KANE SPRINGS / GYPSITE

Survey number:      Owner:      Date of discovery:

November 1, 1893:  “POST OFFICES have been established at Koehn, Kern County, with Charles Koehn as Postmaster.  The Morning Call

Letter From Charles Koehn To the First Bank of Randsburg. It explains some cash flow problems he was having with the Kern Valley Bank and asks the Randsburg Bank to hold his thirty-five dollar check for a few days and he would send money to cover it.

February 14, 1894:  “GUS HAAG, A PARTNER WITH MR. JOHNSON in claims on Reed gulch, Goler mining district, has sold his half interest  therein to W. C. Wilson of Mojave and Charles Koehn of Koehn  Springs.  These claims have paid handsomely ever since being opened.” – Bakersfield Daily Californian

May 6, 1895:  “ITEMS FROM GOLER – Lower Goler Mining Camp – May 2.—Charles Koehn is the only store keeper in the camp, and he is raising the prices of his goods.  A number of the miners are going to club together and send to Los Angeles for their goods.” – Bakersfield Daily Californian

Ed Starkey of Mojave has been credited by Marcia Wynn Rittenhouse in her book Desert Bonanza, as having opened the first saloon in Randsburg.  The records of the early liquor licenses are not considered to be complete, but do list Starkey and Richards among the earliest saloonmen having been licensed in June of 1896.  In addition among the earliest saloonmen were Chris Matson who was licensed in May of 1896; Davis & Wolfskill, July 1896; and Charlie Koehn, July 1896.11  This accounts for four of the five that were reported to be in business by August 1896.

January 27, 1896: “Water is hauled by Harley Swarthout at $2 per barrel and provisions are supplied from the store of the indefatigable desert merchant and hotel proprietor of Kane springs, Charles Koehn.” –Los Angeles Daily Times

Charlie Koehn's Store on Rand St. His first store was in Pioneer Camp. In January of 1896 the Bakersfield Daily Californian, reported the following: "There have been about 150 locations made in the district, and at a meeting to elect a recorder, there were thirty five miners present. The district is called the Rand District. There are five wooden buildings including stables, corral, saloon and about thirty tents. Water is hauled by Harley Swartout at $2 per barrel and provisions are supplied from the store of the indefatigable desert merchant and hotel proprietor of Kane Springs, Charles Koehn.” This, the first store in town, was most likely conducted from a tent. Later Mr. Koehn built a substantial wood building. In the Rand Mine account ledger on page 3 (page 1& 2 are missing) a listing is found for July 27, 1896 showing a payment to C. A. Koehn for $2.40. In December of 1896 Harmon Prosser is listed as the successor to Mr. Koehn. In July of 1897 however, the Register of Licenses for Kern County, showed that Mr. Koehn was still selling liquor in Randsburg as well as Cow Wells (Garlock).

February 11, 1896: “MESSRS. KELLY AND DONOV are sinking a six-foot ledge which is close to the side line of the Trilby, and is a fine milling proposition clear across with a stratum on the hanging wall showing $2,250”  — The Californian

February 18, 1896: “MR. CHARLES KOEHN has purchased an interest in the Kelley and Donovan property at Randsburg.”  — The Californian

May 11, 1896:  “O. B. STANTON AND CHARLES KOEHN announce that they will soon begin putting in place at Koehn Springs a mill to crush ore from the Randsburg mines.” – Bakersfield Daily Californian

June 25, 1896:  “IN THE VICINITY OF RED ROCK there are two mills, one five-stamp at Katie (Kane) Springs owned by O. B. Stanton of  San Francisco and C. F. Koehn;  the other is and eight stamp at  Cow Wells (Garlock), ten miles from Randsburg.” –The Record Union

July 01, 1896: “O. B. Stanton, who, until June 1, was one of the proprietors of the Baldwin Hotel,

O. B. Stanton The Capitalist Who Sued The Founders Of the Yellow Aster Mine Because Charles Burcham Would Not Sign An Agreement To Sell Him An Interest In The Mine. He later became partners with C. A. Koehn in a mill at Koehn Springs. This did not endear Koehn with the three partners.--Photo from July 1, 1896 edition of The San Francisco Call

came to town yesterday from Kern County, where he is part owner of several promising mines that have very recently attracted considerable notice. But that is not why Mr. Stanton smiles. He has struck a great flow of artesian water on the Mojave Desert. It was all the more pleasing to him because he was not expecting anything of the kind. Now he wonders if his connection with the hotel resulted in his becoming the unconscious possessor of the charm that in days gave the great breach-of-promise man his title of Lucky Baldwin. “The well,” said Mr. Stanton, as he stood before the Baldwin bar and sipped leisurely at a refreshing beverage, “is near Koehn post office, twenty-seven miles north of Mojave, on the old Searles borax road to Death Valley.” “Is it in the desert?” was asked. “Desert nothing! I’m tired of hearing that country called a desert. It’s just like the San Joaquin, and the climate is a darn sight better. “Where we struck the flow, the land is covered with little knolls on a country gradually rising toward the mountains. All about those mounds there was a little surface seepage, and I thought that by digging reservoirs at intervals along the slope the water might be caught so that it could be pumped when needed from the different reservoirs.

