Inventory of the SP de México Collection

Processed by Huntington Library staff; machine-readable finding aid created by Brooke Dykman Dockter
Manuscripts Department
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2203
Fax: (626) 449-5720
Email: lgarcia@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org/huntingtonlibrary.aspx?id=554
© 1998
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.

Inventory of the SP de México Collection

The Huntington Library



San Marino, California

Contact Information

  • Manuscripts Department
  • The Huntington Library
  • 1151 Oxford Road
  • San Marino, California 91108
  • Phone: (626) 405-2203
  • Fax: (626) 449-5720
  • Email: lgarcia@huntington.org
  • URL: http://www.huntington.org/huntingtonlibrary.aspx?id=554
Processed by:
Huntington Library staff
Encoded by:
Brooke Dykman Dockter
© 1998 The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: SP de México Collection
Extent: 23 boxes and one large bound minute book
Repository: The Huntington Library
San Marino, California 91108
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Provenance

This collection was acquired between November 1987 and August 1989 from the corporate headquarters of the Southern Pacific in San Francisco. The line itself began as the Sonora Railway in 1882, first owned and operated by the Atcheson, Topeka & Santa Fe. It ran from Nogales, Arizona down to the port of Guaymas, 423 kilometers southeast of Nogales. The Southern Pacific acquired the line through a reciprocal trade with the AT&SF in 1898, and incorporated the line as a separate corporate entity, the SP de México, in June 1909. The line was gradually extended south from Nogales and north from Guadalajara. When the Mexican Revolution erupted late in 1910, construction of the line was essentially halted until 1923. In 1927 the line was finally connected from Guadalajara to the U.S./Mexican border. It operated in Mexico until 1951, when the Mexican government purchased the line from the Southern Pacific.

Access

Collection is open to qualified researches by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information please go to following URL. 

Publication Rights

In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights In some instances, the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], SP de México Collection, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of 23 boxes and one large bound minute book. These materials -consisting primarily of correspondence but also including maps, news clippings, photographs, and blueprints -are arranged and bound by topic according to the Southern Pacific's internal organizational schema. There are 160 individual bound items in these 23 boxes. Each grouping is in reverse chronological order as it was originally filed by SP de México administrators.

Special Indexes

This finding aid exists in digital form as well as in this printed form. For textual information about the railroad, see the following items in the Library: the dissertation by Dan Lewis entitled "The Empire Strikes Out: Mexican Nationbuilding and the Ferrocarril Sud-Pacífico de México, 1880-1951" (University of California, Riverside, 1997), and the work by John Kirchner and John Signor, The West Coast Route: The Southern Pacific of Mexico (Golden West Books, 1986).

Container List

Box Box 1, item Item 1A

"Bonds Deposited with Mexican Government to Guarantee Fulfillment of Concession Requirements for Railroad Construction." File SPM 212-81, Part I. From Jan. 22, 1926 to 1937.

item Item 1B

M&G (Mexicali & Gulf) Railroad, owned by Harry Chandler (but sold to SP de Mexico?). 1930-32.

item Item 1C

"Fishing Boats for Use at Hotel Playa de Cortes - Mexico." File SP de Mexico 420, Part 2. From July 5, 1939 to [1942].

item Item 1

"Part 2 - Construction of Line Tepic - La Quemada," 9/11/26-4/26/27. File No. 300.4, Part 2. Cost of construction, as of March 31, 1927, for Appropriation, not including canceled interest: $13,335,293 (U.S. dollars.)

item Item 2

"Question as to whether SP de Mex is a Mexican or Foreign Company." File No. SPM 120, Section 1. From September 10, 1930 to 1934. On cover: "Department: Office of President." Thin item.

item Item 3

File: SPM 211; Section: 1; From: May 17, 1932 [to] 1942. Dept.: Office of the President; Subject: Reduction in Capital Stock of the S.P.deM. "Remarks" on cover note: "See File 081 SPM Lease of Equipment for Purchase of SPM Stock owned by SPCo."

Additional Note

This bundle details the efforts of the SPdeM to reduce the capital stock of the company from $75 million to $55 million, or, as noted in a May 26, 1932letter from Guy V. Shoup, an SP VP, to Ben C. Dey, General Counsel for the SP Co., in New York, a "proposed amendment of articles of incorporation of Southern Pacific RR Co. of Mexico to convert the stock from par value to non-par value." He notes that "of course it is obvious that any change in the articles of incorporation of SPRRCo of Mex must be done in compliance with the laws of the State of New Jersey, and not in accordance with the laws of Mexico." Etc.
item Item 4

"Part I - Construction of Line Tepic to La Quemada," 9/3/25-8/4/26. File No. 300.4, Part 1 ["Item 1" of this box is Part 2]. From September 3, 1925 to August 4, 1926."Construction of Line Tepic to La Quemada."

item Item 5

"Proposed Spur From Zorilla Station Northward to Boundary Line." File No. 310-973-(Z-L), Part I; from Jan. 1, 1917 to 1924.

Additional Note

Discussion of building a spur from Zorilla, a station in Mexico, northward to Lochiel, AZ, just across the U.S./Mexico border. A mining company has promised to ship 75,000 tons of ore per year or more on the SP line if they'll build a spur line. Doesn't appear to have been built, but internal discussion is potentially useful.
item Item 6

"Part I; from 1/1/21-1938.Classification: Roadway & Structures. Subject: Construction Work: Southern Pacific Railroad Company of Mexico." File No. 300.4-973; Part 1; From January 1, 1921 to 1938.

Box Box 2, item Item 1

Includes a number of brief (1-7 pp.) separate items, listed below first. Most are carbons; several are printed forms. Virtually all are by the SP de Mex accounting department in Guadalajara [Jalisco state]; and they all appear to be documentation for the decision to relinquish the line. Copy these as noted. However, at least one item has Revolution date (1916; see below).

 

"Brief history of Southern Pacific Railroad Company of Mexico." 6 pp. 8/1/48.

 

"Rate Comparisons with National Lines - Density of Traffic." 3 pp. 8/12/48. SPdeM vs. NRM [National Railways of Mexico] shipments for specific items.

 

"Traffic Prospects." Tabulation showing traffic development trends 8/12/48. 2 pp.

 

"Tabular listing of "Carros, toneladas e ingresos de flete por articulos." (cars, tons and freight revenue by commodities.) 4 pp. Dec. 1947 -- tabulation for that year (1947).

 

"Oil prospects on West Coast." 8/12/48. 1 p. [See published writings on shift in oil production from Mexico to Venezuela.]

 

"History of Seizure of the Southern Pacific Company of Mexico by the Mexican Government." 3 pp.

 

"Analysis of Balance Sheet to Show Financial Standing and Earning Position -- Effect of 120 peso wage increase demand -- results of government operation June 7, 1947 -May 31, 1948." 2 pp. 8/12/48.

 

"Balance General -- Compañia del Ferrocarril Sud-Pacifico de Mexico." 5/31/48. Balance sheet for "inversiones [investments]," "Circulante [circulation]," "Diferido," "Pendientes de Ajuste [Pending claims]," then "Capital," "Subvenciones y Aportaciones [subsidies]," "Flotante," and "Superavit Social." [social surplus, whatever that means]. Also other categories, all in Spanish. 7 pp.

 

Large tabloid-sized foldout, with red-and-blue carbon figures: "Comparative General Balance Sheet of Southern Pacific Railroad Company of Mexico," etc. Shows assets and liabilities, profits and loss for 5/31/47 and 5/31/48, and changes over that one-year period. 3 pp., unfolded. ATTACHED TO (by clip): "Net Income Excluding Non-Cash Items -- Year 1948 (Jan.-May --7 months estimated.") 8/11/48.1 p.

 

"Analysis of Operating Expenses, Fixed Charges and Purchases -- Years 1946 and 1947." 1 p. Some interesting line items: "Empalme townsite" (pesos $753,464); "Hospital Deficit" (pesos $1,102,365); "sleeper cars deficit" (pesos $935,000); "dining cars deficit" (pesos $50,000), etc.

 

[Translation of] letter?, dated 8/5/48, to President Miguel Alemán: notes (very formally) how a [proposed?] 30% increase in tariff rates (per kg.) will affect the SPM's already-poor financial performance. 2 pp.

 

1 large foldout page: "Equipment leased and interchanged" (U.S. currency). 1 p.

 

"Devaluation of the Peso." Notes Mexican government's withdrawing support of the peso with relation to U.S. currency. "It is a practical certainty that both prices and wages will advance in the near future, and that the S.P.deM. problem will be further aggravated thereby." 8/12/48. 1 p.

 

PRINTED document: "Federal Valuation of the Railroads in the United States.... Circular Communication to Chairmen of Valuation Committees... with reference to the method of complying with I.C.C. Order No. 15, Pertaining to Privileges Given, and Leases Made, by Steam Railroads." Blank "forms" for valuation and classification. Notes J. Kruttschnitt [An attorney who was Chairman of the SPdeM Executive Committee] as chairman of the Western U.S. group. 5 pp., mostly foldouts. 12/15/16.

item Item 2

"Valuation Matters. #3. Jan. 1, 1916 to Dec. 1916." Large collection of items (slightly less than 3 linear inches). Mostly carbons and mimeos, but some originals. Correspondence, printed matter, and carbons and mimeos, but some originals. Much of this deals with U.S. I.C.C. valuation issues and requirements. (250-300 pieces?).

item Item 3

"Progress Tunnel Work Tepic to La Quemada." File No. 300.4-0, Part I. June 12, 1925 -Jan. 25, 1927. Several fold-out maps/schematics (50 pieces?), disbound.

item Item 4

"Negotiations of Imperial Irrigation District to Sell Its Irrigation System in Lower California Together With Our Compania de Terrenos Holdings to Mexican Government." [subtitle? main title?: "Sale of Lands in Mexico Held in Trust for SP by the Compania de Terrenos y Aguas." File 089-4, Section 1. March 14, 1944 -August 1, 1952. (~1 linear inch).

Box Box 3, item Item 1

Brown telescoping envelope containing detailed, colored maps (40, by my quick count). All re: Tepic-La Quemada tunnel work progress. File 300.4-0. Various dates, 1925-27. (~1.5 linear inches).

item Item 2

Letter-sized manila envelope. "Claim Against Mexican Government for Damages in Revolution in 1929. 10% Gross Tax Settlement." File 900-2, Section 6. From June 26, 1932 [to] 1937. Largely about how to deal with debt bonds and notes due from the Mexican government, other claims, and related materials. (~1.25 linear inches).

item Item 3

More loose items (let's call this grouping "Item 3"):

 

Proposed SP station layouts for San Jose [Calif.], 1923.

 

Another San Jose tract map, n.d.

 

Another San Jose tract map; didn't check for date.

 

Tract map of small part of Santa Clara, 1909.

 

Tract map fragment.

 

Another of same

 

2 large maps, not Mexico; didn't unfold

 

fragment of map

 

Another San Jose map (didn't unfold)

 

Arizona Highways, Feb. 1951, p. 29. Note on cover says, "Note: Mr. Young said to make this book part of our Mexican land files and mark article on p. 29. -HS, 3/6/51." Article is entitled "Morelos: The Dam That Friendship Built." About U.S.-Mexican cooperation to build Morelos Dam. Brief discussion of labor, and how dam will benefit both countries.

