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And Now You Know: Mayor McCarver said, in 1929, if you won’t work, leave Orange

Mike Louviere, And Now you Know

Orange law officers and concerned citizens organized and were conducting a search for Hal Hall on the weekend of January 19, 1929. Hal had been reported missing by his brothers Frank, Horace, and Habert.

Hal Hall was 22 years old and worked around Orange as a log hauler, dairyman, and truck farmer.

The Hall brothers believed that Hal had been murdered based on blood-stained clothing found on the bank near the bridge that crossed the Sabine River. 

Dragging operations were being conducted on the river searching for a body.

There was a persistent rumor that Hal had been seen in a “certain section” of Orange in a “certain place” about 11 p.m. Saturday night. Other information said he had left the “certain place” on Friday afternoon.

An Orange man told police officers that he had been on the street about 1 a.m. Sunday morning when he heard a man and a woman quarreling. 

The woman said, “give me my car keys or I will cut your throat.” 

He said he then observed the man and woman climb aboard a car on Green Avenue near Second Street, and as the car started another car parked nearby started. The two cars sped away westward on Green Avenue.

The clothing found under the edge of the bridge remained a mystery to Orange and Calcasieu Parish law officers. It was not believed there was any connection to Hall since the laundry marks on the clothing had no connection to Hall.

As a result of the disappearance of Hall and the observance of the car’s strange departure from Orange Mayor Ed S. McCarver expressed concern about “undesirable elements” in Orange.

Mayor McCarver issued an order to Orange police officers to clear the city of the undesirable elements as soon as possible.

Mayor McCarver produced a written order which was then given to all members of the Orange Police Department.

The order read: “Due to the crime wave that seems to be casting a shadow over our portion of Texas I have thought it wise to ask you to use the utmost care and precaution in our community in discouraging all criminal elements who might make their place of abode here during the winter. There are at this time a large element of people who are idle. Most of these people are not citizens of Orange but are classed as drifters or itinerant vagrants. These people appear to be well dressed and are like “the lilies of the field; they toil not neither do they spin.” I am sure that this element of people do not contribute anything to the moral uplift of our community. A suggestion is hereby given to the police to discourage further residence and presence of these people in our community. I suggest that you invite them to work, and failing in, this arrest them and bring them before the corporate court. You can use your own judgement in these cases and where people are honestly endeavoring to work and cannot find employment, in my opinion they should not be bothered.”

“And now you know.”