granted the right, for and during the period of the present war and thereafter until conditions again become normal, meaning by normal condition the conditions which would have been attained normally had war conditions not intervened, which shall not exceed two (2) years next following the date of the Proclamation by the President of the United States of the exchange of ratifications of the Treaty of Peace, to add to its bills for gas furnished to said city and its inhabitants for illuminating and fuel purposes an emergency “surcharge” of thirty-five cents (35c) per thousand (1,000) cubic feet of gas used.

Section 2. That the Brainerd Gas and Electric Company, the assignee of the Grantee named in said Ordinance Number 259, shall file its written acceptance hereof with the City Clerk of the City of Brainerd within thirty (30) days after the passage and publication of this ordinance.
Section 3. this ordinance shall take effect and be in force for the period hereinbefore specified from and after one (1) week after the day of its publication, it being the intention of said council that at the expiration of said period said Section 10 of said Ordinance No. 259 shall forthwith be reinstated according to its original terms.
Passed at a regular meeting of said council held on the 3rd day of June, 1918.
F. M. KOOP,
President of the Council of the
City of Brainerd, Minnesota.
Attest:
A. MAHLUM.
City Clerk.
(Seal of the City of Brainerd)
Approved this 6th day of June, 1918.
R. A. BEISE.
Mayor, City of Brainerd.
Published June 6th, 1918.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 June 1918, p. 6, c.’s 5 & 6)

AT GAS PLANT
_____

Brainerd Gas Plant Installing New
Unit Fire Brick Coming
From St. Louis


The Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. is installing its second unit, having boiler and shell work in. A special size firebrick is coming from St. Louis and construction work awaits its arrival. Packing, valves, fittings, etc., are here. H. S. Boyd, constructing engineer, is in charge, with a crew of five men.
J. H. Viereg, superintendent came from St. Cloud to view construction.
A. B. Willing, local superintendent, has a crew laying mains and putting in new service connections. Four hundred feet of new main was laid last week. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 19 June 1918, p. 5, c. 1)

DEMONSTRATOR ARRIVES
_____

Mrs. A. M. McQuaig of New York
City in City to Interest People
in New Laundry Method


An ad for the Locomotive Electric Washer, soon to be demonstrated by Mrs. McQuaig, 13 October 1919.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
Mrs. A. M. McQuaig of New York City has arrived in Brainerd and will demonstrate at the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co., the new Locomotive washing machine. She is well versed in the capabilities of washing machinery and believes the electro-gas type one that all women should see. She will remain a week or more at the gas company offices. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 29 October 1919, p. 3, c. 2)

LOSS RECORDED BY GAS COMPANY
_____

Statement of Secretary of Brainerd
Gas & Electric Company is
Filed
_____

WITH THE LOCAL CITY CLERK
_____

Net Earnings Were $27,758.50
General Expenses Were
$42,396.35


According to the statement of the secretary of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. as filed with the city clerk, the Brainerd Gas & Electric Company did business here last year at a loss of $14,637.85.
The net earnings were $27,758.50 and the general expense $42,396.35.
In the section devoted to gross earnings, the gas sales amounted to $27,952.43. Merchandise sales amounted to $9,180.27 less labor $1,040.58 and material $6,762.17 total of $7,802.75 leaving net $1,377.52. This plus the gross gas sales made $29,329.95 less discounts gave the net earnings at $27,758.50.
In deductions figured the production expenses amounted to $15,147.22, the distribution expense $2,365.29; the general expense $21,883.74, making a total of $42,396.35. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 01 April 1920, p. 5, c. 4)


IN BUSINESS FOR HIMSELF
_____

Arthur B. Willing, Popular Superin-
tendent to Leave Brainerd Gas
& Electric Co. Employ
_____

TO LOCATE NEAR ST. CLOUD
_____

In Brainerd Built up Gas Users from
No Customers to 715, In Ser-
vice Here 4 Years


Arthur B. Willing, superintendent of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. plant in Brainerd since May 8, 1916, has severed his connection with the company to take effect June 15 and will leave Brainerd and engage in the electrical business in the vicinity of St. Cloud.
Mr. Willing came to Brainerd when the mains of the company measured 10 miles. Today the mileage has increased to 13. He came when the plant had no gas users and he leaves 715 patrons and gas installations being added to ten additional homes this week. He sold practically every gas stove used by patrons.
The multifarious duties of Mr. Willing were not those of a superintendent who merely holds down a desk job. They included such things as general manager, superintendent, salesman, pipefitter, trouble man, gas maker, coal unloader, tar pusher coupled with a diplomatic nature and fund of conversation which would appease an angry patron who believed she had a complaint.
Mr. Willing and his estimable wife enjoyed a wide acquaintance in Brainerd and took part in much of the social life of the city and their many friends regret seeing them leave and extend to them their best wishes for prosperity in their new location.

Clerk Changes

Miss Elsie Carlson, efficient bookkeeper and office assistant of the company since 1916, leaves the employ of the company and will be succeeded by Miss Vivian McPheran. Miss Carlson also possessed in the highest degree tact, patience and ability and her ready smile will be missed. Miss McPheran, her successor, was stenographer at the Chamber of Commerce and previously graduated from the business department of the local high school. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 03 June 1920, p. 5, c. 1)

EVERYTHING OFF ON SUNDAY
_____

No Water, Gas or Electric Current
for a Considerable Period of
the Sabbath Day
_____

AND BALL TEAM WAS OFF TOO
_____

Notice Given in Dispatch of Turning
Off Water, Gas Man Should Have
Stored Up Reserve of Gas


Sunday was a decidedly “off” day.
As previously notified citizens by the Dispatch, the water was to be turned off early Sunday to permit of water main connections. So Saturday enough baths were taken and enough water stored away to last over Sunday.
About 11:20 of the Sabbath the gas fiddled low and was soon out, just as meal time approached. Inquiry at the plant elicited the fact that the pump was minus water, which any one knows would happen when the water department had given notice of shutting off the water. The man at the plant said he did not pay much attention to the daily paper and that nobody had notified him of the water being turned off. The plant has many gas storage tanks there and these should have been filled with gas to tide over an emergency such as that of Sunday.
To add to the general discomfort some repair work had been done at the electric power station and suddenly the power was turned off in the city. The man at the plant said everything was all right at his end of the line and examination was made throughout the city for the break. At length it was located. The switch had been turned off at the power station.
The worst part of the day was at dinner time. There was not any water, or electric current and everybody in town ate cold dinners, pickled dinners, canned dinners. Some went to the hotels, but they were in as much of a quandary as any householder for they were also minus heat for cooking except for meager wood supplies.
With such an example of “off” things in town June 6, it’s no wonder the ball team was “off” too and lost 7 to 0 to Crosby. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 07 June 1920, p. 5, c. 1)

GAS COMPANY ASKS TO RAISE RATES
_____

Claim Made That a Raise is Neces-
sary in Order to Continue Its
Service to People
_____

GEO. B. CORTELYOU QUOTED
_____

Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. Claims
to Have Stood Heavy Loss the
Past 3 1/2 Years


The Brainerd Gas & Electric company desires an increase in rates, claiming the company has lost money on its Brainerd gas plant for the last three and a half years.
This statement was given the Brainerd Dispatch as the gas company side of the case:
“The emergency confronting the gas companies all over the United States is immediate and far reaching and the evidence presented by gas manufacturers, advising the public of the real conditions, is not for the purpose of obtaining excessive rates or unwarranted returns upon invested capital, is the declaration made by Mr. Geo. B. Cortelyou, President of the American Gas Association, Mr. Cortelyou in a brief statement sets forth the immediate needs of gas companies, that they may continue a service so vital to such a large percentage of the people in the United States, that the interest of the public is just as great as the interest of the manufacturer. Mr. Cortelyou’s statement is as follows:
“The emergency is immediate and far reaching. It embraces the entire gas industry. Economic conditions—many of them of world-wide extent and influence— affecting the supply of coal, oil and other essential materials required in the manufacture of gas, of labor and of the funds needed to maintain and develop our properties, are not bogies invented by the industry to secure preferential treatment, excessive rates, or unwarranted returns upon the investment. They are plain facts.
“All over this land today gas companies, great and small, are rendering, often under most adverse conditions, this service so vital to the welfare and comfort of our people. What they need and should have, in the interest of the public, is the reasonable certainty of adequate rates and a sufficient supply of oil, coal and other necessary supplies, and such manufacturing and operating conditions, as will utilize and conserve these materials, as well as contribute to all other economics of production and distribution.
“It is absolutely necessary that the gas rates in this city be increased to a sufficient sum to save the company from losing any more money on the gas plant. The company has stood this burden now for the last three and one-half years, but it will be necessary that immediate action be given.”

Submitted to Council

On June 7 of this year the gas company applied to the council for a raise in rates and the application was tabled.
An increase of 90c per 1,000 cubic feet over rates now in force was asked.
The application stated in part:
“When this is added to the original increase of 35c, it will mean a complete increase from the original ordinance rate of 100 percent, which will then not be sufficient to pay operating cost of the plant and we will still be losing quite a sum,” wrote President A. G. Whitney of the company. A request has also been made to increase the minimum to $1.25.
The original rate was $1.50 per 1,000 feet for illuminating gas and $1.35 per thousand for fuel gas, with a minimum charge of 50c. On June 3, 1918 an emergency surcharge of 35c per thousand cubic feet was added by order of the council. A ten percent discount is made if the payments for gas are made on or before the twentieth of the month.
“Taxes,” wrote Mr. Whitney in June, “were heavy in Brainerd and a large amount of water is used from the city water plant. Two years ago a second unit was added at a cost of $10,000. It is necessary to add another boiler now. 704 customers are using gas.”
The company, it may be stated, have also recently added a pump to furnish water during the many shutdowns of the city plant or sections of the city while mains are being connected in the new water system.
It is expected that the council will consider the company’s application more fully at the next regular meeting on Monday evening, August 2. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 30 July 1920, p. 5, c. 1)

ACCIDENT AT GAS PLANT
_____

Blow Off Pipe on Safety Valve Gave
Way and Steam Filled the Boil-
er Room in Morning


The city was without gas for a short period Friday morning near the noon hour when a blow off pipe on the safety valve gave way and steam filled the boiler room. Repairs were made as quickly as possible and service restored. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 30 July 1920, p. 5, c. 2)

CONSUMERS TO TAKE UP GAS RAISE
_____

Council Decides on Joint Meeting of
Gas Company, Council and Gas
Consumers


The council, with all members there, had a long session Monday evening lasting until well past the midnight hour.

Gas Company Wants Raise

G. W. Plank of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Company addressed the council and made a plea for increased rates for gas service. He explained the company’s side, their need for increased rates, asserting the company had lost over $42,000 in running the plant since its inception and that $12,000 had been lost the last year, and that while A. G. Whitney, head of the company, had asked for a 90c increase in his letter to the council and mayor, that a larger increase was imperative. The minimum, said he was to be set at $1.25.
He asked further that a committee be named by the council to investigate his statements on running costs, expenses of the past, etc. Mr. Plant maintained the company should have a fair return on its investment in order to exist. In any investigation of company books, Mr. Plank said the company would pay the cost of a certified accountant if necessary.
On motion of Aldermen Koop and Lyonais, carried, the council and gas company are to make a joint request for a mass meeting to be held August 12 or later, that the gas company notify the city clerk of the date of meeting set, and the gas company also notify each consumer, and that the chairman of the meeting be the mayor, Hon. F. E. Little. Such meeting will probably be held in the district court room in the court house. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 03 August 1920, p. 5, c. 1)

COMPRESSOR BLEW UP AT THE GAS PLANT
_____

Half of Roof of the Plant Blown Into
the Air, Explosion Scared
Residents Nearby
_____

FLED FROM THEIR HOMES
_____

No One Killed or Injured—Cylinder
Claimed Overheated With Low
Water Pressure


The compressor of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. gas plant blew up at 5:20 o’clock this morning and the noise of the explosion scared people for blocks around the gas plant. They fled for their lives. Some went under the Mississippi river bridge, others to the north side.
Edward Sargent and family said there was a roar as the first intimation of trouble and then followed a sharp explosion and the fire bell rang. Mr. Sargent took his family to the pop factory near the tracks.

Hero of Explosion

No one was killed or even injured. The compressor is badly wrecked and half of the steel roof was torn off. All windows at the plant were smashed. No damage was done to any buildings in the vicinity of the gas plant.
The hero of the explosion was Fay Davis. He and Leonard Ongman were at the plant. When the cylinder of the compressor snapped off, Davis ran to the engine room and grabbed the steam valve of the compressor and turned off steam, thus checking the speed of the flywheel.
As he turned the valve, sections of the compressor flew past his ears, one large chunk missing his head by a few inches.

Gas Flames Belch Forth

A withering gas flame belched from the wrecked compressor and the fire department, responding to the alarm, turned on its hose. It could not be put out that way, and was extinguished when the valve at the tank was closed.
Men of the plant lost considerable clothes and tools which they had in the engine room.
The superintendent of the gas plant claimed that low water pressure overheated the piston cylinder and that it ignited the gas, resulting in the explosion. A new compressor has been ordered and other repair parts needed.

Trying to Furnish Gas

The gas plant superintendent said efforts would be made to supply Brainerd with gas by feeding directly through the holder on low pressure.
Workmen were busy at the plant today cleaning up wreckage and making what repairs they could.

Company Officers

St. Cloud officers of the gas company were expected in Brainerd by automobile
A joint meeting of gas consumers, city council and gas company officers is scheduled at 8 o’clock this evening at the district court room in the court house to consider the company’s appeal for a raise in rates. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 12 August 1920, p. 5, c. 1)

GAS CONSUMERS TO MEET TONIGHT
_____

Joint Meeting of Gas Users, City
Council and Company Represen-
tatives at Court House
_____

THE COMPANY WANTS A RAISE
_____

Claims Higher Rates Required to
Make a Reasonable Return on
Their Investment


At 8 o'clock this evening a joint meeting of gas consumers, city council and gas company representatives will be held at the district court room of the county court house, Mayor F. E. Little presiding.
The gas company claims that higher rates are imperatively necessary to give the company a reasonable return on its investment. They claim the price of everything which enters into the making of gas, materials and production expense, has risen beyond anything contemplated when the company first started in the city.
The city council wished to permit consumers to have a voice in the matter too and so the arrangement was perfected for a joint meeting.
The explosion of Thursday morning has handicapped the company in making gas and the city may be without this public necessity for two days or until such time temporary arrangements will bridge over matters until the new compressor arrives. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 12 August 1920, p. 5, c. 3)

TO CLOSE GAS PLANT IN CITY
_____

“After Accident and Losses Only
Thing Left for Us to Do,” Said
A. G. Whitney
_____

AT THE COURT HOUSE MEETING
_____

Joint Meeting Held Thursday Even-
ing of Council, Gas Company
and Consumers


Brainerd today has no gas plant functioning and seems in a fair way to lose the plant, according to the statement made by President A. G. Whitney of the Brainerd Gas & Electric company at the joint meeting of city council, gas company held at the court house on Thursday evening.
Every seat was taken in the district court room by men and women and as many more as could stand in the room and hallway were sandwiched in to hear what action the mass meeting took.
Mayor F. E. Little presided and made a short talk. He was followed by Mr. Whitney of the gas company.
Mr. Whitney recited the losses claimed to have been sustained by the company by rising costs of coal, coke, oil, in fact everything that entered into the making and selling of gas.
Mr. Whitney gave figures on costs of gas for various months of this year, the bare cost and then the cost plus depreciation and interest charges, and both largely exceeded the rate charged in Brainerd, which with discounts amounts to $1.60. “For instance,” said he, “gas cost the company $2.10 a thousand in the month of January, and $3.28 when allowing for depreciation and interest. In May the cost of gas was $3.36 and plus interest and depreciation $4.15.”

Recites Heavy Losses

Up to April 30, as he said his books showed, the company had lost over $42,000 in operating its Brainerd plant.
“Our losses have been such that we cannot continue,” said Mr. Whitney.
He said he had come to Brainerd Thursday to ask for an increase to $3 a thousand, and that rate would have to be one varying according to coal, coke, etc., prices, raising as these advanced and lowering as they decreased.
Then came the accident at the plant of Thursday morning when the compressor and other valuable machinery was wrecked. He was no engineer, but estimated the damage at $8,000. Mr. Spiering, when interviewed later, said the damage to the plant included loss of all instruments to test gas pressure, gauges, damage to compressor, etc.

Close the Plant

“The only thing left to do is to close the plant,” said Mr. Whitney. “We do not think you would grant us an increase large enough to continue. The company could not raise $8,000 on our record of losses, unless I advanced it myself, and that I did not care to do under present conditions.”

Answering Questions

Mr. Whitney answered a number of questions in regard to cost of gas in other cities. Minneapolis with 93,000 consumers had $1.14 gas. The St. Cloud old rate was $1.35 and they were asking for an increase there.
The gas plant in Brainerd had the benefit of any profits made in their store at Brainerd.
The company had not made a sufficient charge for interest and depreciation in Brainerd.
The city can take over the plant at an appraisement arrived at by one appraiser named by the city, one by the company and a third selected by the two.
It would give Brainerd a black eye to lose its gas plant.
As to the cause of the accident it was believed that low water pressure had heated the compressor. The company is putting in an independent water supply, but had not used the same as yet. It would have been completed Saturday.

Motion to Buy Gas Plant

A. L. Hoffman made a motion that it be the sense of the meeting that the city purchase the gas plant.
F. E. Ebner offered a substitute motion that inasmuch as the meeting had been called to consider a raise in gas rates, and failing in that, we adjourn which carried. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 13 August 1920, p. 5, c. 1)

PLAN FORMED TO CONTINUE PLANT
_____

A. G. Whitney, President of Gas Com-
pany, Proposes Brainerd Buy
Stock in Plant
_____

TO ASSURE LOCAL COOPERATION
_____

Minimum at $3, Rate at $3, to Assure
7 1/2 Per Cent on the Invest-
ment


Pres. A. G. Whitney, of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co., met with businessmen of the city late Friday afternoon and it is believed a plan will be worked out to continue gas making in Brainerd. The committee named is expected to have a report formulated to present to the council meeting next Monday evening.
At 1:30 Friday afternoon a conference of businessmen of the city, many being large users of gas, was addressed by A. G. Whitney, president of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co., who explained his position, the needs of the company, the necessity of a sliding scale of rates based on a guarantee of at least 7 1/2 percent on their investment and the necessity of selling $25,000 of stock in the company in Brainerd in order to assure local backing and cooperation.
R. R. Wise was temporary chairman. On motion of Con O’Brien, carried, a committee of three was appointed to examine into conditions meeting with Mr. Whitney’s request and the committee is to report by Monday evening or sooner.
On the committee are Con O’Brien, George D. LaBar and M. E. Ryan.
“With a $3 minimum and a $3 rate I think the company can pull through,” said Mr. Whitney, “providing, of course, that the stock was sold.”
Of this $25,000 amount, he was satisfied if $8,000 was cash and the balance in installments.
The Northern Pacific has proffered the company the use of a compressor, gauges and other instruments have been ordered by the company and it is expected that 36 hours will witness a change in the local situation again assuring gas to the community.
With a makeshift arrangement gas could be made now, but it would be dangerous in a way, as not a pressure gauge of any kind is on hand, all the instruments having been blown up by the Thursday’s explosion. Mr. Whitney assured his hearers his aim was to get 100 percent efficiency if the company resumed operations and not run an emergency proposition which might fall down in a few hours.

Committee at Work

Of the special citizens’ committee appointed by R. R. Wise, two members, Con O’Brien and M. E. Ryan, have been in conference. The committee will meet again on Sunday. Mr. LaBar was called out of town.

Gas Consumers Meet Monday

The committee is working diligently on the matter so as to be able to make a report to the meeting of gas consumers called for 7:30 o’clock on Monday evening at the court house, and having the committee recommend what shall be the right thing to do. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 14 August 1920, p. 5, c. 1)

GAS CONSUMERS TO MEET TONIGHT
_____

Mass Meeting Called for 7:30 P. M.
at the District Court Room of
County Court House
_____

COMMITTEE TO MAKE REPORT
_____

Recommendations of Mass Meeting of
Gas Consumers Will be Made
to the Council


Gas consumers of Brainerd will meet at the district court room in the county court house this Monday evening at 7:30 o’clock to listen to the report of the citizens’ committee of three of which Con O’Brien is chairman.
They will then take action and report to the council which meets this Monday evening. It is hoped on all sides that the Brainerd Gas & Electric company may soon resume operations and restore gas service to its 705 patrons patrons some of whom, like the bakeries, have nearly been put out of business by the explosion at the plant and stoppage of gas making. The company’s request for a raise in rates will also be considered. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 16 August 1920, p. 5, c. 1)

$2 MINIMUM AND $3 RATE FAVORED
_____

Mass Meeting of Consumers Takes Ac-
tion at the Court House on
Monday Evening
_____

CON O’BRIEN WAS PRESIDING
_____

Consumers Also Favored a Sliding
Scale Going Up or Down as Costs
of Materials Varied


The gas difficulties of Brainerd appear to be slowly reaching a solution and it seems possible that gas may soon be manufactured again and the gas public utility retained in Brainerd.
Gas consumers of the city met at the court house on Monday evening and with but one dissenting vote favored a $2 minimum, a $3 rate and a sliding scale of rates to be adjusted at quarterly periods and based on costs of materials including coal, coke and oil, the rates advancing or decreasing from the $3 rate as these materials, necessary in gas making, increased or declined in value. The sliding scale was based on a similar one in use in Minneapolis as defined by the courts there.

Con O’Brien Chairman

Con O’Brien was chairman of the gas users’ meeting. He is also chairman of the citizens’ committee of three which has been investigating the gas question, rates, etc. The committee is composed of Mr. O’Brien, M. E. Ryan and Carl Adams the latter taking the place of George D. LaBar who did not serve.
The committee has devoted hours each day to the gas problem, examining statistics and records, getting gas rates from other towns, holding conferences with the local superintendent and other officers of the gas company, inspecting the damage done at the plant by the explosion, examining into needed repairs and costs, etc.

Consumers Ask Questions

Chairman Con O’Brien replied briefly to a running fire of questions from consumers. He said that a rate should be agreed upon which would give the gas company 7 1/2 percent on its investment.
Lars Ericsson of the Ericsson Bakery said his gas bill at present rates amounted to $25 and the raise might make it $50. Nevertheless, gas was the most convenient to use in his business. Everyone once using gas wanted the public utility restored.
Mr. O’Brien said Mr. Whitney’s losses in regard to the local gas plant were over $40,000. He said the sliding scale was to be reviewed every four months, raised or lowered, as the price of coal, coke and oil increased or decreased.
F. H. McCaffrey spoke on the minimum rate.
Richard Isle wanted a majority vote of all gas consumers taken.
Mr. O’Brien replied that each consumer had notice of the meeting by the daily paper’s reference.
R. R. Wise favored the sliding scale. If gas of good quality was furnished he was sure the number of patrons could be doubled.
George D. LaBar spoke on points regarding the sliding scale.
C. L. Motl said he had tried oil, wood, coal, electricity and gas, and gas was the cheapest and most convenient for cooking purposes.
W. H. Gemmell spoke about the franchise.
M. E. Ryan said the present franchise gave the city access to the company’s books and Mr. Ryan suggested that the water and light board be given the power to change rates insofar as they became effective through the sliding scale.
Some thought the raised rates might not be liked by some consumers, but each had a remedy there, if he could not stand the rate, he could have his service discontinued.

Motion is Put

F. H. McCaffrey, seconded by Wm. Garvey, then put the motion that the consumers favored an increase in rates to take care of the Brainerd situation, and that the minimum be set at $2 and the gas rate at $3 per thousand cubic feet, subject to a sliding scale to be revised every four months and that the committee so notify the city council. The meeting then adjourned. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 17 August 1920, p. 5, c. 1)

COUNCIL TAKES ACTION ON RATES
_____

Motion of Alderman Michael Provid-
ing 90 Day Gas Rate to Bridge
Emergency is Carried
_____

TO BE EFFECTIVE AT ONCE
_____

In the Meantime City and Company
to Negotiate New Franchise With
Satisfactory Provisions


The city council, by motion, made the $2 minimum and $3 gas rate as favored by the gas consumers effective at once and run for a period of 90 days to bridge the emergency and in the meantime the council and gas company are to negotiate and arrive at an amended franchise whose provisions will be acceptable to both.
Gas matters were threshed out at the council meeting on Monday evening. Con O’Brien, chairman of the citizens’ committee of three, making the opening statement to the council.
Chairman O’Brien gave the report from the consumers’ meeting which favored a $2 minimum and at $3 gas rate and the sliding scale of rates adjustable every three months and raising or lowering as coal, coke and oil costs increased or decreased in price.

How Efficiency Was Lowered

M. E. Ryan of the committee explained how Mr. Whitney, anxious to buy as much from and in Brainerd as possible, did not put in his own water supply although close to the river, and bought his water from the city. Inadequate and irregular city water pressure had caused much trouble at the plant and lowered the efficiency of the plant, said he. It was necessary to reduce gas to a temperature of 70 degrees and when the water pressure varied it produced changes in the gas quality. Naphthalene lodged in the governors. Brainerd’s new water supply and tower would give adequate and continued pressure. To meet the emergency Mr. Whitney had put in an independent water supply and was about to use it when the plant was damaged by the explosion.
He explained the sliding scale used in the gas receivership in Minneapolis.
The cut of the increase in rates can be passed on by the water and light board, Mr. Ryan suggested and was approved by the council.

Aldermen Talk

Alderman Michael said he was a gas user. He was aware that the gas consumers were willing to pay a fair rate to get the utility working again. The difficulty was to arrive at a fair rate. He favored a temporary rate to bridge over the difficulty, saying the city faced the same emergency as occurred when the electric light plant near the dam was destroyed and the city then paid a high rate for electric current until matters were adjusted as at present.
Alderman Andrew G. Anderson asked if Mr. Whitney’s point blank statement made earlier at a court house meeting to consumers that he was to close the plant operated as a revocation of the gas franchise. It was stated 30 days notice, given by either party, was provided in the franchise.
Alderman Andrew Anderson referred to statements made by Mr. Plank of the gas company when addressing the last council meeting and that the rates then asked for varied from the present ones. Those statements, however, were made before the the plant was wrecked by the explosion.
City Attorney Fullerton wished to have the sliding scale cover also possible contingencies wherein the minimum and regular rates might produce greater revenue than anticipated and occurring when the company increased the number of consumers from 705 to say a thousand or more. Such increase in revenue should tend to a lowering of rates or provide for a payment to the city.
Alderman Michael then made his motion that the minimum be increased from 50c to $2 and the gas rate from $1.70 to $3, effective at once and to govern for 90 days, during which time the city and company to negotiate and arrive at an amended franchise whose provisions will be acceptable to both.
On an aye and nay vote the vote stood:
7 ayes: Aldermen Lyonais, Rasch, Hugdahl, Michael, Koop, A. G. Anderson and Witham.
3 nays: Aldermen Cordes, Andrew Anderson and President Strickler. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 17 August 1920, p. 5, c.’s 3 & 4)

ALL OFF AT NOON HOUR
_____

No Gas. No Electricity. No Water. No
Meals. No Way to Wash. Town
in Hard Times


To the Editor of the Dispatch:
Lately the water has been turned off again and again during the noon hour. This is due to the power company turning off electric current to make repairs at that time. The water and light board has appealed to the power company not to do this but the power company replies that the noon hour is the best time to make repairs.
Once the city can use its own water tower, then the water supply will be continuos, power or no power, but with both gas and electricity turned off, what will our cooks do about preparing meals. Undoubtedly because of the gas situation many electric stoves will now be put in, but what’s the use if the current goes off at 12 o’clock. It would seem that the power company could defer its repairs until 12:30 o’clock and at least give housewives a chance to cook the meals and then leave washing the dishes as an afternoon pastime.
Shopmen say that when they get home they find no gas, no electricity, no water, no meals, and no way to wash. If there is nothing to eat, why wash; so after all we believe the power company is the important link in the chain right now.
Dispatch Reader.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 18 August 1920, p. 5, c. 3)

COMMITTEE WRITES TO A. G. WHITNEY
_____


The citizens’ committee on the gas situation has written A. G. Whitney of St. Cloud, who is president of the Brainerd Gas & Electric company, giving him the action of the mass meeting and council and asking for a reply from him. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 18 August 1920, p. 5, c. 4)

WANTS A HIGHER RATE FOR GAS
_____

A. G. Whitney Replies to the Citi-
zens’ Committee on Setting of
Gas Rates for City
_____

ORDERS REPAIRS POSTPONED
_____

“Personally,” Writes Mr. Whitney,
“He Would Much Prefer to Sell
Plant to Brainerd”


The citizens’ committee has received this letter from A. G. Whitney, president of the Brainerd Gas & Electric company, in response to the committee’s report on the action of the gas consumers’ meeting and of the city council.

August 19th, 1920

Messrs. Con O’Brien, Chairman,
M. E. Ryan
Carl Adams,
Gas Consumers’ Committee,
Brainerd, Minnesota.
My Dear Sirs:
We fully appreciate your letter of August 17th and are not unmindful of the position in which the gas consumers of your city are placed, and deeply regret that the accident at the plant occurred causing a shutdown at this time.
Upon going into the question involved more fully, we find that in order to put the Brainerd gas plant into A-1 working order with all of the necessary repairs and including the new boiler which we wish to install, it will be necessary for us to expend at this time a sum considerably in excess of $10,000. We have just learned that the renewal of the flues alone, which are necessary for the boiler, will cost us $450 f. o. b. Minneapolis. If these repairs and improvements are made we believe the plant will be in most excellent shape and with a dependable water supply that we would be in a position to give first-class service.
However, to be perfectly frank and open, we have reached the conclusion that as outside investors we cannot operate the Brainerd Gas and Electric Company at a profit and for that reason we cannot see our way clear to start up the plant again ourselves unless every requirement necessary is complied with before resuming operation and, with that object in mind, we are today writing our local superintendent to postpone further repairs and improvements until every detail has been definitely settled.
We submitted to your committee last Monday night before you met the gas consumers and went to the council meeting, the lowest rates under which we could operate, namely, a minimum bill of $3.00 per month and a rate of $3.25 per thousand cu. ft. These figures are net and the bills would necessarily have to be rendered at not less than $3.50 per thousand cu. ft. with a discount of 25c per thousand cu. ft. for the prompt payment of bills with a minimum of $3.25 per month, subject to a discount of 25c for the prompt payment of bills.
However, with reference to the minimum bill, we would not object to accepting a net minimum bill of $2.50. These figures are final and are made with the express understanding that if the cost of coal, coke and oil increase, we will add 4 1/2c per thousand cu. ft. for every advance of 1c in the cost of oil, 2 1/2c per thousand cu. ft. for every advance of $4.00 per ton in the cost of coal and 2.6c per thousand cu. ft. for every advance of $1.00 in the cost of coke.
The above raises do not provide for all of our interest charges and for none of the depreciation, hence if the cost of fuel goes down, the $3.25 net rate is to be continued until such time as our losses are fully made up so as to take care of the depreciation charges from this date on. When these depreciation charges and other losses are taken care of at 100c on the dollar, we will then lower the rate of $3.25 net per thousand cu. ft. to the same proportion as it would be increased in case of an increase in the cost of oil, coal and coke as above noted, until the rate has been reduced to $2.00 net per thousand cu. ft., but the rate never to go below $2.00 net per thousand cu. ft.
These rates do not provide $1.00 for an administration, supervision, engineering or bookkeeping expense at the St. Cloud office excepting $40 per month, and this is an expense that as soon as the company is again squarely on its feet must be met by the company.
Gentlemen, if it were possible to accept your proposition, we would do so without hesitation, but after having lost something over $42,000 to your city we feel that we must protect ourselves for at least from this date on.
Again, this plant cannot be started without considerable cash being put into it and the Brainerd Gas and Electric Company is not in shape to finance itself for so much as a single dollar, unless the citizens of Brainerd, coupled with myself individually, will see fit to provide the Company with sufficient money in some satisfactory and equitable manner to put it on its feet with a small sum of working capital. $10,500 of outside indebtedness, and the necessary money to take care of the repairs and start up the plant.
Personally, I would much prefer selling this plant to the citizens of Brainerd and it might be well for the businessmen of your city to consider this in a very serious way. We will sell you the property on the following basis: that you select an engineer, we will select one to represent the Company, and these two can select a third, all three of these men to be high-class gas engineers and after these men arrive at a valuation of this property, we will give you a liberal discount from that valuation.
We will also make this same proposition to your city, if the city sees fit to buy it, and, strictly speaking, why is it not better for your city to buy it and operate it in connection with your other municipally owned property, namely your electric and water works utilities, and in that way your city council can make its own rates and the city as a whole, can make up the losses through its taxes. There is one thing sure, the loss of the gas plant to your city is a serious one and it will probably mean that no private parties will ever again have the courage to enter the gas field in Brainerd.
Feeling that we should not spend any more money at the plant until this matter is settled, we are going to put this matter in your hands for acceptance or rejection and I would ask that you let us have your decision at the earliest date possible.
The rate above stated, $3.25 per thousand cu. ft., will be subject to an adjustment every four months, it being understood that if the prices of coal, coke and oil go higher, the rates will be enough higher for the next period or periods to cover the additional cost.
Again, and after the depreciation charges and losses from this date on have been met and as the prices of these commodities go lower, the prices are to be decreased accordingly.
If our proposition as stated meets with your approval, we will prepare an amended franchise and submit it to your city attorney for his approval. It will be necessary that definite action be taken before we can proceed further.
Awaiting your reply, I am
Very truly yours,
A. G. WHITNEY,
President.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 20 August 1920, p. 5, c.’s 1 & 2)

BRAINERD’S ODDEST STORIES
_____


Pete Wolvert, of the yards, has a hard-luck story. It concerns washing dishes while his wife was out of town. That was in the days, sometime past, when Brainerd had gas and Pete had bought one of those “Locomotive” washers. Pete put the dishes in the washer and they sloshed around beautifully. Just about that time, he was called away and when he came home some hours later, the washer was still chugging away and the dishes had followed that figure eight route in the washer and had been reduced to smithereens. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 20 August 1920, p. 5, c. 3)

MAKE GAS OR LOSE FRANCHISE
_____

Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. Given an
Ultimatum by City Council on
Saturday Evening
_____

TIME LIMIT IS THIRTY DAYS
_____

All Members of Council Present Vot-
ed Unanimously in Favor of the
Resolution


Refusal on the part of A. G. Whitney to make gas within 30 days and at the $3 rate proposed by gas consumers and council, resulted in the council taking the gas bull by the horns and issuing an ultimatum to Mr. Whitney to make gas within 30 days or have his franchise annulled.
On Saturday evening the council took action on the gas franchise. All members were present except Aldermen Koop and Lyonais.
The gas consumers’ committee, Con O’Brien, M. E. Ryan and Carl Adams referred to the council all correspondence between committee and the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co., which on motion was placed on file and the committee given a vote of thanks.
The fact that Mr. Whitney would not accept the proposition of the council providing for a temporary rate of $2 minimum and $3 gas to bridge over the situation for 90 days until a satisfactory amended franchise could be gained by council and company, stirred the council to action and the resolution was then adopted unanimously, giving Mr. Whitney 30 days from date of publication of resolution, August 23, to make gas of merchantable quality or forfeit his franchise.
The water and light board was instructed to correspond with cities having gas and endeavor to ascertain where secondhand gas stoves, heaters, washers, mangles, etc., could be sold to advantage.
Should Mr. Whitney refuse to continue making gas, the city is not helpless for it offers a cheap electric rate for ranges. The outcome of the gas controversy will be awaited with interest and the next move is on the part of Mr. Whitney.

_____

RESOLUTION
_____


Whereas the Brainerd Gas and Electric Company, by virtue of Ordinance Number Two Hundred and Fifty-nine, as amended by Ordinance Number Two Hundred and Ninety-five, was granted a franchise to operate a gas plant and gas supply system in the City of Brainerd;
And Whereas said Brainerd Gas and Electric Company has failed and neglected, and does now fail and neglect to operate and maintain said gas plant and supply system, and does not furnish the ample and adequate supply of gas, of the kind and quality provided for in said Ordinance;
Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved by the City Council of the City of Brainerd that notice is hereby given to said Brainerd Gas and Electric Company that if said Brainerd Gas and Electric Company fail to furnish, within Thirty (30) days from and after the date of publication hereof, an ample and adequate supply of gas, of the kind and quality and in the manner provided for in Ordinances Number Two Hundred Fifty-nine (259) as amended by Ordinance Number Two Hundred Ninety-five (295), then all and any rights, authority and privilege granted to said Brainerd Gas and Electric Company by virtue of said Ordinance shall forthwith terminate, and said franchise be void.
Adopted August 21, 1920,
J. H. STRICKLER.
President of the Council.
Approved August 21, 1920,
F. E. LITTLE,
Mayor.
Attest:
SEVERN SWANSON.
City Clerk.
Published August 23, 1920.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 23 August 1920, p. 5, c. 1)

BRAINERD’S ODDEST STORIES
_____


“The gas plant,” said Carl Adams, “has considerable scrap value.”
“Yes,” said a hearer, “the plant has certainly started a lot of scraps.”

_____


When we used to have a gas plant may soon be as historical a quotation or reference as when we used to have a street railway. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 23 August 1920, p. 5, c. 1)

MODEL RESTAURANT
_____

Substitutes Large Electric Hotel
Range for Cooking With Gas,
Equipment Being Installed


The Model restaurant, located in the basement under the Best theatre, has installed a large electric hotel range and expects to reopen for business on Monday.
The equipment was sold to the restaurant by the Northern Home Furnishing Co., the order being placed Tuesday afternoon at 3 o’clock and installation being underway on Wednesday.
Mr. Walker, owner of the restaurant, has been seriously handicapped by the lack of gas, his business having closed down since the compressor blew out on the morning of August 12. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 25 August 1920, p. 5, c. 1)

ST. CLOUD VERSION OF GAS SITUATION
_____

Reported that Portion of Brainerd
Gas Machinery May be Used in
St. Cloud Soon
_____

GAS MAIN EXTENSIONS MADE
_____

Reported Lines May be Run Into East
St. Cloud—”Brainerd’s Heavy Over-
head Expenses”


The St. Cloud Daily Journal Press of Tuesday has a half column on the gas situation in Brainerd. The gas question interests St. Cloud because A. G. Whitney has also made application there for a raise in rates, and so far nothing has been granted, although the application was made months ago.
“In an interview this morning,” says the St. Cloud Journal Press, “Wheelock Whitney stated that a gas company could not operate a plant in Brainerd without loss. Overhead expenses will assume such proportions that it will be impossible to adjust rates to meet the requirements of the maintenance of a plant. It is likely that Mr. Whitney will not reconsider reopening the plant.
“It has been mentioned as a probability that a portion of the machinery of the Brainerd plant will be moved to St. Cloud and gas mains extended to East St. Cloud. Nothing definite on such a proposition has yet been announced.” (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 25 August 1920, p. 5, c. 2)

SELLING MANY RANGES
_____

Brainerd Electric Company Supply-
ing Ranges and Other Equip-
ment to Householders


Many people are changing from gas to electricity and the Brainerd Electric company, B. E. Dunham proprietor, reports the sale of many electric ranges to householders.
In addition to this, the sale of electric appliances in general has been greatly stimulated by the shut down of gas. Toasters, electric plates, electric washers, etc., have added to the total of sales made.
Quick delivery is made on all orders placed with the company. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 25 August 1920, p. 5, c. 3)

ASK FOR HIGHER RATES IN ST. CLOUD
_____

St. Cloud Public Service Co., Which
is Headed by A. G. Whitney,
Wants Higher Gas Rates
_____

PETITION FILED ON AUGUST 25
_____

City Commissioners to Hire Gas Ex-
pert to Pass on Quality of Gas
Furnished St. Cloud


The St. Cloud Journal Press records further steps in A. G. Whitney’s campaign for higher gas rates in that city.
The St. Cloud Public Service Co., thru its attorney, J. D. Sullivan of St. Cloud, filed with the city commission a petition asking the commission, in accordance with chapter 469 of the Minnesota laws of 1919, “to investigate the question of the cost of producing and supplying gas to the citizens of St. Cloud and that after such investigation you prescribe such a rate for gas as would permit the undersigned to make a reasonable return upon the capital invested in their business of producing gas under an economical and efficient management of the same.
“The Public Service Co. offers complete access to its books so that the officials may obtain such information as is necessary and proper for the determination of what is a just rate for gas in the city of St. Cloud under existing conditions.”
This petition is dated May 4, 1920 but was not presented until the afternoon of August 25, 1920. It puts into definite and concrete form the request of the Public Service Co. for an increase in gas rates, which has been the subject of much discussion for the past three months without any definite action being undertaken on either side, other than several oral pleas by A. G. Whitney, president of the Public Service Co.
J. D. Sullivan as attorney for the Public Service Co., made an impressive appeal to the commissioners yesterday afternoon urging that prompt action be taken to investigate the actual condition of the gas company and a rate prescribed in accordance with the results of that investigation.
The law on which the petition filed yesterday is based on an enactment of the 1919 session of the Minnesota legislature which empowers cities in the state of Minnesota, existing under a home rule charter, to prescribe reasonable rates under which a public service company supplying gas may operate within such city.
Under the provisions of the law, the rate must be prescribed “by ordinance,” which seems to place the ultimate enactment of any new rate in the hands of the city council.
The law says in part: “Such rates shall be prescribed only after hearing and 20 days’ notice of the time and place of such hearing shall have been given to such public service corporation, which notice shall be served in the manner prescribed by law for the service of summons in district court.
“Failure on the part of such council or other governing body to make a determination as to such rates within sixty days after such petition is filed with the clerk of said city shall be deemed a denial of such petition and a determination adverse to such petitioners, provided, however, that such council or other governing body of such city shall not be required to get upon the petition of any such public corporation which shall refuse to give such council or other governing body access to the books of such corporation, and other information relative to the operation of the business of such corporation necessary and proper to the determination of such rates.”
In making their investigation the city commissioners propose to have a gas expert pass upon the quality of the gas furnished, and in any new rates that may be made to stipulate the grade of gas that shall be given the consumers. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 27 August 1920, p. 3, c. 1)

CORRESPONDENCE ON GAS QUESTION
_____

Letter Given in Full as Written by A. G.
Whitney to City Clerk of
Brainerd
_____

HE WANTS TO SELL THE STOCK
_____

“Citizens of Brainerd Should Buy
Preferred Stock and Become In-
terested in Plant,” Says He


The gas question in Brainerd seems to have resolved itself into a deadlock so far as negotiations with A. G. Whitney are concerned. The council gave him 30 days notice commencing August 23 to make gas or forfeit his franchise.

August 27th, 1920

Mr. Severn Swanson,
City Clerk,
Brainerd, Minn.
Your valued favor of the 20th is to hand wherein the council has offered an increase of from 50c to $2.00 as a minimum rate and from $1.70 to $3.00 per thousand cu. ft. of gas for a period of ninety days, said raise to be effective from and after August 16th, 1920.
It is with much regret that we cannot accept your offer. The only proposition that we can entertain and reopen the gas plant in your city, is the one submitted to your committee, Messrs. Con O’Brien, Chairman, M. E. Ryan and Carl Adams as of date August 19th and this proposition is made for an immediate acceptance and as a permanent rate, the amendment to the franchise to be passed by your city before starting up the plant or an absolute agreement that it would be passed to that effect.
In other words, we know what our investment is and what returns we must receive and if the plant was started up on a ninety days basis, we might be confronted with the same difficulties as we are today and for that reason and as a business proposition we can do nothing further whatsoever unless all of the requirements named in our letter to your committee of August 19th are fully complied with, which also means that the citizens of Brainerd take a portion of our preferred stock, becoming interested in the plant and its operation, which will aid very much in making it a financial success.
Regretting that it is an impossibility for us to accept your proposition. I am
Very truly yours,
A. G. WHITNEY,
President.
The letter in which Mr. Whitney takes cognizance of the council’s ultimatum is covered in the following letter:

August 23rd, 1920

Messrs. Con O’Brien, Chairman,
Carl Adams,
M. E. Ryan,
Gas Consumers’ Committee,
Brainerd, Minnesota.
Dear Sirs:
Your letter of August 21st is received in which you advise you are turning our letter of August 19th over to the city council with the “hope that the council may see its way clear to do something to the end that gas will be again supplied to the citizens of Brainerd without delay.”
We have been unofficially advised of the city council’s action at their meeting held last Saturday night and are informed that it was stated at such meeting that it was believed the Brainerd Gas and Electric Company were “bluffing,” so to speak, by rejecting the $3.00 rate and the $2.00 minimum heretofore offered for the term of ninety days, during which period thorough and complete investigations were to be made.
We have submitted our proposition, which we know from our four-years experience in Brainerd and our general experience in the gas business, to be more than fair and equitable to the consumers and if our offer is accepted it means a loss to us for some time of all of our depreciation and quite a percentage of our interest with the provision, however, that before the rates are lowered this loss of depreciation and interest is to be made up.
We wish to assure the good citizens of Brainerd that is the question of our minds and we mean just what we say. From a business standpoint we would not consider for one second starting up the plant again unless every provision were to be absolutely settled and agreed upon and a further provision made for taking care of the loss of interest and depreciation, which we would continue to suffer for quite a length of time.
It must be borne in mind that the freight rates will be largely increased this month, adding about $1.50 per ton to our coal and coke costs, aside from a heavy increase in our off costs.
Further, the question of an amended ordinance can be settled just as well today as it can in ninety days from now.
If the City’s action is final, it is not necessary that the thirty days’ notice be required on our part as we are ready to surrender and cancel the franchise today.
Very truly yours,
A. G. WHITNEY,
President.
P. S. If your city sees fit to accept our proposition it also means that the citizens take a block of our preferred stock in line with our other correspondence.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 28 August 1920, p. 5, c.’s 1 & 2)

WHITNEY MAKES 4 PROPOSITIONS
_____

Head of Brainerd Gas & Electric Com-
pany Seems Anxious to Resume
Relations in Brainerd
_____

WANTS TO SELL CITY THE MAINS
_____

New Idea is to Have City Buy Its Gas
Wholesale Just as It Buys Its
Electricity


A. G. Whitney, president of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co., who to the meeting of gas consumers announced he would quit Brainerd, who then proposed to council municipal ownership or large increases in costs of gas and purchase of stock by citizens and a sliding scale, etc., and was offered an adequate rate by the council and failing to accept same was given 30 days to make gas or quit, has now come forward with a letter which broaches some new ideas on the part of Mr. Whitney.
He brings up the purchase by the city of the street mains, street and house connections, governors and meters, etc. The street mains are firmly attached to city streets and according to many authorities revert to the city.
Mr. Whitney may dismantle his plant without interference, but the city, it is conceded by many can quickly halt him should he attempt without authority to tear up streets or fish out his mains.
The following is the first letter to which Mr. Whitney takes cognizance of the fact that other people besides himself have been inconvenienced by the closing of the plant.
His letter follows in full:

August 28th, 1920

Mr. Severn Swanson,
City Clerk,
Brainerd, Minn.
Dear Sir:
It has been suggested to us that your city might desire to purchase all of the street mains, street and house connections, including governors and meters and make a contract with us to sell them gas on a wholesale basis, the deal to be handled along some such lines as the city is now handling its electrical business.
While this is a matter that I have never heard of as being done, yet, I see no reason but what it is a feasible one to work out. You have your Water and Light Board and it is better that all three utilities be handled under one head than for it to be divided up.
If you are desirous of making that kind of a deal, we will enter into an agreement with you to put the street mains and other properties appraised into an appraisal and at the same time make you a wholesale proposition for your gas, you taking it from our holder and tanks located at the plant.
As a second proposition, we will sell the entire plant to your city.
As a third proposition, if local capital wishes to take it over, we will sell it to them to reorganize the company, or, as a fourth proposition, you have our proposition as the the terms upon which we are willing to reopen the plant.
We are not unmindful of the inconvenience that the closing of this plant is causing the Brainerd people and deeply regret the closing of the plant, but inasmuch as it is closed, it would be the height of folly to open it again unless all plans were worked out mutually satisfactory to all parties in interest.
The company cannot operate another year unless it can get a reasonable return on its investment and while this temporary price asked may seem high, it is lower than one can really expect under the present conditions and in accepting the temporary price offered, we could only accept it with the understanding the rates be adjusted, raised and lowered, in accordance with the price of the commodities required for the making of the gas, including labor.
You know that the price of coal has gone up 50c within the last week; coke went up $1.60 per ton August 10th and the freight rates went up the 26th. All of these matters will have to be taken care of and borne by the consumers and provided for in the rates.
I would suggest that if anything is done, it be done immediately. If we have to dismantle the plant, we wish to do it at once and if the plant is ever started again the consumers should have the benefit of it now.
Very truly yours,
A. G. WHITNEY,
President.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 31 August 1920, p. 5, c. 1)

On another page we print today a letter given us by the Water and Light board regarding the use of equipment for cooking and heating water. The board stands ready to assist the citizens in the present most unpleasant situation. We anticipate that Brainerd has had its last gas. Mr. Whitney will not reopen his plant and it seems unlikely that enough enthusiasm exists locally to encourage any council to take steps to purchase the plant for operation by the Water and Light board. Neither are we so sure that the system used is the one we would want Brainerd to own and operate.
The biggest problem will not be getting new stoves but getting rid of the old ones. It is hardly likely that so many secondhand stoves (as we have in Brainerd) could be disposed of in any one place. Besides, to buy all this gas equipment will take perhaps twenty-five thousand dollars, which means that buying up our old stoves is a big undertaking and not the work of any small secondhand dealer. Slowly this phase of the situation will adjust itself and it would seem advisable for all to be calm and not accept the first offer that may be presented and take any old price just to get rid of your stove. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 04 September 1920, p. 4, c. 1)

WANTS CITY TO BUY PLANT
_____

Writes a Letter to Mayor F. E. Little
and Latter Submits Same to the
Council
_____

COUNCIL MET TUESDAY EVENING
_____


A. G. Whitney Letter

Mayor Frank E. Little referred to the council the following letter addressed to him by A. G. Whitney, dated Sept. 4:
“Relating to the cancellation of the franchise, we would say that it is not necessary to wait thirty days for, as we have advised you, we would not require the notice and are willing to consider it canceled as of today.
“If your city cares to buy the plant steps should be taken at once for if the plant is ever opened again, the quicker it is opened the better it will be for the property and for your city. On the other hand, as we have advised you, we would not under any circumstances consider the opening of the Brainerd gas plant without the amended ordinance with all rates settled and complete. In other words, if we open the plant today on a certain rate, same to be reconsidered after ninety days, it would be unfair to both the city and ourselves for the time to settle things as to rates is today and if the plant is ever opened it should be done on a permanent basis and the new machinery put in so as to prevent any further shutdowns.
“As far as rates are concerned, there are no further negotiations on our part as our proposition is final and it is up to your city to either buy the plant or advise us that you do not wish to buy it and we will immediately commence to dismantle the same and remove it from your city.
“Please advise the writer at once.”
The council took no action on advising Mr. Whitney. On August 23 the council gave him 30 days notice to make gas or have his franchise canceled. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 08 September 1920, p. 5, c. 1)

WHITNEY STILL WRITING LETTERS
_____

Now Carrying on Correspondence
With Mayor F. E. Little Con-
cerning the Gas Plant
_____

URGES CITY TO BUY THE PLANT
_____

Whitney Says He Would Like to Dis-
mantle the Plant if Not Sold as
He Can Get Good Price


Since the council gave A. G. Whitney the ultimatum to make gas or forfeit his franchise, and the 30 days ultimatum expires Sept. 23, Mr. Whitney has ceased writing council, gas consumers’ committee, etc., and is now directing his letters to the mayor, Hon. Frank E. Little. The mayor turns them over to the council.
As Mr. Whitney frames his demands there is always a lot of depreciation to take care of and the rates are always above the minimum of $2 and rate of $3 agreed upon by council and gas consumers. Tacked on the Whitney offers is also the detail of citizens buying $25,000 worth of stock. Now no council in the world can legislate on rates which carry such a preview. You could hardly expect the council to run around town and peddle the stock.
This is the latest letter from Mr. Whitney in which he also states he has a chance to sell the gas mains in the Brainerd streets:

September 8th, 1920

Honorable Frank Little, Mayor,
Brainerd, Minnesota.
Dear Sir:
Are we to understand that all negotiations are at an end so far as the City of Brainerd is concerned affecting the Brainerd Gas and Electric Company, and, if so, we would like to commence the dismantling of our plant at once as we have an opportunity to sell at very good figures quite a large part of the different apparatus, including all of the gas mains, etc.
Please advise us definitely by return mail.
It would pay your city to buy this plant and combine it with the rest of your properties and if the city has any intention of buying, why cannot we get at this phase of the proposition immediately.
As we have advised you, we would never consider the starting up of the plant for so much as a single hour without every arrangement as to all details, rates, etc., being made absolutely permanent. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 09 September 1920, p. 5, c. 2)

WHITNEY PHONES TO MAYOR
_____


A. G. Whitney, president of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co., telephoned Thursday afternoon to Mayor F. E. Little, that he wanted to know the status of the gas situation in Brainerd and if the city did not figure on buying the plant.
Mr. Whitney also wishes to know the situation regarding the gas mains in city streets.
The gas company was given an ultimatum by the council to make gas or forfeit their franchise within 30 days from August 23, and less than a week remains for the gas company to get buy or lose its franchise. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 18 September 1920, p. 5, c. 5)

Charles Morgan, of Duluth, who represents the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co. is in the city calling on the trade, selling supplies to take the place of gas burners, now useless because of a defunct gas plant. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 22 September 1920, p. 2, c. 1)

BRAINERD MAY GET GAS—IF
_____


R. L. Spiering, head of the Crookston gas plant of the Whitney public utilities was in the city today with his son, Jerome Spiering of St. Cloud and conferred with Richard Zerther local manager of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co.
Water is being drawn from pumps, tanks, boilers, etc., and things gotten in readiness for the winter.
“I can tell you,” said the elder Mr. Spiering, “if the Chamber of Commerce and businessmen backed me up. I might take up the Brainerd plant and run it, providing the city council and citizens were willing. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 26 October 1920, p. 5, c. 4)

G. W. Plank of St. Cloud was in the city in the interests of the gas company. The company has moved its office from the Citizens State bank block to the gas plant. A roof is being put on the plant. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 01 December 1920, p. 2, c. 1)

TO ASK FRANCHISE FOR GAS PLANT
_____

Fred W. Freese of Fort Wayne, In-
diana, Gas Works Engineer and
Contractor in City
_____

AT COUNCIL MEETING TONIGHT
_____

Has Option on the A. G. Whitney
Plant and Properties—Rates to
be Considered


Brainerd may soon have gas restored to the city and the gas plant at the river in operation.
Fred W. Freese of Fort Wayne, Indiana, a well known gas engineer and contractor, has secured an option on the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. plant and holdings in which A. G. Whitney of St. Cloud was largely interested.
Mr. Freese is no novice at building up plants and putting them on a businesslike plan. He took hold of the property at Sheridan, Wyoming, and in two years built up a satisfied group of gas users and put the plant on a paying basis, giving good service.
He built gas plants at Escanaba, Mich.; Hastings, Mich.; Albion, Mich.; Cadillac, Mich.; Provo, Utah; Laport, Ind.; Connorsville, Ind.; Bloomington, Ind.
If Mr. Freese gets a gas franchise in Brainerd, he states he will start up quickly. He has arrangements with Fort Wayne, Ind. shops to ship within 13 days of ordering, the necessary gas holder and gas compressor. He estimates he will be making gas within six weeks from the time the franchise is granted.
The matter of rates will be thoroughly discussed, and other things entering into a proposed franchise, all coming up at the city council meeting this evening. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 June 1921, p. 5, c. 4)

COUNCIL HAS A LENGTHY SESSION
_____


Gas Plant

Fred W. Freese of Fort Wayne, Indiana, gas plant construction expert and operator, spoke to the council on the gas question. He said he had an option on the plant. A number of businessmen had conferred with him Saturday and he put the question of a franchise squarely before the city council. He favored a sliding scale for service based on costs of material. He asked the council to take up with him the various phases of a franchise and President J. H. Strickler, following the suggestion made by Mayor F. E. Little, is to name a special committee of one alderman from each ward, to which he added the mayor, which is to meet promptly with Mr. Freese and report progress in negotiations. The motion of a special committee was made by Alderman Holmstrom and carried. Mr. Freese said he was ready to do business with the gas plant as soon as he had permission from the city. Mayor Little said he would be ready to meet with the committee Wednesday evening at 7 o’clock. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 07 June 1921, p. 5, c. 1)

CALL MEETING OF ALL GAS USERS
_____

Special Council Committee Asks All
Interested in This Public
Utility
_____

TO MEET AT THE COURT HOUSE
_____

Friday Evening at 8 O’Clock to Dis-
cuss Rates, Service, Etc.