 

Telegram from J.A. Small, 9/2/48, noting it took 13 days for package to get from San Francisco to Mexico City by air mail.

item Item 4

"Arroyo Grande Viaduct, South of Tepic, Mexico." File No. 331.1-973-(AG). In legal-sized folder. Note on cover: "Related Files: Bridges--SP de Mex--General File, 331.1-973. Includes correspondence re: trestles for this line." 1924 correspondence, original photo, and map/blueprint. 10 pieces total.

Box Box 4, item Item 1

"Contracts with Express Companies -- Mexican Lines." File No. SPM 650-1, Part 1. From Jan. 1, 1912 to Dec. 21, 1938. 1.25 lin. inches. (Perhaps 150 pieces?) Interaction by letter with many companies, e.g.: 20-year contract between SPM and Wells Fargo & Co. of Mexico. Virtually all of this appears to pertain to Wells Fargo of Mexico -- which Walter Douglas, an official of both the SP and SPM, notes is "extraordinarily active" in Mexico in 1934. Shows cooperation between these two agencies, not competition, at first blush. Some good stuff about Obregon, relations with Mexico. Includes copy of actual contract signed with WF of Mex? (in envelope at back).

item Item 2

"Classification: Relations with Contractors. Subject: M.C. & J.H. Threlkeld (Threlkeld Commissary Company). Commissary in connection with SPdeM's Mexican laborers. Furnishing SPdeM with Mexican laborers." File No. 300.402-T. Part 2*. From August 1, 1932 to [1936].46 pieces. (~1.25 linear inches).

item Item 3

"Tunnels on the New Construction Between Tepic and La Quemada." File No. 331.3/940. Part 1. File No. 331.3/940. Part 1. From March 5, 1928 to [March 16, 1928]. Includes a handful of maps. Less then ten pieces of correspondence; perhaps 7-8 maps. (~one-half linear inch.)

item Item 4

"Classification: Fuel for Company Use. Subject: Fuel Oil -- Mexican Lines." "Related Files: Supply of Freight Cars -- Distribution of Tank Cars --542.116." File No. SPM 023-6. Part 2. From Jan. 1, 1930 to August 31, 1938. Material on how the SP supplied itself. Nationalization of oil in Mexico took place very late (18 March 1938, under Cárdenas) in the period covered in this correspondence, so look for this issue in your next pass through this. Cárdenas' huge land redistributions also took place in the middle of this period.

item Item 5

"Southern Pacific of Mexico Modernization Program Required to Obtain Tariff Increase. Amortization of SP Investment." (100+ pieces). File [No.] SPM 340-3. Part 1. From December 7, 1944 to [May 2, 1947]. --On Jan. 1, 1945, SPM was granted [by Mexico] "an increase of 15% in all rates, fares and charges, for a period of one year to offset increase in payroll expense resulting from wage increases granted employees effective retroactively to Sept. 1, 1944, with the understanding that the Company will submit an application for increase in rates, fares and charges," etc. Playa de Cortes mention as well.

item Item 6

Includes one 1947 letter to Mexican official containing a brief but important letter from J. Small [but not certain it's him from scrawled signature] re: why the line is going belly-up.

Box Box 5, item Item 1

Folder, entitled "Purchase and Sale of Property. SP de México 311." Detailed comparative discussion of the Law of General Ways of Communication [enacted in 1931], and the Expropriation Law [apparently late 1936]. This is clearly an attempt to enforce provisions of Article 123 of the 1917 Constitution. Most of this is simply a translation of the 1936 law and a point-by-point comparison with the 1931 law. Perhaps 20 pp. of material.

item Item 2

"Empalme Ice Plant." File: SP de México 027-01. Parts 1 and 2 in same folder. Part 1 dates from July 30, 1942 to June 26, 1943; Part 2 dates from July 2, 1943 to December 20, 1943. Thick folder (perhaps 250-300 pieces; <2 linear inches). Frank and detailed discussion of the proposed 100-ton-per-day ice-making facility at Empalme. Also discussion of water supply to the area and to the town. The SP makes it sound herein like they are GROWING rather than DECLINING on the line, even at this late date in the early 1940's, complaining that they can't make ice fast enough to meet their growing needs for refrigerated shipment on the line. Fair amount of discussion of labor and of the "company town" of Empalme. One important question is just how the world war affected SP operations in Mexico.

item Item 3

"Oronori River Bridge." File No. 331.1-973-(O), Part 1. From Jan. 1, 1912 to [n.d.] Cover also notes related files: "BRIDGES - SOUTHERN PACIFIC R.R. of MEXICO - GENERAL FILE, 331.1-973." Four or five bland letters about this bridge (Bridge 380-B), with two blueprints of bridge. Items all dated 1924 or 1925, even though file start date is "1912." Bridge was a replacement, replacing 795-foot trestle of river; estimated cost was $242,150 U.S.

item Item 4

"Sinaloa River Bridge." File No. 331.1-973-(S), Part 1. From Jan. 1, 1912 to [n.d.]. Clearly there was a LONG gestation period for this bridge and above bridge. Same note on related files on cover. Perhaps ten letters and telegrams. Construction cost in Dec. 1924 was estimated at $361,360 U.S. Includes coded parts of a telegram (the underlined parts only are coded; this makes it very easy to pick out what the SP considered confidential) "...Use price for steel f.o.b. Gary three point four nine cents per pound... Consider price confidential." Etc. Detailed technical material on the bridge's construction.

item Item 5

"Santiago River Bridge." File No. 331.1-973-S, Part 1. From Jan. 1, 1912 to [n.d.] Perhaps 50 pieces (quarter-inch linear). Mostly dated 1926-1929. There is regular reference throughout the collection to the "revolution" in the late 1920's. Some correspondence from Sproule [SP de México President] on 3/9/26 that is quite useful; he notes that trackage is in poor condition in general; and "it is an unbalanced program which puts so large an amount of money into bridges while the track remains in condition that does not represent the Southern Pacific standard or Southern Pacific ownership. ...Have therefore concluded that we should increase our expenditures on track this year and cut down the amount for bridges." Etc.

item Item 6

"Mocorito River Bridge." File No. 331.1-973-(N), Part 1. From Jan. 1, 1912 to [n.d.] Slim folder of about 10-15 pieces, plus blueprint for bridge. Includes greatoriginal photograph of locomotive (a "shoo-fly") trying to cross this span under a full head of steam while it was under 21 inches of water. Letter attached to photo suggests raising the bridge ten feet. Good idea! Photo dated August 11, 1918.

item Item 7

"Bridge Over the Miravalles River, Between Tepic and La Quemada." File No. 331.1-973-(M). From July 10, 1923 to [n.d.] General technical discussion about this bridge; perhaps ten items. Also three bulky folded blueprints. Notes in one letter that original plans have been drawn with English measurements which need to be completely converted to metric for actual construction.

item Item 8

"Mayo River Bridge." File No. 331.1-973-(M). From Jan. 1, 1912 to [n.d.] Five bland pieces, from C.R. Harding to Kruttschnitt, others.

item Item 9

"Fuerte River Bridge." File No. 331.1-973-(F). From Jan. 1, 1912 to [n.d.] More bridge construction stuff. This one notable because the cost of doing so (approx. $473,000 U.S.) was to be offset by the Mexican government's allowing the SPdeM to retain the 10% tax on gross receipts and apply it to the notes owed the government. This gained the SP de Mex about $680,000 in 1928 (as it was estimated in May of that year by projecting forward). Sproule (SP de México President) notes in letter of 5/16/28 to SP Chairman H.W. DeForest in N.Y. that "Secretary of Treasury of Mexico has definitely assured Mr. Titcomb that there will be no questions raised about our retaining 10% Gross Receipt Taxes hereafter." Perhaps ten pieces; several blueprints.

item Item 10

"Culican River Bridge." File No. 331.1-973-(C). Part 1. From Jan. 1, 1912 to [n.d.]. Easily the largest of the bridge files I've seen so far. Perhaps 50 pieces, several bulky blueprints. Includes specifications for bridge work, the bid for which was appears to have been won in 1923 by the Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Company, for $102,500 U.S. However, later correspondence discusses the American Bridge Company as being involved. Some correspondence relates to an eight-month delay in getting the steel spans shipped to Mexico.

Box Box 6, item Item 1

Folder is so beat up it's missing title. But bound item inside has title: "Inter-California Railway Line in Mexico -- Construction of Stations at Cocopah and Paredones." File No. IC 351, Part 1. From Jan. 17, 1920 to [1925]. About three-quarters of a linear inch. Request to transform what were apparently telegraph stations -- temporary quarters -- at Paredones [and previously also Cocopah] -- into permanent quarters due to "extreme heat, increasing business handled, and importance of the station in operation of the Inter-California Railway Line in Mexico." Second-to-last item in packet details freight revenue from shipments handled at Paredones for both the ICR and the SPM for the years 1921-1924. 1924 saw a BIG increase for both lines. E.G. Burdick was the general manager of the Compania del Ferrocarril Inter-California. [Headquartered in Mexicali??] In any event, this file contains discussion and some dissention between Shoup and Burdick about the value and need to improve the station, esp. at Paradones. [see for example letter from Burdick to Shoup dated 2/27/24]. This file also lists detailed freight tonnages in pounds, as well as dollar amounts made, for 1921-1923. Sounds like they agreed to go ahead with smaller station as a compromise. Some discussion of earthquake danger in the area.

item Item 2

"Southern Pacific of Mexico Financial Forecasts: Estimates of Cash Requirements Cash Advances to SPM Bank Account -- Wells Fargo Bank at San Francisco, California." File SPdeM 210-002, Part 7. [sic???]. From Sept. 26, 1945 to Sept. 12, 1947. About 2.5 linear inches thick. Cover has come loose. Note on bottom of cover says, "Separate SPdeM files carried by Mr. Lawrence. Possible expropriation and report of developments since Jan. 1, 1940. Labor demands and wage increases." This voluminous piece details the company's financial status during the mid-1940's. Much of it is month by month. Includes fold-out financial statements in map folder at end. Some discussion of whether or not to change their dollar balance by country (they had about $1 million in assets in Mexican banks and $1 million in U.S. banks).

item Item 3

"Lease of Cars." Single folder with single item in it: letter from unknown [J.A. Small, President?] to A.T. Mercier, Chairman of the Executive Committee for SPdeM, in San Francisco. Notes that cash balance after converting pesos to dollars is $660,000 U.S. Notes a number of items owed: to parent SP company; to Ice Plant; to Pacific Fruit Express; etc. Final sentence notes: "As soon as the railroad is returned to us, as I wrote you, I will personally discuss with the President and endeavor to get his assistance for the rehabilitation of the line."

item Item 4

"Informe Anual de la Compania del Ferrocarril Sud-Pacifico de Mexico, Para La Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Obras Publicas de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos Por el A-o el 31 de Diciembre de 1927." Bound annual report, 142 pp. long, mimeographed. Potentially VERY useful material. Lists all officers, both American and Mexican, and their cities of residence; all the stops along the line; salaries broken down by type of worker, and the number of workers in each position (carpenters, medical personnel, waiters, machinists, etc.); description, longitude and location of all major tunnels and other structures along the line; long lists of tariffs; a critically-useful list of all officials of the line and their titles; much more. All in Spanish.

item Item 5

folder, "Federal Bills and Acts." SPM-071-01. [Approx. 1937-38]. Contains 10-15 items which discuss two distinct and important pieces of legislation: the potential of Mexico placing of all railroads in the country under either the Communications Dept. or under the Autonomous Dept., and the impact of doing so; and brief discussion of the Mexican decree expropriating properties of oil companies in Mexico in the Spring of 1938.

item Item 6

"Absentee Tax -- Mexico." SPM 073. Section 1. From February 28, 1934 to [2/15/38.] About 3/4 linear inch. Detailed discussion of another proposed law, the Law of Tax on Absentees, which would apply to all persons living in foreign countries or who, at the beginning of the fiscal year, may have resided more than four months outside of Mexico, etc. See first (i.e., bottom-most) item in this stack for a good overview of the pertinent issues. There is a 2% tax established on rentals of real property; rentals and earnings on any movable property actually in Mexican territory; etc.

