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A LITTLE RAILROAD TALK. A. B. HOTCHKISS, FOR MANY YEARS AN ATTORNEY FOR THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC, TALKS A LITTLE IN HIS PUBLIC ECON OMY MONTHLY. Probably no mnn outside of the head officials of the Southern Pacific Company knows just what that great corporation will do in the future re garding railroad building, but the fol lowing statements by one who is in position to draw intelligent conclu sions is interesting matter just at the present time. Public Economy is a monthly edited and published by A. B. Hotchkiss. In his last issue Mr. Hotchkiss says: " The editor of Public Economy ad vised the people of San Diego that in his opinion Harriman was the man for them to deal with in their under taking to build the desert road to Yuma and he wrote to ex-Mayor D. C Reed to bring Mayor Frary and ex- Mayor Carlson to Los Angeles to see Harriman and invite him to San Diego to look over the surveys of the new San Diego-Eastern, and generally to confer for the good of San Diego. The evening that these gentlemen ar rived here: Mr. Harriman was not to be seen. He had gone out to an en tertainment, so the next morning early the San Diegans put in an ap pearance at Hotel Green, went up to Harriman's room and knocked. Mrs. Harriman came out and informed them that Mr. Harriman was not yet up, but was resting after the late en tertainment of the previous night, but she said if they would send in their cards she would see what could be done about an interview. She imme diately returned, saying that Mr. Har riman would see them at once, although he was not yet out of bed, but was then taking a cup of coffee, so they were ushered in and received by Mr. Harriman with the most cordial and unaffected welcome imag inable. He made the boys feel at home, was glad to see and welcome them and said he would come down to San Diego at the earliest possible day and go over the situation with these railroad people thoroughly. The com mittee were greatly pleased with Mr. Harriman and his manly ways. On April 3 he and his party went to San Diego and met the railroad commit tee of the San Diego and Eastern Rail road at their office, who showed them their maps, blue prints and field notes of survey; many of the party strayed away from these dry figures, but the Union reporter says as follows: " ' There were two, however, who stayed with the figures. They were Mr. Harriman and Mr. Kruttschnitt, the men who get closer to the ques tions of construction than any of the others. They went over the figures with one map and then called for an other, going over the same figures with that before them. They were left to the care of Mr. Marston and Mr. Boone, who were ready to answer questions regarding the country be tween San Diego and Yuma, and they had many to answer, for it seemed something of a surprise to Mr. Harri man that a line had been run over the mountains to the desert with no greater gradient anywhere than 74 feet to the mile, and with only one 1600-foot tunnel. " ' Messrs. Frary, Carlson and Reed stood aloof while at the committee rooms. They had undertaken to get Mr. Harriman and the other railroad men here, and left it for the commit tee to place the facts before them re garding the survey being made. That business belonged to Messrs. Marston and Boone. President Harriman de clared that as soon as the survey now being made by the San Diego-Eastern committee is completed he wanted its curves and gradients, as well as tho report of the consulting engineer, re marking, ' and it will do the project for which you are working no harm.' " ' Another remark by Mr. Harri man, which it might be well to stick a pin in for future reference, was while speaking of the harbor, and of the Oregon Short Line, which is one of the Harriman roads, and he said: • The Oregon Short Line is coming through to tide water with harbor fa IMPERIAL PRESS cilities just as quick as tho connection can be made.' " A railroad to connect Imperial with the Southern Pacific at some point about Flowing Wells will be built and in operation before the year closes, and tho connection through to San Diego via the San Diego and Eastern will be made within two years. It will be the outlet for Harriman's "Short Line" Oregon-Salt Lake extension, which, he says, is to be built through to a harbor on the Pacific Coast in Southern California, with harbor fa cilities; that means San Diego. It is morally certain that Harriman in tends to make this a north and south Pacific Coast line extending up through Idaho via the Thunder Moun tain mining country to British Col umbia, tapping Jim Hill's territory on the way. The navigation of the Colo rado below Yuma to tidewater at the head of the Gulf of California, will be made available for commerce; the Uvees on the east bank of the river will be made solid so as to protect the Algodones lands from the floods, and Yuma will be made a great point of both commerce and production. The school authorities and supervis ors of San Diego County acted wisely in wiping out those hundred mile " shoe-string " school districts