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Imperial Valley Press.
MARKING TIME ON THE COLORADO
ONE CONTRACTOR GEIS OVER THE LINE, BUT OTHERS STILL
. HELD UP BY MEXICAN CUSTOMS BARRIER '
Work That Could and Should Have Been Completed By This
Time Not Yet Begun, Government Method of Not
. Doing, Things Applied to Emergency Opera-
V tions On the River. Lawler Sent to
~~V Mexican Capital,
Contracts for building the protec
xlto levee ■ along the Colorado river
in Mexico territory were let by Col.
Ockerson on December 12, but no
arrangements having been concluded
-with Mexico for remission of duties
on stock and supplies, the contractors
and their outfits were held up at the
border for two weeks while the of
ficials at Washington were running
around like headless hens and try
ing to do what should have been done
Because the Mexican government
Ivad politely assured the American
Minister that duties would be remit
ted, the Washington officials as r
aumed that, arrangements had been
made and instructed Col. Ockerson to
■go ahead with the work, but they
had not reckoned with the manana
/ways. of our,, polite neighbors and at
the last moment they discovered that
no tostKuctions had been sent to Mcx-
Jccipustoms officers on the line and
ihftt animals and supplies taken
across the border were contraband
and 'liable to slezure. Oscar Lawler
was sent to the city of Mexico to
straighten things out, and in tho
meantime the contractors had to
hustle their outfits back into the
United States to save them. ' ,1$
This week Col. Ockerson found a
way to get around a part of the dif
ficulty by advancing the duties for
<sontractors on the understanding that
the money is to refunded when Mex
ico gets the red tape .unwound. J. H.
Maxey, of Yuma, who has the con
tract for the first ten miles of levee,
sent 150 head of stock over the lines
on Tuesday- and expected to have
450 head on the job by the end of
the week. He will employ 300 or 400
men. Maxey, who was in El Centro
on Wednesday, says his grubbing
gangs have cleared camps and rights
of ways every ten thousand feet along
his ten miles of work, so that he can
sttijdrn've crews on the levee work
atlonce. Tho grubbing gangs will
then- be able to keep ahead of the
Norton & Mulligan, who have the
sections below the, Abejos, are tied
up in Arizona because they have to
pass through Sonora to get across
the river and there is no custom house
on that side. The officers jit Mexicali
have no jurisdiction in Sonora aud
'cannot collect the duties, but the rur
ale9 can stop or seize stock and sup
plies entering from Arizona, and so
Norton & Mulligan are held up and
are said to be losing about $300 a
Maxey does not know how much
dirt he will have to move to build his
sections of the levee, but roughly es
timates the quantity at 500,000 cubic
yards. .The contract provides for an
increase or decrease of sixty per cent
in yardage and for changes of line
and grade at option of tho engineers.
Because pf changes raado after his
bid tfWjßpened and accepted, an ex
tra auoMvance of five cents a yard has
been made to Maxey. It is evident
that no adequate survey of the ground
had been made when bids were asked
for and that the lino of the levee
had not been located. The specifica
tions provided for bidders were vague
and tho estimates were mere guesses
lasod upon information supplied by
J. K. Clarke. The Chief, Engineer
lad not been over the line, and it Is
reported by men who have been bo
low the Abejoß within the past few
lays that there are no indications of
» Burvey having been made In that
■egiou. Tho engineers have had five
nontha in which to do their work,
md they are still guessing at the lo
:ation and cannot tell the contractors
>ten how deep they will have to go
vlth tbtfr muck trenches.
W. H- Howker, who 1b doing tho
i,radlug\for the railroad to tho Abejos
on force account with an outfit col
lected in Mexico and is not bothered
by customs regulations, has been
rushing the work with energy and
will have his part completed in a
few days. When the rails are laid,
tho trestle can be placed across the
Abejos and the break can bo closed
readily — if the river remains 1 >w.
