When Michael Salvador, one of Sheriff John Anderson’s lieutenants, approached me the other day with his idea for a book, I thought it was a good one. He wants to compile a volume on all of Madera County’s Sheriffs and their deputies.
Now this would require a lot of time running down all of those officers who have served from 1893 to the present, but I think it would be worth it. In fact, I would like to make my own little contribution with the following tale that comes from the turn of the 20th century. I found it in an old copy of the Madera Mercury.
It seems that in 1912, Sheriff S.W. Westfall had a deputy named Howard Wells, who apparently was just the kind of lawman Madera needed. He was not at all reluctant to put his life on the line to protect the local citizens, especially the women, even if it meant moving in with them.
It just so happened that in September 1912, Wells was called upon to do just that...