Despite its many defenders, the justice system in Los Angeles has been a 

constant source of controversy throughout its history.  Chief Ed Davis' off-

hand remark that drug dealers ought to be hanged at the airport, albeit more 

rhetoric than a genuine proposal, was late 20th century nostalgia for a return 

to the days when a city official could not only suggest such a course of action 

for horse thieves and murderers but actually carry it out {at a local corral 

rather than an airport}.  By the 1880s that vigilante treatment of suspected 

outlaws had toned down considerably from the violence of the previous decades, 

particularly in the sheriff's office, but questionable conduct by various 

chiefs and the Los Angeles Police Department remained a community concern. 

                              A) LAW ENFORCEMENT

    The early-day counterpart of a police chief was the marshal, an office 

created in 1850 upon the city's incorporation.  Horace Bell, without naming the 

individual, claimed that Marshal A. S. Beard got the post in 1853 largely 

because he was the only one willing to act as hangman at the lynching of 

Cipriano Sandoval, a man Bell deemed innocent.  As noted in the chapter on 

education, Beard was soon removed from office for corruption.

    A major reorganization of law enforcement within the city occurred in 1877 

when the office of marshal was discontinued and Jacob F. Gerkins became the 

first officer to hold the new title of police chief.  The sheriff's department, 

which also dated from 1850, remained unchanged.  Over the years several chiefs 

and marshals - James Burns, George Gard and William C. Getman - also held the 

post of sheriff, although not simultaneously.  Several policemen and deputy 

sheriffs moved from one department to the other.

    By the 1880s two county sheriffs had died in the line of duty, killed by 

outlaws, but the only marshal who died a violent death while in office was 

slain by one of his own men.  In October, 1870, Marshal William Warren died 

when shot by Deputy Marshal Joe Dye, after the two had engaged in a bitter 

argument, near the corner of Spring and Temple, over a reward.  Dye won an 

acquittal but the disposition of the reward is lost in the fog of history.

    In his examination of the LAPD in the 20th century Joe Domanick writes:

                   From its inception as a full-fledged police 

         department in 1877, the LAPD had been underpaid and 

         demoralized.  Patrolmen, who owed their patronage and jobs to 

         city council members, had been expected to remove weeds from 

         vacant lots, pick up dead animals from the street, and 

         inspect sewers in addition to the traditional tasks of law 


    Domanick's point about officers owing their jobs to members of the council 

is evidenced in part by the action of Mayor John Bryson, who held office for a 

few months in 1889.  In that brief interval, however, he appointed all six of 

his sons to the 80-man police department.

    Low pay may account for the repeated charges that the department winked at 

gambling law violations and that officers received payoffs from those involved.  

Typical of the charges was this letter complaining about Chief James W. Davis 

in late 1886.  Despite his numerous denials and the support of some citizens, 

Davis was eventually dismissed from his post.

                         {Times, Nov. 18, 1886, p. 6}

                          GAMBLING SHOULD BE STOPPED.

              Los Angeles, Nov. 16.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         see by today's paper that the charges against the Chief of 

         Police have been dismissed.  The evidence plainly showed that 

         gambling games have been going on in this city for several 

         months, and the Chief's only excuse for not having stopped 

         them appears to be that "they are well guarded and hard to 

         get at."  Even though he could not have arrested the 

         gamblers, I can see no excuse for his not having stopped 

         their games.  I live in the country, and am in town only once 

         or twice a week, but have known of the Turf Club game for at 

         least four months.  I have known of three other faro games 

         and a "stud" poker game for some time, and I have never even 

         seen them play nor been in their rooms.  Now, if the Chief 

         has not known of the games, he is incompetent to fill the 

         duties of his office.  On the other hand, if he has known of 

         them and has not stopped them, as appears to be the case, he 

         should certainly have his badge of office removed.  I am sure 

         that I speak the mind of thousands of others, and hope that 

         the gambling will be stopped at least.



    During the 40 years from its inception in 1850 until 1890 only 15 men 

headed the sheriff's department.  Contrast the stability of that office with 

the turmoil that frequently surrounded the leadership of the LAPD.  During that 

same time the office of marshal or chief changed hands 34 times.  Domanick 

cited the removal of five chiefs in a seven year period early in the 20th 

century as symptomatic of corrupt ties to gambling, prostitution and other 

vices that "all but destroyed the integrity" of the LAPD.  But that integrity 

had already been seriously undermined in the 1880s when, between 1885 and the 

end of 1889, the department's protection of the same evils that Domanick cited 

took the city through twelve chiefs and acting chiefs, five of whom were fired 

by the city council.  One of them, Thomas J. Cuddy, served a six month sentence 

for jury tampering.  When Chief Edward M. McCarthy came under attack early in 

1885, shortly after he assumed office, letters to the Times supported the 

chief, as did Otis.  McCarthy is probably the chief who sparked an argument 

between newly-arrived Times staff member Charles Lummis and editor Otis, who 

refused to withdraw his support from "Mac" despite strong objections from 


                         {Times, Mar. 15, 1885, p. 6}

                          The Chief of Police Fight.

              [The following communication from a prominent Democrat 

         of this city, received some time ago, still hits a present 

         nail very squarely on the head.--Ed. Times.]

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir: A great deal of 

         discussion is indulged in about the action of the Chief of 

         Police.  The keenest abuse of the Chief falls flat on the 

         minds of the law-abiding people of the city, who believe in 

         the Chief and who are prepared to protect him while in the 

         fearless discharge of his official duties from the base and 

         cowardly attacks of men without character or principle.  The 

         tattling politician is the meanest character about town, and 

         to such are we indebted for the efforts made to drag down our 

         efficient officer and faithful guardian of the common weal.  

         Such baseness receives its rebuke when the people through the 

         press applaud and endorse the Chief's action.  Those who 

         laugh at morality and countenance vice are not good citizens.  

         Not much better are those in moral fiber who enter the lists 

         in defense of aliens to all that is virtuous and good.  The 

         father who would apologize to a notorious prostitute because 

         an officer in the faithful discharge of duty arrests her 

         without a warrant, merits the condemnation of the virtuous 

         citizens and stamps himself a vagrant who scorns morality, 

         presenting a sordid, mean and base public character.  We are 

         to be congratulated.  Justice had defenders.

              "Thou must do no wrong to the vicious, O Chief.  Thou 

         must not arrest them while in the commission of crime," say 

         these indignant defenders of injured innocence.  Then, O 

         Chief, the law expounders and law breakers will pronounce 

         thee perfect.  The indignation of the just lawyer is sublime.  

         That he may not lose one dream of sleep is our prayer.  Let 

         him hide his name, his age, whether he be boy or man, a real 

         estate peddler or catchpenny pleader, "justice claims 

         him"--and so does a thief and a prostitute.  Such men are 

         parasites living on the wages of immorality and tempters of 

         greater crimes to the end that the filthy earnings of the 

         prostitute and the thieving propensities of her paramour may 

         go to swell his bank account.   Such men are soulless and 

         desecrate the grace of the mother who bore them.  Wise men 

         learned in the law pronounce the Chief's action illegal.  

         Common sense laughs at the pleading of the lawyer and 

         pronounces him a fraud, but accepts the lesson in gymnastics 

         that strengthens the muscles of the clown.  We say it without 

         fear of contradiction that there is an organized effort being 

         made by small fry politicians, who live on the public 

         plunder, to injure a just and capable officer.  To its shame 

         be it said, a portion of the press is in the conspiracy 

         lending its power to persecute, at the beck of political 

         wood-lice, a public spirited officer and a true and faithful 

         Chief of Police.  Various rumors fill the air.  "The Chief 

         must resign"--and countless are the wood-lice.  Let them 

         crawl.  The ring-worm wants food.


                          {Times, Apr. 7, 1885, p. 2}

                    Proceed Justly, Decently and in Order.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  This thing of 

         harassing and persecuting the Chief of Police has been going 

         on now for the past two months, much to the dissatisfaction 

         of the respectable people of this community.  McCarthy is 

         being persecuted worse than any other man who ever held any 

         municipal office in this city.  Why is he being persecuted 

         the way he is?  Simply because he is a man who will do his 

         duty without fear or favor, and because he started out to 

         cleanse and purify this city of the vice the people have so 

         long been battling against.  There is a certain class here 

         who don't want the vice removed, for if it is removed they 

         will have to remove with it, because they gain their 

         livelihood from it.

              I have known McCarthy personally for a great many years, 

         and I have never before known him to be accused of a 

         dishonest, disreputable or an ungentlemanly act.  With this 

         persecution going on as it is at present, it stops the 

         machinery of the city, and consequently the Chief of Police 

         can do nothing.  Stop the farce of trying a man on charges 

         made by Chinamen, who care no more for an oath than a "yellow 


              If the Chief of Police has done anything wrong, let 

         charges be prefered by some "reliable citizen," certified to 

         the Council by the Mayor, and a committee appointed to 

         investigate them.  The committee to do this investigating, 

         and not the hoodlum element who were in waiting to gain 

         addmittance to the investigating committee room yesterday.

                                               TAX PAYER.

                         {Times, April 24, 1885, p. 2}

                 The Accusations Against the Chief of Police.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  My attention was 

         called this morning to a card published in the Herald, which 

         accuses the Chief of Police once more of incompetency, and 

         therefore not at all capable of performing the duties of his 

         office.  Why, Mr. McCarthy must be a very bad man, a horrid 

         man, a man of the dark ages.  So say prostitutes and their 

         pimps, so say gamblers and vags, and so say sorehead 

         politicians who have been disappointed in their expectations.  

         How did Mr. McCarthy ever succeed in living for a quarter of 

         a century or more in this glorious republic of ours, an 

         honored and respected citizen?  I know he has raised quite a 

         large and respectable family, who are a credit to any parent.  

         What a mystery that such an ignorant, incapable individual as 

         he is represented to be, could make life so successful.  Now, 

         Mr. Editor, let us see what has this wicked man been guilty 

         of since he assumed the duties of Chief of Police to deserve 

         the disapprobation of a certain portion of this community.  