The special committee of the council to which was delegated preliminary steps in solving Brainerd’s gas problem had it first meeting Wednesday evening at the city hall. The matter was thoroughly gone into with Fred W. Freese, Fort Wayne, Indiana, gas expert.
Mayor F. E. Little presided. Other members of the committee are councilmen from each ward, being Alderman Witham of the first ward, Alderman Michael of the second ward, Alderman Bukowski of the third ward Alderman Andrew Anderson of the fourth ward, Alderman Cordes of the fifth ward.
The special committee has called a general mass meeting of all people interested in using gas to confer with them and Mr. Freese at the district court room of the court house, on Friday evening at 8 o’clock.
The object of rates, service, etc. will be thoroughly gone into. In the meantime the special committee is compiling data on the subject so as to give it a clearer conception of the problem and its solution, the latter to be one satisfactory to gas users city and gas manufacturers.
Mr. Freese is desirous of a sliding scale of rates which will be determined by cost of materials and labor in making gas, ascending as production costs increase, descending as they decrease and starting from an established conceded base.
He has an option on the local plant and has made his own inventory. If given a satisfactory franchise it will be a short matter for him to get the necessary new gas holder and new gas compressor, and then go over his mains, eliminating expensive leakage.
He promises to have the plant in operation within about six weeks from the time he is given a franchise. His specialty is putting plants on their feet and making them deliver gas satisfactorily to people and company. Fresh from Sheridan, Wyoming, he took a rundown plant and in two years made it a successful producer of benefit to gas users and gas producers.
The gas industry was hard hit by the war but can be brought back to “normalcy” by expert engineering work, good business sense and a spirit of cooperation between the gas-using public and the gas producers.

Proposed Costs

Price of gas to consumer for 1,000 cu. ft. per month:
First 3,000 cu. ft. per 1,000 cu. ft.—$2.80
Next 3000 cu. ft. per 1,000 cu. ft.—$2.60
Next 3,000 cu. ft. per 1,000 cu. ft.—$2.40
Next 3,000 cu. ft. per 1,000 cu. ft.—$2.20
All over 12,000 cu. ft. per 1,000 cu. ft.—$2.00
These prices are based on raw materials as follows:
Gas oil, per gal. at $.06
Coal, per ton at $8.00
Coke, per ton at $10.00
Should these prices change, then price of gas shall change to consumers as follows:
Change on oil of $.01 per gal. equal to $.06 per 1,000 cu. ft.
Change on coal of $1.00 per ton equal to $.02 1/2 per 1,000 cu. ft.
Change on coke of $1.00 per ton, equal to $.02 per 1,000 cu. ft.
Should the gas company ever install a coal gas plant instead of what they now have, the $8.00 shall be the base for price on coal and a charge of $1.00 per ton on coal shall be equal to $.10 per 1,000 cu. ft. to the consumer.

Gas Company Statement

Brainerd Gas and Electric Co. statement follows:
Gas sold during the last six months of the operation or from January 1, 1920 to July 1, 1920:
January 1920, cu. ft.—1146400
February 1920, cu. ft.—1173100
March 1920, cu. ft.—1133400
April 1920, cu. ft.—1422800
May 1920, cu. ft—1349200
June 1920, cu. ft.—1449700
Total—7974600
Average per month 1229100 cu. ft.
Cost of production:
5 gal. oil at $.06 required per 1,000 cu. ft. $.30
50 lb. coal required per 1,000 cu. ft—$.20
60 lb. coke required per 1,000 cu. ft. $.20
Plant labor, two men and helper $250.00—$.19
Paint water, oil and sundries $50.00—$.05
Office rent and help $175.00—$.13
Manager and trouble shooter $300.00—$.22 1/2
State and county tax $100.00—$.07 1/2
Interest and depreciation 15% on $125,000.00 investment $18,250—$1.18
Cost per 1,000 cu. ft.—$2.65
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 09 June 1921, p. 5, c.’s 1 & 2)

LOOKS FAVORABLE FOR GAS PLANT
_____

Large Meeting of 150 or More Gas Us-
ers Was Held at the Court House
On Friday Evening
_____

MAYOR F. E. LITTLE PRESIDED
_____

Motion Carried Unanimously Favor-
ing Use of Gas in Brainerd
by Gas Users


There was a large and enthusiastic meeting of citizens at the court house on Friday evening to discuss the gas situation. They numbered at least 150 and the large proportion were anxious to see the gas plant re-established and this public utility to service again in Brainerd.
Mayor F. E. Little presided and in well-chosen words explained the situation confronting city and council.
Fred W. Freese, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, a well-known gas plant engineer and manufacturer, made a short statement in which he gave costs of gas production, valuation of the Brainerd plant and other statistics as published previously in the Dispatch.
Alderman H. F. Michael of the special council committee on the gas problem, gave figures on gas production and costs as received from the state public utilities commission and said the committee will continue its investigations.
Many questions were asked of Mr. Freese. For instance, about service interruptions. He said any plant which interrupted service for a day or more could not under any circumstances be considered as being handled properly. He mentioned plants in which he was interested in operating where gas was never shut down for a minute in ten years running.
The mass meeting took no standard scale as based on a standard cost and on any certain rate. The sliding to advance or recede as costs of materials and labor rose or fell was discussed.
A motion was carried unanimously when Mr. Hurley asked:
“All in favor of gas will please rise.”
And practically the whole mass meeting rose and indicated its approval of having this public utility re-established.
The special council committee will continue its negotiations and upon the conclusion of conferences with Mr. Freese there will be reported to the whole council an ordinance covering the gas utility.
Mr. Freese, mentioning costs of operation, later said the plant at the start would have a payroll of at least $800 per month counting men at the plant and office, with a minimum of at least $600. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 11 June 1921, p. 5, c. 1)

GAS MAN PEEVED OVER CITY ACTION
_____

Writes Letter to Mayor F. E. Little
and is Displeased Over Council
and Chamber of Commerce
_____

GAS RATE TERMED “2-BY-4” ITEM
_____

“Sorry City Did Not Employ a Man
Who Knew Gas Business to Tell
Them What to Do”


When the city council’s special committee on gas recommended to the city council that the proposed gas franchise with a $2.80 rate plus service charges, etc., was too high that such a franchise be not accepted, and the council accepted the report and concurred in the recommendation, such action apparently peeved Fred W. Freese, who had made application for the franchise, and he wrote a warm letter to Mayor F. E. Little in which he rebuked the council, the Chamber of Commerce, etc., and incidentally put in a good word for his friend, A. G. Whitney of St. Cloud.
Citizens of Brainerd are not dissatisfied with the special gas committee and Mayor F. E. Little who voluntarily spent much time in examining the gas situation, gas rates, service, etc., and the various provisions of the proposed franchise.
Such a matter cannot be entered into in a few hours or days or weeks, for when entered into it becomes a permanent affair. The city has had one gas experience and many householders put in quite a large investment in gas ranges, heaters, etc. It was not alone in regard to rates but because of many other provisions, that the committee rejected it.
The letter of Mr. Freese is given in full and gives his ideas from his own viewpoint:

Ft. Wayne, Ind.,
June 29, 1921.
Mayor F. E. Little,
Brainerd, Minn.
Dear Sir:
Your telegram saying “Cannot Accept Franchise as offered,” signed “Council Gas Committee, Little, Chairman,” just received.
I wish to say that you made no explanation as to what was wrong with the Franchise but as long as it has taken over four weeks to make up your mind, can only say that I would not be interested in the Franchise any more, as it would be the first of September now, before this plant could be started which would only be a dead overhead until next spring.
I am sorry that you did not employ a man who knew the gas business to tell you what to do instead of making your own comparison which you are not capable of doing as long as it was not in your line. I would, however, say that it seems to me like a crime to let a man come to town as Mr. Whitney did and build a gas plant for Brainerd, then tie his hands and feet so that he can only stand back and see his property go to ruin, and if Brainerd’s city council are going to handle utilities in this way, they might better close the doors of its Chamber of Commerce and such other organizations as are wanting to do good for every town and just simply let it be known that if outside capital ever comes to town that you will either steal it or put it in such shape that it cannot operate, with any financial returns.
I wish to thank you for the time and attention you have given this matter and would only suggest that in the future when a man comes to your town and means business give him a decision and show that your council has some capacity and does not need any four weeks to decide on a two-by-four item like this has been.
Yours truly,
F. W. FREESE
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 01 July 1921, p. 3, c. 1)

R. L. Spiering of Crookston, an experienced gas engineer and manufacturer, is in the city and examining the local field. There are rumors that if conditions are favorable he may start the local gas plant if given a franchise. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 19 October 1921, p. 2, c. 2)

GAS PLANT TO START UP SOON
_____

Contractors Are Taking Up Repairs
at the Plant in Brainerd, New
Compressor, Etc.
_____

SIGN PLACED AT BUILDING
_____

Notified Visitors at City’s Celebration
That the Plant Will Not be
Idle Very Long


Brainerd’s latest improvement which means a great deal in the manufacturing and domestic life of the city is now underway. The rehabilitation of the gas plant, which is going forward at once, brings real satisfaction to the citizens of this city. Gas is almost a necessity in a modern city and the reopening of the plant here will be an occasion of real pleasure to those who have missed the convenience afforded by a supply of gas to their homes during the months in which the plant has been closed down.
S. F. Graves of the Chicago office of the William A. Baehr organization, Engineers, Chicago, was in town Monday preparing for the reopening of the Brainerd gas plant. J. R. Spiering of St. Cloud accompanied him. While in town these representatives of the Baehr organization placed a sign at the gas plant which reads:
“Citizens of Brainerd. The contracts for the rehabilitation of the Brainerd Gas Plant and Electric Co., Wm. A. Baehr, Pres.
Mr. Baehr will be in Brainerd at an early date to direct the work in its progress.
The contracts let include an order for a new compressor and for the repairs necessary on the gas containers and other parts of the plant. Crews will soon be out going over the gas mains to determine where repairs to these are necessary. And after these necessary improvements are completed Brainerd will once again have the convenience which affords real benefit to its citizens. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 03 July 1922, p. 7, c. 1)

GAS PLANT WILL BE OPENED SOON
_____


A sign out at the gas plant reads: “Citizens of Brainerd. The contracts for the rehabilitation of the Brainerd Gas plant have been let and work will commence immediately, Brainerd Gas and Electric Co., Wm. A. Baehr, Pres.”
The contracts let include an order for a new compressor and for the repairs necessary on the gas containers and other parts of the plant. Mains will be examined and repaired at an early date and before long citizens will have the advantage of a gas supply. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 07 July 1922, p. 7, c. 2)

Gas Plant Improvements


The superintendent of the gas company, Mr. Workman, was introduced and addressed the council on the work that has been done and will be done to put the plant into shape for operation. The work will begin in real earnest tomorrow, Mr. Workman affirmed. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 18 July 1922, p. 5, c. 1)

GAS MAINS TESTED FOR LEAKS, ETC.
_____

South Side Inspection Completed,
Two Crews Now Working on
Brainerd North Side
_____

MACHINERY IS OVERHAULED
_____

New Valve System Installed to Fa-
cilitate Handling of Leaks
and Breaks in Mains


The work of repairing and putting in shape the gas plant is progressing rapidly. The work at present is centered on placing in condition the mains. This requires testing out of every section of the mains to locate leaks and broken pipe.
The testing is done by compressed air, the requirements being that the pipes withstand a pressure of about 40 pounds which is considered ample because the gas pressure required will rarely be above 10 pounds.
The work of testing the pipes is already concluded on the South side, the mains in that section being ready for use. Two crews are at work on the North side, one on Bluff avenue North, the other on Main street between Third and Fourth streets.
The machinery at the plant has received a thorough overhauling and a new boiler and new compressor added. Some other alterations are planned the supplies for which have already been shipped.
A new valve system will be installed to facilitate the handling of leaks and breaks in the mains. Heretofore one large valve at the plant handled the entire system of mains, and if a break occurred in any part of the city, this valve was closed, cutting off every subscriber until the leak was repaired.
Now the city has been divided into nine districts, with a control valve for each, so that if trouble arises in one district only the residents of a few blocks will be affected.
At the rate the work is progressing now, it is planned to have the plant in operation in October, sooner if possible. But on account of the freight service during the present strike, the delivery of supplies is very uncertain, and the completion of the work depends entirely upon the receipt of these supplies. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 17 August 1922, p. 5, c. 4)

GAS FURNISHED BY NEXT WEEK
_____

Brainerd Gas & Electric Company
Makes the Announcement of Re-
sumption of Service Soon
_____

TO HAVE DOWNTOWN OFFICE
_____

W. F. Hopper to be Superintendent
in Charge. E. W. Browne Soliciting
Consumers


The Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. expects to be furnishing the city of Brainerd gas the latter part of next week. D. M. Workman of Chicago, an experienced gas engineer, has been going over the local plant and mains.
W. F. Hopper will be the superintendent in charge. He has had considerable experience in various gas plants in Illinois and Missouri, and has been in complete charge during the rehabilitation work.
E. W. Browne is the service manager and has been engaged in soliciting gas consumers and appliances required. His temporary offices are in the gas plant.
Downtown offices will be established the new O’Brien building on South Broadway as soon as the structure is completed. Temporary offices up to that time will be given out later.
As soon as gas is made, crews will be sent out installing meters. There will be no charge setting meters. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 20 September 1922, p. 5, c. 4)

Gas Plant Will Soon Serve Consumers
_____

EDW. W. BROWNE AND E. W.
SCHMIT SOLICITING GAS
CONSUMERS
_____

TO DATE OVER 150 HAVE SIGN-
ED UP TO USE GAS AT HOMES
AND BUSINESSES


The Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. are now purging air out of mains and filling with gas, and as fast as this is accomplished in any section of the town, gas pressure is maintained in that section. As soon as all mains have been purged the company will proceed with the installation of meters and give those people service who have made application for same.
Edw. W. Browne and E. W. Schmit have been at work for the past week calling on prospective consumers and at the present time have approximately 150 applications.
Extensive repairs have been made at the gas plant and all apparatus thoroughly overhauled. All meters will be tested before installing and all mains and services have been tested under air pressure.
It is expected that a crew of men will start installing meters the first of next week.
The gas company’s new office located in the new O’Brien building 8th and Laurel will be occupied the first of next week, in the meantime their office is located at the gas plant. Telephone 1187 W. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 30 September 1922, p. 1, c. 5)

Byllesby Company Acquires Brainerd Gas Co.
_____

HOLDING COMPANY ACQUIRES ALL OF WHITNEY PROPERTY
_____

ELECTRIC LIGHT AND POWER
COMPANIES SUPPLY OVER
50 TOWNS


(From St. Cloud Daily Journal-Press)
Chicago, Ill., Aug. 4.—H. M. Byllesby company announced the purchase of the St. Cloud Public Service company and subsidiary companies which operate electric light and power, gas and street railway properties in St. Cloud and supply electric power and light services for 53 other communities in central Minnesota. The purchase was made from the A. G. Whitney interests of St. Cloud.
It is planned to operate the properties as a division of the Northern States Power system.

Is Holding Company

The H. M. Byllesby Company of Chicago is what is known as a holding company. It takes over properties, finances them, and turns the management over to subsidiary companies, of which the Northern States Power company is one. The latter company supplies Minneapolis and St. Paul with electrical power, and has a bunch of towns in the southern part of the state, adjoining those served by the St. Cloud Public Service company, reaching from Hutchinson to Sioux Falls, S. D., and this makes their contiguous territory from St. Cloud to South Dakota complete. It also has plants in Grand Forks, Fargo, Minot and other North Dakota towns, as well as several in Wisconsin. It is the largest service company in the Northwest.
The sale includes:
St. Cloud Water Power Co.,
St. Cloud Public Service Co.,
Union Power Co.,
Light and Power Co.,
Farmers’ Light and Power Co.,
Brainerd Gas and Electric Co.,
Glenwood Electric Light, Heat and Power Co.,
Granite City Railway Co.,
Sauk Rapids Water Power Co.,
Public Service Construction Co.,
the total value of which is six million dollars.

Rich Territory

The territory served by the St. Cloud system embraces a rich agricultural and dairying section, contiguous to that already served by the Northern States Power company, and is in the heart of the Minnesota quarrying district.
Among the more important communities served are Sauk Rapids, Monticello, Cold Spring, Richmond, Albany and Foley.
Combined population of the territory is estimated at 55,000. Practically all quarries in the district are operated by electric power supplied by the St. Cloud system.

Well Developed System

The system includes a total installed electric generating capacity of approximately 10,000 horsepower, including 3,000 horsepower of hydroelectric capacity on the Mississippi river at St. Cloud, and about 423 miles of transmission lines.
The gas department includes daily manufacturing capacity of 470,000 cubic feet, and about 35 miles of distributing mains.
The gross earnings for the twelve months ending June 30, 1924, amounted approximately to $850,000.
The St. Cloud Public Service company also owned and controlled valuable undeveloped water power sites which are included in the purchase.

Strengthens Northern States

With the addition of the St. Cloud properties the Northern States Power company will supply services to 580 cities and towns having a total estimated population of 1,372,000 in the Central Northwest.
In connection with the transaction Wheelock Whitney issued the following statement:
“The sale of the Whitney utility properties to the Byllesby organization was closed in Chicago, Thursday, July 31. While negotiations have been pending for some time, until the sale was actually closed no one was in position to say what the outcome of these negotiation would be.

Confidence in Purchaser

“I understand that it is the intention to consolidate the St. Cloud Public Service company and subsidiaries with the Northern States Power Co., and thus make it an important division of what is already a very large system, serving a wide territory.
“Knowing the Northern States Power company very well, we feel safe in saying that the public will receive the best of service at the lowest reasonable rates. The new management is in position to make the additions and extensions demanded almost continually of the growing utility company.
“It is a well-known fact that today very large companies with many sources of power supply and transmission systems, together with large financing abilities, are necessary to adequately serve the public and at the same time keep down the charges for service.
“We believe that in turning over the Whitney properties to Byllesby management we have done something which will prove the greatest benefit and value to all concerned.”

Baehr Gives Statement

William A. Baehr, head of the William A. Baehr Organization, of Chicago, said:
“We have had no financial interest in the Whitney properties, but have endeavored to manage them in a manner satisfactory to the public. While we regret to sever our connection at the same time we feel that the sale will prove of the greatest benefit to St. Cloud and the fine territory served because the Byllesby management will be in position to bring about full development faster than would be the case otherwise. The field served has a wonderful future. I have a high regard for the people of St. Cloud and feel that my relations with them have been very cordial.”

May Mean New Dam

The deal means that there will be plenty of money to put the equipment in first class condition, to rebuild the gas plant, and in all probability to build another dam at Clearwater, for which much engineering work has already been done. Sauk Rapids dam site, it is understood, will be reserved for future development, as more power is needed.
This sale does not include the Elk River power plant, which is owned by the Baehr corporation.

Long Negotiations

This sale is the consummation of negotiations that have been carried on spasmodically for a dozen years. It was started during Mr. Whitney’s activities, but made little headway, as it was his ambition to build up a great power plant to be controlled by himself, and which he succeeded in doing to a remarkable extent. Following his death negotiations were taken up, not only with the Byllesby company, but also with the Baehr corporation, and at one time there seemed a possibility that Mr. Baehr would take it over. Later he became the head of several great companies in Illinois, and his time is so fully occupied that he found it impossible to add the St. Cloud company to his list.

May Lose Grote

The Northern States Power company has a splendid reputation for square dealing and good service.
One regret is that Manager George F. Grote will probably remain with Mr. Baehr, and this will necessitate his removal from the city. He has made a host of friends for himself and the company, and is a most capable manager and a splendid gentleman. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 04 August 1924, p. 1, c. 7; p. 6, c. 2)

WE ARE ABSORBED AGAIN
_____


SOME few months ago a huge water power concern acquired the holdings of the Cuyuna Range Power company and now holds our destinies so far as electric current for lighting and power is concerned.
Last week the H. M. Byllesby company of Chicago acquired all the power holdings of the A. G. Whitney interests of St. Cloud and in the $6,000,000 transaction was included the Brainerd Gas & Electric company holdings in Brainerd.
Both corporations are huge concerns. Both, in large dealings with the public, are anxious to please the public and to do what is right in service. In all public utilities, the goodwill of the public is something that cannot be measured in dollars and cents, and that good will, priceless in itself, helps to contribute to the value of the corporate holdings.
The Minnesota Power & Light company through general stock sales is striving to get the public to invest in its holdings and thereby share its prosperity and feel more than a neighborly interest in the company. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 04 August 1924, p. 4, c. 1)

ELECTRIC POWER HOUSE (DAM)

“LET THERE BE LIGHT.”
_____

A Corporation Forming for the In-
troduction of Electric Light
in This City.
_____

The City Council to be Petitioned at
its Next Meeting for the Grant-
ing of a Charter.
_____

Solid Men Say “Let There be
Light,” and Light There is
Bound to Be.
_____


In keeping with the unprecedented and substantial growth of this city is the organization of a private corporation which will cause the introduction in Brainerd at an early day of the Brush electric light, which will completely illuminate the city and its suburbs, and permit the use for lighting purposes of the same by our citizens for the more ordinary purposes of illumination of business houses and private dwellings. The stock company will have when organized a capital of $50,000. As yet the number of members to comprise it has not been decided upon, as just what subscriptions will be required to be made by each have not been determined, but the subject of a charter being granted to the corporation will be laid before the city council at its next meeting, and immediately upon the granting of the same steps will be taken to begin at once the perfection of the enterprise.
The site chosen for the tower will in all probability be the park on Front street, as it is the most appropriate and centrally located spot. The tower will be 160 feet in height topped by a pole forty feet in length, near the peak of which the lights will be put in position, consisting of a forty-light plant, run by a forty-horse power engine. Plants are made consisting of ten, twenty and forty lights, and it will be seen that the largest has been selected. Such is the illuminating power of this light that a pin lying upon the ground can be seen from a buggy, and a store lit up with only one of these lights completely outshines one illuminated by forty gas jets, the one fully equaling the broad glare of day and the other being pale and flickering in comparison and not penetrating to the corners of the room. Leading citizens have expressed their eagerness to adopt this mode of lighting, and others have agreed to take as large a number as five lights. Chase, Pillsbury & Co. of Gull River, have also stated their willingness to subscribe for the use of five lights and if enough encouragement is received from that place by the projectors of the enterprise a connecting wire will be run into that place, as the light can be thus transmitted to any reasonable distance. The recent objections to this mode of illumination on account of danger caused from fire by imperfect insulation of the wire, have been entirely obviated in the Brush light, by the invention and addition to this patent of the automatic cut off, which in case of accident stops the current and destroys the danger feared.
Prominent among those who have taken such an interest in the lighting of Brainerd by electricity is Mr. W. W. Hartley, and his efforts will without doubt be crowned with success. Upon his visit to Grand Rapids, Mich., he fully examined into the working of this light, became convinced of its perfect utility as a means of turning night as dark as Erebus into a condition resembling the brightness of daylight, decided that it was superior to the make of any other man, and upon his return to this city, with characteristic energy took the matter in hand. The result is that Brainerd is not only to have electric lights, but will reap the benefit of all the experiments and improvements which have so recently been made in their constructions, owing to defects noted upon their introduction in all the principal cities of the two hemispheres. (Brainerd Tribune, 15 April 1882, p. 1, c. 3)

ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION.
_____

Of

“Brainerd Electric Light Company.”


Know all men by these presents: That we, the undersigned do hereby agree to and do associate ourselves as a body corporate under the provision to Title 2, chapter 34, of the General Statutes of 1878, of the State of Minnesota, and have adopted and do adopt, execute and publish our articles of incorporation as follows:
FIRST. The name of the corporation shall be “Brainerd Electric Light Company.” The general nature of its business shall be the construction and operation of works and apparatus for the production of and furnishing light and power for the City of Brainerd, and vicinity, and in owning, holding and leasing such real and personal property as may be necessary or advantageous in carrying on such business, and such other business as may be incidental thereto or connected therewith. The principal place of business of the corporation shall be at Brainerd, Minnesota.
SECOND. The time of commencement of this corporation shall be the 26th day of August, A. D. 1887, and it shall continue for twenty years thereafter.
THIRD. The amount of the capital stock of this corporation shall be One Hundred Thousand Dollars, and the same shall be paid in at the times and in the manner prescribed by the board of directors.
FOURTH. The highest amount of the indebtedness of the corporation shall be One Hundred Thousand Dollars.
FIFTH. The names and place of residence of the persons forming this corporation are John C. Rosser, William E. Seelye and Oliver H. Havill, all of Brainerd, Crow Wing county, Minnesota.
SIXTH. The government of this corporation and management of its affairs shall be vested in a board of not less than three directors; and its officers shall be a president, secretary and treasurer. Said board of directors and officers shall hold their offices for one year and until their successors are elected and qualified. The following named persons shall constitute the board of directors until the 11th day of October A. D. 1887, and until their successors are elected, viz: William E. Seelye, John C. Rosser and Oliver H. Havill. William E. Seelye shall be president, John C. Rosser, Treasurer and Oliver H. Havill, Secretary, until said 11th day of October, 1887, and until their successors are elected and qualified. The annual meeting of the stockholders shall be held on the second Tuesday of October in each year, and said directors shall be elected at such annual meeting.
SEVENTH. The capital stock of this corporation shall be divided into One Thousand Shares of One Hundred Dollars each.
In testimony whereof we have hereunto set our hands and seals this 17th day of August, A. D. 1887.
[SEAL.] WILLIAM E. SEELYE,
[SEAL.] J. C. ROSSER,
[SEAL.] OLIVER H. HAVILL.
In presence of
F. B. JOHNSON,
C. F. KINDRED.
STATE OF MINNESOTA,
County of Crow Wing.
On this 17th day of August, A. D. 1887, personally came before me John C. Rosser, William E. Seelye and Oliver H. Havill, to me well known to be the same persons mentioned in and who executed the foregoing instrument, and acknowledged the same to be their free act and deed.
[SEAL.] G. S. FERNALD,
Notary Public.
STATE OF MINNESOTA,
Department of State.
I hereby certify that the within instrument was filed for record in this office on the 18th day of August, A. D. 1887, at 9 o’clock, a. m., and was duly recorded in Book “S” of Incorporation, on pages 382 and 383.
H. MATTSON,
Secretary of State.

No. 542.

OFFICE of REGISTER OF DEEDS,
State of Minnesota,
County of Crow Wing.
I hereby certify that the within instrument was filed in this office for record on the 19th day of August A. D. 1887, at 9 o’clock a. m. and was duly recorded in Book “B” of Miscellaneous Records, pages 620 to 623.
[SEAL.] MILTON McFADDEN,
Register of Deeds.
By C. B. THOMPSON,
Deputy.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 19 August 1887, p. 4, c. 7)

Signs of the Times.


...Another straw to show that there is no end to public improvements when once started is the fact that electric lights will be put in at once, and W. S. Berry, the agent for the Thomson-Houston Electric Light Co., is here in company with others, and the work of putting up the wires will be commenced at once. A 30-arc light machine will be put up first, and the capacity increased as the demand for more light grows. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 September 1887, p. 4, c. 5)

THE CITY ILLUMINATED.
_____

The Advent of Electric Lights Celebrated by a Mass Meeting.
_____

Brainerd’s Board of Trade.


On Tuesday evening the long looked for electric light was turned on and an enthusiastic crowd gathered at the corner of Sixth and Front streets to watch the illumination. The city band was on hand, and speeches were indulged in, Hon. L. P. White, Judge Sleeper, A. Dewey, H. C. Stivers, J. A. Wilson, A. E. Veon and Prof. McKenzie being among the number who orated. An immense bonfire helped matters, and the crowd seemed to realize that Brainerd had taken a long stride toward metropolitan airs. After everybody had had their say, the band accompanied by a large crowd of citizens serenaded Mr. Kindred and the gentleman responded in his characteristic style.
The electric lights appear to give satisfaction to a majority of the people, although they are too scattered to brilliantly illuminate the business centre of the city, and additional lights should be put up at the corner of Fifth and Front streets and also at Seventh street, and it is understood that if the city council accepts the present system that they will be put in. Laurel street also needs one or two more lights. Taken as a whole, the improvement is a marked one and the weary midnight traveler can now be lighted to his home without the aid of a lantern or fear of breaking his neck on a defective side walk.
Brainerd has had her time of financial embarrassments and business depressions but now the time of activity and life has arrived. Let every man put his shoulders to the wheel and push together and we will soon be out of the rut of despondency. We have the making of a large city here, all the rudiments of success are within our borders, and if we fail in our efforts the fault lies with the people and not with the surroundings.
A movement is on foot to reorganize the board of trade, and a meeting will probably be called on Monday evening to complete the arrangements. The fact of the matter is that Brainerd already has a board of trade incorporated under the State laws, and anybody desiring to join can deposit the fee of $20 with N. McFadden, the treasurer, and his application will be acted upon. Judge Sleeper is the president and W. W. Hartley secretary. If the business men of this city are desirous of securing an active board let them step forward and put their shoulder to the wheel. No reorganization is necessary, but a revival of the body should certainly be attended to at once. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 October 1887, p. 1, c. 5)

Wm. Seelye has sold his interest in the electric light franchise to C. F. Kindred for $100,000. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 November 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

Done in Council.


...The council then took the matter of electric lights, and repealed the old ordinance No. 33, and adopted a new one granting to the new company the exclusive franchise for 20 years. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 November 1887, p. 4, c. 6)

Expresses His Opinion.


EDITOR DISPATCH: I see by the Daily News that I pay no personal tax. To use plain English, this is a lie. But supposing it to be true, what of it? In this country it so happens that it is no crime to be poor. Nor is the poorest and humblest citizen to be throttled for giving honest expressions of opinion upon public matters simply because he is poor and pays no taxes. And I would rather have the opinion of a poor man than the statements of a hireling. There are men who would rather be poor, die poor and go to a poor man’s rewards, than to have wealth gotten by unquestionable means. Poverty is no disgrace, and it may be, that long after these schemers are forgotten, some of us who “pay no taxes” will be alive and well—flourishing like the green bay tree—helping to pay bridge bonds and electric light bills. We will not ask how much tax the genial editor of the News pays, nor how “heavy” taxes would fall upon other parties if a contingency were to happen by which interested parties would get their dues. We don’t care. Their judgments may be good in any event. But the truth is, this little, insignificant fling at us is simply an attempt at prejudicing the minds of the people against us; but it didn’t carry. You shot wide of the mark, gentlemen, I am opposed to the electric light scheme proposed by Mr. Kindred, because the present system is not properly constructed, the price asked is excessive beyond reason, and the Thomson-Houston light has been condemned by nearly every city that has tried them—and all he wants is $7,200 per year! I believe it to be wrong to create so dangerous a monopoly of one commodity for a series of years. As it now is the city cannot, if it should want to, use gas, but must use electric lights or go in the dark. This is my opinion, and I think I have an undoubted right to express it whether I pay any taxes or not

Yours Respectfully,
W. A. FLEMING. [Judge]

(Brainerd Dispatch, 25 November 1887, p. 4, c. 6)

Electric Lights.


EDITOR DISPATCH:
All are agreed that the streets in the business portion our city ought to be lighted. How, by whom, and at what expense shall this be done? These are questions that ought to be answered, not hastily, but after a thorough investigation of the whole subject. This matter should be disposed of upon business and economic principles. It rests with the city council to say, ultimately, what shall be done; but they ought not to loose sight of the fact that the wishes of their constituents—the people—should be, at least, considered, if not acted upon.
If our aldermen fail to do their duty in this respect, and ignore and repudiate the demands of the people, they become mis-representatives, and ought, in turn, to be repudiated and their acts ignored. When a threatened danger is pointed out to this honorable body of men, each should act upon his own honest convictions of right and dare to do the right. And we believe that our city council is made up of men who, when they rightly understand the question under consideration, will not go very far astray. We do not believe that these honorable gentlemen have so much of love and admiration for any one man that, as, against the wishes and earnest protests of the people, they can be led into doing the city an irreparable wrong. Neither do we believe that they will look upon us as a “crank” or a “kicker,” as will those whose cores we may happen to tread upon, because we take the liberty of trying to point out to them wherein the danger lies in connection with the lighting of the streets of our city. It is for this purpose alone that we write this letter. We don’t like to see the council make so grave a mistake as to pile upon this city an onerous debt for lights when it can be avoided. We can have all the lights we may wish for less than one half the price asked for the present plant of electric lights. If this is true, ought not the saving to be made? Is it right to pay double what lights can be produced for, simply to please the fancy, or whim, or caprice of a few interested parties? Look at the contract which was attempted to be worked through the council at its last session. It was enough to make an honest man blush with shame to even listen to it. One hundred and forty-four dollars per light—seven thousand two hundred dollars for fifty lights—per year! Is there no danger when men dare to even approach the council with such a monstrous proposition? Think of it! How much would this amount to for the twenty years franchise? Only $144,000. Then add to this the cost of fifty more lights for the same time, and we have a total of over $250,000,—a cool quarter of a million—for illuminating the streets of the city for twenty years! Is there no danger! And ought not the council to move cautiously in this matter? Happily for the interests of our city they have not, as yet, been hurried, and the people are to be congratulated. The coast is clear, and we are safe. But it is said the lights have been put in and ought to be paid for. Who asked to have them put in? Did the people? Certainly not. Then why should we pay for them? They can be taken out and nobody will be displeased. It is far better that they should be than that this city be compelled to pay the price asked for them. We are in receipt of a letter from a party in Minneapolis in which in speaking of electric lights, he says, “in their present imperfect state electric lights are dear at any price upon a long contract. They are in their infancy, and great improvements must follow.” What then will be the condition of things if the city contracts for the present plant, when the improved lights are brought forward? We can’t have the improved but must use the lights we agreed to take. Speaking of this subject the Minneapolis Star-News says: “But however this may be, the mayor is right in saying that it would be foolish for the city to invest any money at present in an illuminating plant. Experiments are now going on in Pittsburgh which promise to demonstrate that a good fuel gas can be made from coal at a cost of from two to four cents per 1000 feet, and that in the process of manufacture enough waste heat can be utilized to produce sufficient electricity to light the entire city. If these experiments prove successful, as they bid fair to, a city could be entirely heated and lighted, and enough heat supplied for all cooking operations, at a less cost than would now be required for illumination alone. If the city is to invest any money it should wait for the outcome of these experiments and the perfection of improved processes in electric lighting that are now under way.” This reason alone should keep the council from making any any contract whatever for the present plant of lights on long time. We are not the only city that is being agitated over this question. Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis and other cities have been discussing the matter, and have reached a solution of it. In Minneapolis where one hundred and fifty dollars per light have been paid, it is found to be exorbitant. The Journal of that city says: “It is a question which involves all the considerations of economy for years to come;” and says that the cost can be reduced one-half. The dispatches from Detroit, Mich., inform us that “that city has for years been in the grasp of an electric monopoly. It jumped at once into the grasp of high price lighting.” And we are told that proper proceedings have been taken by the city council, and now the city is lighted for one-half the former cost. In Chicago an electric light plant is being run at a cost of $50 per light per year, or fourteen cents per night per light. Why and how was this brought about? Simply because they found out they were being “roasted” by the electric light companies, and an investigation followed which resulted in the cities putting in its own lights. In all these cities it will not be long before the streets will be lighted by plants owned by the cities themselves, at a saving of many thousands of dollars. Will the City of Brainerd “go and do likewise,” or will it madly rush into the hungry, greedy grasp of a monopolist? Let the city wait until next spring and then take the two hundred horse power at the dam, put in its own electric light plant and make its own light. If lights can be produced for $50 in Minneapolis they can be here, and the city will be saved the neat little sum of $4,700 per year. Will the council do its duty? We believe it will.
Respectfully Yours,
INTERESTED CITIZEN.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 02 December 1887, p. 1, c. 5)

More Light on the Subject.


EDITOR DISPATCH: I read with much pleasure and satisfaction “Interested Citizen’s” letter in your last issue upon the question of street illumination. I am glad to know that there is at least one man in this city who dares to speak right out and let people know that there is an attempt of this kind to raid the city’s treasury, and on behalf of my fellow workingmen, who in this city pay the bulk of the taxes, I most heartily endorse what citizen has to say. We believe that unless the streets of our city can be lighted for something like what it is worth and what the city can afford to pay, we had better go without lights. The proposition made to the city is so outrageous that did we not know the originator of it so well we would not give it a serious thought nor speak of it except as a joke. Your esteemed correspondent has suggested that the city put in its own plant and make its own lights. We think this is wise, but instead of putting in arc lights why not do as many other cities have done, use towers. They are, in small cities, much preferable and a great deal less expensive than the arc light. Three of these towers will furnish all the light needed, and the cost is quite insignificant compared with the expense of the arc light. I make this as a suggestion and ask the council to give it at least a passing thought.
Yours truly,
WILLIAM PERCY. [Northern Pacific General Car Foreman]
(Brainerd Dispatch, 09 December 1887, p. 1, c. 4)

COUNCIL CULLINGS.
_____

The City Fathers Contract With C. F.
Kindred for Electric Lights for
Twenty Years.


The city council met on Monday evening in regular session, a full board being present.

[...]


The electric light matter came up and the opinion of City Attorney Fernald was asked in regard to the city’s right to issue exclusive franchises. He gave the opinion that it had the right and in his opinion the exclusive franchise granted to the electric light company was perfectly legal.
W. A. Fleming stated to the council that the Brainerd Electric Light and Power Company had no legal franchise owing to irregularity in passing the ordinance, and the matter was referred to the city attorney. Immediately after this Ald. Spencer moved that the Mayor and City Clerk make a contract with the Electric Light Co. to furnish lights for the city which was carried, the only Aldermen voting in the negative being Doran and Graham.
Tuesday evening the council met and ratified the contract which had been signed, the vote standing the same, six to two.
The contract calls for fifty lights at $125 per light per year, thirty lights being already up and eight month’s time is granted for completing the system. The contract runs for twenty years, the council having the right to add additional lights in lots of twenty-five at any time at $120 per light per year. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 January 1888, p. 4, c. 5)

More Light on the Subject.


EDITOR DISPATCH:—It is all over, and the city is salted. It is settled that we must pay $125 for lights when a better light was offered in the city for $80 on the same terms, and when as good a light as the Thomson-Houston can be furnished, as we have since learned, for $80 per light per year. Thus has the city been fleeced, when, if we had been given the hearing we were promised by the council committee, it might have been saved. We made our proposition in good faith, and we were denounced as humbugs, and the proposition was received with contempt. We were in no hurry and only wanted the council to investigate the matter. Instead, Mr. Kindred’s contract was rushed though the council and no power on earth could prevent it. If there are those who doubt that we can furnish lights for what we offered to furnish them for, and will call at our office, we will convince them of its truth, and present them with a good cigar for their trouble. We did what we could to save the city from this burden. We did it honorably and fairly, and for it we were slandered in the most villainous manner. Be it so. The responsibility is not with us.
As a comforter we submit the following figures, &ct.

YEARLY EXPENDITURE.


For electric lights—$6,250
For interest on water bond—$4,635
For interest on $25,000 dam bond—$1,500
For interest on 50,000 dam bond—$3,000
Total—$15,385

WHAT IT AMOUNTS TO IN 20 YEARS.


For electric lights—$125,000
For interest on same—$75,000
For interest on water bond—$92,700
For interest on same—$55,620
For city dam bond—$25,000
For interest on same—$30,000
For interest on same—$8,000
For county dam bond—$50,000
For interest on same—$60,000
For interest on same $18,000
Total—$539,320

Tax payers, look these figures over carefully. They are a few of many kindred ties that bind us to our beloved city.
Yours,
W. A. Fleming [Judge]
(Brainerd Dispatch, 20 January 1888, p. 4, c. 5)

Kindred and His Light.


Our gentle little friend, the Daily News, wants proof of the truth of our assertion that a better light than Mr. Kindred’s can be furnished for $80, and as good a one for $50 each per year. Did it ever occur to the News that possibly there may be some doubt as to their right to make such a demand? We made the assertion that it could be done, and offered to do it. We begged the privilege of being heard before the council committee, which was denied. Well, did Mr. Kindred know that we could do what was offered, and hence his haste, and hence the reason we were not granted the hearing. We offered to put a plant in on trial at $50 per light, and we here renew the offer. If upon trial they are not satisfactory we will remove them without expense to the city. Can anything be fairer? If they are not as good a light in all respects, as Mr. Kindred’s, the city need not take them. We called attention to the fact that Mr. Kindred was asking too much for the lights in the DISPATCH of Dec. 2, and urged the council to make a thorough investigation of the matter, and expressed the belief, that, if they would do so, they would do as many other cities are doing, put in a plant and make their own light. And it was in the hope that the subject would receive their attention that we asked for a franchise and made our offer. We hoped to get them to thinking, at least, knowing that if they did so, no such foolish contract as the one entered into with Mr. Kindred, would be made we knew this and dared to say so. For it we were condemned in the most bitter manner. But time will tell who the humbugs and who the true friends of Brainerd are. The great trouble is, a few of our citizens so anxious to see the town “boom,” that they are not willing to grant others the right to express their views, if they do not happen to coincide with their own. We believe that honesty in the management of municipal affairs, is just as essential to its prosperity, as it is in individuals, and we shall always reserve the right to express our views upon all questions of public concern. Nobody needs doubt that. Now, as to the “proof” called for, we have to say, that it is too voluminous to present through the papers; but if the News man will call at our office we will show him the proofs and convince him as we have convinced dozens during the last few days, that our assertions are true.
A word about the incandescent light. Our proposed ordinance provides that the price to be charged for lights shall never exceed $30 for each 30 candle power light per year, of the Heisler system. Not a word about the Stillwater light was said, until Mr. Kindred very cutely and cunningly offered to put in incandescent lights the same as those NOW in use in Stillwater for $18. Why those NOW in use in Stillwater? Because those NOW in use are only 16 candle power, and it was incorporated in his contract for the purpose of prejudicing the minds of the council against our offer. To be sure it was stated by some of Mr. Kindred’s friends, that they were 25 candle power, but we knew better, and knew that a 16 candle power light could be furnished for $16, and so stated. It was a very cute dodge, it is true, but it was nevertheless false, and here is the proof. Extract from a letter from E. A. Hopkins, Jr., city clerk of Stillwater:
“As to their being satisfactory [we] cannot yet decide, as the present lamps are but 16 candle—the company being compelled to use these, as the factory which furnishes the lamps was burned out.”
But Mr. Kindred’s “bluff” had its desired effect, and he is satisfied. We will not notice further the many misstatements and innuendoes of the News. They are paid for abuse, and cut no figure in the matter under consideration. We will say, however, that had the city taken $10,000 and put in its own plant of arc and incandescent lights combined, out of the rents received from the incandescent lights from private parties, enough could have been got to run the entire plant, leaving the city with its street lamps free of cost. But alas! they didn’t do it.
W. A. FLEMING. [Judge]
(Brainerd Dispatch, 27 January 1888, p. 4, c. 5)

The water mains will be extended to the dam immediately and the power for driving the electric light machinery will be furnished by the dam as soon as it can be removed to that place. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 April 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

DOINGS OF THE CITY FATHERS.
_____

They Rescind and Revoke the Elec-
tric Light Contract.
_____


SPECIAL SESSION.


