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December 3, 2017
"Belle's Los Angeles"
This map and timeline were created for the Institute of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (ICALA) by the Studio for Southern California History (Studio). The Studio is dedicated to critically chronicling and sharing the region's social history in order to foster sense of place. We encourage collaborative efforts among different people and institutions in order to gather place-based histories. Co-authors include Lanla Gist, Catherine Gudis, Kristen Hargrove, Deanna Matsumoto, Monica Pelayo-Lock, and Sharon Sekhon. Research on Belle Williams was conducted by Jenna Chapton, Refugio Jimenez Jr, Josiah Rath, Alyssa Rogan, Marisa Thornburg, and James White. Special thanks go to Studio friend and extraordinary documentarian Rory Coleman Mitchell who connected us with Asuka Hisa of the ICALA.

This map represents a fragment of the history of this Los Angeles neighborhood and is centered around the current location of the ICALA. There are many organizations and histories that are not included on this map as it is intended to be a conversation piece and to spark memories and contributions of viewers who see it at the ICALA. The research for this project is culled mainly through newspaper articles and the limited lens at different moments of history. This neighborhood has been a nexus for manufacturing, railway lines, and ethnic enclaves and this section of the city was threatened by the flooding of the Los Angeles River prior to its concrete channeling in the 1930s. This map was modeled off of traditional tourist maps of the late 19th and early 20th century. It includes illustrations from images gathered from the Library of Congress, Calisphere, city directories, and local newspapers. We attempted to focus on the human condition and change over time. We would like you to consider how things have remained the same, and how they have changed. Enjoy!

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Dedication

 

This map is entitled "Belle's Los Angeles" and is dedicated to Belle Williams, an African American woman whose life in this neighborhood represents bigger paradigms in American and Los Angeles history. Williams lived in this district between 1889 and 1901. Los Angeles newspapers document this period of her life, revealing the narrow ways in which mainstream print media both featured women of color and catered to white audiences. She is both a source of information and entertainment to writers and readers. Contemporary historians must read against these sources in order retrieve her lived experiences and "set the record straight." We examined the various ways the local press treat her, uncovering layers of lessons about racism, prostitution, human trafficking, violence against women and the policing of human behaviors.

The following is print media’s narrative of Belle Williams’ life. As you read, reflect on the word choices and imagery journalists used to describe Williams and her life circumstances. On July 18, 1895, the Los Angeles Times described Belle in detail:

A little diversion was created by the trial of Mrs. Belle Williams, a dusky beauty of doubtful reputation, for vagrancy. The most striking thing about Belle was her gaudy apparel. She had on a black silk dress, handpainted with gorgeous bouquets from the shoulders to the nethermost hem of the garment. Even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like Belle. The colors were so dazzling that Justice Owens had to hide his face behind a newspaper, Clerk Kinsey closed his eyes in slumber and Bailiff Appel put on colored glasses. Mrs. Williams was arrested for vagrancy because a man who had gone to see her complained to the police that she had tried to rob him.

Belle Williams' history in Los Angeles print began in 1889 when the Los Angeles Herald reported that she had allegedly stolen money and a green scarf from Bessie McQuilkin on July 22, 1889. Williams was cleared of this charge when she proved she owned the scarf prior to the alleged theft and wore it in public.

Six years later, after working in various saloons and restaurants, Belle was arrested on April 18, 1895 with Thomas Kingsley for allegedly battering him with a buggy whip. Apparently, Kingsley stopped Williams' buggy in order to harass her and she whipped him in response. Both faced a $10 bail and a date in court. By July, the Los Angeles Times described Belle as "buxom" and "colored." They also noted that her ex-husband, Gus Williams, was wanted in Texas for murder. He was eventually expedited, tried and acquitted.  City police charged Williams with vagrancy and she was given a "100 day floater" sentence, which required her to leave Los Angeles for 100 days. One year later, Williams reported her lover for stealing money from her. On May 30, 1896, the Herald reported: "Charles Mallory, the consort of a notorious colored woman named Belle Williams, is in the city jail with a charge of larceny against him, preferred by the woman. They room in the Richmond house on Commercial Street and Belle had given Mallory $150 in two bills, one was $100 and one $50, to care for. While she was sick abed Mallory went away and did not return. Yesterday she met him on the street and demanded that he return his money."

Two weeks later, Orange County visitor George Stokes charged Williams with theft of $20 after visiting her at a home at the corner of Fourth and San Pedro Streets. She was eventually found guilty and sentenced to three months in prison.  In October 17 of 1896, the both the Herald and the Times noted that she was charged for battery against Officer William Matuskiewiz. According to Matuskiewiz, she punched his jaw after he advised her to stop plying her trade on Main Street and Commercial Streets. Williams was acquitted at her trial on March of the 1897.

In 1897, Belle was charged with disturbing the peace. In front of Judge Owens Williams, she tearfully explained that a young man had forced his unwanted attentions on her and she had to knock him down twice to get him off. She also then "hammered his head with a brick-bat." Belle Williams was in the newspapers in 1898. On September 24, the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Herald reported that WH Cowan, a veteran of the British Army and the United States Army, killed himself by shooting himself in the head. He consorted with Belle Williams prior to his suicide, buying her a cottage at 438 Commercial Street and leaving her $1,500. Belle oversaw Cowan’s burial, ensuring the GAR buried him. While some may find her actions based in friendship, Los Angeles' local papers condemned Belle and blamed her for Cowan's death as he was destitute at the time of his suicide. Cowan went by the name "Dave" according to Belle. According to the Herald: "Cowan had served in the British army in New Zealand about twenty-eight years ago. After his service had expired he came to America and enlisted in the United States army, being assigned to the ordinance corps, and serving at Benicia for twenty-five years consecutively. After he left the army, he went to the Soldiers' home at Washington, DC, but soon left there and came west." He lived in Los Angeles approximately one year prior to his suicide.

Belle Williams and Laura Robinson got into a fight in January of 1898 over 15 cents. Williams' attack was so vicious that Robinson was afraid of being permanently disfigured; her faced was covered in bruises when the trial date was set and unable to participate in the trial. The Herald describes Williams as “black as the proverbial Ace of Spades” and Robinson as “a saddle-colored harlot” who is battered by Belle’s “capricious fists and enormous feet.” Belle was sentenced to a "floater of fifteen days." In March, Belle was again arrested for fighting, this time with the white man Jack Kohler. She violated her fifteen day sentence and taken to jail.

In June 1898 Belle was arrested in a "disorderly house" at 151 Los Angeles Street where "whites and blacks of both sexes congregate and have a jollification every night." The article noted that fights also were common at the "joint." All in attendance were charged with disturbing the peace.

In October of 1898, Williams was the victim of the unwanted advances of Martin Killalee, who accosted her after her job singing at the Vienna Cafe. According to the Los Angeles Herald, Martin Killalee was given a sentence of a 100 day "floater" for "getting gay" with Williams against her will. One year later, Williams reported to the police that someone had burglarized and ransacked her home. Two years later in 1900, Belle was attacked by two of her clients on separate occasions. In January, white male AF Crutcher beat Williams and was given a sentence of fifty dollars or fifty days for committing battery. In December William Scott pled guilty to battery against Belle and fined $5.

