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Imperial Valley Press.
VOL. IX. LAND CONTESTANTS PERSIST IN PIRACY Appeal From Decision Thai Would • Protect Settlers From Blackmailers Plaintiff Pearson Files Document in Which Register of Land Office is Ac cused of Pettifogging and of Bluff ing Would-be Grabber Out of His "Rights" to Other Man's Property. Recently Register Prescott, o£ the U. S. Land Ofllce in Los Angeles, re jected a lot of contests and decided that there was no fraud and no sub stantial violation of law in the mak ing of a desert land entry on a claim that had been Improved and irrigated in Imperial Valley. The i?gister said: "From absolutely innocent causes many entries of lands upon which thousands of dollars have been ex pended have had to be relinquished and refiled upon. "This has been the practice ever since the first settlement of the val ley. The present Register and Re ceiver and their predecessors have concurred of given no sign of warn ing or dissent. It has become a fixed policy and under the circumstances justly so. To have aaopted another would have been ruin to innocent peo ple and against the facts. '*' '" "The Imperial Valley has suffered from vicissitudes. It is a question however whether the complications heretofore had there would equal in disaster the confusion into which ti tles would be thrown were this charge j that reclamation was too well and too. promptly done accepted as ground of cancellation." In conclusion, the register charac terized the persons seeking to oust settlers from improved farms as "un conscionable and blackmailing con testants." In September, 190 li one Rust made, homestead entry number 9655 on a quarter section near Holtville. He re claimed and cultivated the land, bought water stock, and made the! place his home. For four or five years | the land was watered, and at least three -fourths of it was cultivated. In July, 1907, Rust, sold his claim for several thousand dollars to Al- 1 bert Fuller. He might have proved j up the homestead and then turned It over, but Rust was scrupulously j conscientious and felt that he could not make the requisite affidavit of proof in view of the agreement to sell. Therefore Rust relinquished his j claim to the government, and by hold ing back the water stock he brought It under the ruling of the Land Of- j flee which treats land separated from water stock as having reverted to dcs- j ert. I Fuller then filed a desert claim on the farm, bought the water stock, ■ proved up and paid the government j for the land. Thus Fuller paid for the land twice, and the, government received more than it would have re ceived had Rust proved up his home- ! stead. I Fuller's farm was one of the tracts involved in the contests recently re- j jected by Register Prescott. The; ground of contest was the strictly' technical point that the land had been reclaimed when Fuller filed his des» ' crt entry. The contestant was Harry , B. Pearson, Jr., City Engineer of El Centro, who has been a resident In' the valley a little more than a year. Contestants turned down by Reg* Ister Prescott were allowed thirty day i In which to appeal from his decision, \ Pearson has filed an appeal, being the \ first of the batch to take that course, I and shows thereby an Intention to - persist in his effort to get for noth- Official Paper of Imperial County and City of 131 Cctitro, EL CENTRO, CALIFORNIA, BATURDAY, AUGUST 14, 1909. Ing the Improved ranch of Albert Ful ler. Pearson says in his appeal the lands were open to homestead entry prior to March 31, 1006. This did not help Fuller much an the lands were open to desert entry only at the time he filed. Pearson criticizes "the policy of the l.os Angeles Land Office in advising entrymen to ignore the plain language of the declaration that each applicant must file;" says "the de cision of the Register reads more like a brief for the defendant than like the decision of a ministerial officer;" accuses the Register of attempting to confuse the entry involved in this con test, to befog the issue and to raise false ones. Pearson, or his attorney, who does not sign his name, winds up with: "The Register descends to the pet tifogging tactics of calling names, de nouncing the contestant as a black mailer, in an endeavor to bluff him Into cibandonlng the pursuit of his rights," said rights being the dubious legal privilege of trying to appropri ate the products of another man's la bor and capital. An appeal has been filed by Geo. W. House from a like ruling in his contest against the entry of Isaac J. Reynolds on 160 acres just west of Heber. House's attorney, if he has one, does not sign his name either. He attacks the Register with the same insinuations as does Pearson, save that the epithet "pettifogging" is omitted. