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The Madera Tribune

Tragedy struck Madera teenagers on the tracks

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webmaster | 03/13/12

I t was the middle of August, and in a few days school would begin again for Burt Hambleton and Jimmie Thurman. The summer of 1902 had been pure elixir for the pair of Madera teenagers. They had done their share of swimming and fishing, and now they were going to try their luck at hunting before returning to the confines of a classroom again.

Both boys awoke early that Saturday morning and made ready for their safari, which would take them hunting for doves along the Fresno River. It had all been arranged the day before; Jimmie would walk from his home on North C Street over to the Southern Hotel on B Street where Burt lived. His father, J.M. Hambleton, was the proprietor of the new lodging house.

When Jimmie reached the hotel, Burt was waiting on the porch with his 12-gauge, double-barreled shotgun ready to go.

The two young hunters headed north for the riverbed and then followed it west in search of their quarry. They hunted all morning and well into the afternoon before retracing their steps to the Fresno River railroad bridge, which was known to be a place where birds came for water. That is where they were when tragedy struck...


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