Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Acton Hotel Burns, Postmaster Faces Grand Theft Charge.

Grand theft charge against Acton man dismissed

Grand theft charges, brought against Postmaster Clarence Rush of Acton, by ex-serviceman Samuel H. Schorr, fell flat when the case was called up for trial in Dept. 42 of Superior Court in Los Angeles Friday.

The district attorney's office filed a motion to dismiss the charges because of lack of evidence and the motion was sustained by Judge Gates, thus clearing Rush of the serious accusations made by Schorr, who did not appear in court when the case came up.

The original complaint was filed in Soledad District court by Schorr, owner of the Acton store which Rush managed. It alleged misappropriation of goods and merchandise to the amount of nearly $10,000. Preliminary hearing on the charge took place October 18 before Judge McNeil, and Rush was bound over.


Charged with the misappropriation of goods and merchandise to the amount of at least $10,000, Clarence Rush, "hot shot" postmaster at the town of Acton, was to appear in Soledad Justice court today for the preliminary hearing on a charge of grand theft preferred by ex-serviceman Samuel H. Schorr, owner of the Acton hotel and store of which Rush was the manager.

The hotel and store were almost completely destroyed by fire late Friday night [Oct. 19, 1945].

Schorr, who was only released from military service two weeks ago, came to Acton to check up on his business. According to the report made to sheriff's station, he found that a large quantity of mining supplies, ranch and poultry equipment, and even some house furnishings, including antique furniture and oriental rugs had disappeared with no corresponding increase in the receipts of the business.

According to the sheriff report Schorr had given Rush a thousand dollars to have a well drilled back of the hotel. When he returned he found the well had been drilled on property belonging to Rush's brother-in-law.

Files Complaint

Schorr filed a complaint in Soledad Justice court, and Rush was arraigned last Thursday before Judge MacNiell. He pleaded not guilty and was released on $2,000 bond, provided by a bonding company.

Mystery surrounds the burning of the hotel building at Acton, which housed the store and the Acton post office. The alarm was turned in at 9:20 p.m. Friday. By the time the pumpers from Vincent under Capt. John Segrist could get to the scene the building was beyond help. A large water tank stood just across the road. The pumpers were hooked up to this tank and all of the streams directed on that part of the structure housing the post office. Firemen and citizens, with the help of Mrs. Rush, got all of the post-office material out of the building.

Building Landmark

The structure itself was very old, having been built in the "gay nineties" to provide accommodations for the personnel of the Red Rover mine. It was a two-story frame building with the high ceilings and gingerbread decorations characteristic of the period. It had passed through many ownerships and slowly declined as the community in which it stood withered away.

After settling at Acton, Rush made quite a name for himself. He undertook the management of the hotel and store for Schorr, and in a short time secured the postmastership, moving the office across the road into the store building. Rush is reported to have made an unusual showing in the post office also, bringing it up from fourth to third class.

Threat Reported

According to the Los Angeles papers, a letter stating: "Pay me the $720 you owe me or I will drop a match to the place," was received by owner Schorr's sister. Postal authorities were said to be investigating.

At Soledad fire headquarters there was no information available on the probable origin of the fire, other than it was seen to break out in the attic. The loss was estimated to be in the neighborhood of $15,000.






On Fire 1945

1945 Fire Story

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