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A Look Back at 150 Years of Local Journalism

“Clean news and a fair deal to all” GILROY, CAL., FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 14, 2018

October 1868:


Holsclaw Road: From Gold Rush to the Civil War FIRST BLACKSMITH IN GILROY IN 1851 FOUND HIS FORTUNE IN CALIFORNIA By Barry Holtzclaw Managing Editor

This is the story of three brothers who left their 11 siblings and parents at a northwest Missouri homestead in 1849 to head west to California, in search of gold. There is no record of how they got to the Golden State, except that it took them less than a month, probably traveling by stagecoach. The completion of the transcontinental railroad was 20 years in the future. The brothers, Clifton, the oldest at 24, Milton, 22 and James, perhaps 19, did not get rich in the California Gold Rush. But by standards of the day, they became wealthy. In Diamond Springs, “they erected the second house in that place, established a provision depot and made it their headquarters, also engaging in the mining in the Martinez and Weber creeks.” In the first four months of 1851, they were earning $40 to $50 per day each, according to J.P. Munro-Fraser’s 1881 account of the history of Santa Clara County. Milton invested his new fortune in new businesses. His brothers were more restless, “joining the forces sent to meet the Indians.” The brothers would be separated for about two months, during which time Clifton and James would get a foretelling taste of battle and guerillastyle combat, and Milton began a freight-hauling business from Sacramento to Grass Valley, Yuba and Placerville. “In the month of June he lad in a stock of provisions, and proceeding to Shasta City, sold them, but so bold were the natives that he had to stand guard over his mules in the very heart of town. The trio headed south in search of safer settlements, visiting Stockton,

It is not our purpose at present to say much in regard to the claims of the valley of Santa Clara, over other parts of California for a permanent settlement. It is well known, however, conceded by all who have explored this State extensively, that no other part of it will favorably compare with this in point of climate, health, timber, water, fertility of soil and its various and ample productions. Referring to the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys, they are immensely large, wide and long; their soil is rich and very productive; the water is abundant in wells on the plains, but generally limestone and hard; the timber for fencing and building is generally distant and not very durable, it being pine; the mining operations in the mountains are gradually filling up the channels of the rivers, which wind their serpentine way through those alluvial valleys to the Bay of San Francisco.

RIVERS ARE FILLING WITH SEDIMENT The Sacramento, San Joaquin, Feather and Yuba rivers, especially the latter two, are filling up with sediment to an alarming extent, so much so, that in many places the winter and spring floods fill all the neighboring sloughs with water which remains

through the hot summer days, becoming stagnant, engendering chills, fever and a variety of other diseases, thereby rendering the settlement of those valleys more desirable and profitable to the medical faculty than they are to families. Health and climate are paramount to all other objects. Thousands of persons now living in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys are anxious to find a country where they can take their families and be free from the constant plague of fever and ague. The time may come when those valleys will become as they were from 1849 to 1856, when sickness there was comparatively unknown, but that time will not arrive until the sloughs and low lands are all drained, and the overflow of those rivers prevented by levies, from inundating the whole country. Enterprise and money will accomplish this, doubtless, some day, and we hope the time is not too far distant. Thousands however, are not willing to remain with their families and abide that time and take the chances. They would leave for some little nook in the mountains, or for Santa Clara valley or some other place tomorrow if they could sell out their lands and go where they could enjoy good health. Where then, on the whole Pacific slop, or under the canopy of heaven, can they find a country more to be desired for health, etc., than this valley? To be sure it is neither very wide or long, but the climate is all that can be desired. There is no stagnant water, no shivering with chills in summer, or burning with fever in winter—no mosquitoes or gnats to annoy man or beast. The finest and most durable redwood

timber in the world to be had at reasonable rates for fencing and building.

RAILROAD WILL CONNECT TO SAN FRANCISCO The Southern Pacific Railroad will soon be finished as far as Gilroy, about 81 miles south of San Francisco. Then from this point to the great metropolis of the Pacific, farmers in all this region of country can take their surplus produce to the Bay City in a few hours and return with little expense, and Gilroy being the great central depot, is destined, Phenixlike, to rise and grow in proportion to the demands of the surrounding country and the enterprise of its children. There is no country offering greater inducements to family immigration, in our humble opinion, than are now being offered in this part of California. Without entering into detail, let is suffice to say that all the cereals, esculent roots and fruits of the vine and tree that grow elsewhere in California, are produced with luxurious abundance in Santa Clara valley. We shall call attention to this subject very frequently, and that, too, without any apprehension of exhausting it. Like pure gold, the more it is rubbed the brighter it will shine, and people in search of pleasant homes will thereby soon find them, and fill up our valley with a thriving population.

150 Years of Service A SPECIAL COMMEMORATIVE SECTION This special section of the Gilroy Dispatch celebrates one of the longest-running continuous publications in California—and one of the longest-running continuous businesses in Gilroy. First as the weekly Gilroy Advocate, then the daily Evening Dispatch and Gilroy Dispatch, and as the weekly Gilroy Dispatch, this newspaper’s mission has been remarkably consistent: to serve the the people in this community. From the 1,600 citizens in 1868 to the 57,000 citizens in 2018, through dramatic changes in the lifestyles and daily lives of Gilroyans, this newspaper has consistently been a faithful witness to history. On these pages, we randomly selected stories and photos from these 150 years to give you a small sense of our long traditions and continuing commitments. Our thanks go out to the Gilroy Historical Society and the Gilroy Public Library, as well as to Rich Chavarria of Garlic City Auction for locating valuable historical resources. The section was designed by Kara Brown and Kathy Manlapaz, and written and edited by Barry Holtzclaw, Jaqueline McCool and Bryce Stoepfel, with Dan Pulcrano, editor and publisher. Nathan Mixter was the photo curator and editor. Advertising support and leadership was provided by Associate Publisher Jeannette Close, with Kersty Daniels, Judy Bell, Carrie Bonato, Kelly Bean, Scott Harvey and Eileen Katis. Carla McGee managed printing, circulation and distribution. Special thanks to our advertisers and readers, many of whom have been supporters of this newspaper for decades. We will be posting more images in gilroydispatch.com. Microfilm copies of this newspaper’s 150-year legacy are available for inspection at the Gilroy Public Library and the Wichita Historical Society Museum.

