N.P. Ry.

Tell Tale Extra
Notes from the Construction Department


Yakima Station, April 29, 1886

I left Yakima on Extra West April 28 700 PM returning left Pato about 840 PM arriving at Yakima 945 PM. Crossed the Natchez Bridge about 936 PM one mile and a half west of Yakima going about four miles per hour. The dampers on ash pan were closed. Was not working steam. Ash pan was partially filled with water caused by leaking injector, check. Was coming in with a low fire expecting to have boiler tested when arriving at Yakima. Smoke stack and netting are in good condition.

A.O. Wishard
Engineer, Engine 214


Nelson Bennett
General Office
Tacoma, W.T. 12-11-1886

Mr. J.C. Haverly

Dear Sir:
Mr. Lynch informs me that you say I have been causing you annoyance writing letters asking for information.
I may have been incorrectly informed, but I surely had the impression that it was part of your business to answer questions relative to the business of Mr. Huson's office, especially when they were just and no impertinent. If I am wrong in this opinion I would like to know it, in order that hereafter when I have question to ask on Mr. Bennett's behalf, if you feel aggrieved at having to answer them, I may know to whom they should be referred.

Yours truly,
C.B. Zabriski


Tacoma, Wash., May 12, 1905

Mr. C.M. Bassett,
Assistant Engineer,
Hoquiam, Wash.

Dear Sir:-
I have yours of the 10th with regard to employing three white men in Joe Creek cut, to handle logs and stumps and use powder, at rate of $1.75 per day.
I am afraid that if you do this it will result in a general strike of all the Italians down there and that it will result in our having to pay them the same rate, as it is pretty hard to make them understand why any man should be paid more than another, although I can readily see the difficulty that you are in.
Ball told me that some of the Italians he had last fall were just about as good as the white men, and I wish you could see if you cannot get along, because we have already had trouble with one gang and if we have anything to make more trouble it is liable to delay our work indefinitely. the last trouble arose because we declined to pay the Italians $1.75 in Joe Creek cut, and if we now turn around an pay three men that rate, they surely will go up in the air. I would be glad to hear from you further about his as to whether you think you can avoid trouble if you do follow up this plan.

Yours truly,
Principle Assistant Engineer


Construction Department
Tacoma, Wash., November 7, 1890

W.T. Gould, Esq.
Assistant Engineer, Durham, Wash.

Dear Sir:-
I see by your yard reports that there are several cars loaded with supplies for C.W. Griggs which have been on our tracks for several weeks. Will you please see that Mr. Griggs has these cars unloaded prompt. Not a day passes but what we receive a jacking up from the Operating Department for holding cars. Of course these supply cars have nothing really to do with us, but you should see personally that they are not allowed to remain loaded on our tracks. As I take it, our position as to merchandise delivered on our tracks is that of a superintendent, and that you can demand either the unloading of the cars or else return them to the agent at Durham if the contractor refuses to unload.

Yours truly,
H.S. Huson,
Principle Assistant Engineer


Construction and Engineering Departments
Tacoma, Wash, August 8th, 1892

W.C. Marion Esq.,
Assistant Engineer, Pe-Ell, Wash.

Dear Sir:-

Please note the enclosed, regarding alleged over-collection from M.D. Egbert, on message sent him by T.H. Goodman.
Please have this matter investigated at South Bend, and return all papers with your report.
In addition to this matter, it is alleged that Mr. Kelly appropriated the sum of $30, subscribed for the citizens of South Bend to pay for telegraphic returns from the Republican Convention. the Western Union Co. made no charge for the distribution of this information, and the presumption is that Mr. Kelly must have pocketed the money.
Please have the agent at South Bend look this matter up, and ascertain the facts in the case.

Yours truly,
E.H. McHenry
Principle Assistant Engineer


Butte July 23rd, 1901
[Charles S.] Bihler, Tacoma

Wish you would call on Rumpus or Armorado and make special examination of the new mesmerism bottom cave ton exploit elope which have developed gammon in sills and let me know whether you think sunny to continue elope in thermal pentagram to their keno elongate. if not to what elongate if any can they be sunny pentagram and handled under conditions which surround this service, philopnea under whose grab elope were designed considers them sunny but outerly your resemble also.

