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Collection Title: Meridian Light and Railway Company Minute Book

Collection Number: M294

Dates: 1901-1910

Volume: 0.38 cu. ft.

Provenance: Donated by Joe C. McClammy, Corporate Secretary, Mississippi Power Company, 1989.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

The Meridian Light and Railway Company was incorporated on January 23, 1901, as the successor to the Meridian Street and Power Company. At the height of operation, the company owned over eighteen miles of track in the city of Meridian, Mississippi, and ran thirty-five, pay-as-you-go passenger cars. These cars could each seat thirty-two people. On July 23, 1925, the citizens of Meridian voted to abolish the trolley system in favor of busses. On April 16 of the same year, the Meridian Light and Railway company was purchased by the Mississippi Power Company, in an effort by that company to acquire existing utilities in Mississippi and unify them into a single network.

Scope and Content:

This collection consists of a one volume, four hundred page Secretary's Record book detailing the minutes of the Meridian Light and Railway Company from February 18, 1901 to July 18, 1910. Written chronologically, the book follows a standard format of providing the date each meeting was held in the top right hand corner, the members who attended the meetings, and the resolutions adopted. The meetings took place annually, or by special request of the company president and were held in two primary places -- the Southern Hotel in Meridian, and the City National Bank in Mobile, Alabama (the office of William H. Armbrecht, a member of the board of directors). The text is handwritten in ink and is quite legible.

The minutes focus on the business activities of the company, and topics of discussion include matters related to the distribution of bonds, several mortgages contracted with the Mississippi Valley Trust Company, and the purchase of the Meridian Street Railway and Power Company (p. 80). A large portion of the book describes the acquisition of materials needed for construction and expansion, namely land, electric light and power plants, furniture, motors, generators, wire, poles, appliances, and trolley related material. Also included is a list of how the stockholders voted on various proposals and how the company's money was spent.

In addition to providing brief summaries of the company's business dealings, the minute book serves as a general history of the Meridian Light and Railway Company. A copy of the charter of incorporation, outlining the organization of the company, its purpose, enumerated rights, establishment of domicile in Meridian, and the allocation of the number of shares to stockholders, is found in the first six pages. On page 51, the company by-laws detail the various positions within the company and the respective powers and obligations of the members. The laws pertain to the president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, terms of the board of directors, and rules on meetings and resolutions.

This collection may be valuable to researchers looking for information about the business activities of the Meridian Light and Railway Company and information about companies that consolidated with the Mississippi Power Company.

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