Louisville, Kentucky streetcar system and suburban electric rail, 1906
Louisville of the early 20th century was a rapidly-growing industrial city dominated by a shamelessly corrupt Democratic political machine. The biggest issue facing the city at the time was good old-fashioned political corruption, with independent Democrats and Republicans allying against the forces of patronage and the machine politics of the city mayor. This came to a head in the 1905 mayoral election, where the Democratic machine had committed fraud and used violence to steal the election, leading the Kentucky Court of Appeals to overturn the election - leaving it to Democratic governor J. C. W. Beckham to appoint an entire slate of local officials on his own initiative.
Louisville's streetcar system at the time had 17 lines covering nearly all the city, and seven regional electric lines which ran to surrounding towns. Notable among these interurban lines is the elevated Daisy Line, which was a full-fledged rapid transit line running electric elevated trains to New Albany, Indiana every 15 minutes.
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