         They say he has done what no other Chief of Police would ever 

         have attempted to do in this city.  They accuse him of 

         entering the peaceful abode of a Mrs. Burlingame, on Los 

         Angeles street, placing that noted lady under arrest for 

         keeping a disorderly and bawdy house, without the authority 

         of a warrant, also for keeping a police officer constantly on 

         watch around similar dens in the same locality to prevent 

         assault, and perhaps murder of our fellow citizens, until he 

         has succeeded with the greatest perseverance in closing up  

         the hellish dens that have been so long a disgrace to any 

         civilized community.  Now that he has commenced a similar 

         warfare on the "Dames" of Buena Vista street, their partisans 

         are wild for revenge and swear that they will have the 

         Chief's wind cut or die in the attempt.  The gambling element 

         of our city are by no means friendly to the Chief, and why?  

         Because he has made one of the most successful raids on them 

         that has ever been made here or elsewhere.  The card in this 

         morning's Herald reflecting on the Chief for incompetency 

         because he did not instruct his officers that a robbery was 

         going to take place on Buena Vista street, at 12 o'clock 

         midnight the day following, and that instead of his officers 

         being down in Sonoratown watching the poor unprotected 

         damsels, they should be there on the spot and capture the 

         highwaymen, is so absurd that a man of ordinary sense would 

         not give such a statement a moment's consideration.  Let me 

         say in conclusion that the slanderous and malicious 

         falsehoods that have been concocted about Mr. McCarthy are 

         wicked in the extreme and a disgrace to any man who claims to 

         be an American citizen.

                                                   A CITIZEN.

              Los Angeles, Cal., April 19th.

              [Since the above was written the Chief of Police has 

         been exonerated by the City Council of all charges against 

         him.  This fact puts a different phase on the affair.  It is 

         reasonable to expect that the officer has now earned the 

         privilege of being let alone.  He is entitled to a fair 

         chance and a fair trial in his office, which he has never yet 

         had.  This is the sentiment of just and impartial citizens, 

         who have no axes to grind and no vengeance to wreak upon 

         their fellows.--Ed. Times.]

    Although a city council investigation exonerated McCarthy, as noted in the 

editorial postscript above, that same council removed him from office a month 

later.  In an 1891 retrospective Otis continued to laud McCarthy for his 

crackdown on illegal gambling.

    Chief James Davis was removed in December, 1886, and the following year 

Chief John W. Skinner came under attack.  Democrat William Workman, a reform 

mayor who foreshadowed the coming of the Progressive movement two decades 

later, placed an upgrading of the LAPD high on his agenda of things to 

accomplish during his term in 1887-88.  The need for reform was clearly stated 

in this letter, ostensibly from a Republican who supported Workman's effort.  

Skinner was removed a short time later.  His successor, Patrick M. Darcy, would 

quickly leave office amid the scandal accompanying the Woolsteen case, 

discussed in the chapter on women.

                          {Times, Aug. 2, 1887, p. 6}

                      Mayor Workman and the Police Force.

              Los Angeles, August 1.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         believe that there is lack of discipline and there is 

         inharmony, weakness and inefficiency in the police force of 

         the city.  This will not be disputed, and the fact is one of 

         grave consequence to the people interested.  It immediately 

         and deeply affects the peace, order and well-being of the 

         community.  It is a state of things which it is the province 

         and the duty of the Mayor and Police Commissioners to take 

         cognizance of, and vigorously endeavor to correct.

              It appears that Mayor Workman recognizes the duty 

         imposed upon him by his office and by the people who elected 

         him thereto, and that he is endeavoring to discharge that 


              There may be more ways than one of doing the same thing.  

         The matter of detail is not of first consequence.  The 

         particular manner in which the city's chief magistrate or his 

         associates of the Police Commission communicate their 

         instructions and orders to the force under their control is 

         of less concern to the public than the question of improving 

         its discipline and increasing its efficiency.  This last is a 

         vital point, and it is a matter that the people have a right 

         to look to the heads of the force to regulate and effect.  

         Mayor Workman has spoken formal words of warning, instructive 

         and injunctive, to the men of the police force.  They were 

         plain words, not uttered hastily or in the heat of passion.  

         They were necessary words to utter.  Whether it were wiser, 

         more proper, more polite to have uttered them to the men 

         directly, as he did, or to have communicated them by 

         indirection, through the mouth of the Chief of Police, is 

         more a matter of hairsplitting than of substance; it is a 

         matter with which I do not now care to deal.  The practical 

         question is:  Did the Mayor exceed his province--were the 

         words uttered to the force unjustifiable words under the 

         circumstances?  To both inquiries I am compelled to answer 

         no.  The Mayor is the chief executive officer of the city, 

         the head of the police commission, principal official and the 

         guardian of the city's interests.  He cannot ignore the vital 

         subject of the police force and its efficiency, or 

         inefficiency, for which he is largely responsible.

              I do not think that any good officer would or should 

         make haste to jump at the conclusion that he is insulted when 

         his superior officer, acting in the line of duty, talks to 

         him plainly of his duty, even when the talk is of the style 

         of a "Dutch uncle."

              The existing state of things with respect to disorder, 

         lawlessness and crime in the city, is very serious.  Los 

         Angeles is now a large town, the center of attraction for the 

         vicious elements from far and near.  They have gathered here 

         in great numbers.  They are cunning, bold, desperate.  They 

         evade, cajole, outwit, or defy the police in numerous cases.  

         Crime is frequent--too frequent for the good of the citizens 

         and the reputation of the city.  A strong, alert, courageous, 

         well-disciplined police force is required to cope with the 

         lawless element.  The force requires a capable head, who 

         should be thoroughly supported by his associates of the 

         Police Commission and by the men under him.  As far as 

         practicable these men should be of his own selection or 

         approved by him.

              Chief of Police Skinner is acknowledged to be a man of 

         good intentions; but good intentions, it is said, are 

         sometimes used as paving material in a certain nameless but 

         sultry region.  The vital question is, does the officer 

         possess the nerve, determination, alertness, detective 

         quality, and executive ability necessary in the chief of 

         police of a large town filled with burglars, thieves, thugs, 

         robbers, and other scoundrels.  This is the question for the 

         Mayor and Council to consider, and to consider gravely, 

         without fear, favor or affection.  It is the people's command 

         that they so consider it.  The people demand a capable 

         officer in this position.  If we have not such a one there 

         now, the duty of the hour is plain.

              I do not agree with Mayor Workman in party politics, but 

         in the higher and more important matter of the city's true 

         welfare I desire to support him.  If he is seeking the 

         removal of police officers on the mere ground of politics, 

         for the purpose of filling the places of Republicans with 

         Democrats--a thing I am loth to believe--I am against the 

         act.  But if he sincerely seeks, as he has promised to seek, 

         the improvement of the force and the welfare of the city, 

         without reference to party politics, I shall stand by him to 

         the last.  I sustain his right to do his part toward 

         enforcing discipline in the force and improving its 

         efficiency in every legitimate way.  I do not mean to 

         encourage insubordination nor wink at inefficiency on any 

         officers part, whether high or low.

              As to the immediate commander of the city's corp of 

         peace officers--the Chief of Police--he should first be given 

         a strong and efficient body of men, every one a tried and 

         trusted officer, if possible, and then good work should be 

         demanded and exacted of commander and men, by their 

         superiors, the Mayor and Police Commission, who may deal 

         directly with the force, if so they choose, or by indirection 

         in the form of orders given through the head thereof.

              The great and necessary thing, rising in importance over 

         all, is discipline and efficiency on the part of the police 

         force.  For the attainment of these ends the people look to 

         the Mayor and Police Commission, and they care little about 

         ways and means, so they be lawful and just.  The people are 

         not hair-splitters.  They want results.


    Muckraker Horace Bell, a frequent critic of the chiefs, took on many causes 

in the pages of his Porcupine.  Among these was an effort to curtail abuses 

caused by local law enforcement agencies.  As evident in these letters, Bell's 

crusade against police abuse spanned the decade.  Chief Henry King, whose 

resignation Bell demanded, stepped down but not until a year after Bell's 

letter about the city jail appeared in the Times.  "Moran" was J. P. Moran, 

council president in 1882.   

    Despite "Upper Tank's" appeal to the editor to investigate conditions at 

the county jail in early 1888, apparently no correction took place since the 

same complaint was again aired a few months later in an open letter from inmate 

C. B. Richardson to the county supervisors and sheriff.

    In light of Bell's response to conditions in the city jail it is not 

surprising that he intervened after hearing Richardson's plea for release. The 

detailed account of jail-house conditions in 1888 and Bell's complaint about 

conditions in the city facility in 1882 sound surprisingly similar to citizens' 

complaints a century later.

                         {Times, June 29, 1882, p. 3}

                               The Police Force.

               Communication to the City Council by Major Bell.

              Editor Times:  The following is a copy of a 

         communication sent to the Council at its last session.   The 

         reference made to it in your issue of Sunday was so vague and 

         ambiguous that you would greatly oblige one who desires that 

         the people may be well informed as to what he says, and then 

         if the people's servants, the Council, do not investigate, it 

         will not be the fault of the one who complains:

         To the Mayor and Council of Los Angeles City:

              Gentlemen:  There is a man now lying in the Los Angeles 

         city jail in a dangerously injured condition, his injuries 

         having been inflicted at the jail by a policeman of Los 

         Angeles, who beat the said injured man over the head with a 

         heavy Colt's revolver.  The undersigned would respectfully 

         remind the Honorable Mayor and the Council of Los Angeles, 

         that although a person be a prisoner, and a criminal, the law 

         shields him from insult, injury, wrong and outrage, and 

         punishes those who injure him as though he were a good man 

         and free.  The undersigned would further remind the honorable 

         Mayor and the Council of Los Angeles that two persons holding 

         office in the government of this municipality have been 

         incarcerated in the California Penitentiary, and that while 

         so confined the law threw its mantle of protection over and 

         around them then as it now does while they are exercising 

         their authority over the people of Los Angeles city.  It seems 

         to the undersigned that the very honorable Mayor and the 

         Council of Los Angeles and the people are not well informed 

         as to the above and kindred crimes committed by armed 

         ruffians cruising under letters of mark and reprisal from the 

         city of Los Angeles, otherwise such things would not be 


              Wherefore your petitioner prays that these things be 

         inquired into, investigated, and if such crimes have been 

         committed that their perpetrators be punished in a manner 

         becoming the dignity of a people and city emerging from an 

         age of barbarism and entering upon an era of Christian 

         civilization and good government.

              And your petitioner will ever pray.

