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The Methodist preacher went to war

For The Madera Tribune

The Owl Saloon was located on the north side of Yosemite Avenue in the “Tenderloin” district of town. It drew the ire of the pastor of the local Methodist church because of its alleged dancing activities.


The Owl Saloon was located on Madera’s west side not far from where the Yum Yum donut shop now stands. In the early 20th century the area was known as the “Tenderloin District.” It was a rowdy place; the law was constantly there breaking up fights, arresting drunks, and checking for prostitution. 

One individual in town was particularly offended by the goings-on at the Owl Saloon. The Rev. A. L. Paul, of Madera’s Methodist Church made no bones about his opposition to the rough house drinking hole. So vociferous was the clergyman in his denunciation of the Owl that on Jan. 7, 1905, he found himself in front of the Madera County Board of Supervisors. 

Apparently on the Sunday prior, Paul made some strong accusations against the Supervisors for allowing the Owl Saloon to operate. He labeled the place a nuisance of the worst sort and blamed the members of the Board, who then demanded that Paul appear before them and repeat his charges. The preacher did just that. 


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