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This walking tour of Santa Ana, California was created by the Studio for Southern California History for SHE: A One-Day Festival to Celebrate Women on March 20, 2016. The entries include histories related to women including abortion, domestic violence, human trafficking, work, motherhood, inter-racial marriage, cat parties and more.

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Santa Ana was founded by William Spurgeon in 1869 as a speculative townsite on part of the Spanish land grant known as Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana. Early growth and development was stimulated by the arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1878 and the Santa Fe Railroad in 1886. By the end of the 1880s, Santa Ana’s downtown business district was defined by five city blocks of brick commercial buildings on Fourth Street, with the heart of the city at the intersection of Fourth and Main Streets. Following its incorporation as a city in 1886, Santa Ana was recognized as one of the leading communities in the area in 1889 when it became the seat of the newly created County of Orange.
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1884 - 1906
LOCATION: the south side of 3rd Street in between Main and Bush Streets.
Few people know that Santa Ana had a thriving Chinatown for over twenty years between 1884 - 1906 and we are indebted to historians Stephen Gould and Margaret Gower Was. The community formed when the Earl Fruit Company contracted laborers in Los Angeles "to plant and harvest their celery crop." They worked in present day Westminster to dig 12-foot deep canals and reclaim the swamp lands known as "Las Cienegas" to be viable celery fields.

Santa Ana's Chinatown was located on the south side of Third Street in between Main Street and Bush Street. This community was not wanted by the predominantly Anglo American people in Santa Ana, who blamed the Chinese for everything from public health scares, to property theft. Many complained about how they lived in a prime location in the center of the city and their presence lowered property values. These attitudes were exacerbated in 1904 when the new City Hall was built across the street from the Chinatown. Another neighbor to the Chinese, Adolph Butz, a plumber who kept monkeys in cages, looked down on the community and described it as follows:

No one ever knew how many Chinamen lived in the block but judging by the numerous laundrymen, vegetable growers and peddlers it may have been two hundred. Santa Ana's Chinatown was generally described as a series of junky redwood shacks enlivened with red paper, varnished ducks, rattan baskets, calico partitions, and odd smells which come interpreted as 'that brooding, spiritual atmosphere of the Orient.' By and large, Chinatown began as a pretty ratty-looking place and got worse.

According to historian Stephen Gould, the Chinatown was regularly raided by the police who were always unsuccessful in finding gambling and any illegal activity. However, a devastating case of leprosy was uncovered and the community was quarantined and fumigated. It had diminished to eight people by this time, as many men fled. Two tents were set up at Main and Second Streets. The patient was placed in a tent and he died on June 5, 1906. After meeting, all of Santa Ana's leaders and the Orange County District Attorney agreed to burn down the buildings and the possessions that remained in the redwood shacks. This act is considered one of the most brutal events against the Chinese in the period of American history. The remaining seven Chinese men were given housing at the Salvation Army for an unknown period of time.

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"The Santa Ana Tug"
LOCATION: 203 E. 4th Street.
January 27 - A tug-of-war contest is held where teams from the militia, local firemen, "Scotch" men versus "Garden Grove Boys," and two Chinese teams competed against each other. According to an observer:

Excitement was at fever heat when the two Chinese teams, the "Ah There" of Santa Ana, captained by George Young, and "Wun Lung" of Anaheim, captained by Jack Landell, marched on the platform and grappled the rope. Ah There and Wun Lung wore the respective anchors for the teams. When all was ready the signal to pull was given at 10:10, and all hands pulled as only Chinamen know how, amid roars of laughter and clapping of hands ..... All this while the audience cheered as it never cheered before. The band began to play and with a desperate effort Wun Lung broke the hold of his opposing anchor-man and his team crawled across the line in just 39 minutes from the time of starting."

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Grace Spurgeon Party for Carrie Fields
LOCATION: West Corner of 4th and Main.
February 10 - Grace Spurgeon was the daughter of the founder of Santa Ana. In 1894 she gave a party for her friend Carrie Fields, who was visiting from Los Angeles. Each guest represented a book and part of the fun came from guessing what book each person represented. The Los Angeles Times reported:

Over near the bay windows of the parlors was a young lady found very busy with her kitting, and when any of the guest would whisper, "Homespun yarn," softly to her, so that others would not hear what was said, she could be seen to smile, and, if standing near, one might have heard her answer, "Sure!" She was representing "Home Spun Yarn."

