The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942 Page: 27
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The Life of Colonel R. T. Milner
its hearty congratulations both to him and the legisla-
tive body which has chosen him as its presiding offi-
Among the first things the Speaker did was to appoint his
whilom rival, the Honorable Mr. Browning, to standing com-
mittee Judiciary No. 1, "one of the very highest compliments
in the power of the House to give."125
Governor Hogg's first message to the legislature stressed the
immediate necessity for passing a bill creating a state railroad
commission. To the Twenty-second Legislature he said:
For fourteen years the State constitution has pro-
vided that the "legislature shall pass laws to correct
abuses and to prevent unjust discrimination and ex-
tortion in the rates of freight and passenger fares on
the different railroads in this State and shall from time
to time pass laws establishing reasonable maximum
rates of charges for the transportation of passengers
and freights on said railroad, and, enforce all such
laws by adequate penalties." Article 10, Section 2.128
The first bill introduced was one to create a railroad commis-
sion. The act which created the "Railroad Commission of Texas"
was approved April 3, 1891, and was provided with ample
powers to uphold its decisions and mandates.
During this session the bill for separate coaches for the white
and black races came up. Colonel Milner sponsored the bill. An
interesting sidelight on the private life of the Speaker is told
by William Cook, the "little crippled, pure-bred, Negro boy,"
as he described himself.
Colonel Milner had the utmost confidence in my
honesty, ability and truthfulness. When he was speaker
of the Texas house of representatives at the time the
separate coach bill was passed, I transacted some of
the financial affairs of his business, such as contract-
ing and receipting for foreign advertising, etc. I did
not betray a trust, because I thought about as much
of the business as he did.'27
Another measure Governor Hogg desired and Colonel Milner
vigorously pushed concerned alien ownership of land in Texas.
124"The Texas Editors," in the Austin Statesman, January 22, 1891, p. 2.
125"Legislative Notes," ibid.
126House Journal, Twenty-second Legislature, 103.
127William Cook, The Work of a Negro, 57.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942, periodical, 1942; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146053/m1/33/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.