1934 Chaffey High graduates receive diplomas and quarantine orders – Daily Bulletin


Ah, high school graduation – the day when most young people are eager to find out what the future holds.

But for those graduating from Chaffey High School in June 1934, that future was very clear: a two-week quarantine. The 200 classmates graduated in a ceremony and were also exposed to infantile paralysis – poliomyelitis.

The graduates began life after high school without going anywhere because a very ill member of the class attended the June 7, 1934 ceremony in Ontario, despite being asked to stay home as a measure of precaution.

Nancy Brigdon, 17, went to the ceremony anyway. “The young girl was reportedly so ill that she had to be carried to the platform and she was unable to hold her songbook or graduate,” the Ontario Daily Report said on June 12.

She collapsed shortly after the ceremony and was carried offstage by classmates, the June 13 Pomona Progress-Bulletin reported.

City health officer Dr. Calvert L. Emmons then ordered all graduates quarantined. Those who had direct contact with Brigdon also received “serum treatments” and were placed under close surveillance, the Progress-Bulletin said.

Emmons later reported that no new polio cases emerged as a result of the exposure at the graduation ceremony.

Brigdon a day after the ceremony was taken to hospital in Los Angeles in serious condition. She was hospitalized for several months before finally recovering.

She only regained partial use of one arm, but in the years to come she began to paint and draw. His works were exhibited in a special exhibit at the San Bernardino County Art Association in 1940, the Sun newspaper reported Nov. 27.

Kiss at the right time

All Edward Wall, San Bernardino Justice of the Peace, wanted to do at noon on June 10, 1920, was get out of his office and eat lunch.

But his assistant Fred Worthington caught him walking out, saying a couple had just arrived to get married. Wall agreed to come back, which turned out to be the kiss of death, at least for an early lunch.

After being proclaimed husband and wife, Walter Grey, 25, and Eulalie Benet, 29, engaged in the start of a romantic kiss as Worthington and Wall signed the appropriate paperwork. But Wall eventually grew impatient as the kiss continued, for at least four minutes.

“The judge glanced at the clock and waited some more,” the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported on June 14. “The judge then became more or less desperate and announced the lunch call. The couple separated.

The June 12 Ontario Daily Report praised the judge’s hunger pangs for finally helping bring the long ceremony to a close. “Otherwise they might have already kissed.”

Hearing strange cases and seeing unusual characters was pretty much the rule for Wall, a former journalist who served as a justice of the peace from 1914 until his death in 1921.

In 1919, Victor Manuel came before him accused of stealing liquor and taking him to a dance in Needles. Manuel allegedly announced free drinks for everyone at the dance, and the resulting stampede by the thirsty injured several people.

For the trial, Wall sent a telegram to authorities in Needles ordering them to ship the confiscated liquor by train to his courtroom in San Bernardino, The Sun reported on December 19, 1919.

But Manuel avoided jail time, aided by no less than San Bernardino County. The county had foiled itself by earlier passing a law prohibiting shipping companies and trains from carrying alcohol for any reason.

Santa Fe officials refused to ship the evidence, and Wall released Manuel after the district attorney appeared before him empty-handed. There was no word on what had happened to the alcohol evidence at Needles.

Wall’s hands may have been tied in this matter, but while on the bench he also showed he had an understanding of human nature.

He knew exactly what to do in 1915 when a distraught 18-year-old woman walked into his yard upset because her husband had abandoned her. Rose Farah asked Wall for a gun to kill herself.

Wall no doubt shocked those in the courthouse, saying, “It’s fine, if you say so. There’s a gun,’ he said, calmly pointing a constable’s pistol on a nearby table, according to the September 24 Sun.

But then Wall paused and suggested the gun might be too heavy for her to use properly. She could miss or just get hurt, he said.

Instead, he sent her to a room outside the courtroom and told her to wait a while. “Call when you’re ready, and I’ll come kill you,” Wall said.

The woman entered the room and moments later left the building. A day later, she told the newspaper that she felt much better and didn’t want to die anymore.

Case closed.

Cooper reopens

The Cooper Regional History Museum in Upland, which had been closed for some time, is open again on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The museum, which is gearing up for an upcoming art exhibit, “ArtWorks,” is located at 217 E. A St.

Heritage Awards

The Redlands Area Historical Society will award six plaques on June 13 to owners of noteworthy historic structures at its Ice Cream Social and Heritage Awards.

The free 6:30 p.m. event will take place at the Contemporary Club, 173 S. Eureka St., Redlands

Joe Blackstock writes about the history of the Inland Empire. He can be reached at [email protected] or Twitter @JoeBlackstock. Check out some of our columns from the past at Inland Empire Stories on Facebook at www.facebook.com/IEHistory


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