Box Box 7, item Item 1

"Financial Forecasts; Estimates of Cash Requirements: Cash Advances to SPdeM Bank Account - Mexican Lines. Includes c/s on indebtedness of SPdeM to SPCo." File No. SP de México 210-002. Part 1. From November 12, 1934, to Dec. 31, 1938. [Asterisk in title notes: "C/s on this subject prior to November 12, 1934, is filed in SP de México-2."] Discussion at length in this collection of about 1.5 linear inches of the financial relationship of SP to SP de México in the mid- and late 1930's. Includes correspondence from Hale Holden, SP Chairman, with Walter Douglas, SPdeM Chairman of the Board (i.e., see March 22, 1938 letter from Holden to Douglas.) SP de México appears to have regularly leeched money from parent company and then been pretty dilatory about paying it back, at least throughout much of the 1930's. Brief mention of Hotel Playa de Cortés.

item Item 2

folder: "Bonds - Federal and Municipal." Slim folder of perhaps 7 or 8 pieces. All dated 1942. Discussion of registering securities with Bank of Mexico. Two bond issues of interest to SP de México: Internal Debt Bonds of 1885, and Bonds of 1895.

item Item 3

Thin disbound item, one-eight linear inch: "Inter-California Railway Lines in Mexico: Banking Arrangements." File No. IC 217, Part I. From Jan. 9, 1922 to [3/25/25].

item Item 4

"Southern Pacific of Mexico. Financial Forecasts: Estimates of Cash Requirements. Cash Advances to SP de México Bank Account - Wells Fargo Bank at San Francisco, Calif." File SP de México 210-002, Part 6. From Jan. 8, 1945 to Oct. 1, 1945. Bottom of cover page notes: "Separate SPdeM files carried by Mr. Lawrence. Possible expropriation and report of developments since January 1, 1940. Labor demands and wage increases." About two linear inches. There are actually items herein that predate stated dates, such as 1939 item (an agreement?) about SP and SP de México starting to operate on a strictly cash basis between each other. This particular item, dated 12/28/39, notes that SPdeM "will also take care of all its cash obligations out of its own resources without calling upon Southern Pacific Company for advances... so that its cash balances will reflect its ability to live within its current income independently of relief from Southern Pacific Company." About half of this item consists of numerous folded financial sheets in attached envelope.

item Item 5

In unmarked folder: "Lease of Equipment to the Southern Pacific Railroad Company of Mexico." File 081 SP de México, Section 3. From February 1, 1933 to November 25, 1935. About 1.5 linear inches. Detailed discussion of the relationship of SP to SPdeM. Many worthwhile items herein, such as a letter from Walter Douglas of SPdeM to A.D. McDonald, Chair of the Executive Committee, 10/19/35, marked "Strictly Confidential": "I would suggest that the matter of purchase of SPCo equipment be postponed for the time being or until we have a better appreciation of what the future of railroad operation is to be. The support of the present Government to the unreasonable demands of Labor of all classes in Mexico renders a forecast of operating results of the carriers extremely doubtful. The demands presented by the Syndicate are impossible of consideration, aggregating as they do in excess of 100% increase in wages. While they are doubtless asking for far more than they expect to obtain, yet the fact remains that the Government will require us to accede to their demands for the so called Day of Rest, in other words, for payment for an extra day per week, irrespective of whether they work or not. This, in itself, means an increase of 17% in the present payroll, or upwards of $800,000 pesos per annum." Followed by discussion of why this would make it inadvisable to pass title of SP equipment to SPdeM. "President Cárdenas is fully aware of our economic condition and we will necessarily have to make such concessions to labor as he suggests in order to avoid this cessation of operations which, as above stated, would undoubtedly mean the Government's taking over the operation of the property." Detailed discussion of relationship between SP de México and SP; also good discussions of labor, other topics.

Box Box 8, item Item 1

Map of the entire line (known as the "West Coast Route"), showing ballasted and unballasted areas of the line, marked in color by hand. 1925. Folded.

item Item 2

Map -- Bridge index to the SP de Mex line. Jan. 18, 1926. folded.

item Item 3

Map -- "Balance Program" -- March 21, 1926. Folded.

item Item 4

"Classification: Southern Pacific Company. Subject: Investment in Southern Pacific Railroad of Mexico. Agreement between Mexican Government and Southern Pacific Railroad Company of Mexico -- Notes Received and Claims Against Mexican Government." File No. 1083, Part 8. From October 6, 1938 to 1939. Mostly discussion of SP bonds loaned to SPdeM. From Office of Controller. About 20-25 pieces.

item Item 5

"Classification: Southern Pacific Company. Subject: Investment in Southern Pacific Railroad Company of Mexico -- Agreement between Mexican Government and S.P.RR.CO. of Mexico -- Notes received from and claims against Mexican Government." File No. 1083, Part 5. From December 1, 1932 to September 30, 1933. Related Files: 4004: Mexican Depredation; 7015: Preliminary Surveys Etc. About 1 linear inch. Details of unpaid indebtedness of bonds owned by various U.S. concerns in Mexico: SP, East Coast Oil Co., Inter-California Southern Railway Company, Nacozari Railroad Company, SPdeM. In general, details notes due from the Mexican government to the line in the early 1930's.

item Item 6

Contains loose and bound items. Housed in brown telescoping envelope. File number appears to be 510-973-NRM. First piece: 20 photographs of Guadalajara Electric Light and Power Company plant. Dated 1906. Second piece: Estimate dated 7/1/26,for addition and betterment jobs along line (supplement showing minor bridge program Najojoa to Tepic. Third piece: carbon of preliminary draft dated 9/3/1909, "Articles of Agreement Between Ferrocarriles Nationales [sic] de Mexico and Southern Pacific RR Co. of Mexico. Agreement as to joint use of line from Orendain to Guadalajara and terminals at Guadalajara. Date handwritten on inside says Sept. 3, 1909;on outside, Sept. 30, 1909. 17 pp. Fourth piece: Six various maps, of facilities in Guadalajara, Orendain Jct., etc. Fifth piece: SPM file copies of "Statements Submitted at Conference of September 14, 1926." Financial statements. Sixth piece: "Brief of proposed contract between NRM and SPRCC covering operating rights between Orendain Junction and Guadalajara and joint use of the passenger terminal at Guadalajara." 10/14/26; marked "Extra Copies." Seventh piece: Joint operating agreement between NRM and SPdeM for leasing of the Ameca and San Marcos Branches from the NRM. About 25 pp. Eighth and last piece in this envelope: "Extra copies of correspondence." About 100 items, all mimeographs of SPdeM correspondence on NRM. All discussion of relations and interactions with National Railways of Mexico.

item Item 7

Brown envelope/folder: ("File No. 1083" on cover): "Statements for Mr. McDonald, prepared Sept. 13, 1926.Working papers and extra copies of statements." Loose items are as follows:

 

Folio-sized sheets: "Brief of agreement between the SPM and the President of the Republic of Mexico Looking to a Settlement of all Matters at Issue Between the Railroad Company and the Government, Dated March 12, 1923: Also statement of Claims Made Under the Provisions of the Said Agreement." 3 categories: "Services," "Damages," and "Rentals."

 

Handwritten sheet of figures: assets and liabilities for SPM, for Dec. 1922 and Dec. 1923.

 

Misc. loose financial figures for 1922 and 1923.

 

Concessions of the line; noting dates, dates amended, dates of expiration. Includes info on 40-year bonds owed to SPM by Mexican govt., etc.

 

"Memorandum regarding accounting on the books of SP Subsidiaries Operating in Mexico for Transactions Involving U.S. Currency and the Rendition of Statements in U.S. Currency Covering the Operations of Such Companies." --This item appears to detail Mexican laws for keeping books of companies operating in Mexico, of potential use and importance. 10 pp.; 8 mimeo copies of this item.

 

Hand-corrected draft of letter from ? to F.L. McCafferty, [SP] General Auditor, S.F., 4/30/34.Re: status of unpaid interest on Mexican bonds covered by the plan of the International Committee of Bankers on Mexico.

 

Notes on 1924, '25increases in expenses for road equipment, etc.

 

More detailed concession notes and information.

 

1926 figures on destruction costs for "insurrecto depredations."

 

Folio-sized sheet noting subsidiaries accruing under the Díaz government's concession of Aug. 14, 1905.

 

Freight and passenger rates provided for in consolidated concession of 11/3/10. Different rates for different-length hauls; also telegram and storage rates. Several pieces.

 

Single mimeo sheet noting gross expenditures for Construction & Betterments from 1914-1926.Good $ summary herein! Sheet of handwritten notes and drafts for some (or all?) of info above in this brown envelope.

Box Box 9, item Item 1

"Investment in Southern Pacific Railroad Company of Mexico -- Agreement Between Mexican Government and SPRRCo. of Mexico -- Notes received and claims against Mexican Government." File No. 1083, Part 6. From October 1, 1933 to December 31, 1934. "Related Files: Copies of Mexican Income Tax Law and Regulations of the Income Tax Law -- translations in envelope at back of File 78; Also See File 1797-A." (~1/25" thick). [Cárdenas took office during this period, on 12/1/34]. Miscellaneous financial wranglings, including discussion of SP's owing SPM $3 million and what to do about this debt. Includes good letter from Hale Holden to Walter Douglas, dated 4/3/34. It begins: "Referring to your letters of March seventh and March thirteenth in which you gave reasons for anxiety over the future course of the peso and have concluded for the time being to retain your pesos in Mexico rather than convert them into dollars and to open two new bank accounts in Mexico City for that purpose: We are somewhat puzzled to understand the reasons for your conclusions..." Good content follows re: SPM policies and thinking.

item Item 2

"Investment in S.P.R.R. Co. of Mexico -- Construction of Line Tepic to La Quemada and accounting therefore -- Agreement between President Obregon and S.P.R.R.Co. of Mexico -- Notes received from Mexican Government -- Statement of Claims against Mexican Government." File No. 1083, Part 3. From July 1, 1929 to Oct. 31, 1931. "Related files: 4004: Mexican Depredation Claims; 7015: Preliminary Surveys." (~1.5 inches). Both sides owed each other money, and tried to control the situation by refusing to pay each other. Includes some translations of Mexican documents from Obregon government, i.e., a translation dated 1/8/31 (orig. dated 12/15/30), but no Spanish originals. Government kept calling into view the Railway Law, and noting that concessions would be forfeited since certain agreed-upon construction completion dates and locations hadn't been met by SPM.

item Item 3

"Investment in S.P.R.R. Co. of Mexico -- Construction of Line Tepic to La Quemada and accounting therefore -- Agreement between President Obregon and S.P.R.R.Co. of Mexico -- Notes received from Mexican Government -- Statement of Claims against Mexican Government." File No. 1083, Part 2. April 2, 1927 to June 30, 1929. "Transfer." Also some cross-refs. (~1.25"). More of the same, mostly SP financial figures and discussion of money owed to SPM from Mexican government. First item is a great map of entire SPM line, noting which sections have separate government concessions for 3% internal debt bonds.

item Item 4

"Classification: Operation of Tracks and Terminals. Subject: Operation of SPM's trains between Orendain Junction and its freight yard in Guadalajara over NRM's tracks, and common use of NRM's passenger station in Guadalajara. Proposed lease of the Ameca & San Marcos Branches from NRM. Note -- This file includes some correspondence, beginning in 1923, on providing terminal facilities for SPM in Guadalajara." [also lists three related files; note these later.] File No. 510-973-NRM (Includes Old File No. 273). From January 1, 1906 to February 28, 1927. (~1.5"). Good stuff herein! Perhaps the best item in this box. Includes fairly detailed discussion on the eve of the Revolution about line operation; proposed agreements with NRM re: sharing trackage; etc. Example: ciphered telegram from Julius Kruttschnitt to Col. Epes Randolph, 6/30/10, that "you should be prepared at almost any time to receive instructions to indefinitely abandon construction work in Mexico" [in light of discussion with NRM about division of freight rates], etc. Includes a number of contracts and proposed agreements, detailed discussion of those agreements. LOTS ON SPM-NRM RELATIONSHIP.