which have been used to draw blood from the Southern Pacific railroad for so many years, and putting the railroad mileage into four districts contiguous to the districts. Good schoolhouses and facilities are sure to follow this sensible and just action, and the rapid settlement of the section will be thus promoted. A Reasonable Propnsit'on. The Riverside Enterprise publishes the following program of the Southern Pacific, which is very plausible, and those best posted believe that this program is sufficiently correct to look as though it might be inspired: It was a favorite idea of the late Collis Huntington of the Southern Pa cific to take up the present, line of road from Salton to Yuma and throw the track away from the shifting sand dunes to a better and more economical road bed. Over that stretch of road the wind drives the shifting sands with such force as to not only fre quently bury the road out of sight, but it tears up the ends of the ties neces sitating a frequent change of putting in new ties for the ones that have the ends riven into shreds by the force of the sand laden winds. The tele graph poles also require frequent re placing from the same cause. Another idea of the Southern railroad magnate before his death was the running of a few miles of the road through Mexican territory, thus taking the line out of the hands of the interstate commerce commission. These plans are about to be realized and will be carried out by his successor, President Harriman. It has been learned that the South ern Pacific Railroad is to abandon about one hundred miles of its main line west of Yuma, following the south, instead of the north line of tne Colo rado Desert. The Southern Pacific has already set a force of men to work on the sur vey for the new line, and as the coun try is perfectly level, it will take but a few days to make the run from Yuma, passing the Salton Basin on the west, instead of north, to a point near Walters, where the new road will again connect with the old road bed and continue into Los Angeles through •Jndio. This implies absorbing the Imperial and Gulf Railroad, now being graded. The company has appropriated $500, 000 to lay heavy rails across the des ert," and, realizing the necessity for changing the route soon, this is found to be an opportune time for doing so. This may also include the running of a branch from Imperial to San Diego, and absorb the line now being surveyed by the San Diego people, and another factor in forcing the change is the movement on the**part "of sev eral roads toward the southwestern coast, and that of the people of San Diego, in making the survey for meir road, the San Diego and Eastern. Naturally, if any other road passed south of the sand hills it will have the first choice of the ground, and the Southern Pacific does not propose to let another road have that desirable first notice. If the Rock Island or any other road intends to build into San Diego from Yuma it will find that the Southern Pacific's new line is about seventy-five miles nearer that city than Yuma. This is also, therefore, a strategic move against coming rivals, and possibly against the Santa Fe, whose exclusive territory it will invade by entering that city. Still another point is the fact that the half-million acres being placed un der irrigation in the Imperial country will become a rich region for any road to traverse, while the Southern Pacific by making the change, can get rid of fifty miles of irreclaimable desert and substitute for it at least an equal distance through a rich pros pective farming country. This move would place Imperial on the main line of the Southern Pacific between Los Angeles and Yuma, and would make a trip east or west bound on the Sunset line much more endur able than at present during the sum mer season. Whale Found in Colorado Desert. A dispatch from Tucson to the Yuma Sentinel dated April 29, gives the following account of the finding of the remains of a whale in a sec tion of country where whales have not flourished for many years past. Fol lowing is the story: In the museum at the University of Arizona there has just been placed the skeleton of a very large whale found on the desert south, of Yuma. The find has excited much attention from scientists and aroused conten tion over the manner in which the big fish came so far inland. It has been claimed, and is doubtless a fact, that virtually all of southwestern Arizona and • southeastern California was pnee covered by the ocean, and some scien tists declare that the whale was left high and dry when the waters receded from that region. It is more likeiy, however, that the big fish ventured into the Gulf of California and was washed by a flood upon the higher land. Other finds of value, from a scienti fic standpoint, have been made in the same region. In the university museum are the tusks and lower jaw of an elephant which were found on the Colorado Desert. The size of the tusks and jaw proves that the animal was of larger proportions than the elephant of today. Cotton Crop In New Mexico. The Los Vegas Optic says: The Carslbad experiment of last year in the