Madera County Historical Society
One hundred years ago, J.C. Bruce of Wawona earned $100 from the state for killing a mountain lion. Fifteen years earlier, S.S. Anderson killed this 200 pound lion near Berenda, proving that not all of the lions stayed in the mountains.
50 Years Ago
Week of May 27, 1968
KENNEDY PLANS STOP IN MADERA — Sen. Robert F. Kennedy brings his campaign for the presidency to Madera Thursday. Kennedy will make his Memorial Day appearance at the Southern Pacific Depot at 1:45 p.m. where he will speak for 20 minutes from the rear platform of the Kennedy Capitol Special train. The special will originate from Fresno and make other stops in Merced, Turlock, Modesto, Stockton, Lodi, and end in Sacramento. Kennedy arrives at noon Thursday at the Fresno Air Terminal where a rally will be held. There will be a motorcade through Fresno to the Fresno depot where the northbound campaign will begin.
RFK HERE THURSDAY — A contingent of Maderans will ride the Kennedy campaign train from Fresno to Madera tomorrow. The group includes Mayor John Wells, Councilman William Venturi, Ed Boyle, head of the County Democratic Central Committee, John Rowe, Mrs. Gertrude Parker, Mrs. Mary Pico, Dave Boyle, and Paul Christofferson of Chowchilla. The train will arrive at the SP depot here about 1:45 p.m. Sen. Robert Kennedy will speak from the platform of a passenger car for about 20 minutes. Mayor Wells will introduce Kennedy. He arrives in Fresno Thursday morning to commence his train campaign up the valley to Sacramento.
KENNEDY RAPS HUMPHREY IN MADERA TALK — Sen. Robert Kennedy blasted Vice President Humphrey during his whistle-stop train appearance at Madera Thursday. The New York senator, mounting an intensive drive to collect all of California’s Democratic presidential delegates in Tuesday’s primary campaigned from Fresno to Sacramento on a Southern Pacific train. A crowd estimated at from 1,500 to 2,000 showed up at the Madera depot. Mayor John Wells introduced the candidate who shared the platform with his wife, Ethel, and Rafer Johnson, former Olympic decathlon champion. Kennedy declared Humphrey is projecting a false image of joy and happiness in the country.
SENATOR KENNEDY STILL CRITICAL — Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was critically wounded early today by a swarthy gunman as he was leaving a jubilant primary election celebration in Los Angeles. After undergoing nearly four hours of surgery, doctors said his condition is “extremely critical,” Kennedy was shot in the neck and head. Kennedy’s wife, Ethel, who is expecting their 11th child, was not hurt. She bent over her husband as he lay bleeding from the wound near his right ear and another in his shoulder, whispering to him and trying to console him just as Jacqueline Kennedy had bent over her husband in a Dallas convertible in 1963.
HEAD WOUND FATAL TO RFK — Sen. Robert F. Kennedy is dead. Like his brother, he was the victim of an assassin’s bullet. Struck down in the brightest moment of his own try for the White House, the 42-year-old Kennedy died at 1:44 a.m. PDT today at Good Samaritan Hospital. Murder charges were expected to be filed during the day against gunman Sirhan Bashira Sirhan, the Jordanian immigrant seized moments after Kennedy fell with a bullet in his brain. President Johnson put at the family’s disposal a presidential jet to fly the body, Kennedy’s widow, Ethel, three of his children, and 71 friends and staff to New York in mid-day. The senator was the third of four brothers of the ill-starred family to die a violent death. Only the youngest, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts was left to carry the banner of the Kennedy clan.
100 Years Ago
Week of May 27, 1918
WHO MOVED CAMPIN’S CAR — An excitement that all but turned the town upside down, the sheriff’s office included, took place last night when D.D. Campin, the local nurseryman and fruit grower, suddenly discovered that his new Overland automobile was missing from its accustomed stall in front of the Bank of Italy. Mr. Campin reported the incident to the sheriff’s office, and a motorcycle officer was put on the track. He traveled all over town, wore out a pair of tires, and used up several gallons of gas only to return with a disappointed demeanor. It was then learned that the machine had been found by Mr. Campin himself. The car was standing on the west side of the Yosemite Hotel. Whether it walked there itself or was moved by some black hand is still a mystery. D.D. isn’t saying much, but he offered to treat the whole sheriff’s office to ice cream just the same.
McCULLAGHS IN TRAIN WRECK — Rev. David H. McCullagh, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of this city, and his wife returned home today, glad that they are still sound in body and not walking on crutches. While on a tour of the East, the train on which they were traveling was wrecked just outside of Salt Lake City. At least two people were killed and many more were injured. Mr. and Mrs. McCullagh escaped without serious injury. Mr. McCullagh had been seated in the front end of the car, and Mrs. McCullagh was sitting on the arm of the seat. Suddenly there was a lurching of the car, and it landed on its side. Rev. McCullagh found himself on his back with his feet in the air and another seat on top of him. He did not mention the condition in which he found Mrs. McCullagh, but it suffices to know that she was uninjured outside of a few bruises.
$100 FOR A MOUNTAIN LION — One shot brought Jay C. Bruce of Wawona $100, making a pretty good day’s hunting. The State Controller’s records show that during the month of May the state paid Bruce that sum for killing a lioness and then dispatching her three kittens, which he had been able to capture. In addition to $100 for the lioness, Bruce received $30 for each of the female cubs and for the one male the sum of $20. In addition to money Bruce has been paid, the state has paid out a total of $290 during the month of May for mountain lions killed.
LEPER IS FOUND IN MADERA — Considerable excitement reigned here Sunday afternoon when it was learned that a Mexican woman who is a leper had escaped from the pest house in Fresno County and had come to Madera. The unfortunate woman was helped to make her get-away by her husband, and the two came to Madera looking for work. Their two boys were left in Madera while they went to Storey to seek employment on the section crew. Officers, accompanied by Dr. Long, drove to Storey and found them. Other Mexicans were reluctant about letting her go, claiming that she did not have the leprosy. Dr. Long informed them that they might know how to drive railroad spikes, but he felt that he knew his business. The woman was loaded into a machine and will be taken right to Mexico.
TWO ALIEN FEMALES REGISTERED — According to the report of Postmaster J.L. Murphy, only two alien German females have registered in this county thus far. The time to register ends on the 26th, and before that time all female subjects of the Kaiser must report themselves to the government. All females who register must present late photographs of themselves with the necessary papers. The papers will not be accepted unless accompanied by the photograph. This is the first time that can be remembered by the local postmaster that the department has referred to women as “females.” They are given the term in this instance of “alien females.”