Sept. 14, 1925


June 2, 1877

GREETING FROM NEW PUBLISHER Every citizen is naturally interested in the character of the newspaper that represents the interests of the locality in which they live. We can not but appreciate the exhibition of an intelligent concern for the life and welfare of an organ which it is supposed should contain a record of current events and also properly mirror before the world pictures of the moral, social and business life of this city and adjoining villages. In assuming the editorial and business management of the Advocate we desire to secure and retain the liberal patronage of all the people of this end of the Santa Clara Valley. When we become more familiar with the people and with the productions and institutions of Gilroy and the attractive country surrounding it, we trust our efforts will in the

➝ Holsclaw Road, 2B

Sept. 14, 2018

FIRST ISSUE OF DAILY NEWSPAPER Fred W. Blake Editor, 1877-1920

judgement of all deserve a remunerative patronage. We wish it understood that the Advocate under our management will be the people’s paper: the medium through which the views of the community will be freely expressed. It will be open to all parties to men of whatever status or persuasion, religious or political. It will, like the sun, “shine for all” without partiality; but must be remembered that this freedom will be under a moral, prudent and respectful censorship. We desire to encourage fair argument in controversies, and shall discountenance the use of heated or abusive language in all communications. We hope to make the paper a welcome visitor in every home. Should it become so it will prove remunerative to the publisher—not otherwise.

With this, the initial issue of the Gilroy Evening Dispatch, published by John N. Hall and Thomas Losey, formerly of Corning, Tahoma County, we wish to thank the business men and citizens of Gilroy and vicinity for the generous reception which we have received. We are opening a daily newspaper in this field with the aim of constantly boosting and helping to build Gilroy. From a point of service, we intend to issue a metropolitan daily paper. It will contain United Press telegraph news, which will supply you with the world news quicker than any other medium. Comics and news features are the finest obtainable. General local news and sports will be capably handled. For the advertiser we have secured the Meyer Both cut service, which is the best in its field, with a capable man in charge of this department.

1868-1898: Gilroy Advocate chronicles Frontier Days NEW WEEKLY NEWSPAPER SPANS LAST 30 YEARS OF 19TH CENTURY The weekly four-page newspaper, the Gilroy Advocate, published every Saturday, would in two decades double in size, as its home community population would remain a steady 1,600. The print shop, and later retail store would supplement

revenue from advertising. The value of Gilroy as a transportation hub next to its agricultural land would see its emergence as a center of tobacco growing in the West. Livestock grazed on giant ranches covering thousands of acres, and first blacksmith shops, then machine shops served the planting and harvesting operations. The Civil War had little impact on Gilroy so the political turmoil of Reconstruction, even the

growth of the corrupt cities, and the Robber Barons of industry also had little effect on this agricultural hub. The town grew in wealth and sophistication more than population, and the weekly Advocate reflected that.

The Santa Clara Valley Oct. 3, 1868—It is not our purpose at present

to say much in regard to the claims of the valley of Santa Clara, over other parts of California for a permanent settlement. It is well known, however, conceded by all who have explored this State extensively, that no other part of it will favorably compare with this in point of climate, health, timber, water, fertility of soil and its various and ample productions. …People in search

of pleasant homes will thereby soon find them, and fill up our valley with a thriving population.

Remember, voters Oct. 3, 1868—Remember, voters, that in circulating campaign documents to assist in the election of Grant, freely distribute as such Brick Pomeroy’s La Cross

Democrat and the State Capital Trifler, that the people may see how vile a thing is the Democracy of our days, and how the organs of the party deal in falsehoods.

Hotels and Restaurants Oct. 10, 1868—The Exchange Stage Hotel, ➝ Frontier Days, 2B



SEPTEMBER 14, 2018

Road Tells of Gilroy History Holsclaw Road, 1 Mission San Jose, San Jose City, and eventually Gilroy, even then an important transportation crossroads in the Santa Clara valley. They decided to make Gilroy their new home. James and Milton were “the first two members of a Protestant Church to locate there,” according to Munro-Fraser. The brothers opened their house as a boarding house for “all Christian denominations,” including the first meeting of the South Methodist Church in 1853. Milton had learned blacksmith skills on the farm in Missouri, and in the fall of 1851 opened Gilroy’s first blacksmith shop. They also bought land along a small creek now known as Llagas Creek, and began farming on the rich soils of the bottom land. The following year, the brothers made use of their Missouri farming skills and grew the first crop of wheat in the Gilroy District of Santa Clara County, which they would sell in Alviso for eight cents per pound. “In the following year they added barley to their productions, and manufactured some flour, which they disposed of in a a radius of 30 miles, on credit, to all that wanted bread,” reported MunroFraser. “The honesty of the settlers is fully borne out by Mr. Holsclaw’s statement that out of $6,000 worth of produce thus sold, he only lost $16.” Milton moved to a larger farm nearby, and by 1854 became Constable of Gilroy township. He bought and sold farm property and houses four more times in the next five year, including one lot