Box Box 10, item Item 1

"Mexican Labor Law of 1931 -- Effective August 28, 1931." (~1.75"). File No. SPM 013-2, Section 2. From May 29, 1931 to Dec. 28, 1933. Obviously contains detailed information on Mexican railroad labor and the law for that period. Calles in power at the time. TERRIFIC detail on labor and the SPM. Also includes important article-by-article description and discussion of the Federal Labor Law of August 27, 1931, which includes a list of all SPM officials and their titles at the time; 26 pp., signed by Titcomb. Very important item! Envelope at end also contains copy of the 131-pp. Federal Labor Law in its entirety, in English.

item Item 2

"New Construction: SPM -- Extensions and Completion of Existing Main Line and Branches. Includes correspondence on settlement with the Mexican govt. on account of construction, transportation services, depredations, and transportation and other taxes, etc. Note -- clippings... are filed in... envelope." Also long list of related files on cover. File No. 310-973, Part 8. Jan. 1, 1932 to Dec. 31, 1932. (~1.5"). [slightly mildewed and a few pages stuck together, but nothing major.] Important item; contains a 30-page report called "Brief Outline of the More Important Current Affairs of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company of Mexico" - a plan by an unnamed author for turning around the railroad's economic woes.

item Item 3

[no cover, so no title.] In any case, it's file SPM 310-973, as noted on many individual pieces. [no part number noted.] 4/2/23 to 10/31/34. Includes many relevant news clippings. Appears to be a miscellaneous collection of material?? Not sure. Discusses RR structures, $ owed SP by Mexican government, military troubles on line, possible construction in Mazatlán, etc. (~1.5").

item Item 4

-- in brown envelope. File No. 310-973, Part 1. Dated 1921-22; slim collection of items on consolidation of concessions. (~.5")

item Item 5

(last item in box; in brown envelope.) File No. 310-973, Part 3. Loose items:

 

Detailed map of the port and city of Mazatlán, 4/9/23, by SPM. Title: "Most Urgent Work for Improvement of Canal."

 

SPM blueprint noting dollar amounts of concessions for various legs; title of item is "SPRRCoM Alamos to Guadalajara Sub-Division (So-Call In Concession) - Navojoa to Orendain. Approximate Estimate of Status, 1/1/23."

 

Detailed maps showing route from Guaymas to Navojoa. Map is titled, "Proposed New Line from Hermosillo to Ures, and Ures to Campas." 5/14/23.

 

Grouping of correspondence (3 pieces) discussing briefly structures south of Navojoa.

 

Newspaper clipping, mounted. Dated 7/17/24, New York Commercial. "Americans Plan Fast Rail Line Out of Mexico." "Dream of E.H. Harriman of Quick Route to Middle West Nears Realization." Full letter-sized page.

 

Three blueprints: "Condensed Profile - Rio Santiago to Guadalajara via Revised Location of 1923 Between Tepic and La Quemada. 11/19/23; "...via So-Called Adopted Line of 1911 Between Tepic and La Quemada," 3/24/21; and "...via 1.5% Line, Tepic to La Quemada," 3/24/22.

 

Copy of 25-p. agreement between SPM and Utah Construction Company [for construction from La Quemada to Tepic].

 

Pamphlet -- "The Gate Way -- to the -- West Coast of Mexico. Empires of Opportunity." Tucson Chamber of Commerce, 1923. 24 pp. Page 22 includes reproduction of photo dated 3/5/23 showing Julius Kruttschnitt, President Obregon, H.B. Titcomb, and Harry Chandler of The Times. Final page shows SPM time table for trains.

 

Publication -- Financial-Insurance News, Vol. 21, No. 49. "Mexico Number." Article on p. 8 about what the SP will mean to the development of Mexico and the future wealth of the Pacific Coast. By Taylor Caven. Cover includes pic of a very youthful-looking H.B. Titcomb. Also includes an ad for the Mexican Land Syndicate on p. 3 (Harry Chandler of The LA Times was a key player in this company).

Box Box 11, item Item 1

Survey of Material and Supplies Mexican Lines." File No. 020.2 From 10/17/25 to [4/13/27]. Appears to relate to a survey of the SPM's materials and supplies, being done by Mr. Theodore Ensel. Other related material in envelope at end of this clipped bundle of correspondence, including a 47-page report: "Recommendations Made by Committee Appointed to Study Report of Mr. Ensel, Covering His Survey of Material and Supply Matters, on Southern Pacific Railroad Company of Mexico." Don't immediately see Ensel's original report, but it may be herein somewhere. (~3/4")

item Item 2

"Income and Absentee Taxes on Equipment Rents -- Mexico." File SPM 073, Section 1. From Jan. 16, 1935 to Dec. 26, 1935. (~1") More material on hassles between Mexican govt. and SPM. One question asked herein: "In view of the fact that SPdeM settled with the Mexican Government last November for the income taxes accrued on equipment rentals from April 1, 1925 to Oct. 31, 1934, and has billed the amounts involved against the foreign roads that earned the rental, should SPCo. now invoke the statute of limitations in connection with similar bills rendered against it by other Mexican roads?" Many potentially good items, including letter from E.B. Sloan of SPM to Walter Douglas of SPM noting that he'd met with the Mexican Secretary of Finance [Narciso Bassols] the previous night and discussed the application of the income tax on rentals of foreign cars and equipment (letter dated 4/16/35). Also includes other letters to and from Mexican government.

item Item 3

"Southern Pacific de Mexico: Reconstruction of Sinaloa River Bridge." File No. SPdeM-331-1, Part 1. From Dec. 10, 1943 to [April 5, 1946]. (~1.5").

item Item 4

In folder marked "Officers. SPM 010-21." Numbers on loose pieces match this #. (~.75"). From 8/13/42 to 2/19/45? Appears to be a long list of items for discussion about the line, in general and specific, between J.A. Small and C.R. Harding. Some or much of this may stem from Theodore Ensel's recommendations about the line, since he's mentioned herein.

item Item 5

"Income and Absentee Taxes on Equipment Rents -- Mexico." File SPM 073, Part 4. From Dec. 17, 1937 to May 29, 1941. (~1.5"). More tax law questions and discussion. At least passing mention of the Pacific Fruit Company, which the SPM used to ship their lucrative fruit trade northward.

Box Box 12, item Item 1

"Indebtedness of the National Railways of Mexico." File No. 081 N Ry M, Part 2. From January 4, 1939 to March 22, 1940. (~1"). Discussion of interline issues, mostly of money owed to SPM by NRM. The SPM was the largest railroad in Mexico not under the umbrella of the NRM, but there was considerable interaction between the two because of the regular need to ship freight and passengers across each other's lines at times. Dollar amounts being discussed aren't trivial (anywhere from several thousand dollars up to nearly $100,000). [Items 1 and 2 are both contained in a single manila folder.]

item Item 2

"Indebtedness of the National Railways of Mexico." File No. 081 N Ry M, Part 3. From March 28, 1940 to Dec. 27, 1940. (~1"). More of same. Includes useful, detailed statement showing the status of SPM accounts with NRM, including specifics of both debits and credits between the lines. Also includes this info for other lines and companies, such as the Texas & New Orleans Railroad Co., Pacific Electric Railway Co., Pacific Fruit Express Company (owed one of the largest amounts in 1940: $136,000). SP parent company, etc.

item Item 3a

"Southern Pacific of Mexico: Statement of Assets and Liabilities." File No. SPM 230-01. Comparisons of year-end 1931 and year-end 1934 figures. Slim pack of materials, including three fold-out sheets of comparative figures.

item Item 3b

"Southern Pacific of Mexico: Statement of Operations." Also File No. SPM 230-01. A supplement to the above Item 3a, from F.L.M. Caffery?, to A.D.McDonald. Notes that he's submitted more details on 1931 and 1934 operations, as well as "explanation of large and unusual fluctuations in income accounts -- Years 1931 to 1934, inclusive (each year compared with the preceding year)."

item Item 4

[Items 4 and 5 are both in a folder marked "Taxes and Assessments," SPM 073 (even though one is SPM 071).] This item is 073. Two pages of correspondence, noting new Mexican tax laws as detailed in the Diario Oficial, September 1936. Last item from E.B. Sloan to Guy Shoup details the new laws, decrees and regulations (including what would quickly become a very important and disputed 10% gross tax on incomes received by railways, which amended the Railway Law of Dec. 29, 1924; see notes about elsewhere in this summary).

item Item 5

File No. SPM 071-01. Several items, dated 1935 and 1936, noting bond-related items for SPM and for the Nacozari RR.

item Item 6

"Remittances From SPdeM and Payments for Those Lines." File No. SPM 210-002, Section 1. From June 2, 1933 to 4/19/35. (About 40 pieces). Primarily discussion of moneys sent to parent SP company. Apparently SPM Pres. Walter Douglas was pretty tight with Calles; he notes in a letter to A.D. McDonald dated 10/3/34 that "I returned last night with General Calles from Monterrey and found your telegram C-336...", and "The matter of these claims [of Mexican Treasury against SPM for the introduction of fuel oil at Nogales as well as income tax owed by SPM for car rentals], however, is held up due to the good offices of President Rodriguez and General Calles..."

item Item 7

"Account Between SPdeM and Mexican Telephone & Telegraph Company -- Covering Placing Their Wire on Poles of SPdeM." File No. SPM 312-22, Part 1. From 2/14/28 to [1/27/31]. (~1"). Detailed info on this being done from Nogales to Mazatlán, including copies of the actual agreement, correspondence, etc. The Ericsson Telephone Co. was the company involved, despite the title of this item on cover. Doesn't say if wires were actually run, but does end by granting full permission to do so.

item Item 8a

[no cover page; four items.] 10/9/31 to 10/16/31. Minor thing relating to the Bank of Montreal handling collection items for SPM.

item Item 8b

[no cover page; five items.] also 10/9/31 to 10/16/31. Another probably minor thing relating to receipt by SPM of Mexican government notes (all matured) due to SPM. Strange thing is that the dollar amount is so high and the discussion so cavalier; dollar amount is more than U.S. $4 million. [Both Items 8a and 8b in a single folder titled "Depositories / SPM 217-1."]

item Item 9a

Three pieces, Oct. 8 and 9, 1931. Brief and somewhat cryptic discussion of a contract as written not affecting SPM or Article 40 or contract which makes SPM responsible in case of failure of contractor.

item Item 9b

Two pieces, both March 12, 1931.Frank Mulks, Titcomb. Again, brief and quite cryptic. Talks about Threlkeld beer contract, someone named DuFour, etc.