                                                 HORACE BELL.

              Los Angeles, June 21, 1882.

              I find that the above communication was referred to the 

         Police Commissioners.

              In April last charges were preferred against certain of 

         the police force, which were referred to the Police 

         Commissioners and were before them investigated and proved to 

         be true.  The charges proved were of sufficient gravity to 

         have consigned to prison walls their perpetrators.  Moran and 

         King dismissed the charges.  His Honor, the Mayor, voted a 

         dismissal from the force of the ruffians charged.  Thereafter 

         it was proved that the Chief of Police was a party to the 

         crime charged against his subordinate and in effect sat upon 

         his own case and voted accordingly, which will be the case in 

         the matter of my communication as above, as King is a party 

         to that charge and is included in my category.

              Not long ago a member of the Council, to wit, Moore, 

         declared that when on a committee with Mr. Schieffelin to 

         investigate Nigger Alley he elicited sufficient evidence to 

         convict the Chief of Police of receiving a large monthly 

         bribe from Ah Toy, the Mandarin of Nigger Alley.  And the 

         undersigned has patiently waited developments in that behoof, 

         and hopes the Councilman who says "he is a friend of the 

         Chief" will not incur the suspicion of having compromised 

         about that bribe.

              Hoping the Council will thoroughly investigate police 

         matters, I am, etc.,

                                                   HORACE BELL.

              June 24.

                         {Times, Jan. 25, 1888, p. 3}
                            A Voice from the Jail.

              Los Angeles County Jail, Jan. 21.--To the Editor of The 

         Times.]  It is as a last resort that the long-suffering 

         inmates of the County Jail appeal to you for some little 

         assistance in relieving our distress.  Ourselves, the 

         blankets, in fact, the whole institution is thoroughly 

         infested with vermin.  A lack of sufficient blankets, the 

         cold weather and the vermin make it an impossibility for us 

         to get a night's rest.  We do not get anything like enough to 

         eat, and there exists here a continual state of hunger, not 

         to say starvation.  We cannot get water sufficiently hot to 

         scald our clothes and rid ourselves of the parasites that 

         constantly torture us.  Of late most of us lived in the hope 

         that some of the recent arrivals here from San Francisco 

         would introduce the smallpox germ, and thus breed an 

         epidemic, which might spur the powers that be to make a 

         change for the better, but, as yet, our hopes have not been 

         realized.  We are packed together in these small cells like 

         bees in a hive, and the stench and foul air which is thereby 

         generated is something frightful to contemplate.  In fact, 

         life here is a burden, under existing circumstances, and we 

         most earnestly ask you, in the name of common humanity, to 

         ventilate the matter, and, by so doing, lend a helping hand 

         to those who are unfortunate enough to be unable to help 

         themselves.  If you have any doubt whatever as to the strict 

         accuracy of any of the statements made above, by all means 

         send somebody up here to investigate the condition of things 

         in the 

                                                 UPPER TANK.

              [The attention of the proper authorities is directed to 

         the above complaints.--Ed. Times.]

                         {Times, June 29, 1888, p. 3}

                          A Night in the County Jail.

              To Hon. Thomas Rowan, Chairman of Board of Supervisors, 

         and James C. Kays, Sheriff--Gentlemen:  I respectfully call 

         your attention to my experience in the jail of this county 

         for one night.  I was arrested by one Deputy Constable A. L. 

         Smith as a vagrant, and carried to the County Jail.  I asked 

         to be allowed to communicate with friends in order to give 

         bonds.  I was incontinently ordered by the jailer or night 

         man to go into a hole worse than that of Calcutta.  I had to 

         sit on the iron floor of the corridor between the cells until 

         daylight.  I dared not lie down.  The stench from the sink 

         was strangulating.  Toward daylight I walked back to get a 

         drink of water.  There being no cup, I leaned over to drink, 

         when a burly criminal came out from a cell not locked and 

         struck me a blow with a board an inch thick with all his 

         strength.  Of course I turned on him, when he raised his 

         club, and would undoubtedly have beaten me into insensibility 

         had I not asked him what he struck me for, when, calling me 

         vile names, he told me to sit down.  After waiting patiently 

         until daylight I did my best ineffectually to get some 

         communication with the Sheriff's office, friends 

         outside--anything to get out of this damnable place.

              Finally I was called up to what they called a court.  A 

         clear-eyed creature read from a piece of paper, and I was 

         submitted to the indignity of a search by the vile fellows 

         and a pair of eyeglasses taken from me.  Directly some fellow 

         was brought in there was a yell to get inside; not 

         understanding a burly villain, the same with a club seized me 

         by the back of the neck and hurled me almost into a cell. 

              I tried amid jeers of these brutes to get some one to 

         telephone to my friends.  A little grinning negro was finally 

         at the grating, and without consideration would not call some 

         one who might be in authority, that I might be able to 

         communicate outside.  In all I failed until Maj. Bell 

         fortunately appeared, and I begged to see him.  He kindly, at 

         my request, went down, and in the course of three or four 

         hours, after being in jail eight or ten hours, I was 


              When breakfast was brought the prisoners were locked up, 

         save the burly villain; a cup of coffee the strength of 

         water, a chunk of tough bread and some half-cooked beans was 

         the bill of fare--unfit for a canine to eat.

              Finally I was allowed to sit for an hour awaiting to 

         hear from Maj. Bell.  This man Smith never called for me to 

         carry me to court, in direct violation of the law, and God 

         knows if I might not have died there incarcerated subject to 

         his sweet will.

              Gentlemen, I call your official attention to this 

         matter.  I will see what the civil courts have to say for 

         Smith, but I, as an American citizen, free-born and entitled 

         to the protection of the law, enter my protest as to the 

         arbitrary arrest by an insignificant official--incarceration 

         among the vile beings that fill the jail--subject to the 

         deputies' will.  If these deputy constables have the right to 

         arrest without warrant, incarcerate without limitation as to 

         time, I, for one, propose to resist, with force sufficient to 

         protect myself, or be shot.  I have some more to tell you and 

         the public about these infernal proceedings.  I am ready to 

         swear to all I have written and it shall come out in court.

              Respectfully yours,

                                              C. B. RICHARDSON.

                                 B) PUNISHMENT

    Readers of the Times in the 1880s were as frustrated about crime as later 

generations.  Their concern for law and order, and particularly for the timely 

punishment of offenders, contrasted sharply with earlier attitudes that 

condoned the infamous Chinatown massacre of 1871 and with the devil-may-care 

spirit of the 1850s when the city became, almost proudly, the murder capital of 

the nation.  This emergence "from an age of barbarism," as Horace Bell put it, 

may be accounted for by the arrival throughout the 'eighties of an increasingly 

large number of civilized folk from the East and Midwest who brought with them 

a belief that criminals were more properly dealt with by the courts than by a 

rope thrown over a post at Tomlinson's corral gateway.  

    Had the city enjoyed an era of impartial and fair justice during the 1880s 

the complaints that surfaced in the letters column might not have existed.  "An 

Observer" wondered who was the greater law violator, the patrolman or his prey.  

"J. J. B." raised a vexing question about the priorities of the justice system, 

although in this case it involved a county constable rather than a city 


                         {Times, July 29, 1887, p. 6}

                      Should He Have Been Arrested, Too?
              Los Angeles, July 26.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         This morning may have been seen the arrest of a man on the 

         corner of Main and First streets for driving his horse in a 

         moderate trot across this corner.  This is all right.  But 

         what gets me and other spectators is that the policeman 

         making the arrest jumped into the man's wagon, and, ordering 

         him to turn about, drove with three times the rapidity across 

         the same corner, making a lady who was in the way fairly run 

         to escape the danger.  Should a policeman have arrested a 


                                  AN OBSERVER.

                          {Times, May 31, 1889, p.7}

                             A Needless Hardship.

              San Gabriel, May 27.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  An 

         especially hard case came under my observation yesterday.  

         There has lived at San Gabriel for several months past a poor 

         German with a sick wife and three or four nice, bright little 

         children.  The children are attending the public school, 

         where they are highly spoken of by their teachers, while the 

         father, who is far from strong, peddles for a living, having 

         some how made the raise of an old plug of a horse.  Now, he 

         can speak very little English, and cannot read a word.  So 

         one day last week, having to pass over the new county bridge 

         at El Monte, not being able to read the notice as to fast 

         driving, and being totally ignorant of the rule, trotted his 

         old plug across.  He was arrested on the spot, taken before a 

         justice and fined $10 or 10 days.  Not having the money, his 

         horse was put up at a stable and the unfortunate owner 

         carried off to jail, where he still lingers, his family being 

         entirely ignorant of the misfortunes of their breadwinner!  

         What sort of a piece of business is this?  That poor family 

         is almost in a state of starvation, while the father is thus 

         languishing in jail merely to satisfy the greed of some rural 

         Constable or Justice of the Peace.  The name of the 

         unfortunate is Blankstein, and I trust steps will be taken to 

         liberate him at once and send him home to his poor wife and 


                                             J. J. B.

    One group of letter writers, represented by "A Bleeding Taxpayer" and to a 

lesser degree by "One of Them," looked with some nostalgia upon an earlier 

era's method of dealing with criminals.  Much of their scorn, along with that 

of "J. C. S.," was directed at the failure of jurors to make the justice system 

work.  Others, such as "Justice," "Don Fernando" and the anonymous author of 

"Crime," believed the problem was the fault of a professional class that 

remained under attack a century later.  

    District Attorney Stephen White, who seemingly was unable to sway a jury in 

the case cited by "One of Them," possessed one of the brightest legal minds in 

the city.   Two of the cases cited by "Don Fernando" were particularly lurid 

and newsworthy in 1887-88.  Hattie Woolsteen {see the chapter on women} was 

arrested and tried for the murder of Charles Harlan, a local dentist.  John 

Henry F. "Fritz" Anschlag committed suicide in November, 1888, one day before 

his scheduled execution for the brutal murder of Charles and Ellen Hitchcock on 

their Garden Grove fruit farm. 

    The letter by "J. C. S." is very likely from the pen of J. C. Sherer, 

whose letters are found in other chapters as well.

                         {Times, Oct. 29, 1887, p. 12}

                         A "Bleeding Taxpayer" Speaks.

