(Photo: Judge John Pitcher and his Half Moon Bay office. In the left corner (accidentally cropped out by me), it reads: “Where The Speed Cop Takes You”).
It didn’t hurt Judge John Pitcher’s image that he also held an excellent record for keeping crime out of Half Moon Bay.
When he ran for re-election in 1914, Judge Pitcher said:
“…Right here in Half Moon Bay, there is no need for law. Why our jail just fell into rust, it did. I’ve been Justice of the Peace for 35 years and never arrested more than a hobo or a speeder. I remember one man that went to state prison from here and that’s about it.”
Now came election Tuesday in 1918–and many said Pitcher’s opponent E.E. “Red” Kerrick should have listened to his friends’ advice and not challenged the old jurist–for John Pitcher easily trounced his young rival.
Pitcher continued his ironclad rule as Justice of the Peace for yet another four years. And when election time rolled around in 1922, “Old Man Pitcher”, now 94, announced again.
But time had finally run out for the old warrior and he was defeated by C.W. Borden. Once out of office, Pitcher lost some of his spark for life. He fell ill and died in 1924. All the business and schools in Half Moon Bay closed their doors in honor of Judge John Pitcher. They all knew there would never be another man like him.