Another young lady, seen here, there and everywhere, wearing a large summer hat, upon which was a wealth of lilacs, suggested to the thoughtful person that perhaps she represented "Under the Lilacs." A gentleman over by the decorated wall, with a string of chestnuts dangling from the lappel of his coat, was evidently a fond reader of "Twice Told Tales," while the other fellow, who wore the capital letters of S and A on each lappel of his coat, suggested "Essay on Man." The young lady wearing a miniature shoe as a memento, with a very loose heel, always answered in the affirmative if her favorite book was "Lucile." "Locke on the Human Understanding" explained the dainty little padlock worn on the shoe of one of the young ladies, and the number of books and booklets that made up the decoration of another young lady caused many of the inquirers to guess "Among My Books." The gentleman with a Silkwood ribbon and Sontag's name was a believer in "The Quick and the Dead," although but few in the parlor knew it until the guessing was concluded. The young man with a bunch of seashells worn as a watch charm represented "Cast Up By the Sea," and his brother was "Innocence Abroad." .... A member of the Orange county bar wore a piece of Coke on a small ton, and therefore answered yes to "Coke on Littleton," and thus representation continued for an hour or more, when the guesses, as written out, were collected and audited, after which the prizes were awarded.

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Franklina Gray Bartlett and Ebell Club House
LOCATION: 625 N. French Street.
Franklina Gray Bartlett (1854 - 1934) was the founder of the Ebell Society of Santa Ana and served as its president for three years. She was married to William Bartlett, a "prominent banker." The Ebell Club of the Santa Ana Valley formed in 1894 with 70 charter members, including many from Tustin. Meetings were held at various locations in Santa Ana, the Rossmore Hotel, the Opera House and the Presbyterian Church, but by 1924 when there were hundreds of members, the ladies decided they needed their own clubhouse. Frederick Ely, a prominent Santa Ana architect, designed a 12,400 square-foot Spanish Colonial clubhouse to be built in the French Park section of Santa Ana by Sam Preble, a Tustin contractor. The building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2001.

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The Murder of Yom Doy also known as Ak Kym
LOCATION: 106 W. 4th Street.
On May 16 the funeral for Yom Doy was held at Smith & Son to a "quite a crowd" including Wong Chee, a court interpreter of Los Angeles and his wife, who was Yom Doy's sister and indicated Yom Doy had escaped her husband in San Francisco to travel to Los Angeles. Her dead body was discovered bound and gagged the early morning of May 15, after neighbors heard a gunshot. There were two witnesses to the murder and one was later killed in Los Angeles. The remaining witness refused to testify and no one was punished for her murder.

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1899 - 1900
Mrs Drury
LOCATION: West corner of 4th and Main.
TG Drury, a barber who had a business West Fourth Street, had too much to drink on Christmas and went to his home on West Third Street and according to the Los Angeles Times:
(P)roceeded to beat his wife. The peace and dignity of the neighborhood was disturbed to such an extent that one of the neighbors this morning swore out a warrant for Drury's arrest, charging him simply with disturbing the peace. To this charge the pugnacious barber pleaded guilty and Justice Wilson fined him $10, which was paid. Wife-beaters in Santa Ana do not usually get off with a simple charge of disturbing the peace.

On January 1, the Los Angeles Times reported that on December 27, presumably because of the Los Angeles Times article, Drury's neighbor charged a warrant against Drury for wife-beating and described an intense and violent scene of domestic battery. However, by this time Drury had left town and evaded the law.

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Nurse Namika Sho
LOCATION: 308 E. 3rd Street.
On November 17, 1906, the Santa Ana Register reported on Namika Sho:

Rev Terasawa, of the Wintersburg Japanese Mission, called at this office yesterday and gave particulars regarding the affair.

The young lady referred to is a Japanese maiden named Namika Sho, and arrived in this country from Yokahama on the steamship Corea, landing in San Francisco on November 8th. She is a trained nurse and accompanied by Mrs Sprague from Japan. Prof Sprague is engaged at the Tokio university, Japan.

