|There was finally victory in the earthquake insurance wars, after Superior Court Judge Seawell denied the Connecticut Fire Insurance Company a new trial. Poor Frank Loomis only wanted a thousand bucks for his losses in the disaster but he was among a handful of Santa Rosa businessmen who had the misfortune to be insured by Connecticut Fire, which refused every claim because of a policy loophole. The Loomis case was the last to be heard by Sonoma County Superior Court, and his was also apparently the very last of the earthquake suits to be settled. The insurance company appealed the judge's denial of a new trial, and the matter wasn't finally, finally resolved until June, 1911, five years and two months after the quake. That's too bad for Mr. Loomis, but the appeal preserved valuable transcripts of the court testimony with first-hand accounts of the immediate aftermath of the quake. For completeness' sake and to aid future researchers, here are links to decisions and testimony in the Davis case (settled by the State Supreme Court in 1910, with background discussed here); the Fountain case (settled by the Appeals Court in 1910); and the Moodey case (settled by the State Supreme Court in 1911, with background discussed here and the full Appellate Court decision found in the April 21, 1910 Press Democrat).|
|Santa Rosa was getting an attaboy from the Southern Pacific railway, publisher of the nationally-read travel magazine "The Sunset." Within weeks of the disaster, the popular journal had published a special San Francisco issue spinning a revisionist version of events and claiming the scary earthquake did little damage compared to the fires, a PR campaign that successfully kept the trains filled with tourists. Here the local Chamber of Commerce issued a press release a few months after the quake claiming that Santa Rosa was back to normal, which was a pack of lies. Now that the place was truly pretty much put back to right, the magazine wanted a statistic on building permits. And the numbers were indeed impressive: Over 1,000 permits since the quake.|
|A beautiful new county courthouse again dominated Santa Rosa and was nearly finished, but not without controversy. The grand jury complained that the final price was about 45 percent over the contract bid, forcing District Attorney Lea to investigate and report that no, there was no graft or fraud behind the cost overruns, and yes, all that marble and scagliola was more expensive than expected. Hey, once they changed the design from ceramic floor tiles to marble mosaic flooring, naturally they just had to change the plain ol' flat ceiling into a vaulted ceiling that cost about three thousand dollars more - right?|
If the new courthouse was a potent symbol of the future, the temporary courthouse was an unpleasant reminder of the post-quake disarray, and the city was eager to have it torn down as soon as everyone was moved out. There are no photographs of the place (that I know of) but it certainly wasn't much to look at; from the outside it must have resembled a large farm implement shed with its corrugated iron roof. Together, the temporary courthouse and recorder's office matched the footprint of today's U.S. Bank building on the 3rd street side of Old Courthouse Square. It was sold for $576 to a man who wanted to build a large barn in Rincon Valley.
|The strange matter of the Peacock inheritance at last was resolved in 1909 (legal discussion here). Briefly, Mr. and Mrs. William Peacock died together in the collapse of a Santa Rosa hotel during the earthquake but they left separate wills, where each made their spouse first heir. Thus even if they died together, it had to be determined which Peacock died last, as that was the will that would prevail. There was not a great fortune involved but the money was split up differently among their children. The state inheritance tax appraiser declared Mr. Peacock died last, but goddess knows how he made that determination.|
Without swimming deep into genealogical waters, it's impossible to determine who got what. In the 1907 reporting there are two children; in the 1909 story below there are three. The earlier Press Democrat article names Mrs. Ada Baptiste as the wife's daughter by a previous marriage, and here the PD states she is the husband's prior daughter. That both Peacocks had children from a previous marriage is just part of the confusion; Mrs. Peacock was the sister of the first Mrs. Peacock, which meant that the two (three?) girls were simultaneously cousins, aunts or nieces.
(RIGHT: Postcard of the entrance hall of the palatial Sonoma County Court House. Note the elaborate compass rose inlayed in the marble floor. TAP or CLICK to enlarge)
ONE THOUSAND BUILDING PERMITS SINCE QUAKE
At the request of the Southern Pacific Company Building Inspector F. E. Cherry has furnished it with figures showing the number of building permits issued since the earthquake of April 18th, 1906. The railroad company intends to use this data for advertising purposes. In Mr. Cherry's report it shows that during the year 1906 after the April disaster, there were 322 permits issued and aggregated $759,745. In 1907 there were 300 permits and the value of the buildings was $300,000. In the two following years 891 and 200 permits were granted, making in all 1011 permits issued since the earthquake.
- Santa Rosa Republican, November 9, 1909
DO YOU WANT TO BUY A COURT HOUSE
Do you want to buy a Courthouse? If you do, send in your bid right away to the Board of Supervisors. Tomorrow they are to open bids for the old building, with the natural redwood finish, which has done duty as an administration building sine the disaster of 1906. There is all kinds of wood in the building. Of course, it will not be vacated right away for in the new building there is quite a little fixing to be done yet.
- Press Democrat, November 3, 1909
OLD COURTHOUSE IS SOLD HERE FOR $576Several Bids Received by the Board of Supervisors Wednesday and G. H. Wymore is the Purchaser
The old courthouse, the temporary structure at present occupied by the county officers, was sold by the Board of Supervisors on Wednesday to Geo. H. Wymore for $576. He was the highest bidder.
Bids were opened Wednesday morning and were as follows...
When the old courthouse is vacated for the new Sonoma County Courthouse, Wymore will tear it down. He will have a big pile of lumber. He will use it to build a large barn on the Wymore place in Rincon Valley.
- Press Democrat, November 4, 1909
DECIDES WIFE WAS THE FIRST TO DIERuling In the Case of Contractor and Mrs. William Peacock Who Were Killed Here in April, 1906
Judicially it has been determined that Mrs. Matilda F. Peacock died prior to her husband, William Peacock, a building contractor, both of whom lost their lives in the destruction of the old Occidental hotel in Santa Rosa on April 18, 1906. This determination is reached by the State's inheritance tax appraiser, who Wednesday filed his report with the county clerk in San Francisco.
On this conclusion of the law Ada Baptist, a daughter of the husband, will receive $4,224.93; Ida Miller, another daughter, $2,793.64, and Margarite Miller, a third daughter, $2,791.64. The relatives of the wife will receive nothing.
Peacock at the time of the disaster was engaged in the construction of a building in Santa Rosa. A few days before the date of their deaths Mrs. Peacock went to Santa Rosa to visit her husband. She was with him in their rooms when the hotel was destroyed.
It has heretofore been a question as to which of the couple died first. Both left wills leaving their estates to one another. The husband left property valued at $21,436 and the wife $8,004.50. If the husband died first then the wife would have inherited his estate and her heirs would come in for their share of the total estate. If the wife died first, then the husband would receive her estate and only his heirs would get the benefits of the joint estates.
The investigation of the appraiser shows that Mrs. Peacock was the first to pass away, and therefore her husband received her estate and his daughters participate in the benefits.
