Los Angeles in the 1900s

August 1905

From the Los Angeles Express, August 4, 1905


Ex-Mayor Tells of the Plan for Diverting
Part of Its Flow to Los Angeles

Ex-Mayor Fred Eaton reached the city at noon today coming down from San Francisco on the Coast Line. . . . he has lost none of the enthusiasm for the Owens River project on which he has been at work for months . . . .

No sooner had he reached his room at the California Club than he was beset by many persons connected with the Water Department of the city . . . . throughout the afternoon he held an informal reception which made it difficult for any individual to secure connected talk with him.

He took time, however, to briefly outline his work on the projected water system, and said:

“Thirteen years ago I went to Owens Valley to study the water situation with a view to colonizing the valley, having heard having heard a great deal about the magnificent water supply of that region.

“After studying the situation carefully, I was convinced that a colonization project was not practicable . . . and I abandoned the idea. . . .

“Then the idea came to me that here was the source of water supply that I knew Los Angeles would need in the course of years . . . . I caused a preliminary survey to be made then at my own expense. . . .

“I allowed the matter to lie dormant until the middle of last year. . . . Finally I made up my mind that the time had come for action.

“My idea . . . was to organize a strong company which should develop the great water power of the streams which pour down from the high Sierras [sic] and then combine with the electric feature . . . bringing the water to the San Fernando Valley . . . and from the sale of the electricity and water I was satisfied the project would be an inviting one.

“. . . I knew the government was planning to put in irrigation works, relying on the waters of the Owen River for the supply . . . . If I had waited until after the government was at work, it would have required $1 million to $2 million more to get the water for the city, and

that probably would have killed the project. . . .

“Later . . . I met Mr. Mathews [the city attorney], and he urged me to . . . let the water be developed by the municipality. This I disliked to do, for it would deprive me of what I believed to be a splendid opportunity to make money . . . . I finally consented . . . .

“The result was an agreement that I would turn over to the city all the water rights I had acquired at the price I had paid for them, except that I retained the cattle which I had been compelled to take in making the deals . . . and mountain pasture land of no value except for grazing purposes. . . .

“. . . the matter has cost me about $15,000 . . . . Should I desire to continue in the cattle business . . . it will be necessary for me to invest about $150,000 additional in the purchase of suitable farming land. . . .”

(The deal was not happy for Eaton. He died a bankrupt. Click here for the story.)

When William Randolph Hearst brought his brand of journalism to Los Angeles in December 1903, he carried with it a talented crew of reporters, editors — and courtroom sketch artists. Here is an example of the kind of exciting courtroom drama Angelinos could buy for a nickel on August 12, 1905.

From the Los Angeles Express, August 4, 1905


Walter Scott, the Death Valley prospector, returned to Los Angeles this afternoon over the Santa Fe after a record-breaking trip to Chicago and a triumphal tour of the East.

[Scott, known as “Death Valley Scotty,” had chartered a special train to break the speed record between L.A. and Chicago. For more, click here.]

He was accompanied by Mrs. Scott.

A large crowd welcomed them at the depot. Both received the vociferous welcome with smiles of delight.

“I’m glad to be back home,” said Scott. “I’ve had enough of the effete East— and especially of New York. Oh, there’s a bunch of cheap guys around that Waldorf-Astoria. They make me tired.”

A dozen persons fired questions at the miner in the same breath, and Scott made no attempt to reply, except to say:

“Sure, all right, boys! I’m going back to the desert

gazed at the half-dozen cameras leveled at him.

Rol King and others accompanied Scott to the Hollenbeck Hotel, where he registered. A suite of rooms had been prepared in advance.

Scott seemed embarrassed by his dudish apparel. He wore a slazy black suit several numbers too large, patent leather shoes, black cowboy hat, neglige shirt and a flaring red tie. Evidently he had carefully groomed himself for the Los Angeles reception.

He still wears the smile that won’t come off. Neither Mr. nor Mrs. Scott appeared the least weary after their exciting adventures.

Telephone messages were sent to the various hotels when Scott stepped off the train, but the Hollenbeck was the fortunate bidder. The saloon next door was crowded with local sports ready to welcome the generous miner when he made his appearance.

tomorrow or next day. Where’ll I stop [stay tonight]? Have no idea. I’m in the hands of my friends, you see.”

Mrs. Scott was fashionably dressed. She is a handsome woman and is plainly proud of and much in love with her picturesque husband.

They were escorted to a big white automobile, and Scott sat serenely on the front seat and

From the Los Angeles Express, August 4, 1905


Miss Violet Sutton won the title of woman tennis champion of Southern California for the second time by defeating her sister, Florence, at Ocean Park this afternoon after a hard battle. The score: 8–6, 6–1, 8–6

From the Los Angeles Examiner, August 12, 1905


Every dollar now means two or more later on. It is going to be the junction point of the new Santa Ana line. Four tracks will lead there. A water system will be established, work to begin at once. Over 730 lots sold in the Forthmann Tract there alone in the past eight weeks. Over 1600 people there now and every activity of a big junction city.


Watts is only 15 minutes from 6th and Main streets and will soon have a 5-minute service. You can live there and work in town. Lots are only $90 and up. $1 down and $1 a week. You waste time looking for anything better. Stop at Branch office, right on the corner of 6th and Main, and get map and free ticket.

Golden State Realty Co.

421 S. Spring. Both Phones Ex. 56
From the Los Angeles Express, August 4, 1905

The Broadway Department Store

Semi-Annual $5.00 Suit Sale

Suits for Men, Young Men and Youths

Most of them Worth $10.00

Both Single and Double Breasted. Thousands to Choose From. Extra Salesmen in Attendance.

In point of crowd bringing and value giving, our Semi-Annual $5.00 Suit Sale is one of the banner events scheduled by the “Broadway.” Our last $5.00 Suit Sale, held six months ago, crowded an entire floor devoted to our men’s clothing section, which will give us more room to handle the enormous crowds which this sale is sure to bring.

We’ve made preparations for this sale on a grander, broader scale than ever before, having secured thousands of suits from various well-known clothing manufacturers who were anxious to close their season’s business.

In addition to the enormous number of suits purchased specially for this sale are hundreds of short and broken lines from our regular stock. The materials embrace fancy cheviots, all-wood tweeds, cassimeres and fancy worsteds; as well as a most generous assortment of PLAIN BLACK WORSTEDS AND BLUE SERGES.

There are both single and double breasted coats, cut in the latest style and splendidly tailored. Sizes for men, young men and youths. Some of these suits are our regular $10.00 suits, others suits that were made to sell for $10.00 and up to $12.50.

This is a broad and far-reaching sale, embracing a greater quantity of ready-to-wear clothing than was ever before shown under one roof in Southern California. Come early and come often; you’ll be amazed at the values, and if you’re sharp and shrewd will not be content to buy one suit, but will secure several.

Extra Salesmen, Extra Cashiers, Extra Bundle Wrappers

That you may be served with the promptness and courtesy to which you have been accustomed in the “Broadway,” we have secured the services of a vast number of extra clothing salesmen. We’ve also added extra cashiers and a large corps of bundle wrappers. You won’t have to wait; no matter how great the crowds you’ll be served promptly and intelligently by salesmen who know their business.

To save mistakes, we would advise your paying particular attention to the size of the garments which you purchase, and would suggest that you count your change carefully to avoid errors. The sale begins Saturday morning; first choosing will be best, so come as early as you can.

For a personal look at Los Angeles in the 1920s and 1930s, click for
He Usually Lived With a Female: The Life of a California Newspaperman