Banker Busted!

June 22, 1907
Los Angeles

John Smith Cravens. Pasadena pioneer. Influential LA banker. Director of Security First National Bank. Founder and Director of Southern California Edison. Instrumental in founding Torrance with his buddies in Dominquez Land Co.; also deep into the Los Angeles Extension Co., Chino Land and Water, and American Conduit. Trustee of the California Institute of Technology and Barlow Sanitarium. Known for the 14-acre estate he owned at 1101 South Orange Grove (“Millionaire’s Row”) in Pasadena. Belonged to all the best clubs. You get the idea.

Not mentioned in any of the many recountings of J. S. Cravens’ greatness is his badass lead foot and disdain for the coppers. True since time immemorial, the fact stands that landed gentry get to do what they want: according to news reports, Cravens was taking an airing in his “high-power machine” Friday morning, June 21. He caught sight of the auto guards and blew by them like a comet. The Motorcyclized Auto Squad of Pasadena gave chase, and Cravens threw his beast into overdrive, leading the bulls on crazy chase for many blocks down Pasadena Avenue.

Some have said that Cravens’ recent Black Hand threats–yes, the blackmail-prone Camorra had reached Los Angeles in 1907–have left him justifiably untrustworthy of any and all authority figures.

That notwithstanding, the officers overtook Cravens and arrested him, hauling him into court today and extracting the $15 fine.

Visitation of the Rambler

June 19, 1907
Los Angeles

John Sheres has graced Los Angeles with his presence. The professional adventurer, or, as he self-describes, “chronic loafer,” boasts that he has never done a month’s of real work in his life. Sheres says he has been a wanderer ever since he was able to walk, and as such was promptly arrested and given a short jail term on his arrival in our Fair City.

Town to town, jail to jail, Sheres wanders, or “beats;” he was beating his way to San Francisco looking to jump some vessel bound for New York. He is hoping to reach England, from where he intends to finagle passage to South Africa or India.

Released to-day from our local gaol, the itch to move is upon him, and so we shall bid farewell to Mr. Sheres. We wish him a fulfilling life of beating, unburdened by the terrible specter of work. He states he expects to die a professional tramp.

In the news: God DAMN the stucco man; the dead walk on Fort Moore

Two juicy links courtesy of good ol’ LA Observed:

As work continues on that ginormous construction site near Sunset and Grand, a 19th century cemetery is being disturbed, with caskets, bones and artifacts shining grimly in the sunlight they were never meant to see. Nothing good can possibly come from this.

And in happier news, the Echo Park Historical Society is looking for a once-wood, now-stucco’d home to serve as a demonstration for how the creeping crud can be stripped off and the home’s original lines renewed.


Addendum, from wee Nathan:
hollywood freeway grave
Arrow points to bones of pioneer California soldier unearthed as Hollywood Freeway excavation cuts into the old Fort Moore Hill Cemetery. Soldier had been buried in full uniform, including silver spurs. Several caskets have been exposed. Photo dated: April 2, 1951.