The steamboat Searchlight, which
was sold to the Reclamation Service
after the closing of the break in 1907
and has been above the dam at La
guna, has been brought over the dam
and will be used in the new work.
If the boat is to be used below the
intake, the weir dam that was built
to insure flow into tne valley canals
will have to be removed. The en
gineers of the Reclamation Service
have been trying to get the dam re
moved ever since it was 'built, but
Col. Ockerson realizes the importance
of the dam to Imperial valley, and it
is not probable that he will: call for
its removal until he feels obliged to
A despatch from Washington on
Dec. 28 said: ,
"State" department officials today
announced' an agreement with Mexico,
subject to treaty, concerning the re
mission of duties on goods sent into
Mexico for use on the levee work on
the Lower Colorado. This treaty is
to be negotiated by Oscar Lawler,
special emissary of the State depart
ment, who. is reported to have ar
rived in Mexico City Monday."
HOLTVILLE FIESTA TRAINS
Five Will Leave El Centro for Big
Eastslde Event Next Monday.
Round Trip Seventy
five Cents. *
The Holtou Inter-Urban Railroad is
prepared to haul hundreds of people
to tho Holtville Annual Fiesta next
Monday. A rate of seventy-five cents
for the round trip has been made,
with a return limit of two days after
the date of sale.
Trains will leave El Centro for
Holtville at 8:30, 10:00, 11:30 a.m.,
2 and 6:05 p.m. Trains returning will
leave Holtville at 6:30 a.m., 2:45, 4:15
and 6:45 p.m.
With its new motor car and the
other equipment of this road the Hol
ton Inter-Urban expects to be able
to give good accommodations to all
who wish to visit one of the most
unique New Year's celebrations in the
PALOVERCE SETTLERS WIN
State Falls to Show That Valley Is
Swamp and Overflowed Land.
The State has been defeated in the
first stage of the contest for posses
sion of six townships in tho Palo
Verde district on the Colorado river,
a part of which is within the bound
aries of Imperial county. The State
has been trying to oust the settlers
and claimants from nearly 140,000
acres and to get title to the property
on the ground that it is "overflowed
and swamp land."
The land was surveyed in 1850 and
classed as agricultural, and many set*
tiers took up homestead claims.
Three years ago the government
withdrew it from entry while it made
an investigation na to the feasibility
of carrying out a reclamation project.
This idea was abandoned and the day
before* the local Land Office was In
tending to throw it open for entry,
the Btate made application to the Un
ited States Survoyor-Gonoral for a
Oldest Paper In Imperial County
EL CENTRO, CALIFORNIA, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31, 1910.
hearing to determine the classifica
tion of the land.
In his decision the Surveyor-Gen
"I have examined tho testimony'und
find that the witnesses for the State
and nlso those for tho government
all agree on one vital point at issue,
that is, that without the overflow of
the Colorado river, crops could not be
raised on tho land in question, and in
stead of the overflow rendering the
land unfit for cultivation, it is only
by reason of the overflow that crops
can be raised at all.
"As the burden rests upon the
State to prove tho swamp and over
flowed character of the land on Sep
tember 28, 1850, which it^has failed to
do, the land iv question does .not, in
my opinion, inure to tho State under
The State has the right to appeal
to the Secretary of the Interior for a
review of the decision and it is like
ly that this will be done. Whatever
might be the outcome of the appeal,
the land would be withheld from en
try for some time.
Meantime the persons residing on
it can continue with the cultivation.
RISE OF A SECTION HAND
Commissioner Eshleman Once Shovel
led Dirt on the Southern Pacific.
The Fresno Republican finds a
striking parallel in the lives of
Charles Markham, the new president
of the Illinois Central Railroad, and
John M. Eshleman, the new railroad
commissioner of California and prob
able presiding officer of the commis
Markham began as a section hand
and worked up to the place of station
agent at Fresno. He was transferred
to Chicago and went up the ladder of
promotion until he reached the top.
