University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Delos Franklin Wilcox Papers 1907-1928

© 2006 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Wilcox. Delos Franklin. Papers




24 linear ft. (46 boxes)


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


Delos Franklin Wilcox (1873-1928), Franchise and public utility expert. Correspondence, reports, analyses, articles, pamphlets, graphs, tables, and notes. Material relates to public utility issues.

Information on Use


No restrictions


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Wilcox. Delos Franklin. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

Delos F. Wilcox (1873-1928) was a franchise and public utility expert. He was born on a farm near Ida, Michigan and was educated at both the University of Michigan, where John Dewey's work influenced him, and at Columbia University. He served as secretary of various civic organizations in Cleveland, Grand Rapids and Detroit. In 1907, he became Chief of the Bureau of Franchises of the Public Service Commission for the First District of New York (New York City). He resigned in 1913 to become Deputy Commissioner of Water Supply, Gas and Electricity of New York City, a position that he held until 1917. During this period he wrote three books, The American City (1904), Great Cities in America (1910) and Municipal Franchises in two volumes (1910-1911), in addition to numerous pamphlets and articles.

In 1917, Wilcox organized a staff of assistants and established himself as a consultant on utility problems-always on the side of the public. He was employed as an expert in special utility investigations, traction surveys, valuation and rate proceedings, arbitrations and franchise settlements. He lectured extensively and was active in many civic organizations, notably the National Municipal League.

Scope Note

The papers cover the years 1907 to 1928 and include analyses of utility problems prepared for the various municipalities which consulted Wilcox, reports and articles for periodicals, correspondence concerning the investigations, graphs, tables and handwritten notes, prepared by either Wilcox or his staff. The collection is arranged alphabetically by topic.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:


Subject Headings


Box 1   Folder 1-6

Akron, Ohio, 1918-1925, Report on traction service and public relations of Northern Ohio Traction and Light Company.

Box 2   Folder 1-2

Bluefield, West Virginia, 1922-1923, Investigations into proposed increase in water rates

Box 2   Folder 3

Books by Delos F. Wilcox, Correspondence in re

Box 2   Folder 4-6

Boston, Massachusetts, 1918, Street railway investigation

Box 3   Folder 1-2

Bronxville, New York, 1917, Water rate case

Box 3   Folder 3-5

Bureau of Standards, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1918, Special appointment of D.F. Wilcox

Box 3   Folder 6-7

Business plans of D.F. Wilcox, 1920, Prospectus

Box 3   Folder 8

Case lists of court trials, 1900-1920

Box 4   Folder 1-5

Chicago, Illinois, 1918-1920, 1925-1928, Mayor Thompson's Transportation Committee, traction ordinance investigation.

Box 5   Folder 1-2

Cincinnati, Ohio, 1920-1921, 1924-1926, Analysis of proposed street railways

Box 5   Folder 3-6

City planning and housing, 1900-1925, Articles, pamphlets, etc.

Box 6   Folder 1-6

Cleveland, Ohio, 1912-1913, 1918-1922, 1926, Street railway problems

Box 6   Folder 7-9

Committee to Inquire into the Status of Democracy, 1909-1910, Circular No. 1, "Privilege vs. Democracy"

Box 7   Folder 1-4

Committee to Inquire into the Status of Democracy, 1910-1911, Circular No. 2, "The Confusion of Property with Privilege"

Box 7   Folder 5

Denver, Colorado, 1915, Special reports to counsel for City of Denver in water rate case

Box 7   Folder 6-7

Denver, Colorado, 1919-1920, Denver Tramways Service-at-cost investigation

Box 8   Folder 1-3

Denver, Colorado, 1919-1920, Denver Tramways Service-at-cost investigation

Box 8   Folder 4-7

Depreciation study, n. d.

Box 9   Folder 1-6

Detroit, Michigan, 1919-1922, Mayor Couzens' Street railway plan

Box 10   Folder 1-4

Detroit, Michigan, 1923-1925, Street railway investigation

Box 10   Folder 5-6

Elections of 1912-1914, National Progressive Party

Box 11   Folder 1

Election of 1920, League of Nations Statement

Box 11   Folder 2-5

Election of 1924, Progressive Party literature

Box 12   Folder 1-7

Federal Electric Railways Commission, 1919-1921, Analysis of testimony submitted at public hearings and supplementary data in relation to condition of electric railway industry and solution of its problems, material in relation to the private publications of D.F. Wilcox's report

Box 13   Folder 1-3

Federal Electric Railways Commission (continued)

Box 13   Folder 4-5

John H. Gray pamphlets, 1900-1923

Box 13   Folder 6-7

Great Cities

Box 14   Folder 1-3

Health and Social Hygiene, 1900-1920, Pamphlets and literature

Box 14   Folder 4-5

Jacksonville, Florida, 1924-1925, Street railway investigation

Box 14   Folder 6-7

Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1919-1924, Street railway investigation

Box 15   Folder 1-2

Kansas City, Missouri, 1917-1918, Street railway investigation

Box 15   Folder 3-6

Labor, 1916-1917, Documents and clippings

Box 16   Folder 1-2

Michigan Constitutional Convention, 1907-1909.

Box 16   Folder 3

Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1919-1920, Street railway investigation SEE ALSO Boxes 41-46

Box 16   Folder 4-6

Miscellaneous correspondence, 1906-1909

Box 17   Folder 1

Miscellaneous correspondence, 1906-1909

Box 17   Folder 2-3

Montreal, Canada, 1917-1921, Tramways investigation

Box 17   Folder 4-5

Motor Bus Transportation, general information

Box 17   Folder 6-7

Municipal Franchises by D.F. Wilcox, 1909-1911, Correspondence in re

Box 18   Folder 1-7

National Municipal League, 1910-1913, Franchise Committee; 1911-1913, Advisory Editorial Committee, National Municipal Review; 1914-1916, Franchise Committee, Home Rule Charter; 1915-1917, Municipal Encyclopeadia, Wilcox article.

