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Nevada Gov. kept Madera thief out of jail




For The Madera Tribune

The Southern Hotel, shown in this 1905 photograph, was normally a quiet place. In 1903, however, the proprietor, J.M. Hambleton, became an unknowing participant in one of the wildest scams that was ever attempted in Madera. It’s a pity we don’t know the rest of the story.

 

Historians have to be careful about putting a period at the end of their stories. They almost never get all of the facts. A prime example of this can be found in a tale I wrote a few years ago. It was about the “suicide” of Jack Barnes. 


This week, while researching something else, I ran across another wrinkle in the Barnes story.  


The original story began in the Southern Hotel, which was located on Madera’s North B Street at the turn of the century. Most of the time it was business as usual at the hotel. Guests checked in and out; meals were served, and local gossip was exchanged in the parlor. In 1903, however, J.M. Hambleton, the proprietor, became an unknowing participant in one of the wildest scams that was ever attempted on this community.

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