The last we see if Belle Williams in the newspapers is in 1901. As her situation grew dire, Williams' safety was a constant personal concern. On October 11, Belle visited the Los Angeles Police and asked to be locked up for her safety and they did so and listed her as a "lodger." An ex-lover was stalking her and followed her from Portland, Oregon, to San Francisco and now to Los Angeles. He'd attacked her with a knife and "nearly" killed her in Portland but she was afraid to press charges. She then went to Los Angeles and he arrived three days later. According to the Los Angeles Times, Williams was terrified: "She was so frightened that her eyes bulged and if she had been white her face would have been pale."

Belle's poignant and dangerous life was full of meaning. Despite how the press chose to represent her actions, she fought her assailants and she honored loved ones, surviving on her own terms. In the few dozen articles about Belle Williams, we learn a great deal about her circumstances—even through the eyes of people who did not see her as a human being. She is described as "notorious;" "the colored Amazon of Alameda Street;" "the most notorious colored woman that has ever made Rome howl in Los Angeles;" "Cyprian;" and "black as a spade." She is rarely described in humane terms and always with a tone of exaggeration. This illustrated map is dedicated to Belle Williams. Her life and story is a reminder that all historical inquiry, even place-based history, should place humanity at the center. We encourage you to recognize the Belle Williams of Los Angeles, then and now.

Does your history matter?

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1884

According to the Little Tokyo Historical Society, Hamanosuke Shigeta opened an American style cafe. It is considered the beginning of the Japanese American settlement now known as Little Tokyo.

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1885

 

July 14: “Perfectly pure is Puritas sparkling distilled water,” claims this advertisement, insisting that its brand is a “healthful...refreshing luxury.” Their water was bottled at The Ice and Cold Storage Company at Seventh Street and Santa Fe Track Los Angeles and sold at 136 N. Spring Street and at 216-218 S. Spring Street.

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1886

September 2: A man previously convicted of theft was arrested near the corner of Vignes and First Street for rolling over a drunken man and stealing his money. The Los Angeles Times reported that the criminal was a “seedy-looking gentleman with the expression of a bum.” His voice was apparently “not pleasant” and his testimony was found to have multiple contradictions. He was convicted of the crime.

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1887

February 15: Fears of the Los Angeles River flooding and destroying the buildings east of Alameda were partially realized after an hour's worth of constant rain. Those living near the River and along Vignes Street were rescued and slept in the City Council Chambers until other plans were made for them. The Los Angeles River flooded several times throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, until it was channelized in concrete in the 1930s. Currently, there are multiple ongoing projects at the individual and institutional level aimed at revitalizing the River through bike paths, parks and public art projects.

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1888

October 3: The Los Angeles Herald provided a description of Seventh Street: "Seventh Street is one of the arterial thoroughfares in Los Angeles, or will become so just as soon as the bridge is put up to span the river. The street is finely graded, curbed and side walked all the way to Alameda street, and it is graded to the river or nearly so."

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1888

 

September 1: The formal opening of the Athletic Park took place; the park was sponsored by the Los Angeles County Railroad Company. The site was the setting for baseball games, political speeches, and fireworks during the summer, prior to becoming a railroad yard and now, the site of the ICALA.

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1889

 

A palm tree was planted in front of The Arcade Station. In 1914 it was moved to Exposition Park. It is still there!

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1889

May 8: A scandal erupted as neighbors near East First and Rose Streets began to spread gossip that a grocery store owner was living with a 52-year-old woman in an attempt to get her to marry him and then have her committed to an insane asylum and take her property. The grocer insisted that he didn’t know she had any property under her name and that they were living together because they were friends. He respected her wishes (which according to the article) involved turning away physicians and Christian healers who wanted to cure her of insanity.

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1889

December 3: The Los Angeles City Council instructed the Building Committee to provide a place in the Old City Hall for a Receiving Hospital. The California Bank Building, where it was previously housed on the third floor, wanted another location as a patient with typhoid fever came for treatment, calling attention to the need for a quarantined space for contagious diseases.

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1890

January 12: 1,000 spectators watched Los Angeles play baseball San Bernardino at the Athletic Park; the home team won 5 to 1.

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1891

 

January 15: Biddy Mason died. Born into bondage on August 15, 1818, Bridget “Biddy” Mason lived in Hancock, Georgia during the height of slavery. She was torn from her enslaved mother and sold to a slave owner, John Smithson, who traveled with her to Mississippi in 1838 in search of better cropland. She was soon thrust into the backbreaking existence of planting and picking cotton beneath the sweltering Southern sun. Legally, slaves could not learn to read or write so Biddy never acquired such literacy skills. However, slave women schooled her in the skills of nursing, midwifery, and livestock care. She learned the natural healing traditions slaves adapted from Africa, the Caribbean, and Native American culture. In 1844, her master gave Biddy away as a wedding gift to Robert and Rebecca Smith, who desired Biddy’s unique set of skills. 
By 1838, Biddy’s daughter Ellen was born followed by Ann in 1844, and Harriet in 1847. The father of Biddy’s children remains an historical mystery. In 1848, the Smiths uprooted Biddy and her children and traveled from Mississippi to Iowa and then to Utah. The Smiths were Mormons fleeing religious persecution and seeking a new beginning. They traveled over 2,000 miles by wagon train with Biddy taking on the brunt of the work, walking on foot steering cattle, tending livestock, and feeding the party of 56 whites and 34 slaves, including Biddy’s children. The discovery of gold in California in 1848 changed the course of Biddy’s life. She entered the state in 1851 with the Smiths, who sought better fortune in the West.

In time, Biddy challenged her legal status as a slave in California. As California entered the Union as a free state, Judge Benjamin Hayes declared Biddy “free forever” in 1856. The judge discovered Smith’s plan to flee into Texas where slavery was legal.

Upon acquiring her freedom, Biddy took on the full name of Bridget “Biddy” Mason. Mason put her skills as a nurse and midwife to use in the small dusty town of Los Angeles. With a population of 1,600 residents in the mid-1850s, African Americans constituted fewer than twenty residents. Mason, dubbed “Grandma Mason,” was a common sight as she trudged along the streets of Los Angeles toting her black medicine bag. She made an average of $2.50 a day assisting Dr. John Strother Griffin (the brother-in-law of Judge Hayes) in caring for patients at the county hospital and the Los Angeles jail. Mason saved her earnings and became the first black woman to own property in Los Angeles. 

In 1866, she bought two pieces of property on Spring Street for $250 and went on to acquire and sell many other prized properties in the city over the next two decades, securing her wealth. Mason was a philanthropist at heart. In 1872, she organized and funded the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles. Mason died on January 15, 1891, following an extraordinary life of challenges and accomplishments. She is buried at the historic Evergreen Cemetery in Los Angeles.

