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Traction Companies have Eminent Domain Powers

What? Who? Medieval torture suppliers can lay roads where they want? My thoughts were like yours when I ran across the title to this old (1901) statute in the Property Code, sec. 18-15-1601:

Every traction company shall have the right to survey its lines, lay out its road, acquire its right-of-way not exceeding two hundred feet (200′) in width, and, where necessary to acquire the right-of-way, shall have the power to enter upon, condemn, and appropriate the lands, rights-of-way, easements, and property of persons, firms, or corporations.

Turns out traction corporations were “corporations formed for the purpose of operating interurban electric roads and furnishing light and power to consumers.” (think streetcars) There are no annotations so no cases involving any of these, but here’s a stock certificate for the Arkansas Valley Traction Company. And here’s a couple stories about Arkansas traction companies, the Interurban Traction Company in Helena and the Fort Smith Light & Traction Company. I imagine they didn’t have to exercise their eminent domain powers often as they were utilizing already existing city streets for their “interurban electric roads”.

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  1. […] another note, as you’ll recall from this post, Traction Companies were used to create electric streetcar companies and obtain eminent domain. […]