- Press Democrat, November 19, 1909
NEW SUIT IS DENIEDConnecticut Fire Insurance Co.'s Motion Denied
Judge Emmet Seawell filed his decision in the case of F. C. Loomis vs. the Connecticut Fire Insurance Company of Hartford, Thursday afternoon in which he denied the defendant's motion for a new trial.
The case in question is one arising over the payment of a fire insurance policy covering the goods of Frank C. Loomis, and destroyed at the time of the earthquake and fire on April 18, 1906. The policy in question contained a nullifying clase whereby the policy was to become void if the building should fall before the goods caught fire. Under this clause the insurance company refused to pay the fire loss of one thousand dollars, the amount of the policy, claiming the goods were damaged before the fire reached them.
The case was tried in the superior court before a jury which found for the plaintiff. Several other cases have been tried in the courts of this county founded on the same insurance clause and have been appealed to the higher courts of the state which have upheld the decisions of the local Judges.
Following the decisions of the local court in the other cases tried and the decisions of the Appellate courts, which maintain that the burden of proof lies with the defendant to prove that the fire didn't start simultaneous with the falling of the building or even before. The motion for a new trial was denied.
- Santa Rosa Republican, August 19, 1909
Almost everything could be printed in turn-of-the-century newspapers except vulgar words, and high on that forbidden wordlist was "abortion." Search all of the digitized 1909 California papers and you'll find the a-word only ten times, and then just referring to terminated pregnancy in farm animals. At the same time, editors needed to write about women having abortions because newspapers obsessively covered crime stories, and at the time anyone who performed an abortion was charged with second-degree murder. Thus a vocabulary of euphemisms was born: It was the "criminal operation" or the "malpractice," sometimes a "treatment." Thus readers of the Santa Rosa Republican learned that a San Francisco doctor had performed "the operation" that resulted in the death of a local girl, 18 year-old Leora Henderson.
Abortion was far more common in America 100+ years ago than it is today, thanks in great part to the 1873 Comstock Act (no relation to Santa Rosa's Comstock family), which was a federal law outlawing use of the mails to send contraceptives or information about contraception. Although there are no national surveys for this time period, medical experts have estimated that between one-sixth and one-third of all pregnancies were terminated. While looking through the Register of Deaths for Santa Rosa for possible 1906 earthquake victims, I stumbled across a young woman who died of self-induced abortion just a few weeks after the quake - unusual only because abortions were almost always secretly performed by a physician or midwife. As far is known, none of the local medics performed abortions but it is statistically likely that one or more did.*
Miss Henderson probably found her abortionist through San Francisco newspaper classifieds. The "Medical" column in the SF Call was almost entirely advertisements from "ladies' specialists" including Dr. West, whose ad read, "Ladies' specialist and women's friend for many years. Immediate relief for the most obstinate cases at one visit. No pain, no delay from home. Low fees." Why she picked him is unknown; others claimed to be cheap or guaranteed "instant relief." Maybe she liked the promise that there would be "no delay from home," which sounded like a quick turnaround. Informed of her death, her parents, who had a farm near Santa Rosa, said they didn't realize she had even gone to San Francisco (or for that matter, was pregnant).
The inquest found Leora complained of pains in her sides and Dr. West referred her to another doctor, with instructions to go to a particular hospital if she worsened. He called a Doctor Boyd and said he should expect to see her at the hospital, "but it was nothing serious." Boyd was called out of town for the day and forgot, but late that night the head nurse at the hospital contacted him about the case. Dr. Boyd said he would check on her in the morning. By morning she had died of peritonitis.
The coroner's jury found that yes, "a criminal operation caused death," yet made no charges against Dr. West. And that was that.
Without knowing more, it's unclear what conclusions we can draw from the jury's decision. It appears they narrowly held that she died of medical complications, ignoring that the event leading to her death was considered murder in the eyes of the law. Maybe the jury (all male, as all juries were at the time) viewed death following abortion as a woman's misfortune, the same as death following childbirth.
From an article in the SF Call the following year, we do know even when "malpractitioners" were prosecuted, just one in four was convicted. Judging by the San Francisco newspapers, it seems that the only time that abortion doctors risked facing jail time is when patients died in their office and they went to great lengths to make sure they weren't caught with the corpus delicti.
Warning: What follows is not for the squeamish.
A few months after Miss Henderson died, 24 year-old Eva Swan sought an abortion from Dr. James Grant. (In a bizarre coincidence, Grant's San Francisco office used to belong to Dr. West, who had recently moved his practice to a better location downtown.) In the days that followed, Eva became gravely ill and Grant took care of her at his home. When she fell unconscious Dr. Grant realized she would not live, and after she died ten days later he was prepared to act. He sawed off her legs to fit the body into a trunk, poured gallons of acid over the remains, and hauled it to a house he had rented for the purpose of burying her in the basement. There's much more to the whole story that you can read here, but as you can imagine, every new revelation in this horrific tale made front page headlines. Such great public outrage was spurred that it was even proposed that abortionists could be prosecuted under the Comstock Act, apparently because they advertised in newspapers which were mailed to distant subscribers. Yet despite the strength of the prosecution's case, Doctor Grant still got off with a twenty year sentence, of which he served nine.
Incredibly, the Eva Swan case was not unprecedented. Seventeen years before, another San Francisco abortion doctor sawed up the body of a patient who died under his care. And in a Ripley's Believe-it-or-Not twist, the man charged with that murder was none other than Dr. West.
Dr. West went on trial two years later, in 1895. (Trial coverage in the San Francisco Call was quite good for its day.) His defense was that he had not performed an abortion on Addie Gilmour, but had only been asked to look after her by another doctor (who denied it under oath). She died a week later. While strolling down to the Coroner's office to report her death, West met with Dr. Tuchler who suggested medical students would pay a good price for a female cadaver. Dr. West testified he agreed and when he returned to his office the body was gone. The judge instructed the jury that they were only to decide on whether Dr. West had performed an abortion on the woman. In less than an hour the jury returned a verdict of not guilty.
It might have gone differently, however, if Dr. Tuchler had testified; afterwards, he told reporters that he had been called out of town on a medical emergency and wanted to tell the court he believed West was innocent, but he was now angry because West had lied about his role in the matter. According to Tuchler, West dismembered the body and packed sections of it in oil cans which the two of them dropped into San Francisco Bay on the ferry to Oakland. Anatomy students did that all the time to dispose of dissected body parts, Tuchler said. For his role in the dumping, Tuchler asked for Gilmour's head, the skull of which would complete a skeleton he was assembling. Dr. Tuchler wrapped her head in chicken wire and hung it underwater near Sausalito, telling reporters it was also the custom of anatomy students to leave body parts in the Bay like that to reduce them to bones. Unfortunately for him the encaged head was prematurely found, causing understandable commotion.
Today, West and Grant would probably be prosecuted for murder with depraved indifference. Both hid seriously ill women in their backrooms, not consulting with specialists or seeking a higher quality of care as their condition worsened. While waiting for the women to slowly die, they plotted how to chop 'em up and throw away their parts. They were furtive men; Dr. West said at his 1895 trial that he disguised himself sometimes and it came out that Grant's real name was Robert Thompson. How typical were they of the army of male "ladies' specialists" that practiced abortion medicine at the time? That history's unwritten. (An overview of abortion in turn-of-the-century America can be read on-line: "When Abortion Was a Crime".)