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1892

June 20: The Los Angeles Herald included an ad for the Hammam Bath at 230 South Main Street: "Turkish, Russian, Roman, Sulphur, Electric Massage and Complexion baths scientifically given. Ladies department open from noon to 6 pm, Saturday, all day. Gentlemen's department open day and night."

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1892

 

August 6: The Home for Newsboys and Working-Boys received a bounty of donations over the month of July including the following:

Peterson & Co., one sack of potatoes;
Mathews Bros., onions;
Misses Broadbeck, drugs and cash;
WS Coroin, treasurer of Pilgrim Sunday-School $1.56;
Unitarian Church, potato salad, sandwiches, baked beans and ice cream;
Heine Grocery, corned beef;
Wallace & Co., deviled ham;
Los Angeles Cracker Factory, crackers;
Mr. Wherley, sack of dried apricots;
Capital Milling Company, flour and cornmeal;
Mrs. Bean, ingrain carpet;
Niles Pease, remnant of carpet;
J.L. Parmalee, basket and dishes;
left at Geneva Restaurant by unknown friends, games and sack of carpet rags;
Hendricks Ice Company, ice daily;
H. Jevne, groceries;
Anderson & Chanslor, groceries;
Simpson & Montgomery; Howell & Craig; Hass, Baruch & Co., Hollenbeck Cafe, daily donations;
the Fair, Mott Market, Bishop & Co., Chronis Bros, Philips Bros., potatoes;
Mr. Peshke, sack of salt;
Ebinger bakery, cake;
Mr. George Hanley, coffee and baking powder;


Mrs. Harrison, pictures and papers;
Mrs. Hurley, dried fruit;
Simpson Church, pans dishes, shirt and towel;
unknown friend, washstand, carpet, rug, carpet rags and mirror;
Mrs. North, shirtwaists;
Mrs. Irvine, Youth's Companions;
Mrs. Bayliss, two sheets, two pillow cases, blankets, books, shoes, soap, two pairs of pants and cards;
Mrs. R. Lyons, fruit from apricot tree;
George Mason, one pound of tea;
WH Wheeler, sugar;
Unknown Friend, six cantaloupes;
Mr. Losee, one chicken;
Mullen, Bluett & Co., three hats;
Rev. J.A. Foster, pair of pants and papers;
H. Barthing, coffee;
Miss Lulu Smith, one dozen handkerchiefs;
Mrs. Freeman, bread;
Geneva restaurant, bread and pies;
Mrs. Bosbyshell, one chicken;
T.T. Jones, 500 printed cards;
Mr. Duarty, two boxes of apricots."

Despite this generosity, the Home did not fare well and within two years, the directors of the Home were confronted by the Newsboy Union in July 1894. Virtually every newsboy in Los Angeles was in the Union. And every boy in the Union refused to work for any nonunion newspaper and boycotted the Times for a week. As a result, the Los Angeles Times pressured the Home that none of the residents could be in the Newsboy Union. The Home's directors felt the newsboys were too young to understand what a union was but did not object to other types of clubs. However, the five Newsboys currently at the Home were given an ultimatum:  to leave the home or to leave the union. The boys unanimously decided to leave the home and stated: "We consider we are paying nearly all our keeping is worth, and are not under any obligations to our associations, as we pay $1.50 a week for our board."

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1894

 

January 5: Mrs. W. W. Holcomb responded to the insults and cane jabs of her ex-husband attorney W. W. Holcomb by horsewhipping him. The two encountered each other unexpectedly on Spring Street and Mr. Holcomb began insulting his former wife. According to Mrs. Holcomb:

"We passed Holcomb once on Spring Street before the affair took place. He was in the company with a Mrs. Cassey. He called us vile names as we passed, which I resented, and we then walked on. When we reached the Stowell block, we passed in, when Holcomb did also. When I saw him pass I stood in the doorway, not wishing to go into the elevator with him. My friend, Mrs. Hyland, seeing that I did not come, stepped out to see where I was, and Holcomb followed her out. In passing me, Holcomb again cast an insulting remark to me. My friend and I crossed the street, going into an art gallery adjoining the Saddle Rock restaurant. Holcomb stepped into the restaurant. As we emerged from there we were again met by Holcomb, who made some insulting remark. I answered by saying that he was a scoundrel and that he ought to be in San Quentin; that he had ruined more girls and committed more crimes than any man in Los Angeles. Holcomb then raised his cane and struck me. I warded off the blow with my right arm and pulled a whip from an express wagon and struck him. Holcomb struck me again, cutting a deep gash in my head. Then a bystander struck Holcomb and knocked him down. I kept on lashing him with the whip. When he got up another bystander knocked him down and took the cane from him. He again got up and started running across the street toward the Los Angeles theater. I followed him with the whip when the crowd shouted to me 'give it to him good!'"

In the confusion, Mr. Holcomb was able to lose himself in the crowd.

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1894


April 10: Chung Sing lost control of his vegetable wagon when the horses were frightened by the revelry heard at Sixth and Main Street. The horses bolted towards the River, and when they reached Mateo Street "crossing the River," Sing was thrown from the rig. Thankfully, no bones were broken, and Sing was taken unconscious to the Receiving Hospital and recovered in a few hours.

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1894

July 9: 30-year-old Edward Emerson died while sitting upright and drinking at Fuhrberg's saloon around 10:15 pm. He was a well-liked man who lived at the Golden Home on San Pedro near Fourth Street. Although he had recently taken a cure to stop his addictions to alcohol and morphine, the cure was not successful. 

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1895

 

January 17: Tony Zorb opened a lunch cafe and bowling alley at 101 Requeña Street.

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1895

 

November 18: Firefighter Sam Haskins was killed in fighting a fire in front of the Baker Block on Main Street. Originally from Virginia and described as "Herculean" and a "colored politician." Haskins served in the Civil War in the noted Colored Zouaves regiment, a rare group of infantry that wore the colorful uniform of the Zouaves. In September of 1890, the African American Democrats in Los Angeles formed a local political organization of the same name, with Haskins elected as Captain. At the time of his death, Sam Haskins was forty-six and unmarried. He was killed in the line of duty “in a most agonizing manner,” crushed by the engine of a fire fighting wagon during a blaze. A crowd gathered around him as he was pinned under the wagon and as he was being burned alive and castigated him for not putting out the fire.

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1896

July 20: The Los Angeles Herald reported that fifteen people were arrested at 438 Alameda Street for disturbing the peace. "The crowd was composed of prostitutes and white men who were captured in a bawdy house at No. 438 Alameda Street, some drunk, but all raising a racket at 3 o'clock in the morning."

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1896

August 20: Thomas Edward Dalton demanded that Deputy District Attorney McComas issue a search warrant for the premises at 969 and 97 Channing Street for stolen clothing including a slicker, a woman's "gossamer," and a pair of rubber boots. According to the Los Angeles Times, the person who allegedly stole the items "possesses an unpronounceable name."

