Christmas in Los Angeles, 1912

Dec. 26, 1912, Christmas in Jail

Dec. 26, 1912: The Times makes the rounds of Christmas celebrations among the less fortunate and discovers that the emergency wards are full – but readers are assured that no women or girls are among the victims.

1st and Vignes
Vignes and 1st streets, where F.D. Baker was found unconscious with a fractured skull, via Google Street View.


The YMCA hosts a “Homesick” Christmas dinner for 500 to 600 men at the new clubhouse on Stephenson Avenue in Euclid Heights. These were not homeless men, however.

“The dinner was designed to provide comradeship and cheer for men who otherwise would have eaten their Christmas turkey in some restaurant with appetite dulled by homesick thoughts of dear ones far away. Bank clerks, bookkeepers and men of other various vocations were present,” The Times said. Footnote: The YMCA owned a 12-acre tract on Stephenson – later renamed Whittier Boulevard — and built a large facility there in 1911.

At St. Paul’s Pro-Cathedral, an Episcopal church, the music was performed by a chorus of men and boys, The Times says. (No women singers…. very interesting and worth some research.)

The county jail inmates who can afford to pay for their meals get better food, The Times says, and were called “boarders.” For Christmas, they got roast turkey stuffed with chestnuts, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, green corn, tomatoes, olives, nuts, pudding, ice cream and cake.

The men held in the tanks were given roast pork, sweet potatoes, green peas, nuts and candy.

image At the Central Station jail, however, inmates got consomme julienne, green onions, celery in branch, young pig with apple sauce, sweet potatoes, braised baron de boeuf au jus, mashed potatoes, buttered beets, cabbage, salad, rice pudding with fruit sauce, hot mince pie, apple pie, sweet cider, coffee, small cakes, oranges, apples, candies, smoking and chewing tobacco, cigars and cigarettes.

At the Receiving Hospital, nearly every cot is occupied by a man injured during Christmas.

Among the injured is F.D. Baker, age unknown, 163 N. Clarence St., who was found unconscious with a fractured skull at 1st and Vignes.

Stephen B. Curry, 49, of 820 Hawthorne St., was found on Central Avenue between 8th and 9th streets with a possible skull fracture. He either fell or was thrown off a streetcar. Curry claims he doesn’t know how it happened.

Oscar Toland, 26, of 515 Crocker St., and Herman Blake, 49, of Orange, were injured in separate incidents in which they resisted being robbed. Toland has a three-inch cut over his left eye and Blake received a cut on his right cheek.

F. Monte of Montebello received a broken nose in a fight with a man on Commercial Street near Alameda Street.

Charles Hoe “a middle-aged Negro, may die from the effects of two knife thrusts in the left side received in a street fight,” one of which struck his liver. “He professes not to know who stabbed him,” The Times says.

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About lmharnisch

I work at the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1912, Crime and Courts, Downtown, Food and Drink, LAPD, Religion and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Christmas in Los Angeles, 1912

  1. Cal and Lulu says:

    The Cover Article mention Arthur Letts making a brief talk. Letts was the founder of the Broadway Dept. Store, Holmby Hills, and built a mansion for himself there. It is now occupied by Hugh Heffner and is known today as the Playboy Mansion. More info from the Times about Letts in that era would be very interesting.

  2. CatM says:

    Green corn?

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