Ninety-nine years ago a huge parade inched down Yosemite Avenue as it always did on the anniversary of our nation’s independence. Crowds lined the street to see the procession and then flocked to Courthouse Park to hear the music and orations.
It was there that they shared the news. On July 4, 1913, homeopathic physician, Dr. Howard L. James passed away. Madera had lost another of its Civil War soldiers.
Although he was retired, Dr. James was widely esteemed in Madera County, and his sudden death at his home on North D Street from some undisclosed intestinal ailment left the town stunned. He had taken ill the night before and spent his last hours in great pain, surrounded by his family.
On the next day after the Fourth of July parade, R.C. Jay and Son handled the funeral, which commenced from the home of his daughter, Mrs. R.L. Bennett, on North C Street. The body was escorted to the cemetery by the handful of local Civil War veterans that made up the dwindling ranks of the Madera chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic...