Madera County Historical Society
With Old Timers Day fast approaching, there might be a few Maderans who remember when Preciado’s put up this Arbor shelter in front of their store on Yosemite Avenue, courtesy of the Madera Sugar Pine Company.
50 Years Ago
Week of Sept. 16, 1968
NUDIST CAMP HEARING SET FOR TUESDAY — The Board of Supervisors will conduct a public hearing Tuesday morning on the appeal of Ethel B. (Susie) and James Hickman for a private school and nudist camp on their Fine Gold ranch. The hearing is set for 10 a. m. in the board chambers in the County Government Center. A majority of the members of the Madera County Planning Commission hearing the arguments for and against the camp and school voted to recommend denial, but the action was considered indecisive. The Fresno chapter of the American Sunbathers Association is seeking the ranch site for a family recreation camp. The Hickmans propose to operate a private school for special students whose activities are to include use of the sunbathers’ recreation facilities.
JAMES BUYS BUSINESS AT BETHARD SQUARE — Bob James, owner of the James Department Store business in downtown Madera for 25 years, took over the operation of Joseph’s in Bethard Square today. James will operate both the downtown store and the shopping center location, which is to receive the James Department Store name. Although his downtown lease runs until next May, James noted that a proposed sale of the building in which his store is located is in escrow. Joseph’s, one of a chain of stores by that name, opened last Nov. 2, one of the first businesses in the new shopping center. James entered the Madera business world nearly 25 years ago when he bought the former Tighe’s Department Store. His stock includes a complete line of children’s clothes, linens and bedding, gift items and a large lingerie department.
TRANSIENT BOOKED ON CHARGE OF ASSAULT HERE — Otis Mayberry, 56, a transient, was booked into Madera County Jail Tuesday night on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon. Mayberry is accused of beating another transient, Frank Virgil, 35, also known as Larry Virgil, with a piece of flat iron. The beating allegedly occurred during a fight reported at a Southern Pacific Railroad right-of-way one-half mile north of the city. Deputies said Virgil was found at the scene lying on the ground with numerous cuts on the face, head and hands. He was taken to Madera General Hospital, where he was treated for a fractured jaw and skull. He was listed this morning in fair condition.
CROCKER CITIZENS PLANS MOVE — Plans for purchase of the northeast corner of North D Street and Yosemite Avenue by Crocker Citizens National Bank were disclosed today by reliable sources. The sources said the transaction is in escrow, with several details to be worked out yet before the purchase is completed. The property involved extends eastward from D Street to the alley and northward along D Street to the boarded excavation and vacant lot. It includes the Yosemite Avenue frontage buildings now occupied by James Department Store and Men’s Wear, Leighton’s Time Shop, Fenarese’s Hair Styling Center and Beneficial Finance Co. It extends northward along North D Street to include the Glenn Freeman realty offices and adjoining vacant office space, the former Star Grill, and the Madera Club bar.
100 Years Ago
Week of Sept. 16, 1918
GYPSY BAND CAUGHT WITH CHILD — Two big fine automobiles drew up in front of the Court House Park this morning and were stopped by the local police. The cars were filled with dark colored Gypsies and in the midst of this hard looking bunch of people was one fair-haired little lad of about five years. The officers felt positive that the lad had been stolen by the Gypsies, and in order to hold them until an investigation could be made, one of the party was arrested for failure to have an operator’s license. The woman, who seemed to be the boss of the outfit, was taken before Justice Raburn. The Gypsy woman was asked where she got the little white boy and she claimed that he was adopted. The officers found that what the woman said was true. The Gypsies were then released and permitted to go on their way to Fresno without further trouble. All of this, however, did not take away the feeling that such a band of people had no business with a little white boy like this one.
GIRL SAID TO BE A FORGER ARRESTED — Rose McCabe a Modesto girl, was arrested here last evening by Sheriff J. H. Barnett upon authority received from Modesto, and Miss McCabe was taken back to her “home town’’ by an officer last night. It is alleged that Miss McCabe forged a number of checks, and no denial was made of the fact at the jail after her arrest here. She claimed that she signed the check at the instigation of another. She has been here on a visit to a sister who is quite well known in this city. Regarding the arrest the morning the San Francisco Examiner had the following to say: Rose McCabe, 15 years old, is in custody for having passed at least fifteen bad checks, totaling $100 on local merchants. Her work, it is charged, included the forging of her father’s name and the raising of figures on some checks.
SAILORS TURNED LOOSE — Because there is no assurance that even his expenses would be paid for delivering the two sailor boys who have been held at the local jail for several days, to Monterey, Sheriff J. H. Barnett this morning gave each lad a couple of dollars and released them. The lads were picked up here by Deputy Sheriff Welton Rhodes the fore part of the week and admitted that they belonged to the U.S.S. Oregon. The Sheriff has made several such deliveries in the past and has had to pay his expenses out of his own pocket.
OBERSHEIN IS HELD FOR MURDER — Ben Obershein, the youth who shot Night Watchman Bernard McCluskey down in cold blood Saturday morning, was today formally charged with murder, and his preliminary hearing was set for Monday. He was informed yesterday morning of the death of his victim, the news being conveyed to him by Sheriff J. H. Barnett. Obershein showed the first signs of emotion since his arrest, and broke down and cried. Obershein looked pale and was decidedly nervous this morning. He plainly showed the weight that is now resting upon him, and he would scarcely look at anyone in the courtroom.