TRANSIT



    In the 1970s and 1980s, before construction of the city's subway system and 

its Metrolink counterpart that connected Los Angeles to the suburbs, older 

Angelenos, short of memory but long on nostalgia, spoke warmly of the Pacific 

Electric transit system, referred to affectionately as "the Big Red Cars" or 

simply "the P.E."  Recalling the days when commuters could move quickly from 

Long Beach or San Fernando to downtown Los Angeles on what was then recognized 

as one of the nation's most extensive interurban systems, they decried the 

buses and freeways that replaced the Red Cars after World War II.  

    Not so different were the comments of an earlier generation of Angelenos 

who fondly recalled, in memoirs written in the 1910s, '20s and '30s, the pre-P.E. 

days of the 1870s and '80s when transit riders first enjoyed the luxury of 

horse-drawn streetcars.  Several of the standard reminiscences - by Bixby, 

Newmark and Workman - were written by residents who remembered the horse cars 

with affection.  Harris Newmark wrote that the pioneer Spring and Sixth Street 

line, founded by Judge Robert Widney in 1874, was never crowded and stopped 

anywhere for the convenience of passengers.  Sarah Bixby related that on the 

Main Street and Agricultural Park line:

              It was the custom for the driver on late trips to stop 

         the car, wind the reins around the brake handles, and escort 

         lone lady passengers to their front doors.... Even as late as 

         1890 the car once waited while Katherine Carr ran into Mott's 

         market for her meat!

    Boyle Workman, recalling a gruff but lovable druggist who often gave 

children candy, mused that:

              In my school days, after the horse-car line to Boyle 

         Heights was established, I always hoped the car would be 

         late.  Then I could wait for it in Heinzeman's store and 

         receive a licorice stick.    

    Horsecars had a monopoly on public transit for over a decade, but in 1885 

the first of several cable lines, the Second Street Railway Co., began 

operations.  Electric streetcars appeared on the city's streets early in 1887 

but, beset by a variety of problems, that first line - out Pico to the Electric 

Homestead Tract - failed financially and was converted to a horsecar operation 

in 1888.  At the end of the decade other transit developers, primarily Moses 

Sherman and his brother-in-law Eli Clark, organized the forerunner of the 

electric systems that became the Pacific Electric, primarily for intercity 

transit, and the Los Angeles Railway, the yellow cars that dominated transit 

within the city until after World War II.

    Those early streetcar operations were frequent subjects of letters to the 

Times, usually in the form of complaints about schedules, ill-treatment of 

passengers, accidents or abuse of the horses and mules.  The quaint and 

leisurely custom of car operation in the mid-1870s was looked upon as an 

annoyance by the 1880s.  Sarah Bixby may have been impressed, but other riders 

would not applaud an unscheduled stop as Mrs. Carr darted into the market for 

groceries.  



                                 A) HORSECARS



    By 1876 four horsecar lines were operating within Los Angeles.  Widney's 

success encouraged others to seek franchises from the city council, which 

granted them willingly.  The Main Street and Agricultural Park line, owned in 

part by former governor John Downey and Isaias W. Hellman, ran south to 

Washington Gardens, a major entertainment center.  Other new lines ran on San 

Pedro and Aliso Streets.  As population grew and the city expanded, additional 

routes continued to open throughout the 1880s and early 1890s.

    Horsecars were slow, ran infrequently and were subject to numerous delays.  

A frequent complaint from riders was about the time lost at switches.  Most 

lines were initially single-tracked with a switch, or turnout, where cars met.  

When a car reached the point on a single track line where it was scheduled to 

meet its counterpart traveling in the opposite direction, one vehicle would 

move onto the switch until the other passed.  Should a car run late, it was 

necessary for the other to wait at the switch for its arrival.  The suggestion 

made below by "Citizen S" that one in a hurry should walk rather than ride the 

horsecar was not entirely made in jest.

    Even when lines were double-tracked delays were common and the time between 

cars unpredictable.  Riders complained about waiting an inordinate amount of 

time for a car only to find two or three arriving at once.  Newmark recalled 

that as late as 1887 there were no cars before 6 a.m. or after 10 p.m.

    A major problem on all the lines was that cars frequently derailed, and 

driver and passengers alike labored to return the wheels to the track.  In the 

early years service was often suspended on Widney's line in winter as the cars, 

running on rails laid even with the unpaved street to avoid the bumpy crossings 

for buggies that editor Mathes had complained about, mired down in mud.  

    These problems prompted letters to the Times.  "Citizen S" and "W," both of 

whom wrote as electricity began to replace horse power, captured the 

frustration felt by riders who relied upon "rapid transit."  

                         {Times, Jan. 17, 1888, p. 6}

                           Street-Car Tribulations.

                       LENGTHY ESSAY ON MULES AND WOMEN.

              Los Angeles, Jan. 15.--[To The Editor of The Times.]  I 

         started one day last week to call on a lady friend who lives 

         in East Los Angeles.  Not being born lucky, and because it is 

         not considered the proper thing for a woman to run or shout, 

         I missed the car as it was turning the corner of First 

         street.  Also, that car missed me.  So it was a mutual loss.  

         A mortal hour did I then stand on Main street waiting for the 

         next that bore a painted declaration of intention to carry 

         its passengers to Downey avenue.  Beautiful lines of 

         Scripture came to mind:  "Possess thy soul in patience,"  

         "They also serve who only stand and wait," "Let patience have 

         her perfect work," etc.  There is an end to all things, and 

         there came an end at last to this exasperating waiting.  I 

         finally found myself in a besplashed old vehicle, with mud-

         frescoed windows, that promised a lively shaking to one's 

         bones and a powerful antidote to indigestion.  Near the depot 

         came the usual impedimenta in the long trains of freight 

         cars.  How they cavorted back and forth, as if just for the 

         fun of the thing, oblivious and indifferent to the miseries 

         inside that insignificant little street-car.  One may derive 

         benefit from almost every circumstance of life, and even this 

         disagreeable delay might be turned to account, so I ventured 

         a few questions to the conductor for future benefit.

              "How often do these cars make a trip?"

              "Every 10 minutes," was the reply.

              "But I waited an hour," said I.  "None passed except 

         those bound for Daly street."

              "Oh, that makes no difference; you don't go by what it 

         says outside the car.  All with two horses go to Downey 

         avenue."

              "But the Daly-street cars had two horses, I am sure," 

         said I.  "Beg pardon, mum, they were mules.  They either use 

         two mules or one horse.  You have to be particular, or you 

         make a mistake."

