Madera County Historical Society
Fifty years ago, this plane, The City of Madera was flying in the skies of Vietnam. Its crew named it after Madera because they had visited here while based at Lemoore Naval Air Station before being sent into action.
50 Years Ago
Week of March 4, 1968
DON HODGE NEW PRESIDENT OF MADERA CHAMBER — Don Hodge, manager of the J.C. Penny department store, Wednesday night was elected president of the Madera County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, succeeding Richard M. Shearer of Security Title Co. The board also elected five vice presidents for each chamber section. They are Glenn Taylor, Ben Robinson, Bob Bigelow, Lee Roy Gudgel, and Wayne Dumont. These new officers will be installed at the Chambers’ Annual Banquet at Clarke Auditorium at the Chowchilla Fairgrounds. The theme of the banquet will be the County’s Diamond Jubilee in keeping with its 75th anniversary this year.
MEN’S NIGHT AT CRUSADE HERE TONIGHT — Tonight will be men’s night at the Ford Philpiot Crusade at Hatfield Hall. Dr. Philpot has offered his own specially indexed Bible to the man who brings the largest number of men who have not previously attended. Friday night is ladies night, and Saturday is scheduled youth night. Singer Ethel Waters will be the special guest both Friday and Saturday night. Wednesday Dr. Philpot presented the message, “Who is a Christian?” in which he proposes that a Christian is one who is concerned about the lost, is sure of his own Christian experience, practices what he preaches, gives God what is due him, and is filled with the Spirit. Special guest singer this week is Suzanne Johnson, former Miss America Pageant participant.
BATTERY TRIAL SET FOR OWNER OF AMBULANCE — A jury trial has been scheduled for May 14 in Madera Justice Court in the case of Vernon Smith, owner of a local ambulance service, who is charged with battery. In a complaint filed in Justice Court, John Huber Sanderson, 29, alleges he had been assaulted about the face and body while being transported from the scene of an accident to Madera County Hospital by Smith’s ambulance on Feb. 4. Sanderson received minor injuries when his vehicle went off the road and rolled over a dirt shoulder on Avenue 17 and Road 23. He had been a former employee of the Smith Ambulance Service. Smith pleaded not guilty to the charge and posted $250 bail.
COUNCILS BACK COUNTY TAKEOVER OF POVERTY WAR — Both the Madera and Chowchilla City Councils expressed solid backing Thursday night for a Board of Supervisors takeover of the War on Poverty. Madera Mayor D.R. Stephenson said that his council is “100 percent behind the supervisors” and had planned to ask them to take over the program if they hadn’t already decided to do so. Chowchilla City Council reported passage of a resolution Wednesday night supporting the board in its decision to take over the poverty war operations. Board Chairman Harold Balmat concluded discussion with a request to the councils to “wish us luck” and said the supervisors feel they can provide better management and use of public funds in the poverty war.
MAN FOUND BY RAILROAD TRACKS IN SERIOUS CONDITION — A 40-year-old man believed to be a transient is reported in serious condition at the Madera County Hospital where he was taken after he was found this morning face down in the mud beside the Southern Pacific railroad tracks north of Cleveland Avenue. Sheriff’s deputies found the man when they went to investigate a report that a body had been seen in the area. They tentatively identified him as Donald Kelly. Deputies report the man may have been in the area during the night as his clothes were soaked by rain. The man apparently fell off a train passing through the area, according to deputies.
100 Years Ago
Week of March 4, 1918
FAIRMEAD EDITOR AND WIFE MOVING TO MADERA — A public reception was held at the Fairmead School house last Saturday night in honor of Editor and Mrs. E.I. Mosteller, who recently moved to Madera to make their future home. Mr. Mosteller has been editor of the Fairmead Enterprise for several years and has been an important factor in the community’s activities. He has always taken prominent part in all matters that were good for the county. Over one hundred people gathered at the school house Saturday evening for the purpose of showing their good feeling for Editor Mosteller and his excellent family and to bid them God speed and success.
TWO WHITE COOKS DRAFTED; NO CHINAMEN — Notification cards were sent out this morning by Chairman E.W. Williams of the local exemption board to Louis Christos, the local proprietor of the Yosemite Cafe, and to Floyd Elmer Wyer, both of whom have been inducted into the service as cooks to fill the call for men in Pershing’s army in France. This induction is made under Call No. 42. Two cooks were asked for from this county and as none volunteered, it became necessary to draft the two mentioned. There are but five cooks registered, and Mr. Christos is the first on the list. Woo Wing comes next, but as the calls stated that only white men were wanted and as there was some question as to a Chinaman being classed as a white man, Wing was disqualified. Floyd Wyer was next on the list.
MADERA MAN CAN’T JOIN; CAN’T BE DRAFTED — Frank Neff is one individual who is in a sad state of affairs. He is Swiss, which is one of the few neutral countries still remaining on earth, and while he wants to be a good American and has taken out his papers, Congress says we cannot use him. According to the law, he must be inducted into the service and sent to a training camp. When there, he will be thrown out, boots and all, on the ground he is a citizen of a neutral country and cannot be drafted. And there you are. Frank Neff is an employee of the Yosemite Stage and Turnpike Co. and was today notified of his dilemma.
DYNAMITE MEN TO ANSWER IN COURT — Fred Barcroft, prominent hardware dealer of Madera and Roy R. Amerine, a leading vineyardist and orchardist west of Madera were held to answer the U.S. District Court March 23 on a charge of selling explosives without proper licenses. The arrest were made after two boys stole dynamite cartridges from a well pit on the Amerine Ranch and exploded some of them by placing them on a railroad track and throwing stones from a distance. It is charged Barcroft sold ten sticks of dynamite to Amerine without finding whether or not he had a license under the new explosives act. Amerine is also charged with failing to properly safeguard the explosives. Both men were released under $1,000 bail.
COAL SHORTAGE FEARED FOR NEXT WINTER — Plans are being discussed at the present time in this city for the organization of a wood company for the purpose of supplying local people with fuel next winter as there is every indication of a shortage of coal at this time. Chairman W.A. Ellis of the Board of Supervisors informed them that the county should lay in its supply of coal as early as possible. Mr. Ellis hails from the mountain section of the county where there are thousands and thousands of cords of wood, and he conceives the idea of getting this wood into valley during the summer time when the roads are good for hauling. He said the greatest drawback is that people don’t buy wood in the summer time.