Madera County Historical Society
Charles F. Preciado established himself in Madera by operating this variety store on north Yosemite Avenue. He went on to become County Tax Collector, which was a mistake. One hundred years ago, Preciado was arrested for embezzling county funds.
100 Years Ago in November 1917
MAD BULL CRUSHES ELDERLY RESIDENT TO DEATH — Thomas S. Desmond, one of the oldest and best known residents of this county met a terrible death about 5 o’clock Monday afternoon when he was attacked and crushed by an infuriated bull on his place three miles southwest of Madera. Just what happened before the attack was made by the big bull no one will probably ever know, although it is believed Mr. Desmond wanted to separate the bull from the cows. In order to do this, he had to get out of his buggy, and it is presumed that is when the attack came. The bull is a big Holstein, and Mr. Desmond had been cautioned a number of times about being with him alone.
MRS. DAULTON ENTERS PLEA OF GUILTY — Lizzie Daulton, the saloon keeper and questionable character of the Raymond vicinity, appeared before Judge W.M. Conley and entered a plea of guilty to the charge of violating the Redlight Abatement Act. The court ordered the place be closed up for a period of one year and put in the custody of the sheriff. When first arrested Mrs. Daulton filed a demurrer to the effect that the complaint did not specify in which building on her property the law was being violated. The district attorney amended his complaint and specified one particular building. Mrs. Daulton states that she expects to leave Raymond for the time being.
TRAMPLED UPON BY A HORSE — Mrs. Daniel Hunt, who resides on L Street, narrowly escaped being fatally injured this morning when she was trampled upon by a horse. She suffered the fracture of two ribs and one hand was badly lacerated by the steel shoes. The animal, which is a family pet, became startled when Mrs. Hunt went to the barn to harness and hitch up the horse she always drives. When Mrs. Hunt approached the animal, it reared back, and Mrs. Hunt lost her balance and fell. The animal came down with his front feet on her body and before she could extricate herself, she had been severely injured. Dr. Dow H. Ransom was called. He indicated there may be internal injuries.
SAD DAY FOR COLORED FOLKS — Monday will be a sad say for the African American population of Madera. It is the day when all of their neighborhood expected to turn out en masse to give a send-off to the only black man from Madera County who has been drafted for the army, and who was to have taken his departure for Camp Lewis. It appears that Willie Fisher has shaken the dust of Madera from his feet and is back in sunny Tennessee. He left here shortly after his examination, and while he must go to the training camp just the same, and Madera gets credit for his going, he doesn’t know what he is missing. Monday would have been a glorious day for him.
DIVORCE DISGUSTS JUDGE CONLEY — The divorce suit of A.J. Wilhoite against Wilda May Wilhoite came up for trial in the Superior Court today before Judge W.M. Conley. The defendant in the action is but 17 years of age at the present time. She was 14 when she was married. The plaintiff testified that his wife was running around with other men, and the defendant testified that her husband tried to get her to lead a life of shame and that she did so in Stockton. Judge Conley was considerably disgusted, as there is a little two-year-old daughter involved. Judge Conley said he could see no merit on either side. He decided that neither was a fit person to have custody of the child.
REJECTED LOVER GETS 60 DAYS — Porfirio Pacheco, the man who stabbed himself with a penknife has been found guilty of assault and battery and sentenced to jail for 60 days. He was arrested at Minturn and taken to Chowchilla Wednesday afternoon for trial before Justice Cornell. As soon as he recovers from his self-inflected injuries, he will be requested to work off his wounded feelings upon the courthouse lawn. He attempted suicide because he was rejected by the woman he had set his heart upon.
EX-TAX COLLECTOR NOW FACES FOUR NEW CHARGES — Charles F. Preciado, former tax collector of Madera County, was arrested this afternoon on four complaints filed in the court of Justice of the Peace G.W. Raburn, charging him with embezzlement, having appropriated money for his own use that had been paid to him as taxes. The complaints filed today are separate and distinct from the indictments brought by the grand jury. The complaints filed today were all sworn to by W.A. Ellis, chairman of the board of supervisors. As soon as the complaints were filed, four warrants of arrest were placed in the hands of Sheriff J.F. Lewis and were immediately served.
SHEEP EAT POISON; 800 DIE — Eight hundred sheep are dead and between 300 and 400 are sick, and many more may die as a result of poisoning, according to Dr. John F. McKenna, county livestock inspector who was called to the Eisen vineyard to investigate the death of the sheep. A band of 1,800 sheep owned by Pete Iragary were turned into the vineyard yesterday morning. He had leased the vineyard. By noon, 800 had died. It has been found that death was caused from a chemical poisoning. It is presumed that the sheep ate poison that had been sprayed at the bottom of the grapevines to kill worms.
REPORTS STAGE WAS ROBBED — The news of a reported hold-up in the hills east of Madera just reached this city today. It was brought down by Jim Dennis, who resides in Coarse Gold. Mr. Dennis states that he was told that the stage running between Raymond and Sugar Pine had been held up. He was taken to the place of the reported crime. It was claimed that a scantling was placed across the road to stop the stage, and Mr. Dennis was shown the timber which was said to have been used for this purpose. How many robbers there were or whether or not they succeeded in getting any loot could not be learned. No report of the affair was made to the local officers.
COUNTY MAY PAY BOUNTY ON RABBITS — While all the counties of the state are combating squirrels, it has been decided that now is the appropriate time to wage a war on jackrabbits as well. This morning the supervisors instructed the district attorney to draft an ordinance placing a two-cent bounty upon jackrabbits killed within the county border. The supervisors hold the firm belief that more good can be accomplished in this way than by holding the regular rabbit drives. A two-cent bounty is a mere pittance and yet professional trappers and hunters are willing to work on that basis. The only objection comes from those who fear that rabbits will come to Madera County from adjoining counties.