              Ah, thought I, one must be a careful observer, and not 

         get on a mule car.  You must note the length of the animale's 

         ears, the peculiar conformation of his tail, if it has 

         feathery ends, like the long, braided switches worn by young 

         ladies abundantly blessed with woman's "crowning glory."  But 

         while mentioning these trifling inconveniences, I must not 

         forget the advantages this car line affords to the traveling 

         public.  They will stop for you anywhere between the blocks.  

         In fact, their favorite pastime seems to be in stopping, and 

         also stopping a long time when they stop.  It is an oft-

         repeated libel, that horses do not live long after being put 

         before street-cars.  They do, for many of these have already 

         attained a venerable old age.  They are veritable equine 

         Methuselahs, and if there is anything that will tend to 

         promote beastly longevity, it must be a life on the Spring-

         street line.  Acting on the proverb that "a merciful man is 

         merciful to his beast," the company has provided numerous 

         little resting places.  Sometimes you ride quite briskly for 

         10 minutes, then comes the horse-heaven or switch, as it is 

         called, and there you stop from 15 minutes to an hour.  The 

         animals like it immensely, and the passengers joke or growl, 

         according to disposition or the amount of superfluous time 

         they have on hand.  It takes just four hours to make a call 

         in East Los Angeles, provided you do not stay more than five 

         or ten minutes.  You have just time to exchange inquiries 

         about health, complaints about your boarding-place, 

         information as to the newest wrinkle in dress-skirt 

         draperies, but if you have ideas beyond these--and now and 

         then women have--arrange with your friend to take the trip 

         with you.  Carry a lunch, and you will have ample time and a 

         splendid chance for a long talk, and the ride will do you 

         good.  It is decidedly anti-dyspeptic, and will speedily 

         settle any digestive difficulty.  Should you happen to be in 

         a hurry, be sure and walk, for this line is intended only for 

         those with plenty of leisure--and time-killers of society.

                                                 CITIZEN S.



                         {Times, Oct. 26, 1887, p. 3}

                  The Olive-street Cars and the Church-goers.

              Los Angeles, Oct. 25.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  If 

         church-going people are ever excusable for an exhibition of 

         temper they certainly had abundant cause for indignation on 

         Sunday morning last when they were delayed at each switch 

         along the Olive-street line from ten to fifteen minutes, thus 

         making a great many too late for church.  In order to reach 

         the depot or church it is now necessary to start a half an 

         hour earlier than a month ago to accomplish the same trip.  

         If the public have any rights which street railroads are 

         bound to respect it will not be long before they will be 

         bound to assert them if some improvement is not made on the 

         Olive-street line.                                 

                                                 W.



    Not all riders were as good-humored about their displeasure with the 

city's transit service as "Citizen S."  Thomas Lewis described in 1889 the 

difficulty of utilizing public transportation for an evening on the town.  A 

"bench show," such as the one referred to by Lewis, was an indoor exhibition of 

animals, usually dogs.

                         {Times, June 30, 1889, p. 6}

                     Inefficient and Lawless Car Service.

              Los Angeles, June 27.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         The people living out on the line of the Main-street and 

         Agricultural Park Railroad should have some protection 

         against the treatment received at the hands of this company.  

         Wednesday evening I came in with my family to the bench show 

         at Hazard's Pavilion.  On our return home we reached Main and 

         Fifth streets at 9:50 o'clock.  We waited from that time 

         until 10:25, when a Figueroa-street car--No. 26, I 

         think--came along so terribly overloaded that the horse was 

         hardly able to drag the burden.  The passengers were hanging 

         on the front and back platforms and all along the steps, so 

         that I knew it was impossible for another passenger to get 

         on.  I went into the street to stop the car, but the driver 

         very properly refused to stop, as it would, perhaps, have 

         taken steam power to start the car again with such a load.  

         From that time until the next Figueroa car reached that 

         point, going south, it was 42 minutes, making the wait one 

         hour and seventeen minutes for transportation.  In the 

         meantime Jefferson-street car No. 11 passed, going south, 

         loaded in the same unwarranted way, this being the only 

         Jefferson-street car passing that point going south during 

         this hour and seventeen minutes.  About 40 minutes between 

         cars is all right for a country town, but in a growing 

         metropolitan city, where residence property sells for from 

         $75 to $100 per front foot, three miles from the center, such 

         a thing is an outrage.  These beautiful streets are almost 

         entirely given up to the railroad company, valuable 

         privileges given up, for which others would pay handsomely, 

         and the streets kept in bad condition all the time on account 

         of the road being there; and this is what the people who 

         support this company so handsomely get in return.  This kind 

         of service was all right a few years ago, when you could buy 

         acreage on this line for the price of one lot now in the same 

         acre.  This is no longer a country town; we pay city taxes, 

         and are entitled to city privileges.  If this was my first 

         sad experience on this line I would, as like hundreds of 

         others are doing today, keep quiet.  But there is a point at 

         which human endurance fails to endure, and I have reached 

         that point.  I have been riding on this line for about two 

         years, it costing me about $10 per month for myself and my 

         family, and I hail with the keenest delight the completion of 

         the cable road on Grand avenue, so that I may find a day of 

         deliverance from such service.  I have consulted the City 

         Attorney's office, and find that the company breaks the city 

         ordinances in the following way every day: First, by allowing 

         more than forty passengers on a one-horse car, for which the 

         law provides a fine of $100, or imprisonment for 60 days, one 

         or both; second, an ordinance passed April 22, 1889, makes it 

         unlawful for a driver to leave his animal or animals 

         unattended at any time while the car is in motion, and the 

         penalty for breaking this law is quite sufficient--$100 fine 

         and imprisonment for 60 days, one or both.  If the citizens 

         along this line will assist in enforcing the law, we may have 

         better accommodations.

                                                THOMAS A. LEWIS.



    While Lewis recognized the difficulty in restarting an overloaded car and 

thus understood the reason car No. 26 had not stopped, he believed the answer 

was to press more cars into operation, easing the burden on the animals and at 

the same time providing the riding public with adequate service.  That 

overloading was not confined to the Main Street line is indicated by this 

complaint to the editor from a resident of Bonnie Brae, located along Ninth 

between Alvarado and Union Streets.

                         {Times, Aug. 26, 1887, p. 6}

                         Jumping on a Street-Car Line.