The following resolution relating to the electric light franchise was read, the aldermen voting for being Camp, Graham, Cooley, Atkinson, Keough and Mr. President. Against—Spencer and Searles:

Resolved by the Council of the City of Brainerd:

THAT all contracts or agreements whatsoever, heretofore entered into between the Brainerd Light & Power Co. and the City of Brainerd, for the purpose of providing lights for said City, whether the same be by ordinance, resolution, by-laws, or other form of contract, and particularly a certain contract between said parties being dated January 17th, 1888, and a certain resolution of said city council of the City of Brainerd passed on the 16th day of January, 1888, and published on the 28th day of January, 1888, be and the same are hereby disaffirmed, revoked, rescinded, annulled and repealed. And the said Brainerd Light & Power Co., and all persons, parties or corporations, claiming or interested by, through or under it, whether by assignment, mortgage, or any manner whatsoever, are hereby notified that the said City of Brainerd will not, after due publication of this resolution, accept nor pay for any light whatsoever, furnished by the said Brainerd Light & Power Co., or its assigns, under any contract or contracts whatsoever.
After transacting some other unimportant business the council adjourned. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 July 1888, p. 1, c. 4)

The electric lights were turned on last evening for the first time since the high water. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 July 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

The electric lights on the south side of the track have all been removed, and we understand will be replaced with new ones, it being the intention of the company to put the old ones all on the north side. Two circuits will be established, one on the north side and one on the south side of the track. The lights on the north side will be operated by power at the engine house, and the power for the south side will be furnished by the Brainerd Manufacturing Co. We understand that all the additional machinery necessary to run two circuits has arrived and will be placed in position in a few days. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 September 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

Will Drop the Electric Light Matter
Entirely.


In conversation with a DISPATCH reporter yesterday, when asked what the Electric Light Co. would do in case further time was not granted by the council to put in the additional lights, Mr. Kindred said that the matter would be dropped by the company entirely, and the plant disposed of. The time allowed by the contract to put in the additional lights expired the 17th inst., and the council deferred action on the matter until the next regular meeting. He said the lights would all have been in position had not the dynamos and apparatus been shipped wrong. The apparatus for both arc and incandescent lights are here now, but will be returned unless the council extends the time. He said he did not care whether they did or not, as he was thoroughly tired of the wrangling that has been going on, and he had determined to quit the town and have done with the whole matter. He insisted that the city had the best of the bargain, as the lights were being furnished much cheaper than they can be had anywhere else, and said that this or any other company could not use steam power to operate the plant and meet expenses at the present price, which was agreed to by the company because they expected to get fee power at the dam.
When asked what, if anything, was being done to utilize the power at the dam, Mr. Kindred said that he was negotiating with eastern parties to sell to them his entire right and interest, but that there was no certainty that the sale would be effected. But he would continue, while residing in Philadelphia, where he informs us he will locate, to try and induce manufacturers to locate here and utilize the power, and thought that he would be more successful in his efforts where he could see and talk to the parties personally, than be sending out circulars from here.
He also said that the rumor that he had accepted a position on the Philadelphia & Reading and was going to reside in Philadelphia was true, and said that he would leave for that city the first of October and assume the duties of his position. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 September 1888, p. 1, c. 5)

SEE: Brainerd Gas & Electric Company / Northern States Power
SEE: Brainerd Dam
SEE: 1878 Brainerd by a Stranger-1 in the Early Accounts of Brainerd page.

Council Proceedings.


The council met in regular session Monday evening, all the members being present.

[...]


A petition of the Electric Light Co. asking for an extension of time in which to place the 50 lights under contract was read, and on motion of Ald. Graham, seconded by Ald. Atkinson, action on the petition was deferred until the next regular meeting. Council then adjourned. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 September 1888, p. 1, c. 6)

Will They Buy It?


The city council are considering the advisability of purchasing the electric light plant in this city and at their Monday night’s meeting adopted a resolution to purchase the plant for $52,000. The company is to furnish 500 horse power and a site for twenty years and to give a bond for the fulfillment of the contract. The [cutoff]. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 October 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

The city council are exerting themselves in endeavoring to get the electric light machinery in running order and promise to illuminate the city about Dec. 15th. The wires for the incandescent lights are being put in as rapidly as possible. The plans for the building at the dam arrived on Wednesday and its construction will be rushed to completion. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 November 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

Council Proceedings.


[...]


On motion the office of superintendent of electric lights was created, and Prof. Dresskell was engaged to fill the position at a salary of $1,000 a year. Mr. Dresskell takes the position for thirty days on trial. His duties will include control of the mechanical part of the plant, as well as to keep the books and collect all accounts of consumers. He is required to make a monthly report to the council. He also has charge of the arc street lamps, thirty of which will be put in immediately. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 January 1889, p. 4, c. 7)

TO BOOM BRAINERD.
_____

A Monster Mass Meeting at the Opera
House to Consider a Pro-
position.
_____

Capitalists With Unlimited Means Want
the Electric Light Plant.
_____

In Consideration They Will Build a Mil-
lion Dollar Manufacturing Establishment.


The meeting at the opera house last night was one of the most harmonious, for a mass meeting, that it has ever been our pleasure to attend. Nearly every man, woman and child in the city knows by this time what the meeting was for. A syndicate of eastern capitalists having secured an option on nearly all the available property at the dam, including the Swartz [sic] property, the Rice lake property, the water power proper, the city water works and valuable pine land, desire the city of Brainerd to turn over to them the electric light plant and franchise and pay all claims against it, they in return to give to the city fifty arc lights free for twenty years. This was what the people were called together to consider, and as the company do not ask the city to turn over a dollar’s worth of property to them until they have fulfilled their part of the contract by erecting manufacturing establishments on the power to cost in the neighborhood of a million of dollars and to employ from 300 to 500 men the year round, the matter is looked on with favor by nearly every man in the city:
The opera house was filled to its utmost capacity and C. L. Spaulding was chosen chairman. In order that the people might know that there was sufficient evidence of good faith telegrams were read as follows:

To S. R. AINSLIE, St. Paul:
Mr. Koop says the following was the proposition of Mr. Canfield last night and the people are anxious to know if it is bona fide. That is, that in case the electric light franchise is turned over to the syndicate, that the city will be furnished free fifty arc lights for the streets and rental of the water power company now in force will cease, and city continue to pay interest on bonds and bonds at maturity.

F. GREENE.


Mr. Ainslie replied as follows:
F. GREENE.—Proposition as stated in your telegram is correct and authentic. The syndicate is a powerful one and if it is a go will result in great benefit to Brainerd. It is strictly a business transaction, however, and I would suggest that the city execute contract in proper manner so that stipulations can be fully enforced.

S. R. AINSLIE.


A telegram from N. C. Thrall, Mr. Oakes’ private secretary, reads as follows:
“It is suggested that I should express to you for the information of interested parties at Brainerd an assurance of the fact that the Northern Pacific people are cognizant of the efforts that are being made to secure industries for Brainerd. I therefore hasten to do so and also to say that I have no doubt if deal is consummated the results will be far more advantageous to Brainerd than have probably this far been intimated. Arrangements, however, are still in embryo and the idea of electric proposition is to strengthen probabilities, in fact I think the grant will insure success of scheme.”

N. C. THRALL.


Speeches were made by Supt. Greene, Leon E. Lum. L. P. White, J. H. Koop, A. P. Farrar, H. C. Stivers and others and after a thorough discussion of the matter the following resolutions were adopted:
WHEREAS, in the present condition of Brainerd and the necessity for its growth of securing manufacturing enterprises, a proposal is made for acquiring the city’s electric light property as a condition precedent, or means of securing such enterprises, and
WHEREAS, the city council has no authority to dispose of said property unless empowered to do so by a vote of the people, therefore be it
RESOLVED by this mass meeting of citizens:—
First—That it is the sense of said meeting that if the city can secure fifty or more lights for its streets and building, without any expense save the payment of the interest upon the present electric light bonds and the bonds when they mature, and can by the sale or granting of its electric light plant, secure the improvement and utilization by reliable parties, of the Brainerd Water power and boomage, and the establishment of manufacturing industries in connection therewith, that it would be the best policy so to do.
Second—That the chairman of this meeting is hereby authorized to appoint a committee of five whose duty it shall be to confer with the parties who are making said propositions to the city, and report the result of such conference to the city council, and that, if such council shall then deem it advisable a special election be ordered at which the question of the disposition of the electric light plant shall be determined upon.
In accordance with the above Mr. Spaulding appointed as the committee L. P. White, Sr., John N. Nevers, Mayor Hemstead, J. J. Howe and W. S. McClenahan, and they went to St. Paul on the night train and will return and report to the council tonight in special session, when further steps will be taken. It is quite probable that a special election will be called. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 May 1889, p. 1, c. 3)

Mr. C. F. KINDRED, we understand, has telegraphed to one of our alderman to stop the deal, not to dispose of the electric light plant until they have heard from him. As Mr. Kindred sold the plant to the city, and received an outrageously exorbitant price therefor, we fail to see why any delay should be made on his account. He has some scheme, probably, which will certainly be of no benefit to the city, if we are to judge by the past. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 May 1889, p. 1, c. 2)

ALMOST UNANIMOUS,
_____

Was the Vote Last Wednesday in Fa-
vor of Accepting the Proposi-
tion for
_____

The Disposal of the Electric Light
Plant.


The committee appointed by the mass meeting held at the opera house last Thursday evening, an account of which appeared in our last issue, to go to St. Paul and confer with the parties making the propositions to acquire the electric light plant, returned on Friday evening and met the council convened in extra session immediately on their return. The committee reported having had a conference with Mr. Ainslie and Mr. Thrall, who assured the committee that the syndicate making the proposition was acting in good faith and had ample means to make the proposed improvements. Mr. Ainslie denied having any personal interest in the matter, but Mr. Thrall, so the committee reported, finally told them that he was personally interested. As these gentlemen are well known to our citizens to be men of the strictest honesty and integrity the assurances they have given of the good faith of the syndicate are perfectly satisfactory to our people. Accordingly the council determined to submit the question of disposing of the plant to the people, and called an election for Wednesday, May 22nd. They also passed a resolution setting forth the conditions of the disposal of the plant, which were printed and posted in all parts of the city. The election occurred on Wednesday, and as was predicted in these columns, the vote was almost unanimously in the affirmative. The following is the vote by wards:

First Ward No—0 Yes—234
Second Ward No—0 Yes—245
Third Ward No—7 Yes—164
Fourth Ward No—6 Yes—115
Fifth Ward No—2 Yes—168

Total No—15 Yes—926
(Brainerd Dispatch, 24 May 1889, p. 1, c. 3)

Brainerd Will Prosper.


A couple of years ago C. F. Kindred succeeded in constructing the dam at Brainerd, and the hope was entertained that the water power and the flowage would secure the City of the Pines numerous saw mills. But the mills have not come, and the water power is without tenants. But some of the officials of the Northern Pacific are about to organize a syndicate to utilize the water power in a line distinct from cutting lumber, and Brainerd is likely to prosper accordingly. The syndicate have secured an option for the purchase of the dam and water power upon condition that the city will grant the syndicate the electric light plant and franchise as a bonus. The city under the terms of this proposition, is to pay the interest on the electric light bonds, amounting to $3,600 per annum, and the principal of the bonds when they mature. The company in return furnish fifty arc lights for street illumination for Brainerd for twenty years without cost to the city.—Minn. Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 May 1889, p. 1, c. 2)

More of the Syndicate.

[...]


There was another concession asked, however, regarding the electric light plant which has been given by Brainerd as a bonus—that the plant should be given without reserve—that is, the city pay for public light it uses.—Grand Rapids Eagle. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 August 1890, p. 4, c. 7)

The City Council.


[...]


A motion was carried to purchase the ground where the electric light power house is situated, of J. W. and S. Koop, for $1,000. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 January 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

The City Council.


[...]


The following resolution was introduced:
Resolved. That the matter of purchasing that part of Lot 4, Section 18, Township 45, Range 30, lying north of the northeast corner of the dam, be referred to the purchasing committee, with power to act, and that an order be drawn for $2,000, the amount necessary to purchase in case the purchase is made, and the committee be authorized to discount the order.
Alderman Towers moved to strike out the words, “with power to act.” Motion lost, Aldermen Towers, Titze and Fogelstrom voting aye, and all others no.
A motion was made to adopt the resolution, and it was carried, Aldermen Towers, Titze and Fogelstrom voting no, and all others aye. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 February 1892, p. 1, c. 3)

We understand that the purchasing committee of the city council has not closed the bargain for the acre property at the dam on account of the title, as the owners can only give a quit claim deed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 February 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

Special Meeting of City Council.


The city council met in special session last Monday evening. All were present when the roll was called excepting Aldermen McMurtry and Bain. The former came in later.
The purchasing committee reported that they had met with the city attorney and J. W. Koop and his attorney, and had made a proposition that if Mr. Koop would give a warranty deed for that part of the ground being negotiated for not affected by the condemnation proceedings for overflow, and a quit claim deed for that part affected by said proceedings, the committee would recommend the purchase of the ground by the city for the sum of $2,000. A motion was made and carried by a unanimous vote to accept said report.
A motion was then made and carried to buy said ground according to the report and recommendation of the committee, said ground being described as follows:
“All that portion of Lot No. 4, Section 18, Township 45, Range 30, lying north of a line drawn east and west through the south-east corner of the canal constructed by the Mississippi Water Power & Boom Company.”
A motion was carried directing the city clerk to draw an order to pay for said land, and deliver the same to the chairman of the purchasing committee, who was authorized to negotiate the same at its face value and pay said sum of $2,000 to J. W. and S. Koop.
A motion was carried directing the city engineer to survey and stake out said land.
Council adjourned. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 February 1892, p. 1, c. 3)

C. N. Parker’s Proposition.


To A. F. Ferris, J. T. Sanborn and L. P. Johnson, the Honorable Special Committee of the City Council of the City of Brainerd, duly appointed October 3d, 1892:

GENTLEMEN:
In the matter of the proposed sale of the electric light plant by the City of Brainerd, I desire to submit to this committee a new proposition to take the place of the proposition submitted on the 17th inst.
Upon further contemplation of the whole matter, and especially as to the rental which the City is paying for water power, amounting to $1500.00 per year, I am led to believe that the matter of that annual rental of $1500.00 per year is quite a serious obstacle in the way of the sale and purchase of the electric light plant by itself. Being so convinced, I am ready to submit a proposition which I think is a better one for the City than the one which I submitted on the 17th inst.
I now hereby offer to purchase the electric plant for the sum and price of $16,000.00, this sale and purchase, if made in accordance with this offer to include the present water wheel, shafting, power house, five acres of land under, surrounding and adjacent to the power house and including the entire electric light plant in every particular with all the easements, rights of way and other benefits connected therewith; the City, of course, to give me clear title to all the property, and the franchise to continue during the term of the lease for 500 horse power hereinafter mentioned.
In addition to the above proposition I also offer, and in connection with the above proposition, to take the lease for the five hundred horse power which runs to the City from the Water Power Company and in consideration thereof I will assume and agree to pay the annual rental of $1500.00 per year, payable semi-annually, which the City under present contract is now obliged to pay.
In payment of the sum of $16,000.00 for the electric light plant, I will furnish to the city lights at the following rates: Arc lights at street intersection at the rate of $8.00 per month each, for from thirty to fifty such lights; the same kind of lights at $7.50 per month when the number is from fifty to seventy-five lights; and $7.00 per month for such lights when the number is from seventy five to one hundred lights.
Incandescent lights for all public buildings to be furnished at the rate of one cent per hour, the time to be indicated by the most improved form of meter.
The present number of arc lights is thirty and each of the twelve hundred candle power capacity. Whenever it is necessary to increase the number of arc lights, all additional lights shall be of two thousand candle power.
In case of the acceptance of my proposition by the City, and the sale is made to me, I will pay for the same in lights furnished at above rates, and I will bind myself to furnish all the street lights and other lights for which there is a demand; all the rentals for lights, aside from what are furnished to the city; shall belong to me.
As a supplement to the above proposition, I desire to say to this committee, that if the sale of the electric light plant and other property is made to me in accordance with the above proposition, it will enable me to give better service in both electric lighting and in street car service than I could giver were I to own but one plant alone; and if the sale of the electric light plant and other property above mentioned is made to me, in accordance with this proposition I will agree to make a special rate to the people of this City for transportation on the street car line of fifteen tickets for fifty cents or thirty tickets for one dollar good to be used from six o’clock to seven o’clock A. M., and from six o’clock to 7 o’clock P. M. This will enable laboring people to ride to and from work at a very low fare. Unless I did have control of both plants, I should be unable to make such low rates for transportation on street cars.
In case the above proposition is looked upon with favor by this committee and the City Council, I would agree to complete the purchase and take possession of the plant January 1st, 1893, but I could not guarantee any improvements or extension of the plant before the 1st day of April, 1893.
C. N. PARKER.
Dated, October 31st, 1892.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 04 November 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

The City Council.


[...]


Proposition of C. N. Parker to electric light committee was placed on file. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 November 1892, p. 4, c. 5)

Improving the Electric Light Plant.


The city council is devising ways and means to improve the electric light plant so as to have ample lights to accommodate those who desire them. We understand an eastern electric light supply house has offered to exchange a 2,000 candle power dynamo for the one now in use and to furnish a new wheel and all other necessary supplies for the change, the sum to be paid for out of the proceeds of the additional lights as it is collected by the city, or else to rent the above additional machinery to the city until such time as the city desires to purchase it, and then the rental to apply on the purchase price. Either of these offers are eminently fair and one will no doubt be accepted by the city, and better and increased service will be given, which will be hailed with delight by those now using the incandescent lights. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 February 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

Council Meeting.


Council met in regular session on Monday evening, all the aldermen being present. Minutes of last meeting were read and approved....

[...]


The report of the electric light committee for February showed $396.25 collected for light. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 April 1893, p. 4, c. 6)

The city council is taking the right step when that body decides that it is wise to increase the capacity of the electric light plant. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 May 1893, p. 1, c. 3)

Special meeting Monday evening, May 8th.
Council met with a full attendance excepting Ald. Ferris who was detained on account of illness.
The mayor stated that the meeting was called for the purpose of receiving and taking final action on the contracts of the electrical supply companies. A motion was carried to the effect that the mayor and city clerk be instructed to sign a contract with the Electrical Engineering & Supply company on a payment of $250 per month, and also with N. Shaw & Co. for a water wheel on a payment of $150 per month. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 May 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

Extensive improvements will be made at the electric light station immediately. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 June 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The electric light plant will suspend operations about July 5th for a period of ten days for the purpose of having the new wheel and dynamo placed in operation. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 June 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The electric lights will be shut off next Monday for a week or ten days until the change in machinery can be made. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 July 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The mayor and city council went up to the power house last night by invitation from Prof. Dresskell, superintendent of the electric light plant, to witness the starting of the new machinery which has been put in, as the repairs were completed yesterday and the lights turned on for the first time since the improvements began. The gentlemen were well pleased with the workings and expressed entire satisfaction with the manner in which the job had been done. The new water wheel and dynamo, the latter having a capacity of 25,000 lights, were set in motion. After viewing things in general a light lunch was served and the party returned. The electric light station has been very substantially fixed up and the building now presents a very creditable and comfortable appearance. About $10,000 has been expended on the improvements and it has been very well spent. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 August 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

Electric Arc Lights.


A great many people look at the electric arc lights, probably every evening without knowing anything as to the manner in which the light is produced, or how it operates.
All principles of electric lighting depend on the same principles of the resistance encountered by an electrical current in passing through a circuit. When such a current on a metal wire or other conductor meets with resistance to its passage the electricity is immediately converted into heat. If a thin wire is placed in the circuit the temperature of the wire rises, and the amount of heat thus generated is exactly proportioned to the electrical resistance of the wire. In the arc light the illumination is obtained by the passage of a current between two pointed pieces of wood charcoal, attached to conducting wires, the light being the result of the resistance met with by the electric current in its passage through the electric circuit, the resistance being due to a gap in the circuit which the current is forced to bridge. The interval between the charcoal points, commonly known as carbons, offers a great obstacle to the passage of the current, and it is to the gathering up of the forces necessary to burst across this interval that the intense light is due. The smallest space of air is sufficient to stop the current, but when the carbon points are first brought together and then separated it is seen that glowing particles of carbon are constantly springing across the little break. Although this takes place in both directions, the prevailing course is from the positive to the negative electrode. The positive carbon becomes much more highly heated than the negative, and wears away much more rapidly.
These solid particles of incandescent carbon are believed to form a sort of conducting chain in between the poles, by the aid of which the current passes. In order to produce this form of electric light, the carbon poles are first brought together and then separated to a little distance, the space across which a light can leap depending on the power of the current. The color and shape of this luminous arc depends on the nature of the poles, but the light comes chiefly from the glowing carbon points, while a pale blue flame fills the intermediate space. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 August 1893, p. 4, c. 6)

The electric wire which caused the display at the corner of Eighth and Kingwood streets on Tuesday evening last, came near causing a disaster last evening. The wire which had grounded was lying in such a position that a horse ridden by Master Harold Smith stepped upon it and was immediately thrown to the ground, the rider escaping without injury. The animal laid prostrate for twenty minutes, but we understand will suffer no serious injury. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 August 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

The City Council.


The city council met in regular session Monday evening.
The following bills were then allowed:
Pay roll for repairs at electric light station—$71.50
W. Potter & Co., poles—$44.75
Electrical Engineering & Supply Co.—$6,007.35
N. Shaw & Co.—$153.77
Motion made and carried that bill of N. Shaw & Co., for $3,350 be allowed minus the amount paid out by the city.
Bills of R. Caughie for $2 and N. P. R. R. Co. for $79 were referred to the electric light committee.
An order for $11 was ordered drawn to pay freight on electric light poles.
Superintendent of electric light was instructed to send converters away for repairs.
A street light was ordered placed at the corner of Second street and Bluff avenue.
An arc light was ordered placed at the end of sixth street south and the council adjourned. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 August 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

Business of the Council.


The city council met in adjourned session on Wednesday evening with Vice President Ferris in the chair. The minutes of previous regular and special meetings were read and approved.
The electric light collections for two weeks in July were reported by the clerk as $253.57.
Communications from the superintendent of electric lights and street commissioner were read and accepted.
The electric light committee, to whom was referred the matter of making necessary improvements at the electric light station, reported that the work was completed and submitted the following showing the total amount of expenditures:
Labor—$1,339.49
Material—$601.07
One draft tube—$117.40
One plain pulley—$126.42
One self oiling box—$19.75
200 feet wire rope—$4.90
Leather belting, 44 1/2 feet—$16.82
Leather belting, 76 1/2 feet—$190.49
Freight—$33.35
One 2,500 candle power dynamo—$4,500.00
Water wheel—$3,350.00
Total—$11,299.69
The committee also recommended in their report that the plant be insured for not less than $20,000 at once, and suggested that the council extend a vote of thanks to William Williamson, president of the council, for his valuable assistance in securing for the committee the necessary permission to enable them to have work done at the N. P. shops, without which the improvements would have been necessarily delayed and the expense materially increased. The report is signed by Aldermen L. P. Johnson, P. G. Fogelstrom, L. N. Lowe and A. Anderson. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 September 1893, p. 1, c. 3)

The Council’s Work.


The city council met in regular session on Monday evening with Aldermen Sanborn and Anderson absent. The minutes were read for the last session and approved, and the clerk’s financial report for September was accepted.

[...]


The appointment of W. G. Percy as second engineer at the electric light station by the superintendent of electric lights was read and referred to the electric light committee.
The report of the superintendent of electric lights that the old dynamo and extra armature were at the freight depot ready for shipment was read, and the matter of paying freight on same was referred to the finance committee with power to act, and the clerk was instructed to issue an order for the same.
Request of superintendent of electric lights for a two week’s vacation was granted, and the clerk instructed to issue an order for a half month’s salary.
The superintendent of electric lights was instructed to run the arc lights until daylight, and to notify the council of the nights they do not run, and the reason why.
An arc light was ordered placed at the corner of 7th and Laurel streets. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 October 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

Regular Council Meeting.


The city council met in regular session on Monday evening with President Williamson and Ald. McMurtry, Parker and Anderson absent. The minutes were adopted and the clerk’s financial report for October was read and adopted.
Report of electric light committee recommending the appointment of W. Percy as second engineer at the electric light station be confirmed, was read and adopted.
Motion made and carried that the matter of repairs needed at the dam be referred to the electric light committee with power to act.
Resolution in regard to the payment of electric light rentals, making it the duty of consumers to pay dues at the city clerk’s office and if not paid by the 10th of the month to shut them off, also for clerk to collect $1.00 for turning lights on when they have been shut off for non payment, was read and adopted. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 November 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

The City Council Adjusts the Rates on Electric Lights.


The regular meeting of the city council occurred on Monday night with all present excepting Ald. Fogelstrom. The usual routine business was transacted....
...The electric light collections were $640.72.
The principal claims against the city allowed were:
Pay roll city employees—$659.13
Pay roll electric light—$224.80
Koop Bros., rent electric light—$37.50
Elec. Eng. Co.—$65.25
The report of the electric light committee in regard to rates was read and adopted, and in substance is as follows:
To the city council of the city of Brainerd:
Gentlemen:—Your electric light committee to whom was referred the matter of adjusting the rates for electric lights, respectfully report that it has acted on said matter in connection with the superintendent of electric lights, and begs to submit the following:

COMMERCIAL RATES, PER MONTH.

One to three lights inclusive—.75
Four to five—.75
Six lights—.73
Seven lights—.70
Eight lights—.67
Nine lights—.63
Ten lights—.60
Eleven lights—.57
Twelve lights—.54
Thirteen lights—.52
Fourteen lights—.49
Fifteen to thirty inclusive—.46
Thirty to forty inclusive—.30

DOMESTIC AND HOTEL RATE.

One to five lights inclusive—.65
Six lights—.63
Seven lights—.59
Eight lights—.55
Nine lights—.51
Ten lights—.47
Eleven lights—.45
Twelve lights—.43
Thirteen lights—.41
Fourteen lights—.39
Fifteen lights—.37
Over 15 lights—.35
Lights burned over hours shall be charged accordingly.

SALOON RATE.

One to five lights inclusive—.95
Six to ten lights—.93
Eleven to fifteen lights inclusive—.90
Over fifteen lights—.85
Office 60 cents per light per month. Halls and stairways $1.00 per light for continuous burning.
Your committee suggests that the proprietors of all stores be required to extinguish their lamps at the hour of closing said stores except as follows:
Stores from 10 to 75 feet deep, to have the privilege of leaving one lamp burning all night.
Stores over 75 feet deep to have the privilege of two all night lamps.
That any owner or proprietor of a store who violates the rules contained in the last two paragraphs be charged the all night rate for lamps kept burning after the closing hour. The committee also suggests that all burned out lamps be delivered to the superintendent intact in order to entitle the consumer to new lamps, that is to say the glass shall not be broken nor the bases twisted off, and that all lamps returned in a damaged condition shall be charged to the consumer at the rate of 50 cents each for 15 candle power lamps, and 75 cents each for 32 candle power lamps. Your committee further suggests that the city clerk be required to enter into written contracts with all consumers.
Respectfully,
L. P. JOHNSON,
ALBERT ANDERSON,
L. N. LOWE,
Electric Light Committee.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 09 March 1894, p. 1, c. 3)

The city has been in darkness this week as far as the electric lights have been concerned, the leading wire having burned out Saturday night last. The damage has been repaired and the lights will be turned on Saturday evening. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 April 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

The incandescent lights which have been off for two weeks were turned on last night. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 April 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

City Legislation.


[...]


...Motion was made and carried that the bill of the National Electric Co. for $850 be left in the hands of the electric light committee, and that the clerk be instructed to issue orders for same on their request.
...A bill of the Electrical Engineering Co. for $79.31 was disallowed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 July 1894, p. 4, c. 5)

The trustees of the Brainerd Water Power Co. have their nerve with them in wanting the city to pay them three times the amount of the terms of the contract for power for the electric light plant, especially when one takes into consideration the gift of $25,000 the city made them. We have no doubt of the validity of the contract, but if such an unforeseen thing should occur as its not being valid, the city ought not to gratify them by using their power but put in a steam plant. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 January 1895, p. 1, c. 2)

The trustees of the Brainerd Water Power Co., have come down from their high and lofty position. On Monday their attorney, Ambrose Tighe, telegraphed to City Attorney McClenahan that if the council would pay water power rental at the price stipulated in the contract, they would accept it. They have declared the contract void for the past year and a half, and insisted that the city pay about three times that amount for power, which the council very wisely refused to do. It was a very strong game of bulldoze but it failed to work. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 February 1895, p. 4, c. 3)

City Attorney McClenahan returned on Tuesday evening from a business trip to St. Paul, Duluth, and other points. While in St. Paul Mr. McClenahan had a conference with Ambrose Tighe with reference to the rental of power for the electric light plant. As is well known the power company has declared its contract with the city by which the city gets 500 horse power for $1500 as void, on the ground that the council had no right to make a contract extending beyond its term of office. No agreement was reached, and there can be none satisfactory to Brainerd citizens except the fulfillment of the contract as it stands. Mr. McClenahan says there are no precedents exactly covering this case, but it seems very strange that a council can make contracts giving away franchises for any period, but cannot make a contract advantageous to the city extending beyond its life. It is a poor rule that won’t work both ways. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 March 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

The proposition of the owners of the Water Power Co. to furnish power for the electric light station for $1,200 and the taxes, should be rejected, and the terms of the old contract rigidly insisted on. If a change were allowed now, the company could at any time, or at least with every new council, demand a new contract and a higher rate, and the question would never be settled, and the city might as well fight the matter out now. City Attorney McClenahan says he believes the contract is legal, and the courts will so hold, although there are no precedents just covering this case. At any rate, in view of the bonus that was given by the city and county to the enterprise, it is unparalleled nerve on the part of the company to demand more pay, and seek to break the contract solemnly entered into. A counter suit to declare the bonds void because the proceeds of their sale were not used for a purpose authorized by law, would have a tendency to bring the company to time. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 March 1895, p. 1, c. 1)

The Brainerd Water Company has ordered the city to remove its electric light power house away from the dam and cease using power. In view of the fact that the city has a contract for a space of several years for power, it is needless to say that the polite request of the company will not be complied with. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 April 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

Flush timbers, 22 inches high, are being placed on the dam to raise the water for the electric light station, and also to assist in sluicing logs. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 April 1895, p. 4, c. 3)

Regular Council Meeting.


[...]


A communication from Stevens, O’Brien, Cole & Albrecht, ordering the city to remove the water wheel and other fixtures from the dam, was read and laid on the table. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 May 1895, p. 4, c. 7)

During the storm of Tuesday evening the armature at the electric light plant was burned out. The damage will be repaired by Saturday evening at which time the incandescent lights will be on again. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 May 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

The city of Brainerd has been sued by the Water Power Company to prevent the use of power for the electric light plant and also for rental from January 1st. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 June 1895, p. 4, c. 3)

Suit has been commenced by Harry J. Jaquith and Timothy M. Brown in the United States circuit court at Duluth to restrain the City of Brainerd from obtaining power for operating the electric light plant of the city from the dam across the Mississippi river at Brainerd. They also ask for other relief as the court may consider they are entitled. An injunction is asked for, and the hearing on an order to show cause why it should not be issued is set for June 25th, before Judge Nelson, of St. Paul. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 June 1895, p. 1, c. 3)

Thrown Out of Court.


On Wednesday, June 26th, the application of the Mississippi Water Power Co. for an injunction restraining the city from using power at the dam, was heard in the United States district court at Duluth, and the case was thrown out of court without any argument being made for the city. It was a bluff, pure and simple, on the part of the company to bulldoze the city into paying more money for rental than the contract between the city and company calls for. The judge evidently sized the matter up at a glance, and promptly rebuked such methods by striking the case from the calendar. If the bondholders of the dam know when they are well off, they will stop such methods, for there are many who question the validity of their bonds, and if they persist in annoying the city, the tables may be turned. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 June 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

Special Council Meeting.


A special meeting of the city council was held on Saturday evening last to consider a proposition made by C. N. Parker to purchase the electric light plant.
On motion a committee consisting of Ald. Geo. Gardner, Smith, Larson, Rienthal and Jas. Gardner, was appointed to consider the matter, and the clerk was instructed to notify Mr. Parker, who is in the east, by wire of the action taken. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 June 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

WANTS THE ELECTRIC LIGHT PLANT.
_____

C. N. Parker Makes a Proposition to the
Council to Purchase It by Assuming
the Bonds Issued Against It.
_____


On Saturday C. N. Parker, of this city, who is now in the east, sent the following telegram to Mayor Halsted from New York City, which explains itself. Mr. Parker was on his way to Boston to negotiate for the purchase of the dam property. The telegram is as follows:

NEW YORK, June 21, 1895.

MAYOR A. J. HALSTED:

Should I purchase Brainerd Water Power will city council sell me electric light plant by my assuming the sixty thousand dollars indebtedness, and they pay me eight dollars per month for street lights, and fifty cents per month for incandescent. Assessed valuation to be fifteen thousand per year on dam, ten thousand on electric road, ten thousand on electric light plant, two thousand on telephone for three years, taxes due on dam to be settled on same basis. Advise with all aldermen and wire me care Young’s Hotel, Boston. This means the developing of all properties mentioned.
C. N. PARKER.

A special meeting of the council was held that evening to consider the matter, a report of which is published elsewhere in this issue. If the council should favor the proposition a special election would have to be called and the matter decided by a vote of the people.
Mayor Halsted has received another telegram from Mr. Parker stating that he has secured an option on the dam property for three months.
We do not desire to discuss the matter at present, but deem it our duty to lay the above facts before the public so that all citizens may have an opportunity to consider them and decide what is the best thing to do. The committee appointed by the council to consider the matter will probably report at the regular meeting Monday night. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 June 1895, p. 4, c. 7)

BRAINERD PUBLIC WORKS COMPANY.
_____

C. N. Parker Makes the City a Proposi-
tion to Purchase the Electric
Light Plant.
_____

The Water Power, Electric Street Railway,
Electric Light Plant and Tel-
ephone System
_____

To Be Consolidated in One Company.
_____


C. N. Parker has returned from the east where he has been during the past few weeks visiting the cities of New York, Boston and other places. While there he procured an option on the water power from Jaquith & Brown, trustees of the property. Mr. Parker now desires to purchase the electric light plant from the city, and, if successful will organize what will be known as the Brainerd Public Works Company, to be incorporated under the laws of Illinois with a capital stock of $500,000, and a bond issue of the same amount. Of this amount $800,000 will be for the purpose of covering the cost of the electric light plant, water power, electric street railway and telephone systems, the remaining $200,000 to be treasury stock, and only to be used to acquire other properties, such as manufacturing interests that will go to strengthen the combination. Mr. Parker informs us that he has but one associate in the enterprise, Mr. C. E. Gibson, of Chicago, who spends the greater part of his time in Philadelphia, New York and Boston, and who is in close touch with such concerns as the United Gas Improvement Co., of Philadelphia, C. A. Coffin, president of the General Electrical Co., of Boston, J. C. Barrett, president of the Electrical Corporation, of Boston, J. B. Clews, of Henry Clews & Son, of Boston, and the American Loan & Trust Co., of the same place, and he assures Mr. Parker that the securities for the enterprise can be marketed.
It is Mr. Parker’s intention, if the deal goes through, to put in a new flume and new set of gates at the dam, build a new power house 40x80 of solid brick with an iron roof, making the same absolutely fire proof, and to thoroughly overhaul the electric light plant and increase its capacity. The street railway will be operated by power from the dam, and generators will be put in that will furnish current for power for all purposes in any part of the city.
Mr. Parker’s proposition to the city will be to assume the $60,000 of bonds which now stand against the plant and issue to the city $60,000 of consolidated bonds to secure the city in the payment of the municipal bonds when they become due, and the interest, the city to retain title to the property until that time. He agrees to furnish the city with arc lights at $8 per month, and 16 candle incandescent lights for use in public buildings of the city at 25 cents per month and further agrees that the rates on commercial and domestic lights shall not be raised.
Another thing in connection with the deal which the projectors desire is that the assessed valuation of the water power be $15,000, the electric railway $10,000, the electric light plant $10,000, and the telephone system $2,000, for three years, and that they be allowed to pay the back taxes on the water power at the above rate.
In order for the city to dispose of the plant a special election will have to be called by the city council, the expense of which Mr. Parker has agreed to assume. A special meeting of the council was held last night, at which time Mr. Parker explained the matter fully to them, and in all probability a meeting will be called soon to discuss the matter and decide whether they desire to dispose of the plant or not, as the gentlemen interested desire to know as soon as possible what the decision will be. If it is favorable work on improvements will begin at once and the whole thing will be overhauled and put in first-class shape before snow flies. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 July 1895, p. 1, c. 3)

He Talked Improvements.


Ambrose Tighe, legal representative of the owners of the Brainerd dam, ca. 1900.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
Ambrose Tighe, of the Minnesota Water Co., was in the city yesterday, and a special meeting of the council was called last night at his request, but as a quorum failed to be present, no action was taken on the suggestions made by the gentleman. He, however, laid his plans fully before the five members, present. He stated that it was his desire to remove the power house from its present location to a position at or near the dam, which would necessitate an outlay of $30,000, as two miles of fourteen inch main would have to be put in, starting at the corner of Seventh and Kingwood streets. Whether he could induce the eastern bondholders to do this was a question with him, but he intended going east to confer with them, and desired to know if the city would be willing to pay rental for 12 additional hydrants, which that length of main would call for providing it was put in at the request of the city, but which could not be collected from the city on this plan unless an agreement was reached to that effect. Unless this was done there would be no revenue to be derived [from] the large outlay of money, and Mr. Tighe feared if some plan of this kind was not reached, the bondholders could not be induced to look favorably on the scheme.
If this could not be done, the gentleman asked the councilmen present if the city would be willing to pay the interest on the bonds now past due to be used for improvements at the present site. That is, if he would go ahead with his improvements, extend the intake pipe into the middle of the river, in order to avoid taking the water as is now done from close to the shore, and improve the power house by raising the building and overhauling the pumps, would the city, when this work was done, pay this interest due without further delay, the work either to be done under the direction of the city or the company themselves as best suited the council. If this was done, and he went ahead and built suitable and substantial filterers, would the city pay the interest on the bonds due Jan. 1, 1896, without delay, in order to pay for the work on the plant?
These questions Mr. Tighe desired an answer to, in order that he might be able to present the matter in an intelligent light to the bondholders, whom he was going to see, but as no quorum was present he could only get individual expressions from the members present.
It is altogether probable that Mr. Tighe is now in earnest in his desire to improve the plant and put it in a position where it will not continue to be a source of annoyance to the consumers and also to the company, and that arrangements will be made in some manner to that effect. Mr. Tighe left for St. Paul last night, and will go east in a short time. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 July 1895, p. 4, c. 7)

C. N. PARKER’S PROPOSITION.
_____

The Council Will Consider the Matter of
Calling a Special Election at Their
Next Meeting.
_____


The city council met in regular session on Monday evening with a full board present, and after reading the minutes of the last meeting the council adjourned until Wednesday evening, at which time the meeting was called to order with all members present.

[...]


The superintendent of electric lights made a report to the council, stating that both armatures were now in order. Incorporated in the report was a statement that a number of citizens had asked that the domestic rates on light be reduced to 25 cents each per month, the consumer to pay for all lamps burned out.

[...]


C. N. Parker made the following proposition in writing to the council regarding the purchase of the electric light plant:

To the Honorable, the City Council of the City of Brainerd:

GENTLEMEN:
Referring to the matter of my oral communication to you on the 17th of last month, relative to proposal to purchase the city’s electric light plant:
I now desire to place my proposition before you in definite words and in tangible shape, so that there shall not be any misunderstanding as to the scope and details of the proposition.
In case the electric light plant is sold to me, I propose to organize and incorporate a combination of capital under the name of “Brainerd Public Works Company,” a Brainerd institution with management and headquarters in this city.
With particular reference to the sale and purchase of the electric light plant, my proposition is as follows:
1. To unite the electric light property with the properties which I now own and control with the properties on which I now hold an option, including the electric railway, the telephone system, the Brainerd dam and lands and rights therewith connected.
2. To incorporate the Brainerd Public Works Company on a basis of $500,000.00 capital, bonded in that amount; said bonds to be based on the consolidated properties, and for convenience hereinafter designated “consolidated bonds.”
3. To set aside $200,000.00 of these consolidated bonds as a reserve fund to be used in the purchase of additional property when necessary to strengthen the original properties.
4. To use $300,000.00 of these consolidated bonds in the purchase of the original properties above mentioned, and in making immediate improvements.
5. In buying the electric light plant, I would pay as the purchase therefor the sum of $60,000.00, in manner following, namely:
I would place in the hands of a trustee the first $40,000.00 of bonds of of said $300,000.00 consolidated bonds, to provide for the payment of the $40,000.00 bonded indebtedness now existing against the plant and a first lien thereon. The remaining $20,000.00 electric bonds, so called, are not a lien on the plant; and I would require the city to give me the option of paying into the city treasury, as soon as the consolidated bonds are negotiated, a sum of money equal to said $20,000.00 electric light bonds, so called, and accrued interest, thus paying one third of the purchase price.
If it is decided that the electric light plant shall be sold to me, it will be necessary, of course, for the city and myself to enter into a contract for such sale and purchase, the form of which contract can be hereafter determined.
6. If the electric light plant is agreed to be sold to me, on the conditions above set forth, I propose to build a new flume, new gates and to erect a new, substantial and suitable fireproof power house, and also to make other improvements involving an almost entire reconstruction of the plant, to increase its capacity and place it in first-class condition; and will guarantee that arc street lights and 16 candle power incandescent lights used by the city in public buildings will be furnished at prices not exceeding $8.00 per month for such arc street lights and twenty-five cents per month for such incandescent lights; and that the price of commercial and domestic lights will not be increased.
7. My whole proposition, however, is made with the proviso that for the next three (3) years, beginning with the year 1895 the assessed valuation of the water-power property and franchise for purposes of taxation shall not exceed $15,000.00, the electric street railway $10,000.00, the electric light plant $10,000.00 and the telephone system $2,000.00; and that the taxes now standing against the water-power property and franchise for the years 1890, 1891, 1892, 1893 and 1894, be settled on the basis of an assessed valuation of $15,000.00 per year. I am aware that this council does not have the authority to regulate the assessments or abate a portion of the back taxes, but the city council can recommend the proper steps to the board of county commissioners and use its best endeavors towards the accomplishment of these ends.
8. A further proviso affecting my whole proposition above outlined is the condition that the city council shall pass an ordinance granting me authority to erect and maintain a gas plant, with the usual privileges connected therewith, for the purpose of supplying gas to consumers in the city for a period of twenty years.
9. I am aware of the legal provision that the city’s electric light plant cannot be sold until after a favorable vote by the legal voters of the city. This will necessitate the holding of a special election for that purpose. The expense of holding such special election need not deter the city council from considering my proposition, as I am willing to meet the entire expense thereof, and I hereby include that condition in my proposition, that is to say, I will pay the cost of all necessary printing and the fees of the judges and clerks of election for the day’s work necessary to be performed by them. C. N. PARKER.

Brainerd, Aug. 5th, 1895.


Messrs. Lum and Fleming were selected to act as attorneys for the city, and with Ald. Larson, Smith, Geo. Gardner, Adair and Rienthal, to confer with Mr. Parker in regard to drawing up a contract and agreement and to report at next meeting.

[...]


Council adjourned.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 09 August 1895, p. 4, c. 6)

CHEAPER RATES.
_____

The City Council Makes a Reduction in
Incandescent Lights.


The city council met in regular session last Monday night.

[...]


Report of electric light committee, recommending changes in electric light rates, was adopted, which makes rates as follows:

DOMESTIC LIGHTS.

Twenty-five cents for each socket installed per month. One-half of the lamps to be 16 candle power, and one-half 10 candle power, consumers to pay for lamps renewed at the present price, 25 cents each, a discount of 10 per cent to be made from this rate if paid before the 10th of the month at the clerk’s office. Contracts for one year to be made with all consumers, and not less than six lamps installed at above rates.

COMMERCIAL RATES.

All night 16 candle power lights, each 75 cents. Due to be paid before the 10th of the month without further discount. Other lamps are:

5 lamps 70c. each ---- 23 lamps 39c. each
6 lamps 69c. each ---- 24 lamps 38c. each
7 lamps 67c. each ---- 25 lamps 38c. each
8 lamps 65c. each ---- 26 lamps 37c. each
9 lamps 63c. each ---- 27 lamps 37c. each
10 lamps 60c. each — 28 lamps 36c. each
11 lamps 57c. each — 29 lamps 36c. each
12 lamps 54c. each — 30 lamps 35c. each
13 lamps 52c. each — 31 lamps 35c. each
14 lamps 50c. each — 32 lamps 34c. each
15 lamps 46c. each — 33 lamps 34c. each
16 lamps 44c. each — 34 lamps 33c. each
17 lamps 43c. each — 35 lamps 33c. each
18 lamps 42c. each — 36 lamps 32c. each
19 lamps 41c. each — 37 lamps 32c. each
20 lamps 40c. each — 38 lamps 31c. each
21 lamps 40c. each — 39 lamps 31c. each
22 lamps 39c. each — 40 lamps 30c. each

Ten per cent discount on the above if paid before the 10th of the month.

[...]

(Brainerd Dispatch, 25 October 1895, p. 1, c. 4)

C. N. Parker returned on Tuesday from Boston, where he had been to confer with the owners of the Brainerd Water Power with reference to its purchase. He will make another proposition to the city council for the electric light plant when arrangements are completed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 November 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

No Stone Crusher This Year.


[...]


The electric light committee was instructed to wait on Mr. Dresskell and find out why the arc lights do not give better satisfaction, and why they do not run all night.

[...]

(Brainerd Dispatch, 22 November 1895, p. 4, c. 6)

A NEW PROPOSITION SUBMITTED.
_____

For the Consolidation of the Electric Light Plant, Water Power and
Street Railway.


The details of the proposed consolidation of the above concerns is finally assuming tangible shape, and in all probability the election on the proposition to sell the electric light plant to the company will be called by the city council at no distant day.
Mr. P. A. Gibson, of Erie, Pa., has been in the city for several days looking matters up concerning the project, and as he is one of the eastern capitalists associated with Mr. Parker in the matter, his presence in the city indicates that the syndicate mean business. Mr. Gibson and Mr. Parker have met the electric light committee and submitted a final proposition to them and the attorneys in the matter, Messrs. Leon E. Lum and W. A. Fleming, of which the following is a copy:

To the chairman and members of the special committee on sale of the Brainerd Electric Light and Power Company:
We beg leave to submit for your special consideration the following proposition, to-wit:
1st. The City of Brainerd shall convey to us by special warranty deed such real estate as now is used or occupied by the Brainerd Electric Light and Power company, viz: Lot two (2) of Auditor’s subdivision lot (4) 18, 45, 30, containing seventeen acres more or less in the City of Brainerd, Crow Wing County, State of Minnesota. The City of Brainerd shall also give a good and sufficient bill of sale conveying to the Consolidated company all personal property now owned by the City of Brainerd and a part of the Brainerd Electric Light and Power Plant, whether the same be located in the City of Brainerd or elsewhere for repairs.
2nd. We ask for a franchise for and during the period of twenty years, said franchise to include gas for light and heating purposes, and shall also include the right to electricity for power purposes.
3rd. The city of Brainerd shall take at least one arc light for every additional three hundred population; we also agree to furnish any number of thirty-two candle power incandescent lights that the city may desire for the lighting of resident portions of the city now not lighted by any of the various arc lights said incandescent lights to be placed or located wherever the city council may direct.
4th. The schedule of prices for lighting shall not be subject to the regulations by the city council oftener that once in five years.
5th. The City of Brainerd shall continue to use the present number of arc lights for and during the period of the franchise; we also agree to furnish any number of additional arc lights or incandescent that the city may direct from time to time.
6th. The price for arc lights, twelve hundred candle power, all night service, shall be ninety six dollars per year and the incandescent lights, if any shall be used by the City of Brainerd, at the same rate as private consumers are required to pay.
7th. We accept the present schedule of prices as adopted by the city council of the City of Brainerd, October the 24th, 1895.
8th. We will commence the improvements of the electric light plant at once, and shall expend in said improvements from five to ten thousand dollars or as much as may be found necessary to put the electric light and power plant in first class working condition to supply with good service the entire population of the City of Brainerd.
9th. We shall also commence the improvement of the Brainerd Water Power plant by the first of May or as soon thereafter as the ice in the river and the weather will permit. We also further agree to erect at said dam a substantial brick power house large enough to supply all the demands and needs of the Consolidated Company.
10th. We will accept and pay for at invoice price all supplies now on hand pertaining to the electric light plant now held and owned by the City of Brainerd.
11th. In consideration of the above and in payment for the same it is our purpose to issue to the City of Brainerd sixty thousand dollars in consolidated bonds, forty of which shall be in lieu of the forty thousand which the City of Brainerd accepted and guaranteed on the purchase of the Brainerd Electric Light and Power plant and twenty thousand consolidated bonds to be taken in lieu of the twenty thousand in bonds issued by the City of Brainerd to improve the Brainerd Electric Light and Power Plant, we also further agree to redeem the twenty thousand consolidated bonds on or before two years from date of issue.
It is further agreed and understood that the City of Brainerd shall hold a first lien upon the Brainerd Electric Light and Power Plant and all the property that may be conveyed to the Consolidated Company as security for the payment and discharge in full of the sixty thousand dollars now held as a debt against the City of Brainerd.
We would respectfully ask the committee to consider this proposition at their earliest possible time, and if accepted to take steps to bring about the sale of the Brainerd Electric Light Plant as early as possible to the Consolidated Company that we make at least all necessary repairs both at the dam and the electric light plant deemed proper and necessary to properly supply the City of Brainerd good and sufficient light before the severe cold weather comes on. The plants entering into the consolidation are as follows: Brainerd Water Power Company, Brainerd Electric Street Railway Company, Brainerd Electric Light and Power Company, Brainerd Telephone Company. Yours respectfully.
C. N. PARKER,
E. C. GIBSON,
P. A. GIBSON.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 29 November 1895, p. 1, c.’s 4 & 5)

TO SELL OR NOT TO SELL!
_____

The City Council Calls an Election for the
Acceptance or Rejection of the
Proposition to Sell the
Electric Light Plant.
_____


The city council met in regular session on Monday evening with all members present excepting Alderman Smith. Routine business was transacted and the reports of various city officers were read and accepted

[...]