later occupied by Gilroy’s first rail depot. As Milton settled into politics and real estate and business development, his brothers grew restless once again. They were following the interstate war raging between Kansas and Missouri, and heard romantic tales of their family’s Missouri neighbors, the Quantrills, the Daltons and the James brothers who were waging a vicious guerilla war against border towns of free-state Kansas —five years before the start of the Civil War. The brothers no doubt were worried about the safety of their aging parents, their five sisters— and the need to preserve the family homestead including its “property” of 11 slaves. Add to this the brief but successful stint with the California militia battling Native Americans in north of Sacramento, and Clifton and James bade their brother farewell and headed back to northwest Missouri in 1859. Milton’s farmstead grew, and he prospered in Old Gilroy as a farmer through most of the 1860s, when Gilroy would grow to more than 1,000 people. Eighteen hundred miles east, the Holsclaw homestead in Howard County, Missouri, contrasted sharply with Milton’s peaceful, bustling, optimistic new hometown in post-Gold Rush California. The war would leave Confederate Missouri increasingly isolated and surrounded, and the glamorous guerillas of the late 1850s would be hunted as thieves, murderers and terrorists. The brothers’ family would never be the same. There is no record

A SIGN OF HISTORY The south end of Holsclaw Road in Gilroy, where sons and grandsons

of Gilroy’s first blacksmith built several homesteads 150 years ago. of any of the Missouri Holsclaws returning to California after the war, or if Milton heard of the terrible tragedies that would befall his family in the war years. The separation was apparently so great that Reconstruction-era histories and accounts of his family and his brothers— bushwhackers hailed as heroes of the Confederacy 150 years later—often excluded any mention at all of the prosperous California brother. Clifton would go on to become a Captain the Missouri State Guard. He, James and three other brothers would enlist in the doomed battle against the Union Army. Clifton and James were both

wounded and their brothers William, John and Benjamin, were killed, two of them at the Battle of Vicksburg. Milton’s Missouri family were all involved in the war effort. One of his sisters, Mary, was killed in 1862 while trying to dry gunpowder for her brothers. When Union soldiers on the trail of bushwhacker stopped by the Holsclaw farm looking for Clifton, patriarch James defied them and was shot dead in the his front yard in front of his wife and several daughters. Clifton’s discovery of his father’s death at the hands of Union soldiers transformed his war to one of personal revenge, and he formed a legendary guerilla

unit allied with “Bloody Bill” Anderson that defended their turf with a take-noprisoners approach. After the war, when the James and Dalton guerillas and other Quantrill alumni continued their battles as outlaws, Clifton returned to his agricultural roots, as a farmer. James became a school teacher. It is possible that Milton never knew of his father’s or brothers’ fate. He had 10 children, but most would not live to adulthood. Some settled around the town, then spread north to San Jose. Two of his sons are buried in Gavilan Cemetery. He moved outside of Old Gilroy in 1875 and returned to a farm along

Llagas Creek, where he would live to see the dawn of a new century. He died in 1902, and is buried with his wife Mary in the Gavilan Hills Cemetery. Four sons and a daughter-in-law also are buried there. The 2.5-mile road that bordered his homestead along Llagas Creek bears his name. The next time you take that shortcut from Highway 152 to Leavesley Road, driving along a winding two-lane Holsclaw Road, know that you are traveling along a historic path where three pioneer brothers said farewell: One stayed behind to plant new roots in a new frontier, and two returned home to rebellion, bloodshed and tragedy.

Early Gilroy, week by week Frontier Days, 1 Monterey Street (east side). Newly fitted up rooms suitable for single persons and families. The bar is furnished with every variety of Pure Liquors. A billiard table will be found in the bar room. The table is supplied with the best this market can afford. The San Jose stages stop at this hotel every day, from whence the states to the Hot Sulphur Springs leave every afternoon at about four o’clock. No pains will be spared by the Proprietors to make the Exchange a comfortable stopping place, while the prices will be reasonably moderate. The Gilroy Hotel, a Deutsches Gasthouse, Restaurant and Bakery. Having greatly enlarged and improved his house, the undersigned George Niggle invites the traveling public to give him a call, feeling confident that he will be able to make their stay as comfortable as it could be at any other hotel in this part of the county. His rooms, beds and accommodations generally will be fond to be neat and carefully attended to. The bar and table will be supplied with the best provisions and liquors that can be obtained. A firstclass iron safe for the safekeeping of money and valuables which boarders may deposit with him. Fresh bread, crackers, pies and

cakes always on hand. Also, candy and fruit of all kinds.

News in Brief June 2, 1877—During the year 1876, there were 235 marriages in this county. No wonder, it was a leap year. A protracted meeting begins at the M.E. [Methodist Episcopal] Church next Monday evening. Ye sinners, beware. Monday night last, the Georgia Minstrels appeared at Music Hall. But a small audience was present. Capt. A. H. Bogardus, the champion wing shot, is to give an exhibition of his skill in San Jose, at an early day. Mr. H.Z. Burkhart, of San Francisco, former editor of this paper, was in town last Sunday visiting old friends. Al Burns, ye “rusher,” has taken up his abode in classic Santa Cruz, there to assist Bro. Coffin [another former Advocate editor] on the Local Item. Bring your job work along. We have just received a large stock of job material and will do good work at reasonable prices. The Union Meetings during the week have been well attended and have been interesting and profitable to those attending. Young people that

cannot go to church and behave, ought to stay home, at least until they learn better manners.

A Foot Race June 2, 1877—Last Monday afternoon, a member of the Georgia Minstrel Troupe and a Spaniard, who is the generally acknowledge champion of Gilroy, ran a foot-race. They ran for $110, distance of 100 yards. The gentlemanly minstrel got away with his opponent, and calmly pocketed the coin. Several of our citizens mourn the loss of various bits of silver, as the colored gentry took all the side bets that could be obtained. Moral—never bet.

A Chinese Girl June 9, 1877—Cum Ti, of Chinese descent of course, was born in Downieville about sixteen years ago. She is an accomplished girl, speaks English well, and dresses in the most approved American style. Her parents returned to China a few years since, leaving her in the care of a chinawoman, who to reap compensation for care, training, etc. sold the girl to a celestial brother for the sum of $400.

