SCOPE AND CONTENT
Record Group 301, Public Service Commission, Commissioner Z. D. Atkins, consists primarily of subject files related to the daily activities of the Public Service Commission from 1960 through 1973. The original order of this collection was somewhat alphabetical, therefore the original file titles were retained and alphabetized. The arrangement is alphabetical by file folder, then chronological within each folder. Typical documents that may be found within the folders are correspondence, petitions, Public Service Commission orders, notes, transcripts of testimony, and Certificates of Convenience & Necessity. A topic of particular interest may be the files pertaining to the discontinuance of passenger service by the L & N Railroad from Nashville to Memphis found in Box 3.
The primary purpose of the Public Service Commission (PSC) as created by the legislature was to regulate, control, and supervise the operations of all railroads, motor
carriers, and public utilities operating within Tennessee.
The commission had its
inception prior to the Civil War when a "Road Commissioner" was appointed by the Governor to supervise and regulate the safety and charges of the railroads. The three member form of the "Railroad Commission" was enacted during an extra session of the legislature in 1897. The name was changed in 1955 to the Tennessee Public Service Commission. The Tennessee Regulatory Authority was established on July 1, 1996, as a result of the 1995 sunset of the Tennessee Public Service Commission. A more complete history of the PSC can be found in the last document in Box 6, Folder 2.
Record Group 301 offers a perspective into the work done by the Tennessee Public Service Commission to regulate commerce and protect the interests of the general public. Additional information pertaining to the PSC can be found in Record Group 291, Public Service Commission Minutes.