             Los Angeles, Aug. 25.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

              Will you permit a sufferer to give his opinion of what 

         has become a nuisance to the traveling public of Pearl, Ninth 

         street and Bonnie Brae tract, viz., the one-horse line of 

         cars?  It is a constant, every-day fact that the cars of this 

         line are overloaded, and consequently always behind time.  

         The company want the public to patronize them, but seem to 

         forget that the public has any rights that the company are 

         bound to respect.  The Ninth-street service is simply 

         outrageous.  There is no hour of the day up to 10 p.m. that 

         there is not from three to ten people waiting at the Sixth-

         street terminus for a car out Ninth street.  There is no way 

         of telling what car runs out Ninth.  If the Humane Society 

         want to get some work on their hands let them watch the one-

         horse cars, and they will have from four to ten arrests each 

         day.

                                         B. B. TRACT.



    In fairness, horsecars were not the only unreliable transportation about 

which readers complained.  Just as Elias Longley had complained about the Santa 

Fe's service between the San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles {see "Railroad" 

chapter}, an unidentified letter writer suggested that the train that provided 

interurban service between Pasadena and Los Angeles in the 1880s was equally 

undependable.

                         {Times, Mar. 25, 1887, p. 6}

                            A Growl from Pasadena.

              Pasadena, Mar. 23.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  Will 

         you please mention in your paper that the "so-called theater 

         train" left on Tuesday evening not only before the theater 

         was over, but even before schedule time?  Brush them up a 

         little for Pasadena's sake.



    Modern commuters who complain about uncomfortable, graffiti-bedecked buses 

had their counterparts in transit riders of the 1880s.  Though the smoking ban, 

cited by "One of the People," would eventually be honored by passengers on 

public transportation, other complaints, such as the one raised by "Traveler," 

will be recognized by a later generation.  Charles Forman, to whom "Traveler" 

made his appeal, was vice president and superintendent of the Los Angeles Cable 

Railway, which also operated a system of horsecar lines. 

                         {Times, Mar. 31, 1883, p. 4}

                            Scene in a Street Car.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  If the elegant 

         Superintendent of the Main Street Horse Railway will for once 

         draw his head some three degrees toward the front, on the 

         perpendicular line of his body, and thereby bring his vision 

         on a level with material things here below, he will find that 

         his cars are in a most dilapidated and nasty condition, 

         whilst the management is terribly demoralized.  On entering 

         one of these cars the other day I encountered two rascally-

         looking Mongolians, with their greasy hampers of chow-chow, 

         occupying about four seats, and smoking villainous opium-

         tinctured cigars, and sending off a cloud of smoke that 

         literally filled the car.  Directly the driver slowed down, 

         and in jumped a representative Young America, who never 

         refuses a challenge at any game, and taking in the situation, 

         accepted the gage, drew out his three-cent long nine, and 

         familiarly taking the cigar from the mouth of one of the 

         Chinamen, lit his own and throwing himself on his seat, sent 

         forth a volume of smoke that rendered his victory no ways 

         doubtful.  At this moment a passenger drew the attention of 

         John to the trio, and received a gruff "Vell, vat of it?  I 

         can't stop 'em" for his pains.  Looking round I found that 

         the notice "No smoking in the cars" had given place to the 

         card of a quack medicine man.

              I was under the impression that when this company 

         obtained its charter, mutual obligations were entered into, 

         one of which was the comfort and convenience of the public.

                                   ONE OF THE PEOPLE.



                         {Times, Sept. 29, 1888, p. 6}

                       Street Cars-Side-curtains Wanted.

              Los Angeles, Sept. 24.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Great complaint is justly made by the street-car traveling 

         public of Los Angeles that Mr. Foreman does not provide his 

         street cars with side-curtains, to protect that side of the 

         car which is exposed directly to the sun.  It is a perfect 

         torture to sit for three-quarters of an hour motionless in a 

         car in the full blaze of our southern sun.  The street cars 

         of Los Angeles bring in a princely income to their fortunate 

         owners, the expense of providing side-curtains is very small.  

         The inconvenience of sitting on the sunny side is so great 

         that all the travelers crowd into the shaded benches, and 

         cause annoyance to each other there.  Mr. Foreman, let us 

         have the comfort of a shaded seat!

                                                 TRAVELER.



                                 B) ACCIDENTS



    Though letters to the editor warned of grave consequences unless safety 

conditions were improved, the number of serious accidents involving horse or 

cable cars was relatively low.  The death of an eight year old boy, crushed 

under a car's wheels at the corner of Aliso and Vignes in 1888, was attributed 

to carelessness on the part of the victim.  Accidents unrelated to street 

railways, such as runaway teams or collisions involving trains switching on 

Alameda Street, which were a constant source of complaint, presented a far 

greater problem in the long run than those caused by streetcars.  

    Horsecars frequently were manned by a single operator, who acted both as 

driver and conductor.  To collect fares, the driver sometimes placed the reins 

over the brake handle and went through the car while the horse moved ahead at 

its own pace.  That, of course, increased the potential for accidents.  In the 

beginning the one-horse cars were small units carrying only a handful of 

passengers, but as the population of the city grew transit companies placed 

larger cars in service, still pulled in many cases by one horse and driven by 

one man.  The letter from Elisha K. Green, the wholesale dealer in windmills 

and pumps cited by Wilson in his 1880 history of the county, gives a whole new 

dimension to the phrase "one-horse town."   

                          {Times, Dec. 5, 1886, p. 6}

                         HE DID NOT RUN INTO THE CAR.

              Los Angeles, Dec. 4.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Yesterday's Times says I ran into a street car and lost a 

         wheel.  Part of this statement is true and part of it is not.  

         I lost a wheel, but I did not run into the car.  The car ran 

         against my buggy.  I could tell you how it happened if it 

         would not take too much time; but I would like to enter my 

         protest against the manner that the horse cars are run in 

         this city.  The railroad companies seem to have lost sight of 

         the fact that Los Angeles is no longer a one-horse town.  

