Madera, 100 years ago

March 3, 2018

Madera County Historical Society
One hundred years ago two teenagers who were in love checked into the Alta Hotel before they could find somebody to marry them. The 16-year-old girl was in “delicate” health. Two days later, they were arrested.

From the pages of the Madera Mercury.

February 1918

PRIEST’S DOG IS POISONED — A dog poisoner appears to be at work again in Madera, and the night before the departure of Rev. Father King, his two Fox Terrier dogs fell victims to the revengeful hand of this low-lived individual. One of the dogs died but through the prompt work of Dr. L.A. Danielson, the other was saved. Whether the poisoner was merely endeavoring to take his spite against Father King out on the dumb brutes or whether these dogs were just next in line is not known. It was a most contemptible act whichever way it is taken. Father King will be replaced by the Rev. Father Prendiville who has been in the Coalinga country for the past seven years. He is a man of middle age, of pleasant demeanor and comes well recommended.

CHILDREN WILL HUNT SQUIRRELS — County Horticultural Commissioner George Marchbank is very much interested in a new movement that is being launched to eradicate squirrels and other rodents which destroy crops. The plan is to organize school children in the destruction of the animals, which destroy food. A meeting of the county horticultural commissioners will be held in Fresno on March 18 and 19 at which time the date of squirrel eradication week would be decided upon. It has been suggested that prizes be given to the scholar destroying the largest number and a prize to the class that is most successful. Finally a prize will be given to the school district that eradicated the most squirrels. Although all of the squirrels cannot be eradicated in one year, there can be enough killed to cut down the loss considerably.

YOUNG MAN KILLED IN CAR CRASH — Clinton Casen, a young man 22 years of age, met his death in an auto accident on the state highway at the railroad crossing north of the San Joaquin River bridge Tuesday night. The automobile in which he was riding turned once and a half over and landed on its side. Young Casen was caught beneath the right hand rear wheel and his head was crushed and the jugular vein severed. He lived but a few minutes, dying before the machine could be lifted from him and he could be removed. Young Casen was accompanied by his brother Franklin and two other men from this city. The four were cutting up and laughing most of the way, and when they reached the railroad crossing, young Casen put his hands over Franklin Casen’s eyes and he drove off the highway and into a four-foot bank and the car overturned.  

PRO-GERMAN RELEASED — Johannes Goetacke, the pro-German taken into custody the first of the week on the belief that he might have something to do with the thefts committed at the old Gambetta mine, was turned loose this morning. He will go back up to the hills where he has been residing for the past four years. His remarks regarding the war and his faithfulness to the cause of the Kaiser made the local officers believe he should be interned. As Goetacke positively states that he will create no disturbance while in America and on account of his good reputation in the hills, it was decided best to allow him his freedom as long as he keeps his ideas and his opinions regarding the war to himself.  

INTEREST IN WOMEN JURY GREAT — Judge E.L. McCapes was in town today and states that the interest in the coming trial of Frank R. DePrivate, charged with furnishing liquor to the Indians, is increasing daily. This is mainly on account of the decision of Judge McCapes to have the case tried before a jury of 12 women. He says he has rented Luke’s Hall at Raymond as a courtroom in order to accommodate the crowd. A venire of 20 trial jurywomen has been ordered. Constable Tom Leonard has been successful in procuring about half of that number and hopes to get the balance in time for the trial. Nearly all of Coarse Gold will be present.

SMALL BOYS EXPLODE CAPS — A quantity of dynamite, a number of caps, and some fuse were carelessly left scattered about the ground near a well on the Amerine place west of town by workmen who had been working on the well. Boys who were playing around the place found the caps Sunday and succeeded in exploding two of them without injury to themselves and were in the act of exploding some more when word was sent to City Marshal J.H. Barnett. He made an investigation and visited the place and gathered up the dynamite, a lot of fuse, and some more caps scattered about the ground. The caps were exploded by their being laid against a steel rail on the railroad and then throwing rocks at them. The caps are capable of causing considerable injury.

COUPLE HITS MANY HARD BUMPS — A young couple located in this city last night by City Marshal Barnett tell a sad story of good intentions but a failure to make good account of the law which says that children shall not marry until they have attained a marriageable age. The two parties are Joe Maniz of Oakland and Florence Morano of this county. Having been met with the disapproval of their parents, the couple went to Fresno and procured a license, swearing they were both of age. They then decided to wait awhile. A few days ago, the ought-to-be bride discovered that she was in ill health and notified the ought-to-be groom. He came to Madera and with the girl of his dreams proceeded to the Alta Hotel where they registered as man and wife. They lived in the hotel until Marshal Barnett discovered them and took them into custody.

REFUSED TO SHIP HENS BY EXPRESS — One of the recent orders of the food administration is that there be no marketing of laying hens or pullets. When a member of Madera’s foreign population by the name of Dolio appeared at the express office this morning with a coop of chickens to ship to San Francisco, agent George Donahue adjusted his glasses and peered through the slats at the feathered ones inside. He looked closely but was unable to detect but one rooster in the bunch. The balance were hens and pullets. “This won’t do,” he remarked and refused to accept the coop of fowls for shipment. Dolio acquiesced and putting his coop of chicks on his shoulder started back home. His next shipment will be made up exclusively of roosters.

RESTAURANT VS. SALOON — There has been some misunderstanding about the “Restaurant Clause” in the Anti-saloon ordinance to be voted on here April 8th. There is a difference between a restaurant that serves food and one that now sells alcoholic liquors. If the restaurant sells liquor after the ordinance is passed, all private rooms and booths must be removed from that restaurant. This will practically prevent men from taking girls into restaurants and giving them liquor privately. They must have it served in the public or general dining room. Such parties do not care for the limelight of the public room, so that evil will be avoided. In the second place, beer and wine only can be sold. No more whiskey in the restaurants. In the third place, drinks can be sold only with bona fide meals costing 25 cents besides the cost of the drink.

WOULD NOT LISTEN TO GUILTY PLEA — “I don’t believe these boys are guilty of grand larceny and I object to them entering guilty pleas,” said J.M. Emmert, court-appointed attorney for two Mexican boys, Antonio and Francisco Juentas. The two are charged with looting the automobile of Dr. L. St. John Hely. The two Mexicans, it will be recalled, carried away a number of surgical instruments and an overcoat belonging to Dr. Hely almost two months ago. When Marshal Barnett arrested the pair, they had a part of the plunder in their possession. After being in jail for awhile, they decided they would enter a plea of guilty and were taken to the court for that purpose. They stated at the time that they were willing to plead but did so for the purpose of getting out of jail. Judge Conley listened for awhile and then decided that the case should come to trial as planned.

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