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Beloit in 1911 : published by the Beloit Daily News
(c1911)

[Beloit companies],   pp. 22-[36] PDF (13.2 MB)


Page 22

BELOIT IN NINETEEN ELEVEN
A few months prior to the time a
franchise was secured from the city
of Beloit to build a car line in the
city, a baker's dozen 'of the repre-
sentative business men of the city,
upon invitation of the man who paid
the rent, gathered at the office of
Attorney Joel B. Dow, to discuss the
feasibility of makng another at-
tempt to introduce a car service in
the city.  At the time, the interur-
ban line from Rockford to Janesville
was proposed, strenuous efforts were
made to couple with ths a city car
line, but opposition to this was made
upon the ground that the city was
not large enough and the venture
they knew that when once the con-
ditions were thoroughly investiga-
ted by  capitalists, the  enterprise
would appeal to them and so it was.
Judge R. N. Baylies and brother,
0. S. Baylies, of Chicago, T. M.
Ellis and F. W. Woodruff, of Rock-
ford, came to Beloit and interviewed
Mr. J. B. Dow, in whose hands the
"paper project" had been placed for
materialization and after canvassing
the situation, a proposition was made
a little later, through  Mr.  Dow,
Mayor Gault and others to the effect
that if a satisfactory franchise could
be procured from the city, these gen-
tlemen would engage to put up or
Beloit Traction Company
churches,  college,  public  schools
and resident districts renders Belolt
peculiarly well suited for a "pay car
line" and such it has proven to be
since the inception of the service.
There are approximately six miles
of track,-"looping" each side of the
river  and  traversing,  intersecting
and crossing all the principal busi-
ness and resident streets of the city.
The 1st day of August, 1907, is
memorable in the history of Beloit.
The "Jordan" had been crossed, the
promised land reached.  By the in-
troduction of the "poor man's car-
riage" in the opening up of the city
car line on that day, the rich -ind
the poor had been placed upon an
equality. A nickle in the open palm
was the "free for all" condition and
Further   extensions
promised and will be
have   been
made as soon
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BELOIT TRACTION COMPANY.
At the rear door in the above cut is Joel B. Dow, President of the company, and at his ridht, Ex-Mayor Charles A, Gault, one of the directors of the company.
Formind the background ot the picture is Beloit's Carnedie Library Buildind.
OFFICERS-JOEL B. DOW, President; R. N. BAYLIES. Vice-Presiden; 0. S. BAYLIES, Secretary; W. F. WOODRUFF, Treasurer; T. M. ELLIS, General Manager.
DIRECTORS -R. N. BAYLIES, 0. S. BAYLIES, W. F. WOODRUFF, T. M. ELLIS, J. A. VAIL. C. A. GAULT, JOEL B. DOW.
would prove a failure and so mili-
tate against the success of the inter-
urban project.
And so that "prayer of the peti-
tioners" was denied.
At the gathering above referred
to however, at the office of Mr. Dow,
none of the "weak-kneed" brethren
of the city were present and it was
determined at that gathering to take
immediate steps to procure a char-
ter from the state, incorporating a
company, clothed with plenary pow-
er, the city acquiescing, to build and
equip a car line suitable to the needs
of Beloit.  Such steps were taken
and in February, 1906, the Beloit
Traction Company was incorporated.
with a capital stock of $50,000. The
incorporators of the company had no
money outside of their own business
interests with which to build but
secure the funds for the building
and equipping such line as would
adequately serve the  city for the
present, coupled with promise of ex-
tensions as the city's need should
demand.
On the 16th day of July, 1906,
and this was a "red letter day" for
Beloit, the Common Council of the
city granted such satisfactory fran-
chise and Mayor L. E. Cunningham,
against a storm of protests, within
twenty-four hours affixed his signa-
ture to the ordinance enacted by the
Common Council of the city and the
event passed into history.
On the first day of August, 1907,
just a little over one year from the
time the ordinance was passed, the
car line was completed and formally
opened to the public.
The location of the factories,
the "free for all" have gratefully
since then availed themselves of the
privilege so accorded.
Nowhere in the middle west has
local transportation met with read-
ier response than in Beloit and that
such generous response  upon  the
part of the people has found appre-
ciation with the management is evi-
denced by the fact, that it has more
than made good its promises and the
conditions covered by the ordinance.
That it has given the best of service
and increasingly so, is the verdict
of all citizens.
The city ordinance as granted on-
ly required a twenty minute service.
After the first year and unprayed
for, it was made fifteen minutes.
New single truck cars were at first
installed.  Within the past year, a
new equipment of "Pay-as-you-en-
as those praying for the same, shall
have made good upon their part.
Beloit then, with her manufactor-
ies, and all shades of industrial en-
terprises, her commercial and mer-
cantile interests, her college of na-
tional repute, her public school sys-
tem, second to none, her multiplici-
ty of churches, religious and frater-
nal organizations, with all  needed
public utilities, and re-inforced with
the Beloit Traction Company's ser-
vice, Beloit is thus in the fore-front
of any city in the middle west and
will unquestionably within the next
decade, with the metropolitan in-
ducements here offered, be catalog-
ued as a city of not less than 25,000
people and all of them, it may be
presumed,   "pay-as-you-enter"  pa-
trons of the Beloit Traction Com-
pany's service in the city.
22
ter" double truck cars have been put
into service, equal in design and up
to date appliances of any  in  the
state. The men employed upon the
lines are selected with regard to
their experience and fitness for such
service and without exception, are
courteous gentlemen.
. Beloit's population  as elsewhere
noted, approximates sixteen  thou-
sand people.  That the introduction
of the Beloit Traction Company's
line during its three years of rer-
vice has contributed  toward  this
showing, is unquestioned. That the'
conditions were ripe for its introdue-
tion at the time, the results have
conclusively proven.


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