Aaron Hufford vs. the railroad

Here’s a Hufford who helped to make the law:

Jackson Citizen; Feb. 15, 1887
Railroad Rules and Rights of Passengers
On Sept. 19, 1882, Aaron Hufford purchased a ticket at Manton, a station of the main line of the Grand Rapids & Indiana railroad, which the agent represented was good for a ride to Traverse City.  The ticket was part of an excursion ticket, good when first issued from Sturgis to Traverse City, and after purchasing it, Hufford, noticing that it was not like the tickets he had been accustomed to purchase, asked the agent if it was good, and was assured that it was.  He thereupon entered the cars, which moved off for Walton junction, nine miles north of Manton.  On presenting his ticket to the conductor, he was informed that he could not receive it for fare, whereupon Hufford stated to the conductor the facts as to its purchase and the statements of the agent, and refused to pay the fare a second time.  The conductor said the rules of the company would not allow him to take it and said he should put him off if he did not pay to the junction.  He [Hufford] then paid under protest and brought suit against the company. The supreme court has just decided in his favor.  The company was bound by the act of its agent and the conductor, on being apprised of the facts, should have allowed the man to ride.  People are not required to know what rules are made by a railroad company to govern its agents and employees, and cannot lose their rights in consequence of them.

Case is Hufford v. Grand Rapids & Indiana R’y Co., 64 Mich. 631, 31 N. W. Rep. 544.
Rule: Passengers on railroad trains are not presumed to know the rules and regulations which are made for the guidance of the conductors and other employes of railroad companies as to the internal affairs of the company, nor are they required to know them.

Aaron Hufford was son of Michael, son of Casper, son of Christian b. 1716 in Schwaigern, Germany.  Aaron was a traveling salesman.  He was the father of five children.  He married in 1868.  Before 1880, two sons had died, and he’d been taken to jail for a few days because he had tried to take custody of his young daughter from his ex-wife.  Aaron didn’t win many fights in his life, but he won the fight with the railroad.

He’s on page 177 of the 1909 Hufford Family History.  Here’s his page at findagrave.com: Aaron Hufford (1846-1915).

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