John M. Eshleman's first visit to
Fresno, says the Republican, was as
a day laborer, shovelling dirt on the
section. By diligence, faithfulness
and ability he reached a subordinate
position in the pay department of the
railroad, meanwhile studying nights
and giving himself absolutely by his
own efforts a high school education.
He resigned to enter the university,
and worked his own way . through,
graduating as the first prize scholar
of the whole university. He studied
and began the practice of law, serv
ing as the city attorney of Berkeley,
and as deputy labor commissioner.
Then he was elected to the legisla
ture, and made the first losing fight
against the race-track gamblers. En
listing the support of the machine,
the gamblers put up such a fight that
Eshleman broke his health in the
struggle and had to move to Imperial
valley. There he recovered his
health, became district attorney and
perhaps the ■ most active citizen of
the new county, and now he is rail
road commissioner, with authority
over the railroad on whose tracks he
once shoveled dirt.
TURKEY DINNER FOR EVERYONE
Program of Events Arranged for Next
Monday at East Side Town.
10:00 a.m.— Ball game at hi
10:30 a.m. — Pony race, first pr
$5, second $2.50.
11:00 a.m. — Race for ladies.
11:30 a.m. — Free barbecue.
2:15 p.m. — Chariot race, first heat.
2:45 p.m. — Bronco busting — $25, $15,
$10; entry $2.
3:30 p.m. — Fancy shooting.
,3:50 p.m. — Chariot race, second
4:15 p.m.— Roping, $50, $35, $15;
4:45 p.m.— Final heat of chariot
8:15 p.m. — Two grand balls.
Entrance fees for contests refunded
to all contestants taking part.
Finest orchestra in Southern Call
DENSON BUILDS ADDITION.
A brick addition Is being erected
to the building adjoining The Imperial
Valley Press office on the west and
occupied by J. A. Benson's pool hall
and cigar stand. This addition makes
the building extend the full depth of
the lot from Main street to the alley.
It will bo used for bath rooms.
ON WATER PROBLEM
No Conclusion Reached in a
To be Final,
Attorneys Asked for Opinions On the
Law Appear to Have Been Retained
to Advocate a Particular Scheme of
Organization and to Oppose Any
A telegram received yesterday from
John M. Eshleman, who went to Los
Angeles to hold a final conference
with other attorneys on the water
question last Tuesday, and then went
to San Francisco, conveys the infor
mation that the conference was not.
final and a report has not been agreed
upon. It was supposed that a sort of
compromise opinion had been agreed
to, but at the last moment an effort
was made to introduce matter that
Eshleman could not approve.
Eshleman and Haines agreed long
ago and prepared an opinion, and Mc-
Pherrin virtually concurred, but Britt
held out for tbie stock company plan
of organization'^ if he had been re
tained for that 'purpose, and Shaw fol
lowed his lead without preparing an
opinion. Eshleman and Haines deem
it impracticable for the mutual com
panies to organize an operating com
pany, and find the district system the
more feasible,' but they see legal and
practical obstacles to any form of
organization at present and probably
will not advise that immediate action
be taken by the water-users except
in the direction of obtaining treaty
rights -for^a"- canal* through- Mexico.
There are strong interests behind
the stock company scheme, and it
is possible that a combination of capi
tal may be made to pick up the
wreck of the C. D. Co. and put the
irrigation system upon a business and
The United States Land office has
issued final certificates to Imperial
valley lands as follows: «v, •.
To G. I. French, NEU 28-12-13.
To A. J. Kogre, NW'/i 28-12-13.
To T. B. Shank, tract 46-13-15.
To Ed. Hasen Guier, tract 119-15
15 and 16.
To Jesse L. McGuire, tract 104-16-14.
COTTON STALK PAPER.
Southern Inventor Thinks He Has
Found Use for Waste Product.
