Los Angeles in the 1900s

December 1901

From the Los Angeles Times, December 26, 1901

POOR LABOR PROPOSITION

Porto Ricans Tried and Found Wanting.

Hawaiian Planters Have No Use for Them.
 

Harry von Holt of Honolulu Talks About Conditions in the Islands.

Harry von Hole [sic], business man of Honolulu, and one of the largest sugar growers on the Island of Oahu, is visiting Los Angeles for a few days en route to Hawaii from an extended tour through Europe with his wife. . . .

 

Being interested in the large Eva sugar plantation back of Honolulu, he has had considerable dealing with the Porto Rican contract laborers, who have been imported there, and who lately caused considerable comment here [in Los Angeles] when they passed through because of their starving condition.

All the Porto Ricans shipped to Hawaii were brought from New Orleans over the Southern Pacific and shipped by transport from Port Los Angeles. At the time, many people criticised the shippers and the railroad company for starving these peons and their people while en route.

 

“They were a miserable lot when they arrived on the plantations,” said Mr. Von Holt yesterday, “but they had been starving in their own country for years, and are utterly unfit to care for themselves.

“They fared well enough in transportation, but were a lot of living skeletons when they arrived, because of this long poverty which they have suffered, and of course were worthless at first as far as labor went.

 

“During the first month the planters fed them and tried to get them settled, while they pretended to do a little work about the fields. At the end of the month, when they were each paid a few dollars apiece, instead of providing themselves with the necessities of life and preparing themselves for work, they all rushed straight to the nearest store and had a grand picnic.

“The first day they spent every cent of their earnings on absolutely nothing but soda water, sweet crackers and cigarettes. They gorged themselves on these absurdities like children. They had to be taken up and provided for again by the planters, and have proved a poor proposition.

“The islands need a class of immigrants who will become hard-working citizens, and not a class of paupers.

“It is very hard to find, however, a white man of he farming class who will work long with his own hands under the conditions that exist there. Asiatic labor — principally Japanese at present —has been and, it seems, will have to continue to be, the dependence of the country.

 

A white man will not work beside an Asiatic. A white farmer buys a farm and commences to work it with his own hands, as he does on the continent; soon he realizes that he can hire Asiatic labor to till the land so cheaply that he can better afford to engage his own laborers and hire himself out as an overseer on some plantation than to farm on his own account.

“There is no climatic reason why white men should not work in the cane fields of the Hawaiian islands as well as Asiatics. The conditions are healthful.

“The islands are very prosperous under the present order of things. Since the coming of the American government [in 1898] everybody feels more secure and all values have become more solid.”

Comment on the Puerto Ricans Story

The Puerto Rican immigration to Hawaii is described in a “Multiculture Hawaii” course designed by Leah Aiwohi, Erlinda Bukoski, Judy Cabanting, Lois Inouye, Shari Makizuru and Lance Martell, as follows:

“On November 22, 1900 the first group of 56 Puerto Ricans began their journey to Maui, Hawaii. The early group who arrived in Honolulu were in very poor health and were extremely tired from their voyage. By 1902, 34 plantations had Puerto Ricans on their payroll. Occupations of the men were 4 clerical positions, 11 lunas [overseers, sometimes mounted on horseback], 15 railway laborers, 9 mill hands and 1734 field hands and common laborers. The immigrants were sent to plantations on various islands. Most stayed on the plantations to work but some of them moved from plantation to plantation because they did not like the type of work or they did not like the way they were being treated.”

To read more about Puerto Rican immigrants in Hawaii, click here.

From the Los Angeles Herald, December 1, 1901

AMONG COLORED CITIZENS

    . . . Miss Amelia Ocrow of Colorado Springs is in the city. She will make Los Angeles her home.

Mrs. S.W. Hawkins was taken suddenly ill Sunday morning. . . .

The opossum dinner at Zion Church Thanksgiving day was a great success. Among those who enjoyed it were the members of the fire company at Fourth Street and Towne Avenue. [This was a black and Hispanic station. You can read its history here.]

 

Born to Mrs. Green of 447 Jackson St. last Saturday, a girl.

Mrs. J. S. Outlaw, after two weeks’ illness, is able to be out again.

L.W. Shores and R.H. Pierce, accompanied by Misses Carrington, Mattie Scott, Lettie Shores and Ada Hawkins, had a pleasant picnic at Baldwin’s Ranch Thursday.

Zion M.E. Church was filled Thursday evening to hear a repetition of the cantata “Under the Palms” by Professor Bynum and members of the choir. It was well rendered and merited applause.

F.E. White and wife of Chicago are in the city. Mr. White contemplates going into business here.