As for Dr. Grant/Thompson, he moved to Boston when he was paroled and started another abortion practice, this time under the alias "Stanton A. Hudson." In 1911 Dr. West was again in jail because of a botched abortion and yet again escaped charges (that young woman sought help at an emergency hospital and lived).
Leora E. Henderson's parents buried her in the Rural Cemetery, adding an inscription to her tombstone: "Budded on earth to bloom in her soul." I'm not sure what that means, but it certainly sounds very nice.
*It is possible that Madam Preston, who made and sold all manner of nostrums, offered an under-the-counter abortifacient. Among the Preston papers is a 1907 letter from the wife of a Sebastopol farmer who wrote, "I've heard you have a preparation that is good to cause a miscarriage..."
DOCTORS ARRESTEDComplicated in Death of Miss Leora G. Henderson
Dr. E. S. West and Dr. Winfield Bynres of San Francisco are under arrest in that city for their complicity in the death of the Santa Rosa girl, Miss Leora G. Henderson. They were arrested Friday by the police of San Francisco, who say they have information that Dr. West performed the criminal operation on the young lady that resulted in her death. Dr. S. G. Boyd, who is wanted by the police in this matter, did not show up at his office yesterday. Peritonitis followed the girl's criminal operation and that was the cause of her death.
John Henderson, the girl's father, when asked about his daughter in San Francisco, stated that he neither knew of the girl's condition, nor of her presence in San Francisco.
- Santa Rosa Republican, October 23, 1909
WEST FACES MURDER CHARGEBelieved Responsible for Death of Girl
The police of San Francisco are convinced that Dr. E. F. West of 115 McAllister street, performed the operation that resulted in the death of 18 year old Leora Henderson of this city at St. Thomas' Hospital on Thursday morning. West is in the city prison and will probably be charged with murder after the coroner's inquest.
West steadfastly denies that he was connected with the case and declares that he never saw the girl, but the statement to the police of Dr. Winifred Byrne of 894 Eddy street, and Dr. Samuel G. Boyd of 1334 Van Ness avenue contradict his assertions.
Dr. Winifred Byrne, who was questioned by the detectives Friday evening and later placed in custody at the city prison, was released Saturday morning. The police are assured that she was in no way criminally connected with the girl's death.
In a written statement made by Dr. Byrne Saturday she said that the girl told her a few days after she visited her office on Eddy street that she had been operated on by Dr. West the first day she arrived in San Francisco and that he had advised her to go to Dr. Byrne's place for care, and if she became worse to go to St. Thomas' hospital, where Dr. Boyd would attend her.
Dr. Boyd arrived yesterday from Redwood City, where he had been called to perform an operation. He told the police that Dr. West called him up several days before the girl's death and said he had a patient whom he would sent to St. Thomas's hospital and wished he, Dr. Boyd, would attend her. Dr. Boyd was busy and forgot about the girl and did not, in fact, at any time see or attend her.
- Santa Rosa Republican, October 25, 1909
On the train to Santa Rosa a little over a century ago, you might have exchanged a nod of recognition without knowing who he was. His was a sort-of-familiar face, someone who could be spotted going or coming several times a year, maybe with his wife and daughter or the two young men who were his sons. But once the train arrived, the portly middle-aged man vanished; he couldn't be found at any of the hotels or bending his elbow at any of Santa Rosa's many saloons. He wasn't at card parties or lodge hall dances. He didn't hobnob at all. Probably not a soul on the trains knew they were looking at Thomas Kearns, the millionaire owner of Los Guilicos.
Unlike the family's opulent Utah mansion, the farmhouse near Kenwood was nothing special; it's unclear if it had been updated since its pre-Civil War construction, or even if electricity was available in 1905. Kearns hired architect William Willcox to expand and modernize the place, but he also took a hands-on approach, working with a Santa Rosa cabinetmaker to design and build a massive 14-foot dining room table and sideboard cabinet. (Photo of the table is below, and the cabinet can be viewed in the previous article.)
From mentions in the Press Democrat column on arrivals and departures we know that Kearns and his family spent quite a bit of time here, including the complete summer of 1905, which was before renovations started. There were some years where he or his wife could be found at Los Guilicos nearly half of the time, particularly after the remodeling ended in 1908. It was a true second home and not a vacation getaway; the Kearns' should properly be considered locals - their sons even went to college at Santa Clara rather than in Utah or out east. In "Sketches of the Inter-Mountain States," the 1909 history of Utah and neighboring states, his equal residence in California was acknowledged: "Senator Kearns and his family reside in a magnificent home on East Brigham Street, in Salt Lake City, and at one of the finest ranches in California, near Santa Rosa."
Yet curiously, this side of his life is rarely, if ever, mentioned in modern profiles, including his book-length biography. Because of that, some of the most interesting questions about Kearns are unanswered and even unasked: Why did he want a house in Sonoma County, where the family apparently had no friends, family, political connections or business interests? And once he owned Hood House, why did he spend so much time here, so far from the life he had struggled to make for himself and everyone he knew? The answer to his Rosebud secret probably lies in the late winter of 1905.
Given his wealth and wealth of connections, it would be surprising if Thomas Kearns had not become a politician. He knew three presidents and hosted a dinner for President Teddy Roosevelt at his Salt Lake City mansion. Consider, for ex, the nexus of money and power revealed in just this one deal: Senator William A. Clark of Montana sought help from Kearns in extending his railway line from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City. (Clark was a man so remarkably corrupt that Mark Twain wrote, "He is as rotten a human being as can be found anywhere under the flag," and also looked just like Conan O'Brien wearing a cheap fake beard, which is conclusive proof that he was a person of low character.) Also involved in the railroad deal was Richard C. Kerens, who was on the National Republican Committee and a personal friend of Kerns. Our very first glimpse of Kerns in Sonoma County comes from a 1906 PD article about Kerns showing off his new place to his pal (misspelled as "Kernes" in the transcription below).
Thomas Kearns was a U.S. Senator from Utah between 1901 and 1905, filling out the four years remaining on an unexpired term. Many in the LDS church would have liked the seat go to a member of their faith, but just two years earlier a Mormon polygamist had been elected to the House, creating such national uproar that he was expelled immediately after being admitted to Congress. Kearns was politically well-connected with the Republican leadership, and that he was an ardent Roman Catholic "gentile" didn't hurt a bit. The Mormon hierarchy endorsed Kearns, amid allegations there was a quid pro quo deal for Kearns to buy the Salt Lake Tribune and defang its anti-Mormon slant.
His alliance with the church began crumbling within a year as political fortunes rose for Reed Smoot, who had been talked out of running against Kearns in 1901. The next year Smoot was elected the junior Senator from Utah, despite opposition from Senator Kearns and the rest of the Republican establishment, including President Teddy Roosevelt. Republicans feared Smoot would face a Congressional inquisition similar to the hearings over the polygamist. And indeed, once he was seated, the Senate opened investigations into whether he was a secret polygamist or if his extremely high position in church hierarchy placed him in conflict with his oath of office.
