"Tap Line Case" Summary of Doniphan, Kensett & Searcy Railway  
  Abstracted from "Tap Line Case", published in Decisions of the Interstate Commerce Commission, 23 I.C.C. 277, 23 I.C.C. 549, and in Decisions of the United States Supreme Court, 234 U.S. 1.  

DONIPHAN, KENSETT & SEARCY RAILWAY. The sawmill of the Doniphan Lumber Company is at Doniphan, Ark., at the northern end of its tap line, known as the Doniphan, Kensett & Searcy, which connects with the Iron Mountain 1-1/2 miles to the south at a point known as Kensett. The lumber company and the tap line are identical in interest, their stock being held by the same individuals. The tap line is also indebted to the lumber company in a sum exceeding $35,000. The track from Doniphan to Kensett was constructed in 1906, when the mill was erected, the steel being leased from the Iron Mountain. Doniphan is a mill town with about 75 houses belonging to the lumber company; and the track from Doniphan to Kensett is used exclusively for the traffic of the lumber company and its employees.

In 1907 about 5 miles of track was constructed from Kensett westward to Searcy, a county seat with a population of about 3,000, where a connection was effected with the Rock Island lines and the Missouri & North Arkansas Railroad. Although this track is used chiefly for the movement of logs for the lumber company, there is some outside traffic over it; and it runs parallel to the line of the Missouri & North Arkansas. It appears that there was formerly a line from Kensett to Searcy operated by mule power, and known as the Merchants Transportation Company, by means of which freight was transferred from the Iron Mountain to the town of Searcy; but this mule line was abandoned when the Doniphan, Kensett & Searcy was opened for operation. The Missouri & North Arkansas was after-wards built in through Searcy to Kensett and beyond, and the tap line enjoys trackage rights over it for a considerable distance north-ward from Searcy to the timber of the Doniphan Lumber Company. Utilizing this trackage right, for which a wheelage charge of $1 per train-mile is apparently paid, the tap line hauls the logs to Searcy, and thence over its own rails through Kensett to the mill at Doniphan. For this movement it charges the lumber company 2 cents per 100 pounds. When the lumber is shipped out the tap line switches the cars to the Iron Mountain at Kensett, a distance of 1-1/2 miles, or removes them 6 miles to Searcy, where they are de-livered to the Rock Island. In either case it receives a division of 3 or 4 cents per 100 pounds out of the joint rates. It also participates in through class rates to certain destinations, including Memphis and St. Louis, out of which it is allowed by the trunk lines 20 per cent or 25 per cent as a division. It does not carry passengers. More than 85 per cent of the whole traffic of the tap line for the fiscal year 1910 was supplied by the lumber company. While the country through which the tap line passes has largely been cleared of timber, the forest of the lumber company being located along the Missouri & North Arkansas as heretofore stated, the agricultural products handled by the tap line for the year 1910 aggregated only 662 tons.

The equipment of the tap line consists of 2 locomotives, 21 flat cars, and 2 cabooses, all having safety appliances. The lumber company has neither rolling stock nor unincorporated logging spurs, at least in the vicinity of the tap line. The employees of the tap line include two train crews, one section gang, two station agents, and two general officers. The officers and the agent at Doniphan are jointly employed by the tap line and the lumber company. Through bills of lading and through waybills for the movement of lumber are issued by the agent of the tap line at Doniphan. While apparently no dividends have been paid, there was a surplus on June 30, 1910, of $14,265.14, indicating that the operation of the tap line under its allowances has been a profitable one.

For its service in switching to or from the mill, a distance of 11 miles, to the Iron Mountain at Kensett, the latter may allow this tap line a switching charge of $2.50 a car; for its service in switching the products of the controlling mill through Kensett, a distance of 6 miles, to the Rock Island at Searcy, the latter may allow the Doniphan, Kensett & Searcy a division out of the rate of 1 cent per 100 pounds.

Text and images were digitized and proofread from the original source documents by Murry Hammond. Contact Murry for all corrections, additions, and contributions of new material.