Namiki (sic) Sho contemplated visiting a Japanese friend near Wintersburg, and made the trip to this country for that purpose. Upon landing in San Francisco she left the company of Mrs Sprague, procured a ticket for Santa Ana and start south on the Southern Pacific train. On her way south she was approached by some Japanese men who suggested to her that she take the electric cars at Los Angeles for Santa Ana. She was suspicious of the men and decided to go by the steam road, although they importuned her to change her plans, and when they were unable to persuade her to make the change they followed her to Santa Ana. There she stopped at a rooming house until she could get in communication with her friend, when two more men undertook to persuade her to go out with them. Indeed she consented to go to a restaurant, but all the time she was suspicious of the strangers and tried in every way possible to avoid them. She insisted she must telephone to her friend soon after her arrival and they told her should could not before morning. The hour was already late and the frightened woman knew not what to do nor whither to turn. She is unable to speak a word of English and didn't know a person in town. These two Japanese men were using all their persuasive powers to get her to relinquish her room and go with them. Being an utter stranger she did not know whom to appeal to. Finally they withdrew temporarily when she flew from the room and fled to a strange house. There she ran into a lavatory and remained over night, and when found in the morning she was chilled to the marrow, and frightened almost out of her senses. Before she left her room she thought the two men were planning to bind her. She asked them to bring a policeman with them if they wanted her to go with them. To this they replied that they would and that a policeman was waiting for them down stairs.

There is no doubt but that they were following the woman for evil purposes. Rev Terasawa saw her on Monday and secured a full statement of facts as given above. When she arrive at Wintersburg and met her friend face to face, she broke down completely, and later after having recovered, she sang a thanksgiving song for her deliverance.

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Osano Okabe - Runaway Japanese Picture Bride
LOCATION: 106 W. 4th Street.
Japanese immigration to California began after the 1880s, when the Chinese Exclusion Act was put in place. Many came from working the sugar plantations in Hawaii. While the Chinese were excluded from immigrating to the US, Japan and the US had the "Gentleman's Agreement." This policy allowed for a limited amount of immigration from Japan on the condition that Japanese citizens would be protected.

While all Asian women were barred from entering the California beginning in 1875 with the Page Act - which banned women from Asia for purposes of prostitution, "picture brides" were allowed in and arranged marriages were a traditional practice in Japan. As a result, many women came to California from Japan to meet a new husband, seeing them in the flesh for the first time the day she arrived in the US, usually in San Francisco. Many arranged marriages were not successful. This was the case with Nido Okabe, whose wife Osano had allegedly run off with another man. Nido Okabe ran a pool hall and put his wife in charge of the cigar stand where a dapper Japanese man had persuaded her to leave him. Nido was seeking a divorce and planned on visiting San Francisco in order to arrange another marriage, according to the Santa Ana Register.

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Ladies Cat Party
LOCATION: 625 French Street.
As part of their Ebell Club activities, Mrs JE Gowen, Mrs CW Burns and Mrs JE Liebig held a party at the Ebell Club House. The Santa Ana Register reported:

This is the way it happened...they requested the members to take their cats along; if they didn't boast a real one, then otherwise, and be prepared to offer some appropriate "stunt" for the entertainment of the company. As a consequence, there were cats and kittens of every description and color. Twenty-five were present to participate in the pleasures of the afternoon. Great interest centered in a large covered basket carried by one of the guests which, when opened, showed a series of small baskets, each containing a kitten, the very last holding a tiny celluloid bouncing cat. A poem was read as each basket disclosed its feline occupant. The ladies told conundrums, anecdotes and stories of cat life and Mrs CE French and Mrs WA Zimmerman entertained with an original poem. Mrs Gowen and Mrs Liebig pleased with reading and there were numerous amusing games. At the close of the afternoon, the hostesses served a delicious collation.

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Temetea Ernandez Got Married.
LOCATION: 106 W. 4th Street.
County Clerk Williams did not know how to process an application for marriage for a mixed-race couple and had to consult with the District Attorney. A Korean man Chun Yung Woon and a Mexican woman Temetea Ernandez wanted to marry. The District Attorney replied: the law does not prohibit the marriage of a Mongolian and a member of the red race, and that if the woman in the case was an Indian the license should be issued. The two were allowed to marry as neither were white; the law was concerned with the mixing of white people and people of color.

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Dr. Hester Olewiler
LOCATION: 625 French Street.
Hester Olewiler was one of the first female doctors in Santa Ana and was also a member of the Ebell Club. She had a busy career as an obstetrician and delivered over 3,000 babies, usually at home, as hospital births were not common when she began her practice in 1919. Her office was located on 4th Street above Edgar's Grocery Store. Her first payment for delivering a baby was a rooster. For forty years she delivered babies at Santa Ana Hospital. Later in life she painted landscapes and floral still lifes. She had the following exhibitions: Santa Ana Artists, 1959 (1st prize); Bowers Museum, 1960 (solo). She died of bone cancer on January 28, 1986 at the age of 91 years old.