The girl, all aglow with American independence, refused to endorse the bargain. Instead of going into the arms of her affectionate purchaser, she took refuge with a friendly family. Judge Howe, of Sierra County, before whom the case was brought, allowed the girl to stay away from the control of the woman who claimed her. This was a sad interference with the Chinese privileges. There are doubtless many such cases of Chinese slavery in California, never made public.

Trade at Home June 2, 1877—The simple idea prevails with many people in country districts that their own tradesmen cannot sell goods as cheaply as they can be procured in distant places. Too often there are instances of forgetfulness almost unpardonable among those who have had credit and leniency shows them when the prospects of returns for the merchant’s accommodations have been very dubious. With unfair indifference to the interest of merchants who have in some cases embarrassed themselves to oblige them with the essentials to their success, and with a disregard for the advantages that

FIRST PAPER Words ruled the day in the first several decades of The Gilroy Advocate, four pages every Saturday. may result from money spent in their own community, they convey their patronage to towns where they have no interests, and where they derive no advantage financially in their purchases. None of the merchants of this city are subject to heavy expenses of the houses of San Francisco and San Jose. Their circumstances are such that they can procure simple goods as cheaply as any buyers in the State, and when people have ready money to invest they can depend upon getting its value in trade if their home merchant is favored with the opportunity of showing his price list in competition with those received

from abroad. There are no stores south of San Francisco better supplied with a general assortment of merchandise than Gilroy.

An advertisement November 4, 1880— ‚The Advocate, a Paper of the People and For the People Dedicated to the Business of Agricultural Interests of the City of Gilroy and its Vicinity. It is a valuable Advertising Medium, having a Wide Circulation among a prosperous and intelligent people.

SEPTEMBER 14, 2018





SEPTEMBER 14, 2018

1898-1917: Coming of Age NEW CENTURY BRINGS NEW CONNECTIONS TO EUROPE FOR GILROY By Jaqueline McCool Reporter

The time between the Spanish-American War and the U.S. entry in to the World War I was a period of acclimation to a life of rapid growth and booming infrastructure in the midst of both natural and national disasters. Gilroy’s population in those years nearly doubled, to 3,000. The people of Gilroy were establishing an agricultural epicenter while the country dealt with war, tragedy and expansion. The Gilroy Advocate was at the front lines reporting national headlines and exploring the ways worldwide and national news affected the Gilroyans of the day. The weekly newspaper reported during this time on the day-to-day life of Gilroy and also, most notably, the Spanish- American War, the assassination of President William McKinley, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, the San Francisco Earthquake and the beginning of World War I.

Preparing Defenses GENERAL BLANCO TO MAKE STUBBORN RESISTANCE AT HAVANA July 30, 1898— General Blanco and the Spanish authorities have since the departure of ConsulGeneral Lee regarded was as inevitable and have been bending extraordinary energy to the concentration of troops and supplies. So far as American practice is concerned, Spain will be placed on her defense. She will be compelled to retreat these assurances or alienate European sympathy. The judgement expressed in diplomatic circles is that the State Department has adopted a course which will embarrass Spain, conciliate the commercial and mercantile classes of England and the Continent, and strengthen the position of the United States.

Woodland Fires August 13, 1898—These annual forest fires are a costly nuisance. All over the State at harvest time, when farmers are busy in the fields the heat is intensified by woodland fires. Campers and hunters are the mischief makers view of the damage done experience regret at the effect of their own carelessness.

Work On Reservoirs PLANS FOR SURVEYS IN THE BASINS OF THE SAN JOAQUIN AND KING RIVERS. May 13, 1900—The bulk of the money raised by the State Water Storage

Association is to be expended on the basins of the Kings river and the San Joaquin, the total amount appropriated for the former being $4500 and for the latter $3500.

The March of Progress. A FEW CHANGES AT THE GILROY DEPT NOW UNDERWAY. May 26, 1900—The Southern Pacific Company is making changes at the Gilroy Station, and gangs of workmen are employed carrying out the plans of the company. The main warehouse directly east of the track has been partly moved this week and the whole of it will be in its new position next week, when it will leave a vacant space of eighteen feet for additional track.

The President Dies! September 14, 1901— The prospect of the President surviving were doubtful, but doctors were anticipating a favorable change yesterday afternoon. At one time the report came that he was dead, and the town flags were placed at half mast. The people were relieved when this report was deemed and it was learned there was still hope of his recovery. Last night was the crisis. The President died at 2:15am today.

Location of New Hospital April 7, 1906—Before the town was astir on one of the bright mornings of the week, Mr. Henry Miller and Mayor Dunlap were on the west side among the oaks looking at the site of the hospital, to be built and liberally endowed during the coming months. The site is between First and Third streets and will embrace twenty acres north of Third street, which street is to be extended to Glen Ave… The intention is to have the main building three stories high. This will be commodious and attractive.

Hundreds Die By Vesuvius’ Action MOLTEN LAVA AND HOT ASHES FROM THE ANCIENT CRATER SPREAD DESTRUCTION OVER TERRITORY FOR MILES AROUND ENTIRE HAMLETS BURIED AND MANY PEOPLE ARE CAUGHT IN RUINED BUILDINGS.HOUSES COLLAPSE UNDER THE WEIGHT OF ASHES. April 14, 1906—Naples-A frightful disaster occurred in the center of this city, following the eruptions of Mount Vesuvius. Two hundred people, it is estimated, were buried Monday morning in the ruins of the Monte Oliveto, when the

roof collapsed under the weight of cinders from the volcano.