With the end of his term approaching in 1904, Kearns was denied another LDS church endorsement. Supporters of Kearns retaliated by forming the anti-Mormon American Party, and criticism of the church resumed in his Salt Lake Tribune. The political career of Thomas Kearns ended when Senator Reed Smoot convinced the Utah state legislature to replace Kearns with a Mormon (Senators were not yet elected by popular vote). Kearns said farewell to the Senate in his "Conditions in Utah" speech, where he bitterly denounced the power of the Mormon church. He charged the LDS "monarchy" lied repeatedly to the U.S. in order to gain statehood in 1896, falsely claiming polygamy was banned and the church did not meddle in politics.
Kearns' stint in the Senate was uneventful, perhaps because it was so short. No legislation bears his name, and what bills he introduced were pork barrel giveaways for special interests in Utah. He asked for 20 acres be given to his wife's aunt for a home for old miners; he wanted to open up part of an Indian reservation for mining. An old military fort received an upgrade. It was all apparently small matters like that. A researcher would need to drill down to the voting records to find what issues he supported or opposed and if not for the passion exhibited in his infamous farewell speech, one might think he didn't really want the job at all.
When the Mormons declined to support his candidacy for reelection, Kearns felt used and betrayed. He had valid reasons; he had brokered a relationship between the Republican party and LDS church long sought by Mormon leaders (a good paper on this topic can be read here) and found patronage jobs in Washington for Mormons. He had vowed to oppose any proposed constitutional amendment against polygamy. He had purchased the Salt Lake Tribune and quashed its LDS criticism (although there's no proof church leaders demanded he do so). And probably most bitterly, he had been used as a stalking horse to ease the way for Utah to have two Mormon senators. Kearns' "Et tu, Brute" moment came when Utah's junior senator, Reed Smoot, personally led the Utah politicking to oust Kearns and replace him with his friend and fellow Mormon, George Sutherland. Smoot drove the knife in further with his remarks about Kearns' farewell speech, adding an ethnic slur: "It certainly was a spectacle to see Kearns deliver his speech yesterday. It made the people from Utah ashamed that there was such a person as Tom Kearns claiming to be a citizen of Utah. His speech was written in English and delivered in Irish."
Thus Hood House might also be nicknamed, "Kearns' Redoubt." His four-year ascent into politics had ended with an abrupt and humiliating crash, through no fault of his own. He apparently purchased the Los Guilicos estate shortly thereafter. In the summer that followed he probably saw the roomy home with bucolic views of Sonoma Valley as a fine place to lick wounds and drift in melancholy. Years later Santa Rosa newspapers frequently mentioned he was entertaining friends from Utah, and you can bet their small talk tread lightly around some topics of political gossip, particularly the sore point of his own fall from greatness as the Catholic who lost his Mormon blessings.
In hindsight, we can see everyone lost when Kearns was forced out of the Senate, including the Latter-Day Saints church.
The Senate allowed Reed Smoot to be seated, but opened hearings on his fitness to stay. The Smoot hearings dragged on for three years, and became a trial of the LDS church itself. Women's groups nationally lined up against Smoot and Mormonism in an anti-polygamy crusade that smothered Washington in petitions and letters. But over those long three years, anti-Mormon sentiments weakened. President Roosevelt originally commented that Smoot was not fit for office, but by end of 1906 he said the women crusaders were guilty of "persecution" and "hysterical sensationalism." The New York Times also flipped, denouncing in 1907 opposition to Smoot as "mindless and bigoted". At the end of it all, a majority of Senators did vote to boot Smoot, but he was admitted because a two-thirds vote was required.
The big loser in this draw were the women's groups, having lost some popular sympathy as well as momentum in their great fight for suffrage. The LDS church lost because Kearns might have been able to shorten the hearings - or lobby other Senators to drop some of the most damaging lines of inquiry - if he had remained as the senior Senator. In Utah, the Kearns affair boosted opponents of the church and the American Party dominated Salt Lake City politics through the rest of the decade.
The drama also had far-reaching impacts on American history. Senator Smoot was co-author of the infamous Smoot-Hawley Tariff, which is considered one of the major causes of economic hardship during the early years of the Great Depression. Kearns' replacement in the Senate, George Sutherland, was eventually appointed to the Supreme Court, where he became the leader of the "Four Horsemen," a reactionary bloc that sought to overturn FDR's New Deal programs for recovery. The four Justices were frequently hung in effigy at political rallies.
Kearns didn't live to see what would become of Smoot and Sutherland two decades later; he died in 1918, shortly after he sold Hood House. I would like to think his ghost is still rattling chains in those empty rooms of the place he must have thought of as a sanctum. I would like to think his ghost is having a good chuckle over the two men who destroyed his political life becoming two of the most hated politicians in America.
MILLIONAIRES IN SANTA ROSA NOWSenator and Prominent Chicago Railway Magnate in Party
Former United States Senator and Mrs. Thomas Kearns of Salt Lake City, accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. R. C. Kernes [sic], Miss Kernes and Miss Baney of St. Louis, and Miss Bettinger of St. Joseph, Mo., are at the St. Rose. The party came up to the Senator's Los Guillicos [sic] ranch yesterday morning and were met at Kenwood by automobiles from Santa Rosa. After a visit to the ranch the party were taken for a ride through the valley and then for a visit to the grounds of Luther Burbank.
Mr. Kernes is a prominent railroad man from St. Louis and the fact that he is visiting through the Sonoma Valley has given rise to the suspicion that he may be inspecting the line of the proposed electric railroad from Sonoma to Santa Rosa, which is believed to be part of a through line to the bay or to connect with the other lines planned to cross the lower end of the county en route from San Francisco to Lake county with a view of investing in the enterprise. It is known that he was given a good opportunity to see all the advantages of the valley while taking the automobile ride.
- Press Democrat, March 28, 1906
A HANDSOME HAND MADE DININGROOM SET
F. S. Smith of 1209 Ripley street has just completed at his place and has ready for delivery a handsome natural oak dining room set for Senator and Mrs. Thomas Kearns of Kenwood. The dining table is a massive affair weighing 850 pounds, and is six feet square closed. It can be extended to fourteen feet and is one of the most attractive pieces of furniture ever seen in this city. The buffet, serving table, pedestal and dozen chairs are all made to match. The whole set is handwork by Mr. Smith, and were worked up from designs he drew and submitted to Senator and Mrs. Kearns for approval prior to receiving the order.
- Press Democrat, July 11, 1909
THE KEARNS FAMILY HAVE RETURNEDSenator and Mrs. Thomas Kearns Entertain Cardinal Gibbons and Other Catholic Church Dignitaries
Former United States Senator and Mrs. Thomas Kearns and family and Miss Bess Faddies have returned to their beautiful country home in the Los Guilicos Valley, from Salt Lake City. They went to Salt Lake recently to be present at the dedication of the new Roman Catholic Cathedral there, one of the most costly and handsomest edifices in the west.