W.G. Pearce

Charles S. Bihler

Wish you would call on E.J. Pearson or H.H. Warner and make special examination of new hopper bottom 50-ton coal cars which have developed defective in sills and let me know whether you think safe to continue cars in service loaded to their full capacity. If not, to what capacity if any they can be safely loaded and handled under conditions which surround their service. A. Lovell under whose directions cars were designed considers them safe but I would like to know your opinion also.

W.G. Pearce


Western Division
Office, Assistant Superintendent, Machinery
Tacoma, W.T. January 22nd, 1887

H.S. Huson Esq.
Principle Assistant Engineer

Dear Sir
It is desired to test the capacity of the Decapod Engine on the 300 foot grade and I have instructed Mr. Warren to see you and get the number of Cars and the weight of loads this Engine can haul, also to ascertain how she will curve on the sharpest curve. Will you kindly assist him in this matter, to get an opportunity so we can ascertain about their Capacity and what we may expect from them.

Yours Respectfully
Wm. Small
Assistant Superintendent Machinery


White and Snively
North Yakima, W.T., March 1st, 1887

Mr. H.S. Huson
Engineer in charge Construction
N.P.R.R. Cascade Division

Dear Sir:

Mr. Benjamin F. Johnson has placed a lien upon Tunnels No.'s 1, 2 and 3 on the west side of the Cascade Mountains being constructed by Hale and Smith and on the N.P.R.R. for labor performed thereon, in King County. The amount of Mr. Johnson's account is $206.00.

Respectfully yours
H.J. Snively

Northern Pacific Railroad Company
Construction Department
Ellensburg, W.T. March 4, 1887

Hale, Smith Burns and Co.
Contractors, Cabin Creek

Enclosing a letter from H.J. Snively. Please inform me how much of this is buncomb. Of course you will take the necessary steps to protect yourselves and the Company. I desire to be informed of the exact status of the case.

Yours Truly,
H.S. Huson
Division Engineer

Hale, Smith, Burns and Co.
Railroad Contractors
And Dealers in Railroad Supplies Ellensburgh, W.T., March 6th, 1887

H.S. Huson
Dear Sir

Yours of 4th enclosing letter from H.J. Snively sec- The facts of the case are this we let the getting of the timber for three tunnel to parties by the name of Therault and Knutchen furnished them everything and they have about $2000 in debt which we have paid with the exception of Johnson - at the time Johnson went to work for them he came to both Hale and myself and asked us if we would be responsible we told him no and that if they wanted teams we had teams laying idle of our own we would furnish them with for so considerable less money and that we did not want him to go to work for them anyway - of course if the money was coming to Therault and Knutchen they had a right to pay what wages they liked and hire who they liked but as it is I don't see how Johnson can have any claim on us or the road if a man can go to work for you whether you want him or not and make you pay for it I for one should like to know it and would willingly pay the expenses of a law suit to find out of course if you say pay it we will do so and equally of course in any case we shall protect the company. I should like to hear what you think of it by return of post.

Yours truly
J. Smith


Portland Oregon April 14th 1887
Mr. H.S. Huson and J.C. Harvey, Esq
N.P.R.R. office Ellens Burght, W.T.

Dear Sir:

Mr. Nelson Bennet, Contractors to your N.P.R.R. Cascade of Tunnel Been have some Kwong Tao and Co. and Kap Chong and Co. find Chinese workmen for to N. Bennett Contractor to your Co.'s R.R. Some Chinese bad and make to much trouble, a all go away. Some Chinese Book come back Portland and him tell I knowing to your Company a like hims work and a pay to Chinese men One Dollars each Day. Some had Chinese men, no like work and him like come back to Portland, Oregon.
Dear friend maybe your Company a like Chinese to work Cascade Tunnel west side R.R. and I thanky to you send letters and Telegraph on knowing, and my find some good men work, no more trouble allright, and maybe N. Bennett Contractors to your Company R.R. and me please to your send letters tell N. Bennett, a like want some Chinese men and like I find some good workmen for him or not. I please to you send me letters on I knowing.