Box 19   Folder 1-6

National Municipal League, 1915-1917, Municipal Encyclopeadia, Wilcox article; 1918-1919, National Municipal Review; 1918-1920, Public Utilities Committee, Street railways investigation

Box 20   Folder 1-2

National Municipal League, 1918-1920, Public Utilities Committee, Street railways investigation

Box 20   Folder 3-8

New Jersey, 1919-1921, Analysis of Public Service Railway valuation and preparation of evidence for the City of Newark and Associated Municipalities in Public Service Railway Zone Fare and Valuation Proceeding

Box 21   Folder 1-7

New Jersey, 1919-1921, Public Service Railway Zone Fare and Valuation Proceeding (continued)

Box 22   Folder 1-6

New York City, 1907-1913, Bureau of Franchises, D.F. Wilcox, Chief of

Box 23   Folder 1-3

New York City, 1921-1922, Citizens Union, Charter Revisions Committee

Box 23   Folder 4-6

New York City, 1919-1921, City Club, Public Service Committee, Municipal Ownership of transit lines

Box 24   Folder 1-2

New York City, 1910-1913, Committee on Municipal Needs of the Fourth New York City Conference of Charities and Correction

Box 24   Folder 3-4

New York City, 1919-1920, Fowler Municipal Transit Ownership Bill

Box 24   Folder 5-6

New York City, circa 1910. Papers on city government, lectures

Box 25   Folder 1-7

New York City, 1919-1922, Street railway problems, Special Public Transit Committee.

Box 26   Folder 1-4

New York City, 1919-1920, "The Transit Problems of New York City," pamphlet by D.F. Wilcox

Box 26   Folder 5-8

New York City, 1913-1917, Department of Water Supply, Gas and Electricity, D.F.Wilcox, Deputy Commissioner

Box 27   Folder 1-6

New York City, Department of Water, etc. (continued)

Box 28   Folder 1-6

New York City, Department of Water, etc. (continued)

Box 29   Folder 1-6

New York City, Department of Water, etc. (continued)

Box 30   Folder 1-2

New York State, 1919-1921, Conference of Mayors, Traction problems

Box 30   Folder 3

Niagara Falls, New York, 1917-1918, Gas rate case

Box 30   Folder 4

"One-Man Car" data, 1920-1921

Box 30   Folder 5-6

Outremont, Quebec, Canada, 1918-1921, Analysis of actual cost of Montrea; Water and Power Company, testimony before Board of Arbitration, and report upon reproduction cost estimates submitted by company

Box 31   Folder 1

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Street railway investigation

Box 31   Folder 2-3

The Plumb Plan, 1919, "Public Ownership and Democracy in the Operation of the Railroads"

Box 31   Folder 4-6

Providence, Rhode Island, 1910-1912, Franchise Problem

Box 32   Folder 1-3

Public Ownership League of America, 1918-1920, D.F. Wilcox, Executive Committee

Box 32   Folder 4-5

The Railroad Problem, 1918-1919, reports

Box 33   Folder 1-3

St. Louis, Missouri, 1917-1918, 1921, Analysis of proposed street railway resettlement franchise, transit investigation

Box 33   Folder 4-5

San Francisco-Oakland, California, 1913-1919, Street railway investigations

Box 33   Folder 6-7

Schenectady, New York, 1918, Railway rate case

Box 34   Folder 1-3

Scranton, Pennsylvania, 1918-1920, Analysis of actual cost of Scranton Ry. Co. and testimony in fare case

Box 34   Folder 4-5

Seattle, Washington, 1913-1919, 1919-1921, 1924-1927, Public Utilities investigations

Box 35   Folder 1-6

Seattle, Washington, Public Utilities investigation

Box 35   Folder 7

Service-at-Cost data, 1919-1922

Box 36   Folder 1

Service-at-Cost data

Box 36   Folder 2-6

Speeches and Papers, 1910-1921, D. F. Wilcox's and others

Box 37   Folder 1-5

Springfield, Illinois, 1921, Gas and Electric rate arbitration

Box 37   Folder 6-7

Sturgis, Michigan, 1918-1920, Gas rate investigation

Box 38   Folder 1-4

Sturgis, Michigan, 1918-1920, Gas rate investigation

Box 38   Folder 5-6

Taxes, 1907-1913, papers and literature

Box 39   Folder 1-2

Taxes, 1907-1913, papers and literature

Box 39   Folder 3-5

Toledo, Ohio, 1919-1920, Street railway investigation

Box 39   Folder 6

Valuation memoranda

Box 40

Valuation memoranda (5 folders).

Box 40

"Working Capital in Street Railway Valuations," 1920-1921, pamphlet by D.F. Wilcox (1 folder).

Box 41   Folder 1-7

Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1921-1922. Testimony in Emergency Fare Case and and valuation of Minneapolis Street Railway property, examination of its relations with Twin City Rapid Transit Company, in preparation of City's case in permanent fare proceedings.

Box 42   Folder 1-7

Minneapolis, Minnesota, (continued)

Box 43   Folder 1-8

Minneapolis, Minnesota, (continued)

Box 44   Folder 1-7

Minneapolis, Minnesota, (continued)

Box 45   Folder 1-7

Minneapolis, Minnesota, (continued)

Box 46   Folder 1-7

Minneapolis, Minnesota, (continued)

Box 46   Folder 8

Grand Island, Nebraska. City Charter