Awful Catastrophe! SAN FRANCISCO DESTROYED BY AN EARTHQUAKE AND FIRE. DAMAGE IN OTHER CITIES. GILROY’S LOSS NOT OVER $50,000 April 21, 1906—The greatest calamity in the history of California and one that will go down in history as one of the most destructive to property and life, was wrought by the earthquake at 5:15am, Wednesday, April 18th. From Santa Clara College it is reported that the disturbance lasted 4 minutes and was followed by lighter ones during the day. The territory covered was from Santa Rosa on the north, which was ruined, to Salinas in the south, which suffered badly. In Gilroy the loss will amount to $50,000. Nearly every chimney in town is down, and several of the fire walls are down. Plastering fell in the high school building and in many homes, and one of two of the churches.

Thos. O’Toole’s Sad End

ADS AND NEWS Gilroy’s newspaper grew to eight pages, and features

lithograph images in its advertising.

April 21, 1906— Gilroyans were saddened by news of the death of Thomas O’Toole, who was killed by suffocation in the ruins of the Hotel Vendoma annex Wednesday morning.

Gilroy Relief Committee April 21, 1906—Mayor Dunlap called a mass meeting of the citizens yesterday morning at the City Hall and in taking the chair briefly stated that his object in calling the meeting was to make provision for the possible coming of hundreds of distressed persons on the way from San Francisco who on arrival may need our immediate help; also secure the co-operations of the community in some organized way to this end.

Burning of the Gilroy Hotel

June 4, 1910—The most disastrous fire in years was that of early Wednesday morning, which destroyed the Gilroy hotel opposite the depot, and two Japanese store rooms facing on Monterey street. The fire bell rang at 1:15am and the fire burned fiercely for two hours.

Workmen at Panama UNCLE SAM IS MAKING IT PLEASANT FOR THE CANAL EMPLOYEES February 4, 1911— In addition to drawing a much higher salary than he could obtain in the United States,t he Panama employee had his lines cast

QUAKE DAMAGE The 1906 San Francisco earthquake toppled brick building 5th Street. in pleasant places. The government looks upon him as a ward.

6:30 o’clock. The building burned like powder, and in less than five minutes the entire building was a seething mass of flames, which extended to the sheds and office adjoining.

April 6, passed a resolution declaring that a state of war exists between the United States and Germany. The vote was 373 for and 50 against. Among those voting No, was Congressman E. A. Hayes, representing the Eighth Congressional District of California.

in the history of the world. Before it ends, the entire map of Europe will be changed, and one or more of the great nations will probably be so impoverished that it will take a quarter of a century to recover from its direful effects. We are not discussing the merits of the war, but from this side of the waters, it would seem that it was started from jealousy and greed.

April 11, 1917—A dispatch from Sacramento: The highway commission has selected the route via Gilroy, Pacheco Pass, Los Banos, Santa Rita bridge to Califa, between Madera and Merced, to connect up the coast with the interior trunk highways.

Senator Ruth to Speak Against The Greatest Prohibition War of April 27, 1912—We have Pacheco Pass had many opportunities to History listen to arguments in fa- August 8, 1914—Europe Road Starts vor of the adoption of a has entered on what promlocal option, but for the ises to be the greatest war at Gilroy first time, on next Saturday night, May 4th, at the Gilroy Opera House, we will have the other side presented, by Senator A. S. Ruth, the only citizen of the state of Washington, who has ever been elected to the senate for three consecutive terms.

Old Landmark Destroyed by Fire August 1, 1914— Whitehurst and Hodges’ planing mill at the corner of Church and Sixth streets, which was erected in 1868 by the late William Hanna, and later sold to Whitehurst & Hodges, was entirely consumed by fire on Wednesday evening at

War Declared Against Germany CONGRESS VOTES 373 TO 50 IN FAVOR OF THE MEASURE April 7, 1917—Congress held an all-night session Thursday night and at 3 o’clock Friday morning,

The Home Guard is Organized GILROY IS ONE OF FIRST TOWNS TO ANSWER COUNTRY’S CALL FOR NAVY AND ARMY RECRUITS April 14, 1917—As announced in these columns last week, a “Home Guard” was organized on Friday night, April 6, at the city hall. A large and enthusiastic gathering assembled.

SEPTEMBER 14, 2018



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SEPTEMBER 14, 2018

1917-1945: Between Two Wars FARM ECONOMY DIVERSIFIES, AND FACTORIES HELP WAR EFFORTS Bryce Stoepfel Reporter

In August 1914 Europe set itself on fire. The blaze raged for 30 years. World War I and World War II, along with the events that surrounded the calamitous earth-shattering conflagration that transformed the world, were felt worldwide as well as in the still-sleepy agricultural town of Gilroy. The growth of Gilroy’s population of nearly 3,000 in 1920 to more than 4,000 in the 1940s was matched by small factories, paved roads and stronger connections to the world at large. A new daily newspaper, the Gilroy (Evening) Dispatch in 1925 began chronicling the history of this era, buying and continuing to publish the weekly Advocate through these years.

War in Europe! Aug.8 1914—Will F. Blake, publisher and editor of the Gilroy Advocate foretells of the years of suffering to come: Europe has entered on what promises to be the greatest war in the history of the world. Before it ends, the entire map of Europe will be changed, and one or more of the great nations will probably be so impoverished that it will take a quarter of a century to recover from its direful effects. (While Blake was correct when he predicted the scale of the war, its effects were more calamitous then he expected. The belligerent nations were either financially crippled, or, in the case of the AustroHungarian, and Ottoman Empires, destroyed.)

