People years ago put ads in the newspaper looking for "relationships," just like today, almost.

A case in point is an advertisement in the Ontario Daily Report of June 11, 1913, by a rancher by the name of Williams, who lived to the south of Ontario. He said he realized he "can't find anyone to do his washing and mending and he has come to the conclusion that matrimony is the solution of his problem," wrote the paper.

He sure wasn't especially picky.

"She may be short or tall, stout or thin, blonde or brunette, spinster or widow," said the paper - but she had to be under 50.

He said he would give preference to any woman who also had $200 or $300 of her own.


FRANK O. Slanker was perhaps the most noteworthy of all the lawmen who worked in this area, serving as Pomona's constable for 45 years.

He was an honest man and tolerated no criminal activity, even when Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show came to town on Nov. 23, 1911.

Slanker knew the workers at such shows were a bit shifty, so he wasn't surprised when he caught one taking a pair of gloves from a parked car.

"For goodness' sake, officer, don't pinch me," said the man. "They can't do without me, I'm the driver of the eight-horse team."

Slanker was unmoved: "Well, they'll have to look for another driver."

The man got 15 days as a guest in the city jail.


CREATIVE excuses for speeding are something judges have always endured.

R. Palomares was caught driving over 30 mph on Second Street in Pomona, reported the Pomona Progress on Feb. 4, 1922.

It wasn't his fault, he told Police Judge Harry H. Mason.

"Palomares said he was (coming down with) the mumps and felt two lumps forming behind his ears and was trying to reach his home in Los Angeles before he got sick," said the newspaper.

Perhaps out of admiration for such innovation, the judge reduced his fine to $5.


FRONT-PAGE news was the arrival of a train in Ontario on Feb. 26, 1927, that would carry the "Mighty Bambino," New York Yankees slugger Babe Ruth en route to Chicago.

The newspaper said the Union Pacific train was due at 7:09 p.m. and suggested if it stopped, Ruth might be seen on the platform.

Alas, the train apparently did not stop that night, and those who went to the station simply struck out.


YOU think you have problems with aphids or gophers? Consider 110 years ago, when Inland Valley farmers seemed to have more jackrabbits than rocks.

In 1893, San Bernardino County offered a bounty on the crop-eating rabbits, leading a few enterprising hunters to take advantage of the system.

Henry Gardner of Rincon (an area west of Corona near today's Prado Dam) had claimed he shot 114 rabbits on Oct. 19 and 759 rabbits in 16 days. At 20 cents per rabbit, that was $151.80 - no small sum in those days.

Four other claimants had similar totals.

The Ontario Observor of Dec. 9 reacted with complete disgust that anyone would defraud the public by exaggerating the number of rabbits they shot.

"Had there not been placed a bounty on jackrabbit scalps," the Observor wrote sarcastically, "the people of this county would be all unconscious of the fact that there exists among them some of the greatest nimrods that ever won immortal fame upon the field of sport.

"Who would have suspicioned that (in this area) there live and breathe men who can go among the sage brush and average a jackrabbit scalp every five minutes... ?"

The Board of Supervisors said the hunters' claims were hogwash and refused to pay. The five "nimrods" kept the rabbits but got nothing from the county for their efforts.


"SCORE another for Joe Martinez," wrote the Pomona Daily Review on Aug. 2, 1907.

The newspaper noted Martinez and his wife celebrated their newest child - their 22nd. The couple had gotten used to such arrivals over the previous 32 years.

Eighteen of the children had survived to that point, and several grandchildren had already arrived. 

"Joe said last year that he had a club for any more stork visits down in his locality, but evidently he lost the club before last night," wrote the Review.

The newspaper offered plenty of congratulations to Joe, but never even mentioned the other member of the Martinez team.


Joe Blackstock writes on Inland Valley history. He can be reached at 909-483-9382 or via email, or on Twitter @JoeBlackstock.