More Alligator Rustlin’

avocadobattle
May 13, 1927
Santa Ana

One Thomas Little was attempting to raid the fabled Utt avocado groves down in Lemon Heights when he ran afoul of ‘cado guard George Henning.  The two struggled for possession of a revolver while the two careened down a hillside in Litttle’s truck before Little was at last apprehended.

But, with Little having stolen nothing, how could it be proved that the value of what he intended to steal was more than $200?  It was therefore up to Justice Morrison to determine the value of the accused man’s intended grand larcency haul.  Dep. Dist.-Atty. Collins produced the fifteen empty sacks that Mr. Little had in tow; the court estimated these sacks would likely hold fifteen hundred pounds of the bewitching fruit, and further determined that these be worth more than the lowest grand larceny charge of $200.

All that notwithstanding, it was declared at the hearing that Little came quite close to being caught in a bear trap.

Random Shots From Our 12-Bore

March 9, 1907
Los Angeles

The Insanity Begins

Led by I. Newerf and J.B. Dudley, the automobile owners of Los Angeles are fighting a new city ordinance that bans parking within 40 feet of downtown intersections. Newerf, the West Coast representative of Goodyear Tire Co., and Dudley, a car salesman, received citations for violating the law and have pleaded not guilty.

In April 1909, Dudley pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter after hitting street inspector Woodman J. Thomas on Broadway near 5th Street. He was sentenced to five years’ probation in March 1910.

Disgraced Woman

Hazel La Doux, a.k.a. Hazel Rogers, hid her face with a veil as she was tried on charges of forgery.

“Her downfall is said to be due to a man named William Rogers, an alleged Ascot tout who deserted her,â€Â The Times says. “It is charged that Miss La Doux forged the name of Mrs. John Brink on a check for $120 and cashed it.â€Â

La Doux told police that she and Rogers used a scheme in which she took a job with a reputable employer and passed clients’ information to her lover. La Doux said she worked at a department store in Oakland and a dentist’s office in Los Angeles, turning over names to Rogers, who forged the checks.

“She had been an honest woman, she said, until Rogers’ oily tongue and smooth ways captivated her and she became his mistress and then a thief,â€Â The Times says.

He Paid $40

Restaurant owner Frank Flood stood over his wife, Annie, as she lay on the floor of their quarters at a Spring Street rooming house and said it would be worth the $25 fine just so he could beat her up.

In testifying against him, “She recited a story of shocking cruelty, saying that she had been mistreated, scorned and finally beaten by the man who promised to love, cherish and protect her,â€Â The Times says.

Flood did not dispute any of the charges, refused to cross-examine her (a husband’s right in those days) and pleaded guilty to battery. “He admitted that he struck her and confessed to having assaulted her with his fist as she lay on the floor,â€Â The Times says.

He paid $40 ($837.08 USD 2005).

Flood skipped town in September 1907. “He made the acquaintance of a fast sot and spent plenty of money, too much, in fact, for a man of his means. Late suppers at swell cafes cost Flood much cash. Then he became possessed of a desire to take long journeys in touring cars. He paid his bills with other people’s money, the new restaurant manager says, by levying on the cash drawer of the restaurant, which is owned by a company,â€Â The Times says.

Lmharnisch.com
Lmharnisch.blogspot.com

E-mail: lmharnisch (AT) gmail.com




Peace Returns to Buena Vista Street

Feb. 8, 1907
Los Angeles

About 1903, Charles E. Donnatin, former Pacific Electric Railway superintendent, apparently said something about the young woman across the street at the Stewart home, Savoy Street and Buena Vista (now 1301 N. Broadway).

The woman’s mother was furious and soon a 5-gallon oil can appeared in the Stewart’s yard saying “C.E.D. has beenâ€Â with the implication that Donnatin had been “cannedâ€Â from his job.

Denials and increasingly angry words were exchanged between the Stewarts and the Donnatins, and more items appeared in the Stewarts’ yard. An awning across the porch was painted with an attack on Donnatin and pieces of old billboards were set up on the lawn. Two tall poles were planted in the yard and on the line strung between them the Stewarts hung a series of 5-gallon oil cans painted with slogans about Donnatin. The cans became an irresistible target for neighborhood boys armed with rocks and the entire yard was eventually filled with trash, The Times says.

The feud ended up in court in 1905 as Donnatin accused the Stewarts of disturbing the peace, but the case was dismissed and the lawn display remained.

And then, everything was gone. “As day dawned yesterday on a little cottage over on Buena Vista Street, life flickered from the body of aged Mrs. James Stewart and with the going out of her breath evidences of a neighborhood feud as suddenly disappeared,â€Â The Times says.

Donnatin died in 1933 at the age of 84. He had come to Los Angeles as a master car builder for the Southern Pacific. He was founder and president of the Southern California Building and Loan Assn.

Lmharnisch.com
Lmharnisch.blogspot.com

E-mail: lmharnisch (AT) gmail.com




Court Briefs


Feb. 7, 1907
Los Angeles


A Child’s Testimony

Charles Babbitt is sentenced to 30 days in jail on charges of domestic violence after the testimony of his 6-year-old son. “Papa hit me with a whip and it cut my head,â€Â the boy said. “Then he hit mama.â€Â “The man blinked his eyes and said that he did it because he was drunkâ€Â The Times says.