At their Salt Lake City residence Senator and Mrs. Kearns had the honor of entertaining His Eminence Cardinal Gibbons, who dedicated the cathedral. They had other distinguished guests, including several of the Bishops and other dignitaries of the church.
- Press Democrat, August 28, 1909
The many local friends of Senator and Mrs. Thomas Kearns will be pleased to know that they expect to spend the Christmas holidays at their very hospitable home "Kearns Ranch" in Sonoma Valley. They will have a large house party of relatives and friends to enjoy the holidays with them. Mrs. Kearns is expected back from New York about the first of December.
- "Society Gossip," Press Democrat, November 21, 1909
The two sons of Senator and Mrs. Thomas Kearns will be here from Santa Clara College to spend the Christmas holidays. Senator Kearns will also join the family for celebration of the holidays at the beautiful Kearns residence at Los Guilocos [sic].
- "Society Gossip," Press Democrat, December 19, 1909
DELIGHTFUL EVENT AT KEARNS RANCHParty Given by Senator and Mrs. Kearns in Honor of Miss Clara Driscoll
At the picturesque Kearns ranch last night there was a brilliant party at which Senator and Mrs. Thos. Kearns were "at home" to many invited guests. The function was arranged in honor of Miss Clara Driscoll who is visiting the Kearns ranch from her home in Salt Lake City.
Many guests from this city drove out to Los Guillicos to enjoy the delightful hospitality and participate in the many pleasures of the evening. Mrs. Kearns, as usual, entertained with the cordial and lavish hospitality for which the home is known far and wide.
After the hour devoted to the reception during which all the guests had the pleasure of a formal introduction to Miss Driscoll, dancing was enjoyed in the ball room adjoining the mansion. Later an elaborate supper was served.
- Press Democrat, December 29, 1909
Mrs. Thomas Kearns expects to leave for Salt Lake City about January 15. The Hearns have a magnificent home there and it is like 'Kearns Ranch' near this city, one of the most hospitable of homes. I overheard Mrs. Kearns telling some friends at the Overton party the other evening how much she and Senator Kearns enjoyed their picturesque county mansion in the Los Guilocos [sic] Valley. Thanks to them many Santa Rosa friends have been afforded much pleasure there, too.
- "Society Gossip," Press Democrat, January 9, 1910
SENATOR THOS. KEARNS HERE FROM SALT LAKE
Former United States Senator Thomas Kearns has arrived here from Salt Lake City, accompanied by Mrs. Kearns, and is spending a few days at his beautiful country home near this city, Kearns Ranch. Since his last visit here Senator Kearns has made several trips East and has been a very busy man. He is delighted with the appearance of things in Sonoma county at the present time.
- Press Democrat, April 7, 1910
The week of festivity will be auspiciously ushered in by the reception and high tea Sunday afternoon, at which Mrs. Thomas Kearns will entertain in honor of her sister, Mrs. Gallivan, a charming woman of Salt Lake City, who is here to spend the summer. The hours of the function are from four to seven o'clock and many Santa Rosans are included in the invitation list. They will drive to Kearns Ranch or will take the afternoon train from this city. Of course, it goes without saying that Mrs. Kearns' attractive hospitality will be delightfully exerted. The hostess and her guests were wishing Saturday when the threatening raindrops fell that sunshine would abound for the happy hours to be spent at Kearns Ranch.
- "Society Gossip," Press Democrat, May 1, 1910
KEARNS RANCH, the delightful country seat of Senator and Mrs. Thomas Kearns near this city, was the scene last Sunday afternoon of a reception given by Mrs. Kearns in honor of her sister, Mrs. Gallivan, a charming woman from Salt Lake City.
With its commodious rooms, richly furnished and arranged in luxury and comfort, the Kearns home is an ideal one for entertaining. It was specially so on this occasion as the affair partook of an outdoor party on the beautiful grounds where Nature has aided the landscape gardner in a distribution of majestic oaks, shrubbery and flowers in all their glory.
After meeting Mrs. Gallivan, the motif for the function, and the hostess Mrs. Kearns, who received their guests on the veranda beneath a clustering rose vine, which was a riotous mass of sweet-scented rosebuds, the guests wandered at will among the flowerbeds and amid a wilderness of roses--at Kearns Ranch during the blossoming time it is a continuous rose carnival--rested on the rustic benches or in the hammocks or swing seats in the shade of the overhanging branches of trees. It was an afternoon of sunshine and everything looked its best. Music, sweet and an allurement to pleasure, mingled very effectively with the enjoyment of the rambles through the grounds. It was furnished by a large orchestra stationed in a leafy nook on the lawn. During the hours of the reception and during the serving of high tea the orchestra played, Miss McDermott presided over the punch-bowl, serving the guests with delicious refreshment.
At tea the guests assembled in the large reception rooms, where tasteful bouquets of roses and other blooms gave a delightful finish to the pretty scene. In serving Miss Bess Faddis, Miss Clara Einhorn, Miss Geraldine Grace, Miss Wickson, Miss Elizabeth McDermott and Miss Helen Kearns were among those assisting.
Mrs. Kearns and Miss Wickson ex- [missing line of type] people from Santa Rosa, Kenwood, San Francisco and other places. Many of those invited drove down to the Kearns home in automobiles and others came by train and in vehicles. Mrs. Kearns was a much complimented hostess. She could not have entertained more effectively.
Mr. Kearns and Miss Wickson expect to leave shortly for Salt Lake City where they will spend some time. They will return before the summer is over, however, to pass several months here.
- "Society Gossip," Press Democrat, May 8, 1910
MRS. KEARNS RETURNS FROM SALT LAKE
Mrs. Thomas Kearns returned to her beautiful country home, Kearns Ranch, near this city, on Saturday night after an extended absence in Salt Lake City as well as on a trip to the East. Mrs. Kearns expects to spend a considerable portion of the summer in Sonoma county. She went to Santa Clara College on Monday to attend the commencement. The Kearns boys are students at Santa Clara. Mrs. Kearns' many friends are glad to welcome her back.
- Press Democrat, June 21, 1910
The week opened very auspiciously with the dinner party at Kearns Ranch...The scene in the spacious dining room of the Kearns mansion was fascinating in the extreme when the guests entered to the strains of music from an orchestra. They stepped into a lovely bower of flowers and light with the immense round table artistically set with its silver and glass and its clusters of daintily shaded candelabra, occupying the center. The rich old oak ceiling and the oak-panelled sides of the room were set off with bright adornments of flowers and more candelabra. It would be hard to picture a more alluring effect from a decorative standpoint or a greater incentive to appetite as one course followed another during the two hours the guests sat at the table enjoying the delightful menu and the intermingling chit chat, story and orchestral music.
The pretty place cards at each corner were set off with a miniature of an ocean liner, this latter feature particularly complimentary to Miss Wright in view of her coming voyage...
