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The Madera Tribune

Madera County’s pistol-packing senator

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webmaster | 09/06/13

At 11 o’clock on the evening of Jan. 21, 1911, the Honorable George G. Goucher died in Madera, and with his passing the Valley lost one of its social pillars and active political leaders. He had been a teacher, an attorney, district attorney for Mariposa and Madera Counties, state assemblyman, and state senator.

And if that isn’t enough to place him in the local “Who’s Who?” we might add that, along with the Honorable George Washington Mordecai, he was a founding father of Madera County. When Mordecai introduced in the State Assembly in 1893 the bill to create Madera County, Goucher did likewise in the State Senate, but it came close to costing him his life.

Not everyone rejoiced at the prospect of creating a new county in 1893. Certainly the sentiment south of the San Joaquin River was decidedly anti-divisionist. Numerous public meetings were held in Fresno to map a strategy for thwarting the move to carve Madera County out of Fresno County’s First Supervisorial District. Strong feelings were expressed on both sides of the issue, and occasionally violence was the result. It was for that reason that Senator George Goucher carried a pistol.

When Goucher and Mordecai introduced their bills in their respective houses authorizing a vote by the people on the matter of county division, the proposals made one Charles A. Lee seethe with resentment, and for some reason that anger was directed more toward Goucher than Mordecai...


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