top of page

Madera went from a town to a city

For The Madera Tribune

One sign that Madera had turned from a village into a town came when Jay’s put their horse-drawn hearse away and turned to this motorized version.


The first two decades of the 20th century produced several watersheds in American history. William McKinley was elected President in 1900, World War I began in 1914, Alcoholic beverages were outlawed in 1919, and by 1920, tiny Madera had completed its transition from a village into a town. 

One sure sign of the change lay in the civic pride generated by music and sports. With no television or radio to entertain them, Maderans filled their leisure time with music right in their own front yards, while occasionally a group of prominent citizens performed a comic opera. On special occasions, the Madera band under the direction of Richard Curtis Jay played concerts in Courthouse Park. 

Baseball became an important community pastime and thrilled spectators who came to see their team at the local baseball diamond, and in 1908, Madera’s roller polo team won the state championship. On one occasion more than 2,500 people filled the makeshift grandstand on North E Street to watch Mexican matador Gonzalo Hernandez battle the bulls.


bottom of page