The little boy of Mrs. Russell of Santee Street is improving. He is under the care of Dr. J.S. Outlaw.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Beard of 128 San Pedro Street entertained at Thanksgiving dinner Mrs. K.J. Barr; her mother, Mrs. Davis; and Master Elmer Barr, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Lewis, Messrs. John Sanders and Burns.

 

     Isaac Robinson of Rose Street has been made flagman for the Salt Lake Railroad and [is] stationed in East Los Angeles. . . .

F.L. Fanner and Cora Finnery were united in marriage Wednesday, Nov. 20, at the A.M.E. parsonage, Rev. J.E. Edwards performing the ceremony.

Mr. and Mrs. C.I. Clarkson entertained Rev. J.E. Edwards and family at dinner Thursday. Mr. and Mrs. Dauchy entertained the pastor and wife in the evening, together with Mrs. John Scott and Mr. James.

Mmes. L.W. Fair, H. Letcher and Owens of Chicago are in the city visiting their husbands, who are at Sisters’ Hospital, injured by the recent Santa Fe wreck.

 

Thanksgiving services were held at Stevens A.M.E. church. The pastor discussed the “Evils That Threaten Our National Life.” Mrs. Roan sang a solo. The pastor spoke at length upon lynching, anarchy and kindred evils and strong urged the elevation of the home as a preventive of those dangers. The Sunday school concert in the evening was well attended. . . .

Rev. J.E. Edwards addressed an audience at the Odd Fellows Hall, Pasadena, Friday evening on his trip to England. . . .   

WHO WERE THESE ‘COLORED CITIZENS?’

Samuel W. Hawkins was pastor of the A.M.E. Zion Church. He and his wife lived at 622 E. Fourth St.

Dr. and Mrs. John S. Outlaw lived at 940 Albany St. His medical practice was in the Wilson Building. He is probably the same man who was nominated to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1884 and 1885.

The Rev. Martin W. Bynum was presiding elder of the Southern California district of the A.M.E. Zion Church. He lived at 1217 W. 22nd St.

Daniel A. Russell was a waiter who lived at 815 Santee St.

Charles S. Beard was a chimney sweep who boarded at 745 San Pedro St.

Katherine J. Barr, the widow of Elmer E. Barr, lived at 620 E. First St.

Lawson F. Flanner, a driver, had his residence at 2158 E. 10th St.

The Rev. Jarrett E. Edwards lived in the Stevens A.M.E. Church at 312 Azusa St. [shown] in the present Little Tokyo. It is not to be confused with the A.M.E. Zion Church at 622 E. Fourth St., between Towne and Ruth streets.

Charles I. Clarkson was a janitor for the L.A. National Bank. He made his home at 1707 W. Pico.

Ewing M. Dauchy, a porter, lived across from the church, at 329 Azusa.

Source: 1902 City Directory

From the Los Angeles Times, December 26, 1901

 

H.J.W. Old Bourbon Whiskey. Purity is the first essential in a medicinal whisky. H.J.W. is distilled from selected grain, and is a superior whisky even when new. Age brings it to perfection. Every bottle of H.J.W. possesses those qualities that years alone can give. Always buy H.J.W. $1 per bottle. 6 bottles $5. H.J. Woolacott. 124 No. Spring.

 

To Stop Falling Hair, cure dandruff, itching scalp, scale and cruet, nothing equals my scientific treatments specially prepared for each case. Call or write for free consultation or book. John M. Woodbury, D.I., 163 State St., Chicago.

 

Infantile Humors. Itching, eczemas, rashes, irritations, and inflammations, instantly relieved by a warm bath with Cuticura Soap followed by a gentle anointing with Cuticura, purest of emollient skin cures.

 

“Barker’s” is synonymous with good furniture since 1881. 420-424 S. Spring Street.

 

Air-Tight and Oil Heaters $1.25 and Up. The best to use these nippy mornings. Fine line nickel plated coffee and teapots. Reliable carvers and fine cutlery. H. Guyot, 414 South Spring St.

 

Puritas Root Beer. The kind that tastes good the year round. Phone Private Exchange 6 and let us send you a case.

 

Carving Sets, barbers’ supplies, shaving outfits. Jos. Janger, 250-252 South Main Street.

 

After Over-Indulgence use Beecham’s Pills.

 

Tape Worms and all other parasites removed by herb tonic. Dr. Smith A. Arnold, 202 1/2 South Broadway. Rooms 220-221.

 

Virgin Oil, imported from Mexico, amber color, natural oil, restores gray hair to its original color, no dye — entirely destroys dandruff. Nature’s own restorative — price $5 — pay if cured, not otherwise. We trust you. Address the Virgin Oil Co., Los Angeles, Calif. 524 (?) Langelin (?) Bldg.

 

Bicycles. Tribune, Cleveland and Light Bicycles for Xmas. Leavitt & Bill, 460 S. Spring.

 

New York Dental Parlors. 321 1/2 (?) South Spring Street.