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1896

The Los Angeles Herald on October 12 included advertisements from different masseuses, often a synonym for prostitutes both then and now. A few of the women lived at 139 1/2 S. Los Angeles Street.

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1897

 

January 14: Mariana Latronica swore a complaint against her neighbors, the Bellinas, for disturbing the peace. They lived on Wilson Street between Eighth and Ninth. The Latronicas had a history of being in court due to neighborhood complaints.

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1897

May 15: Dr. Calvin Hastings was charged with the murder of Miss Lillian Hattery wherein Hattery died due to complications of an abortion. Hastings was eventually acquitted as the coroner's inquest revealed she suffered from a blood clot.

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1897

 

November 27: S. J. Powell, aka “Six-Shooter Bill,” a “notorious... gangster” was arrested at Seaton Street in a tent near the Arcade Depot. He was visiting his “his sweetheart, a Spanish woman of repute, who lives in the tent on Seaton street.” A year earlier, a warrant was issued for Powell for the attempted murder of one W. S. Tucker at 217 East First Street.

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1898

May 26: An estimated one hundred Italian Americans visited Justice Morrison's courtroom observing the case of Mrs. Rado against Mary Bellina, "charged with using foul and insinuating language against Mrs. Rado, over a back fence street." Bellina was sentenced to twenty days, but the sentence was remanded on the promise of good behavior.

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1898

 

April 13: John Plummer was arrested for stealing a pail full of whiskey from Kearney's Saloon at Seventh and Lawrence Streets. In fact, this was the second attempt to steal from Kearney's on that day; the first attempt yielded only water and Plummer discovered it on his walk home. Plummer returned to get whiskey where he was watched and arrested. Police believed Plummer was responsible for the weekly thefts of whiskey from the saloon over the last month. His bail was fixed at $2,000 and was eventually acquitted of the crime.

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1899

 

April 20: Brothers Harry (13) and Joe Goldstein (10) spent the night in jail after unsuccessfully attempting to board the Southern Pacific night express at River station and take a trip to San Francisco. Officer Haupt saw them board the train and immediately thwarted their plans. According to reports: "He sent the lads to the Police Station where they were locked up until this morning, when they will be turned over to their parents to be soundly spanked."

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1899

December 8: Arthur Holt was taken from work to the Receiving Hospital after he told workers at the D. D. Whitney Trunk Factory he had tried to commit suicide by morphine. Doctors discovered no morphine, but alcohol was in his system. He was locked up and had a record for stealing a bicycle.

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1899

December 8: A. R. McCullough was watching construction of the addition to the Los Angeles Times building, when a hammer fell from the third floor and hit him in the head, causing a half-inch wound. He lived at 678 Mission Road.

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1900

January 23: Mrs. May Emerson testified before Justice Morgan about being attacked and raped by Daniel Avery. Aside from being considered a trustworthy witness, the Los Angeles Times described Emerson: "Mrs. Emerson, the complaining witness, gave the details of the alleged assault, not without some evidences of embarrassment, although it is alleged that her reputation for chastity is not good. She gave her age as 54, and her occupation as that of chambermaid in Mrs. Fay's lodging-house at No. 204 1/2 Commercial Street," the location of the assault.

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1900

June 26: A. Elliot, who lived at 1938 Bay Street, was injured while riding a horse; his left hand was cut, and his thumb was dislocated after he was dragged by his horse.

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1900

August 7: Officer Craig arrested the bartender W. D. Anderson at Kearney's Saloon for selling ten cents of beer to 9-year-old Hattie Clark. Craig followed Clark and her sister home to 615 Mateo Street in order to retrieve the beverage for evidence in the case. There he discovered her last name was Pinkerton, not Clark, and even though her mother said the beer was for a sick child, it was obvious it was intended for the male head of the house, who was sitting at the dinner table waiting for the beer.

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1901

 

September 8: 26 year old Ida Hastings attempted suicide again; this time by attempting to shoot herself in the head. She shot herself in front of her home at 412 N. Alameda Street at 2 am. Dr. Pierce examined the wound and according to the Times: "The bullet, a 32-caliber, entered the woman's scalp just back of the right ear, ranged upward, and lodged between the flesh and the skull on top of her head." The bullet was removed and she went to California Hospital to recuperate. According to the article: "Ida Hastings is well known among the people who frequent North Alameda street and such houses as that in which she lived. She formerly occupied one of the Alameda-street cribs, and later was in charge of a house of ill-fame on New High Street... She is sometimes called Ida Jeffries from the fact she was at one time an ardent friend of Jim Jeffries, the champion pugilist." In 1896, she charged James Moore with battery. He eventually was given a "floater" of thirty days. Floaters were sentences that required the convicted to leave the vicinity for the period of time in question. In 1907, Hastings owned "the Navajo" a "notorious resort of the tenderloin at 309 Ord Street. The Los Angeles Times described her as "Suicide Ida:" "The woman is attractive and educated, a graduate of Mills Seminary in San Francisco. She is clever and knows the law very well." She refused to testify against Dr. Lanterman, the City Coroner, for beating her up while visiting her, on account that the police would shut down her establishment.

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1902

January 22: Mrs. A.L.Buford pled her case before a jury in Judge Allen's court in order to obtain $25,000 from the Southern California Railway Company. Buford's 61-year-old husband George was killed on December 13 when an engine allegedly backed several cars onto him accidentally. At the time, he was working as a teamster in a barn on Mateo Street. The Railway Company denied the accident. Buford left four children, and his wife needed assistance.

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1902

May 16: Belle Williams was kicked in the stomach and knocked out by John Raines after she said something that offended him while both were at Minnie Hayward's "disreputable house" on Aliso Street. He was charged with disturbing the peace.

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1903

 

April 9: The Union Labor Temple association was chartered on April 9 and within six years owned a building valued at $200,000. Prior to meeting at the 7-story building on Maple, union meetings took place in a livery stable that had been remodeled to accommodate large groups. The building itself caught the attention of the scientific community; the main floor was devised by J. E. Timmons and the front end of the floor "tilts down four feet, making a stage when desired, but when back in the place the entire floor space is available for drills or dancing."

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1904

 

City Receiving Hospital was located at 326 W. 1st Street.

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1904

June 14: In the hopes of teaching children the importance of personal hygiene, the Amelia Street School installed “up-to-date showers” in which both male and female students could shower either by themselves or with the assistance of a “janitor, principal, [or] elder brother or sister.” According to the Los Angeles Times, “The Amelia Street School has the reputation of possessing the cleanest, brightest...little students…in Los Angeles.”

