December 19, 1896: “CLAIM JUMPING—Mojave, December 19,– Claim jumping at Randsburg has already commenced, and a few gun plays made, mostly bluffs, however, as no serious results lately have occurred. It is thought at the beginning of the New Year, at which time a great many locations expire, there will be trouble in earnest and that the new cemetery will have additional occupants about that time.
Feeling is high against some parties who, over a year ago took up from ten to thirty-five claims, did no work, but will be on hand at midnight, December 31st to relocate their claims. That there will be jumping of claims there is no doubt, but owing to the recently organized vigilance committee, it may have a tendency to cause the man with the gun to reflect. This body of “good order” men has declared they will maintain the law to a decent degree and it will probably go hard with the man who breaks the rules and disobeys the warnings.” –San Jose News
January 26, 1897: “At the time Randsburg mining district was formed, a year ago, 83 votes were cast. Last week Recorder Maginnis was re-elected, and 611 votes were cast. These figures denote the rapid growth of this district.” – The Herald
February 2, 1897 ; “CLAIM JUMPING – RED HOT MEETING IN THE MINING CAMP IN RANDSBURG—Resolutions passed denouncing the jumping of claims—Rival miners exchange compliments in meeting—Great excitement prevails.Randsburg, Jan. 31—(Regular Correspondence)—A meeting was called in the skating rink this morning to elect a successor to nightwatchman Raines, resigned. The Citizens Committee has appointed W. S. Webb, but it was thought best to call a meeting of the citizens and ratify the appointment. The meeting was called to order by Mr. Griswold, chairman of the Citizens Committee, Mr. Hammond acting as secretary. A subscription list of the business-men and property-owners who contribute to the fund was presented for signers, and a motion adopted allowing no one to vote whose name was not on the list. A recess was then taken to permit those present to sign the list and make their subscriptions.
When the meeting was again called to order the names of W. S. Webb, W. H. Russell and Mr. Bowers were put in nomination, and the voting began. Each man, or firm, as the name was called, presented his vote, together with a month’s subscription. The voting closed at 12 o’clock. On counting the votes Webb received 55 votes, Bowers 25, and Russell 13. Webb having a majority of the 93 votes cast was declared elected to serve during good behavior and efficiency. Montgomery and Cook acted as tellers.
In the afternoon at 12 o’clock the meeting called by the Recorder of the district at the request of the meeting last Sunday, for the revision of the bylaws, was called to order by Recorder McGinnis. Dr. J. McCormack was elected chairman with Recorder McGinnis as secretary. The meeting had been well advertised and there was a large attendance.
A motion to appoint a committee of seven to perform the work and report at a subsequent meeting to be called by the chairman brought on a good deal of discussion. Mr. Anderson aroused much enthusiasm in a short speech in favor of a man who had borne the burden and the heat of the day, and against the tenderfoot who shows a disposition to rob them of their hard-earned and of times dearly bought prospects.
The motion prevailed and the chairman appointed as such committee, C. A. Burcham, Mr. Meyers, Clyde Kuffel, J. W. Rogers, Ed Dooley, D. M. Pyle, and C. Linkenbach. Chairman McCormack made a short address depreciating the tendency of some men in the camp to disregard old locations and make new ones on top of them—in other words claim-jumpers and read from papers in his possession the names of some of the parties and the claims jumped. It clouded the title if it did nothing more and hindered sales and development of the camp. He ended up by presenting the following resolutions which were enthusiastically adopted.
“Whereas the miners and mine-owners of the Rand Mining District have an abiding faith in the future of the camp, and believe the Rand District will soon rank among the great mining districts of world: and, whereas they believe in using every legitimate effort to open up the untold riches or our now desert waste; and, whereas they desire to give encouragement to capital and honest prospectors in developing our , and thereby show to the world that this is truly the golden West ; and, whereas there are person in our camp who, by their acts and conduct, try to destroy confidence in the titles of our mines, and maliciously go on the property of other persons claiming to make new locations well knowing at the time that the ground is not open to location under the laws of the United States and the local laws of this the Rand Mining District; and whereas, such acts tend to destroy confidence and discourage the honest prospector; therefor be it
“Resolved. First-That, the miners and mine-owners of this, the Rand Mining District, hereby give notice to all that they are no respecters of persons, and believe in law and order, recognizing the right of every individual to acquire and hold property under the laws of the United States, and out local laws, be he the rich man with his millions or be he the poor, patient prospector who plods the desert waste with his blankets and canteen on his back, opening up and smoothing the pathway for other, that the untold riches of our desert camp may make happier the world by adding to our nations storehouse of wealth.
“Second—That we will not tolerate malicious claim-jumpers in our camp, especially those who boast that they will not prospect, but go upon the property of the poor and honest prospector and make locations, as he has not the means to litigate as against the wealth of the principals who send these willing tools out to do their bidding and rob the honest prospector.
“Third—That we request those who knowingly and maliciously have gone upon the valid locations of others, well knowing that the locations were valid, and attempted to make locations, that they remove their stakes and monuments and execute an abandonment of such attempted locations.