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Arrangements For Advertising Imper ial Valley at Seattle Exposition The regular meeting of the Cham ber of Commerce was held Monday night ai the Palm Roof Garden. Not withstanding that a great many peo ple have not yet returned from their vacations, there was a good attend ance. In the absence of President Carter Vice- President T. B. Blanchard was in the chair and Phil D. Swing acted as secretary. Mr. Blanchard, as Chairman of the Finance Committee, made a report on the progress being made ry that com mittee in making collections. Chairman Fuller, of the Industrial Committee, reported that the Ameri can Nile Cotton Company had closed a contract with the machinery house for a 25-bale capacity cotton gin, which will be installed at once. The matter of accepting the offer of John B. Bakar, Proprietor of the Desert Farmer, of 5000 copies of the special edition of that publication for distribution at Seattle, was discussed, and it was decided to raise the amount of money necessary to pay freight on the magazine to Seattle by public subscription. Mr. Baker was given • vote of thanks for his generosity. The Advertising Committee report ed that they had prepared the data which is to be printed on the re versfj. side of envelopes and that the data had been sent to Los Angeles to be electrotyped. The plates have been received at the Press ofllce, where business men of El Centro may have the matter printed on the backs of their envelopes without cost to them. ' The matter of securing better roads for El Centro was discussed and the Holtville road was particularly con demned by Mr. Reading, who said that it was a disgrace to the community. Mr. Reading also reported some correspondence with Southern Pacific officials regarding better local freight facilities and read a letter from Su perintendent Averill, who promised better service. The Civic Committee was authorized to appear before the City Trustees and urge the City Marshall have the rubbish cleaned off of all vacant lots and all alleyways. Riverside orange men think next orange crop will be comparatively light. LOOKS LIKE DIXIE THE LAND OF COTTON Valley Plantations Make Tex an Growers Open Their Eyes American Nile Company Buys Gin and Press to Handle Crop, and Oakland Mills Are Ready to Take Entire Pro duct of Imperial Valley Cotton Fields." Within three weeks the machinery for El Centro's first cotton gin and compress will arrive here from Dallas, Texas, and by September 25 the plant will be in readiness to begin its sea son's work. ' J. A. Bachman, a cotton expert from Round Rock, Texas, arrived in El Centro on Sunday morning to confer with Joseph R. Loftus, of the Amer ican Nile Cotton Company, in regard to the first plant here, and as a re sult Mr. Bachman carries back to Tex as a contract for the immediate de livery at this point of a two-siand seventy-saw ginning outnt and a hy draulic compress of the doume-box pattern, generally known as the Mur ray outfit, and conceded by cotton growers to be one of the best of cot ton handling machines. The plant Is built by the Murray Gin Company, of Dallas, Texas, and the original cost at Dallas is $1900. When set up and ready for operation, the plant will represent an outlay of about $3500. It Is proposed to secure, If possible, one of the large packing sheds in El Centro as a temporary building for the gin and compress, and thus save time in getting the plant in readi ness. It is probable that by the open ing of the second season the company will have its own building, located on its land south of the Southern Pa cific stock yards, in the southeastern part of this city. The plant to be installed here will have a capacity of twenty-five bales per day. It will be operated by a fifty-horsepower electric motor, the power to be furnished by the Holton Power Company. Mr. Bachman, while here this week, made a general survey of the valley cotton fields and as a result is en thusiastic over the crop prospect. He says that as far as his observation ex tended he believes the cotton fields now have an average of two bales to the acre, and the growing season will continue for several weeks. He advises that planters should al low their fields to continue growth un til at least the middle of Septem ber. The matter of proper irrigation is the chief one to be studied in this valley. Where Insufficient moisture has been given the plants, they stop their growth and send out the "fruit" at the top of the prant. Mr. Bach man believes that in such a condition but little irrigation should be given the field until the bolls are properly matured, and that the field may again be thoroughly Irrigated when it will probably make the second setting of "fruit". He notes that in some cases the crop has been given too much wat er, and in these fields the weed has turned yellow. This has also been the case where the land was not properly leveled. As a whole, says Mr. Bachman, the Imperial Valley cotton crop is the fin est he has ever seen, and he has ab solute confidence in this valley prov ing one of the best cotton regions In the United States. It is estimated that when plants set thirty bolls on an average, the field will produce a bale to the acre, and in some of the fields examined by Mr. Bachman he found the average was 100 bolls to the piant. Mr. Bachman is accompanied by Rae Oliver and S. T. Marshall, Texan cot ton growers, who are greatly inter ested in the experiment plantings in the valley. They have seen enough to convince them beyond the shadow of a doubt that this is the coming cot ton district, and if they can get hold of a body of land suitably located and large enough for their purpose, they will bring here next season the Mex ican families now located as renters upon 3000 acres of cotton fields In Texas. The California Cotton Mills Co., of Oakland, wants Imperial Valley cot ton and is prepared to take the pro duct of iO.OOO acres. The Southern Pacific has made a rate of 60 cents a hundred on cotton from the valley to Oakland, which is 30 cents better than the rate from Texas. It is asserted by those who profess to know where of they speak that the first 500 bales of cotton used by the Oakland mill were grown in California. NEBRASKA INVESTORS Chas. T. Collier, through the agency of C. E. Sprouse, has sold to Dr. J. E. Paul and Dr. N. Matzen, of Nebras ka, an eighty acre tract of Improved land one