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1904

 

April 13: Residents of Kohler street want the evangelical gospel meetings of God's Revivalist Family, aka the Hoosier Jumpers, to end due to the noise and disturbances.  H. M.Crowell, representing the residents, applied for a warrant for the arrest of members of God's Revivalist Family "on the grounds that they were disturbing the peace and maintaining a nuisance." Crowell encouraged the police to visit the neighborhood and witness firsthand the religious experiences of the group. Once there, the Hoosier Jumpers were incensed by the police presence. According to the Los Angeles Times: “Worn in flesh but unbroken in spirit, the jumpers and residents continued the test of endurance until they had kept everybody awake within a radius of half a mile. Then they decided to call the bout a draw and go home to prepare for an all-night session tonight....The people who live in this neighborhood are not millionaires and they are compelled to get up about 5 o'clock in the morning to earn their daily bread. The children who formerly went to school have been withdrawn in order that they may sleep in the daytime and be on hand at night to help out the older ones who find the strain somewhat wearing. The residents say they will have fresh reinforcements tonight and they hope to earn a decision, even if they are unable to knock out their adversaries."

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1904

 

August 22: Both white and "colored kids" of the neighborhood "bathed" in Puritas water from the Los Angeles Ice and Cold Storage plant that flowed into the Los Angeles River Bank just north of Seventh Street. The swimming hole was about 5 feet in depth.

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1904

 

September 23: An unnamed man sought work in a "novel" way: he walked up and down Wholesale Street wearing a placard with the words: "I want work." He was described as in his early twenties, neatly dressed and the center of attention for many on the street.

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1904

November 26: A wireless telegraph station was erected at Seventh and Alameda Streets, and a pole was constructed on its roof that was 212 feet high.

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1905

March 9: Union workers threatened to boycott beer from the Maler & Zobelen Brewing Company in Los Angeles after union workers at the brewing company discovered that their new brew house had its structural iron installed by non-union construction workers. Some of the boycotters demanded that every piece of iron be removed and replaced by union workers before they would consider drinking beer from Maler & Zobelen.

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1905

 

May 14: The Ladies Auxiliary of the East Ninth and Mateo Street Improvement Association had much to boast about in its garden contest for local children. Using seeds provided by the Chamber of Commerce and distributed from the Church of the Neighborhood, kids from the ages of 6 to 10 years old began creating neighborhood vegetable patches. The Civic Federation's committee on Outdoor Art co-sponsored the program by offering top prizes for the best examples.

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1905

 

June 19: The Los Angeles Times reported on the efforts of Crocker Street residents to have the Saratoga Chip Company at 1144 Crocker Street declared a nuisance due to the terrible smells from the lard. The Times writer chose to belittle the residents: "Although the effort was to show that the place does not only smell bad, but is also a detriment to health, it was too noticeable to escape comment that all the witnesses against the factory were of unusually robust physique and striking rotundity." Despite the Times' dismissiveness, the residents eventually won the case and the factory moved. This decision helped bring about the zoning of city for livestock and lard factories.

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1905

September 3: William Fleming and William Scott have partnered in co-owning the Farmers Exchange, "where the choicest of wines, liquors and cigars may be had." The Farmers Exchange was located at 1718 E. Seventh Street with an attached saloon and restaurant. They have taken over Mr. Kearney's well-known establishment, which had been there for 17 years and was described as "neatly and artistically fitted up with new furnishings and four pool tables." The place also provided an inexpensive barber upon request.

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1905

 

September 4: Two women frantically called for help from their second story window because Thomas B. Cray had entered their home, driven them upstairs, all the while threatening to kill himself. A citizen entered and arrested Cray, who had a razor up against his throat, ready to commit suicide. Cray had been drunk for several days.

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1905

September 4: Officer Ingram led a raid to confiscate liquor at the home of C. Viantto and charged him with violating the liquor ordinance.

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1905

 

October 1: A new building located on Central Avenue and Fourth Street became the Everhardy building as it was purchased by M. W. Everhardy. Everhardy intended to use the top three floors as a hotel while using the basement to store eggs, poultry, and fish and was used as a packing-house for the Palace Market Company.

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1906

 

February 7-10: A band of starving burros had been eating everything they could in their path over the last few nights after escaping their owners, who were later charged with cruelty to animals because of the malnourishment the burros endured. When the group of eight burros, led by one named "Rojer," entered into Los Angeles by following the Los Angeles River, they used Rio Street to start a rampage of eating clothing left to dry, pots and pans, and even one man's coat. According to the Los Angeles Herald: "Down to the lot on Rio street they wandered and there they held court while a belated pedestrian, staggering along under a heavy cargo of liquor, wandered into their midst and departed screaming for help, with his coat half eaten from his back." The burros were caught and two were killed because they were diseased with tetanus. The remaining six, including Rojer, were taken to a feed yard.

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1906

 

July 4: The Violet Street Playground was declared by the Los Angeles Herald to be the most popular spot in the neighborhood. In place since 1905 and open all year round, the playground hosted over one thousand children, who participated in games and festivities as part of 4th of July celebrations. According to the newspaper:


“Every nationality to be found is represented among the children who daily play at the Violet street grounds. Poles, Mexicans, negroes, Russians, Japanese, French, German and English children were in the contests.  In many cases the rivalry as to the winner has something of a race pride about it."

Within one year the playground had a club house - the first of its kind on the West Coast, complete with a library and a piano. In 1909, the Los Angeles Herald highlighted the female athletes as seen in the photo.

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1906

September 2: Laborers are putting the cornerstone in place for the proposed Labor Temple on Maple Avenue, following a Labor Day parade. The cornerstone was carried through the parade, and when it was put in place it was draped in purple and white, the colors of the Women's International Label League, No 36. The cornerstone weighed approximately one ton and records of local labor unions were "sealed in the stone and it was lowered into place."

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1906

 

September 3: A riot nearly broke out over another fight at Gus' Saloon at 124 S. Main Street, a hangout for Swedes. Two African Americans came in to celebrate the victory of an African American Joe Gans over Anglo American Oscar "Battling" Nelson in an epic 42-round fight held in Las Vegas considered "the fight of the century." After remarking that he was glad Gans had won, one of the African Americans was instantly surrounded by upset Nelson fans. Gus Larson, the owner of the saloon, had to break it up.

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1906

 

 

September 7: Mayor McAleer was put off by the manspreading of an Episcopal Minister on the Hooper Avenue street car. The man was so engrossed in his magazine that he failed to notice how he was blocking people from getting on and off the train. However, when Mayor McAleer sat on the man's coattails that were spread out across the bench, the minister was visibly annoyed. According to Mayor McAleer: "It was one of the worst exhibitions of street car hoggishness that I have ever seen.  What can be expect of poor weak mortals when a minister of the gospel, supposed to be an example to us in earthly virtues, acts like a hog?"

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1906

September 22: The Church of the Neighborhood's free medical counseling to the community has been transferred to the district nurse to provide a wider audience for this advice. The nurse will be available at the Violet Street Playground at Violet and Mateo Streets.

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1906

October 20: Mrs. Mary Bixler was found unconscious by her landlord and taken to the Receiving Hospital. She denied taking chloroform in order to commit suicide and said she was overtaken by the fumes of a cleaning liquid.