The superintendent of electric lights was instructed to run the arc lights all night, except on moonlight nights.

[...]


The following report of the special committee was read, and on motion duly made, was carried:

To the City Council of Brainerd.
GENTLEMEN: Your special committee, to whom was referred the matter of the proposed purchase of the city’s electric light plant by Messrs. Parker, Gibson & Gibson, for the proposed consolidated company, beg leave to report that we have met and received and duly considered the proposition of the company, with our attorneys, Messrs. Lum and Fleming, and the proposition, as embodied in the exhibits herewith submitted, meets with our approval, and we respectfully recommend that the question of the sale of said plant be submitted to a vote of the electors of the city. Some of the reasons for the favorable report are:
1st. The city will receive much more for the plant than it is really worth, and, at the same time, be relieved of a large indebtedness.
2nd. If the plant is not sold the city must, in a short time, expend large sums of money to make it serviceable.
3rd. The ownership of the plant by the city has not proven profitable to the city, and, without criticizing anyone, we must say that the service has been poor and not entirely satisfactory.
4th. We may be reasonably certain that we shall get better service if the plant be sold.
5th. It has been the policy of the city, as well as of all progressive cities, to encourage capital within reasonable bounds, and those who are willing to employ it in building up such industries as will be beneficial to the communities in which they operate, and, by transferring this plant to the said company, we are not of the opinion that the city will not only get rid of the large indebtedness, but will also show that we, as a community, are willing to extend a helping hand to those who are trying to build up our city, all of which is respectfully submitted.
J. LARSON,
A. RIENTHAL,
S. R. ADAIR,
J. S. GARDNER,
Special Com.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 06 December 1895, p. 1, c. 2)

ELECTION CALLED FOR DEC. 17, ‘95.
_____

The Council, Acting Upon the Advice of
Its Committee, Calls an
Election for the
_____

Sale of the Electric Light Plant.
_____


The council, at its meeting on Monday evening, unanimously decided to call an election on the proposition to sell the electric light plant to C. N. Parker and the Gibsons, the date being set for Dec. 17th. The report of the special committee appointed to investigate the matter, will be found in the council proceedings on this page, and should be carefully perused by all. The committee had the matter under advisement for some time, and after thorough deliberation, decided that the sale of the property would be beneficial to the city, and the council, acting on the advice of this committee, have called the election as above. The proposition gives the details in full and is published in order that the public can see exactly what they are called to vote upon. The following is the proposition and resolution as unanimously adopted by the council:
RESOLVED. By the Council of the City of Brainerd:
WHEREAS, The City of Brainerd, County of Crow Wing, and State of Minnesota, is the owner of the electric light and power plant now in use in said city, and
WHEREAS, Charles N. Parker, E. C. Gibson and P. A. Gibson have made and presented to the city council of said city the following proposition in writing for the purchase by them, for a proposed Consolidated Company, of said electric light and power plant, to-wit:
Proposition from C. N. Parker, E. C. & P. A. Gibson, to the City of Brainerd, Minnesota.

BRAINERD, MINN., Nov. 29, ‘95.
To the Chairman and Members of the Special Committee on Sale of the Brainerd Electric Light and Power Company:
We beg leave to submit for your special consideration the following proposition, to-wit:
1st. The City of Brainerd shall convey to the proposed Consolidated Company by special warranty deed such real estate as now is used or occupied by the Brainerd electric light and power plant, viz: Lots one (1) and two (2) of Auditor’s subdivision. Lot four (4), Section 18, Township 45, Range 30, containing seventeen acres more or less in the City of Brainerd, Crow Wing County, State of Minnesota. The City of Brainerd shall also give a good and sufficient bill of sale conveying to the Consolidated Company all personal property now owned by the City of Brainerd and a part of the Brainerd electric light and power plant, whether the same be located in the City of Brainerd or elsewhere, for repairs.
2nd. We ask for a franchise for and during the period of twenty-one years, said franchise to include gas for light and heating purposes, and shall also include the right to use electricity for power purposes in the City of Brainerd, Minnesota.
3rd. The said City of Brainerd shall take at least one arc light for every additional three hundred population, the proposed Consolidated Company also agrees to furnish any number of thirty-two candle power incandescent lights that the City of Brainerd may desire for the lighting of resident portions of the city now not lighted by any of the various arc lights, said incandescent lights to be placed or located wherever the city council may direct.
4th. The schedule of prices for lighting shall not be subject to regulations by the city council oftener than once in five years.
5th. The City of Brainerd shall continue to use the present number of arc lights for and during the period of the franchise, and the proposed Consolidated Company also agrees to furnish any number of additional arc lights or incandescent that the city may direct from time to time.
6th. The price for arc lights, twelve hundred candle power, all night service, shall be ninety-six dollars per year, and the incandescent lights, if any shall be used by the City of Brainerd, at the same rate as private customers are required to pay.
7th. We accept the present schedule of prices adopted by the city council of the city of Brainerd, October 24th, 1895.
8th. We will commence the improvements of the electric light plant at once and shall expend in said improvement from five to ten thousand dollars, or as much as may be found necessary to put the electric light and power plant in first-class working condition to supply with good service the entire population of the City of Brainerd.
9th. We shall also commence the improvement of the Brainerd water power plant by the first of May, or as soon thereafter as the ice in the river and weather will permit; the proposed Consolidated Company further agree to erect at said dam a substantial brick power house large enough to supply all the demands and needs of the Consolidated Company. We also agree to expend on said dam during the next year in making new flumes about ten thousand dollars.
10th. We will accept and pay for at invoice price all merchantable supplies now on hand pertaining to the electric light plant now held and owned by the City of Brainerd.
11th. In consideration of the above and in payment for the same it is the purpose of the proposed Consolidated Company, to issue to the City of Brainerd sixty thousand dollars in consolidated bonds, forty thousand dollars of which shall be taken and held by said City of Brainerd as collateral security for the payment by said proposed Consolidated Company of the forty thousand dollars of bonds which the City of Brainerd accepted and guaranteed on the purchase of the Brainerd electric light and power plant, and twenty thousand dollars consolidated bonds to be taken and held as collateral security for the payment of the twenty thousand dollars, being part purchase price of said electric light and power plant at the time and in the manner hereinafter described by said proposed Consolidated Company, and we also further agree to redeem the twenty thousand dollars in consolidated bonds on or before two years from date of issue.
It is further, agreed and understood that the city of Brainerd shall hold a first lien upon the Brainerd electric light and power plant and all the property that may be conveyed to the proposed Consolidated Company, by the city of Brainerd, as security for the payment and discharge in full by said Consolidated Company of the sixty thousand dollars now held against the city of Brainerd, and when paid the city of Brainerd shall have no lien or claim against said electric light and power plant.
12th. The amount of consolidated bonds to be issued will not be in excess of the amount necessary to purchase all of the respective plants entering into the proposed consolidation and to put said plants in good, first-class working condition, not to exceed two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, which shall be secured by first mortgage on all the Consolidated Company’s plant and property.
13th. It is further the purpose of the proposed Consolidated Company to develop the water power to its fullest extent, and if the industries already in the city of Brainerd are not sufficient to use the entire power when fully developed, it shall be the company’s aim and purpose to create or bring to the city of Brainerd such industries as will enable said Consolidated Company to use all of its power.
We would respectfully ask the committee to consider this proposition at their earliest possible time, and if accepted, to take steps to bring it before the city council and the sale of Brainerd electric light and power plant as early as possible to the proposed Consolidated Company, that we may make at least all necessary repairs both at the dam and the electric light plant deemed proper and necessary to properly supply the city of Brainerd with good and sufficient light before the severe weather comes on. The plants entering into the proposed consolidation are as follows: Brainerd Water Power Company, Brainerd Electric Street Railway Company, Brainerd Electric Light and Power Company, Brainerd Telephone Company.
Yours Respectfully,
C. N. PARKER,
E. C. GIBSON,
P. A. GIBSON.

On behalf of the Proposed Consolidated Company.
WHEREAS, by section thirty-six of chapter eleven of the special laws of Minnesota for 1889, it is provided that “the electric light plant now belonging to said city shall not be sold or disposed of unless the consent of a majority of the qualified electors of said city exercising the right of voting be first had therefor,” and
WHEREAS, the city council of said city has been requested to submit said proposition for the sale and purchase of said electric light plant to the voters of said city for their approval or rejection, therefor be it by the city council of the city of Brainerd
RESOLVED, That a special election be held in and for said city of Brainerd, as required by law, to determine by ballot whether the city’s electric light plant shall be sold to said Charles N. Parker, E. C. Gibson and P. A. Gibson, in accordance with the terms of said proposition, which said special election shall be held on Tuesday, the 17th day of December, A. D. 1895, between the hours of seven o’clock in the forenoon and six o’clock in the afternoon, at the usual polling places in said city of Brainerd, and the same shall be conducted, and the votes cast thereat canvassed and counted, and the result thereof proclaimed and certified, as provided by the charter of said city governing special elections to fill vacancies in offices of said city, so far as the same is applicable. And there shall be printed upon the ballots to be used at said election the following words, to-wit: “Shall the proposition of Charles N. Parker, E. C. Gibson and P. A. Gibson be accepted and the electric light and power plant belonging to the city of Brainerd sold to said to said Charles N. Parker, E. C. Gibson and P. A. Gibson? Yes.” “Shall the proposition be accepted and the electric light and power plant belonging to the city of Brainerd sold to said Charles N. Parker, E. C. Gibson and P. A. Gibson? No.”
Due notice of said special election shall be given, as provided in the general election law of this state and the charter of said city, and by publication thereof in the several newspapers of the city in at least one issue of each thereof prior to said election.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That should said election result in the acceptance of the aforesaid proposition of Charles N. Parker, E. C. Gibson and P. A. Gibson, then and in that event, the mayor and city clerk of said city are hereby fully authorized and empowered to make and execute in behalf of said city all necessary bills of sale, deeds and conveyances for the proper and legal transfer from said city to said Charles N. Parker, E. C. Gibson and P. A. Gibson of the property mentioned, described and referred to in said proposition, including the conveyance of the real estate therein described, without further action upon the part of this council.
Passed December 2nd, 1895.
ARCHIE PURDY.
President of the Council.
Attest—F. A. FARRAR,
City Clerk.
Approved December 4th, 1895.
A. J. HALSTED.
Mayor.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 06 December 1895, p. 1, c.’s 3 & 4)

The Facts in the Case.


Next Tuesday the voters of this city will be called upon to decide a question of great importance to every property owner of this city, viz: the sale of the electric light plant to Mr. C. N. Parker and associates. In order that the voters of the city may vote intelligently upon the question, we have gathered the following facts concerning what manner of property the electric light plant is, the following table being a statement of the total receipts and cost of operating for one year ending Oct. 1st, 1895. The figures were not obtained from the superintendent of the electric light plant, or any other electric light employee who is interested in holding his job, but were taken by the DISPATCH scribe from the books in the city clerk’s office:

COST OF OPERATING.

Interest on $60,000 bonds—$3600.00
Pay roll, all labor—$2853.95
Power rental—$1500
Repairs and renewals—$1600
TOTAL cost of operating—$9553.95

RECEIPTS FROM INCANDESCENT LIGHTS.

October—$760.06
November—$758.81
December—$757.86
January—$760.08
February—$769.93
March—$768.62
April—$801.92
May—$736.83
June—$427.64
July—$758.53
August—$836.78
September—$813.57
TOTAL receipts—$8950.63
Excess of expenses over receipts—$594.32
By the above it will be seen that the receipts from the incandescent lights equals the total cost of operating the whole plant except a little less than $600, which is the amount the arc lights cost the city during the year mentioned. Had the receipts for June, the month of the breakdown, been the usual amount, the incandescent lights would have paid all the operating costs, and the arc lights would have cost the city nothing at all. If Mr. Parker’s proposition is accepted, the 36 arc lights now in use and such incandescent lights as are needed for city buildings, will cost the city $300 a month, or $3600 a year. Thus it will be seen that the acceptance of Mr. Parker’s proposition means a yearly loss of at least $3000 to the tax payers of the city, which would have to be raised by taxation. The above figures are on a basis of the receipts and costs for the past year. This favorable condition, however, has only existed for the last two years, or since the plant was improved by putting in a dynamo with a 2500 light capacity. Previous to that the plant was a losing investment. If, however, at the expense of not to exceed $2000 an additional wheel should be put in, and the new dynamo run to its full capacity, 2500 lights, only 1800 now being in use because of a lack of power, the receipts would aggregate over a thousand dollars a month, while the expenses would be about the same. This would result in a net profit to the city of five or six thousand dollars a year, figuring arc lights at prices offered by Mr. Parker, or enough to pay the outstanding electric light bonds, if the profits were placed in a sinking fund for that purpose, in 10 or 12 years, and the city would at that time have a fine plant free of cost. It is but fair to say that a deduction should be made from these figures of not to exceed 5 per cent of the actual cost annually for depreciation of the plant. This is what the city will loose by accepting the proposition.
On the other hand Mr. Parker agrees to develop the water power at the dam, and as he is a man of his word, he will undoubtedly do all he can to secure improvements there; in fact would have to do so in order to make his investment pay. This valuable property has lain idle for years and it would be a great benefit to the city to secure industries there. Mr. Parker will also undoubtedly place these properties in shape to render the best of service.
The question then for the voter to decide is, whether it is for the best interests of the city to dispose of a plant that yields a revenue of at least $3000 a year at present, and a possible revenue within the next year of twice that sum, for the benefits that may be received from prospective industries that may be induced to come here by an active, public spirited citizen like Mr. Parker. If the voter believes that Mr. Parker can locate industries here that will benefit the city more than the amounts realized from the plant, then it is his duty to vote for the proposition. If not, then he should vote against it. Regard for Mr. Parker should not be a controlling factor. The city’s welfare should be the only consideration. Brainerd has never had a more public spirited enterprising citizen than Mr. Parker, nor one who has had more faith in her future, and has shown it by using his means for public improvements, but this is not a question of rewarding a faithful citizen, but a plain business proposition, and every voter should act as if he were conducting his own personal affairs. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 December 1895, p. 1, c. 2)

Concerning the Electric Light Plant.


A great many people are undecided how to vote on the proposed sale of the Electric Light plant because the proposition does not seem definite on some questions. The following letters of Messrs. Fleming and Lum may explain matters:

BRAINERD, MINN., Dec. 11, 1895.
Editor of the Dispatch: As the city will pay us several hundred dollars to see that its interests are protected in the proposed electric light deal, we think it may be taken for granted that we shall try to fulfill our duties as its attorneys.
We have this morning heard that some one is claiming that the bonds which the city will get as collateral will bear no interest. Such a statement is not supported by the facts. The bonds given the city will be the same, and secured by the same mortgage, as those given Jaquith and Brown for the dam, and Parker for the street railway and telephone system, and which must be sold in the open market in the East, and it seems silly that any one would believe that those persons and the city council and we ourselves would take twenty-year bonds bearing no interest. The interest will be 6 per cent, payable semi-annually, the same as the city’s interest, and if default is made in its payment the city will sell the $60,000 mortgage bonds for what they will bring and take possession of the plant.
We have heard also that the bonds will be secured by a first mortgage ahead of the city’s lien on the electric plant. Our principal duty is to draw such a contract with the company that the city shall have a lien ahead of everything on what it sells and the betterments, and shall have IN ADDITION AND AS COLLATERAL SECURITY $60,000 of the same bonds which Jaquith and Brown get for the dam, and Parker for the telephone and street railway.
It should be understood that this $60,000 of bonds is EXTRA security for the performance of the company’s contract. Of course when the company pays the $20,000 with interest semi-annually in two years, twenty of these bonds will be given up, BUT NOT THE LIEN ON THE PLANT. When the remaining $40,000 is paid by the company, and interest semi-annually, the remaining forty bonds will be given up and the city’s lien released.
We have heard also that Mr. Parker might buy the electric light plant, and not the dam. This is not a fact. The whole deal must be carried through, or every part fails.
The council is not compelled to sell the plant if the people vote for it, although it cannot be sold without the consent of the voters. If the ordinance passed by the council, and the contract, do not suit the company, the sale falls through and the council will not pass an ordinance which does not satisfy it and protect the interest of the city; also the franchises given this company are NOT EXCLUSIVE.
We did not draw the proposition, but it seems plain on the principal points. The ordinance or franchise and contract which will be made if the vote is favorable will cover every detail; and if any person can suggest any point which will add to its strength, we shall carefully consider the suggestion.
Respectfully,
LEON E. LUM.
W. A. FLEMING.

The Journal contains the following letter from Judge Fleming:
So far as I am personally concerned, I do not care a snap whether the proposition to purchase the electric light plant is voted up or voted down. Don’t care enough about it either way to vote on it. On its merits I don’t propose to say anything either way. But in the interest of fair play and to correct some errors as to Mr. Lum and myself, as the chosen attorneys of the city, I wish to say, that many of the stories as to the legal effect of Mr. Parker’s proposition are as unfair as they are foolish. So far as the city is concerned that proposition cuts but little figure. It is at most only a skeleton or frame work of what the final franchise and contract will be, and, if Mr. Lum, myself, the council and mayor can be depended on, the city will be protected when we come to draft and act upon the franchise and contract. I supposed that that was what Mr. Lum and I were employed for. We made some changes in the proposition it is true, not because it was our business to do so, but to save complications. It was for Mr. Parker to make the proposition so that it would meet the approval of the people. It was not part of our duty to tinker it up for him. But the proposition is all right as a proposition, although not just right as a franchise. The city dictates as to the franchise and contract.
Here is the situation as it appears to me, beginning at the tall end: Before Mr. Parker can get the plant turned over to him, he must hand over to the city $60,000 of bonds; he can’t issue these bonds until his company is organized; the company can’t organize until it gets a franchise, and it can’t get a franchise until the council passes and the mayor approves it; and the council will not pass it until it is perfectly satisfactory to them and to their attorneys. And if with all these things in its favor, with the key to the whole situation in its own hands, the city does not protect itself, it has unfortunately got a poor council, a poor mayor and two idiots or knaves for its attorneys.
Let this be settled upon its merits and not upon misrepresentations.
Yours,
W. A. FLEMING.

Mr. C. N. Parker contributes the following

COMMUNICATION.


EDITOR DISPATCH:—
We fully agree with Messrs. Lum and Fleming in regard to the legal status of our proposition. It is our understanding that the city can and will protect itself when the franchise and contract come to be drawn and acted on. The city can offer just such a franchise as it thinks proper and if it is correct we will accept it. If it is not satisfactory to us we need not take it. The city, as well as ourselves, should be satisfied. This is no job to rob the city, and if the people do not think it a good proposition, or if they do not feel like joining with us in trying to develop the dam and other property and getting new industries in here, they can very easily say so at the polls. We would like the plant because we are confident that with it we can do something for ourselves and the city. As to the objection that there is nothing said about our bonds drawing interest, we repeat what we said to the council, that our bonds will bear the same rate of interest as the bonds of the city. Another thing we wish to notice. It is claimed that the resolution authorizes the mayor and clerk to turn the property over to us as soon as the vote is taken, if favorable. Nothing can be more absurd. Certainly, we cannot get the property until it is paid for. As to other objects, we will say that we expect, as a matter of course, that all details will be taken care of by the city when it comes up for final action. In conclusion, we will say, that we will have no controversy with our neighbors over this matter. If the people of Brainerd will vote on this question as a business proposition, we shall be satisfied whichever way it goes. One thing is certain, if we do not get the plant we cannot buy the dam. It will have to wait for somebody else.
Yours truly,
C. N. Parker.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 13 December 1895, p. 1, c.’s 3 & 4)

THE CITY VOTES TO SELL.
_____

The Vote Standing 723 in Favor to 143
Against.


The vote on the proposition to sell the electric light plant of the city to C. N. Parker, E. C. and P. A. Gibson on Tuesday resulted in an overwhelming majority favoring the sale, and in fact the vote of over five to one was a surprise to the most sanguine. The people of Brainerd who were called upon to decide the matter did so only after due deliberation and after the matter had been laid before them in its various light, there was no snap judgement and the arguments presented favoring the sale were made in time so that the voters could inform themselves thoroughly on the matter. At the mass meeting on Monday evening many of the leading citizens and tax payers made addresses favoring the scheme, giving their reasons, and they succeeded in convincing many that the project was a good one as the vote Tuesday shows.
Now that the matter has been decisively settled the company will at once incorporate and get things in shape for business. The contract between the city and company must be executed before the plant is turned over to them, which will probably occur next month. Work will then be commenced and $10,000 will be expended at once. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 December 1895, p. 1, c. 4)

Mr. C. N. Parker leaves tonight for Chicago, where he will meet Mr. E. C. Gibson and formulate plans for the incorporation of the Consolidated Company. Mr. Parker expects to be back the latter part of next week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 December 1895, p. 4, c. 7)

APPLICATION MADE TO INCORPORATE.
_____

The Brainerd Traction, Light and Power
Co., is the Name of the New
Corporation.


A letter received yesterday by Fred S. Parker, from his father, C. N. Parker, who is now in Chicago, states that on Monday, an application for a license to incorporate was made under the laws of the state of Illinois, and that the name of the new company was the Brainerd Traction, Light and Power Co. The stockholders are:
C. N. Parker, Brainerd, Minn.
E. C. Gibson, New York City.
P. A. Gibson, Erie, Pa.
Fred S. Parker, Brainerd, Minn.
W. S. McClenahan, Brainerd, Minn.
The first board of directors will also be the above named gentlemen, and the officers will be as follows:
C. N. Parker, President.
E. C. Gibson, Vice President.
P. A. Gibson, Secretary and Treasurer.
Fred S. Parker, Manager.
H. D. Treglawney, Assistant Secretary and Treasurer.
The office of the new company will be located on the first floor of the building between the Northern Pacific bank and the post-office, now occupied by Harry Fox.
On January 5th, Mr. Rice, Chief Engineer of the Stillwell, Brice [sic], Smith, Vail Co., of Dayton, Ohio, and Mr. Roe, expert electrician of the General Electric Co., will start for this city to look the plant over and make estimates on improvements, etc., and then the new company will at once begin operations.
The Harrisburg, Pa., Telegram, in speaking of a Consolidated Company just organized at Akron, Ohio, of which Mr. E. C. Gibson, of New York, vice president of the Brainerd Traction, Light and Power Co., is president, and Mr. P. A. Gibson, also of the Brainerd company, is a stockholder, says:
This company of solid financiers will also add numerous new plants, as it is remarkably strong and composed of men prominent in the financial world. That the chartering of this great company means much for Akron and its surroundings goes without saying, and to the city the future vouchsafes much in the way of vastly increased street railway facilities as well as street illumination. No stone will be left unturned in the matter of financial aid to the great work of upbuilding the city in the matter of furnishing and supplying two of the greatest street conveniences, the transportation and illumination. The new consolidation company starts on a solid foundation and its future is decidedly radiant. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 December 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

COUNCIL CULLINGS.


The electric light committee was instructed to put a ventilator in the roof of the power house, and were also instructed to wait on Mr. C. N. Parker and ascertain what he intends to do in regard to taking the electric light plant. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 July 1896, p. 4, c. 5)

COUNCIL CULLINGS.


Electric light committee reported, stating that they had interviewed Mr. C. N. Parker in reference to the purchase of the electric light plant, and recommending that Mr. Parker be given further time in which to complete the steps necessary to make the purchase and close up the matter. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 August 1896, p. 4, c. 6)

The City Council.


[...]


The following communication from C. N. Parker, regarding the electric light plant, was then read and filed:

TO THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRAINERD—GENTLEMEN:
From a recent conversation between Mr. D. D. Smith, of your electric light committee, and myself, I understand that some repairs on the electric light plant in the city are necessary at this time, and in view of the pending proceedings relative to the purchase of the plant by the Brainerd Traction, Light & Power Co., I deem it proper for me to submit a brief statement, showing why the purchase has not been completed, and indicating my position concerning the repairs required on the plant. I desire to be perfectly frank in the matter, as well as to relieve the city council and the electric light committee from all embarrassment in the premises as much as possible.
Under the financial conditions of the country as they now exist, and as they have been for some months past, it has been absolutely impossible to procure the necessary investment of sufficient capital in any scheme of a speculative character, and it is possible that the Brainerd Traction, Light & Power Co. may be unable to complete the purchase of the electric light plant and take hold of the proposed improvements before next spring. In the meantime, if it becomes necessary for the city to make some repairs on the plant, I do not doubt that the necessary expenditures made by the city must be taken into consideration and that when the transfer is finally made, such affairs can be fairly and properly adjusted; and should the purchase be finally consummated, as we hope it may be, the preservation of the plant by the city during the interval, will be a matter that the Brainerd Traction, Light & Power Co. will not attempt to over look, and the council may be assured that the matter will have a proper disposition.
C. N. PARKER,
President.
Brainerd, Sept. 25th 1896.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 02 October 1896, p. 4, c. 6)

NEW ELECTRIC LIGHT SUP’T.
_____

The City Council Transacts Consider-
able Business at its Monday Meeting.


The application of L. M. Page for the position of superintendent of electric lights was read and on motion the council proceeded to ballot, the result being that Mr. Page received eight votes and Wm. Dresskell one, and Mr. Page was declared elected to the position.
A motion was made and carried that the transfer of supplies and everything pertaining to the electric light plant be made under the supervision of the electric light committee. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 December 1896, p. 4, c. 5)

Armature Burned Out.


The city is again without electric lights. On Monday evening the armature of the incandescent machine again burned out, and as there was not another on hand, the city will be without lights until the armature is sent away and rewound, probably about two weeks. This is the second breakdown of this character within a month, and it is very annoying and expensive to say the least. Every breakdown of this character costs the city at least five hundred dollars in repairs and loss of rentals, and the frequency with which they occur is alarming. As far as we can learn, this sort of an accident has never before occurred in the winter but has previously been the result of severe electrical storms in the summer. Something must be radically wrong somewhere, and the council should make a searching investigation and find out where the fault lies and remedy the matter at once. They owe it to the people of this city that every care should be taken to prevent such expensive mishaps. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 March 1897, p. 4, c. 6)

City Buys New Dynamo.


A special meeting of the city council was held on Wednesday evening for the purpose of considering matters relative to improving the electric lighting system. Some ten days ago the old armature which had been wound and re-wound many times and was not of much account at best, broke down. The armature which had been kept in reserve for occasions of this kind was put in its place and on Monday night during the storm it burned out, leaving the city, as far as incandescent lights were concerned, in darkness. This armature was not of modern type and as the expense of putting it in condition would be considerable the council felt that the situation demanded careful consideration and a full investigation by the entire body. Mr. Ferris, an expert electrician and a representative of the General Electric Co., of Schenectady, N. Y., was present and gave the council the benefit of his experience and knowledge of the old machine, and explained the benefits the city would derive by placing up-to-date machinery in the city’s plant. The subject was canvassed thoroughly, and after considering the matter in all its phases it was very wisely decided to purchase a 2,400 light dynamo, including switch board and exciter, at a cost of $2,000, and a contract was entered into. When the new machinery arrives and is placed in position the plant will be complete and in first class condition. In the meantime the General Electric Co. has tendered the city the use of a dynamo which will be here and put in operation at once, probably by the first of the week, which will be operated until the new machinery arrives. The people of Brainerd will certainly commend the council in their action as it is an improvement which should have been made long ago and made doubly necessary by the recent unavoidable accidents to the plant. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 May 1899, p. 1, c. 3)

WILL IMPROVE THE LIGHT PLANT
_____

The City Council so Decides at a Special
Meeting Held on Tuesday
Evening.
_____


The city council held a special meeting on Tuesday evening to consider the report of the electric light committee recommending that the plant be improved so as to furnish lights for all who desire them. After considering the committee’s report for some time, and listening to explanations of the plans and specifications by Mr. P. L. Page, a hydraulic engineer employed by Little Falls Water Power Co., the council on motion of Alderman Cohen, adopted a resolution that the council improve the plant according to plans and specifications on file with the city clerk and that Mr. Page be engaged at $8 per day to conduct the work, Mr. Page agreeing to forfeit his pay if the work was not done according to the plans and specifications. The resolution was adopted without a dissenting vote.
For some years the question of improving the electric light plant has been agitated by our citizens, because in its present condition it could not supply the demand for lights. The council has hesitated to do so because of a suit with the dam company which involved the right of the city to use more power, but that being settled, the council this spring employed an expert from the Globe Iron Works, of Dayton, Ohio, to inspect the plant and report improvements necessary to put it in first class shape and capable of supplying all demands for incandescent lights and furnishing 50 arc lights. Plans and specifications were made by the expert and paid for by the city covering the improvements needed. The plans contemplated the purchase of two new generators of 2,400 lights capacity, the putting in of a new arc system and the making of alterations at the power house which would furnish ample power, only 170 horse power being developed at present, while the wheel in use was rated at 350 horse power, but owing to the improper way in which it was set only half power was developed. The new plans require the building of a larger flume and the use of an additional wheel, the old one taken out some years ago, which will develop three times the power in use at present. The city bought one new generator when a break down occurred some time ago, and will now purchase another to be installed when the improvements at the power house are finished. The council has been unable for some time to get a capable engineer to do the work, but Mr. Page has now been secured, and estimates the work at the power house can be done for $4422 which is about two thousand dollars less than other estimates made, and as he has the best of recommendations the council deemed it advisable to make the improvements at once, and engage Mr. Page to conduct the work, which Mr. Page estimates will take six or seven weeks. Mr. Page says that the plant can be operated while the work is progressing, except about a week, when every one who wants lights can have them as fast as they can be installed.
The entire improvements will cost nearly $8,000, but the present demand for lights will insure additional revenue of $250 a month, which will pay for the improvements in three years. The cost of operating will be the same as at present, no extra help being needed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 October 1899, p. 1, c. 4)

The electric lights were turned off on Sunday night and will not be turned on again until the improvements at the city’s plant are completed which will be the latter part of next week. A day and night crew are at work on the job and it is being rushed with all possible speed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 December 1899, p. 10, c. 2)

The improvements at the electric light station are so far advanced that the lights will be turned on Saturday evening without fail. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 December 1899, p. 10, c. 3)

SUPT. PAGE RESIGNS.
_____

Tax Levy Made, and Other Business
Transacted by the City
Council.
_____


The city council met in regular session on Monday evening. The city clerk and chief of police submitted reports showing $241.52 in fines collected, and electric light collections were $1,117.44.

[...]


The electric light committee submitted the following report:
To the Honorable City Council.
The following is the report of the electric light committee, showing the condition of the electric light system and plant, at the present time, with a condensed review of work done the past ten months, under the supervision of your committee.
After careful consideration the necessity for a reconstruction of the plant at the power house, water wheels and dynamos, was considered the proper course to take in order to preserve the efficiency of the whole system, with the following results:
Under the management of a practical engineer, two water wheels were placed in the new flume with a combined capacity of 500 horse power.
Two new General Electric incandescent light dynamos complete, with a capacity of 2,500 lights each, were purchased and are now in running order.
A new line shaft and pulley’s were placed, concrete foundation built under dynamos, a new floor built in power house, a 60 arc light dynamo machine was exchanged for the old one, giving the city 30 additional arc lights, which has been placed in position. New cedar poles have been placed throughout the whole system, and new wire on main lines.
Receipts prior to the present improvements averaged $750 per month. From the first of November receipts for lights will show an income of $1,200 per month, with indications of continued increase. It is estimated on the present rate of operating expenses, and the income from plant, that the improvements will be paid for out of the profits in three years.
The report was, on motion, accepted. The committee also reported that they had held an investigation of the cause of the breakdown in the arc light machine, and found that a difference of opinion existed between the superintendent and other employees as to the cause, and submitted the evidence taken, and reported Superintendent Page’s resignation.
A motion was made that Mr. Page be discharged, which was lost. His resignation was then accepted.

[...]


On motion, Mr. Higgins [sic], electric light engineer of the Brainerd Lumber company plant, was placed temporarily in charge of the electric light plant. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 November 1900, p. 12, c. 3)

The electric light will not be shut off at present as reported and expected, as the repairs to the dam will be postponed until after the holidays. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 November 1900, p. 8, c. 1)

CITY COUNCIL PROCEEDINGS.
_____

New Superintendent of Electric Lights
Elected—Petition Received to
Vacate a Portion of Bluff
Avenue.
_____


[...]


E. H. Kunderling’s bill for moving out of the power house and back again was gently laid on the table.

[...]


Bids for furnishing new arc dynamos were received from the American Electric Co. and the General Electric Co. The lowest bid was $1,450 for an 80 light machine. All bids were rejected.

Applications for electric light superintendent were received and read as follows: From A. Ousdahl, electrician at the N. P. shops, Edward Wiltzen, Minneapolis, E. R. Gick [sic], Northfield, Minn., W. H. Palmer, St. Paul, and W. A. Huggins [sic], temporary superintendent. A ballot was ordered and Mr. Ousdahl received 6 votes and Huggins [sic] 4. Mr. Ousdahl was declared elected.
On motion the superintendent was required to give a bond of $2,500. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 December 1900, p. 1, c. 3)

Will Not Accept.


It is learned that A. Ousdahl, elected electric light superintendent by the council on Tuesday, will not accept, as the N. P. company in order to keep him, raised his pay from $80 to $100 a month, and as the city pays only $85 a month, Mr. Ousdahl will continue in his present place at the increased pay. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 December 1900, p. 8, c. 5)

The electric lights were shut off on Tuesday, and there will be no more lights until the repairs at the dam will be completed. This will take about a month. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 January 1901, p. 8, c. 1)

The electric light plant was in bad form on Sunday and Monday nights owing to a break in the rim of the water wheel. The break was repaired and the lights were turned on again Tuesday night. Last night the plant was shut down again, this time until the repairs at the dam are completed, which will take from two to four weeks. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 January 1901, p. 8, c. 1)

Mr. Peterson, electric light superintendent, thinks the repairs at the dam cannot be finished until the latter part of February and there will be no lights until that time, surely not a pleasing prospect. The work at the dam is being pushed as fast as possible. About 30 men and four teams are employed on the repairs, and are all that can be used. The excavating has not been finished and will take some days yet, and then the rebuilding of the destroyed dam structure must be made. It is to be hoped the superintendent is mistaken and the lights will be turned on sooner. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 January 1901, p. 8, c. 1)

The excavations at the dam to make necessary repairs have been completed, and the work of making repairs has begun. It is estimated that they cannot be sufficiently advanced until March 1st to enable the electric light plant to resume operations. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 February 1901, p. 8, c. 1)

It is now reported the electric lights will be turned on March 10th. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 March 1901, p. 8, c. 1)

The electric lights will be turned on tonight for the first time for over two months. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 March 1901, p. 8, c. 1)

What’s the matter with the street lights? Is the city to be in total darkness indefinitely. It’s up to the council to provide lights for the streets, that are in use regularly. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 May 1901, p. 4, c. 1)

Bought an Arc Machine.


A special meeting of the city council was held on Wednesday evening to purchase an arc dynamo. The old one was burned out some days ago and the city has been in darkness ever since. It would cost between three and four hundred dollars to get a new armature for the old machine, which was deemed inadvisable, as it was out of date and liable to be burned out again in a short time on account of its construction, hence the council was unanimous on the matter of getting another machine. A representative of the Western Electric Company was present, and offered an 80 light machine for $1,150. This machine has had three month’s use, but for the above amount the company agrees to put in an entirely new armature, and give the same guarantee as with an entirely new machine, which would cost $1,550. By a vote of 6 to 2 the council decided to buy the machine offered. Let us hope we will have lights again very soon. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 May 1901, p. 8, c. 5)

CITY DADS IN SESSION.
_____

Regular Meeting Held in Council
Chambers Monday and
Much Business
Transacted.
_____


The regular monthly meeting of the city council was held in council chambers Monday evening President Crust presiding. There were present Aldermen Wright, Doran, Rowley, Koop, Erickson, Purdy, Gardner and Halladay.

[...]


Superintendent of Electric Lights Peterson reported that the foundation for the new arc machinery had been completed.

[...]

(Brainerd Dispatch, 07 June 1901, p. 2, c. 1)

The new dynamo for the electric light plant has arrived and is being unloaded today. It will be put into position at once. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 June 1901, p. 8, c. 3)

President Crust, Alderman Wright and City Attorney Crowell left last night for St. Paul, where they will confer with the officers of the Mississippi and Rum River Boom Co. regarding power for the city. They expect to be gone several days. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 September 1901, p. 8, c. 4)

RECOMMEND RENTING THE PARKER PLANT.
_____

The Electric Light Committee
Would Equip This Plant
for City Power.
_____

PROPOSITION BY BOOM COMPANY


A regular meeting of the city council was held Monday night in council chambers with Alderman Wright in the chair. The following aldermen were present: Halladay, Gardner, Purdy, Rowley, Doran, Fogelstrom, Koop, Erickson.
Vice president Koop arrived and took the chair.

[...]


A communication was read from President Chute of the Mississippi and Rum River Boom company in which he said, referring to the recent conference had with members of the council, that he had conferred with directors of the company and it had been decided that the only proposition that could be considered would be a lease of the dam, turning over the entire property, but reserving enough for themselves, 300 horse power; the city to keep the dam in repair and pay all taxes.
The matter was discussed quite thoroughly, many of the councilmen being of the opinion that the rental suggested by the company, $4000 annually, was moderate enough, but the matter of keeping the same in repair was considered an obstacle. Alderman Wright suggested that a good thing for the council to do would be to invite, say a dozen or fifteen businessmen of the city, to meet with the council on Friday evening to discuss the matter and then make some kind of a proposition to the boom company.
The electric light committee, to which was referred the matter of getting power to carry the city through the winter, suggested the renting of the Parker plant, if it could be secured at a reasonable rate. The running expenses, it was suggested, would amount to about $6 per day, not including the rent of plant and dynamo. The matter was recommended to the council for its consideration. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 October 1901, p. 3, c. 2)

WOULD BUILD AN ENTIRE NEW PLANT.
_____

Dr. Hemstead in Favor of Laying
Foundation for a Modern
Equipment.
_____

POWER QUESTION DISCUSSED.
_____

Meeting of the Business Men and
Taxpayers Held Friday
Night.


There was a fairly good attendance of taxpayers and others at the meeting held Friday in the city, in response to the call made by the electric light committee of the city council, the object of the meeting being to discuss in particular the proposition made to the committee by the Mississippi and Rum River Boom company, and in general to talk over the power for the city’s electric light plant, the steady growth of the city and the attendant demands having overreached the supply of power which has been and which is being furnished by the boom company.
Chairman Halladay, of the electric light committee, called the meeting to order and stated the object of the call. He stated that the committee together with the city council had had the matter of power in mind for sometime and various plans had been summarily gone over, but nothing definite had been done to increase the power at the dam, although for sometime there was need of some such action. He briefly went over the conditions of the contract between the city and the boom company. He stated that the lease would run six years longer. Originally the contract was in effect that the company would furnish 250 horse power for which the city agreed to pay $1500 a year. There was a proviso in the charter granted the company that an additional 250 horse power would be furnished the city so that this was virtually free. The city has been entitled to 500 horse power but it has never been able to get this much. He thought that at the present time the city was using but 350 horse power.
He stated that the only proposition received from the boom company was to lease the dam. They made a proposition, he said, to lease the entire dam for $4,000 a year, the city to pay all taxes and keep the dam in repair.
After stating the object of the meeting he said that nominations were in order for selection of chairman. On motion County Treasurer John T. Frater was made chairman and E. C. Griffith was made secretary.

John T. Frater, County Treasurer, ca. 1897.
Source: Progressive Men of Minnesota, Minneapolis Journal, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1897, p. 53
Several of those present then engaged in a general discussion of the matter and the committee feels that it received a very general expression of the heaviest tax payers of the city.
The first question asked was in regard to the possible cost of leasing the old Parker plant and renting the same for additional power. Alderman Halladay stated that the reason that the committee recommended the renting of this plant was to tide the city over the winter. He did not think it would be a wise thing to rent the plant for all time, as it did not have the capacity to furnish more than 1000 lights and there were nearly that many lights required to meet the demand of the “cut ins” at the present time and with this additional power the city would be in the same hole again in a year or two, that the power from this plant, he thought, would only serve as an assistance temporarily.
In answer to the question whether it would not be a wise move to increase the capacity of the Parker plant and use this exclusively, Alderman Wright stated that to equip a steam plant with capacity sufficient to run this city it would cost in the neighborhood of $25,000 and this would be for only 500 horse power. The cost in coal would be a big item. He stated that something like four pounds of coal per horse power per hour would be required.
Alderman Halladay stated that a proposition was made to the boom company to lease more power, but they would not listen to such a scheme; they want to lease or sell the whole dam.
Mr. Frater thought that a steam plant could be equipped somewhat cheaper than the figures mentioned by Mr. Wright, taking into consideration that the city now owned dynamos, etc. He though that a plant for this city with about 800 horse power could be put in for about $20,000.
John N. Nevers wanted to know what the loss was in transmission from the dam to the city and Mr. Wright stated that it was about 10 per cent. Mr. Wright stated that this loss would not be all saved but most of it would if a plant was erected in the center of the city. There is 17 miles of wire to the arc system and it is figured that for every three miles one arc light is lost in transmission. Mr. Nevers was in favor of leasing the Parker plant for six years, during the balance of the time the present contract runs, and by that time something might turn up.
J. F. McGinnis wanted to know, in view of that fact that it had been figured that the Parker plant would run behind each month, what the city would gain in the lease of the dam at $4000 a year. Mr. Rowley stated that it was not so much the loss as it was that the power furnished by the Parker plant would not be adequate for all time, for there were nearly enough residents who wanted lights to take up the entire power of this plant already.
L. J. Cale would be in favor of leasing the dam but thought it would be a very unwise thing for the city to agree to keep the same in repairs. He thought that it might be possible to provide for the abatement of the taxes, but in the case of repairs it would seem that the city was dealing in unknown quantities.
Mr. Frater wanted to know what the cost would approximately be for the city to buy another turbine wheel. It was explained that the wheels now in use take the entire capacity of the flumes; that new flumes would have to be put in and the expense would run way up. Mr. Wright stated that the new wheel alone would cost in the neighborhood of $1700. The dynamos now in use have a larger capacity than the city is now using. At the present time they are carrying something like 4200 lights and they could easily carry about 5300.
It was thought by many that to put in a new flume and to make the improvements mentioned the city would be shut off for a time from receiving its electric lights.
M. J. Reilly wanted to know how it was that the company could not furnish all the power and it was stated that the flush boards had been removed on account of some overflows.
J. J. Howe thought that another wheel could be put in without shutting off the lights of the city. In answer to the question as to the stability of the dam Mr. Howe also expressed an opinion that for all time to come the dam would remain, that there was not much danger of its going out.
Dr. Hemstead stated that this was the time for the city to lay the foundation for the erection of an independent steam electric light plant in the center of the city. He thought in investing money in keeping up repairs, etc. and in making repairs to old plants the city would get no returns. The only thing to do, he thought, would be to establish a permanent plant for the city’s own use. The revenue received by furnishing motor power, etc. would be enough to offset a great deal of the cost of maintenance.
W. D. McKay thought that it would be a wise thing to profit by the experiences of others and ascertain what the cost would be in running the different kinds of plants.
Expressions were heard from J. C. Congdon on the matter and he seemed to be in favor of theory advanced by Dr. Hemstead.
On motion of M. J. Reilly, Chairman Frater was authorized to appoint a committee of three to act in conjunction with the electric light committee in the matter.

_____

Committee Named.

At a citizens meeting held at the city Hall Friday night the matter of additional power for the electric light plant was discussed at length and the undersigned as chairman of the meeting, was ordered to appoint a committee of three citizens to advise with the electric light committee of the city council. After duly considering the matter I believe that the following named gentlemen will be agreeable to the committee, and very satisfactory to our citizens: John N. Nevers, Dr. Werner Hemstead and George D. LaBar who are hereby appointed as such advising committee.
JNO. T. FRATER,
Chairman Citizens Meeting.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 18 October 1901, p. 2, c.’s 1 & 2)

...Chairman Halladay, of the electric light committee, reported the result of the meeting of the committee in conjunction with the committee named from the citizens of Brainerd. He stated that both committees had decided that it would not be advisable to accept the proposition of President Chute, of the Mississippi & Rum River Boom Co. to lease the dam. The committee further recommended that the Parker plant be secured for a time and that improvements be made at the dam to secure the power the city was entitled to.
A communication was read from C. N. Parker, in which he stated that he would sell his plant for $4,000, or rent the same for $100 per month for eight months. It was evident that the sentiment of the council was that the proposition is somewhat exorbitant.
Another communication was read from the James Leffel & Co., builders of turbine wheels, of Springfield, Ohio, addressed to Chairman Judd Wright, of the purchasing committee, in which prices on turbine wheels were quoted.
The company recommended one of their later improved upright turbines, a design of which was forwarded with the letter. This turbine working under 15 feet working head of water, will develop, at part gate, 500 horse power, using about 23,500 cubic feet of water per minute, the speed of turbine being 93 revolutions per minute. This turbine is always fitted with hammered wrought iron shaft; runner with flange steel buckets cast solid to heavy outside band as per an enclosed design. The weight of this turbine is about 2500 pounds. The company offered to furnish this wheel for the net sum of $1425.
In this connection the company agreed to furnish a pair of bevel mortise gears with 4 1/2 pitch. This pair of gears will transmit the full horse power of the above turbine. The cost of these gears will be $600.
The company further stated that one of their engineers, T. B. Fish, is now in Minneapolis, and if the city of Brainerd decided to go ahead with the improvements, that they would like to have Mr. Fish call and see the council and give the matter his personal attention.
On motion the council decided to have Mr. Fish visit the city and secure from him further information. The proposition seemed to meet with the approval of the members of the council and it is not at all unlikely that the same will be accepted.
Regarding the Parker proposition a motion was made that the matter be left in the hands of the electric light committee with power to act, and to ascertain what Mr. Parker would do by the month without making the lease for any limited time. The motion was carried. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 November 1901, p. 2, c. 3)

DEAL CLOSED FOR A NEW TURBINE.
_____

City Council Thinks It Has Solved
the Lighting Question
at Last.
_____

REGULAR MEETING MONDAY.
_____

The Tax Levy for the Ensuing
Year is Fixed by Council
at $18,200.


The city council met in regular session Monday night for the first time in the new quarters of the Park Opera House building, with President Crust in the chair. The following Aldermen were present: Koop, Halladay, Gardner, Purdy, Rowley, Erickson, Fogelstrom, Doran and Wright.
The rooms which will be used in the new building as council chambers have not been completed so that the meeting Monday had to be held in the clerk’s office and with all the aldermen present and several others the room was rather crowded but this inconvenience will be remedied by the next meeting, as the new rooms will then be ready.

[...]


A proposition was read from the James Leffel Co., offering to put in the latest improved 56 inch upright Samson turbine for $1545. The communication was received and placed on file.
On motion the proposition of J. Leffel Co. to put in a 54 inch Samson turbine wheel was accepted. This will give the city a modern wheel and will furnish ample power. F. B. Fist, a representative of the company has been in the city for several days and the dam was thoroughly inspected on Sunday by the gentleman and members of the council. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 November 1901, p. 3, c. 2)

THE LIGHT GOES OUT IN BRAINERD
_____

Electric Light Station Burns to Ground
_____

DAM PIERS BURNED
_____

Two Piers and Five Gates of Weyer-
hauser Dam Burned Down—Repair Work
Commenced at Dam—City Will Make
Temporary Connection With Shop
Electric Light Plant.


The city electric light plant at the dam burned to the ground at nine o’clock Saturday night. Nothing was saved, arc machine and alternators, pulleys and shafting being reduced to a tangled pile of scrap.
John B. Lanouette, electric light engineer, was on duty at the time and states that the fire started on the north end of the building near the roof at about nine o’clock in the evening. As everyone who was on our streets that day or evening is aware, there was a fierce wind, and when the fire started it did not take the gale long to envelope the whole plant in a blast furnace blaze. The fire burned from the north end to the south end of the building.
Lanouette states there was no wiring near the fire when it first started. The nearest wiring was over twelve feet away. He telephoned for help and rushed back to save something. Of all his belongings he was able to save only his wheel.
He is not sure how the fire really started and believes it may have commenced from outside sparks, claiming sparks may have come from the saw mill immediately north of the light plant. He said he saw steam coming from the McKinley mill, as it is usually called. Lanouette is an old city employee, having worked for the city over eight years and during that time, as he states, never having had any trouble.

FIRE SPREADS TO DAM.

The building rests on a stone and cement foundation on the east side of the dam and near the two large wooden piers on that side. The fire quickly ate its way through the light frame building of the power house and leaped to the piers. These were soon a blazing mass. When the writer stood on the high bank east of the fire at about ten o’clock in the evening the foundation stringers of the building were reduced to blazing lines of light and the two piers were silhouetted in flame against the dark rushing waters of the dam.

FIRE DEPARTMENT HELPLESS.

The city department could not do much as this territory is out of the fire district. No adequate fire protection seems to have been provided for an emergency of this kind. For a time it looked as though the fire would spread to the Northwest Paper Co.’s pulp mill, which occupies the west bank of the dam. It was reported first that a pile of coal near the electric light plant and at the east foundation of the dam was on fire, but later reports discredit this and it is said no coal was stored near the dam.

PLANT INSURED.

A member of the city water and light board stated that the electric plant and building is covered by sufficient insurance to cover financial loss on machinery and building.
Insurance carried was $4,600 which was as much as the water and light board could place on the building and contents. The new dynamo was insured for $1100, its full value. While this amount is not large it is probably all the old plant was worth.