         Some of them compel one horse to haul cars with 50 or 75 

         persons on at one time, and one man to drive said horse and 

         act as conductor.  While the driver is acting as conductor 

         the horse draws himself without any one to put on the brake 

         when there is danger ahead.  Had there been a conductor on 

         the car my buggy would not have been broken.  This is a 

         "penny wise and pound foolish" policy.  Some one will lose a 

         limb or his life if this policy is continued, and then it 

         will cost the railroad company more than a buggy wheel or the 

         salary of a conductor.  Hoping you will insert this in your 

         valuable paper, I remain, yours truly,

                                             E. K. GREEN.



    Even a two-horse car did not eliminate certain hazards.  Passengers crowded 

into the cars until there was no longer any space, either in the seats or at 

the straps overhead in the aisle.  With the lines carrying over two million 

passengers annually by the mid-1880s, riders frequently stood outside on the 

running board, or clung to the roof, subjecting themselves to dangers that 

otherwise would not exist.  The "horrible accident" that L. T. Clemans referred 

to occurred at the Downey Avenue bridge and involved a buggy and a switch 

engine, not a streetcar. 

                         {Times, April 14, 1887, p. 6}

                                 Death-traps.

              Los Angeles, April 13.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Crossing the East Los Angeles bridge this afternoon, on the 

         two-horse line, and while thinking of the horrible accident 

         that occured at the end of this same bridge yesterday, I was 

         horrified by seeing a large, fleshy man knocked off from the 

         car-railing on which he stood by being struck on the head by 

         a large stick of timber that stood probably within a foot and 

         a half, if not closer, to the side of the car.  The man was 

         knocked flat, and it was only by a miracle he was not crushed 

         to death.  This is the second case that has come under my 

         notice--the first wherein I myself saved a Chinaman by 

         grabbing him and pulling him into the car.

              These death-traps are too numerous around the city, and 

         the attention of corporations should be called to it through 

         the City Council, and action forced.  Will The Times see to 

         this case in particular, and investigate the death-trap on 

         the bridge in question?

                                            L. T. CLEMANS.

     

    The coming of cable cars in the mid-1880s and their rapid deployment on 

the city's streets presented still other problems.  The safety fender or safety 

guard, often called a cow-catcher when used on trains, referred to by "J. O. 

B.," would not become standard equipment on Los Angeles streetcars until well 

into the 1890s.  By then the widespread use of electric cars, with their 

greater speed and consequently greater damage in the event of accidents, made 

the safety fender mandatory.  The accident reported in the Times on June 20, 

1889, occurred on the Los Angeles Cable Railway line at First and Spring.

                         {Times, June 23, 1889, p. 10}

                             Cable-car Accidents.

              Los Angeles, June 20.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  In 

         a city item in this morning's issue of your paper, headed 

         "Reckless People," an account is given of the narrow escape 

         of a 12-year-old child from "Death the Gripman" of the cable 

         car.

              Now the question arises, Who are "reckless people," the 

         cable-car company running its cars without safety guards, or 

         the foot passengers who are obliged to crowd together in 

         certain places on our streets where so much noise from every 

         source so constantly exists as to make it impossible to heed 

         the significance of each distinct one?

              You say "every precaution is taken by the railroad 

         people;" but the only perfect precaution and security against 

         the loss of life is the safety guard, and the city should 

         insist upon the cable cars being supplied with it.  In less 

         than 90 days, a mangled corpse--a victim to a neglect of 

         supplying the cars with guards--will start every newspaper in 

         the city demanding the guards.  Why not have the guards first 

         and save the life?

                                            J. O. B.



                        C) HORSE-CARS AND THE S.P.C.A.



    Those concerned with the welfare of animals regularly utilized the letters 

column of the Times to carry their case to the public, although some of the 

major abuses had already been corrected.  Bull and bear fights, for example, 

had ended in the 'sixties though cock fights and other forms of amusement 

involving animals in a way that reformers frowned on continued.  Among the 

primary concerns in the 1880s was the mistreatment of draft animals.  In a city 

that was supported by agriculture and had the major railroad connection to the 

harbor, horses and mules crowded the streets, whether pulling wagons or 

carriages.  Because of their presence in the central part of town, their abuse 

was quickly noted and reported by disgruntled observers in the press.

                         {Times, June 16, 1883, p. 6}

                              Cruelty to Animals.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  Please inform a 

         constant reader of your valuable paper whether or not there 

         is any law in this place for the prevention of animal 

         cruelty.  I see almost every day horses abused most 

         shamefully--beat, starved for food and water, and kept 

         standing on the streets from early morn until as late as 12 

         and 1 o'clock at night, exposed to the hot sun and flies; 

         also, poor, lame horses that are not able to work, having 

         sore feet, sore backs and sore shoulders, and yet without 

         food or water all day.  Could there not be some remedy for 

         the poor dumb beasts?  In other towns where I have lived they 

         had protection from the abuse of heartless and cruel owners.  

         Is there none here?             

                                           J. B. SHEPHERD.

              [We believe there is ground for this complaint.  There 

         is a city ordinance on the subject.   Complaint should be 

         made and the ordinance enforced.--Ed. Times.]



    To correct this condition a group of concerned citizens had organized, in 

Nov., 1877, the Los Angeles chapter of the Society for the Prevention of 

Cruelty to Animals.  Among the leaders in creating the organization were Dr. 

Walter Lindley, the leading physician in the city, James J. Ayers, prominent 

newspaper publisher, and attorney Pierton W. Dooner.  By the early 'eighties, 

however, the society was inactive, leaving animals without any organizational 

force to look after their interests, as noted in this complaint.

                         {Times, Dec. 13, 1884, p. 3}

                            Where is the S.P.C.A.?

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  The writer has been a 

         wanderer in the land, and a resident in all the larger cities 

         of the Union, and not a few of its towns, but she has yet to 

         discover one where man's inhumanity to the creatures over 

         whom he has control is so common, so inexcusable and so 

         lightly regarded.  A member myself of several societies "with 

         the long name," I have asked with amaze, upon witnessing some 

         of the daily brutalities upon our streets, where is the 

         S.P.C.A., only to be told that there is none here.  Here in 

         this busy, flourishing, cosmopolitan town-city, whose 

         population is made up of people from all over the country, 

         and which claims--and rightfully too--so much of cultivation 

         and growing wealth!  One is almost tempted to believe those 

         who tell one that there are but two factors at work here, the 

         searchers for health and the searchers for money, while the 

         refining and softening influences that teach us forbearance 

         toward the weak and protection for those below us are ignored 

         in the rush for more purely selfish aims.  Only a day or two 

         ago, on a principal street here, a brutal teamster abused his 

         straining, overloaded and underfed horses for hours at a 

         time, and while women wept and begged and men warned, a 

         policeman stood idly by and did nothing!  What could he do if 

         there is not a decent public sentiment strong enough to put 

         in working and legalized order some machinery to control such 

         beastly men?  I beg pardon for the word.  When was ever a 

         beast so ignoble, so cowardly, so brutal?  The organization 

         and establishment of a society is a simple affair enough.  