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1906

 

October 21: A race riot broke out when Mexican "Cholos" were barred from a dance at Mission Street and Gallardo to celebrate the Moran baseball team. According to the LAT: "The rioters had come from Sonora-town, heavily armed, determined to force entrance to the inclosure [sic] where the dance was being held." When they were denied entrance, they visited a "friend" in the house adjacent to the dance and began stabbing its occupant. Two policemen who had been guarding the dance entered into the fight and almost lost but eventually gained control of the situation. The stabbed man was in critical condition.

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1907

 

February 6: Frank Stadler was fined $50 for keeping a "blind pig" at his establishment on Channing Street known as "The Mechanics Club."

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1907

November 22: Armed with a revolver, a man by the name of Jefferson B. Larkin attempted to murder his wife on 417 Colyton Street. However, his plan failed when his 16year-old son attacked him with a baseball bat. Wounded and dazed, Mr. Larkin ran down the street, stopped, and killed himself. As medical help arrived, Mr. Larkin claimed he was attempting a murder-suicide because his wife was divorcing him, even after he provided much financial assistance to the family while he was away working. Both his wife and son claim he lied because they never received any help after he had left their home.

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1908

 

May 24: The Los Angeles Times reported that the Home for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was now open at located at 669 Mimosa Street. According to the Times: "Superintendent Zimmer discriminates in favor of 'pets' only, and will refuse to take any savage beasts, but he is willing to make exceptions in favor of parrots if they will ask for what they want." The home already had seven horses, a number of dogs, and three cats." The home boarded animals, as well as taking in deserted animals. The SPCA was particularly proud of its animal ambulance, which was kept in excellent condition in order to make "runs on emergency calls" for injured animals.

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1908

 

July 11: Thirty female students for Polytechnic High School (now LATTC) appeared before the district attorney to file charges against C.A. Andrews, who had an office on the 6th floor of the Hellman Building. C.A. Andrews is a fugitive from justice and is charged with fraud. Andrews promised work that would result $10 - $20 for one week in exchange for 50 cents from each of the thirty young women, in isolated occasions. After giving him the money, he instructed them to meet him on the following Friday to begin work selling magazine subscriptions. On Friday, he was nowhere to be found. When Miss Post came to the office and found 29 other women in a similar situation as herself, she organized the group to file charges: "It doesn't matter about the 50 cents. None of us care much about that, but we want to see this man arrested and his graft exposed. He told me that my route was to be from San Bernardino to San Francisco and I was to reach San Francisco about August. I had intended going there about that time to see friends and I thought I could save money by having my fare paid and doing the little extra work."

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1908

 

October 7: Four different Japanese blind pigs were investigated and a large amount alcohol was seized including a "wagon load of beer and sake" from T. Tateishi at 503 Banning Street.

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1908

October 16: 6-year-old Dave Laughlin was arrested for breaking into the George A. Ralph Grocery Store on South Spring Street and stealing eight pocket knives. He was charged with burglary and sent to the detention home.

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1908

 

December 6: Since opening in June, 21 babies have been born at the Woman's Alliance Maternity Cottage at 154 N. Rio Street. It was run by volunteer nurse Mrs. L.T. Rice and local physicians donated their services. According to an Los Angeles Times article Rice did everything: "She has done all of the housework, the washing, cared for the patients, and attended to the bathroom, which is at the disposal of women and children when the cottage is not crowded for 5 cents a family. Every patient has been cared for by this unselfish and devoted woman. Mrs. Rice has been recently been voted a salary of $40 a month for her arduous duties." The Woman's Alliance was part of the First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles and was moved to create the college after witnessing what poor women endured when giving birth.

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1909

March 1: An employee at the Everhardy Hotel nearly died at her home on 316 ½ Second Street when her gas stove began leaking and her apartment filled with gas. She was found only when her boss called her home when she did not report for work. Although she was found unconscious after what must have been several minutes, she regained consciousness and was expected to make a full recovery.

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1909

March 17: Mexican Americans discovered they were barred from saloons outside of Sonoratown and registered a complaint. A group of Mexican Americans tried to buy drinks at saloons from Tenth and Main Streets all the way to the Plaza and was denied everywhere. The open boycott against Mexican Americans was expressed by one unnamed saloon keeper to the Los Angeles Herald: "'Youse fellers ain't goin' to get a drink in here....Youse don't deserve a decent drink.'" Some actually saw the boycott as a good thing: "I am glad they are refusing to sell drinks to our Mexican friends. If they will remain sober and clear-headed and look about them they will see how they are being preyed upon by a gang of harpies." They believed that the boycott would help Sonoratown rid itself of its cribs and saloons.

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1909

August 15: Arrowhead Spring Water announced it will add another warehouse to meet the demand for water by residents and that it has contracted "for rapid delivery Automobiles from the Woolwine Motor Car Co."

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1909

 

August 29: The second ever traditional Russian wedding was held in "Little Russia" and a procession from the home of the groom at 132 Utah Street was held to the home of the bride at 729 Turner Street along First Street, where Japanese residents witnessed the event, and back to the groom's home and the bride's new home. As this was not considered a "legal" wedding but one that was more ceremonial, the couple refrained from providing their names to the Los Angeles Times.

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1909

September 29: Fifteen children from the "Slav colony" threw stones at a neighbor's house because he had complained about them. Francis Hospital, who lives at 150 North Rio Street had his home "stoned." The evening prior, according to the Los Angeles Times: "the Russians began brewing strong drinks and preparing tea. For several hours their chants were heard. The noise arose in several houses, and then centered in one on Anderson Street. It was practically impossible to pass through the guard lines of the Russians, who had men posted around the house."

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1909

 

October 11: A fire destroyed the "Little Russia" neighborhood and left one hundred people homeless. The fire began at 143 North Gless Street and consumed several homes. Officers surmise that the cause was arson as there have been 18 complaints against the Russian colony over noise complaints. The loss was the total of eight homes, estimated at $3,000 and no one held insurance.

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1910

June 21: A Deputy Constable named Jack Castillo was shot at while he was on duty protecting workers from an allegedly violent labor union at the Maier Brewery. Castillo was shot by someone in the dark and although he did not see who shot him, the Los Angeles Times claimed there was a suspect who will be questioned for having “murder in his heart” and instilling “fear into the hearts of... honest laborers who have taken [his] place.”

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1910

June 28: V.L. Volmer and A. Julian were arrested and charged with disturbing the peace at Coylton and Palmetto. Volmer, who worked for Pioneer Boiler Works, and Julian, a striking worker from Pioneer Boiler Works, allegedly started fighting after Julian allegedly called Volmer a "scab."

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1910

September 19: Residents and property owners of the block of Maple Avenue between 5th and 6th Streets filed a protest with the police commission asking that no more liquor permits be granted in their neighborhood. The petition was also supported by the Union Labor Temple.

 

1910

October 1: The Los Angeles Times building, located at the corner of First and Broadway, is bombed at 1:07 a.m., killing 20 workers. The attack is attributed to anarchists protesting the newspaper's openly anti-union owner, Harrison Gray Otis. John J. McNamara, the union's secretary-treasurer, and his brother James are eventually arrested for and plead guilty to committing the crime under the counsel of Clarence Darrow.