              Los Angeles, Oct. 23.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         And still the thing goes bravely on of arresting criminals 

         and trying them before a jury that agrees to disagree, and, 

         after repeating this two or three times, set the culprit 


              All this may be very nice for the professional man, but 

         the average taxpayers begin to feel that they are paying too 

         dearly for the amount of justice obtained and begin to think, 

         is it not possible that our jury system is a farce, 

         especially in these later days, when an oath can be taken 

         with so much mental reservation?  If we must have a jury at 

         all, then let a majority rule.  The writer was in the mines 

         in an early day, when we had no laws, only such as were 

         locked up in the breasts of the miners, to be brought out and 

         executed as occasion required.  Our lives and property were 

         then safe, compared with what they are now.  We have too many 

         laws and too many lawyers.  If the army of officials we have 

         to execute the laws would execute half the lawyers, and then 

         cut off half their own heads, it would be a long way on the 

         road to retrenchment.

                                         A BLEEDING TAXPAYER.

                          {Times, Nov. 7, 1883, p. 3}

                               Murder Most Foul.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  To-day I was mortified 

         beyond expression upon the recitation to me of the fact that 

         a jury of citizens of Los Angeles had virtually turned loose 

         upon this community the embodiment of angelic purty and 

         innocence in the person of one Don Amaranto Castillo.  This 

         gentleman was charged by District Attorney White with having 

         presented a pistol at the breast of an unarmed countryman, 

         and shot him to death.

              Now, sir, there are thousands in this community who 

         would like to know the names and residences of those same 

         gentlemen of the jury, and I am

                                              ONE OF THEM.

              Los Angeles, Nov. 6, 1883.

                          {Times, May 6, 1886, p. 2}

                            A Business Man Seared.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  The "business man," of 

         whom it is stated in a late issue of the Times that he "is 

         opposed to juries," is a fair type of the too numerous class 

         of otherwise good citizens who, in this community and others 

         in California, are mainly responsible for the 

         maladministration of justice which has brought upon the name 

         of our State some disrepute.

              The Times has been doing good service by its manly 

         attitude upon questions of public interest, and here is 

         another subject upon which it may to great advantage exert 

         its influence, viz: The citizen's duty to the public.  The 

         principal trouble with the merchant alluded to, is, 

         evidently, that he prefers his individual profits or personal 

         ease to the general welfare in which others share with him.  

         He belongs to the class, probably, who talk most and loudest 

         about the "degeneration of public men," the "gross 

         miscarriage of justice in our courts" and the "degrading 

         influence of politics," yet never lifts his voice nor his 

         finger in the right direction to avert the evils he complains 

         of!  We know that he shirks his duty in giving some selfish 

         petty excuse for not getting on a jury, and so aiding the 

         fair administration of justice, and we logically infer that 

         he takes no part in anything so "degrading" as politics, 

         unless he has a direct personal interest at stake.  He leaves 

         the administration of justice to court-house idlers, and 

         political affairs to the bummers of the slums, sitting aloft 

         on his pedestal of self-complacency, hurling anathemas at the 

         poor mismanagers of the world below!  Not to intrude at 

         wearisome length upon your space, allow me to sum up the 

         substance of this idea, thus: No community will ever reap the 

         benefits accruing from the equitable administration of 

         justice, until its business men, and all other good citizens, 

         are willing to sacrifice when called upon, some individual 

         comfort or property for the public good.

                                                J. C. S.

              Los Angeles, April 30.

                          {Times, Feb. 5, 1887, p. 6}


              Los Angeles, Feb. 3.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  Is 

         it of any use to talk of crime?  What is crime?  Can anything 

         new be said about it?  It's a common affair; so common some 

         people turn away from it as no concern of theirs.  It would 

         not be so if it was an affair belonging only to one class of 

         people.  Could one class only be pointed out as criminals how 

         quickly the mark would be recognized and they would be 

         shunned.  Each individual consciousness portending to 

         wrongdoing restrains many a one from even speaking against 

         crime and criminals.  This is the fatality of human nature, 

         remedied only by the triumph over it of moral ideas and good 

         instruction.  When Satan gets the upper hand in making 

         character, he is sure to make a criminal.

              It is supposable the law will restrain people from 

         crime, but the lawyer will say the law is to punish after 

         crime is committed.  Often in practice the law seems rather 

         to delay punishment and to release the criminal.  The 

         constant escape of criminals from punishment acts as a self-

         breeder and increases the number of criminals.  Lawyers have 

         these matters more in charge than other people.  Since the 

         fact of the oft escape of criminals is asserted and commented 

         upon why is it not proper to charge it to the lawyers 

         directly--have the lawyers, or more exactly "criminal 

         lawyers," pointed out as a class joined to criminals, a class 

         seeking to use the law and its technicalities and delays to 

         hinder justice and thus cause the escape of the criminal from 

         punishment?  It is the opinion of some people that this class 

         of lawyers would soon sink into the oblivion to which they 

         belong if the community would only mark them as they deserve 

         to be marked.  Now suppose all the burglaries committed were 

         against lawyers and their houses and their wives and children 

         frightened into insanity by midnight raids of burglars and if 

         the wife makes an outcry death is threatened at the point of 

         a revolver, or drawn knife, their property taken by the 

         robbers.  Suppose burglars and thieves singled out lawyers 

         for their depredations and let all others alone, then how 

         soon would these lawyers cry out for protection, yes, and 

         demand punishment for the thieving acts, and no doubt would 

         demand what ought to have been done years ago to make a law 

         to treat a well-known burglar as a murderer.  Why not?  The 

         burglar determines to kill if he cannot steal without 

         killing; he threatens to take life if resistance is made; he 

         is in fact a murderer.  Why should not the law treat him as a 

         murderer?  If any lawyer objects to this then let the whole 

         class of thieves and burglars be turned on the lawyers and 

         their families and houses.

              The people sometimes take the execution of law into 

         their own hands--they assert that a class of lawyers obtain 

         the release of criminals and thus perpetuate crime.  The 

         people are inquiring what next shall be done to preserve 

         honest citizens from depredations?  When one counts up the 

         number of burglaries, when he reads what the burglar does to 

         terrify people and multiply insanity it becomes the most 

         frightful story that can be told; some of these terrible acts 

         would be enumerated here, but it is enough they can be read 

         in every daily paper, and it should make the people ask the 

         more constantly, is there no remedy?  Will not a remedy be 

         found either in heaven or on earth?

              Civilization is said to be God's machinery; but man is 

         running the machine.  It is no more than the part of every 

         good citizen to try and find how to run the machine in the 

         best manner in this section of civilization; so some of us 

         want to put in our word about it.  If we are soon to be a 

         city of a 100,000 people, the sooner the better we find out 

         how to prevent one class from preying on another class of 

         people.  Above all others the burglar does the most terrible 

         work, for he is both thief and murderer.

                         {Times, Feb. 10, 1887, p. 6}

                               A Needed Sermon.

              Los Angeles, Feb. 9.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  An 

         article entitled "Crime" inquires how can we law-abiding 

         citizens be protected against the criminal, the burglar and 

         murderer.  Why is such a question asked when every man knows 

         that we have enacted laws intended to prevent and punish 

         crime?  We have so-called courts of justice, and license a 

         class of citizens to prosecute and defend persons charged 

         with crime.  These we call lawyers.  They belong to that 

         favored class known as the educated class, and we have a 

         right to expect them to be good citizens.  Now let us examine 

         the fact.  We can all recall circumstances similar to this;  

         A thief murdered a man in Chicago, and the evidence was 

         abundant.  A policeman started him for the jail, and before 

         he reached the jail a prominent criminal lawyer was at his 

         side and volunteering his services as defense.  The murderer 

         was acquitted.  The lawyer got the thief's money and 

         notoriety, and a murderer was turned loose to prey upon the 

         public and justice was cheated by a lawyer.

              Today a criminal lawyer stays the proceedings in the 

         case of the Chicago Anarchist, creates sympathy for the 

         foulest of crimes and encourages the worst of criminals to 

         hope for liberty to go out again and murder honest men in the 

         discharge of a public duty.

              Not many months ago two murderers were tried, convicted 

         and condemned to hang in Los Angeles.  No one doubted their 

         guilt.  Just as they were about to mount the gallows a 

         lawyer, by some legal process, stayed proceedings, took the 

         murderers across the street before court and made an effort 

         to cheat justice and gain what?  Possibly money, probably 

         notoriety.  These efforts are so common now that all are 

         familiar with them, and every criminal in the land knows 

         perfectly well that, no matter how foul his crime, money or 

         notoriety will induce lawyers to defend him, and lawyers on 

         the bench, judges who ought to be above reproach, will sit 

         and allow these lawyers to badger and confuse an honest 

         witness, and destroy his testimony if possible.  These are 

         every-day facts.  Now I ask which is the worst criminal: the 

         most dangerous man in society?--the man who, under unusual 

         circumstances, commits murder, or the lawyer who, by his 

         life-long practice, says to the murderer, "If you commit 

         crime, come to me; give me your money and notoriety, and I 

         will do all I can by every intrigue and device to screen you 

         from justice.  I have saved many a man from just punishment 

         for crime."

              I believe the professional criminal lawyer more 

         dangerous in a community than a burglar or a murderer.  The 

         murderer is an outlaw, and has little influence.  The lawyer 

         may have social position, and poisons the mind, encouraging 

         the young and old in crime.  There was a time when the State 

         furnished counsel for those criminals whose crime was so 

         apparent that no respectable lawyer would care to defend 

         them.  Then justice provided them a fair defense; but today 

         we have lawyers in abundance ready to defend the worst of 

         criminals; not merely give them a fair hearing but by 

         dishonest means turn them out upon the public.  What is the 

         remedy?  We well may inquire:  What can honest men do to 

         protect themselves from burglars, murderers and their 

         pals--the criminal lawyers.                      