         Let there be a few members among us who are fitted to judge 

         fairly of such cases as need arrest, who will give at least a 

         passing attention from their business to the cause of these 

         poor oppressed, whose own mouth cannot complain.  Let the 

         money from the fines imposed go into the city's coffers, with 

         some sufficient supply excepted to pay the needful legal 

         expenses, and the thing is done.  The transgressor is made to 

         feel his guilt in the only vulnerable spot--his pocket; the 

         city gains, and above all the whole community gains in human-

         ity and in a higher moral standard, and loses a little of the 

         old savage leaven which shows in us all.  Among all the 

         well-to-do and active citizens of this beautiful town are 

         there not some who will give this matter their earnest atten-

         tion?  The writer, for one, is willing to be taxed to an 

         amount within reason, for the support of such a society, and 

         there must be many more so willing.  When these brutal men 

         understand that useless cruelty means a fine as surely as day 

         follows night, then and only then can we walk or ride through 

         our streets without either wishing our hearts were stone or 

         our hands able to defend and punish.         

                                            MEDAL.



    Among those who took an interest in this issue was Dr. Dorothea Lummis, who 

successfully resurrected the S.P.C.A. in 1885.  Lummis, at that time the wife 

of Times City Editor Charles Lummis and a respected doctor in her own right, 

was in an especially influential position once she undertook the task of 

reactivating the organization.  The Saunterer, whom she refers to in this 

letter, was Eliza Otis, wife of the Times' editor.  It is possible that 

"Medal," the woman whose letter Lummis refers to in her opening sentence, was 

in fact Dr. Lummis.

                          {Times, July 1, 1885, p. 3}

                       Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir: Some months ago an 

         appeal was made through your columns, in the interest of our 

         dumb friends the animals, but it met with no apparent 

         response, at least in the direction of any active work toward 

         a society for the protection of animals.

              Since then, however, the humane sentiment has been 

         growing, perhaps owing not a little to the occasional earnest 

         words in the Saunterer's column of the Times.  Hoping to be 

         able again to direct attention to the matter, I first wrote 

         to Mr. Nat. Hunter, Secretary of the S. P. C. A. in San 

         Francisco.  He replies as follows:  "I am quite sure that 

         there is now a corporation in your county for the prevention 

         of cruelty to animals.  Search the records and if I am 

         correct it will be necessary to resurrect the old society, or 

         to disincorporate it before organizing a new one, as the 

         statute provides that the corporate body first formed in any 

         county shall be the only one so entitled to the benefits and 

         privileges of this act."  Mr. Hunter then further offers to 

         aid in the formation of by-laws, etc., and incloses a copy of 

         the law enacted in California, March 20, 1874, which is 

         entirely efficient to cover all cases that could come up for 

         punishment.  It will be seen, therefore, that an active 

         organization is all that is needed, either to infuse new life 

         into the old society or to properly annul its existence and 

         form a new one.  Any information as to the members, meetings 

         and records of the old society will be most helpful, and such 

         information will be most gratefully received.

                                           M. D. Lummis, M. D.

              347 Fort street.

              [It is true that all the machinery of a society such as 

         is referred to by our correspondent is in existence in this 

         city, and only requires putting in operation energetically to 

         accomplish the objects sought.  We believe P. W. Dooner, 

         Esq., can give full information on the subject.--Ed. Times.]



    While complaints about cruelty to horses in the early 'eighties had been 

in regard to animals used for pulling wagons, the increased use of streetcars 

to serve the city's mushrooming population after mid-decade resulted in a 

growing dissatisfaction with the transit companies.  The earliest horsecars had 

been small, capable of seating about twenty passengers, and a single animal 

could move them without difficulty.  But with the introduction of larger cars 

to meet an increased demand for service, the mules and horses strained to pull 

the load.  Rarely, however, were the companies successfully prosecuted for the 

overloading practices mentioned below.

                         {Times, Oct. 18, 1885, p. 5}

                              Cruelty to Animals.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  Cruelty to animals, as 

         perpetrated upon the streets of our city every day, is a 

         crying evil.  The horses on the Sixth-street car line are 

         often driven on the gallop, and are seen covered with sweat, 

         struggling under the lash of an ignorant or thoughtless 

         driver.  The owners of these horses should take into more 

         careful consideration the loss resulting from wasted 

         horseflesh.  They would undoubtedly find it profitable to 

         employ drivers with some knowledge of the capacities of the 

         animals placed in their charge.  There is a law against 

         cruelty to animals, which an outraged people might invoke, 

         and both enlighten the minds of the officers of the company 

         and warm the chilled hearts of these reckless horse-killers.

                                             HUMANITY.



                          {Times, Mar. 9, 1887, p. 2}

                             Economy and Cruelty.

              Los Angeles, March 4.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  It 

         is probably economy for the one-horse railroad which runs out 

         to the AgricuLtural Park to overload what cars it does run, 

         and thus avoid extra cars and extra help; but it is powerful 

         hard on the 700-pound horse which hauled the 6x12 car this 

         morning.  For some days past a large and increasing number of 

         workingmen have taken this car each morning, and it has been 

         so overloaded that some who wanted to ride could not find 

         standing-room even, and had to walk or wait.  This morning, 

         between sixty and seventy men were on the car at one time, 

         and even the roof was covered.  The aforesaid 700-pound horse 

         was so exhausted when Washington street was reached that 

         another had to take his place, and many remarks were heard 

         denouncing the corporation that would subject a specimen of 

         that noble animal to such strain and exhaustion.  "The merci-

         ful man is merciful to his beast."  Though compelled to stand 

         up more times than I can get a seat on this car line, I do 

         not mind that so much as to see a dumb, patient and intelli-

         gent animal forced to perform labor beyond its strength, to 

         put coin in the pocket of greedy capital.  If this meets the 

         eye of the managers of said road, will they please reflect on 

         the idea of being more merciful to their horses, though their 

         patrons are denied seats and delayed in reaching their work, 

         as is now the case?

                                              CARPENTER.



                         {Times, Mar. 22, 1887, p. 2}

                        The Case of the Overloaded Car.

