The Smartest Kid in Petaluma

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In two autos in Santa Rosa were stolen and driven away for joy rides. Likely the last truly original trick happened in when an Argus-Courier staff writer received an important call. He dutifully took notes and at the appointed time, used a handkerchief to cover his desk telephone and sat back, patiently waiting for the phone company to blow all the dust out of the line.

April Fool. Several very good jokes were perpetrated, the best one of which was the sending of a number of parties to the stable of James P. Clark to see a certain blooded animal which bad been lately imported here. Many pranks were played on unsuspecting individuals and which were innocent in their character, but one person whose name has not yet been called to mind, thought to take advantage of an innocent custom and turn an honest penny at the time of creating merriment by the joke. So the said unknown individual procured a bar of iron of the dimensions of a twenty-dollar silver roll and wrapped the same carefully and neatly up in a paper having the card of the Savings Bank of Santa Rosa upon it, and passed it in to the cashier of that institution, who in turn passed it to Mr.

Prindle and he to Mr. Gray, and he to Mr. Hopper took it to the Santa Rosa Bank to deposit it when it was placed upon the scales and found to be some two or three dollars light. Then Mr. Hopper unrolled the paper and the bar of iron was exposed to open day, and Hopper was hopping mad. Gray returned it to the Savings Bank, and there the joke ended.

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This is carrying a joke rather beyond the limits, and serious results might have followed this very trick. The bell had only rung a few times, however, when it suddenly ceased, and a conviction slowly dawned upon the minds of the alarmed ones that they had been sold. The day that the Petaluma small boy feels the bad effects of late hours, having sat up until midnight or thereabouts trying to accomplish the big job of unhinging all the gates in town and piling them up promiscuously where least likely to be found; the day that lone women may be seen walking forlornly through the streets looking for that which is lost and cannot be found; the day that the principal of our public schools generally gets the biggest dose of April Fool!

And just here we are reminded by the presentation of another of those ominous little notes that have been fluttering down upon us all the morning, that it is the day in which you are immensely fooled as to the amount of money you owe people…. It has been the habit for several years past, in this city, on the eve of April 1st for a mob of young hoodlums to parade through the principal residence streets and commit misdemeanors that should not be allowed to go unpunished.

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On Monday evening last a large number of boys, ranging from eight years up to eighteen, were out until a late hour taking gates from their hinges and carrying them several blocks from where they belonged. They also rang door bells, played tic-tac and similar tricks.

There is nothing funny or smart in any of these April fool jokes and this sort of nonsense has been allowed to go unpunished so long that the boys pay no regard to personal rights or property of others. No one objects to boys having all the fun they want so long as they confine themselves to harmless sports, but when a band of young hoodlums go around unhinging gates, tramping through flower gardens and indulging in like malicious mischief it is time that they be stopped.

There is certainly a law against this sort of mischief and it should be enforced.

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It would be a very salutary lesson if a few of the boys engaged in this business were arrested and fined. A house cannot be left vacant for a short time without having number of windows broken out by boys, and during the fruit season trees are broken and fruit destroyed through pure deviltry. It is a poor protection to persons trying to beautify their premises to allow every small boy in town to steal gates and carry them away and tramp among the flowers like a wild animal. It was from morning till night that people could be seen doing decoy errands or carrying attractive placards on their backs.

These idiotic jokes might have provoked a little fun in the days of the royal jester, but in this age of civilization it is amazing how many unhung sots there are who made themselves conspicuous figures on the first of the month by their silly, chestnutty and daft perpetrations. Others forgot the advent of the joker and in consequence they may find their gate in somebody elses back yard. Early Thursday evening some jokers must have been at work in the vicinity of the High School building, judging from the appearance of a buggy on the porch over the basement entrance to the building. No one seemed to know how it got there.

A well known citizen on Humboldt street chancing to go into his yard for a moonlight stroll discovered that had unawares become a florist. On Humboldt one of the street cars left outside the barn was propelled by hand power at a quicker clip down the track that the equine strength usually forming the motive power could have done. A great many people and the officers on the outside beats kept on the lookout for the enacting of jokes which partook of too serious an aspect.

A well known local man ate some soap on Monday under the impression it was candy. Another man tried in vain to talk through the telephone which had been doctored up so that he could not get central. Numerous other pranks were played. Some time last night two automobiles were found to be missing by their respective owners.

A hunt was made for the machines. It transpired that after all the supposed theft was an April fool joke. Two jubilant youths took the cars for the joke of the thing, invited friends to accompany them and drive out into the country.

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The joke was turned on one of them, at least. At first a visit to the police station was threatened, but nothing came of it. The practice of past years in removing gates, etc. A great many complaints have been received regarding this practice and the officers are going to put a stop to it. Read More. Dear Valley of the Mooners: The state will soon build a lockup there for morons who are outcast women, which is to say they are really prostitutes.

Most of them will probably have chronic cases of venereal disease. It will be your patriotic duty to cooperate fully to show your support for our troops. This odd proposition came up during the winter of , as California fully ramped up home front efforts for fighting World War I. Liquor could not be sold within this five-mile radius and brothels were likewise closed under military order. President Wilson expanded this further by declaring areas around shipyards, munition factories, and schools with military prep programs to likewise be temptation-free.


For such women of Northern California, the state was proposing to build a secured building at the Sonoma State Home at Eldridge big enough to imprison As the institution near Glen Ellen was still widely known by its old name as the California Home for Feeble-Minded Children, maybe it was thought there would be fewer objections from locals if the women supposedly were of lower than average intelligence. When the federal government abolished liquor in the Dry Zones, it helped pave the way for passage of Prohibition after the war ended. The state only considered two locations — both in the Sonoma Valley.

One possibility was the big chicken ranch of J. The other option was the old Buena Vista winery, where Kate Johnson, a philanthropist and noted art collector, had built a room mansion in the s. The state chose Buena Vista and began bringing in women after winning a test court challenge over a single inmate.

Michael Churton Obituary - Petaluma, California |

Battle lines formed. Women-based organizations — the clubs, League of Women Voters, the W. On the other side were politicians and bureaucrats all male, of course who thought the property could be put to better use, or just objected to the idea of spending taxpayer dollars trying to rehabilitate women of ill repute. The attack on the Home locally was led by the Sonoma Index-Tribune, grasping at every opportunity to bash the place as a misguided experiment by do-gooders who foolishly believed they could domesticate feral humans.

A popular theme in the Sonoma paper was that the women were dangerous, depraved criminals. When the W. That editorial appeared in September , when the Home had been accepting women only about four months and had thirty inmates. The I-T rushed to declare it already a failure, although the only reported trouble had occurred the week before.

The paper would still scream about that incident years later, and as with all other damning news from the Index-Tribune, their version should be presumed slanted. Two women escaped, were caught and returned.

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They became belligerent and started a riot. There is such a gap between the honor system and discipline at the prison farm that there is a jail break every week. Either way, it opens the question: What was really going on at the Home?

The Smartest Kid in Petaluma The Smartest Kid in Petaluma
The Smartest Kid in Petaluma The Smartest Kid in Petaluma
The Smartest Kid in Petaluma The Smartest Kid in Petaluma
The Smartest Kid in Petaluma The Smartest Kid in Petaluma
The Smartest Kid in Petaluma The Smartest Kid in Petaluma

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