Tales from the Morgue: Pedestrians dodging bicycles

2014-01-21T12:00:00Z 2014-01-22T15:00:35Z Tales from the Morgue: Pedestrians dodging bicyclesJohanna Eubank Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 21, 2014 12:00 pm  • 

Tucson is often considered a bicycle-friendly city, but one still hears heated discussions about whether car drivers are prone to crowd cyclists or the cyclists are interfering with traffic flow for cars.

Back in the day, however, it appeared to be bicycles versus pedestrians. Often the bicycles weren't the tools of health-conscious riders hoping to spare the environment, but of boys who had yet to learn that pedestrians weren't meant to be targets.

From the Arizona Daily Star, Thursday, Jan. 22, 1914:

 

BICYCLES MUST GET OFF THE SIDEWALKS
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Police Plan to Enforce Old Ordinance; Must Use the Streets
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If the plans of the police are carried out, as proposed by Chief Rolfing and Night Sergeant Devant, pedestrians will not have to dodge bicycles on the sidewalks as they have been doing. At a conference between the two officers yesterday it was agreed to begin a campaign against reckless riding on the sidewalks and for the enforcement of the ordinance requiring lights to be carried on the machines.

Many lads now use the sidewalks in preference to the streets, as it makes easier riding, and as the people who are walking make an effort to keep out of the way to escape being run over, there is not as much bother in riding as in the street. Some of the lads try to see how close they can ride to pedestrians without hitting them, which is great sport, at least for the boys. However, the police propose to put a stop to the whole practice and will require the boys to ride in the streets.

It was an interesting story, but not nearly as interesting as the tale of a young lady who may have run off with a young man of questionable character.

From the Star of the same date:

 

FORMER TUCSON GIRL FIGURE IN COAST MYSTERY
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Local Police Get Request to Look Up University Student Who Has Been Writing Letters to Missing Girl
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News of the mysterious disappearance of Miss Katherine Richardson, a former student at the University of Arizona, from the home of her sister, Mrs. S. S. Wentworth, of Long Beach, California, has been received by the local police. Miss Richardson has been absent several weeks, and no information as to her whereabouts has been received.

During her absence several letters from a student of the University of Arizona, who is known to have been attentive to the young lady, have been received, and Mrs. Wentworth asks for information of this young man, evidently thinking that he may be able to throw some light on the matter.

She states that Miss Richardson has been keeping company with a young man who was wanted by the police of Long Beach and Los Angeles. A few weeks ago he disappeared and afterwards Miss Richardson also disappeared. Later Mrs. Wentworth heard a rumor that she had joined this young man in San Francisco, to be married. In the meantime the young man who is a student at the University of Arizona sent the young lady several missives, not knowing what had happened. They had his return on the outside of the envelope.

Was Dancing Student

Miss Richardson last year was in the preparatory department of the University. She was much interested in folk dancing while here. Her father is said to have been employed on a local newspaper while here, and was a highly educated and cultivated man, being especially fluent in Greek. The parents were very stern with the young lady and did not allow her to have much company of the kind she liked. She was about 18, and a blond, and very handsome.

The family left in the spring last year and went to the coast. Miss Richardson, tiring of the puritanical atmosphere of her home, went to live with her sister, Mrs. Wentworth, whose husband owns a nursery and greenhouse outside the city of Long Beach. Here she met the other young man, and evidently forgot her Tucson admirer. It appears that the young man at Long Beach pressed his suit, and that, notwithstanding his alleged bad character, she persisted in keeping company with him. Although she has heard the rumor that her sister is married in San Francisco, Mrs. Wentworth is making inquiries in as many directions as possible.

If one believes in romance, one may decide that Miss Richardson is now happily married in San Francisco, although perhaps her husband will leave her destitute when he commits another crime and is sent to prison.

If one is more inclined to watch TV shows like "Criminal Minds" than "Downton Abbey," one may believe the young man of bad character took the lady against her will and her remains will turn up in a shallow grave or the trunk of a car.

The reader may have already guessed what the Morgue Lady is thinking. She watches both TV shows, and clearly spends a little too much time on them.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

About this blog

Tales from the Morgue is a way for the Star to share stories from the treasure trove of information held in its old files.

Johanna Eubank, aka the Morgue Lady, was a research assistant in the Star Library - also known as News and Research Services - for 18 years before becoming an online content producer. She has had her share of sneezing fits after digging into dusty old files, so she's sure to find a few old stories to re-examine.

If you have suggestions, comments or questions about this blog, e-mail jeubank@tucson.com.

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