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Looking Back to 1935: Council buys soup kettles but not a new police car 

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 Research Director Jan Cannon. Newspaper photography by GiGi Green.

Excerpts from Thursday, November 7, 1935, The Paso Robles Advertiser:

Council ok’s purchase of soup kettles

Two subjects occupied the bulk of the discussion by members of the city council in an hour-long session Monday night, the purchase of soup kettles for use on forthcoming Pioneer Days, and the purchase of a new police car to replace the present patrol car.

Mayor Orcutt reported a request from the Pioneer Day Central Committee that the city buy approximately six 60-gallon kettles, similar to those which were borrowed this year from the National Guard Camp at San Luis Obispo to be used in the preparation of stew and coffee during future Pioneer Days.

The kettles would remain the property of the city, it was declared and might be stored at the waterworks during the time they are not in use.

Cost estimated

It was reported that the cost of the six will probably run between $350 and $500 and that it might be possible to spread the amount over the period between now and the next Pioneer Day.

During the somewhat drawn-out discussion of the proposal, in which individual members seemed unwilling to commit themselves, it was brought out that Pioneer Day has become a recognized civic holiday and that it benefits the city to a large degree.

It was suggested that the necessary money could be taken from the music and promotion fund, which action would in no way upset the budget of other departments. After deciding to investigate whether or not a supply of used kettles and stands could be purchased at a much lower figure the board agreed to send a favorable report on the matter to the Pioneer Day Committee.

Paso Robles history 1935

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New police car

Immediately following this, the councilmen were asked to consider the purchase of a new police car, to replace present equipment, which is reported to be temporarily out of service.

“The money is available now, and we need a new police car anyhow,” Mayor Orcutt declared.

The board was told that upkeep on present equipment and the cost of putting it back into usable condition, estimated at about $150, were out of proportion to the worth of the machine. Aside from this, it was pointed out, the present car is impractical for police work.

“I don’t agree with you!” Councilman Liddle remarked. “In the first place, the car hasn’t had proper care. Since we talked about buying a new one about a year ago, this one has been allowed to run down. I don’t see why a car with only 50,000 miles on it couldn’t be fixed up to run a long time yet.”

More efficient

“Besides, I believe the department is more efficient, especially at night, the less it uses a car. There is no sense in buying a new car so long as this one answers the purpose.”

Other members were less definite in their opinions on the subject; advancing the idea that it might be better to put $150 and $200 with the old car, buy a used one; continue the use of police chief Azbell’s personal automobile; put a new engine, new upholstery in the present equipment.

“Even if I have to buy them myself, we will have to have new cushions for it,” Azbell remarked.

Action on the matter was postponed until the November 18 meeting.

It was reported that the city’s request for WPA funds on the street project was submitted to headquarters some time ago, and has been turned down. The board awaits action with regard to other projects, which include a new waterworks building, a library annex, water pipelines, etc.

A building permit covering a $400 improvement to the residential property of Audry Hibbard at 733, 23rd Street was approved.

Read previous Looking Back articles

Thank you to the 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, (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,, (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.