A number of efforts have been made
in recent years to devise some satis
factory method for producing paper
from cotton stalks. An inventor in
Atlanta, Ga., has invented a system
for reducing cotton stalks to a suitable
form for the manufacture of paper,
which appears to solve most of the
difficulties which have hitherto pre
vented the accomplishment of the
The inventor is naturally very en
msiastlc about the merits of his pro
3ss. He contends that the fibre in
he stalks and limbs of the cotton
lant is considerably stronger than
;>ruce wood fibre and' that it is al
most as strong as the fibre of the
flax plant, thus making it possible to
produce from cotton stalks a paper
superior in strength and texture to
ordinary wood pulp paper and nearly
as strong as high grade linen paper.
The cost of the cotton stalk paper Is
said to be about $20 a ton, allowing
$6 a ton for the stalks. Cheap wrap
ping paper, made of wood pulp, sells
at about $40 a ton.
GROUND WATER AT PARKER.
Thero is a strong reason to hope
ithat the powers that bo in Washing
ton, who, commercially Bpeaking, for
tin) near future hold the power of life
or death as to agricultural possibili
ties for Parker, will come to see what
has been bo plain to thinking people
for a long time — that the Parker bot
tom lands of the Colorado river In
dian Reservation, as well aa tho bot
tom lands near Parker on the Call
fornia side of tho river, is essontlally
A project that can beat bo handled
From 12 to 20 feet at the outside,
water, abundance of water, good wa
ter, free from sediment, is here at
hand. Water to irrigate tho Parker
project need not be laboriously
brought from costly dams, concerning
which paper companies talk in owl
ish would-be financial wisdom in
terni3 of millions. The Parker project
has the water.
Why is the reservation not opened?
The Indians are anxious to have it
opened and receive their allotments
of farm units in severalty. An ap
propriation of $50,000 was made by
the Act of April 4, 1910, authorizing
tho opening of 150,000 acre 3of the
reservation.. The Interior Department
refuses to comply with the provisions
of this Act, giving no valid reason
for such refusal. ■
PEACE OFFICER FOR HEDGES.
Clyde A. Bradford, formerly city
marshal of El Centro, has been com
missioned by Sheriff Meadows to act
as deputy sheriff at the Hedges mine,
located about six miles northeast of
Ogilby. Extensive preparations are
being made for the resumption of
operations on ;the Hedges mine, and
-many men will be employed. They
are now gathering in from various
mining camps! and Sheriff Meadows
deems it wise to have a peace officer
on the ground./ Bradford went over to
Hedges last week.
THE COTTON CROP
Nearly Four Thousand Bales Picked
Indicate Total of Seven Thousand.
Up to date the gins of the Imperial
Valley Oil and Cotton Company have
turned out more than 3300 ! bales of
cotton, and it is safe to say that from
3500 to 4000 bales in the aggregate
have been harvested. All of half the
crop has been picked, possibly more,
and experts estimate that the total
product will not exceed 7000 bales.
A part of the crop will be lost to
growers through the expiration of
land leases at | the end of the year
and before completion of second pick
ing. Many growers are using leased
land, and this year's experience has
shown the expediency of early plant
ing in such cases as the late cottoi.
does not open in time to be harvested
before January. t'|>
No shipments to Oakland were
made this week, but some cotton was
bought by "the agent of the mills at
prices ranging from 13.50 to 13.70.
The • price yesterday, for the best
grade, was 13.60.
NEW COUNTY OFFICERS
Changes That Will Take Place at the
Court House Next Week.
The newly-elected officials of Im
perial county will take their places
at the Court House next Tuesday.
Three new supervisors, Carr, Boyd
and Beal, replace Webster, Ferguson
and Wade. McHarg and Clark were
Mobley Meadows continues in of
fice as sheriff, and Phil D. Swing, who
has been John M. Eshleman's deputy
and acting-district attorney for some
time, takes the place of his former
chief, with Frank Birkhauser as
Major S. Cook, who has been tax
collector by appointment, takes the
place of County Clerk Elder, and John
Norton succeeds John B. Baker as
county recorder. Norton retains Mrs.