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Bebe Daniels and Judge Cox: Santa Ana's Perfect Storm
LOCATION: 106 W. 4th Street.
Bebe Daniels was the epitome of the 1920s "New Woman." She was an actress, dated whomever she pleased and she boasted how she loved to drive over 70 miles per hour. She began her career as a child actress and soon reached stardom as an adult, playing opposite stars such as Humphrey Bogart, Cecil B. De Mille and Rudolph Valentino.

Judge John Belshazzar Cox was the only source of law and order in rural Orange County and he hated automobile drivers who sped. He was known to fine anyone who broke the legal speed limit of 35 mph and jailed those convicted of driving over 50 mph. When Daniels sped her Marmon roadster on the Orange County country roads and was apprehended, Santa Ana endured its first "Trial of the Century," complete with media saturation, focus on the culture of celebrity, and of course, fast cars.

At her trial in March, over 1,500 bystanders came to see her enter the courthouse and testify and admit she was driving 56 mph, believing the judge would let her off with a light sentence. Unfortunately, Judge Cox relished his convictions and fines and she was convicted and sentenced to ten days.

Both sides milked publicity from the event; the Judge invited the press and photographers to take photographs of her when she entered the jail and left after serving nine days (she received one day off for good behavior). When Daniels was held in the jail, Abe Lyman and his Orchestra arrived from the famed Cocoanut Grove night club in Los Angeles to serenade Bebe in her jail cell, which it did all afternoon. Although Daniels' was served gourmet food and received flowers and gifts from fans and well wishers, she wrote: Each night, I had the recurring feeling of how awful it was to be locked in a cell . . . I shall never forget the ominous sound of locks being turned and iron gates clanking behind me, and the sound of my cell door being locked on my mother and myself. I was really very miserable. It was a terrible feeling to be locked in one room, even though it was beautifully decorated and my mother was with me. However, I was so furious with Judge Cox that I would not allow myself to cry. After her release, Daniels starred in a short film that fictionalized her experience called "Speed Girl."

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Dr. Willela Howe Waffle
LOCATION: the Howe Waffle House at 120 W. Civic Center Drive.
By Diann Marsh, from Eye on Santa Ana
On the corner of Sycamore and Civic Center Drive stands a testament to the courage and willpower of one of our City's great pioneers.

The Dr. Howe-Waffle House was built in 1889 by Alvin and Willella Howe, both prominent Orange County physicians. The mansion originally near the corner of Bush and Seventh Streets, was moved in 1975 to it's present location to save it from an urban renewal project. It was lovingly restored by the Santa Ana Historical Society and is used as a house museum -- open for tours and events.
Built during the Victorian Era in the Queen Anne style, the house features two-and-a-half stories and twelve rooms. It took two years to complete and cost $3000, a grand sum in 1889. It is one of the finest Queen Anne Victorians to survive in Orange County.
Dr Willella Howe-Waffle was one of our county's first woman doctors, delivering over 1,000 babies during her 38 years of practice. She and her husband came to Orange County in 1878. She taught at the old Bolsa School in Santa Ana to earned enough to complete her medical education.

In 1886 she graduated from Hahnemann Medical College in Chicago and began her practice in Santa Aria soon after. 

Regarding her ability to establish herself in what was then a "man's career," Dr Willella was quoted in a Santa Ana Register interview as saying, "Some of those who fought me hardest have become my best friends."

At that time, it was hard for some to understand that a woman had the right to take her place alongside male practitioners and make a business of treating the sick.
Many a time she had driven her horses through mud and water up to their waists, with the flood creeping around the floor of the buggy. Dr Alvin Howe was accused by Orange County's first Grand Jury of performing an abortion on a local woman. 
The jury eventually ruled the evidence hearsay and Dr Howe was acquitted. However, he decided to leave town for San Francisco, rather than face the dishonor such a charge would bring him.

Meanwhile, Dr Willella lived on in the house with her daughters, continuing her medical practice and her involvement with the Episcopal Church of the Messiah and several other local organizations. It took an unusual amount of courage for the doctor to go about her daily business with her head held high, but then, she was that kind of a woman.