- "Society Gossip," Press Democrat, July 3, 1910
SEN. THOMAS KEARNS IS HERE FOR A VISIT
Former United States Senator Thomas Kearns of Salt Lake City is here for a visit of several weeks at his beautiful country home "Kearns Ranch" near Kenwood. Senator Kearns is a man of much prominence financially as well as politically and is the head of the American party which in Utah has given battle to the Mormon forces. He is a mining man, and owns a large amount of property in Salt Lake, in addition to several newspapers, and other public service enterprises.
- Press Democrat, July 13, 1910
SENATOR KEARNS RETURNS FROM SALT LAKE CITY
Senator Thomas Kearns has returned from Salt Lake and is now at his country home, the Kearns Ranch near Kenwood. Mrs. Kearns has been spending the past week in San Francisco awaiting the arrival of the Senator and they have both returned. The Senator is a busy man and will only remain here for a few days and then he and Mrs. Kearns will go east to stay until after the holidays.
- Press Democrat, October 10, 1910
SENATOR KEARNS AND WIFE HERE FOR A VISIT
Former United States Senator and Mrs. Kearns arrived from Utah on Sunday at their beautiful country home, Kearns Ranch, near this city. Senator Kearns took an active part in the recent elections in Utah, and otherwise has been very busy with the handling of his immense interests. He enjoys a visit to his picturesque estate in the Sonoma Valley, where he is carrying out many improvements. Thomas Kearns is also here and is feeling much better. He recently underwent an operation for appendicitis.
- Press Democrat, November 29, 1910
More followups with details found in 1909 Santa Rosa newspapers. This year it's mostly news about the criminal and crazy:
|THE MAN WHO WOULD BE SIDEWALK KING Remember Joseph Forgett? In 1907 he led nine prisoners in a daring escape from the county jail, which the Press Democrat reported in screaming banner headlines - the same 120 pt. boldface type normally reserved for earth-shattering news, such as major wars or any Democratic party election wins. Forgett and the others were quickly captured, and at trial he told the court that he had to break out of jail to protect his wife, who was also behind bars, charged along with two other women for "vagrancy" (ahem). He told the court Mrs. Forgett's honor was at stake because jailor "Old Fred" was getting a little too busy with his hands, and he also begged the judge for leniency, as he was insane at the time because of his 15 year opium addiction. Found guilty, Forgett apparently spent the next year and a half in the slammer, and we next heard of him when a little item appeared in the 1909 Santa Rosa Republican, noting his return to Santa Rosa "after an absence of many months." It may seem odd for the paper to welcome home a felon, but the item noted that his brother was Councilman Fred Forgett, a Democrat, so the purpose may have been a political poke in his brother's eye. Or maybe it was to subtly alert Joseph's "many friends in this city and vicinity" that he was again loose; Forgett had once threatened to kill a guy and was arrested shortly thereafter with a meat cleaver under his coat.|
|ARMED, CRAZY, AND FORECLOSED UPON Another character to compete in the armed, dangerous and likely-crazy trifecta was Eduardo Bosco, who had been remarkably declared sane by two doctors in 1908. Bosco energetically fought efforts to evict him from his little farm near Healdsburg, leading to his being hauled to the county jail "bound by ropes by deputy sheriffs, divested of hat, coat and vest." Several months later, Bosco was illegally back on the foreclosed farm, where he had now harvested the fruit crop and sold it to a cannery. When deputies arrived to evict him for the second time he began shooting at them. The officers fled. Bosco was next spotted a couple of months later on a road near Calistoga, where he was harassing strangers. A constable investigated and Bosco attacked him, pressing a handgun against the policeman's chest and pulling the trigger three times. The gun either was empty or the bullets misfired. Bosco was arrested, and returned to Sonoma county for prosecution of his earlier shootings. Now about a year later in 1909, Bosco was being sent from the county lockup to Napa to face trial in the attempted murder on the Calistoga road. True to form, he refused to cooperate with police: "Bosco put up a strong objection to going and the two men had all they could do in getting him from the cell."|
|THE YEAR OF BURNING SANTAS After five years had passed without a single Santa Claus catching fire from a Christmas tree candle, two men were seriously burned in a 1909 incident at a Guerneville school. Having lighted candles hanging on the branches of a dead evergreen seems dangerous enough, but adding to the picture a fellow with a highly flammable cotton beard seems downright reckless. Still, it's amazing Claus combustion didn't happen more often; to a flame, a fat bewhiskered Santa must look like tallow and wick. Obl. Believe-it-or-Not factoids: The familiar string of colored electric lights didn't become common until the 1930s (interesting history web site here) and today all our tangled and discarded strings of Christmas lights are shipped to the Chinese town of Shijiao - renowned for both cheap labor and low environmental standards - where ten factories recycle 20 million pounds of lights annually.|
|WHEN "BUSINESS FRIENDLY" SANTA ROSA NEARLY CLOSED DOWNTOWN Santa Rosa's 1909 water war against downtown businesses ended in a truce, as reported in an article that was unfortunately overlooked when the original essay on the topic was written. Briefly: The city's dysfunctional water rates and billing system drove most stores to stop paying their water bills, which led to shutoff of most water connections downtown. After nine dry days, the Erwin Brothers grocery turned the water back on themselves and filed a lawsuit against the city. With tensions already high, the clueless mayor met with the grocers and suggested they switch over to the privately-owned McDonald Water Company. Mayor Gray later denied he said that or even had spoken to the Erwins at all, a claim the Erwins easily refuted in a detailed letter to the Republican paper.|
|THE ALTERNATIVE HISTORY OF SANTA ROSA Someday, hopefully, a book will be written about the importance of the alternative press in American history. Besides providing a voice to ethnic communities ("Freedom's Journal" was the first newspaper published by and for African-Americans way back in 1827, for example), these newspapers presented fresh ideas and reported important news that the mainstream press censoriously ignored. Alas, hardly any of these papers from the underground press survive, conceding much of the historical record to what appeared in the "important" newspapers - which is to say, usually the news and views held by those with privilege and power. In early 20th century Santa Rosa, the alternative paper was "The Citizen," which was published until 1909. The Sonoma County Library Annex has two issues from late in its run when it was being published by the Santa Rosa Ministerial Union, a loose coalition of churches that endorsed temperance and women's suffrage (to some degree). The publication was deeply hated by Press Democrat editor Ernest L. Finley, who resisted any efforts to disturb the status quo. To him, the little monthly paper was the work of troublemakers and fanatics, as he denounced them in a lengthy 1909 editorial screed. But also thanks to his intense dislike, we have another little item that described some of The Citizen's history, particularly that it had started publication prior to 1906. It is particularly tragic not to have any immediately post-earthquake editions which might fill in some of the many gaps in the story, such as why Santa Rosa senselessly locked up tons of donated food less than three weeks after the disaster. I'll bet the ministers had a few opinions on that topic.|
|THE IMPORTANCE OF QUALITY THEFT Two crooks, but only one would've been able to pass the Criminal College entrance exam. But what W. H. Goodrich lacked in brains, he made up in chutzpah; in 1908 he borrowed an automobile in Oakland and drove it to Sebastopol, where he had a minor accident. Professing his disgust with the car, he sold it on the spot for about one-tenth of its retail value - the buyer being a Sebastopol police officer. Goodrich also got a horse and buggy in the deal (which he promptly sold) and also made off with some cash sent by the owner to repair the damage. Goodrich was captured some months later and sentenced to ten years at San Quentin. H. G. Robinson was as adroit as the other man was inept. Robinson claimed to be a representative of the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of England, visiting Santa Rosa in 1908 to demonstrate wireless messaging and to sell Marconi stock at $20 a share. It was all a con, of course, and before he was caught in 1909, it was believed that he had swindled suckers out of $1.5 million worldwide. District Attorneys in Sonoma and Santa Clara counties both tried to extradite him from New York, but they screwed up the paperwork. Too bad; the trial of such a high-profile crook would have put a national spotlight on Santa Rosa's beautiful and newly-completed courthouse.|
|BONFIRE OF THE HOODOOS Well, that was quick. Not five months after gaining nationwide celebrity as the man who set fire to his "hoodoo car," Jake Luppold leased out the Senate saloon, presumably with the charred remains of the car still hanging from the ceiling. Luppold was a gregarious man who dubbed himself the "mayor of Main street," and the Senate was apparently the joint of choice for Santa Rosa's movers and shakers. So why was he throwing in his bar towel? |
MINISTERIAL UNION ASKS AID FOR NEW PAPER
The Petaluma Courier says that at the union meeting at the Methodist Episcopal Church in that city held on Sunday evening. Dr. Whitaker announced that the Santa Rosa Ministerial Union is asking the county ministry to co-operate for the publication of a weekly paper to be established here, and which will be run "in the interests of reform."