“Fourth—That we extent a hearty welcome to the law-abiding citizens to come amongst us, assuring them that we appreciate their honest efforts, but we give timely notice to the claim-jumpers who maliciously go upon the property of others, as well at to the principals who send out these willing tools, that we will not permit out titles to be clouded by them, or discredit brought to our camp through their malicious acts.”
Mr. Farnsworth was called to the platform and gave a graphic account of a man named Wood, a mining expert, who had come to the camp, inquiring for a Mr. Clark, saying that he was a friend of his and that he wished to examine his mine. Mr. Farnsworth had heard of Wood, so he told him he was a mischief-maker and ordered him to leave the premises and not return. Wood had cursed him and threatened to shoot him if he had a gun. Farnsworth pushed him down the hill, when Wood swore he would return with a gun and fill him full of holes. The meeting seemed to be in full sympathy with Farnsworth, and the feeling was manifestly bitter against Wood.
Wood was present and heard every word of the denunciation of Farnsworth. At the close of the latter’s speech he demanded to be heard. There was great excitement at the time but the chairman finally restored order, and the meeting voted to here Wood’s defense.
Upon mounting the platform Wood admitted everything that Farnsworth had said, with some explanation as to the cause. In the course of his remarks he said no one could justify characterizing him as a mischief-maker or a disturber. On this statement Mr. Rogers, of the Wedge Mine, interrupted him with the assertion that he could and took the platform.
By this time feeling ran high, and the looks on the Miner’s present boded no good feeling toward Wood. Rogers stated that Wood had advised him to make a location of the Wedge mine so as to take in the Kenyon and Butte on either side of him. He further denounced as a fraud and one had not even paid his board bill.
Wood again said something in explanation of his conduct, and it appeared that he had advised the Butte people and the Kenyons to make their locations meet, so as to absorb the Wedge.
By this time the miners were wrought up to a high pitch of excitement, and confusion reigned supreme. After a while quite was again restored, and after some more desultory talk the meeting adjourned to meet at some place and hear the report of the committee on Sunday afternoon next at 2 o’clock p.m.” – Los Angeles Daily Times
February 11, 1897: “MINERS PEACEFULLY ADOPT A CODE OF BYLAWS—Randsburg –Feb. 3-(Regular Correspondence) The adjourned meeting of the Miners or Randsburg to hear the report of the Committee of Seven appointed the Sunday before to revise the bylaws of the Rand district by D. J. McCormick, Chairman, with Recorder McGinnis Secretary. There was a good attendance, but not so many as attended the previous meeting.
The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved. At the suggestion of Mr. Linkenbach the chair appointed Messrs. Lamb and Fireld special Sergeants at Arms to preserve order.
The committee by Mr. Likenbach presented their report, embracing an entire code of bylaws numbering from one to fifteen sections, which were read, acted on by sections, and finally adopted as a whole, without amendment. The section of general interest to the public is given as follows:
Section 1. That the Rand district shall hereafter be known be known as the Rand Mining District.
Sec. 2. The boundaries of this, the Rand Mining District, shall be extended and embrace within its boundaries all of townships twenty nine (29) and thirty (30) south or range forty (40) M.D.B.M., Kern County California, also all of townships twenty nine (29) and thirty (30) south or range forty one (41) east M.D.B.M., San Bernardino County, California.
Sec. 3. After discovery has been made of a vein or lode bearing mineral, the discoverer shall have thirty days from the date of discovery in which to complete and record the discovery.
Sec. 4. The area of a mining claim in this, the Rand Mining District, shall be as now by United States Law provided, not to exceed fifteen hundred (1500) feet in length, with three hundred (300) feet on each side of the vein or lode, and such surface boundaries shall be marked by five monuments, one at each corner, with an initial monument at the point of discovery, each monument not to be less than two and a half feet high, with a notice placed on each showing the designated corner of the claim, with relation to the same.
Sec. 5. The locator or locators of any location hereafter made shall post at the point at of discovery at some conspicuous place in the initial monument an exact copy of his location certificate in plain English.
Sec. 6. Such location certificate shall have inscribed thereon the name of the discoverer or discoverers and the name of the vein or lode, with the date of discovery.
Then follows a number of sections which provide for the election and duties of the recorder, the appointment of deputies, etc.
Sec. 13. All claims shall be recorded in the office of the recorder of this district except those heretofore recorded before the adoption of these bylaws.
Sec. 14. If any locator shall fail to record his certificate of location within thirty days after discovery such claim shall be open to location, but not by the original locator as a re-location.
Sec. 15. All laws and parts of laws now in force in this, the Rand Mining District, in conflict with these laws, are hereby repealed. “On motion of Mr. Rogers, of the Wedge Mine, the Recorder of the district was requested to open a subscription for the purchase of a safe in which to keep the records, so as to guard against their loss by fire.