 

[Both items 9a and b in a single folder titled "Southern Pacific de Mexico / 081 SP de México"]

item Item 10

"Ice Plant, Empalme, Mexico." File No. SPM 513-221, Part 1. From 5/28/26 to [1/9/31]. (~.5") Some potentially useful stuff herein. Detailed discussion of ice plant expansion at Empalme, including cost of ice, cost of improving plant, discussion of Standard Oil Company contract for west coast oil (!), some discussion of transportation taxes owed Mex. govt., etc., etc. Particularly good ciphered telegram from Paul Shoup to Hale Holden in NY, dated 11/18/29, about [then-Pres.?] Rubio, etc., etc. LOTS of good content in this long (2 pp.) telegram (quickly identifiable in this stack because it's on pink paper). In general, lots of discussion about Empalme ice plant, including mention of "Yaqui trouble" (i.e., letter dated 12/8/26 from Titcomb to Sproule).

item Item 11

[in folder marked "Bridges, SPM 331-1."] Yup. Bridges. Primarily deals with construction of Santiago River Bridge, just north of Tepic, at cost of $508,000 U.S. Very topmost item mentions " 1929 revolution." Includes a blueprint, prob. of bridge.

Box Box 13, item Item 1

[in manila folder marked "Land, Development, and Irrigation Companies, 089-4." Although this item is bulk of the folder, there are also four detailed, colored maps of property in question.] "Lands of Compañia de Terreños de la Baja California. Andrade Litigation." File No. 089-4, Section 1. From March 10, 1920 to July 3, 1933.(~1.5" linear, maybe more). Apparently one A.F. Andrade appropriated some land in Baja [from the SPM or more likely, the SP] and then tried to sell it in the name of his corporation. Discussion of a fire that burned down a court building in Mexicali that had contained details of a law case (SP vs. Sociedad de Yrrigacion), as well as details of the current case against Andrade. Land in question consisted of 11,700 acres. Includes discussion of Obregon's reaction to this case, other details. Also includes four detailed maps of the area in question, separate from the above Item 1 but loose in the manila folder.

item Item 2

Details sale of Nacozari property in Guaymas to the State of Sonora. Dated July 21 -Oct. 12, 1945. Approx. 7000 acres sold to state for $206, although it had a value of $54,320. Tax writeoff? Brief collection of documents (perhaps 15-20) about this transaction. Top sheet notes that "this property was originally acquired about 1910 for the purpose of right of way and terminal when it was intended that the Nacozari Railroad should reach Guaymas. That part of the plan to construct the railroad between Nacozari and Guaymas was subsequently abandoned, and the property is not needed for railroad or other operating purposes."

item Item 3

"Southern Pacific Railroad Company of Mexico -- Extensions and Completion of Existing Main Line and Branches." File No. 310-973, Part 7. From Sept. 1, 1930 to Dec. 31, 1931. "Note: This file includes c/s on settlement with the Mexican Government on account of construction, transportation service, depredations, and transportation and other taxes, etc." Includes longish list of x-refs on front cover. Includes great summary dated 10/21/31 for Mr. Holden about the Company's current status. More on the 10% transportation tax.

item Item 4

"Transfer of Property by Allen Goh & O'Hashi to the Federal Government of Mexico." File No. 089-4, Part 1. From April 11, 1923 to 1946. [folder containing this item says "Land Development & Irrigation Cos., 089-4."] (~1"). More on the Baja California lands and the Compañia de Terreños. (But see Item XIII:1 above).

item Item 5

"CLASSIFICATION: New Lines. SUBJECT: Southern Pacific of Mexico RRCo of Mexico -- Extensions and Completion of Existing Main Line and Branches. NOTE: Correspondence in August 1912, on suit of Lewis Warfield vs. General Miller, President of the Galena Signal Oil Company, and L.F. Loree for $6,000,000, in connection with the affairs of the Occidental Construction Company, which originally had in mind the construction of a line from Guaymas to Orendain or Guadalajara. - is filed in 089-L. (Loree)." Also another note on cover mentioning a book titled "Mexican West Coast and Lower California: A Commercial and Industrial Survey," published by the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, 1923. File No. 310-973, Part 1. From Dec. 1, 1911 to Oct. 31, 1922. (~1.5 inches). VERY useful file.

item Item 6

Several loose unrelated items and covers from other reports, loose at the back of the box. Note for Huntington staff: these covers should be repatriated with the original reports if possible.

Box Box 14, item Item 1

"Law Regulating Article 27 of the Constitution With Reference to Petroleum and Regulations to the New Petroleum Law." This is strictly a copy of the translation of this text in Spanish, which appeared in "Diario Oficial," No. 31, Vol. 45, on April 8, 1926. It addresses the effect of the Petroleum Law of 1925 on Article 27 of the 1917 Constitution. (~50 pp.) [2 copies]. [related to oil]

item Item 2

"Opinions of Lic. Eduardo Castaneda, Attorney for the East Coast Oil Company, S.A., Covering Status of East Coast Oil Co., S.A.; Paso del Haba Company; and H.B. Titcomb Company, S. en C., under the new Petroleum Law and its Regulations." About 20 pp., noting the effects of the petroleum law on each of these three companies.

item Item 3

Slim (40-50 pp??) bundle of correspondence, 5/8/26 to 6/3/27. Cover has been torn off or worn off over time. Very first item from Titcomb to Sproule, discussing effects of the 1926 Petroleum Law on his company and on the "East Coast Oil Co.," which Titcomb was also President of. Apparently the SP or SPM was trying to develop oil properties and was drilling in oil-rich land in an attempt to tap this market. Discussion of the legality of the Petroleum Law, which will clearly have a negative effect on the cadre of SP people involved in this discussion and collection.

item Item 4

[Cover is detached; loose in box. It appears to be the correct one for this item]: "Investment in S.P.R.R.Co. of Mexico -- Construction of Line Tepic to La Quemada and accounting therefore -- Agreement Between President Obregónand S.P.R.R. Co. of Mexico. Notes received from Mexican Government -- Statement of Claims Against Mexican Government. ...File No. 1083, Part 4, from Nov. 1, 1931 to Nov. 30, 1932."]Contents don't appear to directly match the title, but they could since I'm not taking the time to read through this item carefully. Appears to be File No. 1083, according to numbers on individual items. 11/4/31 to 11/23/32 are true dates of actual contents. Final (topmost) item has useful discussion on the actual 4-to-1 peso-to-dollar exchange rate versus the 2-to-1 rate used for accounting purposes. Detailed info on this topic included. Near top is a long mimeographed document detailing: "Names and titles of Mexican officials and other Mexicans referred to in this narrative"; an "Index of the More Important Current Affairs" discussed in the ~35-pp. document, including "Condition of line," Employes -- Number Affected by Strike," "Open Account With SPCo.: Changes in, By Years," and much other useful material. Date of this item appears to be late 1932 sometime.

item Item 5

"Proposed Regulation of Article 27 Mexican Constitution (Also SPdeM Properties at Nacozari)." File 070, Section 1. From October 6, 1925 to 1926. (~.5", including blueprint related to CRYyP RR.) Title's pretty self-descriptive. Good correspondence in Spanish and English from within and without SPM.

item Item 6

"Sonora River Bridge." File SPM 331-1, Section 1. From Nov. 23, 1928 to [Sept. 3, 1934]. (~1"). More on the 10% tax. Very quick skim shows letter from Walter Douglas to SP Chairman Hale Holden dated 7/26/33 discussing Calles' attitudes towards the SPM and Cardenas' upcoming Presidency; labor situation, etc.

item Item 7

[unmarked, but in manila folder "State Bills and Acts, SPM 071-2."] About .25" linear. June-August 1932.Appears to deal primarily with details of state-by-state appropriation acts. Hmm. Didn't realize states had the power to create their own appropriation legislation in Mexico. Two states detailed are Veracruz and Michoacan. Like so much of this collection, letters contain first or second-hand recollections of the attitudes and actions (or reactions) of key Mexican politicians to a wide range of events related to the railroad. One letter from E.B. Sloan to Titcomb (6/11/32) notes that "a son in law of Calles told me last night that the General had become very much incensed night before last on account of the passage of the [Appropriation] Law in the State of Veracruz, stating that he no more than got things calmed down and secured a partial restoration of confidence in the good intentions of the Mexican Government, when some of the radicals upset his program by means of foolish statements and the passing of Communistic Laws and that it is now time to find out who has the upper hand in political matters: General Calles and his associates, or the extreme radicals." Etc.

item Item 8

[unmarked, but in manila folder "Government Rates, SPM 620-161."] Less than .25" linear. 3/13/28 to 1/16/34.Primarily discussion of rate conflicts within the State of Sonora; specifically, with the state owing money to SPM "for transportation and other services furnished during the years 1920, 1921, 1923, 1925 and 1928."

item Item 9

Single untitled item, consisting of four pieces, all marked with File No. 217-1. 7/16/32 to 8/8/32. Deals with proper way to handle bank drafts covering traffic balances due to SPM from carriers in the U.S. and Canada.

item Item 10

Another single untitled item, consisting of perhaps 20 pieces, all marked with File No. 217. Most of this is a 13-page copy of a Mexican law from the Dept. of Finance and Public Credit, amending the law of Aug. 25, 1925, which established the Bank of Mexico.

item Item 11

Two items in folder titled "Taxes and Assessments, SPM 073." First brief item consists of various squabblings with Mexican govt. about importation duties. Notes shipments into Mazatlán, 1929 "Revolution," etc. Second item has its own cover: "Extraordinary Tax Law of Mexico." File SPM 073, Section 1. From Aug. 3, 1931 to [Sept. 16, 1931]. (~.25"). Good. Material on a 1% tax on all gross receipts for 1930. SPM thinks that railroads are exempt from those taxes.

item Item 12

Two more items in folder titled "Taxes and Assessments, SPM 073." Various dates in 1933. First is brief item of four pieces of correspondence about changes in the General Stamp Tax Law of Mexico. Second is two letters, late Sept./early Oct. 1933 correspondence between SPM President Walter Douglas and A.D. McDonald, Chairman of the Executive Committee, about the Mex. govt.'s claim against SPM for nonpayment of the 1% Extraordinary Tax. Court battle continues.

item Item 13

Manila folder containing single item; folder marked "Official Organization, SPM 110-01." 6/12/40 to 8/13/45.~.25" linear. Good stuff. First item discusses animosity existing between Attorney Emilio Gonzalez and Attorney Vera Estañol, both of whom the SPM has been using, and which they think is more competent (Estanol); and what to do. Most of correspondence appears to deal with Estanol, and specifically with SPM attempts to keep Estanol in their pocket by offering him a bonus (25% of the amount in question!) if he can secure the SPM a refund on their taxes paid to the government. Not a big dollar amount (about 10 grand U.S.), but possibly worthwhile info. Also includes letter (7/24/41) from Ben Dey to Estanol, scolding him for taking his own initiative in attempting to get the company a tax refund.

item Item 14

Single item in manila folder marked "Tie Plates, SPM 341-041." 3/9/32 to 5/12/33. Some detailed info (a little less than a quarter-inch linear) about railroad ties and tie plates used on the line, for renewal purposes later that year. Suggestion is to obtain ties locally rather than have them shipped in. Letter dated 9/27/32 from A.D.McDonald to Titcomb suggests using local ties rather than importing them from U.S.: "I hardly think we are justified, especially in view of prevailing financial conditions and the general situation in Mexico, in using treated ties for your tracks, and I suppose if you can obtain native hardwood for substantially all of your requirements, the question of using treated ties, and also the application of tie plates, will also disappear." Etc.

