One Hundred Years Ago Today

One hundred years ago, fewer than 18,000 people lived in the city of San Diego. Fewer than 40,000 lived in the county, which then was twice its current area. The San Diego Union was one of four daily papers reporting on the news from here and afar. During the month of January 1901, most issues of the Union were eight to ten pages. Illustrations (except for those in advertisements) were rare. A typical front page might contain between 16 and 20 stories. If you had combed through the paper that month, here are a few of the items that might have caught your eye….

  • Tuesday, January 1, 1901
  • Page Three

The Opening of a New Century — How Midnight Was Waited for by the People of San Diego

There were more eyes open last night when the old year gave way to the new and the twentieth century supplanted the nineteenth than had been closed in sleep… [T]he streets were almost as well filled with people at 12:30 this morning as they were at that hour yesterday afternoon. Street cars were held until nearly 1 o’clock at the corner of Fifth and D streets before starting on their final trip to the outer ends of their runs….

  • Page Four
  • To Eastern People [editorial]

The Los Angeles Times has just issued a special edition designed to show the resources and development of the county in which it is published. The work as a whole is commendable. Unfortunately the proprietor of that paper was unable to restrain his chronic hatred of San Diego. So in the map which he publishes showing the field of the Pacific commerce, San Diego is carefully eliminated, and Los Angeles, a city twenty miles in the interior, is moved down to the coast and made to appear a port of Southern California, the deception being heightened by various devices representing purely imaginary steamer lines from that fictitious entrepot of commerce.

This is a pretty small business, but it is not the Times’ first offense. It did the same trick a year ago, and then tried to crawl out by pleading “inadvertence” in the “art department.”…

The attempt of the Times to make Los Angeles pose as a seaport is simply an imprudent effort to deceive eastern people.

  • Page Ten
  • Small Police Force

The [San Diego] police force is thought to be the smallest in America for a city of [this] size…. There are only twelve men on the force, or one for nearly every 1,500 people. The officers serve on shifts of eight hours each, making only four men on duty at one time…. As the morals of San Diego are not bad and the city is comparatively free from crime, the small force experiences no difficulty in maintaining law and order….

  • Page Twenty
  • Vast Oil Fields in This County

Immense possibilities in the oil industry are believed to exist in San Diego county, and it is the general opinion that there will be an unprecedented development in this particular in the near future. It was the hope and the expectation that one of the half dozen companies boring for oil would strike a gusher before the end of the year, but it appears that the century won the race…. Boring is in progress in different sections of the county and preparations are being made for starting more drills, so encouraging are the indications…. It is believed that a new era is in store for San Diego and that the oil industry will make things hum here….

  • Wednesday, January 2
  • Page Four
  • Two Crowded Houses

Twice packed to the doors in a single day is something of a new record for the Fisher theater, which was made yesterday by the “Way Down East” company with Beryl Hope playing the part of Annie Moore and Robert Fisher the part of the New England squire.

The play had been well advertised, and it was the opinion of most of the large audience…that it came up to the most flattering of the advance notices given, though some were found to declare that Miss Hope would make a better appearance on the stage if she permitted her head to rest naturally on her shoulders instead of crowding it forward in a manner which must be as uncomfortable to her as it seemed to be to the average member of the audience. There were others who thought the love-making of David a little too enthusiastic for real life….

[Untitled Editorial Note]

It will be a blessed relief for all to remember that the discussion of the question as to when a new century actually begins will not be revived during the lifetime of many people now living.

Page Five

Details of Double Crime

Additional details concerning the shooting and hanging at San Felipe the day after Christmas were received by the Union yesterday from its Mesa Grande correspondent. Ygnacio Segundo was the name of the Indian shot, his assailant being Cervantes Chipole, who afterward hung himself to an oak tree.

Ygnacio was assaulted about 2 o’clock in the afternoon while returning from the San Felipe Christmas fiesta…. He was followed by another Indian whose face he did not see, and was shot twice with a shotgun — once in the back and again in the side of the head and face. He fell senseless from his horse…. [As Chipole] considerately betook himself to the hunting grounds for bad Indians shortly after his target practice, full particulars and motives are wanting.

Ygnacio still lies in a very precarious condition [and] says that he had no quarrel with Cervantes at all, and on the contrary was on good terms with him and knows no cause for the shooting.

  • Thursday, January 3
  • Page Three
  • Local Brevities

Ramon Romero pleaded guilty in police court yesterday to the charge of battering Clemente Perales, and was fined $5.

Of three people arrested on the first of the new century for being drunk, two forfeited bail to the amount of $6 each, and the other was discharged.

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