DAMAGE DONE TO DAM.

The two main piers on the east side of the dam are burned to the water’s edge. Three gates are burned on the outside of the flume. The pier foundations appear to be sound. The wheel pit of the dam is safe, the cogs being burned out.
Mr. Lanouette says he believes the state of water now to be about normal. The loss of the gates released the water and it is said to have fallen 14 inches at a point above the dam.

CITY TO PUT IN PLANT.

As stated by a member, the water and light board will meet the emergency by installing a steam or gasoline plant and providing service just as soon as a new plant can be built, which will be from 60 to 90 days.

TEMPORARY POWER SECURED.

The water and light board is making arrangements with the N. P. railway company to connect with the electric plant at the shops, and it is thought the necessary arrangements can be made by Tuesday or Wednesday. To do this it will be necessary for the board to provide two transformers at a cost of over $3,000, as the current at the shops is a higher voltage and two phase while the city plant was a single phase, but the board has rightfully decided that it was its duty to serve the public no matter if it does cost considerable. However, it is thought that the electrical company will take them back charging only for their use.
The destruction of the plant is a great inconvenience to concerns using motors for power and they have resorted to all sorts of schemes to keep going. The Northwestern Telephone company has a storage battery system that will keep them going for a week, but they got busy and connected with the N. P. wires on Sunday.

FIRE LOCALS.

Koop’s Unique theatre hustled around and installed a gas plant and never missed a performance. They played to crowded houses yesterday.
Mahlum Lumber Co.’s planing mill shut down on account of no power. They always handle a lot of custom work.
The Daily Dispatch is badly put out by the fire as the machinery of the office is run by motors. A gasoline engine has been installed temporarily to run the presses, but we are unable to use the linotype and hand composition must be resorted to which will reduce the local reading matter considerably.
The lecture by Dr. Laura Lane at the Methodist church was in progress when the lights went out, plunging audience and lecturer into darkness. The lecturer calmly continued her address and resolutions were adopted in the dark urging Congressman Lindbergh to assist in establishing a national department of health.
Charles Weyerhauser, accompanied by Messrs. Musser and Richie, came up from Little Falls Sunday afternoon in his Packard automobile and the party inspected the damages sustained to the Weyerhauser dam. The gentlemen returned to Little Falls in the evening.
Fred W. Low, of the new Grand theatre, stated his theatre would open tonight with the usual vaudeville features.
T. L. Truss, of the Bijou theatre said his house would run with the usual vaudeville features.
Thomas G. Johnson, superintendent of the Northwest Paper Co. and a crew of men are engaged in throwing up a wing dam from the east shore of the river to the burned piers. Water has fallen so rapidly that it is necessary to sheer the water to the west bank to keep the pulp mill going. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 25 April 1910, p. 1, c.’s 1 & 2)

MAY HAVE LIGHTS BY THURSDAY NIGHT
_____

Will be Connected With
N. P. Shop Plant
_____

POLES ARE BEING SET
_____

And Wires are Being Strung to Make
the Connections. Transformers
Have Been Shipped and Will Ar-
rive Tomorrow, and Will be Put
in Place Immediately on Arrival.


It now looks as though the city would have lights and power by Thursday night or Friday. The Water and Light Board has received official authorization from General Manager Slade, of the N. P., for electrical service from the shop plant until permanent arrangements can be made, and the board today put a force of men at work to set the necessary poles and string the wire for the connection. At the same time a force of men has been put to work at the shops to make the necessary preparations there for the additional service, the capacity of the machines there being more than ample to supply the needs of the city in addition to their own needs.
The board has also ordered two transformers from the General Electric Co., in Minneapolis, to change the current at the shops to suit the local equipment, and they were shipped this afternoon and will arrive in the city tomorrow noon. They will be accompanied by Mr. McMillan, the general agent of the company, who will be on hand to superintend their prompt and efficient installation.
Although the Water and Light Board only promises power by the last of the week, it is the opinion of those doing the work that the connections will be completed by Thursday night or Friday morning and the city will again have lights greatly to the convenience of everyone. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 26 April 1910, p. 1, c.’s 6 & 7)

LIGHTS TONIGHT
_____

Brainerd Will Have Lights and Pow-
er This Evening it is
Said


The necessary material to connect the city electric light system arrived in the city this morning and is being installed, and Secretary Nelson, of the Water and Light board says the necessary work will be completed this afternoon and the lights will be turned on tonight.
The various theatres of the city are proceeding on this basis and all are making preparations to accommodate the public and give shows this evening. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 27 April 1910, p. 1, c. 2)

BOARD TILTS THE LIGHT RATES
_____

Increased Cost of Current From the
N. P. Shops Makes This Ac-
tion Necessary
_____

RAISE EQUALS 33 1-3 PER CENT
_____

But Probably Will Only Last For
Short Time Until New Plant
is Built


The Water and Light Board at a meeting held the first of the week decided to increase the cost of electric current to light consumers in the city from 7 1/2 cents per kilowatt to 10 cents, an increase of 33 1-3 per cent. This action was necessary to prevent a deficit, as the cost of the current more than doubled when arrangements were made with the N. P. company to supply current temporarily pending the building of a new plant.
The board figured that the city has been producing current at a cost of only a little more than two cents per kilowatt and the N. P. company charges 5 cents per kilowatt, so a raise in rates was imperative.
The board took no action on the matter of power rates, but will probably raise these rates accordingly.
A notice of the raise of rates is published elsewhere in this issue, and the meters throughout the city are being read preparatory to putting in force the new rates. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 29 April 1910, p. 3, c. 1)

NO LIGHT AFTER OCTOBER 31
_____

N. P. Railway Serves Official Notice
on City to that
Effect
_____

MASS MEETING CALLED TONIGHT
_____

Representative Attendance of Busi-
ness Men is Expected at Com-
mercial Club Rooms


The following communication was sent the mayor, the members of the city council, city attorney, city clerk and water and light board and its officers:

Gentlemen:—
It being reported to the Commercial club at its director’s meeting last night that the Northern Pacific railway company had served official notice on the city of Brainerd that its own requirements for power during the winter months were such that it would be impossible for it to continue to furnish electric current to the city of Brainerd after October 31, 1910.
The undersigned were appointed a committee to confer with the city authorities to see if the businessmen of the city could offer any suggestions of value to those charged with the duty of furnishing light and power in Brainerd so that it may be made certain that the needed current will be available from some source by the time limit set by the railway company.
With this in view you are cordially invited to attend an informal meeting to be held in the Commercial club rooms tonight, August 2nd, at 8 o’clock.
A representative attendance of businessmen is expected.
DR. W. COURTNEY,
W. D. McKay,
GEO. D. LaBAR,
CON O’BRIEN,
W. H. GEMMELL.
Brainerd, Minn.,
August 2nd, 1910.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 02 August 1910, p. 3, c. 4)

ELECTRIC POWER HOUSE (LAUREL STREET)

TOLTZ ENG. CO. WILL LIGHT THE CITY
_____

The St. Paul Company After Two
Weeks’ Vigorous Work Gets
the Contract
_____

TO FURNISH LIGHT AND POWER
_____

At 2 1/8 Cents, With Pumping, When
Necessary at 1 1/2
Cents


From Tuesday’s Daily:—
Last night the council and the water and light board voted unanimously in favor of the Toltz Engineering Co. proposition to furnish current and power at two and one eighth cents per kilowatt hour, with pumping at one and one half cents a kilowatt hour.
Had any prophet of Brainerd predicted that the council of Brainerd and the water and light board would ever agree on any proposition and unanimously too, he would have been declared fit for a trip to Fergus.
The first surprise came when Messrs. Dunn and Smart got together and in response to the request of President Toohey held an adjourned meeting in the city clerk’s office and actually agreed on something. Dunn and Smart have always had such diverging views. Mr. Mahlum was not present, but Messrs. Dunn and Smart, realizing how the council favored it and that something had to be done, adopted a resolution endorsing the Toltz proposition.
This was presented to the council and a resolution was adopted contracting with the Toltz Engineering Co. for power and current. All present, Aldermen Henning, Cardle, Robertson, Zakariasen, Drexler, Dieckhaus, Kjellquist and President Toohey voted in favor of it. It is said someone sent a cablegram to Alderman Gardner, who at last accounts was kissing the Blarney stone in Ireland, that eight men of the council had actually voted yes without any reservations.
When President Toohey opened the adjourned meeting he took up the matter of paving petitions. Ten petitioners in the district on Fourth avenue between Kindred and Ash and nine signers on Farrar street between Third and Fourth asked that the paving work ordered be suspended. On motion of Alderman Drexler it was ordered to send the matter to the street committee to report at the next meeting.
Mr. E. Marshall, representing the Toltz Engineering Co. was then given the floor and he explained in detail his propositions. He stated that his company could not stand such added expense as furnishing bonds at two cents per kilowatt hour. He wanted the city to assume the expense of surety bonds. He saw a need of inserting a pumping rate when the city had no reservoir or stand pipe. St. Paul’s light and power company representing an investment of millions gave a surety bond of only $50,000.
There was some play on the question of the bonds to be given by the successful bidder and the counsel voted a second time and definitely put itself on record as desiring $25,000 bonds for five years to cover the construction and maintenance posted and $15,000 for the remaining five years to cover maintenance and uninterrupted service.
Mr. Marshall sprang to his feet and said: “Give me two and one eighth cents per kilowatt hour and I will meet all your conditions. I will furnish the bonds you ask, cut my minimum from 600,000 to 200,000 and put in the pumping rate.”
Mr. Stoner was not present. Cries were heard for Mr. Stoner or his representative to speak. There was nothing doing.
The council and the water and light board then got together and after adopting a few minor changes in the contract as published in Saturdays Daily Dispatch, agreed on entering into a contract with the Toltz Engineering Co.
Another meeting will be held on Saturday evening, October 23rd when it is expected to have the signed contract and the desired bonds on hand. Mayor Ousdahl and President Toohey and City Clerk Roderick will take their pens in hand and affix their signatures. In conclusion we shall paraphrase that significant and eloquent line in Genesis by saying, “Let there be light in Brainerd.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 October 1910, p. 1, c. 7)

CONTRACTS FOR ELECTRIC CURRENT
_____

As Drawn by City Attorney Ryan and
Consulting Engineer
Clausen
_____

PROPOSED CONTRACT OF STONER
_____

Contract With Toltz Engineering Co.
as Nearly Identical as Pro-
duction Permits


From Saturday’s Daily:—
Below we publish a copy of the proposed contract to be made by the city with M. D. Stoner to furnish current for light and power for the city as drawn by City Attorney Ryan in consultation with Consulting Engineer Clausen and approved by the city council. We understand it is also agreeable to Mr. Stoner. The Toltz contract is identical with the Stoner contract in so far as it can be, considering the different ways of producing the current. In both contracts the pumping rate is left blank and the minimum amount of current is also blank in the Toltz contract and the light rate is 2 cents.
This agreement, made in duplicate and entered into at the city of Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota on the _____ day of_____ 1910 by and between the City of Brainerd, a municipal corporation of the State of Minnesota, party of the first part, and hereinafter called first party, and M. D. Stoner, of the city of Bemidji, Beltrami County, Minnesota, party of the second part, and hereinafter called the second party.

1.

Witnesseth: That the second party in consideration of the premises and agreements of the first party hereinafter recited does hereby agree to generate, furnish, sell and deliver to the first party all the electrical current which the first party may need for it’s distributing system as now or hereafter maintained for the full period of ten (10) years from and after the date of this agreement.

2.

The current so sold and delivered shall be delivered at the first party’s switch board at about twenty-two hundred (2200) volts, normal sixty, (60) cycle, three (3) phase alternating current, and said voltage shall be controlled and regulated by a five (5) bar Terrill Regulator, the exact voltage to be as required by the Water and Light board or its successors, of the first party, and the service of said current to be continuos and satisfactory, provided that all motors of twenty-five (25) horsepower or over used upon the distributing system of the first party shall be of the slip, ring type except such as are in use on said distributing system at the date of this agreement.

3.

The second party further agrees to erect a temporary frame building on the east bank of the Mississippi river and between the Northern Pacific railway company’s right of way and the Laurel street bridge and place therein a modern electrical steam plant of sufficient capacity to furnish the first party with all the current it may require on its distributing system as now or hereafter maintained until such time as the second party shall have completed and placed in operation a hydro-electric plant on the Crow Wing River, and hereafter furnish said current with either said steam or hydro-electric plant, and further agrees that within one (1) year from date of this agreement he will replace said temporary frame building with a fireproof building.

4.

The second party further agrees to provide room in each of the aforementioned buildings and shall, free of compensation, allow the first party to place therein its switch board and other necessary appliances for its sub-station and, without compensation, to operate under the supervision of the Water and Light board or its successors, of the first party, said switch board and other necessary appliances, and the first party’s Water and Light Board or its successors through its officers or employees shall be allowed access to said switch board and other necessary appliances at all reasonable hours for the purpose of repairing, altering, examining or testing any or either of them or the meter which shall record the consumption of current, but the second party shall not be liable for any injury or damage to said switch board or appliances not the result of negligence of himself, his agents or servants.

5.

The second party further agrees that within a period of four (4) months from the date of this agreement he will furnish the first party with said current or pay to the first party any difference in the cost of current which the first party may be obliged to pay in excess of the price named herein from and after the period of four (4) months from the date of this agreement.

6.

The second party further agrees that he shall be liable for any interruption of current, except such as is caused by inevitable accident and the making of repairs made necessary by the ordinary wear and tear of the equipment or appliances, but in case of interruption of current from any cause the service shall be reestablished at once, and all repairs made by the second party which shall necessitate any interruption to the service shall be made at a time designated by said Water and Light board or it’s successors, the second party further agreeing that in case of any beakdown in any or both of the steam or hydro-electric plant the first party is to be served up to its full requirements in preference to any and all of the second party’s other patrons.

7.

The first party in consideration of the premises and of the faithful performance by the second party of all of the terms and conditions of this agreement to be by him kept and performed agrees that it will during the full term of ten (10) years from and after the date of this instrument purchase and receive form the second party all the current which the first party may require for sale to its light and power patrons and no less than Two-Hundred Thousand (200,000) kilowatts per year and the first party shall pay therefor at the rate of two and one quarter (2 1/4) cents per kilowatt hour.

8.

The first party agrees to pay in legal tender or its equivalent, on or about the 10th day of each month for all the current used during the preceding calendar month at the rate hereinbefore named.

9.

The first party does hereby grant unto the second party the right to construct one high tension pole line from said steam plant in a southerly or westerly direction across or along its streets or alleys to the city limits as now or hereafter located, such streets or alleys to be hereafter designated by resolution of the City Council of the first party, and said pole line to be constructed and maintained according to all the present or future laws or ordinances of the first party, the details of the construction and maintenance of said pole line being subject to the approval of the said Water and Light board or its successors and the first party reserves the right to at any time re-designate by resolution of the City Council the streets or alleys to be thereafter used by the second party for said pole line upon thirty (30) days notice in writing, the changing of said pole line under any designation by the first party to be made and the expense therefor paid by the second party.

10.

In case any dispute should arise between the parties hereto as to the amount of current consumed in any period of time, the dispute shall be determined and decided by three (3) arbitrators; one to be appointed by the first party; one by the second party and one by the two first chosen, and the decision of said arbitrating board shall be final and conclusive. In the event either party hereto shall, in case of such dispute, fail to appoint an arbitrator within ten (10) days after demand so to do by the other party, then such dispute may be determined by the arbitrator appointed by the party serving such demand and the decision of such arbitrator shall be binding and conclusive, provided such notice shall be served by or on the said Water and Light board or it’s successors, and provided, further, that any expense of any such arbitration shall be borne by both parties, share and share alike.

11.

The second party shall before the execution of this agreement by the first party furnish the first party a surety company bond in the sum of Twenty-five Thousand (25,000) Dollars, said bond to run for a period of five (5) years after the date of this agreement and after the expiration of said five (5) years shall furnish such a bond in the sum of Fifteen Thousand (15,000) Dollars each of said bonds to be conditioned upon the full and faithful performance of each and all of the terms and conditions of this agreement and to save the city harmless from any and all claims for damage or injury to property or persons by reason of the construction or maintenance of any of his property or appliances within the corporate limits of the first party as now or hereafter defined, the first party reserving the right to require the second party to at any time furnish either of said bonds in another or different surety company from the one in which such bond may be written.

12.

The second party hereby agrees that at any time during the term of this agreement the first party has the right and option to demand of the second party the furnishing of electrical current for the purpose of pumping water for it’s water distributing system, and upon the exercise of said right and option and the making of such demand by the first party, the second party agrees to furnish electrical current for the purpose of pumping water for the water distributing system of the first party at the rate of _____ cents per kilowatt hour, said pumping to be done at said rate between the hours of 11:00 P. M. and 7:00 o’clock P. M. from the 15th day of March to the 15th day of October and between the hours of 11:00 o’clock P. M. and 5:00 o’clock P. M. from the 15th day of October to the 15th day of March.

13.

The second party further agrees that the first party has the right and option to renew this contract at the rates herein named upon the giving of notice in writing to the second party thirty (30) days prior to the date of its expiration.

14.

It is mutually agreed by both parties hereto that all the rights, privileges, duties and obligations herein contained or arising by the term hereof shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the successors or assigns of the first party and of the heirs, executors, administrators or assigns of the second part.
In witness whereof, the first party has caused these presents to be executed by its Mayor and attested by its clerk and its corporate so to be hereto attached and the second party has thereto set his hand and seal the day and year first written above. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 October 1910, p. 7, c.’s 5-7)

TOLTZ ENG. CO.’S BOND APPROVED
_____

Council Holds Special Meeting Last
Night and Makes Minor Changes
in the Contract
_____

W. & L. BD. SPECIAL MEETING
_____

Construction Time Extended to 130
Days—Standard Terrill Reg-
ulator is Substituted


From Saturday’s Daily:—
The city council held a special meeting last night for the purpose of taking action on the Toltz Engineering Co. proposition and to transact such other business as might properly be taken cognizance of.
Aldermen Henning, Cardle, Robertson, Paine, Kjellquist and Dieckhaus were present and Vice President Zakariasen presided. Aldermen Gardner, Drexler and Toohey were absent.
A motion carried to telephone to Consulting Engineer O. C. Clausen and get his opinion regarding the substitution of regulators. Secretary of the Water and Light board, Nelson, informed the council that Mr. Clausen was not at home. On motion it was decided to change the contract in this regard and substitute a Standard Terrill regulator for the five-bar regulator originally mentioned.
Section 5 of the contract was amended and the construction time was changed from four months to 130 days.
Section 7 was amended by striking out the word “may” and substituting the word “shall” and reading to the effect that the city shall purchase for ten years all current required by its light and power patrons, etc.
The bonds of the Toltz Engineering Co. for the proper construction and maintenance of the power plant written by the American Bonding Co. of Baltimore, were presented and approved.
Max Toltz, the president of the company and E. Marshall, his electrical engineer were present at the council meeting. The steps taken last evening appear to be the conclusion of the negotiations and all that is now lacking is the signatures of both parties to the contract.
As next week’s meeting of the council is very close to election day, it was decided to take up some of the bills now on hand in order to make the next session a short one. The payroll of the mayor and aldermen amounting to $150, the payroll of the city officers $310.33 and various minor bills were allowed.
At a special session of the Water and Light board held simultaneously Messrs. Mahlum and Smart and the secretary, William Nelson, were in attendance. The bond furnished by the Toltz Engineering Co. was approved. Both bodies then adjourned. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 November 1910, p. 1, c. 1)

COUNCIL HAND TOLTZ ULTIMATUM
_____

Must Act on the Light and Power
Contract by Thursday, Nov. 10th
_____

OR NEGOTIATIONS ARE OFF
_____

Jamieson Refused Liquor License—
Wise Refused Transfer—Tax
Resolution Adopted


From Tuesday’s Daily:—
The council met in regular session last night, Aldermen Henning, Cardle, Dieckhaus, Paine, Drexler, Kjellquist and Vice President Zakariasen being present. Alderman Gardner was still romping through Ireland and President Toohey was sick in bed.
On motion the reading of the minutes was dispensed with.
The council delivered an ultimatum to Max Toltz of the Toltz Engineering Co., of St. Paul, by telephone and instructed him to sign the light and power contract before Thursday night eight o’clock, or the council would cease to have any further dealings with Mr. Toltz.
City Attorney Ryan stated he had conferred with the company in St. Paul and their attorney had drawn up a contract virtually the same as his with the exception of two provisions, one requiring the city to renew the contract at the end of ten years or to purchase the plant and the other to give the company more of an exclusive franchise.
The council, on motion, agreed to hold an adjourned meeting next Thursday to consider the Toltz matter.

[...]

(Brainerd Dispatch, 11 November 1910, p. 1, c. 1)

TOLTZ MUST REPLY BY SAT’Y. NIGHT
_____

The Council Last Night Rescinds the
First and Issues a Second
Ultimatum
_____

TOLTZ WIRED FROM CHICAGO
_____

With Toltz Out of the Field M. D.
Stoner Will Present a New
Proposition


The council met in adjourned session last night at the council chambers and Aldermen Henning, Cardle, Robertson, Paine, Drexler, Kjellquist and Dieckhaus were present.
In the absence of both President Toohey and Vice President Zakariasen, the council selected Alderman Dieckhaus as its presiding officer, who stated the object of the meeting.
Some were in favor of terminating negotiations with the Toltz Engineering Co., of St. Paul, because neither Max Toltz nor a representative was present. A telegram was read from Max Toltz, dated Chicago, November 9th as follows: “Unexpectedly detained here. Therefore I cannot come to Brainerd Thursday night. Can be there Saturday, if this is satisfactory advise my office in St. Paul.”
City Attorney Ryan reviewed the correspondence he had with Mr. Toltz.
Mr. M. D. Stoner was present and asked if he would enter into a contract immediately should Mr. Toltz prove dilatory. Mr. Stoner said he did not wish to enter into negotiations as long as Mr. Toltz had the board, he wished to give him all possible show. By Saturday he would have his proposition in presentable shape.
A small bill was allowed by the council. On motion the clerk was instructed to wire Mr. Toltz to be here Saturday night at eight o’clock and sign up his contract or terminate the matter by not appearing. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 11 November 1910, p. 3, c. 1)

TOLTZ SIGNS THE CONTRACT
_____

After Some Discussion the Light and
Power Contract is Entered In-
to by Toltz Eng. Co.
_____

BEGIN CONSTRUCTION AT ONCE
_____

Stoner’s New Proposition Was Heard
and the Council Reverted
Back to Toltz


At Saturday’s adjourned session Aldermen Dieckhaus, Henning, Cardle, Robertson, Paine, Drexler, Kjellquist and Vice President Zakariasen were present. Mr. Zakariasen stated the object of the meeting.
Max Toltz, president of the Toltz Engineering Co., of St. Paul, was present and said he would sign the lighting contract providing the newly inserted paragraph regarding the prohibition of the sale of the plant to a foreign corporation was stricken out and the original paragraph not expressing such a limitation was reinserted.
City Attorney Ryan wanted the new clause in so that disagreements if there are any, could be settled in Minnesota state courts instead of U. S. Federal courts at Duluth.
A motion was made to remove the objectionable clause and conform to the wishes of Mr. Toltz.
Aldermen Henning, Kjellquist, and Dieckhaus voted aye. Aldermen Cardle, Robertson, Paine, Drexler and Zakariasen voted nay. The motion was lost.
Then followed a fiery verbal tilt between Attorney Jay Henry Long representing Mr. Toltz and City Attorney Ryan. When the smoke cleared away M. D. Stoner was asked to give the council his new proposition. He now wished a contract with a 600,000 kilowatt hour minimum and a rate of two and one half cents. He said the clause forbidding the sale or transfer to a foreign corporation was agreeable to him.
“For the sake of a little clause which may never be taken advantage of the city will have to pay 3/8 cents difference,” said Alderman Henning.
A motion was made to reconsider the first motion and it carried, Aldermen Henning, Robertson, Drexler, Kjellquist, Dieckhaus and Zakariasen voting aye. Alderman Cardle and Paine voted no.
A messenger was sent for Mr. Toltz who had left the hall.

[...]


Then with the specter of municipal ownership on one side and Stoner at 2 1/2 cents and Gordon at 2 3/8 cents on the other and Toltz at 2 1/8 cents and his technical clause to be inserted directly before the council, the council voted again on the Toltz proposition which had been amended to conform with Mr. Toltz’s request. The motion carried in favor of Toltz and all present at this stage of the meeting,. Aldermen Henning, Robertson, Paine, Drexler, Kjellquist, Henning and Zakariasen voted aye.
The bond of the company was approved and Mr. Toltz, Mayor Ousdahl, and City Clerk Roderick signed the contract, the signatures being witnessed by notaries present.
Mr. Toltz addressed the council and thanked them for the patience all had shown in carrying on the negotiations. He did not figure on erecting a steam plant. He would install a gas producer plant with gas engines and might also consider the installation of oil fuel engines. Brainerd would be a sort of experimental station where his company would try all sorts of fuel, also paying attention to peat. The present price, 2 1/8 cents was about the cheapest power in the country. He called attention to the fact that this city was paying five cents for current and selling it at ten cents and still did not appear to be able to make both ends meet. At a 50 percent profit this city should be able to furnish free street lighting. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 14 November 1910, p. 3, c. 1)

RITARI RUSHING THEIR CONTRACT
_____

This Firm is Pushing Work Putting
in Concrete Foundations and
Cement Work
_____

Day and Night Shifts—Frame Shed
Covers Work—First Cement
Batch Tonight


Ritari Bros., the cement contractors, are certainly maintaining their reputation as contractors who push their work and strive to finish a job on time.
In a day and a half a large frame shed measuring 50 by 125 feet and one story in height was constructed on the site of the electric light and power house of the Toltz Engineering Co., of St. Paul situated on Laurel street near the St. Paul track of the Northern Pacific railway.
Today 35 men are working in the shelter of this huge shed busily digging and doing other work preparatory to putting in the concrete foundations and the heavy cement work for the dynamos and other machinery of an up-to-date power plant. Six big stoves are going full blast and are producing a summer heat. A large stone crusher is at work outside grinding up the necessary rock.
The shed is electric lighted. Two shifts, day and night, are at work. Tonight the first batch of cement will be thrown in. This cement will be handled by two mixing machines, one a steam plant and the other a gasoline machine. A large boiler has been placed in position to heat water and sand. Twenty-five farmers are engaged hauling rock and two teams are getting sand.
The elevator shaft requires considerable digging and three men are at work in this excavation. A surveyor is at work running levels for the men. The excavation work in places has reached a depth of from three to eight feet.
A few more men can be put at work and when inquiring for a job should see Ernest Ritari. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 16 December 1910, p. 5, c. 1)

AT THE POWER HOUSE
_____

Contractor Husemann Takes Advan-
tage of Good Weather and
Makes Rapid Progress


From Tuesday’s Daily:—
Contractor E. H. Husemann is taking advantage of the good weather and is putting all the men possible on the new power house. He has the contract covering the bricklaying, raising the steel work, putting in the roof work and laying the floors as well as finishing the interior. The cement floor work was sublet to Ritari Bros., who have already completed their part of the work. Mr. Husemann’s time limit is February 15th and if the good weather continues he will have his contract finished before that time.
Six brick layers and eight tenders are at work as well as many helpers. The brick work encloses the steel columns of the walls. A steam boiler in a shed is used to keep the sand and water hot.
The machinery, including the engines and dynamos, is expected here on or before February 1st. Mr. King, of the Toltz Engineering Co., is an inspector for his company and keeps supervision over all the work done. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 January 1911, p. 1, c. 2)

BETTER LIGHT IS PROMISED
_____

Toltz Co. Gets a New Chief Engineer
S. G. Page, to Take Charge
of the Plant
_____

R. E. STANTON IS IN THE CITY
_____

The Treasurer of the Toltz Co. is
Looking Over the Plant Sug-
gesting Improvements.


The Toltz Co. has engaged a new chief engineer, S. G. Page, and with this man in charge better and more continuous service is promised. Mr. Page is an experienced engineer and has run plants of this style.
“We have had trouble in keeping men,” said R. E. Stanton, of St. Paul, the treasurer of the Toltz Co. who is himself an expert mechanical engineer. “We get good engineers and who are used to handling gas tanks and machinery and they quit because they prefer Minneapolis to a small town. The force we have at present we are assured will stay.
“On Sundays, as a rule, the machinery is given a rest in order to permit us to make repairs. This occurs from about 8:30 in the morning to four o’clock in the afternoon.” Mr. Stanton will remain at the plant several days studying conditions and suggesting possible improvements.
On Thursday evening, pay day night, the company really excelled itself and gave continuous service and a good clear light. No complaints were heard in the city that evening and if the company does as good as this every night things will be generally satisfactory. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 21 July 1911, p. 3, c. 1)

M. D. Stoner, general manager of the Cuyuna Range Light & Power Co., has opened a branch office in Brainerd and is preparing for more business in 1912. It means, no doubt, that Mr. Stoner is getting ready to develop the water power resources he has in the neighborhood of the county seat. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 11 January 1912, p. 3, c. 5)

WHY THE PAPER IS LATE TODAY
_____

Power Shut Off at 12:30 P. M. and
Electric Light Plant Disabled
Over 4 Hours
_____

GASOLINE ENGINE BUCKED
_____

Unable to Generate Air to Start the
Gas Engines Working—Much
Trouble Caused


The Dispatch is late today because the Toltz Engineering Co. has not furnished any power from 12:30 P. M. today and for over four hours or more the presses and linotype have been idle and news piled up with no method of printing it. This loss of power is therefore felt by every reader of the paper and is an inconvenience resulting in a financial loss not only to the paper but to every other power user in the city.
At the power house at three o’clock it was said that a gasoline engine in the basement was the cause of all the trouble. This engine bucked and without it there was no way of generating enough air to start the big engines working.
A small gasoline engine was obtained from W. E. Lively and it was hoped to speedily get power by using it, but an hour has elapsed and nothing in the way of power has been shown.
On several other occasions this week linemen have cut wires leading to the business section and their repairs generally have been made just at the time the paper was going to press.
A number of these exasperating delays can be forgiven, but a three hour shut down exhausts patience.
To tide over matters the Dispatch attached a motor cycle to the linotype. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 27 January 1912, p. 3, c. 3)

NATIONAL LIGHT, HEAT & POWER CO.
_____

South Dakota Corporation Organized
by Max Toltz Takes Over Toltz
Engineering Co.
_____

TRANSFER CALLS FOR $50,000
_____

Max Toltz is President and R. E.
Stanton Secretary of New
Corporation


There has been filed with the city clerk a deed of trust dated January 1, 1912 by and between the National Light, Heat & Power Co., a South Dakota corporation and the Security Trust Co., a Minnesota corporation whereby the power company, which has taken over the Toltz Engineering Co. of this city, borrows money for the purpose of funding and retiring its present outstanding indebtedness and of meeting the cost of future extensions and improvements and to issue its bonds for the amount so borrowed, being first mortgage gold bonds amounting to $50,000 with interest at 6 percent.
No papers have been filed to date at the register of deeds office.
Max Toltz is the president and R. E. Stanton the secretary of the National Light, Heat & Power Co.
The schedule of property attached to the deed mentions lots 6 to 12 inclusive of block 77 of the First Addition to Brainerd, on which is located a fire-proof building, basement of concrete, brick above, steel roof trusses, and also gives a detailed description of the machinery contained therein.
The new company assumes all contracts and responsibility taking over the business from the first of the year.
The incorporation papers of the National Light, Heat & Power Co. were drawn by Attorney Jay Henry Long over a year ago, Messrs. Toltz, Stanton and King being the incorporators.
The new company is virtually the same as the old company, the Toltz Engineering Co., having the same officers, and its incorporation was written up in the Daily Dispatch a year ago, its principal object being to take over the Brainerd plant, as mentioned at that time.
The C. N. Parker estate owns $10,000 stock in the National Light, Heat & Power Co., the late C. N. Parker having subscribed for that amount shortly after its incorporation. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 09 February 1912, p. 3, c. 3)

TOLTZ TOLD TO BETTER SERVICE
_____

Water and Light Board Wants the
Power company to Live Up to
Its Agreement
_____

CITY ATTORNEY’S OPINIONS
_____

Change From Residence to Business
Lines of a Section of the
City Authorized


At last night’s session of the water and light board the Toltz Engineering Company was plainly told to better its service. Secretary Nelson was instructed to write the power company that the service in Brainerd was neither continuous nor satisfactory and to insist that hereafter the company must live up to the terms and conditions of its contract.
Commissioners Dunn and Mahlum were present and Commissioner Schwartz was absent. The communication of R. M Sheets for $60 damages for loss of time when the power company furnished him no service was referred to the city attorney.
The monthly reports of the secretary covering the water and light departments were read, accepted and placed on file.

[...]

(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 15 February 1912, p. 3, c. 1)

TO ADVERTISE BIDS ON CURRENT
_____

Alderman Elder Brings the Matter
Up at Last Night’s Meeting of
the City Council
_____

MOTION PASSED UNANIMOUSLY
_____

Alderman Elder in Speech Said the
Toltz Company Had Forfeited
its Contract


At the conclusion of a short address at the city council meeting last night wherein the speaker, Alderman James M. Elder, referred to the shortcomings of the Toltz Engineering Co. in the way of furnishing sufficient light and power and where he made the assertion that the company had by such action forfeited its contract. Mr. Elder made a motion that there be advertised a call for bids on the furnishing of electric current for power and lighting purposes in the city of Brainerd. the motion was unanimously passed. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 05 March 1912, p. 3, c. 4)

RECEIVER NAMED FOR POWER CO.
_____

Judge Brill, of St. Paul, Takes Ac-
tion in the Brainerd Power
Company Case
_____

ON PETITION OF MAX TOLTZ
_____

Max W. Mattson Appointed Receiver
For the National Light, Heat
& Power Co.


On the petition of Max Toltz, in district court Thursday morning, says the St. Paul Dispatch, Judge Brill appointed Max W. Mattson receiver for the National Light, Heat & Power company.
The company recently acquired the light plant at Brainerd from a company organized by Mr. Toltz and have failed to meet payments. The receivership was not contested.
Inquiry at the water and light board offices in the city and the city clerk failed to reveal any knowledge as to these proceedings.
City Attorney M. E. Ryan was seen this noon when he returned from Walker and said no notice of the appointment of a receiver had been served on him.
The appointment of a receiver transfers to such person the power of protecting the interests of the company. It may have been that the Minneapolis trust company which loaned the National Heat, Light & Power Co. money is seeking to protect its mortgage on the property.
Max Toltz and his attorney, M. W. Mattson, arrived from St. Paul this afternoon. Mr. Toltz refused at this time to give out any matter for publication. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 26 April 1912, p. 5, c. 1)

RECEIVER MATTSON ADDRESSES COUNCIL
_____

Has Endeavored to Make Arrange-
ments for Leasing Additional
Power To Supply City
_____

THE COUNCIL TAKES NO ACTION
_____


The city council met in regular session Monday evening and all were present except Alderman Webb. The matter of supreme importance was the report made by Max W. Mattson, the receiver of the National Light, Heat & Power Co. who filed a written report and later explained some sections of the communication. The council considered the matter taking no formal action that evening on the suggestions advanced by the receiver. The report states:
“I have employed the best expert I could find to handle and operate the plant. I hope his work has showed itself in an improved character of service. The large engine has been unsatisfactory from the beginning and I have tried to persuade the company which furnished it to take it back. It has insisted that it is all right and has refused to do anything. I have, therefore, begun a suit at Brainerd against this company for damages and to cancel the mortgage on the plant which was given in payment for the machinery. This will be tried at the next term of your district court unless settled somehow in the meanwhile.
“I have been negotiating for further power from some source. I have a proposition from Little Falls. This would solve the problem. If I could bring in electric power from there the present gas producer plant could be used as an emergency and supplementary plant. I have had bids made for the construction of the wire line from Little Falls to Brainerd. I find that, including interest on its cost and loss of electricity in transmission, the price proposed by the Little Falls people is higher than I could afford to pay. But I hope that I can affect a reduction in their proposed price by negotiations. Before I go further, I should know whether it would be agreeable to Brainerd to have this general plan carried through. Will the council advise me as to this?
“I have also been in negotiations with Mr. Stoner. He has proposed to take over the Toltz building without the machinery and to pay for it out of future earnings. Mr. Toltz and Mr. Parker have over $27,000 in the enterprise, and the machinery company claims to have as much more, and has a mortgage on the property for it. I can’t make any deal along the line proposed by Mr. Stoner until I have settled some way with the machinery company, and I don’t want to make a deal which will result in heavy loss to Mr. Toltz and Mr. Parker. I have asked Mr. Stoner to make me a proposition to furnish me with electric power from his dam instead of having me get it from Little Falls. He has not done this yet in a definite way.
“To summarize: The thing aimed at in the first place is to give the city good service. To pay the company’s debts and save what we can for the people who have their money invested in the plant. Any water power plant undertaking to supply a city like Brainerd with current will need a steam or gas producer plant as supplementary to its water power plant. Value can be gotten out of the present gas producer plant in this way, as supplementary to power brought in from either Little Falls or from Mr. Stoner’s dam. I have a definite proposition from Little Falls. Will the city let me take advantage of it?”

[...]


Secretary Wm. Nelson of the water and light board, submitted a statement of the cost of the upkeep of the arc lamps for the past 7 months. The rate as fixed by the council, says the secretary, is not sufficient to meet the cost of current to the board and the upkeep. “It must be taken into consideration that the lamps are new and very little has been spent on repairs, during that period, taken here as a basis, and no allowance has been made for wear and tear in station equipment. The difference of $4.95 per month is not enough to cover incidental expenses which we have not yet encountered and we ask that you establish a 3 1/2 cent rate for the arc service.” The report was referred to the electric light committee.

[...]

(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 04 June 1912, p. 3, c. 3 & 4)

POLE LINE SURVEY IS UNDERWAY
_____

Cuyuna Range Power Company Sur-
veying Route From its Dam
to Deerwood
_____

SOME DETAILS NOT SETTLED
_____

Not Known if the Line Will Pass to
the North or the South of
City of Brainerd


The Cuyuna Range Power company is surveying its pole line from the dam on the Crow Wing river to its steam plant at Deerwood. These poles will carry the power from the dam for distribution all about the Cuyuna Iron Range.
At the present time it is not known if the line will pass to the north or the south of Brainerd. A branch line will run to Barrows and that town will be illuminated by electricity.
The steam plant at Deerwood will always be retained and will act as a reserve or auxiliary plant to the water power. The Cuyuna Range Power Co. now supplies current to the towns of Deerwood, Crosby, Ironton, Cuyuna and the Armour No. 1 and No. 2 mines. A pole line is under construction to Oreland.
The officers of the company are M. D. Stoner, president; T. H. Croswell, vice president; A. W. Miller, treasurer. Mr. Stoner is the man who can be in a dozen places at once, superintending scores of operations and mapping out work years ahead. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 29 June 1912, p. 3, c. 2)

LIGHT QUESTION IN BRAINERD
_____

Winter Coming On and the Local
Plant Has Made No Improve-
ments to Meet It
_____

WHAT M. D. STONER IS DOING
_____

Securing So Many Contracts that
Soon He Will Not Care to
Deal with This City


Winter, the period of the year when artificial light is used in the largest quantities, is coming on and the local power company plant has made no provision for carrying the increased load.
The Minneapolis Steel & Machinery company, whose machinery is in the power house, has made the council a tentative offer. Its representatives said the machinery company might take up the business of lighting Brainerd if a satisfactory contract could be entered into with the city.
In the mean time, the Cuyuna Range Power Co. is extending its pole lines over the entire Cuyuna range; is building a huge power dam on the Crow Wing river; is lighting satisfactorily the towns of Deerwood, Crosby, Cuyuna and Iron; is extending a line to Oreland; is furnishing power and light to various mines on the range; is furnishing the power to hydraulic the Carlson-Williams holdings in section 18, near Riverton; is negotiating for contracts to light Staples, Wadena, Perham, Aitkin, Barrows, Oreland and other other towns; is building a substation at Ironton.
In short, M. D. Stoner is furnishing the Cuyuna range with his power. Stoner is doing something. Since he furnished light to the range towns there has never been a suspension of service. Never have his engines stopped. There has not even been a flicker. His men pride themselves on the work being done.
Within a short period Mr. Stoner will have all his power contracted for and the city of Brainerd will be unable to negotiate with him. (Brainerd Daily Daily Dispatch, 22 October 1912, p. 3, c. 1)

CUYUNA RANGE POWER COMPANY
_____

Is Building a Huge Dam at the Crow
Wing River Near the City
of Brainerd
_____

STEAM PLANT AT DEERWOOD
_____

To be Used Later as an Auxiliary to
Water Power When the Dam
is Completed


The Cuyuna Range Power company is building a huge dam at the Crow Wing river, a short distance from Brainerd. At the present time the company has a steam plant at Deerwood and when the dam is completed the Deerwood station will be used as an auxiliary to the water power. Sixty men are at work at the dam putting in the cement work.
Another large crew of men is setting the pole line which extends westward from the large substation recently completed at Ironton to the dam. The crew is now within a few miles of the dam. Steel poles imbedded in concrete bases are being used.
At the present time the Cuyuna Range Power company supplies electric light and power to the towns of Deerwood, Oreland, Crosby, Ironton and Cuyuna, furnishes light and power to various mines on the range, will light the town of Barrows, is supplying current to the hydraulic plant, the first on the range, conducted by the Carlson-Williams interests near Riverton, is negotiating to light Staples, Aitkin, Wadena, Perham and other towns.
The Cuyuna Rage Power company is ably represented by M. D. Stoner, who plans years ahead, negotiates business, superintends construction and has the faculty of keeping things moving in a dozen places at once. Every man in the Stoner company, as it is called, takes pride in the record achieved by the power company—there has not been a flicker in the light furnished since the first juice was turned on. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 15 November 1912, p. 1, c. 7)

DISCUSS STATUS OF ELECTRIC LIGHT
_____

Council Has Interesting and Largely
Attended Meeting Monday
Evening
_____

CURRENT EXPENSE FUND LOW
_____


[...]


The status of the light question in Brainerd, a question of burning importance, was gone over by the council and the discussion turned some light on various phases of the difficulty. President of the council C. B. Rowley related what was done by the special committee which went down to the Twin Cities to interview Max Toltz, the Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Co. people, the receiver and others. At the Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Co. offices the committee met Mr. Record and Mr. Gillette. They talked on the lines of having the steel and machinery company handle the light business directly. Mr. Record said he would not put a cent in the plant unless the Toltz company was gotten out of the way. Max Toltz and the receiver, Mr. Mattson, were interviewed and Toltz talked of an adequate rate for lighting. He wanted the rate raised from the present figure to what he considered was adequate compensation for current. The committee assured Mr. Toltz, said Mr. Rowley, that it would not be possible for Mr. Toltz to get a raise in the price paid him for electric current. A talk was also had with Ambrose Tighe and the receiver.
Mr. Tighe also took the position of an adequate rate. City Attorney Ryan said it would be as hard for Mr. Toltz to get a raise as it would be for Mr. Tighe to get a water franchise in Brainerd. This disgruntled Mr. Tighe and he left the conference.
Mr. Ryan, said Mr. Rowley, made a trip to the bonding company. They said they were entirely in the dark regarding the situation in Brainerd. Mr. Rowley seems to have had no intention of joking when he made this remark to the council, for the bonding company appeared to be like the city at present. Mr. Ryan expounded on the local situation to them and posted them so thoroughly that they were entirely enlightened on the lighting question in the city of Brainerd.
The committee kept eyes and ears open in regard to the cost of installation of a temporary plant, as the city might wish to establish one if the contract with the National Heat, Light & Power company was annulled.
They interviewed Mr. Kyle at St. Paul, connected with the Northern Pacific railway and he said he would take up the matter with his superior on the question of leasing power from the Northern Pacific shops. They wanted the exact figures on the load carried every hour of the 24. After some figuring he came back with the answer that Brainerd could not under any considerations hook on to the Northern Pacific shop light plant.
The verbal report was accepted.
Alderman Purdy, who carried a lantern to the meeting, said the council should do something and not put up with the light any more.
Alderman Rowley said: “If we sue to annul the contract, they will lay down and quit furnishing light. What shape are we in to make a contract when the status of our relations with the Toltz people is unsettled.”
Mr. Rowley also mentioned that a suit for annulment of the contract would in a way bar an injunction to compel Toltz to furnish light.
As an illustration this would leave the power company suspended in the shape of a man being kicked out by having his contract annulled and being restrained by a grip on the collar from refusing to furnish light.
“Then again,” said one alderman, “if we put the city in darkness by annulling the contract we cut out the holiday trade of this season and cause an enormous loss to the merchants of Brainerd.” No definite action was taken following the discussion. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 03 December 1912, p. 3, c. 4)

ELECTS OFFICERS
_____

Directors’ Meeting is Held at Deer-
wood on Wednesday and Old
Officers Re-elected
_____

HAD PROSPEROUS SEASON
_____


Deerwood, Minn., Dec. 20—The annual meeting of stockholders of the Cuyuna Range Power company was held at the offices of the company in Deerwood and the old directors were re-elected. The directors then met and re-elected the officers as follows: M. D. Stoner, president; T. H. Croswell, vice president; A. W. Miller, secretary and treasurer. The company has had a most prosperous year. The Cuyuna Range Power Co. now furnishes light and power to Deerwood, Oreland, Crosby, Ironton, Cuyuna and the mines nearby. During the late fall season power was furnished the Carlson-Williams interests for their hydraulic work. The poles are being set and a line run to the stripping work of the Pennington mine west of Crosby and Ironton. The dam of the company on the Crow wing river, near Brainerd, is more than half completed and as soon as it is in service, the steam plant at Deerwood will be used as an auxiliary to the water power. A great measure of the success of the company is due to the energy of its president, Mr. Stoner, who is always looking for business. The town of Barrows expects to be lighted in the spring. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 20 December 1912, p. 2, c. 1)

The rhythmic repetitive explosions at the engine exhaust were most annoying, so when the plant was ruined by a fire in 1912 people were happy rather than sad. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 109)

NOTE: I can find no mention of any fire at the Toltz plant occurring in 1912 as related by Zapffe above. Brian Marsh, CWCHS, scanned the weekly Dispatch for all of 1913 and found no article mentioning a fire at the Toltz plant.

SEE: Hickerson Garment Factory in the Buildings & Parks of Brainerd page.

Deerwood, Minn., April 11—In an interview with M. D. Stoner, president and general manager of the Cuyuna Range Power company, relative to the future operations of his company, he said: “The fact that we have a proposition before the Brainerd council has not caused us to cease looking for new business. We have solicited contracts to the east and west of Brainerd. If conditions are favorable we shall build a pole line to Aitkin and another west to Staples and perhaps to Verndale and shall pick up business at these points and the territory intervening. The cost of building these two lines will not exceed the cost of acquiring the Brainerd plant and building into that city.” Which all goes to show that the Brainerd council may meet and meet and adjourn, etc., but Stoner keeps moving and doing the business. Mr. Stoner expects to be utilizing his water power early in May. Electricity will be furnished Barrows and Oreland some time in May. Among recent contracts secured by the Stoner company is the mine haulage of the Armour No. 1 mine. Current will be furnished for a 125-horsepower motor. The corporation has also been promised the haulage at the Kennedy mine as soon as the necessary machinery can be installed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 April 1913, p. 5, c. 1)

FIRST WATER POWER USED
_____

Cuyuna Range Power Company on
Wednesday Utilizes Dam at Crow
Wing River for First Time
_____

NOT A FLICKER IN THE LIGHT
_____

Towns of Deerwood, Cuyuna, Crosby
and Ironton are Well Pleased
With the Light


Cuyuna Range Power Company Plant near Brainerd on the Crow Wing River which will furnish power to run the new electric pump of the Brainerd-Cuyuna Mine, 14 May 1915. A 910x362 version of this photo is also available for viewing online.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
Wednesday, May 7, was a momentous day in the history of the Cuyuna Range Power company, for it marked the first utilization of the big water power of the company at the Crow Wing dam.
In the afternoon the big pumps and sandsucker of the Pittsburgh Steel Ore company used the current at the hydraulic mine near Little Rabbit lake. At night the towns of Deerwood, Cuyuna, Crosby and Ironton received the first electric light ever generated by the water power of the company. There was a bright, even light and not a fluctuation was visible. The people of all the range towns were satisfied and as usual the Stoner company, as it is popularly called, scored a success because it delivered the goods as promised. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 08 May 1913, p. 5, c. 1)


WATER AND LIGHT BOARD
_____

John M. Taylor’s Resignation Accep-
ted by the Board—Routine
Business Transacted


From Wednesday’s Daily:—
Commissioners Dunn and Mahlum were present at the last meeting of the Water and Light Board. The reports of the electric light and water departments were read, accepted and placed on file.
The resignation of Commissioner John M. Taylor was accepted.
The present office quarters were, on motion, retained for another year. The board ordered the purchase of a typewriter.
Commissioner Mahlum reported on his recent trip to Duluth regarding the examination of boilers suitable for installation at the pumping station. The various propositions were placed on file.
The price of electric irons was lowered from $3.50 to $2.75. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 May 1913, p. 1, c. 6)

POWER CONTRACT MADE BY CITY
_____

800,000 Kilowatts at 2 3/8 Cents,
All in Excess Per Year at 2 Cents
Per Kilowatt Hour
_____

TERM OF CONTRACT 12 YEARS
_____

$25,000 Bond First Year, and Bond
of $10,000 for the Balance
of Contract Term


From Monday’s Daily:—
The following is the contract made by the Cuyuna Range Power Co. and the city:
WHEREAS, the City of Brainerd, County of Crow Wing, and State of Minnesota, did on the 12th day of November A. D. 1910 enter into a written contract as party of the first part with the Toltz Engineering Company, a Minnesota corporation, as party of the second part for the establishment, erection and maintenance of an electric light plant in the city of Brainerd, and the furnishing of electric current to the said City of Brainerd, and the furnishing of electric current to the said City of Brainerd at a certain fixed price specified therein for the period of ten years and
WHEREAS, the said Toltz Engineering Company pursuant to said contract did erect and construct a certain electric power house and said Toltz Engineering Company, its successors or assigns are now maintaining the same in the City of Brainerd, and furnishing a certain amount of current under said contract, which current and service so rendered by the operating plant under said contract are not in full accordance with the terms of said contract and not satisfactory to the public and
WHEREAS, a Receiver has been appointed to take charge of the operating plant and all the property owned by it and a sale of the premises had been advertised, and the city of Brainerd and public are satisfied that the Toltz Engineering Company, its successors and assigns and the holders of said written contract and the rights thereunder are unable to fulfill the said contract by furnishing a sufficient amount of electric current satisfactory to the public and the city at the prices named in said contract and
WHEREAS, the Cuyuna Range Power Company claims to have an option to purchase the plant, electric equipment and an assignment of said mentioned contract so made by the Toltz Engineering Company with the City of Brainerd, together with all the rights and interests of the owner and holder of said written contract,
NOW THEREFORE, it is hereby agreed by and between the city of Brainerd, County of Crow Wing, and State of Minnesota, a Municipal corporation, party of the first part, and the Cuyuna Range Power Company, a corporation of Minnesota, as party of the second part as follows:
That said party for and in consideration of the premises, the sum of One Dollar ($1) in hand paid, and the mutual covenants and agreements hereinafter stated and set forth, do as hereby agree with second party as follows:

1.