and a quarter miles west of El Centro, for $10,000. These pur chasers visited El Centro In the spring and were so impressed with the pros pects of this vicinity that they de cided to make investments here. It is probable that they may locate in this city next fall, and practice their profession of dentistry. CHECKS WERE NO GOOD Advertising Solicitor Charged With Mixing Too Much Hot Air With Bank Account Thomas S. Smith, an advertising solicitor, was brought down from Los Angeles last Tuesday by Deputy Sher iff Jake Meadows to answer to a charge of issuing worthless checks, the complainant being George A. Car ter, former president of the Valley State Bank. It is alleged that Smith gave checks on the bank after he had been notified that he had no funds. Smith was taken before Jus tice Tout and held under bonds of ?700 for later appearance. Smith was employed fo^a time as a solicitor of advertisements for the Desert Farmer, and there are transac tions connected with that job which need straightening out in order that Mr. Baker may be happy. It is said that an aunt of Smith has undertaken to make his accounts good and get him out of trouble. While in the valley, Smith posed as a magazine writer and the inti mate friend of various famous literary men. He said he was with Rex Beach in Alaska, and intimated that he taught Beach the writing trade. He forced his acquaintance upon Harold Hell Wright, and then gave out that he was Wright's "college chum" and collaborator in literary work. He told several persons that he showed Wright how to dramatize "The Shepherd of the Hills" and helped him prepare the manuscript of "Dan Matthews," all of which is as true as that he taught Poe the art of writing short stories. When arrested in Los Ange less, he swelled up and told the po lice officers that he was "editor of the Associated Press." Smith is a typical advertising guer illa, plausibly garrulous, cheeky, im provident, Irresponsible, good-natured and bursting with petty vanity and hot air. INTERESTED IN COTTON O. B. Rush, a Southern cotton plant er, has been spending several days in 101 Centro and adjacent districts this week, looking into the cotton situation, and 1« enthusiastic over the prospects. Ho has now gone to Yuma, Colorado, where he has property in terests, and expects to return here next season and engage in the valley's new industry. No. 19 ERRATIC COLORADO CHANGES ITS ROUTE Bee River Not Cut Back, But New Channel Found in Sonora No Lowering of Bed of the River at Intake of Imperial Valley Canal Sys tem — Protective Works on West Bank Unaffected by Unprecedented Flood. The Colorado river has been doing some strange stunts this year and has kept the engineers guessing at what its next freak may be. During the June flood season the discharge of the river was the greatest on record, reaching a maximum of 145,000 cublo second feet or 7,250,000 miners' inches, but the surface of the flood did not rise to the highest mark on the gauge at Yuma. The river scoured out Its bed to make room at the bottom for the flood, and at one time the bed was fifty feet below its normal plane at Yuma. The concrete piers of the railroad bridge were left resting upon plies many feet above the bed of the riv er, but the piles are sixty feet long and well driven and no damage was done to the bridge. The men who built the piers of that bridge certainly made a good job of it. It was believed by all river men and by the engineers in charge of pro tective and irrigation works that the Rio Abejos, one of the drainage chan nels in the overflowed land below the Mexican border, had cut back Its channel to junction with the Colorado. There Is an abrupt fall of twenty-five feet from the Colorado to the Abejos, and recession of the channel of the latter to the big river would cause deepening of the Colorado from the junction up stream possibly clear to Laguna dam, and also result in a change of the course of the river from the point of junction to the gulf. But the Rio Abejos, or Bee River, has not cut back to the Colorado. En gineers of the C. D. Co. have been do\Vn into the overflowed region to see what has happened, and they re port that the cut Is not within two miles of the channel of the Colorado, which is on a ridge above the general level of the delta lands. Therefore the scouring of the Colorado's bed is to be accounted for otherwise. Moreover the river bed has silted up again with subsidence of the flood. A month ago the bottom opposite the C. O. Cos. Intake was twenty-five feet below the sills of the cement headgate; now it is a foot higher. At the last observation the average depth of water in the channel opposite the gate was nine feet; the average depth in the intake was six feet and the depth at the gate was eleven feet. There Is an Incline of one foot in the surface of the water in .he Intake and as the deepest water In the channel was eleven feet, the bottom there is a foot higher than the bottom of the gate. This condition dis|>ey; any fear'that water will not run from the river to the gate at the lowest stage. A lit tle dredging will make uniform depth In the intake and give a sharp grad ient from the channel to the gate. It will he necessary to clean out the canal from the gate towards Sharp's heading, and dredgers are already on that job. The Colorado is not flowing Into Volcano Lake by way of Boe river, nnd thence through the Hardy to the gulf, as has been supposed. Bee riv er and other channels are only drain ing off the overflow. But the erratlo river has found a new way to the gulf east of its old channel through (Continued on «*age 8.)