              Los Angeles, March 19.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         noticed a piece in The Times of March 10th, under the heading 

         of "Minor Locals," which attracted my attention.  Being 

         conversant with the case, and hearing the contradictory 

         evidence of the witnesses for the defense, and the plain, 

         straight-forward evidence on the part of the prosecution, I 

         ask, why did not the horse get justice?  I answer:  Because 

         "judgment has fled to brutish beasts and men have lost their 

         reason."  The tangled evidence given by the witnesses of the 

         defense was enough to decide the case against them, without 

         any evidence from the prosecution, had justice ruled.  

         Furthermore, the driver stated that his belief was that a 

         loaded car, started from the north junction of Main and 

         Spring streets, would run alone to Washington Gardens--an 

         idea most absurd in theory and impossible in practice, and 

         which I defy him to prove on any day that he may designate.  

         Nevertheless, it was received as true, and hence his 

         conclusion was that it was no particular draft on the horse, 

         except in starting, and, as he only stopped once, he had but 

         once to start.

              The driver again stated that from thirty to thirty-five 

         people could be comfortably seated in the car, and that on 

         Fourth street he had about thirty to thirty-five passengers 

         on.  If that be the case, how was it, then, that at Fourth 

         street, where I got on, the car was so full that it was with 

         difficulty that I obtained foot and hand-hold, not being able 

         to stand even erect enough to keep my balance without the aid 

         of my hands?  Why was it, also, that the driver, telling 

         passengers along the road that he had a load, yet allowing 

         all to pile on that could hang on, and, according to his own 

         testimony, running along by the car to gather fares, still 

         testified that, in his opinion, "the car was not overloaded?"  

         If the car were loaded when he said "loaded," was not any 

         addition to the load overloading?

              One of the witnesses on the defense testified: "I do not 

         think the horse any more sweaty when he reached Washington 

         Gardens than when he left the north junction of Main and 

         Spring streets."  If not more fatigued, no more sweaty, why 

         did the same man advise the driver to change horses at 

         Washington Gardens?  I would also like to know how came about 

         the unprecedented fact that, the car being late that morning, 

         according to the driver's own testimony, and the horse being 

         allowed to take his own time, without being urged, he yet 

         reached his destination in time, when the customary pace of 

         the horse is an ordinary trot, when the cars start on time?  

         There must certainly have been a mysterious shortening of the 

         track some way--it was done by slapping the horse with the 

         reins, and thus urging him on, under his already too heavy 

         load, which the driver testified he did not do, but which I 

         saw done with my own eyes.

              Here is another point--quite as mysterious as any.  Why 

         did the two witnesses on the defense remember so plainly all 

         the circumstances relative to the case, in favor of the 

         defense--the company--and yet remain so oblivious to just as 

         noticeable facts on the side of the prosecution?  Dont you 

         "smell a mice?"

              Would that some one experienced in the business would 

         put these testimonies together and see how beautifully they 

         fit.  Would that we might have some animals, gifted as 

         Baalam's ass of old, that could say to us: "What have I done 

         unto thee that thou has smitten me these three times?" so 

         that we might wake up to the fact that brutes have feelings 

         if not souls, and be useful in legally waking up some others 

         to the same fact.

                                            M. B. WILSON.

              256 San Pedro street, Los Angeles.



                         {Times, Sept. 30, 1887, p. 6}

                            A Street Car Complaint.

              Los Angeles, Sept. 29.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         The public who are obliged to patronize the Main-street car 

         line are constantly complaining of the poor accommodations 

         they have to put up with on account of the crowd and so few 

         cars.  The officers of the Humane Society should assert some 

         of their authority and see that the poor horses are not 

         abused, as every one knows they are.  The cars are so loaded 

         that the poor brutes can scarcely tug along and yet they are 

         whipped and whipped into a run and when they come to a stand 

         they are so weak and exhausted that they can hardly start.  

         Some one should look after these things and compel those 

         stockholders with hearts not as large as the head of a pin to 

         spend some of the enormous profits for the accommodation of 

         the public and the protection of the poor dumb brutes.

                                              A CITIZEN.



    The S.P.C.A., also known as the Humane Society, was authorized by the 1874 

law cited above to enforce legislation that protected children and animals from 

abuse.  To that end, the society's Humane Officer, Martin V. Wright, attempted 

to apply the law.  In Los Angeles the city council had adopted an ordinance in 

1886, cited by Wright, limiting the number of passengers on horsecars.  In 

response to complaints about violations made either directly to him or to the 

Times, Wright expressed frustration at his inability to satisfy critics, courts 

and transit companies.  Nor did he share Harris Newmark's delight in the fact 

that a car would stop anywhere for the convenience of a solitary passenger.  

Wright's comment on the large number of strap-holding standees would interest 

bus riders a century later who threatened a fare strike if seats were 

unavailable.  He anticipated an axiom well-known in the transit industry: "The 

profit is in the straps."

                         {Times, Oct. 6, 1887, p. 10}

                            The Street-Car Horses.

             OFFICER WRIGHT OF THE HUMANE SOCIETY SPEAKS HIS MIND.

              Los Angeles, Oct. 5.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Complaints are made to me, almost daily, in respect to the 

         overloading of the street cars.  Especially is this true of 

         the Main-street and Agricultural one-horse line.

              I am tired of the unjust censure cast upon me by many 

         because I do not put a stop to these abuses.  Patience in 

         this matter has ceased to be a virtue, and with your 

         permission I want to say something by way of explanation to 

         the public.

              I am willing and ready to investigate and prosecute any 

         and every violation of law that comes under the jurisdiction 

         of the Humane Society.  But there is very little 

         encouragement for me to try to do so when the same parties 

         who make these complaints almost universally refuse to aid me 

         in the work.  If I do not happen to know them they refuse to 

         give me either their names or residences.  The gentleman who 

         wrote a communication to The Times a few days past, and 

         signed himself "Citizen," would have manifested more moral 

         courage had he signed his name to his article, or at least 

         had given his residence.  But no, that wouldn't have done, 

         for in that case I might have found him and asked him to come 

         into court and tell what he knew about the matter of which he 

         was complaining.  If I had he would doubtless have given me 

         the stereotyped answer: 'I don't want to get mixed up in 

         these court troubles.  I'm in business and it might injure 

         me."  This class tie my hands and then the croakers step up 

         and kick me.  We try to obey the injunction, "Whosoever 

         smiteth thee on thy right cheek turn to him the other also."   

         But the turning process in this case is superfluous, for with 

         the howling croakers on one side, and conscienceless jurors 

         on the other, we catch it on both cheeks at the same time.

              There are three sources of cruelty to street-car horses, 

         namely:  Overloading, overdriving, and too much stopping.  

