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Public Utilities Commission, 1889 - 1979


Scope and Contents

From the Record Group:

This record group contains records created and/or maintained by the South Dakota Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and includes meeting minutes, correspondence, bank licensing and closing files, consumer complaint files, discrimination complaint case files, professional and occupational licensing board and commission records, securities broker licensing and investigation files, Public Utilities Commission dockets and hearing records, and reports received from various railroad companies operating in South Dakota.


  • 1889 - 1979

Administrative History

The Board of Railroad Commissioners was established in Dakota Territory in 1885 for the purpose of supervising all railroads operating in the territory. The board was required to submit an annual report to the Governor concerning the condition of the railroads along with recommendations for any necessary improvements. The board was also required to report on railroad corporations doing business in the territory (Session Laws of 1885, Chapter 126, Sections 1-4). An elected Board of Railroad Commissioners for the state of South Dakota, with duties and authority similar to those of the territorial board, was established in 1893 through an act of the State Legislature (Session Laws of 1893, Chapter 136, Sections 1-7). In 1939, the Board of Railroad Commissioners was renamed the Public Utilities Commission of South Dakota and the duties, rules and regulations, terms of office, and jurisdiction of the board transferred to the newly created commission. The commission was composed of three members, all elected from the state as at-large candidates and serving six-year terms (SDL 1939, Chapter 52.01).

The Public Utilities Commission was initially responsible for the regulation of the transportation of passsengers, property, and communications over railroad, telegraph, or telephone lines.


47.8 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials

From the Record Group: English

Related Materials

For additional state government records pertaining to railroad companies that have operated in South Dakota and Dakota Territory, see the following record group: Department of Transportation (DOT), Division of Railroads.

Repository Details

Part of the South Dakota State Archives Repository

900 Governors Dr
Pierre South Dakota 57501 USA
605-773-6041 (Fax)