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History in the Week of March 25

Madera County Historical Society

One hundred years ago R.L. Bennett, shown here in the middle, lost one of his bicycles to a “wheel” thief. It was discovered in Fairmead and returned. Bennett’s bicycle shop was one of three such businesses located in Madera.


50 Years Ago

Week of March 25, 1968

MADERA MARINE RECEIVES WOUND IN VIET ACTION — Marine Pfc. Richard Gutierrez, 20, son of Mrs. Lupe Gutierrez, of 27385 Saunders Road, has been wounded in Vietnam. Gutierrez is in the Oakland Naval Hospital with a fragmentation wound in the left leg received from hostile artillery fire while engaged in action in the Quang Tri province. He entered the service in July and was sent to Vietnam in December where he was assigned to the Third Marine Division. He graduated from Madera High School in 1966.

MADERA COUNTY’S DIAMOND JUBILEE REPORT GIVEN — Ralph Baraldi, chairman of the Madera County Historical Society’s diamond jubilee committee, reported on the progress being made for the yearlong celebration. Of particular interest is the dinner to be held in May with Judge Philip Conley of Fresno as the speaker. Baraldi reported that the bumper stickers are selling well and that commemorative coins will be on sale shortly. Baraldi stressed that the jubilee is an affair of the whole county and emphasized that help from all organizations and individuals are welcome and invited.

WILD WEST DAYS RELIVED DURNG CHOWCHILLA’S DRIVE — Had the old Texas trail drivers been on Chowchilla’s main street today, they would have been surprised and delighted to see that the Old West still lives at least once a year in Chowchilla. In John Chisholm’s day, it was the Texas Longhorn that went up the trail on those now famous cattle drives, but today it is happening in Chowchilla. The annual event heralds the start of Stampede Week, and in the place of the Texas Longhorn, it is the Mexican Corriente brushjumpers that cowboys herd down the street and out to the Fairgrounds arena. Approximately 1,500 spectators lined the street at 10 a.m. today to see the modern-day cattle drive down Robertson Boulevard and through the business district.

WOMAN KILLED IN HIGHWAY 99 CRASH — A woman was killed and her husband seriously injured when her auto struck another vehicle and rolled over Thursday afternoon. Dead is the driver, Mrs. Beulah Ellen Harmon, 66, of Glendale. Injured is her husband Arron Harmon, 74. Mrs. Harmon was traveling north on Highway 99 when she skidded into the rear of another northbound car. Police say that Mrs. Harmon accidentally hit the gas pedal instead of the brakes when she struck the other vehicle. She then overcorrected and went into a centrifugal skid into the center divider and rolled over. When police arrived, Mr. Harmon was sitting on the ground with his head on the front door. Mrs. Harmon was in the car.

SUIT FILED TO PUT GARIBAY ON BALLOT — County Clerk-Recorder Hanora Dwyer will go to court Thursday to defend her refusal to accept supervisorial nomination papers from Benny Garibay. A suit has been filed in Superior court asking for an order to force Mrs. Dwyer to place Garibay’s name on the June 4 ballot. Mrs. Dwyer rejected Garibay’s nomination papers five minutes before the deadline because 11 signers failed to write “Madera” after their names and addresses. By contrast, District 4 Supervisor Herman Neufeld was accepted for candidacy on the basis of a nomination petition which contained 23 sponsors who failed to list any post office box, street number, or any other address. 100 Years Ago

Week of March 25, 1918

COUPLE FORCED TO WED — SPENT NIGHT IN LOCAL ROOMING HOUSE AS MAN AND WIFE — GIRL LOOKS LIKE A TEN YEAR OLD — A young Mexican couple who spent the night in a local rooming house as man and wife, but were discovered this morning to be unmarried, were assisted in securing a marriage license and were then taken before Judge Raburn who performed the wedding ceremony. It was either this or go to jail, and the sea of matrimony looked mighty smooth and peaceful to them under the circumstances. They gave their names as Francis Markes and Frances Aurize. The girl is a little thing, and while she claims to be 18 years of age, she does not look to be more than a ten-year-old.

PAINTER HELD TO ANSWER — Alonzo Wood, the one-armed painter who went on a rampage at the Arkelian ranch and ordered Ira Patterson, the ranch manager around with a gun for about an hour, was given a preliminary hearing this afternoon before Judge G.W. Raburn. Wood was held to answer in superior court, and his bonds were fixed at $2,000. “I guess that will hold me all right,” he remarked as he was taken back to jail. Mr. Patterson told the long-winded story of his experience with Wood, which ended with Patterson being struck in the side of the neck. The old painter was not represented by an attorney and was unable to furnish bonds.

TOM LEWIS TO HAVE HEARING — Sheriff returned this morning from Oakhurst. He brought out the half-breed Tom Lewis who was arrested at Northfork by Undersheriff Clarence Osborn and Deputy Andy Clark on a charge of furnishing liquor to the Indians. At the time of his arrest, he was seen at a dance given by Taylor Teaford. Officers saw a number of Indians trailing from the dance hall to an old barn not far distant. There they caught Lewis in the act of selling liquor to Indians at 25 cents per drink. Sheriff Lewis also investigated the domestic life of several couples in the hills who are living together but have never been married. In two cases, the parties are not divorced but have promised to legalize their relationships as soon as possible.

BENNETT GETS WHEEL BACK — And the wheel came back. R.L. Bennett, well known local townsman, shed big tears of sorrow a few weeks ago because someone with malice aforethought ruthlessly ran off with his wheel. The bike had been left on the Avenue and disappeared in broad daylight. The officers have been on a hunt for the wheel for some time. This morning R.L. Hobbs telephoned to Marshal J.H. Barnett that he had found a wheel in a ditch not far from Fairmead. He was asked to bring the bike to the marshal’s office. It proved to be the stolen article and Mr. Bennett is again riding instead of walking. The wheel was not injured, and it is believed that the thief became frightened and ditched the bike for fear of being caught.

DIDN’T LIKE THE LOOKS OF HIS MUSTACHE — Judge G.W. Raburn, who has been in Sacramento for the past few weeks taking the bar exam, returned this morning with a good story. He says there is a German resident in Sacramento who resembles the Kaiser. He even wore his mustache with the two ends pointing skyward. His appearance did not suit those with whom he came into contact. He was approached several times with requests to at least train his mustache to point some other direction. This he refused. One evening while Judge Raburn was in Sacramento, a small crowd of boys and men gathered in the park. When the likeness of the Kaiser came along, they quietly grabbed him and shaved off one side of his mustache. This is one person who probably realizes the anti-Kaiser sentiment in this country at this particular time.

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