It has long been the ambition of the Santa Rosa Ministerial Union to have some such mouthpiece. The unfortunate experience of the original and ill-starred "Citizen" was the result of this desire. Under promise of support that failed to materialize, two young men were induced to invest their money here in such a venture several years ago. They lasted less than a year.
After that, the Ministerial Union took up the publication of the paper direct. It appeared and still appears occasionally, sometimes at intervals of several months. Ever since the fire it has been printed in San Francisco. When it came time to take up the collection at Sunday night's opening meeting of the week of prayer, the Rev. M. H. Alexander announced that all money contributed would be devoted to paying off the debt entailed by the Ministerial Union in putting out the publication. Urgent calls for special contributions were made, but only a small portion of the sum asked for was forthcoming.
The Santa Rosa Ministerial Union comprises a majority of the ministers of the city, but not all. The Episcopal and Catholic churches are not represented. The Revs. M. H. Alexander, A. B. Patton, Wm. Martin and Leander Turney are the most active in the work of the organization, and of these the Revs. Alexander and Turney are generally credited with being the most anxious to find a place in the newspaper field.
- Press Democrat, January 5, 1909
WATER INJUNCTION SUIT IS DISMISSEDErwin Brothers Have Dismissal Entered in the Superior Court Here Yesterday
The injunction suit commenced in the Superior Court several days ago by Erwin Brothers, to restrain the city of Santa Rosa, its mayor, council and officials from turning off the municipal water from the grocery, has been dismissed. Yesterday afternoon, Attorney J. M. Thompson, of counsel for the plaintiffs, called at the office of County Clerk Fred Wright and filed a request for a dismissal of the suit against the city. The judgement of dismissal was at once entered.
The dismissal of the suit followed, among other things, an agreement on the part of the landlord of the building, which the Erwin grocery and another tenant occupies, to pay the water bills. So the accounts were squared.
On the same day upon which the Erwin Brothers commenced their injunction suit S. P. Erwin, who had violated the city ordinance by turning on the water after it had been turned off by the street commissioner, was arrested upon a complaint sworn out in Police Judge Bagley's court. Yesterday afternoon this misdemeanor charge was also dismissed. So that the incident may now be said to have been closed.
With but a few exceptions, possibly a dozen, all the patrons of the municipal water system, whose water supply was cut off two weeks ago on account of the non-payment of water bills, or who were unfortunately located in buildings with other tenants who had not paid their bills, have the water turned on again. Others are settling up and things look bright once more. Hereafter monthly settlements will be made.
- Press Democrat, March 12, 1909
MAN BADLY BURNED IN PLAYING SANTA CLAUSXmas Festivities at Guerneville Are Marred by Accident
Two men were seriously burned at Guerneville early Friday afternoon. One of them essayed the role of Santa Claus, and the cotton with which he had regaled his clothing for the time honored custom, caught fire from the candles on the Christmas tree.
This man was Mr. Dunn, who has been employed at the cigar factory of David Hetzel for some time past. While reaching for presents on the tree he came in contact with a lighted candle. He was badly burned about the face and hands, and may have breathed some of the flame into his lungs.
Mr. Frost, who was the first to witness the danger in which Mr. Dunn had been placed, was badly burned about the hands, while trying to tear the clothing from the body of Mr. Dunn. He likewise sustained some severe burns.
The festivities were being held at the close of the school term for the Christmas holidays. It was determined that a Christmas tree would be held to delight the children of three of the school rooms and Dunn was to be good old St. Nicholas, who would be lavish in the handing out of suitable gifts.
- Santa Rosa Republican, December 17, 1909
JOSEPH FORGETT RETURNS
Joseph Forgett has returned to his home in this city after an absence of many months, and intends to remain here and possible will go into business again. He is a cement and brick mason and a man of experience in these lines. He is a brother of Councilman C. Fred Forgett, and has many friends in this city and vicinity.
- Santa Rosa Republican, April 14, 1909
TEN YEARS IN PRISON FOR W. F. GOODRICHMan Who Sold Dr. Gray's Automobile to City Marshal Matthews is Sentenced
Judge J. Q. White, sitting for Superior Judge Emmet Seawell, sentenced W. H. Goodrich to serve ten years in San Quentin prison for obtaining money under false pretenses in the sale of an automobile to City Marshal Fred R. Matthews of Sebastopol, which was not his property.
The old man heard his sentence without manifesting any surprise. It was the minimum sentence the court could impose, as Goodrich had been previously sent to the State prison for [illegible microfilm]. It is believed that the old man had seen a long career of crime, and [illegible microfilm] transactions. He is well known in Oakland, San Francisco, Stockton, and Los Angeles, where he did queer work according to the reports made to the officers.
Sheriff J. K. Smith took Goodrich to San Quentin yesterday afternoon, where he began serving what will no doubt be his life sentence.
- Press Democrat, May 1, 1909
"WIRELESS" ROBINSON IS IN UNPOPULAR DEMAND
H. G. Robinson, who was arrested in New York City early in the week charged with embezzlement in connection with the disposal of stock of the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of England, a corporation, on complaint of persons in Santa Clara county, will have to answer numerous charges when he is brought back to the state for trial, according to all reports.