                         {Times, Feb. 24, 1888, p. 6}

                               {Title Illegible}

              Alhambra, Feb. 20.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I am 

         not an adept in so-called judicial law, but I know a deal of 

         justice, and should think it about time for intelligent, 

         educated lawyers, presumably respectable citizens, to call a 

         halt in the defense of beastiality and brutal, atrocious 

         murder, as in the cases of Anschlag, Woolsteen, Williams, and 

         many others, past and present.  Aside from the torturing, 

         untimely taking off of the Hitchcocks, the fact of the sacred 

         body of a virtuous, respectable wife being dragged about with 

         a rope tied to her legs by that low-lived brute, is enough to 

         make any manly man's blood boil in his veins who cherishes 

         the blessed memory of a mother or wife in his heart.  The 

         Woolsteen--the present age is rotten with such 

         specimens--demanded her "rights" of a married man; the wife 

         was only entitled to the wrongs, doubtless; and Anschlag 

         didn't wish to see his mangled victims suffer, so proceeded 

         to mangle them a little more.  They should both be hung high 

         as Haman for these expressions alone, which quite equal 

         Guiteau's, who said he was "sorry Garfield suffered so."

              Why don't some of the giant cement-minded women, who 

         have been drooling over the Woolsteen drab, take a nosegay 

         and mince pie to Anschlag?  I would consider it less 

         disgraceful to do an honest day's work shoveling mud on the 

         public streets with a ball and chain attached to my leg, than 

         to engage in the defense of such cases for a few paltry 

         dollars.  Why are honest men taxed to defend self-admitted 


                                       DON FERNANDO.

    "Don Fernando's" quick condemnation of both Woolsteen and Anschlag was 

echoed by the Times in its coverage of those cases.  Until the last few days of 

Hattie Woolsteen's trial the Times condemned her as "wicked Woolsteen,"  

refusing to consider that she might be innocent of any crime.  The paper's news 

columns were rife with editorial comment on her guilt.

    Contrast that with the position the Times took a year later when, in two 

separate cases, men were accused of criminally assaulting young children.  At 

San Bernardino a woman claimed justifiable homicide when she killed the man she 

charged with assaulting her child, whom the Times described as "almost an 

infant."  In Los Angeles "a respectable citizen" was arrested on a woman's 

charge that he had "ravished her five year old daughter."   

    In the first case, claimed the Times, there was no truth whatever to her 

allegation and the woman was subsequently arrested for murder.  In the Los 

Angeles case the charge of rape was dismissed, although the man had been 

temporarily jailed.  His wife, however, was driven insane by the incident.

    In an editorial the Times offered this advice:

              There is something radically wrong in a system which 

         permits the heinous disgrace of so awful a charge as this to 

         besmirch for life the characters of innocent men, on the mere 

         assertion of a mistaken or spiteful woman.  At this rate, no 

         man's reputation is for a moment safe.  What matters a 

         denial, which is read by few and believed by less, after the 

         damning charge has once been blazoned to the world?  While 

         innocence should at all times be protected, we must be 

         careful that, in our anxiety to do our duty in this 

         direction, we do not perpetrate cruel injustice, which cannot 

         be repaired on this side of the grave.

    Had the Times learned a lesson from its treatment of Woolsteen or was Otis' 

seemingly courageous stand for civil liberties in reality a gender-based 

display of empathy for a fellow male?   M. Whaling may have thought it was the 

former.  In one of the most poorly written contributions, from a grammatical 

standpoint, to appear in the letters column in the 1880s, Whaling seemingly 

singled out the editorial writer for praise, expressing concerns worthy of an 

ACLU member, or wrote with a tongue so deeply in his cheek that his true 

meaning was obscured.  The only M. Whaling listed in city directories at that 

time was Michael Whaling, an attorney and, after the Feb., 1889, election  - a 

school board member!  He was the only Democrat elected to a seat on the nine 

member board.  The meaning of the title Otis placed on his letter, referring to 

"Sir Rupert," is now lost.

                          {Times, May 13, 1889, p. 5}

                            Praise from Sir Rupert.

              Los Angeles, May 12.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Regardless of personal fear or favor, I deem it my duty to 

         say to you, & through you to the public, that your Editorial 

         on yesterdays Times entitled "Cruel Injustice" is one of the 

         best editorial I ever read on a subject of such vital 

         importance to society & only a noble heart & manly man could 

         have embodied expressed so many ripe thought & essential 

         principles in so small a space.  Indeed it strikes the key 

         note to one of the greatest & noblest elements of law, human 

         or divine viz: that charity is to be extended to the accused 

         & no man prejudged or criminated until after a fair trial and 

         impartial investigation.  I admire the spirit & object of a 

         writer who shows to the public that people should only be 

         deemed criminals when so declared as the law indicates and 

         directs.  And he who inculcates & teaches a respect & 

         reference for the law & for its strict enforcement if not a 

         philosopher, is at least a philanthropist & is worthy the 

         admiration & respect of his fellow-citizens especially in 

         this age when newspapers charge, try and pronounce sentense 

         upon those accused of a crime before there is any opportunity 

         afforded of a judicial proceedings.  Yours, &c.,

                                          M. WHALING.

    It was not only juries and lawyers who drew the wrath of citizens for their 

failure to properly punish criminals in Los Angeles.  Judges and prosecutors  

both received their share of criticism, as the trial of William Kimball et al 

for the 1883 murder of Ben Avise revealed.  In initial reports the Times 

described Avise, who claimed title to property on the Rose Tract near Mission 

San Gabriel, as a "sober, industrious citizen" who "was generally and favorably 

known."  Testimony during the trial, however, suggested another side to his 


    Kimball shot Avise on the afternoon of Saturday, July 7.  That evening a 

coroner's jury, without hearing from any of those who would be charged with the 

crime, ruled that death was by gunshot.  Five men, including Kimball, were then 

arrested and brought before Los Angeles Township Justice Robert A. Ling for a 

preliminary hearing.

    The lawyers involved in the case were among the city's finest: for the 

prosecution, District Attorney Stephen White and Col. G. Wiley Wells, who would 

later defend Hattie Woolsteen; for the defense, an O'Melveny: former judge 

Harvey K. S. O'Melveny.

    News reports in the Times about the incident and the legal proceedings 

irritated one reader who submitted a letter over the pseudonym "Justice," only 

to have his identity revealed when the editor printed an explanatory footnote 

to the letter containing the author's real name.  Other readers were outraged 

by Justice Ling's decision that the defendants' action was justifiable 

homicide.  {The Times reported that spectators at the hearing were openly 

hostile to his verdict.}  When Ling's candidacy for re-election was endorsed by 

District Attorney White the following year, William Fleming wondered why.  Ling 

was defeated.

                         {Times, July 13, 1883, p. 4}

                           What Mr. Cummings Thinks.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  I see some comments in 

         your paper of the 12th inst. about the Avise case which are 

         severe and uncalled for.  First, "Mr. Avise was generally and 

         favorably known."  If Mr. Avise was alive he would now be in 

         the United States Court to answer to a charge of perjury, 

         preferred against him by the United State Grand Jury.  So 

         much for "favorably known."  In the next place, Mr. Avise had 

         attempted, some few days past, to cut the grain belonging to 

         the Kimball brothers, commencing to cut on Saturday night 

         with four reapers, lanterns attached to each reaper, 

         intending to cut all day on Sunday.  Does such conduct make 

         one "favorably known?"  If it was right for Mr. Avise to cut 

         the grain belonging to the Kimballs, why not cut it in the 

         day time?  One of the attorneys now prosecuting these 

         defendants said to Mr. Avise and his wife in San Gabriel 

         Mission, "Madam, I can't call you a lady, but if that man by 

         you (Avise) will say what you have, I will take the top of 

         his head off."  Did that attorney advise Mr. Avise to build a 

         house on Smith's land?  Smith bought the land, paid for it, 

         and rented it to the Kimballs.  Does the law prohibit a man 

         from protecting his person and property?  Would that attorney 

         object to any one taking the books from his library?  I think 

         he would, decidedly.  And why should not Kimball object to 

         have his grain taken?  There is such a thing as going too far 

         with anything, and this is one of the cases.  The idea of 

         trying a man for defending his rights!  Why, there would be 

         no peace or safety in the community if any man could take 

         forcible possession of another's land and crop.

              This is not the first time Avise has fought.  He died 

         with scars on him his wife gave him.                


              Mr. Editor--I write you not particularly for 

         publication, although I don't care what you do with what I 

         have written.  Every word of it is the truth.  My public name 

         is "Justice."  I wanted to explain why the Kimballs and Mr. 

         Smith were there at the time the Avises were moving on 

         Smith's land.

                                           M. A. CUMMINGS.

              [Judging from the name this correspondent bears--the 

         same name as that borne by one of the prisoners accused of 

         the murder of Avise--it is, perhaps, not surprising that he 

         is found in the role of a defender of organized 

         assassination.--Ed. Times.]

                         {Times, July 14, 1883, p. 3}

                              Let Us Have Peace.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  The five armed men who 

         murdered Ben Avise, at the Mission, last Saturday, have all 

         testified that Mrs. Avise drew her shotgun and fired the 

         first shot at Kimball without any provocation.  Let me 

         suggest that these five peaceable characters have the widow 

         Avise arrested for assault to murder, (I don't see why they 

         haven't done it before this,) and ask for a preliminary 

         examination, if it ain't just too indelicate, before Mr. 

         Justice Ling.

                                         A LITTLE MAN.

                         {Times, July 18, 1883, p. 4}

         Defense of the Manslayer Kimball et als. and of Justice Ling.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  The person who bears 

         the same name as one of the defendants in the Avise case 

         denies being a defender of assassination, as you say.  Mr. 

         Avise's death was the consequence of an unlawful act on his 

         part, just the same as any burglar would meet his death 

         breaking into your house.  The land was not in litigation at 

         all, as some say, but, no doubt, some parties would have the 

         public believe it was.  In another place, paper of 13th 

         inst., some person heads a piece "Was It Justifiable 

         Homicide?"  We agree with the writer that the strong arm of 

         the law is necessary to crush just such acts as Avise was 

         then being guilty of.  The person who wrote that must have 

         just returned from an old-fashioned Methodist lovefeast, from 

         the way he crowds in those precious words.  I would like to 

         know if he ever attended a shotgun lovefeast with "peace on 

         earth and good will to men" for his motto?  The truth is, it 

         is all a misstatement from beginning to end, as you will find 

         when the trial comes off.  I don't think they could possibly 

         hold a lovefeast on that ground, shotgun or any other gun.  

         It might be more properly called Bull Run the 2d, as there 

         has already been one lawsuit about a fight the Avises had on 

         that land.  I will not say anything about Mrs. Avise's 

         evidence; she is well known, and certainly will be better 

         known before she gets done testifying in this case.  Very few 

         men can say they have lived 56 years without a lawsuit or 

         difficulty, and such a man certainly would not be the one to 

         head a shotgun love-feast.