Blake advocates strict neutrality, warning the nation: Don’t “rush in where angels fear to tread. It only means the death of the flower of Europe, for only the best and most able-bodied are used in time of war. Less than three years later, in part to defend democracy and a substantial American financial investment with the Entente Powers, the United States declared war on Germany on Apr. 4, 1917. (Fast-forward three decades, and the Sept. 1, 1939 German invasion of Poland, the action that ignited WWII, Gilroy Evening Dispatch readers could follow the war as Hitler's Nazi armies swallowed Europe one country after another. Indeed, life went on in Gilroy. News about agriculture, local government, obituaries, and even tidbits of society news never stopped.)

US declares war on Germany

Nazis prepare for 3rd Attack Try

Feb. 2. 1945—Gilroy High School graduate Marine Private Richard D. Tryor was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds the radio operator sustained on Guam.

GILROY ALUMINUM DRIVE IS UNDERWAY 'Japan Hints at Better U.S. Relations Aug.1 1941

JAPS WAR ON U.S. Dec. 7, 1941—The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Dec. 8, 1941—The official U.S declaration of war on Japan. The 'sneaky yellow warmongers' now in control of the Japanese nation have seen fit to make war upon the most powerful nation in the world. We, here in Gilroy, are an important part of the backbone for the army, and navy in supplying defense materials and foodstuffs from the surrounding territory.

Dec. 11, 1941— Three Gilroy boys enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces. John Bettencourt and Paul L. Avery joined the Marines, and Guido F. Forassiepi volunteered for the Navy.

Wounded on the Western Front Jan. 10 1945—Army Infantry Lieutenant Robert Ayer of Gilroy was severely wounded on the Western Front.

Battles rages for Guam

HITLER DIES May 1, 1945—Unfortunately for drinkers, the official end of the war in Europe will not be celebrated in taverns. State equalization board Commissioner George R. Reilly called for all alcohol beverage establishments in his district to be closed on V-E Day.

Germany surrenders! May 8, 1945—The war in Europe is over. Gilroyans woke at 7am to the ringing of bells, a parade down Monterey Street, and a solemn service held at Wheeler Auditorium, which was accompanied

DAILY HEADLINES The daily Dispatch took advantage of its Pacific Time Zone and was able to report the morning’s news in its evening edition, such as this paper on Dec. 8, 1945. by a large crowd who sang the Star-Spangled Banner.

At Least One More Year of War in Pacific PACIFIC WAR TO BE PUSHED TO A SUCCESSFUL CLIMAX May 9, 1945—The war is not over in the Pacific.

Hiroshima destroyed Aug. 6, 1945—The United

States dropped a massive bomb on Hiroshima. Private First Class Louis A. Bishop of Gilroy was killed in action while on duty in the Pacific Theater.

Japanese surrender! Sept. 6, 1945—The city's V-J Committee meets to plan a victory dance for the upcoming Saturday at Wheeler Auditorium. Gilroy Marine Donald Peters is liberated from a Japanese prisoner of war camp.

Navy Cross awarded to Gilroy pilot who shot down Yamamoto

Sept. 11, 1945—Former Gilroy resident, Lt. Col. Thomas Lanphier was awarded the Navy Cross. It was his p-38 Lightning that in April 1943 shot down and killed Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the mastermind of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

WAITING FOR THE TRAIN The Southern Pacific

SKIRTS AND HOOPS The 1921 Gilroy High School girls basketball team.

Railway station, in 1925.


SEPTEMBER 14, 2018


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SEPTEMBER 14, 2018

1945-1960: Post-war Stability GILROY FARMS AND ROADS BRING NEW PROSPERITY By David Leland

The end of WW II brought new prosperity to the U.S., and especially to California, where wartime skills were shifted to postwar manufacturing, and where GIs returning from the War in the Pacific stayed here rather than heading back to the heartland or the East Coast. Gilroy shared and benefited from those trends, and would see its population double and cement its important economic value to the state and region.

Sam Saso Will Manage Oil Plant Here May 1, 1945 — A.D. Saso of San Jose, agent for the General Petroleum Company, announced yesterday that his brother, Sam Saso, a veteran of this war,

will take over the active management of the local branch plant at 410 N. Melerway St.

along with three members of the Council heard a talk and explanation of the benefits agreement.

Frank Rossi City’s Budget Home Draws Praise Destroyed by Aug. 14, 1954 — Gilroy toFire Friday day is on the brink of getApril 30, 1945 — Gilroy rural fire departments fought desperately but failed to save the house of Frank Rossi, local produce merchant of Gilroy, late Friday afternoon, according to Carl Berts, rural fireman. The blaze started from a stove which one of the youngsters is reported to have been playing with.

City Employees Act on Benefits Jan. 28, 1951 — City employees will meet next week to decide whether the wish to name under the federal law pertaining to old age and insurance. At a meeting held in City Hall last night, city employees

ting a swimming pool. Its employees are happy with the ten per cent pay boost. The city will pay off $35,000 bill for electricity, thus saving $25,000 in interest by preventing the bill from running its 2 year term.

Chamber in support of parking idea Nov. 7 1956 — The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce endorses the city council’s pleas of doing something about off street parking – and doing it now. This was the consensus of the board of directors last night as they heard a report on the councils pleas to make an exhaustive and quick survey of off-street parking needs.

SPUTNIK Stunning news of the first man-made satellite launched by the Soviet Union share a front page with the Gilroy drill team victory.

1955 FLOOD Leavesley Road is a lake in this photo from 1955 flooding.

PIGEON HUNT Fish and game was in abundance,

as evidenced here in photo of a 1951 pigeon hunt.

NEW ORCHARDS Gilroy’s agriculture continued to diversity, and new orchards,

shown here in 1955, dotted the landscape.

SEPTEMBER 14, 2018



Congratulations to the Gilroy Dispatch on its 150th anniversary!