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1910

November 10: Margaret Mayo adapted Upton Sinclair's novel The Jungle so that it could be presented as a play and it was staged at the Labor Temple on Maple. The production starred future silent film actress Violet Barry who played Ona.

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1910

 

November 25: Mary Foy spoke on the women's suffrage struggle for the Votes for Women Club and the Women's Union Label at the Labor Temple on Maple. Mary Emily Foy graduated from Los Angeles High School and was listed in the 1913 yearbook as a “prominent club woman and suffragist.” Almost immediately after high school, she was appointed the first woman head librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library in 1880 at the age of 18. The Los Angeles Public Library was founded in 1872, when women were not allowed to use the facility.

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1910

November 25: "Votes for Women" held a meeting at the Union Labor Temple at 538 Maple Avenue. Miss Mary Foy spoke about suffrage for women.

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1910

 

November 26: Mrs. Rose Arpea of 504 Carolina Street was visiting friends and with her new baby. While inside her friend's home, twelve-year-old Tony Renteria and Tony Casilla stole the wheels from her perambulator, which was parked in front of the home. The boys were later caught with the wheels and sent to the Detention Home.

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1912

 

The Aoyama Tree symbolizes the cultural and historical development of Buddhism and the Japanese American community in Los Angeles. Reverend Shutai Aoyama, who came to the United States in 1909, founded Koyasan Buddhist Temple. The Moreton Bay Fig marks the location of the Koyasan Daishi Mission, which is no longer standing, although the congregation celebrated its centennial in 2012.

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1912

 

May 29: The Los Angeles Times reported on a family dealing with a hit and run accident and the community's response. Marcileno de Lona, a father of six small children, broke his leg after a car hit him at 1728 E. Seventh Street on Sunday afternoon. Mrs. de Lona told the police about the accident and that the family was unable to eat, due to the injury Marcileno sustained. According to the Times: "At the Central Station food and money were collected for the family. Medical assistance was secured for the father, and a charitable institution promised to look after the children."

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1913

 

March 5: Sam Syna's home exploded last night due to a bomb. Syna told police that he had been threatened by the mob to pay protection money of $250 and had refused. None of his family of eight was hurt.

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1913

August 2: A man named E.C. Harden was robbed of 60 cents by two masked men on First and Rose Streets.

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1913

September 30: The Barker Brothers four story warehouse on Palmetto and Molino Streets burned down causing a quarter million dollars in losses. The Los Angeles Times reported that thousands of people rushed to put out the fires alongside the firemen in order to prevent the fire spreading to their homes. The cause of the fire was unknown.

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1913

 

October 22: Messop Abramof of 2026 Damon Street was charged with larceny after stealing $60 from his friend Siok Agones who would not lend him the amount without his wife's permission. In Agones' absence, Abramof took the money and willingly admitted to stealing it when caught. Abramof planned on paying him back; he desperately needed the money to get food and medicine to his wife and children, as they were destitute. The 60 dollars enabled him to get them help and, Abramof is ready to serve whatever sentence is handed him.

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1914

 

November 19: Two boys confessed to starting a fire that burned down the East Seventh Street School. Tom Coombs, who was twelve, and Louis Esqueval, who was ten years old, told Detectives King and Oakes the motive was revenge. Arson was not considered a motive but all of the students were summarily "given the third degree" and interrogated by the detectives because the fire followed closely after the school fires at the Ann-Street School and the fire at the East Ninth School. Tom Coombs told police that he was upset at having been put in a lower grade; "'The teacher, she says I can't do the work I can but it takes me a long time but she put me in an ungraded class I didn't think much about burning the school. I only thought of it that night.'"

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1915

March 9: Maria Montessori announced via telegram that she will lead her third international training class, the first two were held in Rome in 1912 and 1914. Montessori picked Los Angeles for two reasons: "In the first place, it was in Los Angeles that the Montessori system was first introduced into the public school system. Secondly, the invitations from this city were especially cordial and appealing." She will lead the class on May 1 at the East Seventh Street School, the aforementioned institution that integrated Montessori's methods under Miss Moore, a graduate of Montessori's first international class.

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1915 May: Lewis Hine took this photo as part of the Child Labor Committee. The Library of Congress notes include this title: "9 year old newsboy selling near Southern Pacific Depot. A negro bystander said: "He's de boss fighter of 5th Street." See California report. Location: Los Angeles, California / Lewis W. Hine."
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1915

 

November 29: Los Angeles Police Detective Browning was shot and killed while investigating the extortion of Italian American grocer Tony Blandino at 2208 E. Damon Street. He was shot while trying to apprehend grocer Calogero Finocchio, who pulled a shotgun out and shot Browning in the stomach, whose last words were: "To be shot down like a dog! I want you to kill that dago before I go." Finochio was apprehended and charged with murder.

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1916

 

March 4: The Hewitt Street Grammar School reported much success in the transformation of a junk lot into a thriving garden. Because of the garden, the school has been able to start a "penny kitchen" where students may buy a bowl of nourishing soup and bread for one penny. More than $10 has been saved through this process and many at risk kids got a hot meal. Moreover, the school's diversity reflected the city: "The Hewitt-street school is probably the most cosmopolitan school in the city. The number of white pupils is far less than that of Europeans or orientals. Of the 328 children in the school, only thirty-eight are Americans. There are ninety-two Mexicans, which is the greatest number of any one nationality in the school. The Chinese are next with sixty-eight. There are fifty-six Japanese, thirty-nine Jews, thirty-six negroes, fourteen Italians, five Germans, three Hungarians, two Koreans, two Swedes and one Eskimo." The school also held classes for mothers and while children are in class, their mothers are also in another to learn parenting skills.

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1916

July 25: The Los Angeles Times reported that three of the 25 "lottery joints" have been raided in an attempt to run gambling out of the city. Because so many of the police were monitoring the Longshoremen strike, many gambling dens were able to develop and flourish in downtown. The police promised to rid the city of all of them by the end of the week but began at Ah Geo's place at 713 Traction Avenue; Lim Ling at 117 Wilmington Street; and Quan Wing at 157 Wilmington Street.

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1917
At 112 E Seventh Street, the Unique Novelty Company opened and became a "landmark" for local children for its window displays of: "puzzles, imported dolls and magic equipment." It moved to 426-428 W. Sixth Street after 16 years in 1933.

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1918

July 2: Deputy Sheriff Loving announced that a recruitment for "the colored Home Guards" to take place that evening at the Violet Street Playground.

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1918

August 31: Coulter's Dry Goods describes itself as the: "oldest dry goods store in Los Angeles" and founded in 1878.

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1919

 

September 14: Ralph Lewis, the watchman for the Antelope Valley Canning Company, took an unscheduled break to Venice and in his absence a small fire devastated the facility. Upon seeing no guard, over 100 local residents began looting the remains of the warehouse and used carts to transport 100-pound bags of sugar, crates of cans of pears, a typewriter and other office equipment. When he returned to discover the looting in process. Lewis attempted to force the local police from the premises. The police resisted and a struggle ensued, and Lewis was placed under arrest for public intoxication. At the police station, he is described as a "bad man" with an extensive police record, including shooting an African American man.

