OT- Interesting history on a license plate

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: OT- Interesting history on a license plate
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Saggese on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - 06:48 pm:

Some of you may have known Wayne Stanfield, a lifelong T enthusiast who lived in Berkeley and later in Cayucos, California.

I have been in contact with his daughter for the last 5 years, making trips to Wayne's house in Cayucos and purchasing tools and antiques. This is where I was "bitten by the Model T bug". Wayne had a collection of California license plates and tags that is nearly complete, spanning every year since plates were officially issued in 1914, and with a few earlier plates as well.

I am graduating from college in a few weeks, and my parents got in contact with Wayne's daughter to arrange to buy the collection for me as a graduation gift.

Graduation gift

The collection:

Collection

I posted the photo to my university car club facebook page, and it turns out one of the father of one of the members is knowledgeable about antique license plates. This one in particular caught his eye:

License Plate

He did some research for me and found that it was originally issued to one L.P. Denney of 1504 N. Irwin St. in Hanford, CA in May 1910.

I did some research of my own, and stumbled on a news article about a triple-homicide.
In 1917, Denney had a dispute about a debt from the purchase of a tractor. He shot and killed three men, including a judge. He attempted to flee in his car. Here's an excerpt from an article:

"Denney's machine was parked in front of the Vendome Hotel, a block from
the courthouse. Still backing away from the crowd, he made his way to
the machine, loading his revolver.
Reaching the car, he jumped into the seat and pressed the self starting
button. The engine refused to start. Leaping from the car, Denney left
his revolver in the seat and started to crank the machine"

He was killed in an ensuing struggle with the Marshal.

Now, I can't say for sure that the plate that I have in my possession is the same one on Mr. Denney's vehicle, but it seems likely.

I am very grateful to be the custodian of Wayne's license plate collection and many of his tools. My apologies for the long post, just excited to find such an interesting backstory to this piece.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kirk Peterson on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - 07:04 pm:

Very Nice!
Thanks for showing.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Seth - Ohio on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - 07:13 pm:

Congratulations on your graduation and for becoming the care taker of history.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Colin Mavins Winnipeg,Canada on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - 08:16 pm:

Congratulations That is a nice set of plates Like Model t's they tend to multiply I have a set of Manitoba plates one for each year plus the special issue plates now 144 plates cover the basement.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - 09:03 pm:

Michael,

Congratulations on graduating -- that is an important milestone. And what a great gift! And a neat story.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Craig Anderson, central Wisconsin on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - 09:24 pm:

Isn't it wonderful to have parents who listen to and encourage you?....... :-O


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kirk Peterson on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - 09:44 pm:

Michael
I forgot to congratulate you.
By you showing your collection I learned there was only a plate issue in 47 and 51.
Thank you for your front story and back story.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Lloid on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - 10:25 pm:

Congratulations on graduating college. That's a fun part of life. Cool tag collection you have too. I have a collection of tags that range from 1910 to 70 still looking for a 27 Georgia plate. Tim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Owens on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - 10:49 pm:

Michael, The gal looks like the keeper of the bunch. Keep your eye on the prize. Scott


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Eastern Nebraska on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - 10:50 pm:

Michael, congratulations on your graduation, and the wonderful gift.

I tried to learn a bit more about Mr. Denney, with little success. However, this "Ancestry" link does have a good portion of an article credited to "The Fresno Morning Republican
Thursday, April 5, 1917." This may be the same paper your excerpt is from. The link is:

http://newsarch.rootsweb.com/th/read/CAKINGS/2000-02/0951178490

It appears the car Mr. Denney was driving on this April 1917 day had a starter, according to this article. If it is a Model T, the starter would have been an after-market accessory, which is entirely possible.

Thank you for the interesting post, and we wish you well as you begin your post-graduate career,
Rob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Eastern Nebraska on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - 11:27 pm:

OK, I looked a little more.......

This account, written in 1923, says Denney was "cranking" his car as he attempted to flee following the murders. (Maybe no starter in the first place?)

The full article tells much more about the murderer, and the man who stopped his retreat. An excerpt:


A somewhat readable version of the article:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/t1bfcnajrld4del/Denney%20murders.pdf?dl=0

The top portion of the full page article:


Now we know the first name, "Lorenzo." With this information, there may be more information out there, including the cars he owned.

Now back to an easier subject, early Ford's. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Saggese on Thursday, May 26, 2016 - 12:52 am:

Thanks everyone! I'm excited to move into this next chapter of my life. I am graduating with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. Scott- I know, I'm very lucky. She supports me in everything. Rob- thanks for the digging. With his first name, I was able to find a photo.

LP Denney


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Keith Townsend ; ^ ) Gresham, Orygun on Thursday, May 26, 2016 - 01:23 am:

Michael-
Congratulations and thanks for sharing the photos and the story.
: ^ )


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Thursday, May 26, 2016 - 06:36 pm:

Looks like Trump wasn't the first to sport that "do." :-)


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