The first hole, however, was the last. The idea was to cut them six feet square and twenty feet deep. Well, when the men got down about eighteen or nineteen feet, the bottom burst right up, and the water poured in so fast that they had to get out in a hurry. In less than forty minutes the reservoir was overflowing. “There is plenty of water for 100 stamps if necessary. The flow is six inches. The well is on C. A. Koehn’s homestead, but I have the privilege of using the water, and it is the only flowing water in the whole region.

“We are using the water now for our mill, only 250 feet distant. There are mines all about there. The Ked Rock is four miles to the west; that’s where they found that big nugget a little while ago. Eleven miles to the east is the old Goler district, and thirteen miles to the southwest is the Randsburg district. The output of all these mines is limited to-day to the very richest ores, which alone can be profitably handled; the rate for transportation is s0 high. “We are putting in oil tanks, and will use petroleum for fuel, so, with that innovation and the artesian water, conditions are somewhat improved.” – The Herald

September 15, 1896: “Olympus Mines (quartz) – This group lies ½ mile E. of Randsburg, at 4,450’ elevation and comprises the Big Horse, Burcham No. 1, Burcham No. 2, California, Mariposa, Mooers, Nancy Hanks, Olympus, Rand, Singleton, Tennessee, and Trilby. Gold was discovered in the Randsburg Hills in the spring of 1895, and this group contains the first locations. The veins are large and very rich, but owing to the want of milling facilities very little work has been done. There seems to be two veins about 600’ apart, with quite a number of small stringers running at right angles between. The strike of the large vein is N. E. and S. W. and the dip is 26 degrees N. W. In the Olympus ground an open cut 40’ long and 7’ x 14’ incline shaft, 30’ deep, discloses the vein, showing 14’ of dirty yellow high grade quartz. The hanging wall is diorite; the footwall has not been exposed. Several hundred tons of rich ore are sacked, awaiting the mill now being erected at Koehn’s, 30 miles away, where a good supply of water (said to be 3 miner’s inches) has been obtained in wells. F.M. Mooers, ET all of Randsburg, owners. “– California State Mining Bureau, Thirteenth Report of the State Mineralogist for the Two Years Ending September 15, 1896

October 16, 1896:  “ELEVEN TONS of ore from the Butte mine (Randsburg), milled at Koehn’s last week netted the neat little sum of $1700.”  –  The Bakersfield Californian

October 18, 1896The first station after leaving Mojave is the Six Mile house, with plenty of water. The next station, sixteen miles, with water enough to run several stamp mills, and following that eight miles beyond, is the Cain (Koehn) springs, the point where Messrs. Cohn (Koehn?) Bros, of Mojave have built a 10-stamp mill, and are now treating twenty-five tons of ore per day that averages $50 to $60 per ton. They have also erected a very comfortable stone hotel for the accommodation of the travelers. The Herald

October 16, 1896:  “ELEVEN TONS of ore from the Butte mine (Randsburg), milled at Koehn’s last week netted the neat little sum of $1700.”  –  The Bakersfield Californian

November 22, 1896: “KANE SPRINGS Twenty-six miles from Mojave and twenty-five from Randsburg a new and desirable vista presents itself to the east or west-bound traveler—a veritable “oasis in the desert,” and which will ere long doubtless become a popular resort for tourists, invalids and residents of the surrounding mining districts, covering an area of several hundred square miles. When the traveler alights from the stage, the first thing likely to attract his attention is the substantial stone building occupied by C. A. Koehn (owner and founder of Kane Springs), as a general store, meat market and restaurant. Close by a five-stamp mill, built to operate ten stamps and soon to be enlarged to its full capacity, owing to the rapidly increasing output of the mines in the surrounding district.
Flocks of geese, also a large number of chickens, turkeys and hogs, all fat and contented, meander around the corral and farther away herds of well fed cattle, sheep and horses are browsing upon the native grasses. The question naturally arises. Where does the water come from to cause this gratifying change in the landscape and to supply the mill with water? A little investigation while the stage horses were being watered led the writer to the Kane springs, a never failing supply of pure mountain water which overflows the adjacent land, except when pumped to supply the stamp mill. The present flow of the springs is 100 miner’s inches, but it can be increased greatly by excavating to a depth of twenty or twenty-five feet and enlarging the area to fifty feet.