cultivation of irrigated cotton was a pronounced success, the yield averaging fully one bale per acre. Arrangements with Texas capitalists are now in progress for the pledging next year of 800 acres for cotton crop page — the Texas moneyed men engag ing, on their part, to put in a local cotton gin with exhaustive by-product attachments. The Imperial Settlements will soon become noted for its large staple Egyptian cotton crops. Arizona irrigators have had some unpleasant experience on account of the drouth, but they have not yet reached the point of defending the water supply with shotguns. In Colo rado, however, the situation is des perate. The dispatches tell us that in Las Animas county, for instance, many of the streams have gone dry, and citizens have requested the county commissioners to appoint armed dep uties to assist the regular water com missioners in the proper distribution of water and to patrol the Purgatoire River to prevent water stealing. In many other States the drouth is caus ing great loss. — Phoenix Arizona Re publican. In the Imperial Settlements there will never be a drought, for here it rarely ever rama and the stream never runs dry— or even gets low when the water is most needed. Farming on the Desert. The San Diego Union publishes an interview with Judge Mossholder, who has recently returned to San Diego from the Imperial country, as follows: Judge Mossholder, Allen Jones, G. R. Mossholder and Miss Ethel Moss holder, have returned from a trip to the Imperial country, and are enthu siastic in their praises of the coun try. Judge Mossholder says that the change since his last visit has been wcndcrful. Canals are being extended in every direction. People who have claims there are moving in and taking possession. He says that people who have tiot visited that section of the desert can hardly conceive of the chaiigee. Great fields of wheat, barley and ryp, are to be seen on every hand. In order to convince some of the skept ical people he has brought home a number of sheaves of wheat; also a number of pictures of wheat fields. ,In some of them the wheat reaches to the shoulders of the people in the picture. H. McKusick makes as good a show ing. He has a quarter section, 160 acres, nearly all sown to grain. Sixty acres of it is wheat, while a consider able portion is devoted to barley. Van Horn's Crop. Mr. Van Horn, whose land is west of the McKusick farm, has an inter esting record. He went there last July and sowed a number of acres to millet or hungarian hay. Last fall he harvested three tons of hay to the acre. He found a ready market at $8.50 per ton. He had ten acres which made this yield and this gave him $25.50 per acre. After harvesting the hay crop Mr. Van Horn sowed the same land to bar ley and has just harvested three tons per acre of barley. The barley was being stacked when Judge Mossholder's party passed through. Barley is sell ing every day in the week at $15 per ton. Thus the yield per acre was $70.50. When he sowed his barley Mr. Van Horn sowed also alfalfa, and now the ground is covered with a heavy carpet of alfalfa, two or three inches high. In its present condition it would make admirable pasturing. Thus in less than a year two excellent crops have been secured and a third one is well under way. The water cost him $1.25 per acre, while the land was government land and was free. Judge Mossholder has traded 80 acres of the south half of his section, water stock being the consideration, and he has arranged with Mr. Van Horn to sow the other 80 acres to sorghum. Water Is Plenty. Judge Mossholder says that the wa ter company places no limit on the amount of water used for irrigation purposes. They will flood an acre of ground a foot deep for firty cents. Water is running to waste and may as well be used. As an inducement to farming on the lands the land com pany employs men on the irrigating canals and ditches. A man with two teams gets $6.40 per day, half being paid in cash and half in water stock. The cash is used for groceries and pro visions, while water stock is pretty near as good as money. Farmers can find work with the company when they have no work for themselves. The Surveying Party. Judge Mossholder had a talk with Engineer Richards at Jacumba. The camp was between Mountain Springs ' and Coyote Wells. The report had reached there of a two-foot rise in the water of the Colorado River. The work of the surveyors when the Moss holder party left them, was to correct the survey levels from between Ja cumba and Campo, and at Dulzura. More Desert Schools Wanted. The Colton News thus spates the situation: The people living on the Colorado River in the desert section of River side county are demanding school facilities. Superintendent Hyatt a few days ago received a letter from W. H. Post of Hedges' Ranch, who said a new school district is wanted in that section; but no districts can be organi zed except from December 1 to April 1, so the request could not be granted now. Three districts were organized the past year on the Colorado Desert, and the school census indicates that the population in each is rapidly growing.