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Looking Back to 1932: Oleo faction fails to overturn city council’s margarine ban 

Looking Back Paso Robles

This look back at Paso Robles history comes from local newspapers in the Paso Robles Area Historical Society collection. News for this column is selected with the assistance of the society’s Vice President Nancy Tweedie and Research Director Jan Cannon. Newspaper photography by GiGi Green.

Excerpts from Thursday, April 7, 1932 Paso Robles Advertiser

A petition requesting the city council to reconsider the passage of the ordinance legislating against the selling of oleomargarine, was read at the city council meeting Monday, but because its circulator, J.J. Ford, was not a registered voter at the time of its circulation, and because it did not have the necessary 10 percent of the registered voters of the city listed, the clerk was instructed to prepare a certificate to the effect that there were insufficient signatures to allow the council to take action. Five other petitions were also read, carrying 150 signatures favoring the bill, as against the other faction’s 66.

A representative group of farm bureau men were present, and through their spokesman, Farm Advisor Patchett thanked the city dads for their action. Mayor Smith expressed himself as being pleased to have the support of the farm people.

An agreement was read, submitted by the fourteen grocery dealers in the city, declaring they would discontinue the selling of oleomargarine after April 7.

A legal opinion of Attorney General U.S. Webb was circulated which expressed doubt concerning the legality of an ordinance such as has been passed by the Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles city councils.

Paso Robles history

In other city council business:

Ridley Chance was given a contract to install and take care of the upkeep of the city electroliers.

It was announced that Mrs. W.J. Stone and Mrs. Lillian Claassen had been appointed by the library board to serve as library trustees and these appointments were approved.

R.C. Heaton appeared before the board and asked that their decision of two weeks ago in regard to the back taxes due the city on property of Heaton’s be reconsidered. Heaton suggested that it would be better for the city to take the $55 he offers for four lots in Block 221, which have nearly $500 against them in overdue taxes, than to let it lay in default.

No compromise could be made between the board and Heaton.

The ordinance requiring the eradication of weeds in the city limits was declared read for the second time and ordered to print.

Baby Patricia leaves home on excursion trip

Little Miss Patricia Griswold, aged almost three, left the playground in the yard of her home on 18th street Tuesday morning, climbed the confining fence, and strolled down the road to see the world.

The baby had wandered into the center of the business district, on her second runaway trip, before it was noticed that she was not alone. H.J. Cates played knight-errant for the little blonde lady in the pink bonnet by plucking her from her dangerous stand in the middle of Spring at 12th, and taking her with him to Fisher’s Barber Shop. When asked where her parents lived, she said “In a house.”

The marshal was notified, but until a neighbor of the Griswolds identified her, her name was a mystery. The mother of the child had been trying just as hard to locate Patricia, as Patricia’s new friends had been trying to locate her.

The Griswolds are new residents in Paso Robles. Mr. Griswold is assistant horticulturalist for the county.

Shopping in April 1932

Check out the 1932 bargains on page 3 of the Paso Robles Advertiser! Just in time to dress up for spring!

  • Two-trouser men’s suits for $19.75.
  • Girls’ cotton dresses, two for $1.
  • Jacket dresses and party frocks, $5.
  • Boy’s outfits for 49 cents.

Must be what the “good ole days,” were really like.


Read previous Looking Back articles


Thank you to sponsors of Looking Back

Paso Robles Pioneer Museum – Come take a real look back into local Paso Robles history. Open Thursday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 2010 Riverside Ave., Paso Robles, CA 93446, www.pasoroblespioneermuseum.org (805) 239-4556.

Estrella Warbird Museum is an aviation museum dedicated to the restoration and preservation of military aircraft, vehicles, and memorabilia. Woodland Auto Display is also open. Hours: Thursday through Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. 4251 Dry Creek Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446, ewarbirds.org, (805) 227-0440.

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

Jackie Iddings is a contributing reporter and photographer for the Paso Robles Daily News.