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1919

 

November 19: Two boys confessed to starting a fire that burned down the East Seventh Street School. Tom Coombs, who was twelve, and Louis Esqueval, who was ten years old, told Detectives King and Oakes the motive was revenge. Arson was not considered a motive but all of the students were summarily "given the third degree" and interrogated by the detectives because the fire followed closely after the school fires at the Ann-Street School and the fire at the East Ninth School. Tom Coombs told police that he was upset at having been put in a lower grade; "'The teacher, she says I can't do the work I can but it takes me a long time but she put me in an ungraded class I didn't think much about burning the school. I only thought of it that night.'"

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1920

 

August 29: A giant plane, constructed in Los Angeles called a “leviathan of the Skies” or also known under the model name “Cloudster” was expected to be finished in early 1921. The combination passenger and mail plane could carry “a pilot and five hours of fuel, seven passengers, and 1,000 pounds of mail.”

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1921

 

February 24: A giant plane was completed at 421 Colyton Street. Called a "leviathan of the Skies" or "The Cloudster" was designed by Donald Douglas and was the first to carry a load greater than it own weight. According to aviation historian Judy Rumerman: "In June 1921, the Cloudster set out for its transcontinental flight from March Field, California, to Curtiss Field, New York. But engine trouble forced it to make an emergency landing in Texas. After its aborted flight, Davis lost interest and left the company, taking the plane with him. The plane would have a second career later when it was sold to T. Claude Ryan of San Diego in 1925 for $6,000 and converted to a passenger plane for Ryan Airlines, one of the first US scheduled passenger airlines, flying between San Diego and Los Angeles. After Ryan Airlines went out of business, the plane was used for charter flights, including ferrying liquor between towns in Mexico near the California border during Prohibition."

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1923

The cost of building the 7th Street Viaduct was shared with the Los Angeles Railway Company, which operated the trolley system that uses the thoroughfare for its trolleys. The 7th Street Viaduct is initially built in 1910 but undergoes vast improvements. In 1923 traffic on the bridge was so congested that it is estimated that 10,000 vehicles cross it daily and the crossing gates are down for 9 minutes each hour for the trolleys to pass.

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1923 - 24

 

The Los Angeles Police Commission ruled that only "Latin" women could consort with men in dance halls in Sonoratown and for over one year, blond female dancers have been wearing disguises in order to continue working in the dance halls. After one year, the law was rescinded and the Los Angeles Times announced: "'Marie the Wop' Once Again Plain Mary O'Grady Winning New Sonoratown Triumph." According to the Times: "Not many girls would consider the work easy, however. Dance hall girls and dance-hall proprietors work on a fifty-fifty basis. It costs 10 cents a dance. Any young man can go in and pick out a girl for a dance. The house gets a nickel and the girl a nickel. When a girl dances 100 dances, she makes $5. On New Year's night, one of the girls is said to have made $32."

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1924

December 4: The mail-order doctor “Prof” Mack Costello Martinez’s offices at Second and Spring streets were raided as part of a larger state-wide crackdown on “drugless healers.” Authorities described Martinez’s practice as carrying “a tingle of cultism.” A college degree proclaimed Martinez to be a graduate of The Escuela de Misticismo (the School of Mysticism) in San Antonio, Texas. While his services were offered nation-wide, his clientele were noted as being mostly Mexican. Ads catered to Los Angelenos who might have felt as is “the earth is slipping from under your feet” and Martinez provided cures for the diseases in which his patients felt they lacked “harmony within.” The offices were located over a bank, being described as “palatial” in size and ornate in décor. Tapestries and mahogany furniture were littered with “hordes” unopened letters and pamphlets.

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1925

December 13: The police vice squad and the Sheriff's office arrested 140 people in the "negro belt" - Central Avenue from Newton Street north to Hemlock - on related vice charges including gambling and violations of the Wright Act, California's anti-alcohol ordinance. In addition to arresting African Americans, some white women were also arrested.

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1926

 

February 16: The Young Mother's Study Circle of the Hooper Avenue and San Pedro Street Schools celebrated the 29th anniversary of the PTA at the YWCA at 1108 1/2 East Twelfth Street. The luncheon honored "negro mothers" who were active in PTA history. Speakers included Charlotta Amanda Bass, one of Los Angeles' most strident activists for civil rights. She spoke about the "negro press in California."

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1926

 

July 3: Firefighters showed up on 658 Ceres Avenue, after being called to help with an emergency - a cat stuck on top of a palm tree.

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1927

 

October 3: 11 year-old Josephine Setrada was celebrated as a heroine for saving her baby brother and sister from the fire, which destroyed the family home. Setrada received several burns in the process of going into the rooms to retrieve her siblings.

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1930

June 20: George Hoxie was arrested at his home at 523 Gladys Street. He was arrested for unlawful assembly as a Communist organizer. He pled not guilty and asked for a jury trial. He eventually will be convicted.

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1930

 

September: LD Jones announced: "A modern motor-coach service and maintenance plant son will be opened by Pacific Greyhound Lines." The total construction for the remodel of the building is estimated to be more than $50,000 including tools."

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1930

Federal Prohibition officers who conducted raids across the city confiscated October 2: 53 barrels of illegal beer at 440 Seaton Street.

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1932

 

November 8: F.J. Frederick saved the lives of three coworkers when he pulled the unconscious workers from the Pure Carbonic chemical plant at 514 Molino Street. The internal chamber of the plant was flooded with noxious fumes when the vent was closed. Frederick held his breath each time he entered the plant to drag his coworkers from the building and collapsed shortly after. All of the men recuperated at the Georgia Street Hospital.

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2017

 

1926: Bruce Terou Kaji was born in Bunker Hill (off map). He died on October 26, 2017 and his contributions to Little Tokyo and Los Angeles cannot be overstated. He became the founding president of the Japanese American National Museum and considered a pivotal player in ensuring Little Tokyo would be properly memorialized and preserved. He was instrumental in helping World War II internees receive reparations and a formal apology from the government. His experience during World War II made an indelible imprint on his character- he often spoke of turning 16 on the train to Manzanar. Kaji served in the United States military and went to college on the G.I. Bill, earning a degree in accountancy. After the war, Kaji was unable to be hired by American corporations due to anti-Asian prejudice. Japanese Americans with law degrees, he said, could only find work as grocery baggers. He began to work for a fledgling company called Toyota and is credited with helping the business open its first American office in the 1950s. Kaji was a key Nisei liaison, who helped broker the emerging Pacific trade industry that would provide economic might to the South Bay region well into the 1990s. Kaji would later run a Torrance-based real estate firm with his son. Kaji, along with his fellow Nisei World War II veterans of the Military Intelligence Service, 100th Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team, were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2011. Bruce received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays, from the Government of Japan in 1997.

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the Studio for Southern California History