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SEPTEMBER 14, 2018

1960-1980: California Dreamin’ GILROY TRIPLES IN SIZE, FROM SMALL TOWN TO MODERN CITY The rest of the nation discovered California in the 1960s, and the infatuation hasn’t stopped. Gilroy may not be Surfin’ USA, but began to feel the impact of new immigrants, from the Midwest and East, and from Mexico. The population would triple over the next 20 years, and it would also diversify. Citizens began to elect the City Council in 1960, and the daily Dispatch would cover every agenda item. Christmas Hill Park was built in the mid-60s, and is a jewel 50 years later. Then, in 1979, the very first Garlic Festival took place. The city’s place in history was secure, and its festival would change palates forever.

NEW PRESSES The Dispatch installed new offset printing presses as the 60s dawned.

LOCAL ISSUES Zoning, growth, parks, traffic all were frequent headline themes

in the 1960s and 1970s, when the city would nearly triple in population.

NEW LIBRARY Population growth brought new county services, such as the new library, built in 1975.

ST. MARY’S New Roman Catholic Church built in 1963 in the Mission style, would include an important grade school on its downtown campus.

IN UNIFORM Camp Robert trained National Guardsmen, as young men in uniform because more prevalent in the 1960s with the expansion of the Vietnam War.

SEPTEMBER 14, 2018





SEPTEMBER 14, 2018


7.0 MONSTER RESIDENTS SLEEP OUTSIDE HARD-HIT NEIGHBORHOOD Oct. 18 1989 — In cold morning post-quake air Glenn Brem checked on neighbors and patrolled his debris strewn block of Kentwood Court. He rang Beatrice Pierri’s doorbell and offered to let her use water from his pool to flush her toilets since she, along with most of her neighbors, had turned off gas and water. She might have accepted had her toilets not been laying in pieces on the bathroom floor.

Hecker Pass closed; Hollister travel limited Oct. 18, 1989 — Access into the Hollister area was being severely limited this morning by the California Highway Patrol. Elsewhere, Hecker Pass Highway and Highway 17 linking San Jose with Santa Cruz are both closed due to damage. Highway 129 south of Gilroy from U.S. 101 to Watsonville was closed earlier because of road construction.

Huge quake shakes us, but doesn’t break us Oct. 19, 1989 — For the most part, telephone lines in Northern California

weren’t down; they were overloaded. Those millions of phone calls that unfortunately tied up the network nonetheless expressed a central truth about the earthquake: All of us were affected. There probably wasn’t a school or workplace in the area Wednesday morning that wasn’t engulfed in worried earthquake tallies: Have you heard from everyone? Is your family safe? Most, thankfully are. In South County and San Benito County — despite extensive destruction in pocket areas of Gilroy and Morgan Hill and the virtual collapse of downtown Hollister — no lives were lost. The death and injury toll was horrible, but nowhere near what has happened elsewhere when earthquakes of this magnitude have struck. It’s apparent that many South County residents need to once again take stock of their preparedness or lack thereof. Those who failed to take safety precautions will, no doubt, be easier to convince that keeping a store of water and canned foods, bolting down large pieces of furniture and knowing how to shut off the main gas supply are necessary parts of life in California. There is much rebuilding to be done now. Yet, in sudden misfortune, we have found our neighbors to be helpful, our communities to be prepared and our spirits to be strong.

Glen View ready of Internet trip July 4, 1995 — Glen View Elementary students stand on the threshold of a new technological frontier filled with information and shared ideas. It’s call the Internet, and the Gilroy Unified School District’s telecommunications magnet is on pace to be hooked up to

SHOCKING NEWS The pages of the Dispatch were filled with images and stories from the

devastation of the 1989 earthquake, first reported here the day after the quake.

HOUSING BOOM The horse doesn’t seem its pastureland being overrun, but that’s what happened in the 1980s and 1990s as the Gilroy population doubled.

LOCAL RADIO Gilroy’s own KFAT radio was homegrown and popular in 1989.

GARLIC, GARLIC The garlic crop boomed as did the local festival

that let to designation of Gilroy as the Garlic Capital of the World.

SEPTEMBER 14, 2018





SEPTEMBER 14, 2018

2000: A New Century Dawns HIGH-TECH IMPACTS HOMES, FARMS As the 21st Century dawned, Gilroy emerged as a destination — a summer desination for garlic lovers, a year-round destination for bargain hunters at the giant Gilroy Premium Outlets and the Monterey Street antique shops, and as a place find affordable housing and clear blue skie, for thousands of Silicon Valley commuters. One more would be added: The Bonfante Gardens theme park opened, and later was acquired by the city and expanded to the renowned Gilroy Gardens, which attracts families from all over California and the U.S.



A New SV Media publication

Friday, August 4, 2017

gilroydispatch.com • Vol. 150, No. 31 • $1

BUSINESS: New taco shop bets on old gambling hall P2

An effort to stop Gilroy from cutting 235 trees is postponed

LOCAL SCENE Winning and winning Chef Carlos Pineda, of Kneaded and Rebekah's Culinary Academy, won the Garlic Showdown on the Cook Off Stage last weekend and he announced on stage that his $3,000 prize would be donated back to the Gilroy Foundation's Jay Minzer and Peter Ciccarelli Memorial Fund that benefits Rebekah's Culinary Academy--a win-win. Margene Peterson won a local contest that brought her and daughter Melissa to center stage with Food Network's Giada DeLaurentiis.