              In the Times of the 14th there is some more of the same 

         kind, headed "Let us have peace."  All in good time, my 

         little man, don't get in a hurry.  Mrs. Avise won't run away 

         while she has so many noble defenders.  You would like to say 

         they arrested her to injure her evidence.  Probably you are 

         the little man that advised Avise to move on Smith's land.

              The remark in regard to the indelicacy of bringing the 

         case before Justice Ling don't hurt Ling or anyone else.  

         Ling is sworn to decide by law and evidence, and he did in 

         that case.  Neither Justice Ling or any other justice knows 

         of any law that will prevent any man from protecting himself 

         and property.


                          {Times, Nov. 1, 1884, p. 2}

                        A Square, Upright, Honest Man.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  Let me say, if you 

         please, that if your report of the speech made by Stephen M. 

         White, on Thursday night, in Los Angeles city, is correct, 

         and that he said Robert A. Ling (the present incumbent and 

         candidate for Township Justice) "is a square, upright, honest 

         man," then White's opinion has undergone a radical and 

         unwholesome change since the examination of Wm. Y. Kimball, 

         Bill Smith, G. F. Smith, Ed. Cummins and Geo. Parker on the 

         10th of July, last year, before this man Ling.  Does he 

         forget the zeal and eloquence with which he (White) presented 

         the facts of the cold-blooded murder of Benjamin Avise to the 

         mind of this "honest" man?  Does he remember the appeals for 

         justice made by the widow and fatherless children, by their 

         presence and story, and how this "honest, square and upright" 

         Justice (God forgive me!) set those five alleged murderers 

         free in this community, and the voice of our citizens was 

         loud enough to make this Justice's presence mighty scarce for 

         sometime?  Does Mr. White know the men were re-arrested and 

         one convicted and State-prisoned?  Well, White may not 

         remember this one case of the many that have occurred, but 

         our good citizens will think twice before they vote once for 

         such an administrator of the law as Robert A. Ling; at least 

         I will.

                                              WILLIAM FLEMING.

              Los Angeles, Oct. 31, 1884.

    Disturbed that the justice system did not deter criminals, readers offered 

suggestions for the appropriate punishment of specific crimes.  In February, 

1886, several writers responded to "A Mother's" recommendation for a then-

drastic sentence for seduction.  While her proposal won some endorsements, it 

was ignored by the legislature at that time.  In a modified form, however, it 

was adopted in the 1990s.

                         {Times, Feb. 14, 1886, p. 4}

                          Seduction and its Antidote.

              To the Editor of the Times:--Sir:  To seduce young, 

         innocent and handsome girls, is a mania with a large number 

         of male bipeds, especially the rich.  The moneyed rake 

         becomes possessed of the notion that he has a prescriptive 

         right to debauch any young girl he fancies.  All his 

         energies, mental and physical, are bent in the development of 

         his baser passions.  Moral bankruptcy is the inevitable 

         result.  Moral bankrupts are numerous.  How may we save our 

         pure and innocent girls from such monsters.  There is but one 

         remedy, namely, castration.  Barring the lean, lank, 

         cadaverous individuals, who are possessed of abnormal 

         appetites and passions, a vast majority of our citizens 

         would, undoubtedly, favor such a law.  We should get up a 

         purse of $5,000 and present it to the member of our State 

         Legislature who will be mainly instrumental in having a law 

         placed on our statute books making castration the penalty for 

         the seduction of any girl under 20 years of age.  Put me down 

         for $5 towards such fund.  Respectfully, yours,

                                                 A MOTHER.

                         {Times, Feb. 16, 1886, p. 2}
                               Heroic Treatment.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  In your Sunday issue 

         occurs a communication from "Mother," suggesting castration 

         as the penalty, punishment and cure for libertinism, 

         seduction, etc.  Such a course of treatment would doubtless 

         prove highly efficacious, and the writer heartily approves of 

         the passage of such a law, applying to the crime of rape as 

         well, which crime was formerly punishable by the laws of 

         England in the way suggested.

              Amend the Edmunds anti-polygamy law to the same effect, 

         and, after a few examples made of "Bishops" and "Elders," I 

         venture the assertion there would soon be a "new revelation" 

         to the ignorant and misguided Mormons.  And when we procure 

         the passage of such a law it will be by all means retroactive 

         in its provisions and applications.  Now, if "Mother" will 

         suggest some remedy as effectual for the protection of our 

         innocent young sons and--and--and ministers from the Delilah 

         wiles of designing female libertines, she may put me down for 

         $10 in aid of her proposed fund.

                                          ANXIOUS FATHER.

                         {Times, Feb. 18, 1886, p. 2}


              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  The suggestions of an 

         "Anxious Mother" ditto "Father" as regards a remedy 

         (castration) for the crime of seduction, etc., would no doubt 

         prove effectual if it were possible to obtain such laws.  In 

         times past such suggestions have not received enthusiastic 

         approval.  History even records that Pope (his official title 

         has slipped my mind) suggested that all who wished to enter 

         the priesthood undergo castration, and no doubt theoretically 

         met with no opposition, but practically, well, they are not 

         castrated by a large majority.  Why not?  To not be behind in 

         subscription to the "Mother" and "Anxious Father" fund, to 

         obtain laws to conform with each others suggestions, put me 

         down for $20 to be willing to have both sexes protected.

                                            C. U. SCHUHS.

                         {Times, Feb. 18, 1886, p. 2}

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  I agree with "A 

         Mother" that castration would be the remedy to put a stop to 

         the crime of seduction.  That would save our young and 

         innocent girls from such vile, lecherous and loathsome 

         wretches as the Beast Baldwin, has, from his own mouth on the 

         witness stand, shown himself to be.  Let the punishment of 

         castration include the pimps--opium fiends--men who are 

         guilty of living off the money made by their mistresses, 

         girls of easy virtue.  Do this, and where we now have one 

         hundred prostitutes we would have that many more happy wives, 

         rearing children that would make useful citizens.  We could 

         then solve the great problem, how to check the social evil.  

         You can count on me for $25 towards a fund to be presented to 

         the bold and fearless legislator who will have the courage to 

         present a bill covering the above suggestions.

                                                  A FATHER.

                         {Times, Feb. 26, 1886, p. 2}

                              The Lash for Liars.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  I noticed in your 

         issue of the 7th an article from "A Mother;" also one from 

         "Anxious Father."  Now, while I would indorse both, I would 

         suggest a remedy against the vile and abominable practice of 

         concocting scandal and peddling it out to any and every one 

         they meet--an evil that exists and is practiced by some that 

         hold themselves far above the common people, but whose souls 

         are as low and black as they would make those of their 

         victims.  Now, I would unearth the old-time whipping-post and 

         cat-o'-nine-tails.  Then if anyone dare defame the name of a 

         fellow-being--let them be male or female--cause them to 

         receive not less than twenty stripes on the bare back, and 

         see if our moral atmosphere can't be made clearer.  Now, I 

         will subscribe $15 for such an institution.

                                         A FRIEND TO HUMANITY.

    Other writers explored the question of punishment at a more intellectual 

level than permitted in the few paragraphs usually allotted by Editor Otis to 

his correspondents.  This call for a "Two Strikes" law by an unidentified 

author may very well have been penned by the writer of the unsigned attack on 

lawyers that appeared the following day and of the letter signed "Justice," 

published five days later, both reprinted above.

                          {Times, Feb. 4, 1887, p. 4}


              Los Angeles, Feb. 1.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Crime will bring its retribution.  This retribution on the 

         community may come in a way unanticipated.  Cincinnati found 

         the fruit of crime in riot, bloodshed and the burning of the 

         courthouse.  Chicago's criminal class brought down on that 

         city the Anarchist bomb and death to citizens whose lives 

         were worth a thousand times more than the lives of the 

         criminals.  Retribution falls on a community in countless 

         ways when criminals go loose to execute their destructive 


              It is becoming common for one class of laborers to use 

         unlawful means to prevent another class of laborers from 

         working; this is the new form that crime takes on. Liberty is 

         no longer worth having if one class may exercise a power that 

         shall reduce another class to starvation.  The next we shall 

         hear is that merchants are ordered to shut up their stores.  

         The spirit of such actions is to reduce all to one common 

         level of barbarism.  Unpunished crimes are poisonous plants 

         set around about a house; they vitiate the blood of all the 

         family; the care of anxious parents is all in vain so long as 

         the noxious perfume is daily breathed by the children--the 

         body politic becomes contaminated with the disease.  The very 

         sight of immoralities conveys the distemper, for crime is to 

         the mind what poison is to the body.

              Hesitation in the punishment of crime only lures the 

         individual on to commit it.  Those who have scruples about 

         the punishment of crime may well stand aghast, lest they find 

         the poisonous seeds in their own hearts ready to spring up at 

         the opportune moment.  This is a disease that does not cure 

         itself--it requires a doctor from the outside to give the 


              If Los Angeles is always to be a goodly city, every 

         citizen must take a hand in driving out the criminals, or the 

         criminals will one day become a torment.  It would be a long 

         way toward the desired condition hoped for if every youth 

         could have special care for the first dozen years of life.  

         The completion of the plans of the Newsboy and Bootblacks' 

         Home would be a wonderful gain.  Then every boy loose on the 

         street with a villainous cigarette steaming at his nostrils, 

         poisoning all his blood, should be put into the home, and 

         there get good instruction.  In such homes the kindly counsel 

         and instruction is sure to be indelibly impressed and 

         remembered.  It is a help for the replacing of the last moral 

         element; it has been the saving of many a boy from the life 

         of a criminal.  Sooner or later the people will be forced to 

         the conclusion there only safety is in the confinement of 

         criminals after their second conviction for crime--a 

         confinement that shall prevent the criminal from perpetuating 

         himself.  It is a fact they very seldom reform after the 

         second conviction.