This closed the business of the meeting and after the reading or the record made or the meeting and approved by those present, an adjournment was had. The meeting was quiet and orderly throughout, in direct contrast to the one held the week before.” — Los Angeles Daily Times
December 19, 1897: “Ed Hammond has been elected chairman of the Citizens’ committee, in place of Dr. Ormsby, resigned. The committee now has under consideration a number of matters, the outcome of which will undoubtedly have a salutary effect on the moral and sanitary condition of the town.The outlook In this mining district is very promising, and the new railroad is expected to makeall kinds of business lively during the next few months.” –The Herald
December 26, 1897: “The citizens’ committee is doing good work, under their supervision Broadway and Rand streets are being graded and leveled.” – The Herald
January 31, 1898: “A great many hobos have arrived in camp during the past few weeks, and considerable petty stealing is the result. At a recent meeting of the citizens’ committee action was taken on the matter, with the result that notices have been posted up about town ordering them to leave the camp. Several arrests have been made during the past week. In this connection…” — The Herald
February 7, 1898: “At a meeting of the citizens’ committee last week. J. W. Lambert was made night watchman. His beat lasts from 9 p. m. to 6 a. in. Such an officer hasbecome a necessity in our growing little city.” – The Herald
February 20, 1898: “ At a recent meeting of the citizens’ committee a proposition was made to the Johannesburg Milling and Water company to pipe water into Randsburg, ” – The Herald
April 06, 1898: “For some weeks past complaints have been made by different miners of the loss of small quantities of ore, tools, powder, etc. It is about time the authors of this petty thievery should be punished, as hard working miners and prospectors can ill afford to lose the means and results of their labors. ” – The Herald
May 30, 1898: “OVER 1200 PEOPLE. The Randsburg Census Shows Up Very Well. RANDSBURG, May 29.—0n the 1st of June all of the members of the citizen’s committee will have, served six months, and the most of them a year. In that time they have done much-good and have faith fully worked for the best interests of the community. On Monday evening a meeting is called to elect the members composing the citizens’ committee for the next six months. The men who have served in the past feel that they have earned a rest and will decline re-election. One of the last acts of the present committee has been to settle a dispute over the title of a lot.” – The Herald
June 07, 1898: “The new citizens’ committee met and organized Wednesday evening with E. M Dineen, president; S. F. Denison, secretary, and Fred Howland, treasurer. Some standing committees were appointed and arrangements were made to re-hang the fire bell, the old one having been burned down in the recent tire. – The Herald
June 25, 1898: SHALL WE INCORPORATE? We have reached that stage of our existence as a town when the subject of how we shall be governed is an important one, and one which must, for the best interests of the place, be answered very speedily. Our Citizens’ Committee have done the best they could under the circumstances, but the governing body is without legal power, and the matter of carrying on the government is necessarily dependent upon the liberality of the people, as there is no legal method for taxing the people for funds with which to meet the necessary expenses, no matter how small they may be. This being the case, the heavy burden has fallen upon a few, and they have become tired of putting up the sinews of war for the benefit of the whole camp.
Upon the retirement of the last committee, that body left affairs in as good shape as it was possible for them to do, but there was and is still a considerable indebtedness, and as the members of the present committee do not feel like assuming the responsibility of these debts, and they are unable to collect sufficient money to liquidate them, the time has come when incorporation as a city of the sixth class seems about the only way out of the dilemma. Upon thoroughly investigating the matter we see no reason why Randsburg should not incorporate and thus have power to levy a tax sufficient for the running expenses of the town, and find that the sentiment in favor of incorporation is very pronounced, and we have seen requested by the president of the Citizens Committee to publish a call for a public meeting to be held at the Carleton theatre tonight to discuss the matter. It is hoped that a full attendance of the citizens may be had, and that all will take part in the discussion, to the end that the exact feeling of the people on the subject may be learned.
Our present form of government is good enough for the place or for anyplace, if it could be carried out and the governing body had any way of securing the funds necessary to the transaction of the public business, but there is no way, and we have tried the present method for more than a year and it is simply running the town in debt. And the money that is being used is mostly contributed by a few men in business who feel than they can no longer stand the drain upon their purses. We therefore believe with the committee, that incorporation is the best way out of the dilemma in which we find ourselves at the present.” Randsburg Miner
July 24, 1898: “News of the Mines – There have been a number of deaths lately from fever, and many others have gone out sick. The impression has gone abroad that the water is the cause of so much sickness, and some may be deterred from coming here on that account. The water supply is as good as will be found in any of the towns of Southern California. Where sickness comes from the drinking water it will be found to be due to the carelessness of the parties using it. The purest water in the world, if kept in a barrel which has been in use for months without ever having been cleaned, would endanger health. That it is not the water, as it comes from the pipes, is abundantly proven by the fact that the same water is used in Johannesburg, and at the many mines surrounding Randsburg, and as yet your correspondent has to learn of a case of fever there. A more probable cause for the fever exists in the extreme carelessness with which many persons dispose of their garbage, etc. The citizens’ committee and health officer have done what they could to enforce the observance of proper sanitary conditions, but in a great many cases they have not been helped by the residents as they should have been. The fever seems to be confined to the people living in the thickly settled portion of the town, those living on the outskirt being practically free. Pick and Pan” – The Herald