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Looking Back to 1940: Nominations for Pioneer Day, women burglars captured 


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 Wednesday, August 28, 1940, Paso Robles Journal:

Nominations for Pioneer Day Queen start today

Nominations open today for the coveted honor of Queen of Pioneer Day. This annual contest is conducted by the Journal in cooperation with the Pioneer Day Committee, and anyone may make a nomination merely by filling out the coupon at the bottom of this page and mailing or bringing it to the Journal office by Saturday, Sept. 7.

Consideration in nominating a queen should be given as to age and years of residence in Paso Robles. If the lady you wish to nominate has already been queen, she is still eligible for the honor again this year.

Since the honor is for Pioneer Day, the nominee should be somewhat of a pioneer and in order to be a pioneer she would have to be quite well along in years. Therefore, Chairman Jared Brush has set no definite limit as to age or years of residence. “We are leaving that up to the people’s good judgment,” Mr. Brush said.

Paso Robles Pioneer Day 1940

The Queen of Pioneer Day will be one of the outstanding features of the big parade and will ride in a place of honor along with the grand marshal, massed colors, bands, floats and other attractions, and will be shown many special courtesies throughout the day.

The coupon at the bottom of the page is the only means of nominating your choice for queen, so fill in the coupon and mail or bring it to the Journal office at once. The ballot will appear for one more week and the deadline is Saturday, Sept 7.

After nominations are completed, the names of the nominees will be announced and ballots will be published for four consecutive weeks to give everyone an opportunity to vote for his or her choice for queen. Fill out the nomination coupon NOW, lest your forget.

Women burglars captured early Sunday morning

Billie Jean (Richard) LaRue, 23, and Dosha Stanford, 24, giving an address on 17th Street, are awaiting trial in Superior Court on burglary charges as a result of one of Paso Robles most unusual crimes.

The defendants were seized about 4:30 a.m. Sunday by special policeman Howard Knowles and merchant policeman Maynard Rudesill in a downtown alley as the couple were about to drive away with $141.12 in cash which LaRue is alleged to have taken from John Jordan’s restaurant and bar on Spring Street.

LaRue, who was employed as a dishwasher by Jordan is said to have entered the front door of the restaurant and passed the money sack to Miss Stanford at the back door, and then coming out the front door, left it unlocked.

Arraigned Tuesday afternoon before Justice of the Peace Chas. W. Watts the pair were bound over to Superior Court with bond set at $2500 each.

As police continued investigation Monday morning it was found that several boxes had been stored in a local warehouse by the pair. In the boxes found in the warehouse and also located in the house, police found approximately $100 worth of liquor, silverware, soups and dishes belonging to Jordan.

The most startling disclosure in the case came soon after Justice Watts had arraigned the pair Tuesday when Miss Stanford announced that “Richard” LaRue was actually a woman masquerading as a man. During her three months of employment in Paso Robles, Billie Jean LaRue had successfully maintained her disguise.

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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, (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.

Creative Concrete & Design delivers the highest level of professional concrete work. Operating in San Luis Obispo County since 2002, Karl Rush brings 35 years of concrete experience to every job and will ensure that you receive the very best quality work. Over the years they have completed a great many works on residential homes. They are very creative and willing to explore options for your next project. Concrete projects have many factors to consider to bring your vision to life., (805) 896-1384.

Golden Anchor Financial Services is committed to helping you find the right mortgage product for your needs. They understand that every borrower is different, and offer a variety of products to meet individual requirements. They make the process of securing a mortgage simple and straightforward by offering you the latest in financial tools that enable you to make sound financial choices. Call them at (805) 473-7733 on the Central Coast or (559) 473-7733 in the Central Valley.

1800 El Pomar is the site of a historic Templeton ranch located just three miles east of town. The property features an iconic, aged redwood barn, 3-story tank house, original farmhouse with an outdoor garden, original water tank structures, and many other original ranch buildings. Set on 20+ acres of vineyards, the 360-degree views of rolling oak-studded hills and surrounding vines are a photographer’s dream. A prime ceremony location exists in the vineyards behind the barn between two beautiful oaks. The northwest-facing location creates plenty of shade for your guests in an early to late afternoon setting. A perfect venue with plenty of open space to customize your wedding or event.

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

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