That the said second party hereby agrees to purchase and take over from the Toltz Engineering Company, its successors or assigns, and the owner and holder of all the rights and interests under that certain contract so entered into by and between the said City of Brainerd and the Toltz Engineering Company under date of November 12th, 1910 all its or their rights, title, and interest in and to said contract, together with the electric plant erected, held and now being operated in the City of Brainerd under said contract, and all the property owned by said company or companies thereunder and used in connection with the operation of said plant, and to save and keep the said City of Brainerd free and harmless from all claims for damages of any kind, nature and description arising out of said contract by the Toltz Engineering company, its successors or assigns under the said mentioned written contract against said City of Brainerd, except as to claim or price for amount of electric current furnished prior to the execution of this agreement.

2.

Said second party agrees to generate, furnish, sell and deliver to the said first party all the electric current which the first party may need for its distributing system as now or hereafter maintained for the unexpired period of twelve (12) years from the 12th day of November, 1910.

3.

The current so sold and delivered shall be delivered at the first party’s switch board at about 2300 volts normal, 60 cycle, 3 phase alternating current; the exact voltage to be as required by the Water & Light Board of the first party, or its successors, and the service of said current to be continuous and satisfactory and steady and free from fluctuation, provided, that the exact voltage shall be designated in writing by said Water & Light Board and that, when so designated, that no other or different designation shall be made by said Water & Light Board except a Two and one-half (2 1/2) percent or five (5) percent decrease in the voltage originally designated provided the maximum shall not exceed Twenty-three Hundred (2300) volts and provided further, that the second party shall at all times maintain the voltage as so designated and proved further, that the exact voltage so determined and designated shall be controlled by a Terrill Regulator.

4.

The second party further agrees to maintain the building and when necessary to operate the plant constructed by the Toltz Engineering Company and now being operated in said city by its successors or assigns, or in lieu thereof to maintain and when necessary operate a modern and sufficient and adequate steam plant as an auxiliary to the Hydro Electric plant owned and operated by said second party.

5.

The second party further agrees to provide room in the aforesaid building and shall, free of compensation, allow the first party to place therein its switch board and other necessary appliances for its substation and without compensation or expense to the first party, to operate under the supervision of the Water & Light Board, or its successors of the first party, said switch board and other necessary appliances, and the first party’s Water & Light Board or its successors through its officers or employees shall be allowed access to said switch board or other necessary appliances at all reasonable hours for the purpose of repairing, altering, examining or testing any or either of them, or the meter which shall record the consumption of current, but the second party shall in no event be liable for any injury or damage to said switch board or appliances not the result of the negligence of its agents or servants.

6.

The second party further agrees that it shall be liable for any interruption of current, except such as is caused by inevitable accident in the making of repairs made necessary by the ordinary wear and tear of the equipment or appliances, but in case of interruption of current from any cause the service shall be re-established at once and all repairs made by the second party which shall necessitate any interruption to the service whether said repairs are made upon its equipment and appliances within the City of Brainerd or otherwise, shall be made at a time designated by the said Water & Light Board of the first party, the second party further agreeing that the said first party is to be served up to its full requirements in preference to any and all of the second party’s other patrons which it may have at any time during the term of his agreement.

7.

The first party in consideration of the premises and of the full, complete and faithful performance by the second party of all the terms and conditions of this agreement to be by it kept and performed agrees that it will during the remainder of said term of twelve (12) years from and after said 12th day of November, 1910, purchase and receive from the second party all the current which the first party may require for sale to its light and power patrons and not less than two hundred thousand (200,000) kilowatt hours per year, and the first party shall pay therefor at the rate of two and three-eighths (2 3/8) cents per kilowatt hour for the first eight hundred thousand (800,000) kilowatt hours used in any one year, and two (2) cents per kilowatt hour for all current used in excess thereof in the same year.

8.

The first party agrees to pay in legal tender or its equivalent on or about the 10th day of each month for all the current used during the preceding calendar month at the rate hereinbefore named.

9.

The first party does hereby grant unto the second party the right to construct one high tension pole line from said power plant across or along its streets or alleys in an easterly direction to the eastern boundary of the present platted portion of said city, such streets and alleys to be hereafter designated by resolution of the City Council of the first party, and said pole line to be constructed and maintained according to all the present or future laws or ordinances of the first party, the details of the construction and maintenance of said pole lines to be in accordance with the best modern practice in cedar pole line construction carrying high tension wires, and being subject to the approval of said Water & Light Board of the first party, or its successors, provided, the first party hereby reserves the right to at any time re-designate by resolution of the City Council the streets and alleys to be hereafter used by the second party for said pole line upon thirty (30) days notice in writing, the changing of said pole line under any re-designation by the first party to be made at the cost and expense of the second party but no change shall be ordered without good and sufficient cause.

10.

In case any dispute should arise between the parties hereto as to the amount of current consumed in any period of time, the dispute shall be determined and decided by three arbitrators; one to be appointed by the first party, one by the second party and one by the first two chosen, and the decision of said arbitrating board shall be final and conclusive. In the event either party hereto shall, in case of such dispute, fail to appoint an arbitrator within ten (10) days after demanded so to do by the other party, then such dispute may be determined by the arbitrator appointed by the party serving such demand and the decision of such arbitrator shall be binding and conclusive, provided such notice shall be served by or on the said Water & Light Board or its successors, and provided further, that any expense of any such arbitration shall be borne by both parties, share and share alike.

11.

The second party shall before the execution of this agreement by the first party furnish the first party a surety bond in the sum of Twenty-Five Thousand Dollars ($25,000), said bond to run for the period of one (1) year, at the expiration of which time the second party shall furnish the first party a surety company bond in the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000), said bond to run for the remainder of the term of this contract, both of which bonds shall be conditioned upon the full, complete and faithful performance of each and all of the terms and conditions of this agreement, and to save the first party harmless from any and all claims for damages, or injury to property or person by reason of the construction or maintenance of any of its property or appliances, within the corporate limits of the first party as now or hereafter defined the first party reserving the right to require the second party to at any time to furnish said bond in another or different surety company from the one in which such bond may be written; said bond to be in lieu of any or all other bonds heretofore given for the faithful performance of the aforesaid Toltz Engineering Company’s contract.

12.

The second party hereby agrees that at any time during the term of this agreement the first party has the right and option to demand of the second party the furnishing of electric current, for the purpose of pumping water for its water distributing system, and upon the exercise of said right and option and the making of such demand by the first party, the second party agrees to furnish electrical current for the purpose of pumping water for the water distributing system of the first party at the rate of one and one-half (1 1/2) cents per kilowatt hour, said pumping to be done between the hours of 11:00 P. M. and 7:00 P. M. from the 15th day of March to the 15th day of October, and between the hours of 11:00 o’clock P. M. and 5:00 o’clock P. M. from the 15th day of October to the 15th day of March.

13.

The second party further agrees that the first party has the right and option to renew this contract to the extent of Three Million (3,000,000) kilowatt hours per year at the rate herein named, and further agrees that the first party has the further right and option to purchase said auxiliary power plant with all the appliances pertaining thereto and used in the operating of said plant at the expiration of the term of twelve (12) years, either the right and option to renew this agreement or the further right and option to purchase said auxiliary power plant to be exercised by the giving of notice in writing to the second party at least thirty (30) days prior to the expiration of said twelve (12) year term, and if the right and option to purchase is so exercised by the second party, the price to be paid therefor to be agreed upon by a board of arbitration, said board to consist of two representatives of the first party and two representatives of the second party, and one to be chosen by those four first mentioned.

14.

The foregoing and within contract is made as a new, independent and substituted contract instead of and to take the place of the one so issued by the said City of Brainerd to the Toltz Engineering Company under date of November 12th, 1910 and all the obligations, conditions and privileges specified and mentioned in said former contract to the Toltz Engineering Company, are hereby changed, notified and canceled to the extent as hereinbefore set forth.

15.

It is mutually agreed by both parties hereto that all the rights, privileges, duties and obligations herein contained or arising by the terms hereof shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of their successors or assignees; but the party of the second part shall never be released from the obligations of the within contract unless the assignee shall be accepted by resolution of the Council in place of second party.
Mr. Ryan in an interview today, stated that the contract as drawn by him had undergone several alterations at the hands of the council. Some paragraphs were entirely changed and one section, that referring to liquidated damages was entirely stricken out. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 May 1913)

CITY COUNCIL IS PROGRESSIVE
_____


[...]


A communication from the Cuyuna Range Power Co. sent by M. D. Stoner, president, to the city clerk, related to the service given by the company, as follows:

“We have your letter of the 6th inst. in which you say that the Water & Light board have made complaint to the honorable city council that the city is not in accordance with the contract between us, in that it has fluctuated materially from the voltage required.
“We were very much surprised to receive your communication inasmuch as the Water and Light board has never filed any complaint with us.
“Since receiving your letter we have gone over the matter very carefully and cannot find that we have in any respect violated the contract.
“The records shown the council merely represent the conditions at your Water and Light office and have nothing to do with the record of the voltage at the city switchboard in our sub-station. They make it apparent that there are some things about your service to consumers that can be improved and if it is desired to remedy these matters we shall be glad to cooperate with the city to the best of our ability.
“If the Water and Light board care to have us meet with them and go over the matters wherein the distribution system is at fault, it may be possible to work some improvement, but there is nothing we can do on our side of the switch that will materially help conditions.” (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 20 January 1914, p. 4, c. 3)

ALMOST USED MAXIMUM
_____

City has Used Close to 800,000 Kilo-
watts of Current at Close of
First Year


Under the contract terms made with the Cuyuna Range Power company, which supplies Brainerd with electricity, almost 800,000 kilowatts have been used. For this the city has paid two and three-eighths cents a kilowatt.
Within a short time and before the close of the fiscal year the 800,000 kilowatt mark will be passed and then for a short period Brainerd will be running on a cheaper basis, acquiring electrical current at 2 cents a kilowatt. At the end of the year period it goes back to the two and three-eighths cent rate. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 04 May 1914, p. 2, c. 4)

TO ENLARGE POWER PLANT
_____

Cuyuna Range Power Company to In-
stall an Additional Unit Early
in September
_____

INCREASES CAPACITY 1000 H. P.
_____

Since Completion of Dam Enough
Water Has Been Allowed to
Waste to Run Extra Unit


Cuyuna Range Power Company Ad, 14 May 1915.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
The Cuyuna Range Power Co. has purchased another unit and will install the same at its dam on the Crow Wing river near Brainerd.
The unit includes another set of water wheels and a generator, having a capacity of 1,000 horsepower and making the total capacity 3,000 horsepower. Work will commence on the addition early in September and will be completed in 60 days. Since the completion of the dam an abundance of water has been wasted sufficiently large to run the additional unit practically all the time.
The S. Morgan Smith water wheel consist of two 48-inch wheels connected on one shaft. The generator is of 600 kilowatt capacity and a duplicate to those now installed.
The Cuyuna Range Power Co. now furnishes light and power to Brainerd, Crosby, Cuyuna, Oreland, Ironton, Riverton, Deerwood and many mines and farms. A pole line is projected to Pillager. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 21 August 1914, p. 3, c. 1)

Hunters shooting at insulators on the Cuyuna Range Power Co. pole line are reported to have caused the temporary breakdown in service from 2:30 to 4 o’clock this morning. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 04 September 1914, p. 2, c. 3)


CITY’S NEW STREET LIGHTING SYSTEM
_____

Shipment of Supplies Arrives After
Months of Delay Because of
Freight Congestion
_____

THEY WILL USE LESS CURRENT
_____

Will Obviate Need of Rectifiers Which
Always Were a Source of Trouble
in Upkeep


New street lights have arrived in Brainerd, the order for the same having been put in months ago and delays having been occasioned by the freight congestion, strikes, etc.
The new system does away with rectifiers which in the past have always proved a source of trouble and expense for the city. The new lights have reflectors and have 250 candle power, are much easier to keep in shape and to handle than the old arc style. They also use less current than the arcs. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 07 June 1920, p. 5, c. 4)

HUGE POWER INTERESTS ADD TO HOLDINGS
_____

LITTLE FALLS AND PIKE
RAPIDS CO.’S PURCHASED
BY MINN. POWER & LIGHT CO.
_____

Believed in Brainerd the Next Step will be the Absorption of
the Cuyuna Range Power Company Supply-
ing Brainerd Light and Power
_____

Minnesota Power & Light Company is Now Operating Light
and Power Properties Serving Duluth, Superior, South-
ward to Hinckley and Also Iron Ranges


The Little Falls Daily Transcript published this article Thursday:
Announcement was made today by the officers of the Minnesota Power & Light company of the purchase of the Little Falls Water Power company. It was also stated that purchase had been made of the Blanchard Rapids site (better known locally as the Pike Rapids site) on the Mississippi river, a short distance below Little Falls for additional hydro-electric development.
The property of the the Little Falls Water Power company consists of a hydro-electric development on the Mississippi river at Little Falls with transmission lines serving several towns near Little Falls and the towns of Long Prairie, Browerville, Clarissa, Eagle Bend, Bertha, Hewitt, Wadena, Verndale, Aldrich and Staples.
The Minnesota Power & Light company is now operating electric light and power properties serving Duluth, Superior and southward as far as Hinckley and the Vermillion and Mesaba range territories.
Officials of the company announce that extensive developments will be started around Little Falls at Blanchard Rapids immediately which will materially increase the power available in this territory. Work will begin at once on the construction of an 18,000 horsepower hydro-electric plant at Blanchard Rapids with an ultimate capacity of 27,000 horsepower. The company will connect this plant to the present hydro-electric plant in Little Falls so that power from Blanchard Rapids will be available for industries in Little Falls and the territory now served by the Little Falls Water Power company. In addition to this the company expects to begin work in the spring on the construction of a high tension transmission line connecting its present Duluth-Mesaba range system at Nashwauk to the Blanchard Rapids and Little Falls hydro-electric plants. This will be a great advantage to the territory now served by the Little Falls Water Power company. If there is a shortage of power at any time from the Mississippi river system power will be available from the large hydro-electric plant serving Duluth and the ranges.
The Minnesota Power & Light company estimates that it will employ between 1,000 and 1,200 men in the vicinity of Little Falls in carrying out its development through the coming year.
Officials of the Minnesota Power & Light company expressed great interest and confidence in the future growth and the addition of new industries in Little Falls and territory being served from the Little Falls Power system and stated that their aim was to increase their power facilities and to keep well ahead of the demand for power for new industries.
A. V. Taylor, local manager of the Little Falls Water Power company expressed himself as being very enthusiastic regarding the future of Little Falls and territory. He stated, “This development makes Little Falls an important part of a super power system along the lines recommended by Secretary of Commerce Hoover and is one of the biggest things that has happened to the territory. With the facilities of the Minnesota Power & Light company available for carrying out large developments of power resources, Little Falls and vicinity will be assured of adequate power supply for all additional industries that locate in and around it. With this development I look forward with confidence to the ultimate future of Little Falls.”
The Minnesota Power & Light company has purchased outright the Pike Rapids Power company, which recently obtained a license to construct a dam near the Soo railroad bridge a few miles south of this city and will therefore not be hampered by the necessity of securing another license before beginning the dam construction referred ot above. The company now controls a great majority of the riparian rights between Little Falls and a point one-half mile below the Soo crossing.
There will be no change in the personnel of the company’s staff of employees here, according to Mr. Taylor either in the office or the plant. Mr. Taylor will remain here as local manager and George E. Conkey will continue to supervise the plant. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 05 January 1924, p. 1, c.’s 1 & 2)

WE ARE TO BE ABSORBED
_____


As stated by the Brainerd Dispatch weeks ago, conditions pointed to the absorption of the Cuyuna Range Power company by the large power interests at the head of the lakes. President T. H. Croswell of the local company gave an option to purchase and all indications now point to the conclusion that this option will be taken up. It is reported the company is having abstracts made of all the local power company’s realty holdings.
Authoritative announcement has been made by the officers of the Minnesota Power & Light company of the purchase of the little Falls Power company. There is also a report that the Pike Rapids power site had been bought. The Little Falls plant served some ten towns.
A map published in Saturday’s issue of the Dispatch and loaned us by the Little Falls Daily Transcript showed in graphic form the present holdings of the Minnesota Power & Light company and the new lines proposed. A new line is proposed to run from Little Falls in a northeasterly direction passing a point midway between Brainerd and Mille Lacs, with an offshoot connecting Brainerd; thence in a graceful sweep to Blackberry, a station on the Great Northern railway; thence northwesterly to Grand Rapids. There is also an extension projected from Duluth to Nashwauk and another to take care of increased business on the Vermillion range.
Brainerd is interested in this proposed purchase of the power company which has given Brainerd unexcelled service and at rates so low that other cities envied the rates in force in this city. Should the transfer become effective, it is the wish of all citizens that the new company will continue the harmonious relations hitherto existing. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 07 January 1924, p. 4, c. 1)

Light, Power Development to Cost $20,000,000
_____

$7,000,000 TO BE
SPENT THIS YEAR
IS LATEST PLAN
_____

GRAND TOTAL DOUBLE THAT OF
FORMER ANNOUNCED EX-
PENDITURES
_____

BUILDING AT FOND DU LAC AND
THOMSON CONTINUES DES-
PITE SEASON

Brainerd is Interested In Power Extension
_____


Brainerd is interested in the extension of the Minnesota Power & Light company as this is the company currently reported about to absorb the Cuyuna Range Power company which supplies Brainerd with light and power.
Reading the article, one will note that the corporation plans more purchases of light and power plants so that it will eventually serve all of Northern Minnesota.

Duluth, Jan. 9.—Light and power development in Duluth and Northern Minnesota by the recently organized Minnesota Power & Light company, as now contemplated by the executives of the corporation, will cost approximately $20,000,000, double the original $10,000,000 improvement program.
Originally the old Great Northern Power company announced an improvement program in the vicinity of Duluth costing close to $5,000,000. Following the organization of the Minnesota Power & Light company and the subsequent consolidation of the former corporation, an extensive development plan was authorized to cost approximately $10,000,000. This included the new dam at Fond du Lac, increased facilities at Thomson, the new reservoir at Whiteface river and other local improvements.
With the purchase this week of the plants at Little Falls and Blanchard Rapids, just south of that city, and the receipt of word that a budget of $7,000,000 has been allowed by the officials of the Minnesota Power & Light company for improvement and construction work during 1924. W. S. Robertson, vice president and general manager, announced yesterday that all the projects and developments now in contemplation will entail a total expenditure of approximately $20,000,000.

More Purchases Coming

The purchase of additional light and power plants in this section of the state, so that the Minnesota Power & Light company will eventually serve all of Northern Minnesota, is now under negotiation by local officers of the corporation.
It is the aim of the company, Mr. Robertson said yesterday, to bring together the power from the St. Louis Mississippi and Kawishiwi rivers. Under this plan the company will be assured light and power at all times of the year and particularly when one or two of the rivers may be low.
“No two of these rivers are low at the same time,” he said, “and there is certain to be sufficient power for all sections of Northern Minnesota every month of the year.”
Included in the new program are the construction of several more reservoirs along the St. Louis river to harness the spring waters, as is now being done by the plant on the Whiteface river, completed and placed in operation late last spring. This reservoir is on the Vermillion trail, about forty-two miles from Duluth. Surveyors and engineers are now out in a general survey of the territory to find the best locations for these reservoirs.
Transmission lines throughout the northern part of the state, to give light and power to the mines and towns up to the Canadian border, also are being planned in the big development program. One of these will be a line from the Blanchard dam and the Little Falls plant to Nashwauk, with a capacity of 110,000 volts. A plant near Winston is on the schedule, as are extensive improvements to the local plants.
The local engineering office of the power company is now drawing plans for the improvement of the old Gidding store building, recently purchased, to house all the offices and executive departments of the corporation. The addition of three floors to the building is contemplated, providing the foundation can hold the extra stories. The main floor will be given over to the sales department of the old Duluth-Edison company, now a part of the power company. An entirely new front will be built, with the electric light and general offices in the rear. There will be a store and supply room in the basement, which faces Michigan street. The engineering, construction and other divisions will be located on the upper floors.

At Fond du Lac and Thomson

Work on the new Fond du Lac development project and the improvements to the Thomson plant are progressing rapidly, Mr. Robertson said, with the schedule for operations calling for completion by next July.
The Fond du Lac dam, about three-fourths of a mile from Fond du Lac, one of the most novel of its kind ever made, is the major project under construction. It will be built like an arch, 500 feet long and 80 feet high. The dam will be the tallest in this section of the country and the longest in Minnesota or Wisconsin. A total of nearly $5,000,000 will be spent on the Fond du Lac project.
Only one unit of what will eventually be a two-unit plant is being constructed at Fond du Lac at the present time. It will have a capacity for 15,000 horsepower, with a transmission line going back to the Thomson plant, which is to be the central distributing point for this entire territory, including the range and west country. The second unit will give a total capacity of 30,000 horsepower. At the present time the Thomson plant has a capacity of 72,000 horsepower.
The new Fond du Lac plant will be served through a pipe with a diameter of eighteen feet and 250 feet long. Provision is being made also for the installation of a second pipe in the future, when double the plant’s capacity is desired. The pipe is riveted steel and is large enough for a locomotive to drive through.

Activity Unceasing

The construction camp at the Fond du Lac site was erected last May and active construction work was started in June. There has been no cessation of the activities there ever since, a crew of men working night and day. Close to 500 men were employed there almost daily ever since June. The men are housed right near the dam.
The transmission line running back from Fond du Lac to Thomson will carry 110,000 volts and will be about three miles in length. It is to be known as a tie-line in the network of cables stretching from Thomson all over Northern Minnesota.
At present there are three transmission lines running from Thomson, while a second riveted steel pipe is under construction, the total cost of improvements there approximating close to $1,500,000. Formerly there were four wooden pipes running from the Thomson dam to the plant and last fall the first of the steel pipes was installed. This pipe has a diameter of twelve feet and is 4,400 feet long long, while the pipe now being installed is 3,600 feet long and has a diameter of eleven feet. When completed, three of the old wooden pipes will be removed. The total capacity will then be increased from 72,000 to 90,000 horsepower. This work, Mr. Robertson thinks, will be completed in July.

Cloquet Plant Doubled

The capacity at the Cloquet plant has been doubled with a capacity now of 5,000 horsepower, and a flue running to the new switching plant under construction at Thomson.
A transmission line now runs from Thomson to Nashwauk, but the future construction program includes a transformer and switching station at the range town to help serve that country and more particularly the iron mines. There is also the line from Thomson in Hibbing and the third line to the range is from Kawishiwi river in Virginia. These three stations are connected by three lines that cover the range, collect the power and distribute it to the various towns and mines.
Since the installation of electric power in the operation of many of the mines, an improvement that is developing more and more each year, additional power is now found necessary, particularly during the low water season of the St. Louis river. For this reason, the company is contemplating the construction of a transmission line from Little Falls to Nashwauk, a distance of 130 miles, and another line from the plant at the Kawishiwi river to the Soudan mine and also to the town of Tower. This last line will then give complete electric light and power service to the Vermillion range. It will be twenty-six miles in length.
Additional improvements and extensions will be made with the purchase of other plants, Mr. Robertson announced.
“Our development program, when completed, will entail expenditures totaling close to $20,000,000,” said Mr. Robertson. “It will be one of the greatest power loops in the Northwest and will take in all of Northern Minnesota and including all the iron mine ranges.” (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 09 January 1924, p. 1, c.’s 5 & 6; p. 4, c. 2)

PROPOSED CONTRACT GIVING CHANGES
_____

Light and Power Agreement Propos-
ed to City by Cuyuna Range
Power Company
_____

CHANGE IN SWITCHBOARD
_____

Contract to be in Force 15 Years,
Rate to be Based on the Load
Factor


The Dispatch publishes herewith the proposed new contract between the city and Cuyuna Range Power company, which was not accepted by the city council:
This agreement made and entered into by and between the Cuyuna Range Power Company, a Minnesota corporation, as party of the first part, and the City of Brainerd, a Municipal corporation, located in Crow Wing County, State of Minnesota, as party of the second part:
WITNESSETH: That in consideration of the mutual benefits, covenants and agreements hereinafter stated, the said parties do hereby covenant and agree with each other as follows:
A.—Party of the First Part Agrees
(1) To manufacture and deliver to second party at all hours all the electric current said second party may desire during the period of this contract; and
(2) That the current will be sixty (60) cycle, three (3) phase, alternating, delivered at the switchboard of the City at twenty three hundred (2300) volts, to be regulated, determined and controlled by a “Terrill Regulator,” and the maximum variation in the voltage shall never exceed 500[?]; and
(3) To construct and maintain a proper transmission line to the City switchboard, and to place it in such streets or alleys or on other property of the City as the City may designate, and no changes in the location of said line shall be made except by mutual consent; and
(4) To render its bill as of the last day of every month and submit it at the Water & Light Board office.
B.—Party of the Second Part Agrees
(1) That it will provide space in one of its own buildings for a switchboard, at which the current shall be delivered; and
(2) That it will not charge rental for city property used by the Power Company as a transformer station at the switchboard site, or for the pole-line right-of-way; and
(3) That it will permit access to the switchboard at all times and permit the testing of various indicators and measuring devices furnished by it, and that it will promptly as possible replace defective ones; and
(4) That it will purchase at least one million kilowatt-hours every year, but in no way does it obligate itself to purchase more than that quantity nor purchase all the electricity required in excess of that amount; and
(5) That on or before the tenth day of every month it will pay the bills rendered for current used during the preceding month.
C.—Both Parties Mutually Agree
(1) That the rate shall be based on the load-factor, and that load-factor shall be the result, express as a percentage, obtained when the total number of K. W. H. used during the month is divided by the product of the total hours in that month and the greatest number of K. W. H. used in any fifteen consecutive minutes in the same month; provided, however, that short circuits or accidents to machinery shall not be used in fixing the maximum use or demand.
(2) The rate shall be one and five-tenths (1.50) cents if the load-factor is 80% or higher, and for every one percent, or major portion thereof, that the load-factor is smaller than 80% there shall be added fifteen thousandth (.015) cents per K. W. H., but when the highest or maximum charge shall never exceed two and twenty-five hundredths (2.25) cents.
(3) When the average flow of water at the Crow Wing river power-plant site drops to less than 1000 cu. ft. per second in any month of the year and necessitates starting an auxiliary steam plant, the rate specified herein shall be increased by a percentage equal to that which the quantity of electricity so generated at its auxiliary plant bears to the total quantity generated at all its plants; but in no one month shall this increase in rate be in excess of twenty-five (25) per cent.
(4) If for any cause not reasonably within its control the first party shall be prevented from delivering current, said first party shall not be bounden to deliver; but if the interruption is for any other cause or reason and continues for more than one hour at any one time, then, upon written claim being made, second party shall be paid as damages a sum of money equal to the average sum paid for current during an equal period of time in the preceding month.
(5) Should dispute arise between the parties hereto as to any matter arising out of this contract or in connection therewith, the dispute shall be decided by a board of three arbitrators, of which one is to be selected by the first party, one by the second party, and the third by the two.
In the event that the first two chosen shall fail to agree on the third member within five days after their selection, a District Judge of said county, upon application of either party hereto and five days notice to the other party thereof duly given, shall appoint and designate such third member. The decision of the majority shall be final and conclusive on both parties; and at the time it renders it decision it shall fix the costs and expense of such arbitration and tax it against the party or parties hereto as in its judgment may be deemed just and equitable.
(6) The within contract shall continue and be in force for a period of fifteen years from the date of the proper signing and delivery thereof and shall supercede and annul any and all contracts heretofore existing between the parties.
(7) All the rights, privileges, benefits, duties and obligations herein specified or arising thereunder shall be binding upon and enure to the benefit, respectively, of the successors or assigns of the parties hereto.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the first party has caused these presents to be signed by the President and its Secretary, by authority of its Board of Directors, and the second party has caused the same to be signed by its Mayor and attested by its Clerk, by authorization and direction of its City Council, this ___ day of June, 1924. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 12 January 1924, p. 4, c.’s 2-4)

CUYUNA RANGE POWER COMPANY ABSORBED
_____

ALL HOLDINGS ARE ACQUIRED BY MINN.
POWER & LIGHT CO.
_____

Transfer Includes Power and Transmission Lines to Brainerd
and 13 Other Towns and to the Various
Cuyuna Iron Range Mines
_____

Two Water Power Sites at Pillager and the Crow Wing River
near Brainerd; the Two Coal Booster Plants
at Ironton and Akeley


One of the biggest transfers in electric power circles occurred when the Cuyuna Range Power company of central Minnesota made formal transfer of all its holdings to the Minnesota Power & Light company, of Duluth, the huge power corporation now acquiring all water power holdings through central and northern Minnesota.
The transfer includes the Cuyuna Range Power company’s power and transmission lines leading to Brainerd, Crosby, Ironton and other Cuyuna iron range towns and mines; Nevis, Menahga, Pillager, Motley, etc., making a total of fourteen towns; the two water power sites at Pillager and Crow Wing river near Brainerd; the two steam booster plants at Ironton and Akeley.
Possession was taken on an option given two months ago by T. H. Croswell, of Brainerd, president of the Cuyuna Range Power company. The extent of the latter company’s holdings may be realized when the abstracts on property in one county, Cass, numbered over forty.
It is expected that one of the officials of the purchasing company will be in Brainerd to take over the management of the property on Monday.
The Minnesota Power and Light company came into possession of the Little Falls and Pike Rapids electric property shortly after the first of the year, from which points it will serve the territory west as far as Wadena. It already has extensive holdings on the Mesaba range, furnishing electric current to Duluth, Superior and as far south as Hinckley.
In acquiring the holdings of the Cuyuna Range Power company, Brainerd and the Cuyuna range will be added to the above list, and it is expected that even better service will be possible for this territory than has been given in the past, since the Little Falls power can be turned into the local lines should a break-down occur here. Similarly, a like assistance can be rendered to Little Falls and its territory should occasion demand.
The Cuyuna Range Power company has furnished electric current to Brainerd and the range for something over ten years past, giving very satisfactory service during that time.
Nothing can be learned of the policies which the new organization will adopt until such time as their officials arrive and give out a statement, but it is said that the service rendered in other localities in which the company operates, is very satisfactory. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 09 February 1924, p. 1, c. 1)

BIG TRANSFER CAME AS FORECAST
_____


As forecast exclusively by the Dispatch months ago, the Cuyuna Range Power company has at length been bought by the Minnesota Power & Light company, huge concern of Duluth. Brainerd now receives its electric light and power from the corporation which supplies many of the large and small cities of central and northern Minnesota and Superior and other Wisconsin cities.
When the contemplated inclusion of this territory was first mentioned by the Dispatch, many doubted the announcement. The concern spent a full year in investigating this territory before acquiring the holdings of the Cuyuna Range Power company.
An example of the new corporation’s activity is the extra power it has immediately supplied the Milford mine, where the mine disaster occurred. Power will be used in pumping operations, etc., and mine visitors Sunday saw linemen and others at work. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 11 February 1924, p. 4, c. 1)

MUCH PREPARATORY WORK
_____


MUCH preparatory work has had to be done at the Milford mine and the electric pumps are now operating and lowering the level of water in Foley’s pond. Other pumps will soon be working in the shaft. George H. Crosby has stated that every effort will be made to get out all the bodies.
Every precaution will also be taken that the mine is restored to a safe condition so that none of the crew exploring shaft and levels for the victims will be in danger. As stated by County Mine Engineer Swanson, unwatering of the mine and actual inspection of shaft and drifts is needed to determine the extent of damage caused by the disaster. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 13 February 1924, p. 3, c. 1)

MINNESOTA POWER & LIGHT COMPANY
_____

Makes Proposition to Local People
and Adopts the Customer Own-
ership Plan
_____

SMALL INVESTORS CHANCE
_____

Tax Free Features, Cumulative
Preferred Shares Offered Custom-
ers and Local Residents


This interview was given the Dispatch by the Minnesota Power & Light Company.

Of unusual interest to local people is today’s announcement by the Minnesota Power & Light company of the first offering of its cumulative preferred shares to its customers and other local residents.

Advertising the sale of shares of the Minnesota Power & Light Company, 03 March 1924. A 1741x2117 version of this photo is also available for viewing on line.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
Advertising the splendid reception of the stock sale, 06 March 1924.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
Advertising the first dividend paid on M P & L stock, 01 April, 1924.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
This announcement states that everyone may become interested in this business by investing their savings, either in small or large amounts, in these cumulative preferred shares, which, as stated by the corporation, pay dividends every three months amounting to $7 a share each year, bringing an income of more than 7 1/5 per cent on the money invested.
Knowing that a large number will want to take advantage of such an exceptional investment opportunity, the company is selling these shares for cash and on a most liberal partial payment plan. Payments as low as $10 a month will be accepted, it is stated.
This places these shares within the reach of everyone.
The stock is free from city, county and state taxes in Minnesota and the income from the investment is free from the present normal Federal Income Tax.
“There is a general disposition on the part of power and light companies to encourage local investment to provide a portion of capital requirements and to promote a relation of mutual interest between the company and the consumer,” said an official of the Minnesota Power & Light company yesterday.
“Customer ownership, at the present time is growing rapidly all over the United States, and over two hundred electric power and light companies in the United States are now selling their securities to their customers and employees.
“The securities of power and light companies are today the favorites of the thoughtful and careful investor, not only because of the excellent record of this class of securities as a whole, but because of the fact that the investing public has come to appreciate that these securities are no longer the speculative flotations of the adventurous promoter and the frenzied financier in a new industry of doubtful experiments and unknown possibilities, but rather the securities of an industry well established, supplying essential needs, financed strictly on an investment and not a speculative basis, and operating under laws that afford reasonable assurance of protection.
“The management of Minnesota Power & Light company believes that the local people who support the company and who operate it, are the logical ones to own this stock and to receive the dividends which will be distributed. In this way they, too, will share in its success.
“These shares are not something for rich people only. Folks who have only a hundred dollars can invest in our stock on exactly the same basis and enjoy the same rights and privileges as the person with thousands of dollars to invest.
“Anyone who would like to invest his savings will find these shares the answer to the question where can I put my savings so that they will be SAFE and still earn over 7 1/5 per cent for me?
“A very important feature of our customer ownership plan is that the company will maintain a resale department at its offices, for the benefit of local stockholders who may wish to sell their shares.
“Every employee of our company is authorized to take orders for the stock.
“More that 90 per cent of the employees of the Minnesota Power & Light company have already purchased these shares, which is the best indication of how our own workers feel about this stock as a safe investment.” (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 03 March 1924, p. 5, c.’s 3 & 4)

The Minnesota Light and Power Company are erecting storage buildings at the rear of the property they have leased in Northeast Brainerd, bringing these buildings in sections from the Mesaba range. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 05 April 1924, p. 6, c. 3)

ELECTRIC POWER LINE BUILDERS
_____

Establish Quarters in Brainerd for
Men and Storage for
Equipment
_____

PHOENIX UTILITIES COMPANY
_____

New Power Line to Carry 110,000
Volts, One of Heaviest in
the State


W. W. Tice, of the Phoenix Utilities Company, Duluth, is in the city arranging for quarters for his company’s men and storage room for equipment.
The Phoenix Utilities Company is a contracting firm that is building a high voltage electric line from Blanchard to Nashwauk for the Minnesota Power and Light company, which has taken over holdings of the Cuyuna Range Power Company in the Brainerd territory and many other important electric companies in Central and Northern Minnesota.
The new electric line, one of the heaviest power lines in the state, will carry 110,000 volts. Its route is north from Blanchard through Crow Wing county, running east of Brainerd about six miles at its closest point, said Mr. Tice, and entering the towns of Riverton, Swatara, Hill City, Blackberry and Nashwauk.
At Riverton a reducing station will bring a 33,000 volt line into Brainerd, it is reported, to supply this city and similar reducing stations along the line will supply their localities.
Three camps have already been opened by the Phoenix Utilities company, one at Gregory, one at Little Falls and one at Belle Prairie. The most advanced camp clears the route of the line, the second sets up the poles, and the third strings the wire. In all, over one hundred men will be employed at this work which, under favorable conditions, will be completed by next December 1st, according to Mr. Tice.
Brainerd will be one of the supply stations along the new line, and about ten men will be employed here until the contract is completed. Frank B. Moore, of Duluth, will be the superintendent of the local station. Headquarters have been established in the 100 block on Kindred street, where warehouses are being erected and other storage space secured. It was hoped ot have a larger depot in Brainerd, but sufficient storage room could not be secured. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 12 April 1924, p. 7, c. 1)

NO PROVISION FOR EMERGENCIES
_____


WE understand the Minnesota Power & Light Co. has discontinued the agreement of the Stoner company to exchange power with the Northwest Paper Co. in case of emergencies. Some source of reserve power should be on hand to provide for contingencies such as happened yesterday.
The electrical storm of the night before shut off power and light for a period and the irregular supply of power in the early hours of the day delayed work on the Dispatch. The Dispatch has eleven motors and also uses electricity for heating metal. The city put its gasoline engine equipment to work to continue pumping without interruption.
Our present power company supplying power ans light to the city should be amply backed by reserve power to take care of all possible contingencies. This will probably be done when all its additional lines are built, but some provision should be made in the meantime to take care of power loads. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 25 April 1924, p. 4, c. 1)

UNSATISFACTORY SERVICE
_____


THE DISPATCH was again delayed yesterday when the electric power was shut off two hours or more in the heart of the day and linotype metal cooled and machines could not be operated. There was no storm yesterday and no heavy wind and the explanation received locally was that there probably was high line trouble somewhere.
With no reserve power provided for emergencies, and the Northwest Paper Co. disconnected from furnishing emergency service, Brainerd is shut off entirely from power whenever something happens on the high line in our neighborhood.
A public utility such as electric power and light, is one which by the very nature of things, must supply uninterrupted service. The convenient phrase, “by act of God,” cannot explain nor bolster up every occasion when the service is shot to pieces.
We hope the Minnesota Power and Light company takes some steps to provide emergency service to bridge over gaps when regular power is displaced. Such reserve power was provided by the Cuyuna Range Power Company which had connections with the Northwest Paper Company, the Little Falls power company and the Arvig people. Each in turn assisted the other in an emergency.
If no action is taken by the company in remedying this matter, we suggest that the water and light board and city council inquire into the service and take such action as they may deem necessary. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 21 May 1924, p. 4, c. 1)

BRAINERD DARK FRIDAY EVENING
_____

Lights On and Off After 6 P. M. and
Then Off Altogether at 9:20
P. M.
_____

MOVIES INCONVENIENCED
_____

High Line, Carrying 35,000 Volts,
Broke South of Brainerd Near
Buffalo Creek


Brainerd was left in darkness again on Friday evening, the lights failing two or three times early in the evening and then going out altogether about 9:20 o’clock.
The reason given for this failure to supply light was that the high line, carrying 35,000 volts, broke south of Brainerd, near Buffalo Creek bridge. Service on the Cuyuna range was at a standstill, as it was in Brainerd, for this high line furnishes electric current to the range towns, too.
Motion picture audiences sat in darkness for nearly half an hour, and at last the managers were forced to issue rain checks and dismiss their crowds. W. R. Hiller, of the Lyceum theatre, in notifying his audience that no lights would be available for completing the show, made a plea for businessmen and other citizens to demand better service, of the kind given by the former owners of the light plant. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 15 September 1924, p. 7, c. 2)

POWER, LIGHT CO. NEW AMENDMENT
_____

Purpose is to Change Location of
Sub-Station and City Switches
to One Near Pumping Station
_____

NEW SYSTEM IS PLANNED
_____

Both Leads, from Sylvan Dam and
Main Line, Will be Brought to
One Point


The purpose of the amendment offered by the Minnesota Power & Light Co., at tonight’s meeting of the city council, is to change the location of the sub-station located on the pumping station site where the city employees, on duty 24 hours of the day, will have access to the switches and meters.
It is a part of a new system planned by the corporation whereby all the leads, both from the Sylvan dam and the main line east of Brainerd will be brought to one point. It is favored by the water and light board as it will give Brainerd power from two sources, thus probably bridging over any power interruptions possible under the old plan. This procedure was recommended by the water and light board some 12 months ago, although at that time, under the Cuyuna Range Power company contract, the Northwest Paper company was used as an auxiliary. Now, with the paper company disconnected as an auxiliary, the new plan is absolutely necessary to provide against any power interruptions.
The amendment provides specifically that the old contract shall remain in full force and effect, with the exception of the above changes, is so adopted. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 15 September 1924, p. 7, c. 3)

COUNCIL WORKS FOR STEADY POWER
_____

Demands Continuous Electric Light
and Power Service from
Company
_____

AMENDMENT ADOPTED
_____

Provides Minnesota Power & Light
Co. Shall Bring Two Leads
Into the City


The city council, at its regular meeting on Monday night, did its utmost to secure for the citizens of Brainerd, a continuous electric light and power service, because of serious breaks in this service which have occurred since the Minnesota Power and Light company has taken over the holdings of the Cuyuna Range Power Co.’s. property.
For the purpose of securing better service, the city council adopted an amendment to its present contract with the power company, which will provide for the transferring of the switchboards from the old power plant on East Laurel street to the city pumping station on South Sixth street [There was no city pumping station on South Sixth Street. I believe this refers to the pumping station located in south Brainerd—up the hill SE of Boom Lake.], for the purpose of closer and better supervision.
The amendment further provides that the power company shall bring into the city two lead lines, one from Pillager, the other from Riverton, thus making it possible to switch from one to the other, should one of these lines be out of commission.
As an added precaution, the power company is asked to restore its transformers at the Northwest Paper Co. mill, and the line to the mill which the city erected some years ago, so that in case both the Pillager and Riverton leads should become out of commission, the city may still have uninterrupted service from the mill.
The power company is asked to furnish the transformers and maintain them. The city is to make its own contract for current with the paper mill company.
While the city council adopted these amendments to the contract with the power company, the latter has not as yet signified its willingness to accept the amendments, although it is believed that it will do so in the near future.
A. W. Taylor, superintendent and manager of the Little Falls district of which Brainerd is a part, attended the council meeting. While Mr. Taylor was not authorized to complete the amendment to the contract with his company, and could not promise that it would be completed, he expressed himself as feeling that it would be favorably considered.
Thomas Johnson, superintendent of the paper mill, said that his company was disposed to do what it could to help the city in solving its electrical problems, and felt that a satisfactory contract could be entered into between the city and the mill to furnish current in emergencies. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 16 September 1924, p. 7, c. 1)

DETAILED WORK OF THE COUNCIL
_____


Power Company Amendments


The council adopted an amendment to its present contract with the Minnesota Power and Light Company, which is designed to provide for transferring the switchboards from their present location at the old power house on East Laurel street, to the pumping station in the southern part of the city. A resolution was adopted permitting the Water and Light Board to erect a building 17 feet by 40 feet, to cost between $2,500 and $3,000, for housing these switchboards, and to purchase a carload of poles to cost about $1,200.
An amendment was further adopted, with reference to the contract with the power company, which if accepted by the company will bring two electrical power lines into the city, one from the west, the other from Riverton, giving two sources of current instead of one as now exists. The power company will also be asked to restore their transformers at the Northwest Paper Mill, and to maintain them, in which event the city will endeavor to make a contract with the paper company for current in case of emergency. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 17 September 1924, p. 7, c. 2)

RESOLUTION
_____


WHEREAS, The Minnesota Power and Light Company, a Minnesota corporation, has succeeded to all the rights benefits and obligations of the Cuyuna Range Power Company and the Toltz Engineering Company, a Minnesota corporation, under the terms of that certain contract made with the City of Brainerd for the furnishing of electrical current to the said City of Brainerd, said contract being dated May 9th, 1913.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the City Council of the City of Brainerd that the Minnesota Power and Light Company, a Minnesota corporation, be, and hereby is accepted as a successor and assignee of the Toltz Engineering Company, a Minnesota corporation and the Cuyuna Range Power Company, a Minnesota corporation, as party of the second part in that certain contract relating to the furnishing of electric current to the city of Brainerd, dated May 9th, 1913.
Adopted September 15, 1924.
H. F. MICHAEL,
President of the City Council.
Approved September 18, 1924.
(Seal) CON O’BRIEN,
Mayor
Attest—E. T. FLEENER,
City Clerk.
Published September 18, 1924.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 18 September 1924, p. 7, c. 3)

MINNESOTA POWER & LIGHT COMPANY
_____

Announces an Offering of a New
Issue of Preferred
Stock
_____

LIMITED NUMBER SHARES SOLD
_____

Company Now Has 3,400 Stockhold-
ers in This Territory Receiving
$120,000 Dividends


The Minnesota Power & Light Company is today announcing an offering of a new issue of Preferred Stock. Only a limited number of shares are being sold, and the price, for the present, is $97.00 and dividend for each $100.00 share. At this price the stock pays over 7 1/5 per cent on the dollar. This is the second offering of Preferred Stock to the public made by this company. The Minnesota Power & Light Company is a Minnesota corporation under the direction and management of Minnesota people. It furnishes a service nearly all of which is consumed by Minnesota people, and the company believes that the money it pays out every three months as Preferred Stock dividends should go to the residents of Minnesota. Under this policy it first offered shares of Preferred Stock to its customers and other local people about a year ago, and the company now has over 3,400 stockholders in this territory who receive in dividends upwards of $120,000 per year on their investment in Minnesota Power & Light Company Preferred Stock.
It is only in recent years that the man or woman of small means has had the same opportunity to invest money safely in the large, established and well-known enterprises that have always been possible to the wealthier investor. The Minnesota Power & Light Company is selling its Preferred Stock through its employees, and shares can also be bought at any of the company’s offices.
The banks and insurance companies throughout the country have long realized the safety of investing in power and light company securities. An average of $63.00 for each depositor in all the banks in the United States is invested in companies of this type and the insurance companies have invested over $300,000,000.00 in the securities of electric light and power companies.
The importance of electric power and light to the community is becoming more evident everyday. Imagine, for instance, being permanently deprived of electric light. It is a well-known fact that one of the best preventatives of crime is abundant light such as only electricity can give. Without electricity the streets would be in darkness, the homes would be in darkness and the public buildings and stores would be in darkness, not only at night but in a majority of cases throughout the day.
Many folks make the mistake of thinking only of electric light in connection with a company whose business is to supply electricity.
Most people overlook the important fact that this same electricity which lights their homes and streets also turns—as easily as you would wind your watch—the wheels in the mills, mines, docks and factories and is used for power in all manner of commercial activities.
Vastly more electricity is used in this way than for lighting purposes. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 15 November 1924, p. 5, c. 1)

LANTERN TOP SUPPLY SHORT
_____

Concerns Delay in Completing Brain-
erd’s New Lighting
System
_____

EXPECTED TOPS IN 2 WEEKS
_____

Has Also Been Found Necessary to
Buy Additional Reels of Lead
Covered Cable


Completion of the new street lighting system has been delayed by the inability of the factory to furnish the opalescent glass panels that are used in the lantern tops. A telegram received by the Water & Light Board last week was to the effect that the glass would be shipped immediately and should reach Brainerd in about two weeks.
It was also found necessary to purchase several additional reels of lead-covered cable and as these must be shipped from the eastern factory, it may take a little longer to complete the installation of the lights on South Sixth street.
The old cast iron posts have had their tops sawed off and the Brainerd Foundry has made an extension of about two feet to take the place of the portion formerly occupied by side arms and top lights. These posts are being installed on South Sixth street below Oak. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 27 October 1925, p. 7, c. 2)

PUMP HOUSE / WATER WORKS
Various water-works projects are being discussed among those interested in the advancement of the city. The reservoir system does not meet with much favor the majority favoring some arrangement with the railroad company whereby the latter’s pumping facilities can be increased and used by the city in conjunction with the shops. Such a plan is cheap, feasible, and more likely to be adopted than almost any other. (Brainerd Tribune, 18 February 1882, p. 5, c. 3)

Early in 1881, when the city population was a little over 1,000, the first city council ordered three wells dug in places where the density of the population made them most useful. Residents carried their water home in buckets. In February, 1882 a freeze rendered the wells useless. Ambrose Tighe was first-receiver, of what came to be known as the Minnesota Water Works Company. James M. Elder and then Judd Wright became managers. Whatever the name of the company or the man in charge, water service was always poor, and the quality of the water was poor. In 1907 the council began action to condemn the plant and buy it. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946)

The piping for the water works is being laid as fast as possible. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 August 1883, p. 3, c. 1)

The Water Company’s office will be located in the basement of the Hartley block on Front street. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 August 1883, p. 3, c. 1)

The matter of getting the water works in running shape is progressing finely, several cars of pipe arriving last Saturday. The city has received several new hose carts and when the water commences to be carried from one end of the city to the other the chances of burning out will not be half as dangerous. What the city needs now is an efficient fire department. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 August 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

Quite a ripple of excitement was occasioned at the corner of Fourth and Laurel streets on Monday last. The sides of the ditch caved in on Thos. Lynch who was laying pipe for the Water Works Company, nearly burying him out of sight. A little lively shoveling soon extricated him. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 August 1883, p. 3, c. 3)

The shovelers on the water works ditches have been doing lively work for some few days past and in about one week the entire system of pipes will be laid. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 October 1883)

Orders are coming in lively to the Brainerd Water company for service pipes. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 October 1883, p. 3, c. 1)

At the annual meeting of the stockholders of the Brainerd Water Company held at the office of C. F. Kindred on Oct. 8th, 1883, the following gentlemen were elected directors for the ensuing year: L. P. White, J. B. Douglas, A. E. Taylor, E. E. Webster and C. F. Kindred. At a subsequent meeting of the directors held on the same day the following officers were elected: C. F. Kindred, president; L. P. White, vice president; N. J. Saviers, secretary; E. E. Webster, treasurer. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 October 1883, p. 3, c. 3)

PURE WATER FOR BRAINERD.
_____

Announcement of the Water Company,
Rules and Regulations, Rates, Etc.


