Survey number:      Owner:      Date of discovery:


It has been reported to the author, by Mr. Ron Lerch of Sacramento, Ca. that he has located the name of a Mr. C. A. McEwan, who was listed in one of the business directories is Ron’s collection, as being a grocer in Atolia in 1908.


Carl Dunnell is believed to have come to the Rand Mining District in about 1909 and acquired an interest in Grant Illingworth’s Business.

It is not known exactly when the Atolia branch of the Miner’s Supply Store was opened, however in 1912 a report in the Randsburg Miner stated that Illingworth and Dunnell were reopening the store in Atolia and that Carl and his wife would be residing in Atolia.  The store was one of the major buildings in Atolia and was used as the polling place in the 1914 election. The foresight of keeping this business open paid off in 1916 when it was reported that over $200,000 of high-grade tungsten ore had been purchased over the counter from independent operators and possibly from high graders in a four-month period.  If you assume only a ten percent profit on the sale of this ore at today’s dollars it means they were making an easy $100,000 a month on tungsten alone.    The business was still being advertised in 1918.  By 1920 Carl had moved on to Mojave where he had a general merchandise store. Some interest in the old business seemed to have been maintained as the Randsburg Times, in August of 1924, reported that “”Daddy” Dunnell, of the Jewel Company, spent Sunday with the home folks in Mojave”2

Three tokens are known from Illingworth & Dunnell in Atolia.  The first is an eight-scallop brass that measures 27 mm and is good for 1 loaf of bread.  The second is a variant of the first, the only difference being the shape and size of the 1.  In the first variant the one has a curly top as opposed to the second variant which has a straight-line top. The 1 in the second variant is also larger than the first.  The third variant is a square brass with clipped corners, measuring 27 mm.  It is good for 1 large loaf of bread.

February 11, 1917:  “C. L. BUNNEll (sic), prominent merchant of Atolia, is in the city on a visit with B. F. Felt, who is dangerously ill at the German Sanitarium.  Mr. Bunnell (sic) and Mr. Felt are old friends.” –San Bernardino County Sun

February 28, 1917:  “ESTATE OF MINER TO FRIEND—Ontario, Feb. 27.—Unless his son and daughter, whom he has not seen for years, come to contest his will, the entire estate of Benjamin W.  Feldt, eccentric and reputedly wealthy mining man whose body was buried this morning in Bellevue cemetery here, will go to C. L. Dunnell, a merchant of Atolia, who befriended him when he was ill.  Little is known of the man’s life.  He is said to have been a native of Germany, but is thought to have spent many of the earlier years of his life in the vicinity of Anaheim and Santa Ana. It is in Orange, county, it is said, that he  was divorced from his wife a  number of years ago and since that time is reported to have kept his whereabouts a secret not only from his former wife, but from his son and daughter that were born to  them.  The children are now through to be living in Los Angeles, but so far they have not been located.

During recent years, Mr.  Feldt, who lived more of less the life  of a recluse, spent much of  his  time  in the vicinity of Waldron (Weldon?), Kernville, and Atolia, and somewhere in  that  section he is reputed to have struck a rich vein of gold while prospecting.  It was  while in  Atolia that Mr. Feldt became  Ill and was  befriended by Mr. Dunnell,  Since the death of the old mining man, who was about 65 years of age, a will has been found in which he left his entire estate to the Atolia merchant.  The exact amount of the estate has not yet been determined, but is reported to be large.  Shortly before Mr. Feldt’s death Mr. Dunnell tried to prevail on him to notify his son and daughter of his illness, but to no purpose.

At the services in Bellevue cemetery this morning, the Rev. Charles H. Scott pastor of the First Methodist Episcopal church, officiated.  Mr. Dunnell has made arrangements to have the grave cared for perpetually.” –San Bernardino County Sun


In the new townsite of Atolia that was established in December of 1915 one of the first business houses to open was A. Veig, who opened a general merchandise store. .  The Atolia News reported in May of 1917 that “Mr. and Mrs. Veig who conduct the cash store on this townsite are Alaska Pioneers.  It was the Veig store that blazed the way for other business establishments on the townsite.

April 28, 1916: “Veig’s cash store is being enlarged. ” –Bakersfield Californian


In May of 1916 the Bakersfield Californian reported that Jake Hendel, from Arkansas, was erecting a portable building in which to open a dry goods store


It was reported in the 13 May 1916 issue of The Atolia News that David Griggs left Atolia for Dinuba and on his return would build a business structure on his townsite lot. Both David and Grant Griggs are listed as merchants in the 1920 census, however only David’s initials show up on the Receipt pictured below and on the tokens found around the town of Atolia.  While the receipt pictured below shows Mr. Griggs to be in the general merchandise business the 1920 business directory for California list D. M. Griggs as being in the Oil Station and Fruit business.


Mr. Hesser is listed in the 1920 census as a merchant in Atolia.


Charles, Clayton, and Edward Teagle were partners in the mercantile business in the Rand Mining District and outlying camps.  Among their many stores it is reported that one was in Atolia, although the author has found no specific reference as to a date that they were in business in Atolia. (See Section 2 Johannesburg Merchants for more information on the Teagle Bros.)


In the listings of places to register to vote in 1917 was C.C. Jewell at the Atolia Store. 8


Like many of the other Randsburg merchants it appears that one or more of the Rinaldi brothers had opened a store in Atolia.  This is based on a report in The Atolia News, in 1916 that a Chas E. Haley had built a new building in Atolia near Rinaldi’s Market in which to conduct his profession as an engineer. 9


As related in the newspaper of the day Mr. J. P. Deane of Kingman Arizona was, in May of 1916, erecting a building in Atolia for his wife’s new store which was to deal exclusively in ladies wear. 10


Not to be left behind in the rush of merchants from Randsburg to branch out to the new boomtown or Atolia was R. Gunderson, who was successor to McCarthy in Randsburg in what is not The Randsburg General Store.


Although no reference has ever been found to confirm Mr. Weigle’s business in Atolia at least three tokens with his name have been found in Atolia.  In addition in the December 17, 1915 Barstow Printer it was reported that Mr. Weigle had passed through Barstow on his way to Atolia, from Victorville, to take a position with a large mercantile firm.


“Bill” the junkman advertised in both the 1917 newspaper and the 1919 newspapers to purchase anything that people wished to sell.


April 19, 1916:  “Anto Notine of Tehachapi is here and has taken an option and lease on a good business lot in the townsite and expects to erect a store building to handle general merchandise. Notine is well known in Kern County and found many friends here. ” –Bakersfield Californian

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