William A. H. Loveland was not only influential in the founding of the city of Loveland, but was very active in Colorado’s politics. Originally arriving in Colorado as a participant in the Colorado Gold Rush, Loveland helped establish the territorial capitol of the state known as Golden, in 1861. Loveland even let the House of Representatives make use of his storefront as a meeting place while they were in session. When the Civil War took most of the town’s people, Loveland stuck around and ensured Golden survived by building one of the oldest buildings still standing in Colorado today. This building is known to have housed the Colorado Territorial Legislature and possibly the Territorial Library and Supreme Court at some time. During his time in Golden, Loveland became passionate about building a railroad west through the Rocky Mountains. Loveland’s goal was to make Golden the center of travel by connecting the planes to the various mining towns throughout the Rockies. He founded the Clear Creek and Pacific Railway hoping to connect the line from Golden and the mountains north to the transcontinental railroad that ran through Wyoming.
Loveland had a few issues with the start of his entrepreneurship. One being the lack of cash funding; building a railroad is expensive, especially building one through the Rocky Mountains. Another issue that presented itself in Loveland’s career was the competition with other railroad companies, such as the Denver Pacific Railway. This company was able to acquire funds much faster than Loveland and succeeded in connecting a rail line from Denver to Cheyenne, in 1870. That same year Colorado’s capital was officially chosen to be Denver.
In 1870, Loveland played an important part in persuading the Colorado Territorial Legislature to authorize funds for the establishment of the Colorado School of Mines in Golden. He served on the Board of Trustees of the School of Mines after the Episcopal Church sold it to the Territory in 1874. Loveland testified in front of the Colorado Legislature many times in order to ensure the school’s establishment and success. Later, Loveland served on the School of Mines Board of Trustees beginning in 1874.
By 1877, Loveland completed the line running from Golden through what is now Boulder, Colorado, up to the Cheyenne connection passing right by present day Loveland. As a result of the 1887 Interstate Commerce Act, the Interstate Commerce Commission was created as a supervisory agency with the original purpose to regulate railroads and other forms of transportation to ensure fair rates and abolish discrimination. The need for such regulation came from farmers and other westerners who feared the large powerful railroad companies. Prior to the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, companies could establish any fees and rates for shipping farmer’s goods across the country at their leisure. This resulted with discrepancies in fees between similar goods and travel distances. The Interstate Commerce Act sought to make the railroad available to all Americans and thus established regulations and the commission to ensure these regulations were monitored.
Any modes of transportation in relation to the railroad companies such as riverboats were regulated under the Interstate Commerce Act. All rates charged by the companies were required to be “just and reasonable” (Interstate Commerce Act 1887). The Railroad Safety Appliance Act gave the Interstate Commerce Commission the authority over railroad safety which had originally resided in the jurisdiction of the states.
There was a lot of controversy in regard to the Act’s verbiage of rates and unreasonable rate increases. As a result of the Mann-Elkins Act of 1910, the Interstate Commerce Commission had the authority to delay rate increases until the railroad companies were able to show via the burden of proof that any rate or rate increases were just. At this point, the Interstate commerce commission was able to pursue judicial proceedings on their own without the help of the federal government. In order to compete with the Interstate Commerce Commission, companies needed extensive training within the working of the Interstate Commerce Act and surrounding amendments giving rise to corresponding education.