         For the former two the street-car companies are to blame; for 

         the latter the people who patronize the cars, including my 

         human croakers, are responsible.  In regard to the matter of 

         overloading, the companies are not wholly to blame.  Part of 

         the blame, should in my humble judgment, rest on the Council, 

         which passed the ordinance regulating the number of 

         passengers to forty on the one-horse lines, and sixty on the 

         two-horse lines.  I have talked to a great many of the 

         drivers and conductors, and without an exception they have 

         said that from twenty-five to thirty is all that one horse 

         should be required to haul, and not over fifty for two 

         horses. I trust that the Council will, without delay, amend 

         the ordinance in accordance with the above suggestions.

              In regard to overdriving, that is a fault which like 

         overloading may be impartially remedied by putting on more 

         cars.  This is an absolute necessity for the comfort of the 

         tens of thousands who are coming to visit our city this 

         winter.  At present I do not believe that the street-car 

         companies of this city furnish seating capacity for over 50 

         per cent. of their passengers.

              But my observation convinces me that of all the woes of 

         the abused street-car horse, that of having almost every 

         minute to try and strain and toil to start the heavy-laden 

         car is the worst and most inexcusable; and who is to blame 

         for this?  Not the street-car companies, for they some time 

         ago passed regulations on all their lines, and placed printed 

         notices in all their cars ordering their drivers to stop only 

         at crossings.  This both the poor horses and drivers hailed 

         as the day of semi-jubilee.  But alas! this joy was as the 

         morning dew that passeth away.  A howl of lamentation that 

         would have almost knocked the walls of Jericho down came up 

         from the suffering public.  Here was an order which, if 

         effectually put in force, would, as every driver will tell 

         you, do away with half the horse's work, for it is now no 

         uncommon thing to see a car stop three to five times in a 

         single block.  But the wrath of the multitude of sympathizing 

         and kind-hearted croakers had to be appeased, and the order 

         was revoked and once more "a thousand hearts beat happily."

              In conclusion, let me add:  The street-car horses do not 

         work over three or four hours a day, and I know by frequent 

         personal inspection that no class of horses are better 

         groomed and fed than they are.  I say this because there are 

         those who suppose that they are in the harness all day.  I 

         desire to do exact justice to all parties concerned as long 

         as I remain an officer of the society.  

                                            M. V. WRIGHT.

         Officer Los Angeles Humane Society.



    Wright's explanation seemingly had little effect, as evidenced by 

"Observer's" letter.  Although "A Former Cruelty Witness" came to Wright's 

defense, "Hemp" challenged that view, offering reasons why critics were 

unwilling to join Wright in court to prosecute transit operators.  "Hemp" 

violated an unwritten rule that letters be confined to a single subject by 

raising additional issues, only tangentially related to the cruelty topic, in 

his closing paragraphs.  In so doing, however, he made a proposal - for signs 

bearing street names at each corner - that would eventually be adopted by the 

city council.  "A Former Cruelty Witness" also raised an unrelated issue by 

responding to "W's" letter, printed above, complaining that poor transit 

service on Olive Street made church-goers late for Sunday services.  

                         {Times, Oct. 26, 1887, p. 3}

                              A Horstile Plaint.

              No. 811 Downey Avenue, Oct. 25.--[To the Editor of The 

         Times.]  One who patronizes the Pearl and Sixth street line 

         of street cars would like to know how it is that an 

         enterprising and progressive town like Los Angeles, and on a 

         line so well patronized as this one, should allow one poor 

         worn out horse to do the work of two able-bodied ones, and 

         the driver to do the work of two men.  Last night, in making 

         the trip from South Spring to Downey avenue, one poor, tired 

         animal was made to draw forty-five full-grown persons by 

         actual count.  Why does not the Humane Society attend to this 

         matter and put a stop to such cruelty?  The community ought 

         to demand that better service be put on this poorly-equipped 

         line at once. 

                                               AN OBSERVER.



                         {Times, Oct. 28, 1887, p. 3}

                             The Horse Car Lines.

              Los Angeles, Oct. 26.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Here it is again, in your yesterday's paper.  Great Caesar!  

         Why don't "Observer" collect the evidence, witnesses from 

         that same overloaded, one-horse car, and do a little himself 

         besides howl in print?  Let him get the evidence and the list 

         of witnesses and present it to Officer Wright, standing 

         himself on the prosecution side.  The chances are that if 

         "Observer" were called upon to testify he would bob up with a 

         Bible excuse, either that he had just got a wife or had a 

         yoke of cattle to break.  Officer Wright is overloaded with 

         wicked women and suffering "kids" and can't do all things.

              As for the Olive-street church goers, what's the matter 

         with walking and putting the nickel in the church basket, 

         hey?

                                    A FORMER CRUELTY-WITNESS.



                          {Times, Nov. 2, 1887, p. 6}

                             The Street-Car Topic.

              Los Angeles, Oct. 28.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  In 

         Friday morning's paper is a letter from "A Former Cruelty 

         Witness," who censures "Observer's" letter of October 25th, 

         relative to the horse-car lines.  It appears to me that it is 

         the business of the people to call the attention of the 

         proper authorities to the weak points in our city.  An 

         observer of these weak points, on account of business, 

         modesty or other reasons, with which "Bible excuses" have 

         nothing to do, does not wish to go into court to prove these 

         weak points.  His business he has executed by calling 

         attention to the points.  Let the authorities investigate and 

         prosecute.  Because one does not wish to go to court does 

         not, in the least, show that he is a crank.  Perhaps some 

         "Observers" are ladies.

              Officer Wright has time and again had his attention 

         called to the cruelty to animals on our street cars.  Let him 

         get on a street car and observe himself.  This cruelty is not 

         an uncommon thing; it is of hourly occurrence.  He will not 

         have to wait long to see an overloaded car.  Then again, what 

         if a horse is only used a few hours daily, is this anything 

         to justify a horse being half killed those four hours?

              "A Former Cruelty-Witness" shows fine lines of justice 

         in these few words: "As for the Olive-street church-goers, 

         what's the matter with walking and putting the nickel in the 

         church basket?"  Let him try it, and see what the matter is.

              Los Angeles has the poorest system of horse-cars of any 

         city I have ever been in.  They never run on time.  It is 

         very often that cars going toward town on Olive street are 

         seen waiting on three switches, while a car going south is 

         nowhere in sight.  Besides running very irregular, there are 

         other grievances.  The conductors are usually on the front 

         platform, talking with the driver, instead of being on the 

         rear platform watching for people who wish to get on or off.

