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Tighe’s death stunned Madera

For The Madera Tribune

The billboard shown on the other side of the railroad bridge illustrates the importance of Tighe’s Department Store. For years, it stood at the center of Madera’s business community — both literally and figuratively.


W.C. Tighe was Madera’s merchant emeritus. He lived here for almost 60 years, and when he passed away, the town lost the centerpiece of its Yosemite Avenue business community. 

Tighe was 82 years old when he died on April 11, 1950. He was known to at least two generations of Maderans as the proprietor of Tighe’s Department Store on Yosemite Avenue between C and D Streets.

The news passed quickly from one Maderan to another on that Wednesday morning, and they began to tell anecdotes by the dozens about this early resident. Bill Tighe had grown up with Madera. He helped make Madera. Now in 1950, he joined a long list of sturdy pioneers who left their mark on this community and became a piece of its colorful past.


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