4 F. 284 (D.Colo. 1880), Western Union Tel. Co. v. Kansas Pac. Ry. Co.

Citation:4 F. 284
Court:United States District Courts, 10th Circuit, District of Colorado

Page 284

4 F. 284 (D.Colo. 1880)




United States District Court, D. Colorado.


Page 285

. . ., for plaintiff.

. . ., for defendants.


On the first day of October, A.D. 1876, the Union Pacific Railway Company, eastern division, afterwards known as the Kansas Pacific Railway Company, entered into a contract with the Western Union Telegraph Company relating to the construction and use of a line of telegraph on and along the road of the first-named company. This contract was to continue 25 years. The railway company agreed to pay to the telegraph company the cost of poles, wire, and insulators which had been erected on the line of the road between Wyandotte and Fort Riley, Kansas, and thereafter to furnish material for extending the line as the road should be built westward. The railway company was to furnish the materials and transportation for the line, and the telegraph company was to construct it and keep it in repair. The telegraph company was also to furnish main batteries for operating the line; and, until a second wire should be extended, both companies were to use the first in common. After another wire should be put up by the telegraph company, the first was to remain for the exclusive use of the railway company, and thereafter either company could have wires for its own use, as its business should require, by paying the cost thereof. With this arrangement as to building, maintaining, and operating the line, the railway company was to have free use thereof for its own business, and the telegraph company to use and operate it for business in general, from which a profit might be derived. Each party fulfilled the contract until the line was built to Denver; and

Page 286

thereafter they continued in the use and enjoyment of it until on or about the twenty-seventh day of February last, when the officers of the railway company took possession of the telegraph, and have excluded the telegraph company therefrom ever since that time. To prevent such action the telegraph company filed, in the district court of Arapahoe county, the original bill in this cause against the Kansas Pacific Railway Company and the American Union Telegraph Company, and, on the twenty-sixth of February last, obtained from the judge of that court an order restraining the Kansas Pacific Railway Company from interfering in any manner with the plaintiff's possession of the telegraph line. A writ of injunction was issued out of that court pursuant to such order, and due service thereof made on the officers of the railway company. The latter, assuming to be officers of another corporation called the Union Pacific Railway Company, which was organized about the first of February last by consolidating the Union Pacific Railroad Company and the Denver Pacific Railway & Telegraph Company with the said Kansas Pacific Railway Company, disregarding the writ, took possession of the telegraph line for and in the name of the said Union Pacific Railway Company. The cause was afterwards removed into this court, under the act of congress of 1875, and a supplemental bill was filed, in which the said Union Pacific Railway Company consolidated, and others, were made defendants with the Kansas Pacific Railway Company. In this bill, and upon the argument, the right of the several corporations before mentioned to unite in the manner pursued in organizing the Union Pacific Railway Company, is denied; and it is claimed that the officers of the railway company, whether acting for the Union Pacific Company, assuming that company to have been legally organized, or for the Kansas Pacific Company, were guilty...

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