To the Citizens of Brainerd:

Brainerd Water Company stock certificate, 1888. The stockholders of the Brainerd Water Company in October 1883 were L. P. White, J. B. Douglas, A. E. Taylor, E. E. Webster and C. F. Kindred, President. A 1637x1060 version of this photo is also available for viewing online.
Source: Unknown
The people of Brainerd have reasons to congratulate themselves that provisions have been made for a supply of pure water. Our soil is such that the most perfectly constructed well soon becomes a mere cesspool impregnated with the filth and poison from the surface, breeding disease and death. To this unfortunate condition of our water supply has been attributed largely the growth and spread of diphtheria and other ills in our midst. This fact has prompted the enterprise which is now so nearly completed.
The city council, with characteristic wisdom, have provided for a liberal supply of fire hydrants, which give to the city a long needed protection from fire, which must result to the interest of every property holder in the reduction of the cost of insurance. You can now have, at a small annual cost, a system of fire protection that could not be surpassed by the investment of $50,000 in steam engines, and a much greater annual expense than the whole system now costs. All that remains to be done to give the city the very best fire protection possible, is to provide the appliances to use the water liberally. Every fire hydrant established in the city is equivalent to two steam fire engines, stationed ready for use at a moment’s notice; and the only additional expense requisite is a few hundred feet of hose, and hose carts, manned by volunteer fire companies, and under the control of a perfect fire alarm system.
For manufacturing use, the advantages are apparent to all. There are few industries that do not require a large amount of water for daily consumption. The proposed works will meet this demand fully and cheaply. For the same reasons there would be no longer any limit to the number of factories which could find water within reach, but on the contrary the increased water facilities would attract new enterprises, stimulate manufacturing interests, invite and protect capital, and add to the material wealth of the city.
To the water consumers we would say: You now have placed within your reach an abundance of the purest water. Many persons may deem water works of but little benefit to private consumers when they only have to dig a few feet to find plenty of water; but they forget that they could not keep their wells and pumps in repair for what the water costs them annually.
Intending consumers should make immediate application to the company for estimates on their work, to enable them to have the same in readiness to connect with the water company’s mains.
Elsewhere will be found the maximum annual water rates of the company, together with the rules and regulations for the consumers.
In conclusion we would say, this large investment has been made through the faith of capitalists in the future of your city, and the liberal patronage of all citizens is expected, not merely as a recognition of their confidence in your city, but from the fact that the financial success of this enterprise will depend largely upon whether they will introduce more enterprises of a different nature but of like magnitude, thus building up your city, enhancing the value of property, offering still further inducements to visitors and business men to visit and locate.
The value of such enterprises to the city can be fully estimated by all intelligent citizens.

RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE BRAIN-
ERD WATER COMPANY.


RULE 1. All persons desiring to take water must make application at the office of the company, and sign a register stating fully and truly all the purposes for which it is to be used that they may be assessed according to the established rate, and pay in advance for making the attachments and for tapping the pipe.
NOTE:—The service pipes for connecting all premises with the street mains, will be put in by the Company, at the expense of the holder of the premises, estimating all services from the center of the street. The corporation stop and side-walk stop-cock will be owned and controlled by the company. Water consumers will not be permitted to use or disturb these stop cocks; but there shall be placed by and at the expense of the consumer at a suitable point beyond the street limits, a stop and waste-cock, to enable every consumer to shut off the water and drain his pipes during cold, freezing nights, or in case of accidents to his pipes.
RULE 2. Water rates must be paid quarterly, in advance, or monthly, at the option of the company.
RULE 3. No person or family supplied with water by this company will be permitted to use the water for any other purpose than that stated in the application or agreement, or that estimated for in fixing the rates; nor supply water in any way to any other person or persons without a written permit from the office of the company; nor shall they permit others to use their hose or attachments or leave them exposed to use by others.
NOTE:—The company agrees to furnish water for certain specified uses for a certain specified sum. If, therefore, consumers furnish other people, or supply water for animals or sprinkling, or washing wagons, or to brick or stone masons, or plasterers, or permit it to be taken without permission from the company, it is a violation of the contract, and the consumers of this company so offending will be required to pay the full price of water so used.
RULE 4. Consumers shall prevent unnecessary waste of water, and shall keep their sprinklers, pipes, hydrants, faucets, valves, hose and all apparatus in good condition, at their own expense; and keep all water outlets closed when not in actual use. Keys to sprinklers are not allowed to remain exposed to use by others nor shall hose be used without a nozzle, or used to throw water beyond the limits agreed to be sprinkled. Goose necks or crooked pipes shall not be allowed, except by special contract.
NOTE:—The street, for a given width, may be sprinkled, not washed, by consumers having a license for sprinkling purposes; but hose shall not be used to muddy the streets, nor used long enough to cause the water to flow from the parts sprinkled onto the surface of the next front. Nor shall the hose and attachments be converted into fountains or jets nor used without an attachment to direct the flow of water; and no hose shall be used under any circumstances except when held by the hand. The use of hose by aid of frames, sticks, or by any other than human personal aid, is strictly prohibited, except in sprinkling lawns.
RULE 5. The water at wash basins, water closets, urinals, baths; or any other places, must not be left running to prevent water from freezing in the pipes, or for any other purpose; and for all unnecessary waste of water the company reserves the right to shut off the supply.
RULE 6. No alterations or extensions shall be made in any water pipe or fixtures without first giving notice of such proposed alteration or extension, and receiving a permit from the company authorizing the same, and the work must be done by a competent licensed plumber.
RULE 7. In case two or more parties or families are supplied with water from the same service pipe, if either of the parties fail to pay the water rent when due, or to comply with any rule of the Company, the company may turn off the water from such pipe until the rent is paid and the rule strictly complied with.
RULE 8. All water rents must be paid by the owner of the premises when leased to more than one tenant. Parties renting whole premises, and sub-renting, will be required to pay the water rents for the whole premises.
RULE 9. During the alarms of fire, and while the fire pressure is on the pipes the the use of fountains, yard and street sprinklers is positively prohibited. A violation of this rule will forfeit all right to use of water and will be rigidly enforced.
RULE 10. No yard fountains shall be used longer than 10 hours daily, and not after 8 p. m., without payment of additional charges.
RULE 11. Water for irrigation shall be used only during the hours and in the manner specified on the license.
RULE 12. A license to use water on a lot does not include sidewalks or street.
RULE 13. The Company reserves the right to set meters, and charge meter rates whenever there is any doubt as to the quantity of water used or wanted. Parties accepting meter rates in preference to special or established rates will pay the cost of meter, and placing the same, or pay rental, as may be agreed upon.
RULE 14. The company or its authorized agents shall have access at all reasonable hours to all premises supplied, to see that these rules are observed.
RULE 15. The company reserves the right at any time, due notice being given by publication or otherwise, to shut off the water in their mains for the purpose of making repairs or extensions, or for other purposes; and all persons having boilers within their premises, not supplied by tanks or cisterns, are hereby cautioned against collapse.
RULE 16. Water rates, once paid, are not refunded under any circumstances, but privileges may be transferred from one party to another upon application and consent at the office of the company.
RULE 17. For the violation of any of the foregoing rules and for the non-payment of rent the company reserves the right to turn off the water without notice and forfeit any payment made; and after the water has been turned off from any service pipe on account of non-payment for water rents, the same will not be turned on until all back rents are paid, together with the expense of turning off and on such water.
RULE 18. The right is reserved to amend or add to these rules and regulations as experience may show to be necessary.
RULE 19. It is expressly stipulated by the Brainerd Water Company and its consumers, that no claim shall be made against said Company, or the city, by reason of the breaking of any service pipe or cock, or for any accidental failure in the supply of water.
By order of Executive Committee.
N. J. SAVIERS,
Secretary.

TABLE OF YEARLY WATER RATES.
_____


ESTABLISHED BY CITY ORDINANCE, DECEMBER 11, 1883. PAYABLE QUARTERLY IN ADVANCE.


Bakery, each oven from $10 to $50.00
Barber shop, first chair $7.00
do each additional chair $3.00
Bath, private, first tub $7.00
do each additional tub $3.00
Baths, public, hotel and boarding or tenement house, first tub $10.00
each additional tub $8.00
Beer, per barrel brewed $.05
Billiard saloons, each table $3.00
Boarding house, each occupied room $2.00
do do no license less than $18.00
Brick works, per thousand manufactured $.10
Brick yard, each gang of hands $20.00
Confectionery manufactory $10.00 to $75.00
Cow $2.50
Fish market $10.00 to $25.00
Forge or smith shop, first fire $5.00
do do each additional fire $3.00
Fountains to run not more than four hours daily on pleasant days, one half inch jet, from $20.00 to $150.00
Horse and carriage $3.00
Work horse $2.00
Horse, livery or sale stable $15.00 to $50.00
Hotel, less than fifty occupied rooms, per room $2.00
Hotel, more than fifty occupied rooms, meter rates
Hotel, no license less than $5.00
Ice cream saloon from $10.00 to $40.00
Laundry from $18.00 to $200.00
Meat market, from $10.00 to $25.00
Office, from $7.00 to $25.00
Oyster saloon, without bar $10.00 to $25.00
Photograph gallery, from $10.00 to $25.00
Residence, occupied by one family, four rooms or less $7.00
Residence each additional occupied room $1.00
Residence, additional family in same house using same fixtures, one half above rates extra
Restaurant, from $20.00 to $50.00
Saloon, from $20.00 to $50.00
Schools, for every scholar $.05
Shop or factory, five hands or less $10.00
do each additional hand $1.50
Sprinkling private garden or lawn with hose per square yard $.03
Sprinkling street half way across, hose, per front foot $.10
Sprinkling corner lots, only the narrow front to be counted
Sprinkling by public carts, no license less than $5.00
Steam engine, five horse power or less $30.00
do each additional horse power $5.00
Store, from $5.00 to $30.00
Tenement, per occupied room $2.00
Tenement no license less than $15.00
Urinal, with self closing stop $5.00
Urinal, without self closing stop $50.00
Washbasin, stationary with waste pipe, private $3.00
Washbasin, public hotel, boarding or tenement house $5.00
Washbasin, without self closing stop $50.00
Watercloset with pan, private, first pan $5.00
Each additional pan $5.00
Watercloset, public, hotel, boarding or tenement house, first pan $10.00
Each additional pan $3.00
Water closets without pan or other self closing approved attachments are prohibited
Said water company to have the right where it believes an exceedingly large amount of water is used or needlessly wasted to charge meter rates as follows:
2,000 gallons or less daily, per 100 gallons $.05
2,000 to 5,000 gallons daily, per 100 gallons $.04 1/2
5,000 to 10,000 gallons daily, per 100 gallons $.04
10,000 to 15,000 gallons daily, per 100 gallons $.03 1/2
15,000 to 20,000 gallons daily, per 100 gallons $.03
20,000 and over gallons daily, per 100 gallons $.02 1/2
For water sold from stand pipes, faucets, hydrants or cocks
One barrel per day, per barrel $.05
One to five barrels per day, per barrel $.05
Five to ten barrels per day, per barrel $.04
(Brainerd Dispatch, 11 October 1883, p. 3, c.’s 5 & 6)

The Water Works Company has its force of men engaged in placing the hydrants in the various parts of the city. All possible speed is being made to get the cisterns completed before winter gets its grip tightened up. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 October 1883, p. 2, c. 2)

The water pipe is on the ground for Front and Laurel streets, which has been left until the last, in order that the ditches should not be kept open any longer than necessary on these streets. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 November 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

The engines have arrived for the Water Works and all the pipes are now here. The entire system will be completed in ten days, when the water will be turned on. Parties desiring service pipes should hand in their names as soon as possible. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 November 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

C. F. Kindred was in New York the first of the week looking after business connected with the Brainerd Water Works. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 November 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

The smoke stack of the water works company was raised on Wednesday. The price paid for getting it in place was $100, Orr & Seelye having the job. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 November 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

The screens and pipe for the water works company which were laid out into the Mississippi, were put in by Ed. Mahan the first of the week. It took considerable time and work to get these into position, as the pipe nearly reached the other side of the river, there being about 500 feet of it in all. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 November 1883, p. 3, c. 3)

East Brainerd.


With much pleasure we witnessed the burial of the last length of water works pipe. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 November 1883, p. 3, c. 4)

The pumps in the Water Works engine house were started up on Thursday evening. Before our next issue the city will be supplied with water by this means. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 December 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

The new building that the Brainerd Water company has been erecting on Main street directly opposite the depot, is about completed. It will be used by the company for an office. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 November 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

Water Power Company.
_____


The annual meeting of the Brainerd Water Power and Dam company was held on Tuesday, and the board of directors was reorganized. No change of importance was made. An assessment of 2 per cent on the subscribed stock was made toward the preliminary operations of constructing, and a surveying contract to ascertain the overflowage of the river above the dam was left to F. B. Thompson and O. H. Havill. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 July 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

The Brainerd Water Power and Boom Company have rented the suite of eight rooms in the Towne-McFadden block to be used as offices. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 May 1886, p. 4, c. 3)

The water works company are kept busy these days in laying new pipes. Nearly every business house in the city is now supplied, and a large part of the residences. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 May 1886, p. 4, c. 4)

First pump and power house built by C. F. Kindred, ca. 1888.
Source: Northwest Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Volume VI, Number 7, July 1888, E. V. Smalley, Editor and Publisher
The first pump house, built by Charles F. Kindred, was located on the Mississippi river flats at the end of North Seventh Street. Shortly after Kindred built the dam in 1887, the plan was to move the pump house to the dam, using water power to operate it. However, it appears that the pump house remained at its first location for quite some time.

Rushing Things.


[...]


As soon as things are in running order the pump house of the water company will be removed to the dam and run by water power which is much cheaper, as statistics show that in Philadelphia the cost of pumping per million gallons by steam was $38.51 and the same amount by water power cost but $1.35. Of course fuel in this region is cheaper than in the east and the difference would not be as great but the saving will be a big item to the water company alone. The completion of this work will be something more than the average Brainerdite imagines. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 September 1887, p. 4, c. 5)

The City Law Makers.


A communication from C. F. Kindred was read in which he objected to complying with the request of the council to extend water mains because the law had not been strictly adhered to in regard to getting property holders to sign and agreement to take water. He also said it was a hardship and asked to be allowed until July next in which to do the work. The council instructed the attorney to commence proceedings against the Water Company at once for failure of contract which will result in the forfeiture of their charter unless the matter is settled. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 October 1889, p. 1, c. 3)

ATTORNEY TIGHE, of St. Paul, was in Brainerd Monday, with a decree of foreclosure of the mortgage held by bondholders of the Mississippi Water Power and Boom company, and an order of sale by the receiver, the papers requiring only the signature of Judge Holland. He, however, has not yet resumed work as judge, and acting under the physician’s direction, did not sign the decree, and Mr. Tighe will have to go to some other judge—probably Judge Stearns, of Duluth. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 December 1889, p. 1, c. 2)

THE DAM AND WATER WORKS.
_____

Vital Matters Discussed by Ambrose
Tighe, Receiver.


We publish below a letter addressed to the mayor from Ambrose Tighe, receiver of the Brainerd Water Co., which contains much food for thought and which should be read by every person in the city. The letter is as follows:
ST. PAUL, Minn., May 14, 1890.
MR. H. C. STIVERS,
Brainerd, Minn.
DEAR SIR:—I see by the St. Paul newspapers that you have been elected Mayor of Brainerd and although I have no personal acquaintance with you, I take the liberty of addressing you as the chief officer of the city, on matters which concern the city’s interest. As the receiver of the Water Company and as the attorney for the holders of the bonds on the dam property and of various issues of your municipal and county securities, I represent more than two hundred thousand dollars, which has gone into Brainerd in one shape or another. In view of this it hardly seems necessary for me to say that on behalf of my clients, I am as much interested in the growth of the city and in the development of its business as any one can be. If Brainerd can be made an important point, the profit to us on our investments there would be immediate and great. If the city simply holds it own, the security for some of our money is, to put it more favorably, precarious. If there is a falling off in wealth and population, it is bound to result in a material loss to us. Anybody, therefore, who says that I or my clients are engaged in any sort of conspiracy against the prosperity of Brainerd, charges us with an offense worse than knavery. He accuses us of being fools.
As to the dam property, the only conspiracy in which we have been concerned, has been a conspiracy against dishonesty and falsehood, in which all good men ought to be with us. The contest has been rather unequal because we have fought openly and in the sight of whoever cared to see, against those who skillful in craft, have been prompt to take advantage of us. The result, I think, has been as gratifying as could be expected. We have cleared the property of all sorts of annoying liens which had no basis of merit and have reduced it to our possession. The next question is what is to be done with it. I make now to you a direct and positive declaration to this effect, that all my clients have desired and aimed at in all the proceedings they have conducted in reference to the dam has been to get matters in such shape that they can either realize from the property what they have in it or make it earn enough to afford a prompt and adequate interest return on the investment. They want to change it from a dead mass of stone and wood into a living creature, productive and beneficent. And to that end in case their title is assured from assault, they will co-operate to the man in any fair way with any intelligent plan of action which may be suggested. In case their title is successfully attacked, they will, nevertheless, co-operate in the same way to the full extent of their interest whatever that may turn out to be. If the Weyerhauser’s syndicate really wants the property they will sell it to them as far as their title permits for what they have in it. If the syndicate do not want to buy it but only to use, my clients will extend them such privileges as are in their power for such compensations as any reasonable man will admit to be fair. If the syndicate does not want it but some one else of character and responsibility does, they will extend the same privileges to him. My clients recognize and declare that if they are title to the dam, they are only co-owners with the city. They recognize and declare that their interests and the interests of the city are identical. If the dam can be made productive, both the city and my clients will receive a return on their money—they in the shape of interest which is all they ask, and the city in the prosperity of its people and the buoyancy which comes from living in an active and hopeful community. I am fully authorized to act for my clients and shall be glad to receive any suggestions or guidance from any quarter which shall make for the end we have in view. During the past week there has come from Little Falls word of the establishment of a new saw mill and of a paper factory. At Brainerd, with a water power at least equally valuable and with the finest boomage facilities that a lumberman could desire, there has for a year and a half been nothing but expensive and annoying litigation. I think that the good sense of the city should make itself felt in putting an end to a state of affairs like this. I am not sure that popular opinion is strong enough to coerce some natures. A man who tries for his selfish purposes to persuade an officer of the law to avoid his sworn duty and boasts about the effort even though it is unsuccessful, as though it were to his credit or who tries to block the course of the city’s progress by publishing false and silly reports about the title of the people through whom any development must come,—such a one, I say, does not care much for the opinion of decent men. But there can be no further investment, unless there is security and peace. And there cannot be security and peace, unless the community requires the hired blackmailer to desist. I appeal to you, as Mayor of the city, to use your influence that this may be accomplished.
As to the water works, such criticism as has come to me since I have been in charge has been under one of two heads. The first is the heavy charges made consumers for connections and plumbing work. I have investigated into this matter as well as I can, but have not been able to come to any conclusion as to whether there is any substantial ground for the complaints or not. I am satisfied that Mr. McIntire is a plumber of great skill and competence, and considering the size of the city and the amount of work that there is to do, I am inclined to believe that his charges are as low as could be expected. I think that it would be a great loss to the system if it were deprived of his efficient services. I want, however, to remove all reason for complaint on this score, and my plan is to have the company tap its own mains and make its own connections as far as the sidewalk. For this it will make a fixed and uniform charge regardless of the side of the street the consumer is on. The work beyond the sidewalk can then be done by any licensed plumber with whom the consumers care to contract. I shall institute this method only in the case the number of responsible consumers desiring to have connections made is great enough to warrant the trouble and expense the change entails. In order to determine this, I should like to have every one who wants to have water introduced into his home this season, make it known to Mr. Powers at the company’s office as soon as possible. When the number is known, we can see whether the plan is feasible and what will be a fair charge. If we adopt this method no one can then complain that we are fostering a monopoly or shutting our customers out from what they might make if there were competition in the business. The other ground of criticism, I have heard, is that the mains are not extended so as to supply everybody who would like to take water. This is a much more serious matter. The mains surely ought to be laid generally enough to meet all reasonable demand. But, as receiver, I am an officer of the United States Court, and it is rather difficult for such an officer to engage in new enterprises. His functions are not of the sort which readily permit him to go ahead with building schemes as might the owners of the works and Mr. Lamb, of the National Tube Works Company, at whose instance the receivership was instituted, has been in Europe ever since my appointment, so that it has not been possible to secure advice or direction from him as to this. Extensions can not be made without money, and the receiver has none for the purpose. New bonds, of course, could be issued and sold, but the interest on them would have to be met by additional hydrants which the company’s franchise entitles it to put on extensions. I do not feel willing, however, in the present condition of affairs at Brainerd, to ask the council to add anything more to its expenditures, unless it expresses to me a definite desire to this effect. If anything is done at the dam, improvements in the water works as in everything else, will follow as a matter of course. But even if there is nothing of this kind, I am willing to lend my influence to what is needed if the council will bring up the matter in such a shape that it can be clearly handled. I want to say quite frankly that the works as at present operated are not a profitable investment. All that the city pays as hydrant rental goes to the Trust Company to meet the interest on the bonded indebtedness, and in addition to this the company has to contribute $930 a year for the same purpose. The total receipts for the first three months after by appointment, from consumers other than the city, amounted to something in the neighborhood of $2,800. The expenditures were about $2,100, without including my compensation for the receiver and without a compensation for Mr. Powers are already out of proportion to what his valuable services are worth. That left a surplus for the months under the most economical management, of about $700. But the company has been taxed for personally to the tune of $1,345, and although Mr. Mantor, appearing on my behalf, has succeeded in effecting some reduction, in this it still stands at about $1,200. What personal property the company owns to entitle it to such a tax is a mystery to me, but you are not the proper officer to whom to complain. I only want to call your attention to the fact that as I propose to pay this tax and the tax on the company's real estate as soon as it is possible, all the company’s surplus for the first three quarters of the year will be used in this way. The fourth quarter’s profit will not be enough to pay for the ordinary repairs that the year will require and the outlook is, therefore, for an actual deficit. If extensions will avoid this I think that extensions will be very good things, but if they are going to break the company down so that it cannot afford even the present service, I do not think that they are desirable at present. However, on this, as on every other point, I am open and anxious for suggestions. I am inclined, however, to believe that the solution of this, as of the other troubles, is to have something done at the dam.
You are at liberty to publish this letter if you think best and I, myself, have sent a copy of it to each of the other Brainerd papers, because it contains nothing of a personal nature.
Yours Truly,
AMBROSE TIGHE.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 16 May 1890, p. 1, c.’s 4 & 5)

Poor Water Works.


At the special meeting of the city council last Friday night, called to take action regarding the failure of water on the night of the fire, the following resolutions were adopted after much discussion:
RESOLVED, That Ambrose Tighe, receiver of the Water company, is requested by the city council to furnish competent engineers to run the water works, and also to place an automatic registering water gauge for the Central hose house, and one automatic registering steam gauge for the boilers at the water works, the same to be satisfactory to the city council. And be it further
RESOLVED, That the janitor of the Central hose house be required to call by telephone the night engineer every half hour and ascertain the number of pounds of steam registered.
The council adjourned.

________


Tighe is Sorry.


The following letter has been received by the mayor from Mr. Tighe, receiver of the Water Co.:
ST. PAUL, Minn., Oct. 14, 1890.
Hon. H. C. Stivers,
Brainerd, Minn.
Dear Sir: Ever since the receipt of the news of the failure of the water works at the time of the fire I have been trying to get a satisfactory explanation from the men in charge at Brainerd. Mr. Powers has written and telegraphed me that some chips got into the pumps and choked their action. If this is correct the engineers are responsible for the disaster to me, but I myself to the city. I have tried to employ competent and careful men, and I pay them good wages; but if they have neglected their duties with the result that has ensued, I have been mistaken in them. I hope that the city will institute an investigation for its own satisfaction, in which I shall fully co-operate. If the trouble is with the works themselves, they shall be fixed against the future if it is possible to do so. If it is because the men in charge are incompetent or careless, they shall be discharged. I am deeply distressed and chagrined at what has happened. This of course is futile and perhaps goes without saying. I feel prompted however to put myself on record.
Truly yours,
AMBROSE TIGHE.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 17 October 1890, p. 4, c. 5)

NOTE: The above mentioned fire started in the barn of the Commercial Hotel about 3:15 a.m. on 10 October 1890 and burned approximately three blocks on both sides of South Fifth Street from Laurel to Maple. Burned buildings included the Commercial Hotel, Catholic Church and parsonage, and the old city jail. Losses amounted to around $75,000.

Prof. Dresskell is getting up an alarm for the pump house to use in case of fire, and when finished it will be a very useful thing. Each one of the three hose houses will be connected with the pump house and by touching a button a gong will be set in motion which will ring for six minutes. As it is now many times the pump house is only notified of fire after some one has gone there in person, the telephone being unreliable. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 April 1891, p. 4, c. 3)

The Brainerd Water Power Co. has been sued by Ambrose Tighe to recover $500, and W. S. McClenahan has been garnisheed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 July 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

The river is very high at this point and is still slowly rising although it is thought the worst is over. The flat on which the pump house stands is flooded. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 May 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

Notice to Water Consumers.


Parties using hose for sprinkling lawns, gardens, washing windows, etc. are hereby instructed to follow the printed rules, No.’s 8 and 9, on their receipts.
Heretofore, these rules have not been strictly complied with, but on June 10th, 1893, this company will put an extra man on its force whose chief duties will be to enforce these rules. Where hose are found running out of hours, the supply will be shut off without notice whatever, and, before it is turned on the rent for the use of water will have to be paid with one dollar for turning on.
Dated this 8th day of June, 1893.
BRAINERD WATER CO.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 09 June 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

Notice to Water Consumers.


The water rent for the third quarter of 1893, will be due July 1st, and all water consumers are requested to be prompt in their payments. These payments must be made when due. Bear this in mind and save trouble.
J. M. Elder,
Manager,
Room 17, Bank Building.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 23 June 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

Proceedings of the Council.


...Motion made and carried that the matter of the condition of the water furnished by the Brainerd Water Co. be referred to the board of health with the request that they make a written report to this council. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 August 1894, p. 4, c. 5)

The pumps at the water company’s power house will shut down Sunday morning at 9 o’clock sharp for repairs. Consumers will govern themselves accordingly. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 August 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

The City Fathers.


...The matter of investigating means of furnishing the city with pure water was referred to the water works committee. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 December 1894, p. 4, c. 5)

The consideration of the case of J. M. Elder vs. James New came up before the municipal court last Saturday, the result being that Mr. New was discharged. Both gentlemen are in the plumbing business in this city and the misunderstanding between them arose from the fact that Mr. New had tapped the mains of the Minnesota Waterworks Co. while the company had made the rule that such work should be done under their own supervision. The charge for this work was $8 and the price was considered exorbitant by the other plumbing institutions in this city, hence the refusal of Mr. New to pay the price, followed by the refusal of the Minnesota Water Works Co. to issue a permit to Mr. New unless the price was paid. In the face of this the gentleman went ahead and tapped the main and his arrest was caused with the above result. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 May 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

The Council Convened.


[...]


Communication from Mr. Ambrose Tighe, which explains itself, was read as follows:

ST. PAUL, Sept. 14, ‘95.

CITY COUNCIL, Brainerd:—I have received the communication of the committee of our council on Fire Department in reference to the service of the Water company. I have labored very faithfully since last spring to secure funds for the improvement of the water plant at Brainerd. It has turned out to be no small undertaking, but I am exceedingly encouraged with the result of my efforts. As soon as I shall have heard from one more party I shall know exactly what I can do, and when I can do it. All I ask of the council is that it will be patient with me and have confidence in my earnest ambition to do everything that can be desired. If it will do this, and my plans succeed, as I confidently believe they will, I shall see that the city of Brainerd has a water service in the immediate future second to that of no city of its size in the country.
Yours truly,
AMBROSE TIGHE.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 20 September 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

Will Improve the Water Works Plant.
_____


Ambrose Tighe came up from St. Paul yesterday morning, bringing with him Robert Elder, a representative of the firm of Fairbanks, Moss & Co., of St. Paul, who is an expert on matters pertaining to the construction of water works plants and estimating the cost of the same. Mr. Tighe’s visit here was for the purpose of making an estimate of the improvements long desired, and which he has at last gotten the authority to make. In a letter to the council the first of the week, he said all he needed was to hear from one party interested, and he would proceed. The party has been heard from favorably, and now Mr. Tighe will go ahead. A power house will be put in at the dam and the motive power there will be used for pumping. The plant on Seventh street will be left just as it is, to be used in case of emergency. A large quantity of new mains will have to be put in, and everything connected with the service will be put in first-class shape. Mr. Tighe returned to St. Paul yesterday noon, but Mr. Elder remained to make estimates and complete plans for the contemplated improvements. At last it looks as if Brainerd is to have an adequate water service. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 September 1895, p. 4, c. 7)

We Have a New Chief.


[...]


A communication was read from Ambrose Tighe regarding the improvement of the water works, stating that he had assurances and promises that the matter could be proceeded with at once. Mr. Tighe has had two experts go over the ground and finds that to put everything in first-class shape it will cost between $30,000 and $40,000, and it was his desire that a special committee be appointed to meet him and go over the matter in detail and arrange a report to the council. Accordingly the chair appointed Ald. Rienthal, Jas. Gardner, Larson, McMaster and Adair as such committee. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 October 1895, p. 4, c. 7)

Ambrose Tighe was in the city on Tuesday to confer with a committee of the council with reference to water works improvement. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 October 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

Will Improve Them.


Ambrose Tighe returned to his home at St. Paul today. Mr. Tighe has been in the city for the purpose of meeting a special committee of the council regarding the proposed improvements on the Minnesota Water Co.’s plant, and the matter of how the improvements shall be made is the only thing to be decided as the money has been raised, and all other details perfected. Dr. C. N. Hewitt was in the city yesterday from St. Paul, being the executive officer of the state board of health, and made an examination of the condition of the water supply, and his advice will also be acted upon in the matter of improvement of the works. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 January 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

The High Water.


The water in the Mississippi at this point is higher today than at any time for a number of years past, in fact since the dam was built. While there is no immediate danger at the dam, a force of men are stationed there, and considerable work has been done to prevent any break. The most serious aspect is with the city water supply, as at this writing the water has raised to such a height in the pump house on the flats that less than a two inch raise will put out the fires, and although the rain has ceased the river will continue to rise for a time at least. A mammoth log jam between this city and Little Falls is also backing the water up. The Water Co. have done everything in their power and the old Northern Pacific pumping station near the railroad bridge has been overhauled and put in running order and in readiness for operation today in case it is needed. Mr. Elder is of the opinion that in case the pumping station on the flats is rendered useless that water for all purposes can be furnished through this medium, and that even a fair fire pressure could be given. The gentleman does not think, however, that the water will reach the firebox, but if the raise continues during the next 24 hours in the same proportion as in the past, the city will have to depend on the N. P. pump house for its water supply. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 May 1896, p. 4, c. 6)

The N. P. pump house caught fire yesterday forenoon from the smoke stack, but the fire was put out without the aid of the department, which responded promptly to the alarm. It was very fortunate for the city that the fire was extinguished so easily, as the water supply of the city now depends almost entirely on this station, the high water preventing much help from the regular pump house. A fierce wind was blowing at the time, hence, if the fire had got a start, nothing could have prevented the destruction of the building and machinery. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 May 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

Higher Than Ever Before.


A boat was needed in order to access the building, ca. 1896.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
The high water, mention of which was made in our last issue, continues unabated. On Friday night of last week the water reached the grates in the fire box at the pumping station, but Mr. Elder raised the grates and kept the fires going, leaving open the doors of the furnace to create a draft. The fireman at the pump house stands continually in water above the hips as he feeds the fire in the furnace. The water has raised slowly but steadily since our last issue until the last two days when it has remained stationery, but quite a raise is expected again today, as a gain of several inches is reported from Aitkin yesterday. Aside from the inconvenience at the pumping station not much damage has been done by the extraordinary stage of the water here.

[...]

(Brainerd Dispatch, 22 May 1896, p. 4, c. 7)


THE TROUBLE PROBABLY SETTLED.
_____

And Ten Thousand Dollars Will Be Im-
mediately Expended in Improving
the Water Works Plant.


For the past two years the city council and the Minnesota Water Works Company have been at loggerheads over our present water service, and as a result the city council has paid no hydrant rental for that time. The council insisted that the company did not furnish adequate pressure, the water was impure, extensions were not made as directed, and in other ways the company did not comply with its agreement with the city. The matter has been talked over and argued with Mr. Tighe, the president of the company, all to no purpose until Saturday evening, when at a special meeting of the council Mr. Tighe appeared before that body and made a verbal proposition of what the company would do in case the city would pay up the rental due. The council took no action then, but requested Mr. Tighe to submit the proposition in writing at a meeting to be held on Tuesday. Mr. Tighe returned to St. Paul and sent the following proposition:

ST. PAUL, MINN., OCTOBER 12TH, 1896.
THE COMMON COUNCIL, BRAINERD, MINN.
GENTLEMEN:—I am authorized by the Minnesota Water Works Company to submit the following proposition for your consideration:—
The City of Brainerd is at present indebted in the Company in its sum of $8,025, being the aggregate amount of hydrant rental which fell due July 1, 1895, January 1, 1896 and July 1, 1896, respectively. On January 1, 1897, there will be due $2,675 additional, making the total which will be then due $10,700.
The Water Company has caused its plant to be carefully examined by Mr. Robert Bement, president of the St. Paul Water Board, and the improvements he recommends are in general as follows:
1. Extending the intake pipe into the main channel of the river.
2. Repairing and raising the pumps and boilers, so that they will do more efficient work and be above high water mark.
3. The introduction of two mechanical filters of 400,000 gallons daily capacity each.
4. The laying of from 4,000 to 5,000 feet of new main to connect the different sections of the city, and in this way improve the pressure where it is now deficient.
5. The replacing with new pipe of each parts of the pipe at present in the ground as has become rotten through lapse of time and from other causes.
Mr. Bement expressed the opinion that if the pipe for the last named purpose is furnished free of charge, as it will be, the system can be put in shape for less than $10,000, even though it should appear that as much as two or three miles of the present mains have to be replaced.
The Company’s plan is to have Mr. Bement state to you exactly what he can do, and he will attend a meeting of the Council on Wednesday next for this purpose. If you are satisfied from his statements and his reputation that he is the proper party and will carry through what he undertakes, it will put the work under his charge as engineer to be pushed through as quickly as possible. The contractors will have to be paid after the usual method followed in city contracts. That is, for the work done during any one month, they will be entitled in an estimate less fifteen percent on the first of the following month, and these estimates will be payable on the fifteenth day of the month in which they are issued. These estimates will be issued on Mr. Bement’s approval and will be payable by the city treasurer out of the hydrant rental fund now due and to become due on January 1, 1897, up to the limit of $10,000. Before the work can be contracted for it will be necessary to know in some binding way that this money will be available to pay for it. On the other hand, the Company will agree that the entire $10,000 will be used for the purpose of improving he plant and for that purpose only. Should the betterments contemplated by Mr. Bement’s plan cost less than $10,000 the balance will be kept in trust on some arrangement to be agreed on for further improvements in the future. The $700 difference between the $10,700 due and to become due for hydrant rental, and the $10,000 to be used in the way proposed, the Company needs to get itself out of debt incurred in staking the experimental well at the power house last winter.
This gives the general scheme in rough to be reduced hereafter to the shape of a regular contract. The Company will consent to any safeguards the city desires, and in general do everything in its power to secure the objects aimed at.
Truly yours,
AMBROSE TIGHE.
The above proposition was read on Tuesday evening, but as it seemed to differ somewhat from Mr. Tighe’s verbal proposition, the council did not consider it at all, but adjourned until Wednesday evening, when Mr. Tighe was to be present.
On Wednesday evening Mr. Tighe appeared before the council accompanied by Mr. Robert Bement, president of the St. Paul water board, and an expert in putting in water plants, and Mr. Horace Stevens, also a member of the St. Paul board and a prominent contractor. Mr. Bement had examined the plant thoroughly, and explained to the council what would be necessary to furnish adequate force and purify the water. He said if the dead ends of the mains were connected so as to produce a continuous flow of water, this alone would double the force. That the intake pipes were never put in right, and if new ones were put in and the pumps put in good repair all the pressure necessary would be supplied. He thought the only way to purify the water was to put in mechanical filters and these would render it as healthful as spring water, but would probably not remove every particle of color. Mr. Tighe also agreed to put more hydrants in the business portion of the city without additional rental cost to the city. The matter was discussed for some time, when in order to test the sentiment of the council on the matter, a motion was made that the city pay the rental due providing a satisfactory contract as to making these improvements could be made. This motion carried without a dissenting vote. The question of payment was then settled by a motion that orders for the amount be drawn and placed in the hands of the city treasurer, to be by him paid out when a committee consisting of Mr. Bement, who will have charge of the improvement, and Mr. A. P. Farrar and S. L. Bean shall report the work properly done. On motion, a committee of three consisting of Ald. Larson, McMaster and Gardner, was appointed to assist Messrs. Bement, Tighe, and McClenahan to draw up a formal contract and report the same Thursday evening.
On Thursday evening the committee reported a lengthy contract covering all the above points in detail. A motion was carried that the council defer action until tonight at 9 o’clock, and that the committee present it to the meeting of the business men at 8 o’clock. It will probably be agreed to and thus the whole matter will be settled and we will have good service both as to pressure and character of the water. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 October 1896, p. 4, c.’s 5 & 6)

COUNCIL PROCEEDINGS.
_____

The Water Difficulty Settled at Last.
_____


A special meeting of the city council was held on Tuesday last at about 9 p. m., and the contract with the Water company mentioned in our last issue was accepted and the mayor and city clerk were authorized to execute it on the part of the city. This action was unanimous on the part of the council. The contract was submitted earlier in the evening to a meeting of the business men, who after a warm discussion advised the council to accept. The council also authorized the city clerk to draw orders covering the amount of the water rental, $10,700, to be deposited with the city treasurer, and to be by him paid out as the contract provides. This settles the water difficulty, and it is to be hoped that the city will have no more trouble on this score. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 October 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

Putting in Filtering Plant.


A fine filtering plant for the Minnesota Water Co. arrived in the city yesterday, and will be put in at once. Mr. W. M. Cameron, of New York, arrived here on Wednesday to superintend the work of putting in the plant, which he hopes to have completed by April 20th. The people of this city ought not to be troubled with impure water after that. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 April 1897, p. 4, c. 5)

The River is High.


Owing to the unusually heavy rains the past few days the river has again rapidly risen until the flats about the pump house are again covered with water, the water being within a foot as high as during the extremely high water early in the spring. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 July 1897, p. 4, c. 7)

To Whom It May Concern.


BRAINERD, MINN., Jan. 11, 1898.
In view of certain rumors in this city regarding the relative purity of the water furnished through the water works and the spring water furnished by H. J. Spencer, we cheerfully state our opinion that the spring water referred to is much more free from unhealthy substances, and that its use for drinking and cooling purposes is conducive to the good health of the community. We do not hesitate to recommend its use to all.
JAMES L. CAMP,
President Board of Health.
A. F. GROVES,
GEO. S. McPHERSON,
WERNER HEMSTEAD,
WALTER COURTNEY.
Chief Surgeon N. P. Ry., using the water in our hospital.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 21 January 1898, p. 5, c. 2)

METER QUESTION TO BE INVESTIGATED.
_____

On Motion of Alderman Wright
the Matter was Referred to
the City Attorney.
_____

REGULAR MEETING OF COUNCIL.
_____

Resolution Passed by City Council
Vacating Seventh Street
as Requested.


The city council met in regular session Tuesday evening in chambers with President Crust in the chair. The following aldermen were present: Halladay, Gardner, Purdy, Erickson, Rowley, Fogelstrom, Doran and Wright.

[...]


The city attorney was instructed on motion to notify President Tighe, of the Minnesota Water Works Co., that before hydrant rental be paid again by the city, he would have to put in the hydrant promised on First avenue, Northeast Brainerd.
Alderman Wright called attention to the fact that President Tighe seemed inclined to enforce the contract with the city under charter, especially in the matter of water rentals. He suggested that the city do something to enforce its part of the contract. He made a motion, and it was unanimously carried, that the chief of the fire department take an hourly record of the gauge in the fire house and ascertain if the city is getting its full 35 pound pressure as the charter provides.

[...]


Alderman Wright seemed to be determined, if possible, to bring up something that would give the consumers of city water some advantage as well as the Minnesota Water Works Co. He brought up the meter question and it was discussed quite thoroughly.
It seems that there is a clause in the charter, which relates to the agreement between the city and the water works company, which states in substance that, when the water works company deems it advisable it may put in meters, which of course is intended in cases where the company thinks the consumer is getting more than his share of water. There is, however, nothing in the charter that provides any recourse for the consumer and Alderman Wright wanted City Attorney Crowell to look the matter up and see if it was not perfectly legal, and to ascertain if it was practically impossible for the water works company to prevent a consumer putting in a meter to determine whether he was getting the full pressure for which he was paying. It seems that some of the consumers in the city have put in meters at one time or another and have tested the matter as between the company and the consumer. J. M. Hayes put in a meter and refused to pay water rental except at meter rate. The company never shut his water off and was glad to finally come to his terms in the matter. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 October 1898, p. 2, c.’s. 1 & 2)

Fine Water Supply.


Dr. H. M. Bracken, secretary of the state board of health, was in the city on Monday and while here took occasion to examine the city water supply, pronouncing it perfectly pure and wholesome. The water from Adam Brown’s spring was also tested and the result was that the doctor stated no better water could be found. The local board of health acting under instructions from the state board has issued an order requiring that all scholars attending public schools be vaccinated within ten days from the notice. Another matter called to the attention of the board was the indiscriminate dumping of manure, chips and other refuse into the streets and steps will be taken at once to prevent a continuance of the practice. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 April 1899, p. 1, c. 4)

The river at this point is very high, in fact almost as high as any time in the past during the spring months. The pump house at the water works is entirely surrounded and several men and teams are working at the dam to prevent serious washouts. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 October 1899, p. 8, c. 1)

TIGHE TURNED DOWN HARD.
_____

Extension of Franchise Refused the
Minnesota Water Co.—Sewers
Ordered Laid on Kingwood Street.
_____


The city council held a regular meeting on Monday evening.

[...]


The petition adopted by the meeting of the business men last Friday night, protesting against any extension of the franchise of the Minnesota Water company, or the purchase of its plant by the city, was read, and on motion it was ordered printed in the official paper of the city.
The communication of Ambrose Tighe, asking for an extension of the franchise of the Minnesota Water company was taken up, and on motion was denied by unanimous vote.
An attempt was made to reconsider the matter of publishing the petition above mentioned, but it was voted down, only Aldermen Cohen and Adair voting in the affirmative.

[...]

(Brainerd Dispatch, 05 October 1900, p. 1, c. 1)

NO FRANCHISE EXTENSION DESIRED.
_____

Meeting of Citizens to Protest Against
Extension of Franchise to the
Minnesota Water Co.
_____


A meeting of representative business men was held at S. & J. W. Koop’s store on Friday evening last to protest against any extension of franchise to the Minnesota Water Co., or the purchase of their plant by the city, as proposed by Mr. Tighe. Dr. Hemstead called the meeting to order, and Con O’Brien was elected chairman, and John Hurley secretary. Remarks were made by Messrs. W. Hemstead, John Willis, E. M. Westfall, Judge Holland and others.
On motion, a petition to the council expressing the sentiment of the meeting was drawn up and signed by those present, and the following committee was appointed to circulate the petition and secure additional signers: John Hurley, A. L. Hoffman and C. E. Cole. The petition was circulated the next day, and signed by over 200 citizens, including the best people in the city.
The following committee was appointed to consider the matter of the city putting in a new plant of its own, to report at another meeting to be called by the chair, viz: Jas. Cullen, S. F. Alderman, C. N. Parker, Felix Graham and Dr. Hemstead. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 October 1900, p. 1, c. 3)

WOULD USE ELECTRIC POWER.
_____

The Minnesota Water Company Con-
templates Substituting Elec-
tricity for Steam.
_____

An Independent Power Company to be
Formed, and a $25,000 Plant
Installed. If Change
is Made.
_____


The DISPATCH is in receipt of the following letter from Mr. Ambrose Tighe, of St. Paul, president of the Minnesota Water Company:
ST. PAUL, Minn., Dec. 24th, 1900.
EDITOR DISPATCH.
Dear Sir:—The quest of fuel has become a very serious one with the Water Company. We used to buy it as cheap as $1.75 a cord. During the past two or three years, we have had to pay for some $2.50 a cord. The quantity burned too is constantly increasing owing to the greater demands on the works, and when the additions to the shops are completed, if the Northern Pacific continues to take water from the company, the consumption of water and fuel will be still greater than now, without any material addition to the company’s income.
In order to meet this problem, I have had it in mind to substitute electricity for the power we are now using. At first I thought I should buy the electricity from the Northern Pacific shops, but investigation showed there would not be much economy in this. Lately I have been considering the feasibility of bringing power from the dam. Something of this kind is doing at Crookston, I understand, in a way which is both profitable to the owners of the enterprise and of advantage to the city.
I have not taken up the subject with the dam owners as yet, but in addition to what they would charge for the water power, it would require an investment of probably $25,000 for machinery and wiring to convert and transmit the electric current from the dam to the city, besides the services of two men. The Water company could not stand this expense, but if part of the power transmitted could be sold in the city for manufacturing and other purposes, I could raise the necessary money, form an independent company for the purpose, and sell the power generated in part to the Water Company and in part to the other concerns. The enterprise ought to pay a large return on the capital invested, and would be a good thing for the city, inasmuch as it would render available cheap power for local plants already in existence, or which might be hereafter established.
The starting point would be to find out whether there are any concerns now going which would use the power, were it offered for sale. I enclose a clipping from your paper which says that Mr. Mahlum is about to install a 20-horse power engine. If there were electric power available, it would do the work he proposes, and would cost not more than half what steam power costs, anywhere except, perhaps, in a lumber yard where the waste makes the fuel. If I could find out how many horse power were used by the various Brainerd concerns at present, and how many of them would use electric power instead, if they could get it cheap enough, I should know whether there would be any use in trying to proceed with the plan. I should not need definite assurances, sufficient to show a big profit. I think after we got going, the presence of the plant would create new customers. But I should want some to begin with.
Do you think it would be possible to find out how many horse power are at present in use in Brainerd, apart from what the railway uses, and in your judgement, would it be feasible to carry through my schemes so as to derive a return from it as far as the number of possible customers is concerned? I myself have very little personal knowledge of the business done at Brainerd, except in the railway shops and the stores, none of which would be customers of a power plant. Is there considerable power used in such things as laundries, tailor establishments, foundries or factories of one sort or another. Drop me a line as to what you think in a general way at your convenience. And in any event, I shall see you when I am next in Brainerd.
Truly yours,
AMBROSE TIGHE.
As will be seen by a perusal of the letter, Mr. Tighe is desirous of substituting electric for steam power in operating the company’s pumps, but thinks it would not pay the company to put in an expensive electrical plant for use of the Water company alone, and he desires to know how much power could be sold to private concerns about the city. The city council recently talked of establishing a day circuit to furnish power, but deferred such action because no sufficient patronage to make it pay could be secured from the start. There is at least from two to three hundred horse power used about the city, which could be eventually supplied if proper rates were made, but all this power is now supplied by small steam engines, gasoline engines and otherwise, and the owners are not willing to throw these machines away at once, but would no doubt secure the more convenient power just as soon as their present machines could be disposed of. The DISPATCH tried to get electric power for some time, but finally had to resort to a gasoline engine, but like all others would prefer electrical power as soon as the change could advantageously be made.
It is to be hoped that when Mr. Tighe looks the ground over he can see his way clear to organize a company and establish the plant as proposed above, as it will be a great improvement to the city to utilize the power now going to waste at the dam. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 December 1900, p. 1, c.’s 3 & 4)

Notice to Water Consumers.


On and after this date, whenever it is necessary to shut off the water to stop leaks, make repairs, or for any other purpose, the pump house whistle will blow four times a half hour before, and again four times 15 minutes before the water is shut off, to warn all consumers of the fact, instead of serving personal notice, as at present.
MINNESOTA WATER CO.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 18 January 1901, p. 1, c. 3)

Mr. William Cameron, of Newark, New Jersey, who had charge of the original construction of the Water Company’s filters, is at the Arlington. When Mr. Cameron was here before he was in the employ of the New York Filter Manufacturing Co. Since then he has been in South America installing a system of filters for the government at Bogota, Columbia. The purpose of Mr. Cameron’s visit to Brainerd is to remodel the Water Company’s filtration plant. The machinery will be completely overhauled, and a new set of coagulating tanks, of an improved pattern, will be added. The Water Company is making heavy expenditures in the improvements, and hopes through them to materially increase the efficiency of the filters. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 March 1901, p. 8, c. 2)

Lawn Sprinkling.