TREE SUIT SHOT DOWN IN COURT Brad Kava and Roseann Hernandez Cattani

separate play structures for 2-to 5-year-olds and for 5-to 12-yearolds, a turf play area, off-street parking and lots of landscaping. Workers from Creative Builders this week began installation of the latest in playground equipment and a landscape designer checked the fine points of a winding warren of concrete pathways that connect the park to sidewalks along Third Street and the Uvas Creek Trail. The park abuts a portion of the

A Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge shot down a Gilroy woman’s attempt to prevent the city from cutting down 235 trees, which she says are healthy. Judge Helen Williams sided with the city, saying that because some trees have fallen and damaged property, the city should be allowed to cut trees it deems dangerous. Gilroy resident Camille McCormack invested $15,000 of her own money to fund a suit asking the city to stop cutting the trees. She hired an arborist, Moki Smith, to assess the trees the city was planning to fell and he found that only one was truly dead. The others could be revived with watering, fertilizer and trimming, he said. However, that didn’t weigh in the judge’s decision. Williams agreed that cutting the trees could do irreparable harm to McCormack and the city, however, she didn’t grant the restraining order because she didn’t think McCormack could win the case in court. It’s a decision that shows how difficult it can be to get a preliminary injunction, said McCormack’s attorney, Laura Beaton. McCormack’s suit also asked the court to stop the cutting because she said it was done as a violation of public records laws. The city council’s agenda item about the trees said only that it was considering tree maintenance, not a major purge of 235 of the city’s 18,000 trees. “Although this description did not expressly state that ‘removal’ of 235 trees was included in the budget allocation being considered, the court concludes that in the circumstances of this case, the City substantially complied with notice requirements,” the judge wrote. A bigger issue is the fact that the city used the same firm to decide whether

➝ Dog Park, 12

➝ Trees, 12

Man sentenced for illegal roach killer

Leave your mark downtown

GARLIC FESTIVAL ‘LOCALS DAY’ ISN’T JUST LOCALS Friday may have been Local’s Day at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, but that didn’t stop people from all over the country from celebrating the “stinking rose.” Sure it was hot and dusty, but the 39th Garlic Fest was another success, according to guests and promoters. The festival drew 102,667 customers this year a 20,000 rise over last year. They came for celebrity chefs,

cooking contests, food, drink and entertainment. And they traveled from all over the country. “It’s like spicy and sweet, but it’s kinda good though,” said Allison Pfeffer, of Hollister, as she and Kate Butler who is from Los Angeles, shared a scoop of garlic ice cream served in a halved cantaloupe. “I was forced to get it; my mom said I had to get it.” For Butler, the Garlic Festival is a family tradition. It was Pfeffer’s first time, despite her local roots. “We’ve been coming for 10 years,” Butler said. “I love eating all the food. The food is definitely the best part.”

Sal and Jane Espinoza waited underneath the wires of the zipline as their son Joe, 27, glided from the three-story tower to the ground. Despite being lifelong residents of Gilroy, this was their first Garlic Festival. Once they were there, though, they had their fill of everything garlic. “We had the garlic wine, the garlic ice cream and the garlic bread,” Jane Espinoza said. “It was pretty garlicky,” said Sal Espinoza in a guarded review of the garlic wine. Some people just can’t get ➝ Garlic Festival, 14

Who’s letting all those dogs out?


AUGUST 4, 2017


A Garden Grows in Gilroy

A section of the Gilroy Dispatch & Morgan Hill Times

2017 Fest was much bigger Reporter

Abundant Harvest


Inside this issue:


By Jack Foley Senior Editor

It’s not even completed yet, but the newest park in Gilroy’s award-winning system is already going to the dogs. Make that, dogs’ park. The new Hecker Pass Neighborhood Park, located at the far reaches of west Third Street along Uvas Creek, will be the first

South Valley Magazine

58015 02001

BIG LEAGUE Emmy-award-winning celebrity chef, author and Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis instructed two lucky audience members in making her favorite dishes Penne with Corn and Spicy Sausage and Burrata and Strawberry Bruschetta. She also hosted the $3,000 Garlic Showdown won by a Gilroy local.

By Bryce Stoepfel

How proud you would be to stroll down the beautiful Downtown Paseo and see your family (or business) name imprinted on a brick, forever outlining the walkway of this wonderful addition to the community. The deadline to purchase a Paseo Brick is August 4. Only 26 bricks are available now for $250. Purchase online or download the form and mail it at GilroyFoundation.org



A San Jose man was sentenced today to six months in jail by Judge Arthur Bocanegra for selling a dangerous pesticide for several months in 2016 that he re-bottled, resold, and promoted as safe to use inside the home to kill cockroaches and bedbugs. Julio Pino Reyes, 46, was convicted on May 30, 2017, of three felony charges, including dishonest dealing of a misbranded pesticide. At least three people, including two small children, went to the hospital after exposure to the powder. Bottles of the powder were sold at flea markets and through ads on Facebook and OfferUp, and in the Spanish-language magazine El Avisador. Testing showed a high concentration of Acephate, a pesticide that is not approved for indoor residential use. Exposure can cause nausea, shaking, dizziness, rapid heart rate, and confusion. It was sold under the names "El Mejor Remedio" and "El Mejor Polvo".

in the city’s history to be built with an off-leash dog park in the mix, according to Claudia Moran Garcia, a civil engineer with the city’s engineering department. Although originally scheduled for opening at the end of July, the wet winter delayed the start of construction, according to Moran Garcia. A late August opening is now expected but a date has not yet been decided, she said. Besides the fenced dog park, other amenities will include a special children’s playground with


TECHNOLOGY SHIFT Former City Clerk John Hodges looks over oak file cabinets now

COLORFUL NEWS The newspapers of the century joined the all-color

NEW POLICE HQ The new police headquarters, dedicated in 2011.

CSI TEAM Crime Scene investigators, female officers and new technologies changed

replaced by servers and off-site databases, as local government shifts to a digital world.

world of media, bringing local events to life.

the world of crime fighting in Gilroy and around the U.S.

SEPTEMBER 14, 2018





SEPTEMBER 14, 2018

Profile for Weeklys

Gilroy Dispatch 150th Annivarsary Celebration  

Friday, September 14

Gilroy Dispatch 150th Annivarsary Celebration  

Friday, September 14

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