Let’s Talk Clovis: Stories from the 1923 Clovis Tribune

H.E. Armstrong, editor of the Clovis Tribune in 1923 (Photo courtesy of Clovis Museum).

H.E. Armstrong was the editor of the Clovis Tribune from 1912 until his death in 1938. A one year subscription was $1.50.

We are sharing the printed words that reflected life in Clovis in 1923.

It was reported that the Clovis Bakery had baked 80,000 loaves of bread in 1922.

The Fresno County supervisors did not want to be under state control. There was a debate on free trade with Canada. Swiss government advocates fuel alcohol from grapes would lower cost of gas.

A distillery that produced 5,200 gallons of booze was in operation on Peck Ranch near Letcher. Sheriff Jones makes a call quite unexpectedly on Clovis Booze Factories and makes three arrests. Constable Stewart confiscated quarts of Jackass brandy. Marshall Ellis locates a speak easy, and two barrels of wine placed in the old city hall were later found empty.

Clovis bootleggers were caught by Marshall Ellis, who has names of their customers. They will be prosecuted.

Pictures were published of Clovis celebrities: Dr. Mrs. Mc Murtry; Rev. Vernon Cowsert, 1st Baptist Church; banker B.L. Hesse; pioneer Mrs. Jane Cole arrived in 1850 via ox train; Phil Garver, young business man; Mayor E.E. Smalin and Clovis High history teacher Professor John Cox.

Clovis High had four buses. They planted a vineyard demo on campus. Clovis High graduates 22 seniors. Clovis High will hire 15 teachers for 1923-1924 classes.

Clovis Boosters (not Chamber) wanted sign on Blackstone: “Go Eastward Young Man.” $5 reward offered for best suggestion to identify how Clovis can hold district trade.

Newspapers were largely blamed for foolish expenditures of taxpayer’s money. Taxes of California have doubled in four years.

President Harding urges that our economy is “evil of spending in advance.”

State Board of Health compels city authorities to evict park squatters, 200 men, women and children, from the eucalyptus grove opposite mill. Park project between 4th & 5th on Clovis Avenue on SP railroad land is assured.

Pine Flat Dam scheme for approval or rejection will place enormous burden on tax payer. Pine Flat Dam Bill being jammed through the legislative mill with haste. Schemers are anxious to issue bonds.

Missionary Brendel is guarding Indians against “voodoo priests” who prey on the old. Frank Jackson and Missionary Brendel announced gift of land to the Mono Indians (60×200 feet lot on DeWitt) by Edwin Treasurer.

AD: See Jackie Coogan in “Oliver Twist at Mystic Theatre, adult 50 cents, child 25 cents. Show sponsored by Clovis Women’s Club to benefit Indian hospital.

Funeral was held for City Recorder A.S. Kirkpatrick who was born in Indiana 1857. He had resided in Clovis for over 27 years and was our second Justice of the Peace.

Robert E. L. Good, pioneer business man, dies. Born in 1868, he came to California at age 19 and was a foreman at the Tarpey Ranch for a time. He brought his first store in 1894 on West Fourth.

Big gravel project at Ball Ranch west of Friant. Capacity to be doubled 60-75 cars at 50-60 ton capacity daily shipments.

Robbers rifle many deposit boxes at First State Bank. Robbers created a trap door on roof and drilled into the roof of the vault.

AD: “Legitimate and useful successors to the raisin craze are live stock raising, dairies and poultry are profitable and permanent.”

AD: “New modern bungalow, 5 rooms plastered, screened porch with light, sewerage, $3,195. Located on Harvard between 4th & 5th. J.W. Bittle, owner.

Gasoline war invades Clovis. J. T. Edward of Clovis Cyclery selling 14 cents per gallon. Clovis has 13 service stations. State gas tax will be raised on Oct. 1, 1923 to 2 cents.

The 1923 community of Clovis left us a rich heritage.

Peg Bos is the president of the Clovis Museum on 4th and Pollasky avenues in Old Town Clovis. She not only manages the museum but she also writes her Let's Talk Clovis column in our publication which features and highlight the amazing history of our city and culture. One fun fact about Peg Bos, she was the first female mayor of Clovis from 1984-86.