September 20, 1918 – Miss Ardell Nichols was injured in an auto collision in San Francisco. Ardell, the daughter of Joseph H. and Mary (Nelson) Nichols of Mendocino, was born in San Francisco in 1892. Joseph’s family had moved from Maine to Mendocino when he was a child, and Mary had been born in Mendocino County. Following their marriage, they moved to San Francisco, where they started a family.

Newspaper clipping showing the proper way to turn a corner
Two Maxwell cars demonstrate the danger of cutting corners. (March 24, 1918, San Francisco Chronicle, p. 10)

The Nichols family returned to Mendocino between 1900 and 1910. In 1913, Ardell left Mendocino to attend nursing school in San Francisco, and after graduation, she found employment in the city.

According to the Beacon, Ardell was a passenger in the automobile of Lester Morlock of San Francisco, who was “driving the car – a Maxwell. They were crossing Irving street at 12th avenue when two large cars, driven by boys of seventeen and eighteen years, approached at racing speed. One of these cars struck the Maxwell in the rear and side carrying away a hind wheel and crushing in the side of the car and turning the car completely around.” All four of Lester’s passengers were hurt, but despite one young lady being thrown out of the Maxwell and hitting her head, none were seriously injured.

“It developed in the investigation that the boys who were the cause of the accident had appropriated the cars they were driving from a paint shop and were taking a crowd of young people to a party in them. They admitted that they were racing at the time and doing better than 35 miles an hour.”

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