Editor’s note: This monthly feature uncovers Santa Monica’s history by compiling notable city happenings from a century ago. The stories are found in old newspaper archives.


With warring entities staking claims to power, a debate over who presided over Santa Monica reached a tipping point a century ago.

The courts were tapped to determine “whether the Council or the Commissioners are the governing body of the city,” according to a 1915 brief in the Los Angeles Times.

Council reported to the commission that it had hired well-known lawyer Francis J. Heney to take the case to court.

Council wanted to hold a meeting with attorneys from both entities, but the commissioners declined because “no good purpose could be served by talking it over among themselves” and said the matter should be resolved in an official legal setting.

The debate came amid broader discussions over whether Santa Monica should be annexed by Los Angeles.

Fraud suspect flees to Santa Monica

A warrant was issued for the arrest of a man who reportedly fled to Santa Monica after passing a worthless check in San Francisco.

William Boyd Sims, said to be the scion of a wealthy Atlanta family, had been in the Bay Area for about a month and wrote a fraudulent check for $25 with his grandfather’s name on it, according to a Times article. (That’s about $580 in 2015 money, according to finance website DollarTimes.)

The recipient of the check later received a telegram from the Third National Bank of Atlanta saying that “Sims had no authority to draw on his grandfather’s account,” according to the article.

Sims allegedly took off for Santa Monica to meet up with his new wife and her mother.

Santa Monica Country Club opens

An appropriation of what today would be more than half a million dollars for a clubhouse led to the official creation of the Santa Monica Country Club in Brentwood.

The club featured 200 charter members, including “all the prominent Santa Monica families,” according to a Times article.

“The new country club … will cater to the charm of the outdoor life in every department, not forgetting sheltered terraces for afternoon tea, sun-parlors for bridge, and encouraging sitting out places for dances,” the article reads.

The grounds were also touted as ideal for driving interest in polo, tennis and golf.

“There is a picturesque ravine running through the land, which will make a delightful natural hazard for the eighteen-hole golf course which is to be but one of the many attractions the club proposes to offer,” the article reads.

Woman hospitalized in car crash

A woman was hospitalized 100 years ago this month following a car crash in Santa Monica.

Lottie McMillen was sent to St. Catherine’s Hospital with a dislocated shoulder after the automobile overturned “while rounding a sharp corner,” according to a Times brief.

No one else in the car was hurt in the accident, which happened on the southeastern edge of the city.

Contact Jeff Goodman at 310-573-8351, jeff@www.smdp.com or on Twitter.

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