This section is from the book "Popular Law Library Vol8 Partnership, Private Corporations, Public Corporations", by Albert H. Putney. Also available from Amazon: Popular Law-Dictionary.
Section 4. Public quasi-corporations are merely local subdivisions of the State, created by the State of its own sovereign will, without any particular solicitation or consent on the part of the members of the corporation, and created almost exclusively with a view to the policy of the State at large.9
7 Dartmouth College vs. Woodward, 4 Wheat., 518.
8 These corporations, although technically private, are yet of a quasi public character, having in view some great public enterprise, in which the public interests are directly involved to such an extent as to justify conferring upon them important governmental powers, such as an exercise of the right of eminent domain. Of this class are railroad, turnpike and canal companies; and corporations strictly private, the direct object of which is to promote private interests, and in which the public has no concern, except the indirect benefits resulting from the promotion of trade, and the development of the general resources of the country, as for example, mining and irrigation companies. Miners Ditch Co. vs. Zellenbach, 37 Cal., 577.