A complaint was sworn to before Justice A. J. Atchinson yesterday by Mrs. Emma A. Haskell of Petaluma, charging the man with mis-appropriation and embezzlement of $200, which he secured from her for the purchase of ten shares of the capital stock of the concern. According to the complaint Robinson represented himself to the plaintiff as an agent of the company and secured from her the money which was to be used in paying for ten shares of stock, but instead, it is charged, used the money for his private use.
Mrs. Haskell claims that Robinson is not an agent of the company as he represented, and that he obtained her money by false misrepresentations and fraud. It is not probable that any steps will be taken by the local authorities to secure Robinson until he has been brought back to California and has a hearing on the charges pending against him in San Jose, but when he has answered to those warrants the he will be brought back here to answer to this latest action.
Sheriff Langford of San Jose arrested Robinson in New York soon after the latter's return from a trip abroad. It was found that there was some defect in the papers sent there from Santa Clara and the District Attorney of that county communicated with District Attorney Clarence Lea, and at the former official's request Mrs. Haskell swore to the complaint here. Word of the issuance of the warrant in Santa Rosa and the requisition papers that are to follow was wired to the Inspector of Detectives in New York to head off Robinson's attempt at freedom on a writ of habeas corpus.
The District Attorney of San Diego county also wants to take a whack at Robinson when he comes back to California. He sold considerable in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, and a score of other places.
It will be remembered that Robinson was arrested in San Francisco about one year ago and brought back here on complaint of J. Rhodes, who had bought $400 of his stock. He settled with Rhodes by paying back his coin and the costs, and went away.
- Press Democrat, May 15, 1909
ROBINSON IS STILL HELD IN NEW YORKWill Not Requisition Papers on Sonoma County Warrant--Additional Affidavits from San Jose
Sheriff Jack Smith received a telegram from New York yesterday announcing that requisition papers for the return to this county of Horace Greeley Robinson, the Marconi Wireless stock man, had been refused on the ground that the warrant was not accompanied by affidavits supporting the claim that Robinson was not an agent of the company as he represented. It will be remembered that Mrs. Haskell of Petaluma swore out a complaint in Justice A. J. Atchinson's court here, charging Robinson with having obtained $200 from her on a purchase of some of his stock under false pretenses.
When the warrant was sent to New York from here it was at the request of the District Attorney of Santa Clara county, where Robinson sold much stock in view of the fact that there was a defect in the papers sent from that county to New York where Robinson had been arrested. District Attorney Clarence Lea naturally thought that the District Attorney of Santa Clara had secured all the necessary affidavits and evidence to support the contentions of the complaint as to Robinson's professed official agency with the concern.
Yesterday District Attorney Lea also received word from the prosecuting attorney of Santa Clara stating that he had been apprised by wire that the San Jose hearing in New York had been postponed until May 31, and that he had already forwarded additional papers required, and hoped that Mr. Robinson would be given into the custody of Sheriff Langford and brought back to San Jose. So for the present as far as Sonoma county is concerned there will be nothing doing. Attorney Lea hopes that he will be brought back to California and placed on his trial. There are other district attorneys who wish as he does.
- Press Democrat, May 26, 1909
BOSCO TAKEN TO NAPA TO STAND TRIAL
Eduardo Bosco of Healdsburg, who has been serving a term in the county jail here since last November, was taken to Napa Wednesday for trial on a charge of an attempt upon the life of Constable Powers of Calistoga. Bosco has repeatedly been in trouble at Healdsburg over property matters, and finally, after shooting at Constable Haigh of Healdsburg and posse, took to the hills. The next heard of him was near Calistoga, where he had stopped several travelers on the county road. When Constable Powers went to arrest him he made an attempt to shoot, but the gun only snapped. It is for this offense that he is now being taken to Napa to stand trial.
Jailer Meyers and Deputy C. A. Reynolds had to carry Bosco from his cell, as he refused to leave. Bosco put up a strong objection to going and the two men had all they could do in getting him from the cell to turn him over to Constable Powers, who came over after him.
- Press Democrat, October 7, 1909
J. J. LUPPOLD LEASES "THE SENATE"
Another business change is the leasing of "The Senate" on Main street by J. J. Luppold to J. Sarrahl, of this city. Mr. Luppold will take a rest for sometime and has not decided upon his future plans. As the man who "burned the hoodoo automobile" Luppold gained notoriety for himself all over the United States, accounts of the cremation of the car appearing in the newspapers all over the country. He also received many offers for the machine. He has run the Senate for a number of years.
- Press Democrat, April 2, 1909
LUPPOLD LEASES THE SENATE SALOON THURSDAY
Jake Luppold, the well known business man of this city, has leased the "Senate" saloon on Main street for the coming two years. Jack Sarraihl, who has been with Mr. Luppold for some time past, will take the lease and have charge of the business. Mr. Luppold has not been in good health for some time past, and wishes to get clear away from business cares. He intends going to Boyes' Hot Springs for the coming month and will take a good rest there. Later he intends going to Missouri, the land of his birth, of which state he declares he is "exceedingly proud." He was born at Warrenton in the "Show Me" state, and will make an extended visit with relatives and friends there.
- Santa Rosa Republican, April 1, 1909
SUPERVISORS ADJOURNEDRejected Two Saloon Licenses and Did Other Business
The applications for saloon licenses made by Jake Luppold and Charles Miranda were rejected. The former had made application for a license for a saloon on the Petaluma road four miles south of Santa Rosa. The board had received petition from the neighborhood of the locality where the license was asked for, opposing the granting of the license. The petition opposing the granting was three or four times as large as that of the applicant, so the license was denied. Attorney Rolfe L. Thompson was employed by the petitioners opposing the granting of the license, and he appeared before the board.
- Santa Rosa Republican, August 5, 1909
HE LOSES ON ONE, GAINS ON ANOTHERJ. J. Luppold is Victim of Another Man's Alleged Dishonesty--Man Arrested
A. Burtress was arrested in Healdsburg Saturday by Constable J. H. Boswell on a charge of embezzlement, made by J. J. Luppold, and will have a hearing later. According to Luppold's story he loaned Burtress $100 on three horses and three mules, and took a bill of sale on the animals for his security. Later Burtress is said to have sold the animals to another and failed to settle his account with Luppold. This constitutes felony embezzlement under the law.
The charge of obtaining money under false pretenses preferred against John Rose by J. J. Luppold was settled in Justice Atchinson's court on Saturday and the case dismissed. Rose was arrested some time ago in Eureka and put up $100 cash bail. When he appeared here Saturday the $42.50, the sum he was accused of securing from Luppold, was taken from the bail, together with the costs and the case dismissed for lack of prosecution.
Despite it all the "Mayor" of Main street, where "no nickel splitters" dwell, says he is not an "E. Z. Mark."
- Press Democrat, September 26, 1909
LUPPOLD BUYS OUT THE SPEEDLING PLACE
A deal has been consummated, whereby J. J. Luppold, former proprietor of The Senate on Main street, has purchased the saloon at Gwinn's Corners, from Mr. Speedling. He will take possession at once. The "Mayor of Main Street" has many friends and he expects to do a big business. Mr. and Mrs. Speedling has not fully determined their future plans.
- Press Democrat, November 13, 1909