Squaw Spring Water Co.
The Squaw Springs Water Co. was formed to provide water to Randsburg and Johannesburg. A receipt in the collection of the Kern County Museum showing a date of 1 January 1899 proves that they were in business in 1898. 1
Add information from McPherson’s Postal Telegraph Co.
The Postal Telegraph Co. operated in Randsburg prior to March of 1899 when it went out of business in Randsburg and was replaced by the Western Union office. Both of these concerns were under the charge of W. C. Wilson.
The first telephone lines were stretched from Mojave to Randsburg in November of 1896. According to the Sacramento Record Union newspaper of June 25, 1896: “ W. C. Wilson has a telephone line now working to Kane Springs, which will be completed to Randsburg before long.” –The wires appear to have reached Garlock by sometime in October as a telephone conversation with the Garlock operator regarding a shooting that had taken place in Randsburg was reported by the Daily Californian in its 29 October, 1896 edition. Whether this phone Co. Was the Mojave & Randsburg or the Sunset Telephone Co., or whether these companies are one and the same is unclear. The author believes that the Mojave & Randsburg Telephone Co. was the local Phone Company with the Sunset Telephone Co. providing the long distance service. These businesses were operated by W. C. Wilson until he was bought out by C. A. Burcham sometime before 1912, who owned it until May of 1914 when it was taken over by the Interstate Telephone Co. a subsidiary of Southern Sierra Power Co.
Randsburg Water Co.
The Randsburg Water Co. is thought to have been established in 1898 right after the fire in May. It was probably an extension of the Johannesburg Milling and Water Co.’s system. Mr. H. D. Colson was the superintendent for many years. The controversies involving the water co. existed then as they do now. In 1910 the town of Randsburg had its complete supply of water turned of by the water co. because they could not get together in a town meeting to agree on how to pay for the water. The County Board of Supervisors set the rates.
November 20, 1917: “Randsburg Water Company is developing water, laying a four inch pipe line to Atolia for service to the Atolia Mining Company and other operators between Johannesburg and Atolia.” — Bakersfield Californian
May 4, 1923: “RANDSBURG WATER COMPANY REVENUE—Randsburg, May 4.—Randsburg Water company, operating in Randsburg, reports to the railroad commission for the year 1922 that its operating revenue was $17, 239.79: operating expensed, $13,661.52, giving a net operating revenue of $3,577.27. Miscellaneous non-operating revenue amounted to $90.00. Interest, rent and other deductions totaled $173.70. The net corporate income for the year was $3494,57. The deficit at the beginning of the year amounted to $2,959.12 Miscellaneous additions to surplus for 1922 amounted to $1,179.00 and miscellaneous deductions were $1,647,21, leaving an accumulated surplus at the end of the year of $67.14.” – Bakersfield Californian
*Southern Sierras Power Co.
January 13, 1913: “1913 PROMISES TO BE A BANNER YEAR OF RANDSBURG –Bush Mining Camp Expects to Double Population – Randsburg, Jan. 13 – That 1913 will be the banner year of the mining industry is indicated by the activity prevailing at this camp, and it would not be at all surprising to see, within the ensuing year, the population of the district several times doubled, with new mills, new electric plant, reduction works, etc.
With the installation of electric power, which will be supplied by the Southern Sierras Power Company within the next thirty days, the camp is sure to advance and take its place where it belongs among the greatest mining camps in the United States.
Street Lights Argued—The voters of this community will have an opportunity on January 25 to boost our town in a very practical manner.
The project of lighting the highway and principal streets of Randsburg and Johannesburg should receive the hearty approval of everyone holding any interest or making their living in this camp. Good roads and streets properly lighted are absolutely essential to the growth and prosperity of any town.” –Bakersfield Californian
The Board of Supervisors ratified the Randsburg Lighting District in March of 1913. It was anticipated that street lighting would be installed within 60 days. The Southern Sierras Power Co. providing another means of communication with the outside world also put a wireless telegraph station in Randsburg.
July 15 1913: “TEN MORE LIGHTS WANTED IN LIGHTING DISTRICT—Randsburg, July 15,– Ten more lights are wanted by the citizens of the Randsburg-Johannesburg lighting district; One light in Johannesburg between Teagle’s store and T. W. Duke’s residence, two lights between the Santa Fe Depot and top of Butte Hill, one above the Little Butte shaft house, one at Fiddler’s Gulch near the Atolia road, one on Highland Avenue near the residence of C. G. Illingworth, one on Highland Avenue near James Glynn’s residence, one on the road above the express office and one in front of Houser’s livery barn.
No effort has yet been made to secure these lights from the Board of Supervisors. A Petition requesting this increase in the number of street lights will probably be circulated in the near future.” –Bakersfield Californian
Western Union Telegraph Office
January 05, 1898: “A deed was placed on file for record Monday by which John N. Beckley, acting for the company, sells the telegraph and telephone line, with all Its accessories, between Kramer and Randsburg to the Western Union Telegraph company. The sum paid, according to the papers, was $1000.” –The Herald
January 22, 1898: “THE WESTERN UNION has purchased the new Kramer-Randsburg telegraph line.” –Corona Courier
April 12, 1916: “The Western Union Telegraph Company announces a new service for this district, with offices at Randsburg, and the new installation is being made today. U. G. Knight is to be manager and is from Exeter.” –Bakersfield Californian