After divorcing Dr Howe in 1897, she married Edson Waffle, a prominent livery stable owner and rancher, becoming known as Dr Howe-Waffle. In addition to her flourishing medical practice she was now raising a family consisting of her own two daughters and Edson's three children.
The Dr. Howe-Waffle House has been restored to look as if the Doctor has just left to be with a patient and will be returning shortly. http://www.santaanahistory.com/dr_howe-waffle.html

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Artesia School for Mexican Girls and Boys
LOCATION: Eighth and Artesia Streets.
Edith Ritter, Principal of the Artesia School, was proud of how her students had advanced. The school had over 300 Mexican students. The elementary school taught Mexican girls and boys different skills from dressmaking and cooking, to academic skills; and some of the students had gone onto attend Frances Willard Junior High School. Schools like this were common parts of the Americanization campaigns of the 1920s, which sought to educate Mexicans on the American way of life, in order for the students to bring these ideas home to their parents. The Santa Ana Register concluded: The graduation of these pupils marked an event in the history of the growing Artesia school. The results are believed to be an indication of an improved status among the Mexican population.

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Nurse Elizabeth Mills
LOCATION: Her home at 207 E 9th Street.
Elizabeth Mills died at her home in 1927. She was an active member of Santa Ana beginning in 1889 when she moved here from Ohio. Mills was a nurse who served in the Civil War--sometimes on the battlefield; specifically with the Eighty-third Illinois Regiment and at Fort Donaldson. In Santa Ana, she was involved in the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) and founded the Santa Ana Women's Club. The WCTU was organized by women concerned about the destructive power of alcohol and the problems it was caused their families and society. They met in churches to pray and then marched in protests to the saloons to ask the owners to close their establishments. These activities are often referred to as the "Women's Crusades."

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Teresa Saldivar
LOCATION: 223 W. 4th Street.
With her sister Patty, Teresa Saldivar started her own business on November 1, 1985. She has been a devoted member of the Santa Ana community. She is a second generation Santanera and was born here in 1952. Her great grandparents migrated here from Mexico in 1917. Her first job was at the Yost Theater in 1964. She has great memories of Santa Ana and one of the sweetest ones was when she and her sister decided to take over their mother's welfare in March 1985, and threw a surprise retirement party for her at her job at the cannery. The hardest decision she made was to not pursue a career in nursing after completing a four-year degree at California State University Long Beach in 1975, but she honestly confronted her lack of passion for nursing. She, instead, began to turn her attention to doing what she loved: selling jewelry and being her own boss. She went back to school at night, while working during the day, to learn about business. She is proud of her business and how it is committed to Santa Ana and the various components of her community, locally and nationally. She has made significant contributions to the jewelry industry and serves on the Board of the Jewelers of America. https://youtu.be/z9vpyiCofSE.

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LOCATION: The Frida Cinema 305 E. 4th Street.
The Studio for Southern California History worked with several people and organizations to share art, poetry and history to honor the contributions of women to the region, with a focus on Santa Ana at the Frida Cinema.

The Frida Cinema "Fiesta Twin Theatre opened in 1988 as part of the Fiesta Marketplace. It has always shown mainstream American movies with Spanish sub-titles. The theater manages to get in showings of four different movies a night by showing a movie one time in the two auditoriums. Downtown Santa Ana has a history of showing Spanish-language films. Down the block and on the other side of the street is the long-closed Princess Theatre, which showed Mexican films in the 1950’s. That would be real Mexican films, made in Mexico and with Mexican stars. The nearby historic Yost Theatre also at one time had a Mexican film policy. You could say that the Fiesta Twin Theatre has a rich history behind it also. Metropolitan Theatres, the old Los Angeles chain, which has been around since 1923, was the developer. In the 1950’s Metropolitan ran at one time 12 theaters in Los Angeles. Yes, they are still around with 18 locations in four Western states and British Columbia. In July of 2011 it was announced that the name Fiesta Market Place would no longer be used to identify the shopping area. Beginning with the reopening of the Yost Theatre as a nightclub in August the area will be called East End to reflect a changing trend. The Orange County Business Journal says that in recent years Hispanic shoppers have moved upscale and have been wooed away from Santa Ana’s downtown by Wal-Mart, Target and even the Irvine Spectrum. The Fiesta Twin Theatre’s website say: $5.00, All Seats, All Shows, Every Day. It was closed January 5, 2014 and reopened as the Frida Cinema on February 21, 2014." History Source - http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/36475The. Santa Ana has been used throughout film history; some highlights include Compulsion (1959), Norma Rae (1979) and Frances (1982).

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