The Madera County, California Sheriff's office used this wanted and reward circular
scrapbook from 1895-1911. The scrapbook of 246 pages is comprised of reward and wanted
notices from counties all over California and from other states as far away as Illinois
and New York. Notices are in the form of postcards, printed flyers, and written letters.
Many notices include photographs of the criminals or missing persons. There are detailed
descriptions of stolen property and the suspected individuals. Many of the descriptions
include Bertillon measurements. Crimes run the gamut from bigamy to theft. There are a
number of circulars from detective agencies and from state prisons at Folsom, San Quentin
and the Preston School of Industry, Ione. The scrapbook provides a review of criminals in
California and the names of law officers in the state for the years covered.
Madera, was a lumber town that had been created when the California Lumber Company built
a flume from their timber properties to the railroad (1876). For this reason, "Madera,"
the Spanish word for lumber, was chosen as the town's name. On March 11, 1893, that part
of Fresno County north and west of the San Joaquin River was organized as a new county
and named after the town. The granite city jail was built in 1876 and was the one of the
oldest jails in California when torn down (ca. 1990). During the time in which these
records were kept, S. W. Westfall, C.A.H. Warfield and S. C. Cornell were sheriffs in
Madera County, while Frank B. Braire, was Madera city Chief of Police.