Box Box 15, item Item 1

No cover; but SPM File No. 310-973. July 1929 to August 20, 1930. [this file number appears to be a general, wide-ranging category, judging from the description of other items seen so far with the same number.] Some good stuff, i.e., letter of 4/11/30 from Titcomb to Sproule, noting his meeting that afternoon with Mexican President Ortiz Rubio, regarding what appears to have been an interminable quest by the SPM to successfully claim moneys from the government, in this case to the tune of $10 million pesos. "The President scrutinized these figures very carefully and was much interested. ...saying that the Budget was prepared by his predecessor... and promised further that for 1931, the Budget would carry some amount for the liquidation of the government's obligations to the company. At this point, I stated that the Company would consider at any time any real offer of compromise." Also see, for example, earlier pink telegram dated 11/18/29 to SP Pres. Hale Holden, from Paul Shoup, about discussion had with Titcomb that morning by phone. Notes that Rubio had been elected that day by overwhelming majority. Noted business better than last year at this time. Recommends that the SPM quietly ascertain what price Government would take for its freight car fumigating plant at Guadalajara, which is not completed and is ineffectively conducted. Etc., etc.

Additional Note

Also includes news clippings in envelope at end, plus slim body of correspondence, and separate, very detailed cost sheets listing the cost of rehabilitation of all bridges in Sinaloa and Sonora destroyed during the revolution of March and April, 1929.
item Item 2

Manila folder containing three items. Folder title is "Purchase, Ownership and Sale of Property -- Mexico. No. 311-900.2."

item Item 2a

First item with same title as folder, is "Part 1," and is dated 1/1/12 to 6/25/29. Perhaps 15 items? Some information on land values in Mexico for buying and selling purposes. Imperial Valley land prices of $35-50 per acre seem low to Sproule. First two letters detail this info, and talk about why some SP land in Mexico is valuable, and why some is not. Includes a sort of "ad" for 110,000 acres in Tabasco state, for sale; describes geography of the piece of land in great detail. SPM's not interested in buying it. Other offers of land made to SP.

item Item 2b

"Aguirre Ranch." File No. 311-900.2-AR, Part 1. From Jan. 1, 1912 to [4/15/30]. Various discussions of possible sale of ranch land.

item Item 2c

A loose blueline showing the line from Motaje to Tepic, and noting in color the various haciendas through which the line runs.

item Item 3

In manila folder. "Tract of land known as 'Sierra Navachiste,' at Topolobampo, Mexico." 311-973, Part 1. [Formerly Old File No. 2726]. 3/17/09 to 2/15/35. Note on cover indicates that old file on "Pacific City Terminal and Contracting Company" is numbered 2726-3. About 25 pieces. Details this 60,000 acre property near Topolobambo, on the ocean, owned by the SPM and connected to the main line via the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient RR. Early material dating back to legendary SP President E.H. Harriman and the Sonora Railway. Harriman instructed someone [Kruttschnitt?] to buy the land on the bay, as it was a deepwater port, for SP use. It was finally abandoned in 1935 since SPM wasn't using it at all and also because of the momentum of Cardenas' land redistribution laws (the property was partly occupied by "agrarians" in 1935.)

item Item 4

"Ballast -- Southern Pacific Railroad Company of Mexico." File No. 332-973, Part 1. Jan. 1, 1912 to 5/16/32.(~.25"). Pretty straightforward stuff on large-scale project to ballast the line. Final item is a good succinct summary of conditions in Mexico vis-a-vis the railroad as perceived by Paul Shoup in 1932.

item Item 5

"Culverts -- Arizona-Mexico Lines." File No. 331.2-97, Part 1. Jan. 1, 1912 to [12/28/23]. Discussion as to whether or not Mex. govt. will accept corrugated iron pipe culverts as permanent structures. Maybe 15 pieces.

item Item 6

Folder is titled "Monthly Reports (Miscellaneous), 200.42," but two items in folder are actually the SPM annual report for 1928, to the Mexican Department of Communications and Public Works. (~1.5") One copy in English, one in Spanish.

item Item 7

"Proposed Railroad from Tampico to the Rio Grande River." File No. 310-985, Part 1. From Jan. 1, 1924 to 1928. Includes bluelines, presumably of route. (~.25"). SPM decided ultimately that they weren't interested, after a typically long gestation period. No one ever seems to have made any kinds of business decisions quickly in Mexico, including the SP de México...

item Item 8

"Investment in SPM -- Agreement between Mexican Government and SPM -- Notes Received and Claims Against Mexican Government." File No. 1083, Part 7. From Jan. 1, 1935 to Oct. 5, 1938. (~1"). There's a good clear summary of tax issues on green paper roughly midway through this: notes when first Mexican tax law was passed (1924), why (primarily to tax the U.S. oil companies doing business in Mexico), and what the effect of the income tax is and has been on SPM. Lots of financial issues discussed, such as bond issues, coupon payments, etc.

Box Box 16, item Item 1

[no cover.] File No. 310-973. 11/1/22 to 3/28/23. Includes numerous mounted U.S. and Mexican newspaper clippings from this period. (~1.5"). The focus of this tightly topical group is the announcement of the SPM's intention to complete the 109-mile gap from Tepic to La Quemada, after the major interruption of the Revolution, and attendant discussion, etc. Hence the numerous news clippings, etc., many of which will be quite useful. Obregon was at ceremony, along with Julius Kruttschnitt, SP Chairman, Harry Chandler, etc.

item Item 2

[no cover, but first item notes that it's "310-973, Part 7."] Sept. 4, 1930 to Dec. 31, 1931. (~.75"). Appears to deal primarily with the 10% gross receipts tax imposed by Mexico. Includes a v. interesting letter from Emilio Gonzalez (see XIV:13) to Guy Shoup, from L.A., dated 2/13/31, which is a nine-page letter detailing the history and possible outcome of the 10% tax which the SPM continually resisted paying.

Additional Note

Important to note that the 1923 start of final construction finally took place because Obregón agreed to give SPM a break regarding moneys owed due to damages from the Revolution.
item Item 3

Very large folder (~3") of material. Several subitems:

item Item 3a

Printed item, relating to the Railway Law of 1899 and the Cananea, Río Yaqui y Pacífico (CRY&P) Railroad: "Concessions by the Mexican Government to the Southern Pacific. Translation. Mexico, 1907." (2 copies).

item Item 3b

Contracts (five different items) between CRY&P (which the SP soon bought; and the Grant Brothers Construction Company. Dated 1909. Also, the contractual response from Grant Bros.

item Item 3c

"Cananea, Yaqui River & Pacific." [the CRY&P] [Old File No.?] 456. From March 30, 1904 to June 20, 1909. This item is the bulk of this folder. Primarily interaction between Epes Randolph and Julius Kruttschnitt. GREAT stuff on early work on the line: surveying, construction, "Indian problem," much more. These were two of the most important people in U.S. railroading at the time.

item Item 4

"Indebtedness of the National Railways of Mexico." File No. 081 N Ry M, Part 4. Jan. 2, 1941 to Feb. 2, 1942. More discussion of interline issues. It appears that this issue was satisfactorily resolved because the Mexican government either paid up or got on an acceptable payment schedule, but not without voluminous correspondence such as this. SEE ALSO XII:I, XII:2.

Box Box 17, item Item 1

"Income and Absentee Taxes on Equipment Rents -- Mexico." File No. SPM 073, Part 3. From Jan. 11, 1937 to Nov. 11, 1937. (~1.25"). More material on issues of rental and income taxes between Mexican govt. and SPM. Largely covers the issue of the 4% Exportation of Capital Tax placed upon the SPM by the Mexican government. The SPM seems to have wanted to appear as a Mexican corporation when convenient, and as a U.S. corporation when convenient.

item Item 2

"CLASSIFICATION: Investment in Southern Pacific Railroad Company of Mexico -- Southern Pacific Company. SUBJECT: Construction of Line Tepic to La Quemada and accounting therefor. Agreement between President Obregon and S.P. of Mexico. Notes Received by S.P. of Mexico from Mexican government. Statement of claims against Republic of Mexico." File No. 1083, Part 1. From Dec. 7, 1914 to March 23, 1927. (~1.25"). Most of this concerns the early days of startup of the construction of the line, after Mexico agreed to pay $13 million pesos to SPM for claims due to damages to line from Revolution; contract bids for companies to do final construction segment. Lots of details on rehabilitation of main line; etc.

item Item 3

"Income and Absentee Taxes on Equipment Rents -- Mexico." File SPM 073, Part 5. From Jan. 6, 1942 to Dec. 28, 1944. (~1"). More of the same. Details of paying taxes due to Mexican government.

item Item 4

""Income and Absentee Taxes on Equipment Rents -- Mexico." File SPM 073, Part 2. From January 14, 1936 to December 31, 1936. (~2 linear inches). A lot of very condensed chronological material here; a year's worth of correspondence on this subject of perhaps 500 pieces. St. Louis Southwestern Railway Lines and the Pacific Fruit Co. are mentioned regularly in relation to tax issues as well. Complaints and discussion of 1934 tax penalty levied by Mexican govt. for failure to pay taxes. Includes, for example, good clear letter from SPM attorney Estanol to Walter Douglas, dated 9/23/36, about tax issues.

Box Box 18, item Item 1

"History --- Southern Pacific Railroad Company of Mexico (MJW-275)." File No. SPdeM 110-3 (History). Part I. From April 1937 to 1941. (~2 linear inches). Very rich internal material. Examples: A list of resolutions adopted by the Board relative to concessions and construction, from 1910 to 1931; an internal study of the SPM's operations from 1920 to 1935 inclusive, including very important "plan for restoring that line to its former importance as a feeder company to Southern Pacific Company," along with discussion of waning importance of line to SP and increasing importance to National Railways of Mexico; lengthy excerpts (perhaps 25 pp. worth) from 19th-century SP annual reports talking about the importance of present and future lines in Mexico; copies of the SPM's Articles of Incorporation; includes large confidential file in envelope at end detailing Mexico's reparation payments to SPM; etc.

item Item 2

Loose copy of the Diario Oficialfor Jan. 22, 1923 [had Huntington staff refolder this delicate item]

item Item 3

Marked "Extra Copies." Discussion of how to best relieve the shortage of railroad ties; late 1922 to March 1923; appears to relate specifically to the love-fest taking place at the time between Obregón and his government and the SP de Mexico, leading up to the agreement to complete the last 109 miles of the line.

item Item 4

"New Construction. SPM: Extensions and Completion of Existing Main Line and Branches." (~1.5 lin. inches). Five notes on front, probably worth repeating here:

 

"1. Concession status as of Jan. 1, 1923-- see Statement of Dec. 11, 1923.

 

2. For ten year program of SPM expenditures for construction, etc., see Mr. Sproule's letter of Oct. 1, 1925, filed herein.

 

3. For replacement program recapitulation, total all replacements by years (1923-26), see Mr. Sproule's letter of March 9, 1926, filed herein.

