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One armed painter went on the warpath

For The Madera Tribune

Sheriff Jasper Lewis, shown here with his wife, had his hands full with a renegade, one-armed painter on the Arkelian ranch.


(Editor’s note: We found this story so compelling that it needed to be told in its entirety exactly as it appeared a century ago.)

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Alonzo Wood, an old painter with one arm was arrested last evening about 8 o’clock by Sheriff J.F. Lewis and Deputies Andy Clark and Clarence Osborn on a charge of threatening the lives of several workmen on the Arkelian ranch southwest of town. Ira Patterson, the foreman of the ranch, had the most harrowing and exciting experience with Wood of anyone, however, and only escaped the bullets from his gun by a hair. 

Patterson told his story to the district attorney this morning as follows: He said that Wood, who has been in the community for the past few months, has been doing some painting out at the Arkelian place. Wood has a long, drooping mustache, and when he first struck town, he was mistaken by Sheriff Lewis for a fugitive from Modesto. He proved that he was the wrong man by his stub arm. 

Last Saturday he went to Fresno and returned Sunday loaded inside and out with booze. He appeared at the cook house where there are several girls employed and demanded that they drink with him. He failed to get them to indulge, and after frightening them out of a year’s growth, he hunted up the men on the ranch and began telling them what a bad man he was and how clever he was with a gun. Wood was in possession of a .38 caliber gun, which he flourished around promiscuously. 



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