Madera County Historical Society
One hundred years ago Madera High students who needed transportation to school were hauled in two Ford trucks. Some of the kids might have complained, but at least they had it better than these migrant students who were transported to LaVina in a horse-drawn wagon 20 years later.
50 Years Ago
Week of Aug. 19, 1968
‘GET OUT OF MY WAY,’ WOMAN TELLS POLICE — A Mountain View woman, who told patrolmen they should have “gotten out of her way,” received minor injuries Friday when she ran her car into a Highway Patrolman’s car on Highway 152 and Road 13. Mrs. Geraldine A. Morgan, 54, who was treated at Madera County Hospital, was cited for reckless driving, possessing an open container of alcoholic beverage in a vehicle, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, no driver’s license, and assault upon a peace officer. Mrs. Morgan, in attempting to evade slowing down and stopping for an emergency vehicle with a flashing red light, collided with the rear of a patrol car. Mrs. Morgan’s car was also being pursued by another patrol car from the rear at the time.
MADERA FAMILY TIED UP IN BIZARRE ROBBERY ATTEMPT — Two would-be robbers decided a “bird in the hand was worth two in the bush” when they set out to rob Madera’s J. C. Penney’s Department Store Sunday night. Instead, they tied up assistant manager Lyle Dean Studer along with his family and visitors and then fled from the home with about $100. “The robbers were very nice to us, and they put pillows under the heads of the children as they were tying them up,” said Studer. During the robbery, the woman said, “someday we’ll get caught. If not, then I’ll turn myself in by the time I’m 50 and collect Social Security.” As the woman held her gun on the group, the man tied and gagged them.
LEARN HOW TO PICK GRAPES ON FRIDAY — Toby Armenta, manager of the Farm Labor Service Office today announced plans for the annual “Grape Harvest Training Day” for the 1968 harvest season. Armenta stated the purpose of the program is to teach youths, housewives, and other interested people in the techniques of grape picking. “This training should afford newcomers to the grape harvest an opportunity to earn more money by learning the grape picking methods before they go on the job,” he said. “There will be a good grape crop in the county this year and all those wishing to pick grapes will be afforded an opportunity to increase their earnings.” The session will include a training film on raisin grape picking and a field demonstration on the proper techniques of harvesting. It will also include a question and answer period.
DRIVER IN MORRIS CASE JAILED FOR PUBLIC INTIOXICATION — Clifford Salmon, 61, who is due to appear in a Fresno County Superior Court on Thursday on two counts of felony manslaughter (drunk driving) as a result of the accident, which took the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Morris of Madera, on July 2, was sentenced Friday to five days in jail for public intoxication. Salmon had been given a suspended sentence in December on another public intoxication charge. On the most recent complaint, Salmon pleaded “guilty.” Before he was sentenced, Salmon said: “Could I pay a fine. Judge? My daughter’s going to the hospital for an operation, and I am needed to take care of her children for the next two weeks. The judge denied the request. Salmon will stand trial for the accident that left the ten Morris children orphans.
STORMY M.A.D. SESSION OVER PROPOSED SALARY SCHEDULE — Action on a salary schedule to raise the wages of Mosquito Abatement District employees was tabled by the MAD Board of Trustees Monday night. Ron Manfredi, a M.A.D. employee, asked why the trustees have to “procrastinate more’’ instead of making a decision before the first of the year. Personalities became involved when Trustee Aubrey Baker asked him if his name was “Manfredi” and told him to tell his dad “to stay off my back.” Manfredi retorted, “Tell him yourself.” Baker replied he would see him “one way or another.” Trustee J. C. Pond told the group he believed in giving a report on the salary schedule before the first of the year.
100 Years Ago
Week of Aug. 19, 1918
A MARRIAGE OF LOCAL INTEREST — Rudolph R. Preciado, well known local man, was united in marriage this morning at Taft to Miss Anita Valenzuela. The ceremony was performed at eight o’clock at St. Mary’s church by Father J. J. Prendiville of this city. The bride is a well-known young lady of Visalia and is the daughter of Mrs. M. Valenzuela. She has been employed for many years in the Sweet Millinery Store at that place. The young lady is very pretty and has a host of admiring friends. Mr. Preciado is a prosperous rancher of this county, well and favorably known. Immediately after the ceremony the couple left on their honeymoon, which is to be a motor trip down the coast, coming back by way of San Francisco. They will make their home on the Preciado ranch a few miles from Madera.
BROWN SHED TEARS IN COURT THIS MORNING ON THEFT CHARGE — John Brown, a Greek waiter who has been employed in a local restaurant, is a most repentant sinner. He shed great gushes of tears and sobbed like a four-year-old when he was taken into court this morning for his preliminary hearing and was bound over to the Superior Court, his bail being fixed at $2,000. Brown is charged with having stolen a diamond ring from a purse belonging to Mrs. D. O. Camerson of Taft, which was left in a restaurant of this city. The case was reported to City Marshal J. H. Barnett and he closely questioned Brown who admitted finding the purse. Brown strongly denied that he took anything from the purse and upon searching the rooms of the employees of the place, the missing ring was found in the lining of Brown’s overcoat.
TWO TRUCKS ADDED THIS YEAR TO HAUL HIGH SCHOOL PUPILS — The Board of Trustees has this year purchased two Ford trucks to carry pupils from the outlying districts to school. For the district north of the city a truck will leave Califa at 7:30 a.m. It will go down the highway to Fairmead. From there it will go south to Munich (Dixieland) schoolhouse, thence west to Berenda, and thence following the highway to Madera. The route for the truck operating in the district south of the city will start from the Stage Company thence south 1 mile to the LaVina schoolhouse, thence two miles south to Ripperdan schoolhouse road, thence to Madera by highway. The hour of starting will be seven o’clock. Pupils should be at the point on the route nearest their homes in plenty of time. The routes are long, and it will be necessary to instruct the drivers not to wait.
FOUND A STOLEN CAR ON HIGHWAY — Traffic Officer Jack Aiken discovered an abandoned Ford car by the side of the highway just north of town at an early hour this morning. He reported the discovery to the sheriff’s office and it was learned that the machine belongs to White & Crowell, merchants of Livingston. The car was stolen from that place last night and was seen by several parties on the highway with a bicycle in the rear part of the machine. It is believed that the thief drove the machine until daylight and then took the bike. No clue could be procured that would lead to the apprehension of the guilty party. The car was left in good condition.
MEXICAN GOES ON RAMPAGE — The sheriff’s office received a hurry-up call about midnight last night to come to Sharon where a Mexican was said to have gone on a rampage. Sheriff J.F. Lewis and Deputy A. W. Clark visited the place and found the man asleep in one of the cabins. He had been drinking and armed with a big knife, had not only threatened everybody around the place but had entered one cabin, turned everything upside down and had driven the occupant out while he took possession. He had gone to sleep with the knife in his hand and when awakened by Sheriff Lewis, a scrap in the dark ensued. Aided by a flashlight, the knife was taken from the Mexican and he was dragged to the automobile. The knife was covered with bloodstains, but in his wild raid, it is believed that the blood was from his own wound.