 

4. Unofficial opening of train service between Nogales and Guadalajara April 14, 1927. See Mr. H.B. Titcomb's telegram April 10, 1927, filed herein.

 

5. Clippings, unless identified with correspondence, filed in envelopes."

 

Also includes a list of five related files on cover page.

 

This item provides an answer to a question never addressed in the press at the time: why did Obregón suddenly cancel his appearance at the opening ceremonies of the line in 1927? -It was because a carload of troops escorting a passenger train in Jalisco state had been massacred, and it was felt by the SP and SPM that the luminaries gathered for an SPM celebration would be potential targets as well. "Persons who do this would probably consider it much more effective to massacre the kind of party proposed to be gathered at Salsipuedes viaduct [the planned ceremony location]," notes William Sproule in a letter shortly after the event. "The occasion is not of sufficient importance to have a large number of them risk their lives," concurs H.W. de Forest. Many useful items herein, such as a record of actions by the Executive Committee of the SPM in terms of negotiations with Mexican government. (1921-26). This is a VERY useful summary, dated 3/18/26. (Trivia Dept.: Includes most detailed estimate I've seen yet of the length of the final Tepic-La Quemada leg: 102.816 miles! That's accuracy within four feet! Earlier estimates said 102.79; others I've seen round it down to 102, and most recent published SP history by Don L. Hofsommer actually puts it at 90 miles, for some reason.) Also includes half-broadsheet-sized article on SPM that appeared in the Kansas City Star on Jan. 11, 1925, Section C[?], p. 1. Obregon appears to have had the best relations with SPM. Envelope at end contains large number of mounted news clippings.

item Item 5

"SPM: Extensions and Completion of Existing Main Line and Branches." File No. 310-973, Part 9. From Jan. 1, 1933, to 1939. "Includes settlement with the Mexican Government on account of construction, transportation service, depredations, and transportation and other taxes, etc." Includes some discussion of the 1933 resignation of Mexican Secretary of Finance, Alberto Pani; and his disagreements with Pres. Rodriguez. Notes that Calles will become the new Secretary of Finance. Pani was an important player in SPM dealings with the government because of regular Mexican attempts to tax the SPM for various reasons. Some discussion of tourist hotels, such as rough draft of Committee action dated 6/6?/33.

Box Box 19, item Item 1

[Unmarked item, but folder label reads, "Estimates of Earnings -- SPM 230-01."] 9/22/31 to 5/14/34. Discussions of amounts paid to parent SP company; includes six-page letter from Walter Douglas, SPdeM President, to A.D. McDonald, SP President, dated 5/22/33 -- a highly lucid explanation of operating results for March 1933 versus March 1932, including discussion of main decreases in revenue coming from heavy dropoff in tomato and vegetable shipments, sugar revenues, corn revenues; discussion of arrangement with NRM regarding rate reductions of ~10% for shipping of beans, corn, cattle, rice, salt, flour, garbanzo beans, etc.; the rationale for such reductions ("to enable West Coast Producers to compete with producers in the Central Valley"); costs of advertising for 1932 [first time I've seen any info on how much SP spent on advertising for anything], including a breakdown showing how much was for radio broadcasting, how much for a Mazatlán Easter excursion ("a great success"), etc. MANY good items herein. For instance, another letter dated 5/15/33 from Douglas to McDonald, explaining increases in various items over the previous year, and thus quite revealing of pieces of the SPM's finances, because it lists the "why" for the increases as well as the types and dollar amounts. Includes some salary data, advertising expenses, stationery and printing costs, tie renewals ($19,000; apparently tie expenses were a very high cost and directly related to SP's strategy, stated elsewhere in this collection as noted above, to get the line back into the black by farming and shipping local Mexican woods both as exports for U.S. consumption and as a forward linkage for their own construction needs.)

item Item 2

"Expropriation of Land in Lower California." File 089-4, Part 1. From March 27, 1937 to Nov. 11, 1943. (~1.5"). Includes some U.S. govt. docs, such as an item on the American Mexican Claims Commission, dated 1943 ("Established pursuant to the Settlement of Mexican Claims Act of 1942.") Talk about an irresistable force meeting an immovable object: the SP, king of the land-grabbing railroads, versus the Carranza/Cardenas/Camacho land-redistributing agrarian machine! In this body of material, the SPM is trying to reclaim lands they considered theirs by some earlier precedents and agreements, most of which predate the 1917 Constitution. But it's clear from this that even the U.S. govt., in the form of the Agrarian Claims Commission, doesn't think the SP has any claim to certain contested lands in Mexico. On Oct. 8, 1940, ACC Executive Officer George H. Winters politely but firmly responds in a three-page letter to SP VP W.A. Worthington that "It is not clear how the agreements of Dec. 28, 1915 and June 22, 1916 [which he details at the start of letter] can, of themselves, properly be regarded as establishing any interest on the part of the Southern Pacific Company in the lands in question." He goes on to note that "From the language of the first of those arguments it seems to be obvious that the creation of any interest in the lands here involved on the part of the claimant depended upon the performance of a number of conditions subsequent. The record contains no direct evidence as to the performance of those conditions...," etc. This letter is quite revealing of U.S. policy with regard to American land claims. The FDR government's Good Neighborhood-ism colors a lot of this, in fascinating ways. This also involves the SP-sheltered venture known as the "Compa-ia de Terrenos Y Aguas de La Baja California," which is noted elsewhere in this survey (specifically, see II:4, XIII:1, XIII:4). Also contains large envelope with maps, other materials; didn't look inside envelope.

item Item 3

"SPdeM Losses Due to Revolution." File No. 220.121/940, Part 1. From August 15, 1929 to Oct. 9, 1929.More on the Cristero Rebellion, but a very brief set of materials (eight items total).

item Item 4

"CLASSIFICATION: New Construction. SUBJECT: SPdeM -- Extensions and Completion of Existing Main Line and Branches." File No. 310-973, Part 5. From Aug. 1, 1928 to June 30, 1929 (~2"). Cover notes:

 

"1. Memo on SPCo's investment in SPRRCo of Mexico, including investment in Mexican bonds;

 

2. Memo on Concession of November 3, 1910; of SPRRCo. of Mexico;

 

3. Memo on subsidiaries accruing under the Concession of Aug. 14, 1905, and amendments; and

 

4. Map showing lines constructed under concessions, are filed in this file at April 15, 1929." [numbering added]

 

Envelope includes mounted news clippings.

 

A number of good items herein. For instance, letter dated 6/5/29, from Paul Shoup to Hale Holden, SP Chairman, about a recent meeting among Shoup, Ambassador Dwight Morrow, Portes Gil, and Calles. "The Mexican government, as Mr. Morrow says, 'is broke.' It cannot pay the interest on the debts it owes, which in round figures, including guaranteed bonds of the National Railways, and accumulated interest on all debts, amounts to $1,800,000,000 pesos. ...Mr. Montes de Oca show[ed] me figures estimating the cost of the [Cristero] Revolution at $14,000,000 pesos, and loss in revenues $10,000,000 pesos..." Also discussion in this letter of Shoup's interaction with Calles; Calles "spoke of the value of our road in military operations now that it is completed through to Guadalajara, and said that in his plan of campaign he had done all he could to keep the injury to it to a minimum. He said he did not believe there would be any more military revolutions for a long time, the last three having been unsuccessful. I found that to be the view of the Government officers in general." Considerably more in this letter on prevailing views about current and future conditions in Mexico. Great 4-page letter from Shoup; closes by saying that some foreign property-owners in Mexico would prefer the big-stick method, but he finds Morrow's cooperative approach "infinitely the better one."

 

Envelope at end also contains copies of correspondence, much of it mildewed and stuck together somewhat. At least some of the correspondence is duplicate material, since I've seen same letters earlier in packet.

Box Box 20, item Item 1

[in manila envelope with Item 2 below] "Proposed Construction by Mexican Government of Railroad from Terminus of Inter-California Southern Railway to the Gulf. Possible Sale Inter-California to Mexican Government. Possible Abandonment I.C.S." File No. 080-2, Part 2. From Oct. 7, 1938 to June 10, 1940. (~1.25"). Mexican government apparently wanted to buy this line from the SP, but didn't have cash. SP proposed a trade of Mexican fuel oil, enough to meet the SPM's 700,000 barrel-per-year needs, for some period of years, in exchange. It appears that govt. finally decided to take line in exchange for paying 2% of gross rceipts to the ICS (and thus to the SPM), after several other creative (and apparently unsuccessful) proposals. Apparently labor issues were a key factor in the relinquishing of this line, and considerable railroad labor discussion and detail is included herein. Other items include a letter from Walter Douglas to Obregón about the ICS, dated 5/13/39; a curt letter from Walter Douglas to A.D. McDonald in NY that notes that "Mr. Guy Shoup seems to be disturbed over the fact that the ICS has no right of way through the Andrade Lands, title to which seems still to be in litigation... I can see no reason for going to this expense at this time. So far as the Southern Pacific of Mexico is concerned, our tracks pass over hundreds of kilometers of lands to which we have no legal title, and I don't see any reason why in the case of the ICS any additional cost should be incurred by purchasing a right of way from which we will probably never be disturbed. We have written to Mr.Shoup to this effect...." Very rare to see this kind of candidness from the SP in any of published material on them! Most of their corporate records have very carefully excised or hidden this type of admission... and one reason the SPM's records are such a great hook into the parent SP corporation.

Additional Note

Envelope at end contains great photos of washed-out ICS track, other items. (includi ng possibly map, which would be helpful to see.)
item Item 2

[in manila envelope with Item 1 above] "Proposed Construction by Mexican Government of Railroad from Terminus of Inter-California Southern Railway to the Gulf. Possible Sale Inter-California to Mexican Government. Possible Abandonment I.C.S." File No. 080-2, Part 1. From May 24, 1935 to Oct. 24, 1938. (~1.25"). More of the same about the ICS, and probably lots of good material detailing SPM interaction with Mexican govt. Hey! Harry Chandler of The Times was apparently the original owner, who sold part or all of it to SPM. (See letter dated 9/16/36 from Walter Douglas to Hale Holden. Douglas seems exceptionally frank in his letters. More discussion about the possible sale of this line to Mexican government. Note that Item 2 precedes Item 1 chronologically; they were out of order in the box so I've left them that way.

item Item 3

"Inter-California Southern Railway -- Abandonment." File No. 080-2, Part 3. From June 11, 1940 to 1941.(~1"). Detailed inventory of equipment and supplies; note that on May 8, 1941, Board approved sale (third board member Harry Chandler being absent, J.A. Small and E.B. Sloan, the other two board members, voted to do so) of line to Mexican govt., for a single purchase price of $200,000 pesos, for the line, totaling 69 kilometers. Not a very big line.

item Item 4

[partially disbound]: "Hotel Playa de Cortes, Guaymas, Mexico." File SPM 088, Part 4[!]. From August 11, 1944 to Aug. 29, 1945. (~.75"). Discusses contemplated lease or sale of property; some good internal discussion about Miramar and Cortes resorts. [this item very disorganized; disbound, with some items turned upside down, lots of it out of order].

item Item 5

Apparently another part of the above; indiv. items marked "088." Aug. 11, 1944 -July 6, 1945. Contains terrific numbers: Number of payng guests daily for June 1945 vs. June 1943; number of boats in service occupied by paying guests; number of rooms occupied by paying guests. [near top of stack]. Also, topmost item is dated May 27, 1936, outside the general date range for the rest of this item. This topmost item details lot size, location, description of facilities, origins of name, etc.