              The real seriousness of this whole criminal business 

         makes it hard to understand why some newspaper writers treat 

         crime loosely, often representing the acts in a laughable 

         way, or explaining them as jokes or the fine work of skillful 

         men, instead of the wicked works of wicked men.  In the case 

         of a man shooting another man how wretchedly it seems to 

         represent this as a joke!  Then again, giving to the most 

         disgusting acts the air of flippancy, as if there was no harm 

         in the immorality itself; in reality helping to create the 

         crime.  One may justly ask if such a writer is not a guilty 


              It seems as if people need to have their attention 

         constantly called to these things, especially the point of 

         mental weakness of criminals, to save children and youth from 

         being caught in traps and their bright prospects of a happy 

         life forever ruined.  Now, look, for example, at the 

         libertinism of expression of Spies, the convicted Chicago 

         Anarchist, when he found his hopes of marrying Miss Van Zandt 

         cut off.  "It makes no difference," he said, "we will live 

         together without marriage, as that is not necessary--a mere 

         unimportant affair."  The display of such lustful 

         propensities may cost him the loss of all respect, even from 

         so ardent an admirer as Miss Van Zandt, as it has already 

         cost him the loss of the respect of every honest and pure 

         person.  It should save imprudent young women from plunging 

         in too great haste over a precipice, just for the notoriety 

         of marrying a murderer.

                            C) JUVENILE DELINQUENCY

    Numerous young men moved west in the 1880s, lured by their fantasy of the 

sun-kissed land by the golden sea.  Some like Charles Willard, would become 

leading figures in their adopted city.  Others found only disappointment.  

    Despite the appearance of a booming economy, many Angelenos at the lower 

end of the economic ladder did not participate in the general prosperity.  The 

city grew, business expanded and men were hired, but too many hands flocked to 

Los Angeles for work and, except in certain trades or at limited times, the 

unemployed constituted a significant part of the population.  Included among 

the idle were a growing number of boys who either lived on the street or whose 

parents struggled through the hard times.  The city suddenly faced the problem 

of juvenile delinquency, a sign that it was no longer a frontier community but 

had truly joined the ranks of the nation's metropolitan districts.  {See the 

chapter on charity for related letters.}

    Two incidents brought forth comments from readers regarding the inability 

of parents to control their incorrigible children.  During the four years that 

separated these episodes Editor Otis altered his position regarding parental 

responsibility.  In reporting the 1885 Maloney affair Otis had blamed parents 

for the wayward action of their boys:

              There ought to be some law to punish parents who raise 

         boys that are incorrigible criminals at twelve years of age.  

         In such cases it is not all the boy's fault. 

    During the Judson matter in 1889 Otis agreed that some boys could present a 

problem exceeding their parents' ability to handle.  Mrs. Helen A. Watson, 

referred to by John Anderson, was at that time director of the children's home 

referred to in the chapter on charity.  Stable proprietor Lucius O. Judson's 

private letter to Chief John M. Glass, whose appointment that year brought Los 

Angeles the beginning of a modern, professional police force, was reprinted by 

the Times, leading to an exchange between Anderson and Judson.

                          {Times, Nov. 5, 1885, p. 2}

                                 Oh, that Boy!

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  In your Saturday's 

         edition I notice, an article about a Mrs. Maloney, who has 

         turned her twelve-year-old son over to the police, saying 

         that she can do nothing with him, and also, in the same 

         article, the censure of the writer, saying there should be a 

         law to reach such parents, raising criminals of that age.  

         Now, Mr. Editor, I have children, too, and very much 

         sympathize with Mrs. Maloney; for if she did not intend to 

         have the boy brought up right, she would let him go on and 

         not ask for help to stop his pranks.  The question is, What 

         can you do with such a boy?  I have seen parents chain up one 

         of their boys for weeks at a time to make him stay at home; 

         but, the next day after his release, was off with the boys 

         again, on the streets, with their mouths full of tobacco or a 

         cigarette.  Now, again, I say, What can you do?  Can you stop 

         it?  They are sent to school when it opens, but after the 

         first week the teachers do not like to bother with them and 

         they are expelled.  Now where is your compulsory 

         education--the reform school, and where is that?  The parents 

         get them a situation somewhere, but in a few days they are 

         discharged.  You cannot make them go to school, nor can you 

         make them work.  All parents cannot live on a farm to have 

         work for their children, hence they are on the street.

              But it occurs to me that our authorities should arrest 

         all boys under 17 years that are seen on the street with a 

         cigarette in their mouths, and not allow any boys on the 

         street after dark.  What can you expect of a boy that is 

         permitted to disgrace our streets from the age of six to 

         fifteen?  I assure you, Mr. Editor, the parents do all in 

         their power to bring up their children, respectable, but it 

         is the bad company they get into when on the street.  It is 

         now the absorbing question, What are we to do with our boys?

                                             ECHO ANSWERS.

                         {Times, Oct. 26, 1889, p. 4}

                             YOUNG INCORRIGIBLES.

                  L. O. Judson in a Sad Plight with His Boys.

              For some time past L. O. Judson has been in a quandary 

         as to what to do to keep his boys straight.  They are very 

         young and also very bad, and have caused no end of trouble 

         and anxiety on the part of their parents, who have used every 

         endeavor to educate the youngsters and to keep them in the 

         right path.  In spite of all the boys went wrong, and have 

         been engaged in all kinds of mischief.  Recently they ran 

         away from home and went to San Fernando, from which place 

         they were returned by the authorities.  Their father not 

         being able to keep them at home has applied to the Chief of 

         Police, and on Thursday night succeeded in having them locked 

         up.  The Chief, having no way at his command to detain them, 

         turned them over to Mrs. Watson, who took them to their home.  

         Yesterday the Chief received  the following letter in regard 

         to them:

                                                     October 25, 1889.                                        

              To the Honorable Chief of Police--Sir:  Mrs. Watson 

         returned my boys this noon to me, and informed me she could 

         do nothing with them.  Now, I appeal to the courts of this 

         city to make some provision for them, as they are beyond my 

         control, and it is not in my means to send them to a pay 

         school.  The boys have broken in houses, and taken therefrom 

         goods and disposed of them.  They have taken things from 

         their own home and disposed of them, and this is the tenth 

         time they have ran away, and now they will not say but what 

         they will go again, and I am satisfied that, the first chance 

         they get, they will go again. and I now say I want the court 

         to take them and provide some place for them, where they 

         cannot do further harm.  I have them in a room at my house, 

         and shall expect you to take charge of them, as I have not 

         the means to provide such a place as they should have.  Very 


                                               L. O. JUDSON,

                                   No. 717 South Spring street.

              P. S. --The boys must be sent to the Reform School, and 

         at once, before they are gone again.

                          {Times, Oct. 28, 1888, p.3}

                        Mrs. Watson and a Tale of Woe.

              Los Angeles, Oct. 26.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  In 

         this morning's issue of your paper I noticed a letter, 

         addressed to the Chief of Police, and signed "O. L. Judson."

              This man, Judson, is either very ignorant, or never was 

         a boy, or is too good for this sphere.  His boys, 

         notwithstanding his tale of woe, are probably no worse than 

         many other boys.  The only difference is that his boys have 

         parents who are not competent, or who are unwilling to 

         perform their duty, and, therefore, are not worth talking 

         about; but it is different with Mrs. Watson.  If she really 

         has said that she cannot control those boys, she admits a 

         weakness that unfits her for the position which she occupies.  

         She receives dual pay from the city, and it is her duty to 

         care for those boys; it is her duty to try, and keep trying, 

         until she succeeds in awakening a soul in those poor, 

         unfortunate waifs that are worse off than if they had no 

         parents.  There should be no such word as fail in Mrs. 

         Watson's dictionary.  How could she say that she could do 

         nothing with a pair of infants?  Supposing they do run away, 

         does not the city pay a special policeman to return them to 

         the home?  Has not Mrs. Watson a place in which to lock them 

         up for a time?  If she has not she should have.

              If the children are sent to the Industrial School at San 

         Francisco, inside of 30 days they will become so highly 

         educated in vice that they could give points to the people of 

         Sodom and Gomorrah.

              I beg of you, sir, to endeavor to save those poor 

         children through the medium of your paper.

              I know none of the parties, but I do know what I say 

         regarding the ultimate fate of those babies if they are not 

         cared for here.  Yours respectfully,      

                                      JOHN ANDERSON.

                         {Times, Oct. 29, 1889, p. 5}

                                 "Them Boys."


              Los Angeles, Oct. 28.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  In 

         this morning's issue of your paper I notice a letter about L. 

         O. Judson.  This man, John Anderson, seems to know 

         considerable about cases of this kind.  I should imagine from 

         his letter that he was a boy and a runaway, and had the 

         experience of an industrial school.  He is kind enough to 

         censure me for trying to do something for my boys for their 

         good.  I know nothing of such a school, and therefore made 

         inquiry, and was informed that was the only place for them.  

         I have given them kind treatment, a good home and better than 

         ordinary clothes.  I have tried with their mother to give 

         them good advice, but all to no purpose.  They have left us 

         ten times, and Lord Anderson says there is a special officer 

         to look after such cases.  I have failed to find such a man, 

         and as far as competency is concerned, I am quite sure Lord 

         Anderson had but little common sense, and needs some kind 

         friend to look after him.  I should like to meet Lord 

         Anderson and give him a few points on attending to his own 

         business, until such times as he knows what he is talking 

         about.  Hoping to meet Mr. John Anderson, I am, very 


                                          L. O. JUDSON.

              709 South Spring street, City.

    A solution to the problem facing Mrs. Maloney and Judson had gradually 

emerged during the 1880s.  At the urging of Dr. Walter Lindley strong support 

developed for construction of a reform school in Southern California.  At the 

time the state's only such institution was in San Francisco, the one to which 

Judson had urged that his sons be sent.

    In 1885 Assemblyman Henry Hazard, who later served as the city's first 

mayor under the reform charter adopted near the end of the decade, introduced a 

bill for creation of a reformatory in Southern California but it was 1889 

before the legislature acted.  While much of the debate centered on the nature 

of the school, as seen in the letters by Lindley and C. B. Carlisle, the most 

heated controversy took place over its location.  As in the case of the mental 

institution established in San Bernardino County, the Times carefully monitored 

actions of the site committee, objecting when members voted to locate the 

school at Whittier.   Real estate agent Robert D. Wade made the case for that 

city, which still retains the institution, now known as the Fred Nelles school.

                          {Times, Oct. 4, 1882, p. 3}

                                REFORM SCHOOL.

            The Republican Party Favors it by Platform Resolution.