Williams as deputy. Wiley Weaver
is the new assessor and will have
N. J. Reed, formerly of Imperial, as
Paul Bonian leaves the treasurer's
office to collect taxes and will be suc
ceeded by J. Stanley Brown, now the
expert accountant for the county.
Ike McCoy remains in office as audi
tor, and L. B. Cooley takes the place
of J. 13. Carr as superintendent of
schools. Comity Surveyor Perry had
no opposition and was re-elected as
a iftatter of course.
No changes of deputies in the sher
iff's office have been announced, and
It is probable that W. 11. Buck aud
Percy Kilgore will bo retained.
IS UNIQUE CHARGE
Wholesale ''Burking" Alleged
In Imperial Land Contest
Cemetery Association Complains cf
Unholy Conspiracy, by Which Un
dertaker Gets Away With Curisl
Ground and Bonss of Many De
The "Man Who Stole a Meeting
house" has held the record for lar
cenous originality these many years,
but his fame i 3 threatened with
eclipse. If the allegations in an Im
perial land contest, are true, the
graveyard of the city of Imperial and
158 occupants thereof have been
swiped though a "fraudulent and un
The charge of conspiracy to steal
a graveyard is made by officers of the
Imperial Cemetery Association. The
present holder of the land, forty
acres, about three miles northeast of
Imperial, is Mrs. Ida Weasel, wife of
an Imperial undertaker. Mrs. We3sel
acquired it through a transfer exe
cuted by Charlina Bishop, stated in
the protest to be "some relation" to
Frederick Bishop, who is alleged to
have been the trusted but treacher
ous agent of the association.
According\to the allegations of Le
roy Holt, Edgar F. Howe and F. H.
Wales, Bishop was employed by them
to file on and hold the land under his
personal right of entry until such
time as the company. itse'U-'could pna-g
cure title to it. The site; had been
selected as an appropriate one for a
cemetery, water had been put on the
land and other improvements, such
as the setting out of trees, had been
made with that end in view. At the
time of the alleged Bteal, the ground
had already been put into. U3e. for
The complaint asserts that Bishop
calmly proceeded to a deliberate vio
lation of his trust, apparently with the
end of mere sordid gain in view. By
"selling or otherwise disposing, of the
land, or by permitting it to revert to
the government," the cemetery peo
ple allege that he made a second en
try possible by the "relative," Char
lina Bishop, who filed on the forty
acres July 1, 1907.
It would appear that the cemetery
association did not awaken to the fact
that the land had passed out of the
hands of its supposed agent until a
second transfer had been made, two
years later, to the wife of the under
Mrs. Wessel filed her final proofs
on the tract on November^, 1909. At
that time, the value and desirability
6t the site for the purpose chosen is
asserted to have been amply proven
by the fact that 158 graves were lo
Holt, Howe and Wales assert that,
in taking up the land, Mrs. Wessel
had no intention of effecting any fur
ther improvements of the land or of
making her home tlhere. Separate
affidavits by each of the protesters ac
cuse her of being a party to the al
leged fraudulent transaction by which
Mrß. Bishop secured the right to as
sign the land.
Mrs. Bishop is herself asserted to
be guilty of an "unholy conspiracy."
The notice and affidavits of protest
were filed in Washington by repre
sentatives of the cemetery associa
tion last week. Commissioner Den
nett Immediately returned them to
the Los Angeles Land Office with in
structions to Register Buren and Re
ceiver Robinson to eet a date for the
SCIENCE FOR FARMERS.
A farmers' meeting on Saturday,
January 6, in the opera house at El
Centro, at 2 p.m., will be addressed
by Prof. Taylor of Imperial, Prof.
Soares of Brawley, Prof. Packard of
El Ceutro and Prof. Booth of Heber.
They will speak on the following top
ic: "What is the beet (suggestion that
you can make for Imperial valley