UTILITIES: Appomattox Court House

One morning last week Trinity's churchyard at the head of Wall Street slept humidly under a blazing sun, while some 250 men—public utilitarians, newsmen, drawling politicians from Tennessee—met on the sixth floor of Manhattan's First National Bank. They were there to witness an epochal surrender; the Appomattox of the six-year fight by Commonwealth & Southern Corp.'s shaggy, barrel-chested President Wendell Lewis Willkie to stave off public ownership of public utilities in the Tennessee River Valley.

Wendell Willkie surrendered with the honors of war. He marched off with $78,425,095 in payment for Commonwealth...

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