Fire-affected 3½x4½-inch print dated July 4, 1932, shows Opal Mayhue Houghton, Jessie E. Richards and Jessie Nourse Sackrider with the horse, Cimarron, which one of the ladies probably just rode in the
Newhall Fourth of July Parade. Opal, holding the bridle, is dressed the part, but the animal is draped with a banner that reads, "National Automobile Club," suggesting it
might be advertising Sackrider's insurance business. William S. Hart's hilltop mansion, built in 1927, is visible in the background.
Opal Mayhue Houghton. Daughter of William and Pallie Mayhue. William worked in the Rice Canyon oil fields in the 1890s and became a major Newhall business property owner in the early 1900s.
Opal was married to Lloyd Houghton, local historian, artist (painter) and owner of Hap-A-Lan hall, which became a makeshift morgue in the 1928 St. Francis Dam Disaster.
Opal and Lloyd Houghton were the parents of Betty Pember, who was born in Hap-A-Lan hall (before it was a morgue) and who became a big-time community volunteer, for which she was named 1980 SCV Woman of the Year.
Detail. Click to enlarge.
The same day this photograph was made, Opal appeared in another photo of Newhall oldtimers who gathered for the Fourth of July "Homecoming" celebration
at Newhall (School) Park. Comparing the two photographs makes us wonder if Opal is correctly identified in the Homecoming photo.
Jessie E. Richards owned and operated the local lending library, which in 1932 had just moved into Sackrider's new office complex on the west [cq] side of Spruce (now Main) Street
between Market and 6th streets. (A bit later, the library was on the east side of Spruce.)
Jessie Nourse Sackrider was a local real estate and insurance agent who had many of the townsfolk for clients including Hart. Born in
1876, she came to Newhall in 1923 with her husband, Don, a World War I Army veteran who suffered from tuburculosis. He died the following year, and Jessie took over Bert
Thibaudeau's insurance business. She brokered insurance and real estate into the 1950s. Her grand-niece, Claudia "Jeanne" Feeney, was managing editor of The Signal
newspaper in the 1980s.