              There is a wide two-horse car on Olive street, marked 

         "Main, Spring, Sixth and Pearl streets."  The cars that run 

         from the foot of First street to Main street only are marked 

         "Olive street."  To say the least, this is very annoying to 

         strangers in the city.  If these are only temporary 

         arrangements, why don't the company paint the right streets 

         on canvas and tack it on the right cars?

              This subject of streets leads me to ask why the names of 

         the streets are not placed on each corner, for the 

         information of residents and strangers alike.  Yours truly,

                                                   HEMP.



    As Officer Wright had suggested, overloading was not solely the fault of 

the transit companies.  Passengers, insisting on their right to take the next 

car in sight regardless of the number of riders already crowded aboard, bore 

some responsibility.  That was the crux of this exchange between "Tender Foot" 

and "S. W. R."

                         {Times, Jan. 28, 1888, p. 6}

                               Hard on the Mule.

              Los Angeles, Jan. 25.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         recently made an interesting trip through Main street on a 

         car that runs to West University.  We took passage on the 

         corner of Main and First streets about 3:30 p.m., car loaded 

         full, drawn by one poor mule, almost panting to death, which 

         dragged us slowly along until we arrived a little way beyond 

         the junction of Main and Spring streets, when we were stopped 

         by three cars that were stuck by one poor mule not being able 

         to proceed with his load.  Our driver was compelled to change 

         mules, so that he could try with his load to work the poor 

         mule back to the stable on the corner of Main and Washington 

         streets, which he finally accomplished.  Of course we sup-

         posed that when we got there, if ever we did, which seemed 

         very doubtful, that said poor worn-out mule would be changed, 

         and we go along at some decent rate, but to our surprise and 

         vexation the foreman at the stable ordered the driver to 

         proceed with his load with said same mule.  The excitement 

         among the passengers was intense as the poor beast rolled 

         along at about the rate of two miles per hour, and many 

         inquiries were made if there was no law in this city against 

         cruelty to animals.

              The writer has traveled for near 70 years, but never saw 

         such willful brutality as that here referred too, which is 

         chargeable not to the honest driver, but to the foreman of 

         the road and those who employ such a man.  Let me inquire if 

         you know any remedy for such villainy and whether those 

         patronizing this car route have any rights said company are 

         bound to respect?  I have written this, if possible, to 

         arouse public sentiment against this car line loading 40 to 

         60 passengers on a car and then drawing it with one poor 

         mule.  Question in conclusion.  Have mules any rights that 

         this railroad company are bound to respect?          

                                              TENDER FOOT.



                         {Times, Jan. 31, 1888, p. 6}

                   Hard on the Mule, Likewise on the Driver.

              Los Angeles, Jan. 29.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         was very much impressed with the article by "Tenderfoot" in 

         yesterday's Times headed "Hard on the Mule," and the way the 

         wrought-up feelings of the passengers on that belated car 

         were described brought a picture to my mind which in language 

         looks like this:  The shades of evening had just settled over 

         our city, and the drizzling rain, which had scarcely ceased 

         the whole day long, was increasing with the darkness.  On a 

         corner on Main street stood a person, whose size or sex I 

         will not attempt to describe, and I thought I heard it say: 

         "I am waiting for a car."  The wind as it shook the boughs of 

         the trees would dash the rain upon the pavement and pass 

         through their thick foliage with a roar that was quite as 

         monotonous as the ripple of the water in the gutters.  

         Presently the red light of a car appeared coming down the 

         track and the jingling of the bell was soon to be heard above 

         the noise of the elements.  The form advanced to where a good 

         view of the car could be obtained, and by the dim light which 

         shown down upon the heads of the passengers, it could be seen 

         that the car was well loaded.  Then, with a hesitating step 

         forward and a second look at the car as it neared the 

         crossing, it turned and walked away, saying, "That poor mule 

         has load enough; I'll wait for the next car."

                 "What! Is it a dream?  Was it alone

                 On that dreary night in the drizzling rain?"

              I am proud to say it was not.  There are many such 

         people in our city, but they are not of the class who write 

         complaining letters to the newspapers.

              During the hours when the travel is heaviest the cars on 

         Main street run every two and a half minutes, and yet if a 

         driver refuses to let passengers on he is promptly reported 

         to the company by some "foot, tender" or otherwise, who is 

         ready to swear there were not many people on the car.  Let us 

         cultivate a little more patience and a higher regard for the 

         feelings of that mule.

                                            S. W. R.



    The complaints in the letters column continued throughout the 1880s with 

little apparent improvement in conditions.  Not until electric and cable power 

had replaced mules and horses did the issue disappear.  In 1897 the last 

horsecar disappeared from the streets of the central business district, though 

horsecar lines continued to operate in other parts of the city until after 1900 

and at the Sawtelle Soldiers' Home until 1904.  That same year the remaining 

cable car lines converted to electric power.  

    The electric interurbans, "The Big Red Cars," made their final run in 

1961.  Two years later buses replaced the local electric streetcar lines still 

operating in the city.  Ironically, one of those lines was on Pico Street, 

where electric service had fitfully started nearly eighty years before.   

    In the last letter of complaint to the Times in the 'eighties Methodist 

minister C. B. Ebey worked so many unrelated grievances into his first 

paragraph that the editor felt compelled to wryly interject his own 

interpretation of the event Ebey described.  

                          {Times, July 3, 1889, p. 5}

                        An Alleged "Disgraceful Scene."

              Los Angeles, July 2.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  A 

         disgraceful scene occurred on Maple avenue, between Seventh 

         and Eighth streets, yesterday (Sabbath) afternoon.  A company 

         of Sabbath desecrators were returning from the Pico Heights 

         baseball grounds on board of a Maple avenue and Pico Heights 

         street car.  The car was packed full inside and upon the 

         steps.  Near Eighth street, the poor jaded horses gave out 

         and were taken off from the car.  The crowd on the car hooted 

         and yelled like veritable savages, running the car by 

         shoulder power for a block.  Surely there was not a policeman 

         in the ward, or the gang would have been arrested.

               A "humane society" is evidently needed in this city to 

         protect poor, dumb beasts from exhaustion by being made to 

         draw overloaded street cars.  I have lately moved into your 

         city.  Are such scenes common?

                                               C. B. Ebey.

              [Did the "inhumanity" and "disgrace" consist in the 

         passengers pushing the car and thus relieving the overworked 

         horses?--Ed.]