Box Box 21, item Item 1

"Tunnels." SPM 331-3. Nov. 1930 -May 1931. (~.25"). Mostly discussion of the quality of concrete used, other general tunnel and construction issues. [Item in folder with no cover page].

item Item 2

"Quarantine Restrictions Etc." SPM 622-106. (<.25"). 11/18/29-1/23/31. Discussion of pest and disease control for vegetables, fruits, other agricultural goods shipped along line. Also includes a duplicate of telegram from Box XII, Item 10, because of item #3 in this important telegram about fumigating cars.

item Item 3

"Federal Income Tax Accruals, Payments, Etc." File No. 073, Part 1. From Dec. 2, 1945 -Dec. 30, 1946.(~2"). Discussion of effect of sudden end of war on tax issues; tax credits; etc. It appears to deal primarily with the SPM's tax relationship with the U.S. govt., and thus deals with the SP's relationship with the U.S. govt.

item Item 4

Brief series of letters (one each) among A.T. Mercier, SPM Pres., P.J. Wendall, and Amos Taylor, Director of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce [of the U.S. Dept. of the Commerce], about a request for certain information concerning SP's investments in Mexico for quarter ended 12/31/45. Correspondence dated 1945-46. Not very important because it contains little detail, but does refer receipient of one letter to Table 23 of the 1944 SP Annual Report.

item Item 5

Folder is marked "Equipment Depreciation." Title: "Change From Retirement to Depreciation Accounting for Tax Income Purposes for: SPM, Tijuana & Tecate RR Co., Nacozari RR Co., and Inter-California RR Co." SPdeM 410-002, Part 1. From March 20, 1945 to [Nov. 5, 1946.]More tax issues.

item Item 6

"Federal Income Tax Audit, Disallowances, Etc." File 073, Part 2. From June 28, 1945 to Dec. 26, 1946. (>2"). OK. This is the kind of material that talks most about the relationship, legal and fiduciary, between the SPM and the U.S. government. At end in envelope, are also two stapled "publications" -- a main pub and a supplement. Title is: "Protest Against Certain Findings on Examination on Examination of Tax Returns of Southern Pacific Company and its Affiliated Companies for Years 1939 to 1943, Inclusive." This, plus supplement, are about 115 type pages. Addressed to the Treasury Dept. They quote lots of court cases to try and show they should not be liable for certain tax burdens.

Box Box 22, item Item 1

[no title.] Important.This very slim item details the property destroyed "during revolutions, various years 1912 to 1929 to be retired." Notes date destroyed, location and item, and value in pesos. 11/13/34 to 12/21/34.Specific dates mentioned as being ones in which military forces destroyed things are: 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1926, and 1929. But no more detail on this than as noted above -- perhaps two pages listing places, dates, values, and items destroyed.

item Item 2

"Dissolution of Southern Pacific Navigation Co. and Transfer of Assets to Southern Pacific of Mexico." File SPM 082-2, Section 1. From Dec. 7, 1933 to 1934. Very slim item; perhaps 15 pieces. This Mexican company was incorporated in Sonora on Nov. 7, 1910; the only property owned by the company was the steamer "Luella," which was destroyed by fire at Manzanillo, Mexico, April 28, 1914; outstanding capital stock at time of transfer was $12,500 U.S.; company had been inactive since ship destroyed in 1914, but had maintained its corporate identity for the purpose of prosecuting claims against the Mexican government. "These claims have now been settled and the company was dissolved by action of its stockholders November 21, 1933."

item Item 3

"Moving SPdeM Offices Into Mexico." File No. 354.101, Part I. From July 20, 1926 to early 1928. (~.5"). Details the move south. Includes a mounted news clipping, from the Tucson, ArizonaCitizen, July 25, 1927, describing in detail the SPM's move of their headquarters from Tucson after 23 years, down to Guadalajara. About 130 people moved from Tucson. Detailed info on the Hotel Cosmopolita in Guadalajara, rent and lease costs, etc.

item Item 4

"Claim of Mexican Government for Duties, Fines, and Penalties for Fuel Oil Taken by SPdeM Locomotives Across Border Without Being Manifested in Customhouse." SPM 023-6, Section 1. From Nov. 1, 1932 to [Feb. 26, 1941]. This seems like a tempest in a teapot; it generated maybe 100 pieces of correspondence (~.5"). Apparently at various times the issue has arisen as to whether or not the SPM owed claims for passing fuel oil across the border without paying duties on it -- but specifically the fuel oil used to run the locomotive, not fuel oil it was transporting as freight.

item Item 5

"Forecast of Mexican Lines' Operating Results (Also Mexican Government Income Tax)." File No. 221.4, Part 3. From Oct. 11, 1927, to [Jan. 10, 1928]. (<.5"). Concerns about how to meet Article 123's requirements that all railroad structures be permanent within 10 years.

item Item 6

"Construction of Line, Tepic to La Quemada." File SPM 300-4, Part 3. From July 21, 1927, to [April 2, 1931].(~1"). Post-construction legal and financial hassles between the SPM and the Utah Construction Company. Shows hassles of being an American company in Mexico and working for another Mexican company in Mexico...

item Item 7

"Extension of Line From Mazatlán Station to Port of Mazatlán." File SPM 300-42, Part 1. From Sept. 21, 1925 to [April 25, 1933]. Apparently SPM had a concession in 1908 to build tiny stub line of 3.5 km from main line into Mazatlán, but as of 1933, the line hadn't been completed (only 2 km had been built and were in use). Inquiries were made about why not by Shoup, and Sloan answered that "undoubtedly the concession has lapsed, but it has not been forfeited on account of the fact that no notification of forfeiture has been given by the Department of Communications, the situation being fully understood in that Department. It is manifestly impossible to complete the balance of the line to the port of Mazatlán, on account of the fact that the location of the port has not been determined, there having been presented several projects involving different locations, none of which has been definitely accepted. While the Government is very anxious to complete the port works, I am advised that no construction will be carried on this year on account of lack of funds." (Sloan to Shoup, April 17, 1933). Need to see a history of Mazatlán to read more about development of that community. --Includes detailed bluelines of proposed terminal facilities at Mazatlán.

item Item 8

"Suit of Torres Heirs Against East Coast Oil Company. Obtaining Confirmatory Concessions Territas Blancas and El Ingenio." File 086 ECO, Section 1. From June 16, 1925 to June 1, 1932. (<2"). Relates to certain proprty-owners' soil surface and subsurface rights, as promulgated in 1917 Constitution (and perhaps also in 1925 Petroleum Law?).

item Item 9

"Claims Against Southern Pacific Railroad of Mexico for Losses Incurred During Revolution of 1929." Terrific detail on this conflict. Letter of Dec. 5, 1931 details chronological events from March 3, 1929 ("Revolution started") to March 20, 1929. Rebels were burning trestles and holding up or taking refrigerated cars. Inclues lengthy, stinging letter from A.A. Burnand of Burnand & Co., dated 11/7/31. (They were packers and shippers located in L.A. and Tucson). "Mr. Titcomb seems to think he can treat his patrons about as he pleases and still enjoy their friendship and patronage with his affiliations -- this cannot be done. When we enter into an agreement we carry it out. ...If you have revolutionary losses there is no reason why we should bear any part thereof. If they burn a bridge from you and steal a truck from us, you certainly cannot be called upon to pay us part of the value of our truck anymore than we should pay for part of the repairs of your bridge. ...We have given this entire subject careful and fair consideration during the past two years while we have been trying to get a hearing. The more we think of it the more we feel we have been shabbily treated by your officials in Mexico. I know you have the reputation of being absolutely fair in all matters and I feel that you would approve an order of prompt settlement of our claim if you were fully acquainted with the entire file..." Some other great stuff here too! Including a letter to T.D. Boyd of the Mexico Arizona Trading Co. who had made similar complaints, i.e., letter from Shoup to Boyd dated 10/31/31: We value your goodwill... I do not feel, however, that we should be charged with the results of difficulties beyond our control, incident to the revolution, in which we lost perhaps more than any other private interest in Mexico. Let us hope better times come to us all." This in response to an earlier handwritten letter from Boyd to Shoup: "Please pardon script. I am in the field trying to plant tomatoes. All of letter is good; last paragraph is great illustration of stresses caused by revolution and of views of SPM: "We realize that you suffered many losses, and that you still are losing in your operations. Your revolutionary losses were unavoidable; whereas what we are complaining about was caused by useless, non-productive, unreasonable action by employes and officials in failing to carry out a simple, clear, and extremely important agreement, which you yourself helped us to make. I know that in the bottom of your heart you know we are dead right. Don't hesitate. Do what is correct in this matter and don't force Burnand and me to continue to fight the SPdeM. We don't want to do it, and I do not think you gentlemen ought force us." --Apparently a key issue was that the SPM wouldn't send several hundred empties into Nogales, or north of San Blas, which left the shipping company unable to ship their tomatoes [back into Mexio? or further north into U.S?] Boyd claims that "persistent, insistant, and earnest requests for empties are on record and also were verbally made." Etc. [SEE ALSO III:2, XIX:3.]

Box Box 23, item Item 1

"Sale of 700 Box Cars to Mexican Government." File 410-045, Section 1. From January 9, 1952 to late Dec. 1954.(~1.25"). This represents the last gasp of the SPM, which transferred all rights and property to the Mexican government on Dec. 21 1951. Details the sale of box cars to the government.

item Item 2

T&T 311-2. No title; this very slim set of correspondence deals with possible or pending sale of SPM lands to Mexican government. All dated 1945.

item Item 3

SPM 219. Again, no title; also very slim; dated 5/26/33 to 5/16/34. Folder enclosing this item says "Authorization of Expenditures," and that's what it looks like. Variety of minor facilities-type expenditures.

item Item 4

"Dwelling Houses, Section and Bunk Houses. -Mexican Lines." NOTE ON COVER: "C/s received from President's Office, SF, on Jan. 1, 1939, under file number and subject as follows: 'SPM 359-1. Part 1. construction of Section Facilities at Varios Locations on Southern Pacific of Mexico' was combined with this file on March 8, 1939." File No. SPM 359-1, Part 1. January 1, 1912 to October 30, 1945. (~1").

item Item 5

"Rail and Fastenings Furnished by S.P.Co to SP de Mexico." File No. SPM 342, Part 1. From July 1942 to Nov. 14, 1945.

item Item 6

"Financial Forecasts: Estimates of Cash Requirements: Cash Advances to SPDeM Bank Account -- Wells Fargo Bank at San Francisco, Calif." File SPM 210-002, Part 3. From August 6, 1940 to Nov. 25, 1941. (~1.25"). Good information; presents detailed SPM finances during this 15-month period; also good info on Wells Fargo's relationship with SPM.

item Item 7

"Claim of Mexican Government Against Southern Pacific of Mexico for Income Tax for Car Rentals." File SPM 540-1, Part 1. From August 14, 1926 to [Feb. 8, 1937]. (~1"). Some good stuff on relations with Mexican govt., such as letter on 8/15/34 from Walter Douglas to Hale Holden, noting a decision on SPM's government indebtedness that was "unexpectedly favorable," etc.

item Item 24

This final item is not boxed. It's a bound minute book, dated November 22, 1932 to Sept. 11, 1940. Large folio. Scrapbook-style, with items pasted onto each page. 318 pp. in length. Contains Board resolutions (such as one to build hotel, p. 33). Minutes are in chronological order rather than any subject order.