Mr. Sumner –
The Bakersfield Daily Californian reported in April of 1896 that Mr. Sumner, formerly of Tulare, would be running a stage, every other day, direct between Mojave and Randsburg.
A report of a drunken stage driver in the Visalia Morning Daily Delta, cannot be directly attributed to this stage line. However, it seems that the Visalia contingency in Randsburg were a clannish bunch and would more likely charter a stage from a Tulare neighbor than anyone else so the story will be told here.
It was reported in the Delta, that a party of Visalians including George A. Parker, J. M. English, J. F. Gibson, John L. Rhoades, and Dr. H. M. Combs, had taken a trip to Randsburg in January of 1897. Upon their return they decided to charter a stage to take them to Mojave where they could catch the train. They left Randsburg about noon on a Wednesday and after a few miles and several near upsets they realized that the stage driver was drunk. They deposed the driver and J. M. English took over the reins and took the four-horse stage into Garlock, a distance of twelve miles. At Garlock Mr. English decided that he was tired of driving and pulled over to let someone else drive. While the stage was at a stop the driver tried to unhook the horses, but Captain Merritt told him that they were going on to Mojave. The driver surrounded by his friends tried to stop them but they left him standing by the side of the rode and with Captain Merritt handling the ribbons they proceeded to Mojave. A short while later the driver passed them in a buckboard but did not try to stop them. When they reached the next stage stop (Mesquite Springs) the driver was waiting for them. He humbly begged the party to let him aboard, which they did. Captain Merritt drove the stage into Mojave and turned over to the driver who had become partially sober.
Rice, Shippee & Co.– Mojave, Garlock and Randsburg Stage.
The first mention of this stage line is found in a September 12, 1896 edition of the Bakersfield Daily Californian. It was reported that L. M. Shippee had acquired ten new horses and was expecting his stage any day, which he intended to put on the road between Mojave and Randsburg. In November of that same year Rice & Shippee ran their stage over a new route to Randsburg. The stage left Mojave at 9 o’clock and arrived at Randsburg at 2 o’clock, just five hours after leaving Mojave. This new route was only 35 miles, versus the standard route of 54 miles through Garlock. According to the Los Angeles Herald November 22, 1896 edition