Ross’ Widow Arrested

Mary Ross, whose husband was killed by Officer Hoover, is fined $50 after being arrested in a raid on a rooming house that was selling liquor without a license. Ross was among the women seized at the establishment of Mrs. Mary Cooper, 261½ S. Los Angeles St. William Ross, who fatally shot Officer C.A May, was buried in potter’s field, The Times says.

Fined for Blind Pig

Frank Stadler pleads guilty to running a blind pig called the Mechanics Club, 1466 Channing St., and is ordered to pay a $50 fine.

Chinese Lottery Case

E.S. Patton is sent to jail after failing to pay a $50 fine for selling Chinese lottery tickets. Patton is the first white man to be fined for such sales, The Times says.

A Familiar Face

Patrol officers recognized J.W. Mason, who had just gotten out of jail, and watched as he found “a drunken, well-dressed man and lured him into a doorway,â€Â The Times says. He was given 20 days in jail for disorderly conduct.

Lmharnisch.com
Lmharnisch.blogspot.com

E-mail: lmharnisch (AT) gmail.com




A Trip to the Zoo


Feb. 2, 1907
Los Angeles

Conditions at Chutes Park are so bad that the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is making a second inspection to see whether operator J.B. Lehigh has made any improvements before his Feb. 20 trial on charges of abuse and neglect.

Chutes is nothing more than a mud-filled stockyards of suffering animals, The Times says. “The ‘park’ is a long puddle of filth, reeking with slime and mud. In the pen where three little does are confined, one of them so emaciated that it is literally hidebound, a thick green scum has formed over the stagnant pool of slime that occupies a good share of the particular part of the ‘park’ where these poor little animals are shut up.â€Â

In answer to the question of what became of the birds, an attendant replied: “Dead.â€Â

“They used to keep ’em in cages over by the entrance, but a few weeks ago they moved ’em all down [illegible] with the cockatoos and parrots and you can guess what happened. [Those?] great big birds just killed all the [illegible] off—that’s where the birds have gone to.â€Â

“A patient zebra paced up and down the narrow path at one edge of his cage, which was the only dry spot in the pen, and a big, beautiful elk beat his horns helplessly against the bars of his small quarters. His coat was matted with filth and the mud was a foot deep in his pen,â€Â The Times says.

Lehigh was found not guilty animal cruelty after witnesses testified that elk like to wallow in mud. “At times, it is in a manner necessary to their comfort,â€Â The Times says. “Elk, said one old-timer whose beard hung to his waist, like to wallow and it does them good.â€Â

Lmharnisch.com
Lmharnisch.blogspot.com

E-mail: lmharnisch (AT) gmail.com




Born in the U.S.A.

Jan. 26, 1907
Los Angeles

Chin Man Can (or Kan) is in jail on charges of being an illegal immigrant. The young man says he is nothing of the sort, but unable to prove that he was born in San Francisco because all of his belongings were destroyed in the 1906 earthquake.

Can says that when he was 13, the rest of his family left San Francisco to return to China, but that he stayed behind, attending Chinese school and learning English. After the earthquake, he came to Los Angeles, where he was arrested while working at an Ocean Park restaurant.

The Times defended Can, noting that his uncle was a wealthy San Francisco businessman, Ching Wing.

“Ching Wing has always been so enthusiastic an American that he has arranged to bring up his baby as an American boy, forsaking the language of his fathers, wearing American clothes, reading American books. It seems like a joke that one of his relatives should be arrested,â€Â The Times says.

The Times wrote in an editorial: “Every right-minded American will resent the disagreeable experiences which have befallen Chin Man Can, who appears to be our fellow countryman. Let us hope that all will end well for him and that his heart will not become embittered because of his rough treatment. We trust he will live long and prosper in the land of his birth, which has the same regard for him that she has for all her children, of whatever race, color or creed.â€Â

An anonymous headline writer was not so kind, nor was a reporter who wrote: “ ‘Me velly flond this country,’ Chin Man stated on the witness stand. ‘Family all go back to China. Me hide in wood yard in Flisco till they all gone. I likee mission school, likee ‘Melican ways, alle slame ‘Melican myself.’ â€Â

Although an inspector bolstered claims that Can had been smuggled into the country, testifying that he had frequently seen Can in Ensenada, a benefactor charged that the “Mexican rangerâ€Â was railroading Can to get the $300 bounty for turning in an illegal immigrant.

In 1913, while out on bail as his case was being appealed, Can was charged with belonging to a ring smuggling Chinese across the border. By then he was manager of the Quang Hing Lung Co. at 305 Marchessault St., and attending the University of Southern California.

His trial lasted into 1914 and testimony revealed that Can had adopted the names Frank Chan and W.H. Chan. He was convicted of trying to smuggle a boxcar of immigrants into the U.S. and although he appealed his case, no further information can be found in The Times.

Lmharnisch.com
Lmharnisch.blogspot.com

E-mail: lmharnisch (AT) gmail.com




Knocking at the Bar

Dec. 25, 1907
Los Angeles

There are precisely two African American attorneys in Los Angeles and their appearance against one another in court provides a bit of amusement for The Times. We can dispense with the news article and its unfortunate use of dialect rather quickly: Paul M. Nash was suing G.T. Crawford, an African American waiter, for attorneys fees after representing his wife in a divorce. Crawford was represented by Charles S. Darden.

Like most mainstream newspapers of the period, The Times rarely wrote about African Americans and stories always identified them as: