Why were people on Wright Street so durned upset in 1907? For all the fuss they were making about their sidewalks and lawns, you'd think that cowboys were driving herds of cattle through their front yards. Oh, wait - they were.

Santa Rosa's stockyard and slaughterhouse was at the corner of College and Cleveland Avenues, but the cattle, pigs, and sheep arrived via train stock cars at the Southern Pacific terminal on North Street, and by a new ordinance passed in 1906, the herds could be wrangled down College Ave. Why in the world they were driving the animals towards College Avenue using narrow, residential Wright Street, which runs parallel to wider North Street, is a mystery.

Defending himself again before the City Council, stockyard owner P. H. Noonan repeated his 1906 quip that he was still looking for a breed of cow that could avoid the streets altogether by flying to the slaughterhouse (huh-yuk).


...Chairman Reynolds of the street committee declared the streets were in a soft and mellow condition, whereat his conferes [sic] and the spectators smiled. The matter of driving stock through the street was brought up by Street Commissioner Decker on behalf of P. H. Noonan. It was declared the stock was being taken through Wright Street, and that they were ruining sidewalks and lawns of residents in that vicinity, who had entered a vigorous protest. It was pointed out that Mr. Noonan was strictly "up against it" in getting his stock to the slaughter house, and that he had been seeking a brand of cattle that could fly in order to obviate driving them through the streets. He had offered to make repairs to the sidewalks at his own expense and showed every disposition to be more than fair in the matter. Mr. Noonan and Street Commissioner Decker will take up with the officials of that company the matter of removing the unloading corrals of the Southern Pacific outside the city limits.

City Attorney Geary and Chairman Reynolds declared that the people in that vicinity should be protected in their property, and that cattle could not be driven through the streets without doing damage. It was suggested that as the Southern Pacific now controls the California Northwestern, the trains of cattle should be shipped around that road and taken to the Noonan side track at College avenue. This would avoid all the trouble.

- Santa Rosa Republican, January 3, 1907


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