Your Friend,
Sam Pooie

Victoria, B.C.
July 26th 1886

Dear Mr. Bogue,
I have just returned from Mexico and found letters here from my partners at Portland, Oregon telling me that you want Chinese working men again to work on the N.P.R.R. If I should get the men for you again do you think that there will be no molestation this time? The last time I lost a great deal of money in my men being driven from their work. If you want me to get men for you please write to An Yuen Tai and Co. 87 Second St. Portland Oregon I will leave here for Tacoma in two or three days, and see you about the matter
Very Faithfully Yours,
Sam Pooie


Oregon Railway and Navigation Company
Telegraph Department
Bonneville, January 4, 1885, 1000 AM

To L.H. Burton, Northern Pacific R.R. Engineer's Office, Portland, OR.

Send to me here by first train following goods for Genl. Anderson 10 pounds loaf sugar 5 pounds gran sugar, 5 pounds sugar, 1 pound cooking raisins, 1 pound layer raisins. 1 pound macaronay, one pound vermicelli, 10 pounds table butter, 5 pounds coffee, 2 pounds rice, 1000 pound egg coal, 5 cans tomatoes, 6 cans corn, 6 cans French peas, 1 case white wine, 1 case claret, 1 dozen beer, 1 dozen ale, 1 dozen rye whisky, 1 dozen common whisky, 1 dozen sauterne, 2 dozen appolina water, 2 dozen congress water, 2 dozen towels, 2 dozen napkins, 2 dozen lemons, 15 dozen eggs, 2 bottles rum, 3 bottles brandy, 1 dozen extract lemon, 1 dozen vanilla, 6 bars kitchen soap, 6 bars toilet soap, 1 box wafer crackers, 2 bunches matches, 1 side bacon, 1 side ham, 100 mild cigars, 1 bottle angostura, 1 thermidore, 1/2 dozen yeast, 1 meat saw, assortment of vegetables, fruit and nuts.

H.D. Sanborn

Oregon Railway and Navigation Company
Telegraph Department
Bonneville, January 6, 1885, 1130 AM

To L.H. Burton, Northern Pacific R.R. Engineer's Office, Portland, OR.

Please forward the following by morning train without fail Purchase of Coritt and Maclean assuring them that none but the best is wanted mark to my care Bonneville will be through snow tonight-

200 Pounds Prunes; 200 Pounds Dried Peaches; 200 Pound Apples; 10 Cases Tomatoes [4]; 10 Cases Corn [5]; 10 Cases Peas [5]; 5 Cases Cond Milk; 5 Cases Table Fruit; 1 Case Coal Oil [1]; 15 Boxes Soda Crackers; 2 Boxes Soap; 15 Boxes Candles [6]; 5 Kegs Syrup [4]; 10 Kegs Pickles; 3 Chests Tea [1]; 30 Sacks Potatoes [20]; 20 Sacks Cabbage [20]; 10 Sacks Onions; 200 Sacks Flour [100]; 400 Pounds Corn Meal [200]; 500 Pounds Oat Meal [200]; 500 Pounds Cracked Wheat [200]; 200 Pounds Hominy; 2000 Pounds Extra C Sugar [1000]; 500 Pounds Rice [200]; 500 Pounds Beans [200]; 100 Pounds Baking Power [50]; 20 Pounds Hops [10]; 500 Pounds Hams [10]; 500 Pounds Dry Salt Side [500]; 500 Pounds Butter [300]; 500 Pounds Lard [200]; 300 Pounds Codfish [200]; 500 Pounds Roast Coffee [200]; 200 Pounds Salt; 25 Pounds Pepper; 10 Pounds Mustard; H.D. Sanborn

Author: John A. Phillips, III. Title: Notes from the Construction Department. URL: www.employees.org/~davison/nprha/tteconstruction.html.

© November 20, 2000