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A. J. PETTER. Early Randsburg Assayer and Minerologist. Photo courtesy of his grandson.

A. J. Petter's Office On Rand St. It is in the second building on the right. Photo was cropped from a photo in the collection of the Maturango Museum in Ridgecrest, Cal.

Arriving in camp in September of 1896 Mr. Petter immediately set up his assay shop and went to work.  However in January of 1898 he lost his shop in the fire which burnt most of the business district of Randsburg.  He rebuilt only to be wiped out again in the May 1898 fire.  Mr. Petter was considered to be a very fine assayer and was quite knowledgeable of the local ores.  He also published several articles on mining and geology of the region.

Adolph Petter's advertisement as it appeared in the April 15, 1899 Randsburg Miner Newspaper in the collection of the Rand Desert Museum

Mr. Petter’s advertisement appeared in the Randsburg Miner in 1898 after the second fire.  The editor stated elsewhere in the paper that A. J. Petter had begun the rebuilding of his assay office on Thursday after the fire and was again ready to do business.  Mr. Petter’s assay shop was on Rand St.

A. J. Petter's Home In Randsburg. Photo courtesy of Mr. Petter's grandson.

In a meeting held in Randsburg on June 6, 1897 of the Citizens Committee both fire and sanitation committees were established.  A. J. Petter was appointed as one of the members of the Fire Committee.  At the time of the organization the Los Angeles Herald reported that the “town was at the mercy of the fire fiend and sanitation measures were very necessary. However, under the direction of the committee fire boxes were soon put up all over town with the latest improved fire extinguishers in them for the public use. Restaurants, hotels, etc., were compelled to move their garbage and offal daily. Closets (outhouses) heretofore built on the ground, were ordered built over a five or six-foot vault. The streets were put in order and a few days ago the citizens were surprised by the arrival of a chemical engine, bought from the city of Bodie, Cal., which originally cost $2000. Too much praise cannot be given the committee for the good work accomplished by them in behalf of the people in general and the city.”

May 12, 1898: “The Citizens’ Committee, of Randsburg, met Saturday to hear a report on widening of streets.  Randsburg’s streets are to narrow and Butte Avenue has many crooks in it.  A. J. Petter was chairman of the special committee.  Petter announced that all the businessmen on Butte avenue between Anderson’s store and the Russ House had consented to build back 10 feet, thus making the street 70 feet wide.  There was much difference of opinion on the matter but most of the merchants will carry out the idea.  Broadwell, chief partner in the Anderson store said he could not afford to cut off 1_ feet of the stone building as his loss had been total.  Lee & Landers, whose little saloon was just opposite, could not afford to make the changes, but everybody east of these two concerns will help to widen the street.” – The Rand

September 20, 1899:  “WASHINGTON. Sept. 10. — Pacific Coast patents were granted to-day as follows: California— Frederick W. Wood, Los Angeles, dry concentrator. A. J. Petter, Randsburg, stamp and roller crusher and pulverizer….” –San Francisco Call


October 31, 1897: “While at Randsburg the writer met H. C. Johnson, chemist and assayer, who was formerly chemist for the China Valley Beet Sugar company, and since then was check chemist at Eddy, N. M. beet sugar factory. Mr. Johnson is also a practical assayer and is prepared to do technical work of all kinds. He refers to the Bank of Randsburg for information regarding his ability and integrity.”  – The Herald


Mr. Flood is listed in the 1898 business directory as being a Chemist and Assayer in Randsburg.


An advertisement appearing in the Randsburg Miner Newspaper identified William J. Cayzer as an assayer  in Randsburg.

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