         To the Editor:

              The platform adopted by the Los Angeles County 

         Republican Convention, Sept. 25, 1882, contains the following 


              Resolved:  That the number of criminal children in 

         California is appalling and that it is the duty of our 

         representatives to use their utmost endeavor to secure the 

         establishment of at least one Industrial Farm and Reform 

         School to be supported by the State, to which vicious 

         children may be committed.

              The above resolution has for the first time prominently 

         presented this subject to our citizens.  Day after day 

         notices of criminal children being brought before our city, 

         township and superior courts have appeared in the columns of 

         the city papers.  People have expressed their sorrow to see 

         mere boys committed to jail, and yet would be indignant if 

         they were discharged to corrupt the morals of other children.  

         What shall be done with these juvenile law-breakers?

              A reform school and industrial farm would solve this 

         problem.  The easiest way to cure crime is to prevent it.  

         Send the ten-year-old child who has committed some petty 

         misdemeanor to a reform school, where he must work, receive a 

         practical education, and taught good morals, and the 

         probabilities are he will make an industrious, respectable 

         citizen.  Send a similar boy to jail, and the probabilities 

         are he will make a chronic criminal.

              Take one typical example in real life.  A boy twelve 

         years old commits a petty crime; his over-bearing father 

         employs an attorney to defend his son, and, on the plea of 

         youthfulness, gets him discharged.  The boy goes on 

         committing crime, the loving father continues paying money to 

         protect him until old age and poverty overtake the parent, 

         and manhood's years and a sentence in the penitentiary are 

         the assets of the son.  Yet the harm inflicted on that family 

         is the least of the evils--think of the number of boys this 

         criminal has dragged along with him.  This is no fanciful 

         picture.  Almost every reader can point to some similar case.  

         Suppose there had been a State Reform School to which that 

         boy could have been committed when he was guilty of his first 

         misdemeanor and he had been kept at work in that school until 

         he was eighteen years old--don't you believe his chances of 

         making a good citizen would have been far greater?

              The following brief extract from the report of the 

         President of the Board of Trustees of the Reform School of 

         the District of Columbia is worth reading:

              "As has often been said, it is cheaper to prevent crime 

         than to punish it, and if the matter is only considered as a 

         question of dollars and cents, it is manifestly more 

         economical to the government and District of Columbia to 

         feed, clothe and educate these boys than it may be hereafter 

         to try, convict and subsist them in the jails and 

         penitentiaries of the country.  A large proportion of the 

         boys who leave the school turn out well, many of whom are now 

         honorably supporting themselves and assisting their parents, 

         and promise to become valuable members of society, who, 

         without the influence and training received at the school, 

         might have been a burden upon the community on which they 

         were cast.  In my visits to the jail, upon more than one 

         occasion, my heart has been pained at the sight of many boys 

         of tender age confined therein as the associates of criminals 

         of the worst character.

              "It is with pleasure that the trustees refer to the 

         conduct of the boys generally.  They have performed their 

         tasks with cheerfulness, studied their lessons faithfully and 

         have behaved themselves as well as school boys usually do."

              Such schools are not prisons, but are made, under proper 

         management, pleasant homes in which each inmate takes pride 

         and interest.

                                               WALTER LINDLEY

         Los Angeles, Sept. 30, 1882.

                         {Times, Jan. 17, 1885, p. 4}

                      The Proposed State School for Boys.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  Late Sacramento papers 

         say the bill introduced by Mr. Hazard appropriating $50,000 

         to establish a State school for boys provides that at least 

         one hundred acres of land shall be donated to the State by 

         the citizens of the place where it shall be located.  Such a 

         school should be situated a few miles from the city.  The 

         vicinity of San Fernando, Sepulveda, Pomona, Cucamonga, 

         Downey City, Etiwanda, Norwalk, Ontario, Wilmington or Santa 

         Monica would be favorable to its success.  The erection of 

         such public buildings, the current expenditures for the 

         support of such an institution after it is established would 

         infuse life and prosperity into any town or village.  The 

         beautiful grounds, drives and buildings would be a never-

         ending source of attraction to visitors.  Any town could well 

         afford to spend $20,000 to get this State institution located 

         in its neighborhood.  Yet it is probable that a sightly and 

         desirable location could be proffered that would not cost the 

         donor near that amount.  Persons desiring to make an offer to 

         the State, as indicated above, should correspond immediately 

         with Hon. H. T. Hazard, Sacramento, stating specifically what 

         they will do to secure the school.  Very respectfully,

                                       WALTER LINDLEY,

                                 216 South Fort street.

              Los Angeles, Jan. 16, 1885.

                         {Times, Mar. 16, 1889, p. 5}

                             Juvenile Delinquency.

              Palms (Cal.), March 7.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         While the paragraph in The Times announcing the probable 

         success of a bill to establish a reform school for juvenile 

         delinquents in Southern California will be gratifying to 

         every right-thinking man, it is to be hoped, in the event of 

         such enactment, that our institution may have the benefit of 

         the latest intelligence in this direction, and not become, as 

         too many of these so-called "reform" schools, a sort of 

         dumping-ground where society, legislating for man as an 

         abstract, gets rid of the presence of a troublesome element, 

         at least temporarily.

              With facts in regard to the care and reformation of 

         juvenile delinquents that come from the enlightened and 

         humane, this institution ought to escape the disgraceful 

         character and reputation of the average "school," where the 

         appointment of officials is made to turn upon the success of 

         political parties, and where fitness is of less concern than 

         ability to lend a hand in the political primaries or 

         conventions; a sort of hybrid between the home and the 

         penitentiary, possessing all of the evils and none of the 

         benefits of each; a mortifying failure.

              We can never arrest juvenile delinquency in this way.  

         Wiser methods must prevail.  Make-shifts only make criminals.  

         We must improve on the congregate system, and make an effort 

         to surround the boys and girls with conditions as nearly as 

         possible like those of a home.  It certainly is a wrong thing 

         to indiscriminately herd these children in order to save 

         expense, and get them out of the path of society.  These 

         conditions simply foster vice and immoralities of all kinds.  

         All the elements of the "tough boy," the hoodlum, filter 

         through the entire mass, and, according to the principles of 

         a well-known law, finally disease it.

              A reform school that is simply an institution capable of 

         confining and restraining those committed to it, or, in 

         plainer terms, a jail in which the inmates are to be 

         reformed, is a disgraceful mistake.  It has proven so much of 

         such mistake that in districts in the East the public has 

         enforced its modifications, notably, for a change that 

         results in a number of divisions of the institutions, and the 

         adoption of the so-called home or family plan.

              It is to be hoped that the people of Los Angeles and of 

         Southern California will profit by the experience of other 

         localities.  These children, these sparrows of humanity, out 

         in the winter air of indifference, morally and physically, 

         shelterless and unclad, cast up from the great sea of unwise 

         or broken homes; results of poverty, intemperance, divorce 

         and all the unstable habits of our civilization, must be 

         cared for, as becomes a Christian community.  There is 

         something good in them.  Do not increase the bad by unwise 

         management.  Reach after the good.

                                            C. B. CARLISLE.

                         {Times, April 16, 1889, p. 7}

                          The Reform School Location.

              Los Angeles, April 14.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         In regard to the editorial in yesterday's Times, which 

         questions the selection made by the commissioners of a site 

         for the proposed Reform School, I beg leave to suggest that 

         there are other considerations of much importance besides the 

         mere dollars and cents value of the various proposed sites.  

         The object of the institution is to take several hundred of 

         the worst and most depraved youths of Los Angeles and other 

         cities, keep them until they reach manhood's years and send 

         them forth into the world again equipped with a good 

         educational and moral training, and with a practical 

         knowledge of some trade which shall enable them to fill an 

         honorable position in life.  To do this, to constantly 

         control several hundred such characters as these, to give 

         them the maximum of liberty and the minimum of temptation, to 

         do this and keep these boys from feeling that they are 

         hopeless criminals, serving out severely-imposed sentences in 

         a penal institution, which location presents the proper 

         surroundings?  One bordering upon the limits of a rapidly-

         growing city, full of temptations, or one near a quiet 

         country village?  The writer lived for some years near the 

         town of Plainfield, where the Indiana State Reform School is 

         located, and in a conversation with Supt. Ainsworth of that 

         institution, he said that no criticism upon the location of 

         that school could be made, unless, perhaps, its proximity to 

         the city of Indianapolis, distant 15 miles.  He said that so 

         soon as a boy made his escape from the school he would make a 

         bee-line for that city.  Plainfield is a Quaker town, and 

         naturally noted for the quiet, orderly character of its 

         people; and its selection as the location of the Indiana 

         Reform School has always been conceded as most wise.  

         Whittier, as is well known, is also a Quaker colony, and is 

         inhabited by a similar class of staid, industrious citizens.

              Last Friday evening a Los Angeles boy about 14 years of 

         age was lying upon the sidewalk near the Times building in a 

         state of intoxication.  Suppose that boy is sent to the 

         Reform School in the hope of sending him away a good citizen 

         four years hence, would not his chances be for better several 

         miles from where his evil habits were contracted than within 

         sight of his old associations?

              The people of Whittier, like those of many other 

         California towns, have been struggling with adversity.  They 

         raised money to build a railroad.  They have at great cost 

         developed an abundant supply of pure water on land heretofore 

         pronounced utterly dry and worthless.  They have built 

         churches, schoolhouses and comfortable homes; and now by a 

         united effort they raise sufficient money to purchase a tract 

         of land and offer it as a donation to the State as a site for 

         the proposed Reform School.  Shall we of Los Angeles, with 

         our Normal School building, our county courthouse and the 

         Government postoffice building, shall we in a spirit of 

         selfishness criticise the commission for giving the choice to 

         Whittier, because, forsooth, one of the commissioners happens 

         to be interested in that colony?  Furthermore, the climate of 

         Whittier, owing to its elevation and peculiar location, 

         possesses some advantages which will compare very favorably 

         with any location which has been suggested.  Besides, I do 

         not see how the location of the school would benefit Los 

         Angeles more if located in its suburbs than it will if 

         located at Whittier.  In either event Los Angeles merchants 

         will furnish all its supplies; Los Angeles brick-kilns and 

         lumber-yards will supply the building material, and its 

         railroads will carry every inmate to the institution.  And, 

         finally, Los Angeles, will not have the 400 bad boys in her 


                                                 R. D. WADE.