Arts & Entertainment

Coffee and Local History at Arcadia Museum

Arcadia residents enjoy coffee while listening to Dan Hennessy’s presentation. – Photo by Galen Patterson / Beacon Media News

The focus of the talk: Arcadia’s first and only police officer killed in the line of


By Galen Patterson

The Gilb museum of Arcadia hosted the Saturday Morning Coffee & Local History Talks on Oct. 21. The subject of the event was Arcadia in 1927 and the police officer murder that happened in that July.

Local historian Daniel Hennessy took his audience back 90 years in time, when Arcadia was a major chicken hub and the local police force was nearly small enough to fit into one patrol car.

Hennessy provided a researched account of the final moments of Officer Albert Matthies life and the trial of the suspects thereafter.

Matthies was the son of German immigrants and served as a motorcycle messenger in the First World War before being slain in the line of duty, roughly one year after becoming a police officer.

Hennessy elaborated on the lives of the suspects, three young men between the ages of 18 and 20, all of whom had troubled pasts and had met at the notorious Preston School of Industry in Ione, CA. The Preston School of Industry was a boarding school with noteworthy alumni including Merle Haggard.

Hennessy’s presentation lasted nearly one hour and concluded with an interactive question-and-answering session.

The Gilb museum recently changed the regularly scheduled event from Thursday afternoons to Saturday mornings. “This is the second one we tried on Saturday morning and we’ve been getting a good response,” said Dana Hicks, curator of the Gilb museum.

Hicks is actively steering the subjects of the talks to focus on more intensive and new research on Arcadia, opposed to the much broader San Gabriel Valley subject matter from previous events.

The next Saturday Morning Coffee and Local History Talk will be held on Nov. 4 at the Gilb Museum and is titled “Who Was Who in Arcadia,” presented by local artist Laura Henneforth.

October 26, 2017

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