In order to remove all grounds for dissatisfaction, the Minnesota Water Works Company will furnish water for lawn sprinkling at the rate of $2.50 for the season for a twenty-five foot lot, and $5.00 for the season for a fifty foot lot. One-half of the rate may be paid with the current quarter’s rent, and the balance before July 10, 1901. To such parties as pay in full for the entire season before May 10, 1901, a discount of 10 per cent will be allowed. These rates will cover sprinkling between the hours of six and nine in the morning, and six and nine in the evening. The Water Works Company does not care to issue permits for lawn sprinkling at hours other than these, and will do so only at highest rates, and in exceptional cases.
These prices are lower than those charged elsewhere, and but one-half of the rates heretofore charged at Brainerd. The company hopes that patrons will observe the rules as to hours, as much for their own interest as for the company’s. The filters have recently been remodeled at a heavy expense, and are expected to give satisfactory service. But they will not do so if strained beyond their capacity by the wasteful consumption of water.
MINNESOTA WATER WORKS CO.
April 20, 1901
(Brainerd Dispatch, 03 May 1901, p. 2, c. 2)

The water in the Mississippi is higher at present than for years and at the pump house they are having some little trouble. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 July 1901, p. 8, c. 6)

COURSE IS UNFAIR AND PROVOKING
_____

President Tighe Says Trouble Be-
tween City and Company
Can Be Adjusted.
_____

SIGNERS OF PETITIONS ERRATIC.
_____

He Says That Experience of This
Kind Makes the Company
Skeptical.


President Tighe, of the Minnesota Water Company, Tuesday returned to his home in St. Paul after a two day’s visit in the city on business in connection with the water works system of this city owned by the above company.
Sometime ago there were two petitions from northeast Brainerd for the extension of the water mains and somehow or another the matter has never been acted on, although the prayers of the petitioners were granted by the city council.
A representative of the DISPATCH, wishing to ascertain the position President Tighe took in the matter, interviewed him on the subject this morning. Mr. Tighe said:
“As far as the extension of the water company’s mains are concerned there will be no difficulty between the city and the company. The company recognizes that all streets where there are houses enough to reasonably ask for water should have it. Already this summer the company has laid over seventeen hundred feet of new mains.
“The trouble with this matter when there is any, arises from two sources. One is that people sometimes sign petitions for extensions simply to oblige their neighbors and then refuse to take water when the mains are laid. Just now the company has completed a main on Second Avenue in northeast Brainerd. It is seven hundred and thirty-three feet long and eight signers were needed. Seven signed and the company went ahead without the other one. Now after the pipe is in only five of the seven will take the water. The other two have gone back on their agreement at least for the present. This of course is unfair and provoking. The company has no practical remedy but such experiences make it very skeptical about the sincerity of petitions.
“The other trouble is with the expense of extensions. The company cannot spend more than it earns and cannot borrow money in the present condition of its franchise. It has to pay for all its improvements out of its income and its surplus income is not big enough to permit large outlays in this direction. The seventeen hundred feet laid this year I myself have advanced the money for. If the city would extend the company’s franchise a few years on condition that it give the city a model plant, I think the city would get all it would be proud of and that there would be no cause for complaint of any sort.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 August 1901, p. 7, c. 4)

J. R. SMITH ACCEPTS THE MANAGEMENT
_____

He Will Succeed C. A. Walker
as Manager for Water
Works Co.
_____

CHANGE OCCURS OCTOBER 1.
_____

President Tighe Speaks in Flatter-
ing Terms of Both Old and
New Management.


James R. Smith, businessman, ca. Unknown.
Source: Special Publication, 02 September 1910, p. 17, A. J. Halsted, Editor and Publisher, Brainerd Tribune
James R. Smith has been selected by the Minnesota Water Works Co., as manager in this city, to succeed Manager Chas. A. Walker, who handed in his resignation some time ago. The resignation will not take effect until Oct. 1, but on that date Mr. Smith will have charge of the affairs of the company in this city.
Mr. Smith is very well known in the city and has the confidence of all. He will have his office in the Sleeper block the same as at present. Most of the records of the office have been removed to his office and he will assume charge completely on Oct. 1.
President Ambrose Tighe, of the Water Works Company, has been in the city for the past two or three days making final arrangements for the transfer. He stated that he had been very fortunate in securing good men to take the management of the office in this city. He also stated that he had been very well pleased with the management which now retires. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 October 1901, p. 1, c. 3)


WATER RATES ARE REVISED.
_____

An Expert Secures Information
And Provisions of Charter
Are Followed.
_____

KICKS FROM THE CONSUMERS.
_____

The New Rates Were Put in
Force the First of
the Month.


There has been all kinds of trouble in the office of Manager Smith, of the Minnesota Water Works Co., since he took hold, and the series of questions that he has been compelled to answer since the first of the month would fill a big book. He has had to do considerable explaining in view of the fact that a radical change has been made, beginning with October 1, the last quarter of the year, and when water rents fell due in the rates charged for rental, and he has had to shoulder it all like a little man, many thinking that he is responsible for the tilt in the rentals in some cases, he having started in simultaneously to perform the duties of the office with the change in the water rates in the city.
As near as can be learned, with all due credit to the water company, they are doing nothing more than is given them a privilege to do under charter provisions. When the rates were fixed the city in the first place, it was on the representation of the renters themselves, and Manager Smith stated that in almost two-thirds of the cases, the information obtained as to the number of rooms in a house, baths, closets, cattle and horses, has been incorrect. It seems that President Tighe realized the condition of things, and last summer he engaged an expert to come to the city to check the houses over.
As has been stated nearly two-thirds of the renters were not paying enough water rent under the provisions of the city charter. Some who had houses with seven or eight rooms in the first place, reported three or four, and in many cases where baths are used they were not reported at all.
Manager Smith is in no way to blame for the conditions. A copy of the checkup made by the expert in the employ of the company has been sent him and new books have been opened and from now on citizens will have to pay for water under the charter provision, and there seems no recourse.
The charter provides that for a house with four rooms or less the water rent is to be $7 per annum; five rooms $8 per annum; six rooms $9 per annum and seven rooms $10 per annum. Baths will be charged for at the rate of $5 and closets at $5. Horses or cows add another item to the expense. Manager Smith called attention to the fact that for baths the city charter provides $7 per annum but President Tighe thought that $5 would be sufficient.
On the other hand there are all kinds of kicks in the city. It has been claimed that the water rent in proportion to the service that is rendered is certainly exorbitant, and of course there are those who are up in arms but it is thought that the matter will settle down after the first quarter. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 October 1901, p. 3, c. 2)

PRESIDENT TIGHE IS HEARD FROM.
_____

Writes Consumers of this City
At Length on Matter of
Water Rent.
_____

EXPLAINS COMPANY’S POSITION
_____

If Council Would Extend Fran-
chise, Company Would Make
Improvements.


The following letter has been written by President Ambrose Tighe, of the Minnesota Water Works Co., to a consumer in this city in answer to a complaint made by the consumer, which may be of interest to taxpayers of the city:
“As I understood your recent letter, the receipt of which I have already acknowledged, you occupy a six-room house, have a horse and a cow, and sprinkle during the summer a fifty-foot lawn. You have heretofore paid $2 a quarter for the house, and nothing for the horse, cow or sprinkling. Under the new schedule you are charged $2.25 every three months for the house, fifty cents every three months for the horse, the same amount for the cow, and $5 for the season’s sprinkling. You do not question the justice of any of the charges except that for sprinkling. This last you regard as unfair.
“My knowledge of the situation compels me to disagree with you. Five dollars per season for sprinkling is a very moderate charge, and one which everyone should pay, if he uses water for this purpose. In a few days, a consumer will pour more water on his lawn, especially in a sandy place like Brainerd, than he would need for his house in three months. Besides this, no one has to sprinkle his lawn, while every one has to use water for his house from some source or other. If, as you say, you cannot afford to pay $5 a season, you have it in your power to avoid the charge by not sprinkling. But, if the charge for your house is too high, you nevertheless have to pay, because you need to have water there.
“The Water Works Company would much prefer that no one should use water for this purpose, even at the rate of $5 per fifty-foot lot. This service is the cause of endless annoyance, expense and dispute. Some very good people, who would not be guilty of anything dishonest if they realized it was dishonest, will take water for this purpose, if they think they are not being seen, and will deny that they have used it if asked. When this happens, a water company has the unpleasant choice of quarreling with a consumer over his truthfulness or of losing its money. So general is this trouble that in some cities a sprinkling charge is exacted of every one who has a thread for attaching a hose on his premises, whether he is known to sprinkle or not. The only way he can escape the charge, is by removing the thread from his plumbing.
“Statistics are dull things, but let me call your attention to the comparative consumption of water during three months at Red Wing, Minnesota, and at Brainerd. These two cities were of the same size by the last census.
“Here are the figures taken for Red Wing from the last published report, and for Brainerd from the water company’s records:
Red Wing.
Month. Number of gallons pumped.
June—12,207,105
July—14,648,526
August—10,511,673
Brainerd.
Month. Number of gallons pumped.
June—18,368,265
July—19,185,480
August—20,799,180
“Thus, in the month of June, Brainerd consumes a third more water than Red Wing, a city of the same size; in July, a third more and in August, nearly twice as much. Again, statistics compiled from a good many American and European cities show that in a place the size of Brainerd, an average daily consumption of forty gallons of water for each man, woman and child is as much as is needed under any circumstances. But according to the figures, given above, if Brainerd has 8,000 people, its average daily consumption of water in August was over eighty gallons for every man, woman and child; or more than twice the amount experienced elsewhere has proved to be necessary.
“There are a number of reasons for all this but the principal one, as far as consumption is concerned, is this: at Red Wing, the use of water for sprinkling is rigidly regulated. At Brainerd, when summer comes, people generally turn on their hoses and let them go. Some even do not bother to turn them off, when they are through, but throw them on the ground running at full split. It costs $14 in fuel alone for every million gallons of water pumped at Brainerd. Thus you can see what a loss free sprinkling involves to the company. But even were it paid for it would be a bad thing. No water system in the world can stand such a strain as is put on this one. In the summer of 1900, the filters broke down under it, and were out of service for three weeks, when the river was at its worst. In the summer of 1901, after spending over $500 to repair them, the company was confronted again with the same situation, and to save itself, they were cut off and the water was pumped direct. The water was muddy and people complained, and such of them as were not responsible for the situation, complained justly too. But what can the company do? It can do just one thing. It can prevent reckless sprinkling, by making people who sprinkle pay for the service. If they have to pay for the water they use in this way, they will stop using it. That is what the company wants. If it can check waste in this direction, there is some hope for its giving better water for domestic consumption. I think you should pay the $5. Next summer you probably won’t have to pay it, because rather than pay, you probably won’t sprinkle.
“As to the rest of the charges made against you, my opinion is this: I think $2 per annum for a horse and for a cow is a moderate charge. This is the rate charged in St. Paul where the number of consumers is twenty times as large as it is at Brainerd, and where there is a general tax of ten cents a front foot, on all the property on a street, whether improved or unimproved, for the support of the water department. You have not heretofore paid anything for your horse or cow, and to that extent you are much ahead. But people who do keep horses are presumptively better able to pay than people who do not keep them, and it surely would not be fair to make the rate the same for them as for those who water horses and those who do not. But as far as your house rate is concerned, although you do not say so, I think $9 a year for a six room house is too much and that it should be reduced. I do not say this because this rate is higher than that charged elsewhere. In point of fact it is much lower than that charged in most places the size of Brainerd. But a six room house is probably a very modest one, and living in it, you probably have a very modest income. You ought to have all the water you need for domestic consumption and at a price which will not be burdensome for you to pay. If you earn only fifty dollars a month your aggregate rate seems to me too high.
“If this is true, it naturally suggests the question, why was the schedule put in force by which your rate was raised a dollar a year? Houses at Brainerd had not been rated for the water company’s purposes since 1893. When street numbers were introduced in the city, it seemed a good time to do that again, and I had careful men make a house to house canvass.
“The general result was astonishing. A good many consumers were not on the books at all. A good many were marked as shut off, but investigation showed they were getting water just the same, and not paying for it. Some omissions and errors of this sort were, of course, inevitable. But the most surprising thing to me was the inequalities disclosed. One hotel was rated at $7 a year. Another hotel of the same number of rooms was paying $100. On the same street, one man was paying $24 a year, and another man, who had the same house service and kept a team of horses besides, was paying $9. One man keeping nine or ten teams was charged nothing for them, and another man was paying full rates. No one was charged more than the franchise rate. But a good many were charged less and not always the same amount less. There was no end to these incongruities. There seemed to be no system or reason in the situation, as far as I could make out. It was all haphazard and without explanation.
“On the basis of the information thus secured, the company re-rated at once every house. It did not take the franchise rates for the purpose, but lower figures. The franchise rates, for example, are $7 a year for a four-room house and $1 per year additional for each additional room. In the new rating, if this method of rating were used it would make the annual for a house more than $10, the additional amount was thrown off. The franchise rate for a bath is $7 per annum.
“The figure adopted was $5. The franchise rate for a horse is $3. The figure adopted was $2. It was not the intention to increase anybody’s rate where he was already paying as much as other people getting similar service. But the intention was to make every one pay the same charge for the same service. I expected people who have been getting water for nothing, or who have been getting it for less than their neighbors, to object. But I did not expect to increase the charges of people who were already paying all that they ought and could afford to, and especially people like yourself, who have but limited means. It is not possible as yet to tell what the effect of the new schedule is to be on the company’s income. The rates of a number of people are higher than they were before. Some of them will cease taking water on that account there will be a falling off in revenue in consequence. The rates of a great many also have been reduced. When the total increases and the total losses have been set off against each other, the net result will be disclosed. This quarter’s collections will tell the story. If it appears that the new schedule has naturally increased the company’s income, a reduction will be made, beginning with the January, 1902 quarter, especially of the rates charged for small houses like yours. But such reduction, if made, will be a horizontal one. That is, every one will share in it alike, and we shall not return to the system, where one man is charged one price and another another for the same service.
“If the council would extend the company’s franchise, it could and would make a material permanent reduction in rates. The company needs money for two purposes: 1st, to pay the operating expenses; and, 2nd to make extensions and permanent improvements. Ordinarily such companies meet the second class of expenditures by selling bonds, secured by mortgage on the plant. All that the company’s income has to provide for this, is the interest on the bonds. But the franchise of the Minnesota Water Works Company will expire in six years, and it is impossible for it, for this reason, to sell any bonds in the general market. It, therefore, has to pay for both its operating charges and its improvements out of its current income. For the first, its current income would be sufficient, now that the city has begun to grow, even were its rates considerably lower than they are at present. But for the two purposes, its income is entirely inadequate, even at the rates it is now charging. During the past two years, in order to meet the demands for extensions, I myself personally have advanced over $2,500, taking the company’s bonds in payment, because no one else would. But this cannot go on forever. There are extensive sections of the city without fire protection or adequate supply of water for domestic consumption, either because there are no mains, or because the mains there are too small. The company’s filter capacity ought to be doubled in order to make the water fit to use in the summer, and it needs a new two million-gallon pump. It cannot get these things under the present conditions. Its earnings are not large enough to pay for them. But if the council would extend its franchise on condition that it does make the needed improvements, I think it can not only do so, but also make a material reduction in rates. As it is, its hands are tied. It does not ask much. It asks nothing unconditionally, and should it fail along its line of its ambition, no one will suffer in consequence. Should it succeed, Brainerd will have the best water plant in the state for a city of its size, and the people get good water at moderate charges. I have never succeeded in even getting a hearing on this proposition. I hope that you and other people of influence in the community will co-operate to get me at least this privilege. The company wants to do what is right, but it cannot, unless it is helped. It has done the best it could under very discouraging circumstances.”
AMBROSE TIGHE.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 25 October 1901, p. 4, c.’s 3-6)

WARM DISCUSSION ANENT CITY WATER.
_____

Dr. Thabes Makes Report to
Council and Pres. Tighe
Responded.
_____

WATER RENTALS TALKED OF.
_____

Alderman Fogelstrom Raises the Point that Saloons Should
Pay $1000 License.


The first regular meeting of the city council was held Monday night in council chambers. In the absence of President Crust, Alderman Doran was placed in the chair. The following aldermen were present: Halladay, Gardner, Erickson, Rowley, Fogelstrom and Wright.

[...]


Dr. Thabes made a report on the matter of the filter system of the water works in the city, the substance of which was that they were entirely inadequate; that the drainage from the mills and part of the time at the shops flowed into the water, and also the drainage from the cemetery, and that the water was a menace to public health. Alderman Fogelstrom moved that the report be accepted and filed. Alderman Wright moved an amendment that the matter be referred to the Minnesota Water Works Co.
President Tighe of the Water Works Company was present and said he was ready to report on that matter; that this report was very important, and in fact alarming and he did not think there was a more important question before the council.
Mr. Tighe stated that if the water works was a menace to the city it ought to be shut down. He stated that he did not know Dr. Thabes but he had had some talk with Dr. Camp when he thought the diphtheria epidemic was becoming general. He stated that he made a most careful examination in his effort to find some relations between the water and diphtheria, but he had found absolutely no connection.
As regards the inadequacy of the filters Mr. Tighe stated that he took issue with Dr. Thabes over some questions raised. Filters, he said, were not to purify water but to cleanse it. His experience had taught him that no finer water could be found than from the Mississippi river, and even though the best filters were put in the water would be no purer; but would be cleansed so that material in suspense, or solution in some cases may be eradicated.
President Tighe was willing to leave the matter to an analysis by Dr. Bracken of the state board of health. He has been satisfied by reports from Dr. Bracken that water from the Mississippi was as pure as any that could be secured. The objection to the water, said he, is not its purity but its color.
Mr. Tighe also brought up the matter of water rentals over which there had been considerable discussion of late. He stated that it was not the desire of the company to raise the water rental in the city, but that the readjustment was for the benefit of the consumer as well as the company. He stated that so far it would be impossible for him to state positively what effect the readjustment would have on the revenue of the company.
He stated that the company intended to adopt a horizontal scale with a reduction of 10 per cent on all rentals paid the first month of the quarter.
President Tighe took up considerable time and seemed to desire to touch on everything. ...He also took exception to the manner in which petitions for mains were being acted upon by the council. He raised the point of insincerity in these petitions, claiming that many people who sign petitions for water mains never intend to use water. He called attention to several incidents where there were the right number of signers but when the main was laid but two or three people took water.
The whole matter was left unsettled....
On motion the report of Dr. Thabes was ordered referred to the state board of health. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 November 1901, p. 2, c.’s 1 & 2)

BUSINESS MEN WILD
FOR A MASS MEETING
_____

Never Before Have the Heaviest
Taxpayers and Others Been
So Much Interested
_____

IN THE WATER WORKS SYSTEM.

Feared that Result of Fire of Sun-
day will Cause Insurance
Rates to be Tilted.


Never before in the city of Brainerd have the business men and the heaviest taxpayers been so worked up over a matter as they are that of the water works question and the future policy to be pursued in its government and control. The fire of Sunday, a repetition of former such catastrophes, has awakened property holders of the city to a realizing sense that immediate action must be taken in order to meet the requirements of the city from a standpoint of fire protection and also to prevent if possible a further raise in the now excessive rates in the city.
To this end the strongest taxpayers of the city are about to get together to take up this matter and discuss it in a calm, deliberate manner, considering the welfare of the city as a whole and setting aside what personal feeling or interest any one individual may have in the subject.
The fire of Sunday has prompted some of the business men to call a meeting and it will be held immediately after the firemen’s tournament is over.
In a conversation with some of the leading business men of the city it has been ascertained to a degree that city ownership is most favorably considered as being the correct solution of the now very perilous system in this city.
The history of the establishment of the plant by C. F Kindred, and the events of its control down to the present day, reads like a book. The plant was built at a time when Brainerd was not more than one-third of its present size, when the machinery required to maintain a proper service was very small, when no great stress was laid any way on a water works system, for Brainerd was then but a mere town. But to think that after all these years, when Brainerd by rapid progress has reached the 11,000 mark in its population, that the equipment at the pumping station has not been increased in size or capacity to any great extent and that the same service rendered some fifteen years ago is in reality dished up to the people of the city today, it is no wonder the plant is considered entirely inadequate and out of all proportion to the just demands of a people who have interests here to protect, to say nothing of the inconvenience of the service in other ways.
As has been reiterated in the DISPATCH time and time again the franchise held by Ambrose Tighe and his Minnesota Water Works Company expires in January, 1907, and the question now is what is to be done. The sentiment as expressed by almost every business man in this city is that to extend the franchise of this company, a company that has in the past given the poorest kind of service and which gives no assurance that service will be better in the future would be public suicide and would utterly demoralize the best interests of the city.
President Tighe of the Minnesota Water Works Company is naturally the man to whom the city is looking to now. He has been a potent factor in the matter of regulating the water works system for many years and there is not a business man or one who has held office that is not acquainted with his manner of doing business. In dealing with Mr. Tighe the city council has a great question to decide and they should decide according to the sentiments of the heaviest taxpayers, at once. They are dealing, they must understand, with one of the shrewdest men in the business and every time Mr. Tighe appears before the council he seems to have a sort of hypnotizing influence and for the past years he has had things about his own way.
It is believed by the taxpayers and others, however, that in this case the council will not give in an inch to the water works management, they are all men of a different stamina.
There should be no reason in the world why the city should extend the franchise of the Minnesota Water Works Company or the contract which Mr. Tighe has asked for. He has been asked to make a price for his system and he did not respond. He simply went on to make a statement of the exigencies of the occasion, laying special stress on the demand of the N. P. for an independent water main, and on this score, before he would go ahead and make the improvements said to have been asked, wanted the council to pass a resolution extending his contract for twenty years. This the council did not do; and rightly so, they would not take any action on the proposition of Mr. Tighe.
Nobody wants to do President Tighe or the Minnesota Water Works Company any dirt, but the time has arrived when Brainerd should have a water works system commensurate with her demands. President Tighe in his suave manner will put the best light on everything but he should be dealt with according the measure of good which the city has derived from his system, and this is very, very small.
The approaching meeting should be well attended by all. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 09 June 1903, p. 2, c.’s 3 & 4)

NOTE: This meeting was being called on account of a major fire occurring on 08 June 1903 in Block 49, in the city of Brainerd, in which about $30,000 of business and residential property was lost because the fire department could get very little water pressure in its hoses when the fire was small and could have been extinguished.

Fire animation The fire described above broke out at the Armstrong Hotel, once known as the French Hotel.

SEE: 1903 Armstrong / French Hotel Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

WALLING IN THE BOILERS
_____

The Water Works Co. Taking Every Pre-
caution Against Stoppage of Pumps
if Water Raises.


When a DISPATCH representative visited the pump house this morning to make a personal examination of conditions there, he found the water just creeping in on the pump room floor. There is about 18 inches of water in the boiler room, but Supt. Wright has had a concrete wall erected around the front of the boilers and secured a big diaphragm pump to keep out the water, and the boys say they can run as long as the engineer can dive down to the pump throttles. All joking aside it will require over four feet further rise to put the pumps out of commission.
The water company has a large amount of wood afloat and though it is secured by boom sticks it will cost a pretty penny to have it gathered up and will keep one man busy most of the summer. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 July 1905, p. 3, c. 2)

PRES. AMBROSE TIGHE TO BUILD POWER PLANT
_____

Proposes to Put in Dam on Crow
Wing River a Few Miles from
City for that Purpose
_____

IF FRANCHISE IS EXTENDED
_____

Meeting of President Tighe with
Water Works Committee Held
Last Evening


There was another round in the water works proposition last night, another step toward the settlement of one of the most vital questions that has confronted the people of Brainerd in many years, and yet very little progress was made, except perhaps that matters contingent to the big proposition were laid bare before the committees of the city council and the Commercial Club by President Ambrose Tighe, of the Minnesota Water Works Company, and questions were approached which must be settled ere long.
President Tighe arrived in the city yesterday and an appointment was made with the committees above named. There were present at the meeting last night Messrs. G. D. LaBar, J. M. Elder, Werner Hemstead, M. E. Ryan and W. D. McKay representing the Commercial Club and Messrs. George Halladay, Peter Peterson and F. A. Farrar representing the city council.
Some time ago President Tighe submitted a water works franchise ordinance, and briefly this was discussed last night at the meeting. There were suggestions on the part of the members of the committee that propositions therein were not acceptable to the city, but these discussions were only of a general nature and nothing was done with the franchise ordinance except as to this discussion in a general way.
In addition to this water works franchise submitted by President Tighe he had another proposition to make last night which is of great importance, but which is entirely contingent upon the question as to whether or not the water works franchise to Mr. Tighe will be extended for another term of years. This is the question of constructing a big water power plant on Crow Wing river below the mouth of Gull river to cost in the neighborhood of a quarter of a million dollars.
It has been known for some time that President Tighe had such a scheme on, in fact men have been working for some time sounding the bottom of the river at this point and other steps have been taken to secure the riparian rights. Sixty acres of land was purchased some time ago at this point for the purpose.
The proposition made by Mr. Tighe was to furnish not only power for an immense water works plant, but to furnish power for electric lighting purposes and for all other purposes if necessary. It is proposed to put in a dam at this place that would furnish approximately 1,000 horsepower. This location is about six miles from Brainerd.
There was very little doing at the meeting last night, notwithstanding President Tighe was present and no action was taken at all regarding the proposition made to the water works franchise matter.
To a representative of the DISPATCH Mr. Tighe said this morning: “I had thought that the committees had thoroughly digested this matter so that when a meeting was called that we could enter into the matter and discuss the facts and every expedient phase of the question. There was a general discussion, but it is not general proposition that we wish to discuss now.”
Mr. Tighe referred to the reports of Engineer Kapplen, of Minneapolis, but he thinks that they are entirely out of place, in fact are prohibitive from the very nature of the law. The one proposition that the city bring water from Gilbert or Long Lake would cost the city, according to Mr. Kapplen’s figures about $180,000, which is largely in excess of what the city could bond for. This, according to Mr. Tighe, would not be enough to build the plant anyway. He figured that the proposed plant would cost $225,000. The same would be true of the filtering plant, which was another proposition figured out by Mr. Kapplen.
In a nutshell President Tighe made a proposition to build a water plant that would furnish power for all city purposes, power that would reduce, according to his figure, even the rental for water, that would give power adequate for an electric light plant, and would give power to manufacturing industries that might invade the city. The fact is that the committees were not ready to consider the question and the meeting adjourned after a lot of discussion. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 01 February 1906, p. 3, c.’s 1 & 2)

MEETING OF ALL CITIZENS
_____

Interested in the Municipal Ownership
Of Water Plant Held Friday
Evening


A meeting of all citizens who favor the municipal ownership of the city water works plant will be held on Friday evening, Feb. 16th, at Trades and Labor hall. The meeting will be held under the auspices of the recently organized Municipal Ownership League, and the object of the meeting is to enroll the name and enlist the service of every resident of the city who believes the city should own and control its own water plant. A constitution has been formed for the government of the league. Only Monday it was released and declared its object and principles, and it is desired to have all those believing, aid the movement by their presence and add their signature to the declaration of principles. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 15 February 1906, p. 2, c. 2)

INTERESTING REPORT ON WATER WORKS PROPOSITION
_____

By the Commercial Club Committee
are Given Below, Both Ma-
jority and Minority


Below we publish both the majority and minority reports of the committee appointed by the Commercial club to investigate the water works question with a view to determine the best thing for the city to do.

To the President and Members of the Commercial Club:
Gentlemen:

After several meetings held by your committee on water works they found it impossible to acquire any data without scientific investigation. A joint meeting was arranged with the committee from the council who decided to employ F. W. Cappelen consulting engineer to aid our city engineer in looking up the whole field and make report to the joint committee. The following is the report:

SOURCE OF SUPPLY


There are two sources of supply that can be considered.
First—The Mississippi river, the present supply of the Water company.
Second—The so-called Long Lake and Lake Gilbert supply.
These two lakes are located west of the Mississippi and northwest of the city of Brainerd. Long Lake has a water surface of about 9 square miles, Lake Gilbert not over 7/8 of a square mile. The total drainage area is about 24 square miles and will furnish water for a population of 50,000 people. Long Lake water surface one foot in depth would yield 5 1/10 million gallons per day. Lake Gilbert not quite 1/2 million gallons per day.
The following are the analysis’ of samples of the water of the two lakes taken Oct. 24th, 1905:

[...]


These waters are both very good.
The Long Lake water is the better, but also the hardest which would indicate that this lake also is fed by springs. Neither water has permanent hardness, that is to say, hard scales will not form in boilers from this water.
There is at present no contamination of the watershed and the probabilities are that there will be little danger in the future and that, if any, it can be prevented by the state board of health.
Long Lake is about 25 feet higher than Lake Gilbert which is again 17 feet higher than the Mississippi below the dam.
We propose to connect Lake Gilbert with Long Lake through a 20-inch wooden stave pipe, and locate the pumping station at Lake Gilbert and pump across the river through a 16-inch force main to Fir street, the end of the present 12-inch force main from the present pumping station.
From this point the water could be distributed through an entire new cast iron pipe system with 6-inch pipe as minimum size, or the present system could be used; but certain betterments should then be immediately made. The business center should be reached with a 12-inch cast iron main and the present pipes on Front and Laurel streets should be re-laid with 8-inch cast iron pipes and be cross-connected with 6-inch cast iron mains in place of the present 4-inch and 6-inch Kalamein pipes. Six-inch fire hydrants should be placed here instead of the present 4-inch, and a liberal provision of gates should be provided for.
The estimated cost of these two propositions is, not considering land values:

[...]


In this case, of course, the city would have to buy the present distribution system from the Water company.
If the pumping station would be located on the East side of the river, it would cost about $10,000 additional to bring the water by gravity from Gilbert Lake to the station. This would have the advantage of being able to pass by and use the river in case of accident to the main river pipe.

THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER AS A SUPPLY


The following analysis show the characteristics of the Mississippi water at Brainerd, below the dam:

[...]


The Mississippi below Rice Lake contained last year the bacillus Coli Comunis which shows contamination above. The high chlorine in Feb. 1904 is also suspicious. The color is disagreeably high.
The people of Brainerd would in all probability demand the water be filtered. The water could be brought by gravity from above the dam to a filter plant located between the present pumping station and the dam. The new pumping station would be located at the filter.
The cost of a plant with filters of 3 million gallons would be:

[...]


The additional cost per million gallons for filtering would be by the mechanical process, $6 and by the slow sand filtration about $4.
We, therefore, recommend that the lake supply be adopted and that if satisfactory arrangements can be made with Water company, the city buy the distribution system.
The present pumping plant is obsolete and of no practical value with reference to an installation of new works.
In case electrical current for power can be obtained at a satisfactory price, the pumping could be done by electricity.
The cost of an electrical pumping station fully equipped would be $16,000, as compared with the $31,000 for the steam station in the estimates submitted.
H. M. WOOLMAN,
City Engineer of Brainerd.

F. M. CAPPELEN,
Consulting Engineer of Minneapolis.

The present pipe system consists of: 1350 feet 12-inch, 5000 feet 10-inch, 1550 feet 8-inch, 14110 feet 6-inch, 35141 feet 4-inch, or in all 57150 feet Kalamein pipe, and 7140 feet 6-inch, and 5980 feet 4-inch cast iron pipe, or a total of 70270 feet.
92 4-inch fire hydrants; 8 4-inch gates; 8 6-inch gates; 3 8-inch gates; 2 10-inch gates.
This report does not provide for land values, that is shore rights, right of way and pump house grounds, which would probably raise the total from $181,000 to $200,000.
Since this report was made by these engineers, the Water company has investigated another source of supply at Spring Bay which provides for ground supply, and upon which with additional improvements in the distribution system he anticipates an expediture of $50,000.00 to $60,000.00, if given a franchise.
This water has been analyzed and found to be practically pure and soft.
In order for us to determine some basis for the reduction of present rates, we were obliged to ascertain the exact receipts and expenditures of the present Water company, which are as follows:

[...]


Balance for contingent expenses and profits to stockholders of $3,338.44.
Explanation of apparent extraordinary cost of fuel is the increased consumption of water which compels the operation of two boilers constantly.
Your committee is decidedly in favor of municipal ownership, providing it can be successfully accomplished, but from data at hand fear it cannot be done at this time.
With this end in view, in drafting the proposed franchise, we have inserted a provision whereby the city can purchase the proposed improved plant at a stipulated price at close of five years, viz: January 12, 1913, or at the close of every five-year period thereafter then, price to be determined by arbitration. This provides for an agreed price for the present distribution system as well as the annually audited expenditures of improvements to that date, under the supervision of whoever the council may elect. The present law under which we must act, only permits us to bond for $135,000.00 at 4 percent, and bonds cannot be sold at less than par. This amount is not sufficient to put in a system now desired by the city, even though the bonds could be floated on the market, and again from the best information we can obtain through bond purchasers of St. Paul, Minneapolis, Chicago, Cleveland, New New York and Boston, they cannot be sold at this low rate of interest.
In the proposed franchise we have reduced the total revenue of the plant, $3,565.00 per annum as follows:

[...]


We have not passed upon meter rates, feeling that we are not competent to do so, and would suggest that they be referred to some expert on the same, for recommendation of suitable rates for this city to conform with the proposed flat rates.
This provides for a hydrant rental of $40 based on 100 hydrants, which will give us eight additional hydrants at a fixed charge to the city of $2,150.00 less per annum, thus enabling us to reduce our rate of taxation by the above amount, $2,150.00.
Having given this subject a great deal of study and thought from different standpoints, we feel that it is our duty (notwithstanding our desire for municipal ownership), to recommend that the proposed franchise as modified by your committees be given careful consideration, providing it can be so arranged without question that we can purchase this plant at our own option at a reasonable stated valuation at the close of five years, viz: January 12, 1913, or any subsequent five-year period, for the following reasons:
1st. That our source of water supply will be improved as to quality almost immediately.
2nd. That our distribution system would be improved through larger mains of cast iron pipe, non-freezing steamer hydrants, a modern pumping station, thus giving us the much needed fire protection through which we certainly ought to be able to influence lower insurance rates.
3rd. Owing to the general bond market condition of the country and the law under which we must act our apparent inability to float the bonds.
4th. The opportunity of greatly reducing our tax levy through reduced hydrant rental and also obtaining reduced rates to consumers with an additional 10 percent reduction, if paid when due.
5th. If franchise is not granted and we find ourselves unable to have municipal ownership at once, the present franchise provides for higher rates which can be collected, if the Water company so elect, and we shall be compelled to use the same water and be under the same fire protection as we are now for at least three years, not to mention possible litigation.
6th. This report of your committee is based upon the assumption that the city will employ the best legal talent obtainable to pass upon all legal phases of this proposed franchise, and we particularly request that all safeguards be thrown about the option to purchase at the end of any five years period.
At present our charter does not provide for a board of public works. We therefore suggest that our present charter be so amended as to provide for a board of public works to operate and manage the waterworks, electric light plant, parks and any other public utility as well as public improvements. In our opinion, public utilities can be managed more economically and give better service by a non-partisan board than by the average city council.
Respectfully submitted,
W. D. McKAY,
WERNER HEMSTEAD,
J. M. ELDER,
GEO. D. LaBAR.

MINORITY REPORT.


To the President and Members of the Commercial Club:
Gentlemen:

I am unable to concur in the report of the majority of your committee for the following reasons:
1. Your committee was appointed for the purpose of investigating the proposition of Mr. Tighe, I therefore take exceptions to this committee making a report on the feasibility of municipal ownership, particularly in view of the fact that the committee, aside from its joint meeting with the council committee, gave the municipal ownership phase of it very little or no consideration, contenting themselves with making a few inquiries as to the sale of the bonds, and taking the report of the engineer employed as conclusive. I say to the club what I said to the committee, and that is, if they were interested in a private deal needing finances, and in which they were confident of good results, they would not cease at such efforts as have been put forth for municipal ownership by them in their work on this committee.
2. I object to the number of hydrants contracted for in Mr. Tighe’s proposition. It came to the notice of the committee that the city of Brainerd has for some time past been paying hydrant rental for 4 or 5 hydrants located on the private property of the Northern Pacific railway, and for the exclusive use of that company. I submit that the city is too poor to be furnishing private fire protection to a concern from which we receive not one cent in taxes. Your committee by their majority report recommends the continuance of this. I do not.
3. Your committee’s attention was directed to a clause in the Tighe proposition which calls for the enactment of penal laws for the protections of the property, etc., of the grantee. I have endeavored to show the possible legal effect of this, but rather than compel Mr. Tighe to rely on the general laws of the city for his protection, the majority members are willing to contract to do this for him, and let the city assume the risk of the construction placed upon it by the courts should the franchise ever become the subject of litigation.
4. One clause in the proposition calls for a fire hydrant for every 760 feet of new mains laid. If a suburb should grow up several blocks out from any hydrant already placed, and it became necessary to extend the mains, Mr. Tighe would place a hydrant every 760 feet and collect rental for each one so placed, although they might be as useless as hydrants if placed along the lines of pipe now crossing the ravine which divides the city. I do not believe the city’s condition warrants it contracting for something that it has no immediate use for.
5. The majority report contains an allusion to an option in Tighe’s proposition under which the city may take over the plant in five years. I have called the attention of your committee in connection with this to a very recent decision of the federal court for the district of Indiana, in which that court holds that at the suit of a stockholder an injunction will lie against a city purchasing, or the private company selling under such an option. In the fact of this decision your majority committee wishes to rely on their optional rights at the expiration of five years. I ask how many members of this club would voluntarily enter into a contract involving thousands of dollars, the terms of which you knew could not be enforced? The above decision will no doubt eventually find its way to the federal supreme court, but until it does, and the holding of the lower court reversed, there is but little comfort for municipalities relying on so-called options. It will no doubt be some little time before the federal supreme court gives an opinion on this and in the meantime I believe such options should be left severely alone.
6. I decline to approve the method of establishing rates used by the committee. Mr. Tighe’s present plant is bonded for more than one hundred and thirty thousand dollars, I believe, and he insists on making rates which enable him to pay interest on these bonds. Leaving out the ownership of the bonds, a large part of which I believe is owned by Mr. Tighe and his family, it is not only absurd but dishonest to ask this city to pay interest on bonds representing three times the value of the plant. There could be a great deal more said on the matter and manner of establishing reasonable rates for water consumers, but space forbids it.
7. We have from Mr. Tighe’s own lips that he will never consent to a clause giving control of the water rates to the city council. In view of the general attitude of the public at large for the control of railroad rates, it seems to me entirely wrong to give away valuable rights without reserving the right to control rates on one of the greatest necessities of our lives.
Lastly, I am unalterably opposed to this city giving value to anyone without a just consideration in return. If the city must continue under private ownership of the quasi-public institution, then I believe we should sell it, not give it away. And particularly do I oppose giving it to a concern whose nerve in asking it be is only extended by the rotten mess of its service in the past. To paraphrase a motto that that comes to us from the legends of Ireland, “The devil we don’t know cannot be worse than the devil we do know.”
All of which is respectfully submitted.
M. E. RYAN.
Feb. 13th, 1906.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 15 February 1906, p. 3, c.’s 1-6; p. 2, c. 3)

CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS
_____

Ambrose Tighe and the Council
Municipal Ownership Com-
mittee in Conference
_____

TRYING TO GET TOGETHER
_____

Mr. Tighe Expresses Himself as
Desirous of Selling the
Water Works


Ambrose Tighe, of the Minnesota Water Works Co., has been in the city the past three days in conference with the city officials and other prominent citizens over the water works situation. Mr. Tighe states that he is ready and willing to sell the plant to the city and is taking a friendly attitude in regard to the condemnation of the plant by the city. He states that he prefers to proceed under the state law rather than under the ordinance for the reason that the state law is more explicit than the ordinance in the matter. The former provides that three appraisers be appointed by the district judge while the ordinance provides that the Water company may appoint one, the city one and the two a third, while in the event of the representatives of the city and of the Water company failed to agree on a man the judge of the district court shall appoint the third man.
Mr. Tighe was in consultation with the municipal ownership committee of the city council this forenoon and he and City Attorney Polk spent some time looking up the law in the case. A proposition to condemn the water plant would, it is stated, have to be passed by the city council by two-thirds vote, then a commission or board of arbitration would have to be appointed, and after their report the question of the purchase or taking over of the plant at the appraised price would have to be voted upon by the people at a regular or special election.
All conferences between Mr. Tighe and the city officials and citizens have been entirely informal and as yet it is too early in the negotiations to make even a guess at the outcome. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 21 February 1908, p. 3, c. 4)

TO VOTE ON BOND ISSUE ON APRIL 28TH
_____

City Council Unanimously Voted
at Their Regular Meeting to
Submit Question
_____

THEY ASK FOR THE LIMIT
_____

City Fathers Would Have $159,-
000 Voted for Water Works
and Power Plant


The city council at their regular meeting Monday evening took the first tangible steps toward settling the question of waterworks and of power for the electric light plant when they unanimously voted to submit to the electors of the city the question of authorizing the city council to issue bonds in the amount of $159,000 for the purchasing or acquiring of the present waterworks system or of building one and for securing power to run that and the electric light plant.
When President Johnson called the city council to order Alderman Zakariasen, Bouck, and Toohey reported that they had checked up the accounts of the city treasurer and the city clerk and had found the following amounts on hand March first:
Current expense fund—$235.56
Electric light fund—$4247.74
Miscellaneous—$2623.49
Total—$7106.79

[...]


City Attorney Polk appeared at this juncture with a copy of a resolution which had been ordered drawn in executive session last meeting, submitting the question of bonding for waterworks to the people.
It was found that there were but seven members present and City Attorney Polk read the law requiring three-fourths or more members of the council to vote in favor of a proposition to submit the question of voting bonds to the people.
Chief McGivern was sent for and given instructions by the mayor to look up one or more of the absent aldermen.
In response to a question City Attorney Polk stated that in his opinion the city could legally issue bonds and decide whether to buy or condemn afterwards, but he thought that they should first decide what they wanted to do and bond afterwards.
Alderman Zakariasen thought that the laws of 1907 changed things in this regard and City Attorney Polk went for the law to look the matter up.
President Johnson wanted to know when the city officials were going to execute the contract with the Northland Power company for the use of power from the dam. Mayor Wise said that the contract had been drawn and would be signed at once. The contract must be executed at once, said Mr. Wise, and the council should authorize the clerk to draw an order for $300 for the first month’s rental. It was moved by Alderman Bouck that the contract be approved and that the clerk be authorized to issue an order for the first month’s rent. On suggestion of Mayor Wise the motion was changed so as to include $300 due on the old contract.
Alderman Farrar came in.

[...]


The city council then went into what someone termed “objective” session, breaking up into groups to discuss the waterworks question.
Alderman Baker came in.
The council being again called to order the clerk was instructed to read the resolution on submitting the issuing of bonds to the voters.
Alderman Farrar believed that the authority should be asked for the issuing of the full amount of bonds allowed by law, which he estimates at $159,940. While there seemed some doubt as to whether it was wiser to decide on the bonding question or on the condemnation of the water plant first, it was urged by the city attorney that the matter of condemnation could be got well underway in 20 days, while it would take much longer to vote on and issue bonds.
Alderman Bouck thought the thing to be done was to put the question of bonding the city to vote first and afterwards decide whether to buy or condemn. Ald. Zakariasen moved that the amount of bond asked for be placed at $159,000 and the motion was seconded by Alderman Bouck.
Alderman Farrar thought the resolution should include provisions for erecting a power plant.
Alderman Toohey wanted to know if the city would get a fair price set on the waterworks under condemnation. City Attorney Polk stated that the appraisers must be residents of the county, which ought to give the city at least a square deal.
Returning to the resolution before the council Mayor Wise stated that he would advise to embody the matter of light and power in the resolution.
Alderman Toohey wanted to know what the price of light and water would be under municipal ownership. The people should know before voting on the issuing of bonds.
Alderman Zakariasen told of having received reports from several municipal ownership plants that were successful and none that were not. Mayor Wise said he had data from a number which were not profitable. He believed, however, that many are successful.
Alderman Toohey inquired whether or not the Minnesota Water Works Company could make it pay without the Northern Pacific contract, but got no information in the matter.
Alderman Zakariasen said the council should look to the interests of the water and light users rather than to the interests of the heavy taxpayers.
Alderman Toohey wanted to know what the Commercial Club committee was doing in the matter, and what it had decided to recommend, the committee had made no report.
Alderman Toohey then called upon Supt. Baker of the electric light plant for his opinion. Mr. Baker thought the resolution should include both electric light and water plants.
W. D. McKay was called upon and set forth the advantages of the city putting in its own plant, showing that it would be profitable and in addition would permit the city to furnish power free or at a nominal price to manufacturers, for a few years, as an inducement to locate in Brainerd.
Mr. Polk said that the cost of building the dam would exceed the estimates as such things usually cost more than is anticipated.
Alderman Toohey wanted to hear from the laboring men. W. R. Heron was called upon and said that he thought that the council was moving in the right way. The council should put the matter before the people. He was always in favor of municipal ownership. He had a large number of reports from various cities which showed it up in a feasible light. Those that have not paid, he thought, had been mismanaged. He advocated the putting in of the power plant. He stated that he would turn over to the city council the letters and reports he had in the matter.
Thomas Halladay was called upon and expressed himself as in favor of municipal ownership but was fearful lest the city was getting too much bonded debt.
Alderman Toohey reminded the gentleman that while it would increase the bonds it would not increase his taxes. City Attorney Polk stated that such bonds were never paid out of taxes but out of the earnings of the plant. The city was now bonded for only $64,000 outside of the present electric light bonds, said the attorney.
Alderman Zakariasen expressed himself as in favor of a municipal plant.
Alderman Drexler would not vote for submitting the question of bonds unless they contained a provision for power.
It was moved by Alderman Toohey that the desired change in the proposed resolution be made if it is legal. President Johnson ruled the motion out of order.
City Attorney Polk was doubtful as to whether or not the two matters of electric light and waterworks could be included in the resolution.
Alderman Zakariasen and the city attorney clashed rather sharply over the refusal or failure of the attorney to insert the desired matter in the resolution after which it was fixed to suit the council and put on its passage, all members voting aye. Alderman Toohey moved to reconsider, which was defeated, all voting nay.
The resolution as adopted read as follows:

RESOLUTION

Be it enacted by the city council of the City of Brainerd:
Sec. 1—That it is deemed advisable that the City of Brainerd own and operate waterworks for the supplying of water to the city and its inhabitants, and power to operate its electric light plant.
Sec. 2—That it is hereby determined that it is necessary for said city to either purchase the waterworks now in existence and improve the same or to construct waterworks, and that the funds in the treasury of the said city available therefor, are not sufficient for such purposes, and that it is necessary to issue the bonds of said city in the amount of $159,000 for said purpose.
Sec. 3—It is further resolved that the proposition of issuing such bonds by said city be submitted to the electors of said city at a special election to be held April 28th, 1908.
Sec. 4—That the proposition that the city operate such waterworks be submitted to the electors of said city at a special election to be held on the date mentioned in section 3 of this resolution.

[...]


The council then adjourned. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 17 March 1908, p. 3, c.’s 1-3)

WOULD ACT AS CITY ADVISORS
_____

Chicago Engineering Firm Makes
Plea for Retainer as Con-
sulting Engineers


Little important business was transacted [at the city council], much of the evening being spent in listening to the request of Arthur Morgan, of Chicago, that his firm be retained as consulting engineer by the city at a fee of $500, with a gentlemen’s agreement, so to speak, that the firm be paid a commission of 3 percent on the cost of a new plant if put in or on the amount expended in the purchase and repair of the present one.

[...]


Arthur Morgan, representing Geo. Cadogan Morgan, of Chicago, hydraulic, electrical and sanitary engineers, was present and addressed the city council. Mr. Morgan’s firm wish to act as consulting engineers for the city and he was not at all bashful in stating what they could do for the city. His proposition, in short, was that the city should pay his firm $500 for plans and specifications for a new water plant, a power plant and the consolidation of the water and lighting plants. The company, he said, would not set a price on the present plant, nor advise as to its value, but they would furnish estimates, backed by bond, as to the cost of a new plant and as to the cost of putting the present plant into a condition of capacity and efficiency equal to a new plant. His company would make the plans, etc., for $500 with the further agreement that they would be hired to supervise the work of putting in the plant if built or the improvements if the old plant was purchased, they to have a commission of three percent on an expenditure of not less than $100,000. They would put a man on the work when it started and keep him there till it was finished. He would not be a kid-gloved inspector but a practical superintendent of such work who has had at least sixteen years experience with the firm. They would keep all time and check all expenditures whether the work was done by contractors or by day work, he favoring the latter.
During the discussion of his proposition the entire waterworks question was gone over pretty thoroughly, City Attorney Polk was asked if it was compulsory on the city to buy if the price set in condemnation proceedings was not satisfactory. He stated that it was his understanding that the city could drop the matter at any time by paying the costs already incurred.
Alderman Toohey did not feel that the council should be bound to employ the Morgans if the bonds were voted. He said that because of criticisms he had heard on the action of council in the matter he did not care whether the bonds were voted or not, though as a citizen he thought it a good thing. He called on Mr. Ousdahl to enlighten the council on the matters at issue. That gentleman spoke very briefly. The amount to be paid experts seemed large, he said.
Alderman Zakariasen said the people wanted to know what was to be done with the money if voted, before they passed on the question.
Mayor Wise would give $300 if the city would produce a man who could solve the question before the city today.
City Attorney Polk was satisfied that the people must know what was to be done with the money. The resolution ordering the election must so state. The council might, he thought, possibly, submit two resolutions to the people, one to use the money to buy and one to build, and the council to be bound by that vote, but he was not sure as to that until he looked further into it.
Alderman Zakariasen presented a resolution offering $25,000 for the present plant and moved its passage, but it received no second. Mayor Wise failed to see how any resident of Brainerd could form any intelligent estimate of the value of the plant and say whether it was worth $25,000, or more or 25 cents.
Alderman Toohey would not consider the old