John H. H. Diers, the U.S. deputy surveyor, who has been in the field with a party in the interest of
L. D. Kinney, came over from Dyea yesterday. When asked by the Alaskan about affairs connected with the Chilkoot Pass railroad
project, Mr. Diers said:
"I know nothing whatever about the secret phases of the proposition, but can see tangible evidence that the
affair has better backing than wind and imagination. In the first place, Mr. Kinney has proceeded through his attorneys, Price &
Stevens, of Skagway, to legally organize a company of which he is president and general manager. F. F. Stokes is secretary; John
Myers, treasurer; A. F. Schmelzel, vice-president, and J. P. Stotko. His financial agent is F. B. Morrill, of San Francisco.
"Now all these people, except perhaps Mr. Morrill, notoriously lack personal capital. But they are spending money
and no very modest amount of it. And as the bills are being paid, it goes without saying that they are acting as trustees for
people of means. Locally, Mr. Kinney has been set down as visionary, but there is nothing of the dreamer about his fellow promoters.
They are not of the stamp that could be led to chase rainbows. Mr. Kinney has cut a good round figure in the past, and though the
last panic drew him through a slim knothole, he has proved an adaptability of staggering to his feet.
Everybody believes that Mike King has plenty of money back of him. He asserts constantly that he intends to build
the Chilkoot railroad. It would be very poor business for him to proceed in this matter without so much as a single survey from
tidewater. It seems curious to me that Mr. Kinney should be so zealous in his surveys and Mr. King so untiring in his lobby work
unless there was a fair understanding between them. It would be hard to believe that both Mr. King and Mr. Kinney were not
figureheads for the same power. The charter for Mr. Kinney's 'Chilkoot Pass Railway Company' is bristling with detail. The field
notes and charts that will be filed with his application for right of way show that full advantage has been taken of the terminals,
depotsites, Y's, sidetracks, etc., granted by his charter.
"I have every reason to believe that work of some nature or other will proceed on the enterprise with more or less
activity until the fruition of dragging preliminary matters allow the projectors to show their enterprise with rapidity.
I can hardly say that I expect to continue in charge of the engineering when the capitalists take active hold of
their enterprise. There are others and others, you know. Many call but few are chosen for the big places. I have no railroad secrets
to impart. I am merely relating matters of public record and common news - and that's all I know about it."