Mr. Koehn is a good’ type of the shrewd German-American citizen, who, by thrift and energy, amassed considerable property in a few years, where the majority or people fail to do so. Attracted by the springs, he took up a homestead there of 160 acres in 1892, with the intention of starting a goat ranch; built a house, barn, etc.; purchased two horses and a few fowls, which exhausted his saved up capital of $700. For some time afterward he made a specialty of supplying prospectors with groceries and provisions, and when Goler and Red Rock mining districts were booming, (in 1891), he opened a general store there. Last July lie removed his store to Randsburg, where he built the first substantial frame building erected in the present business district, which is still occupied as a general store and’ meat market. Mr. Koehn owns a valuable gold mine two miles south of Randsburg, which is described in detail in the list of mines of that district.

The Immense deposits of salt (92 percent pure) on Dry lake, adjoining Kane springs, which are ten miles in length and from four to five miles in width, with a sulphur spring in the vicinity, will be utilized for baths, which, with the pure, dry air and abundance of sparkling mountain water, will make Kane springs an Ideal resort for invalids, especially consumptives. Mr. Koehn will erect suitable buildings for the accommodation of invalids as soon as the demand will justify it.

The milling now done at Kane springs aggregates over 300 tons of ore per month, three-fourths of which is from the Randsburg district. He has arranged to place a concentrator In connection with the mill. The Increase in capacity from five to ten stamps will add materially to the tonnage of ore milled.” –The Herald

November 22, 1896: “THE YUCCA TREE, owned by Charles A. Koehn of Kane Springs, is situated one and a half miles south of the Olympus mine.  It was started June 20, 1896.  The shaft is down seventy feet and the ledge is from five to ten inches.  Fifty tons of free milling gold has been taken out up to Nov. 15th averaging $150 to $100 to the ton.  There are a dozen different stringers to the mine and indications point plainly to   an immense body of ore.” –The Herald

October 18, 1896:  “The first station after leaving Mojave is the Six Mile house, with plenty of water. The next station, sixteen miles, with water enough to run several stamp mills, and following that eight miles beyond, is the Cain (Koehn) springs, the point where Messrs. Cohn (Koehn?) Bros, of Mojave have built a 10-stamp mill, and are now treating twenty-five tons of ore per day that averages $50 to $60 per ton. They have also erected a very comfortable stone hotel for the accommodation of the travelers. The Herald

December 08, 1896: “There is another mill at Kain’s (Koehn’s) Spring. It is of five stamps and is running, and besides this there is machinery on the ground tor five stamps more. San Francisco

December 13, 1896:  “Now $4 a ton is paid  for hauling ore to Koehn Spring’s mill from m Randsburg district.” –The Herald

December 16, 1896:  ” RANDSBURG—CHRONICLES OF RICH STRIKES MADE IN THE MINES. The Butte mine, in the town of Randsburg, the Wedge and the Kenyon are evidently all on the same ledge.  They are all rich mines, and are being worked night and day.  First on the east is the Butte, which has been more extensively worked than either of the others; then comes the Wedge, which has hundreds of sacks of rich ore on the dump.  Gifford & Coffee of Los Angeles have just contracted to haul 600 sacks from this mine to the mills at Koehn Springs.  Next is the Kenyon, where they are taking out ore at a depth of 100 feet, which shows free gold in every bucketful.First on the east is the Butte, which has been more extensively worked than either of the others;

then comes the Wedge, which has hundreds of sacks of rich ore on the dump.  Gifford & Coffee of Los Angeles have just contracted to haul 600 sacks from this mine to the mills at Koehn Springs.”

“The Butte Mining Company is composed of H. C. Ramey, J. E. Ramey, O. B. Stanton, B. B. Summers, and H. C. Tate, and has been at work about five months.  The company has had its ore milled at Koehn Springs and has taken out about $49,000, the ore averaging about 370 per ton.” –  The Los Angeles Daily Times

December 30, 1896:  “RANDSBURG—ASSESSMENT WORK BEING PUSHED VIGOROUSLY BY LOCATORS. The lack of milling facilities retards work on the mines.  At Koehn Springs another five stamps will be put in operation today or tomorrow in addition to the five which have been running since last summer.  There are now over two hundred tons of ore at that mill.  At Cow Wells there is also a great deal of ore on hand ahead of the milling capacity of the place.  There are several mills gong up there, which will add at least twenty stamps, together with one cyanide process.  The price remains the same, however, and no low grade ore can be handled until the capacity of the mills equals or exceeds the supply of ore.  It looks now as though Koehn Springs would be the ultimate location of the principal mills in this district, as the supply of water there is greatest.  At Garlock there is no surface water and the supply must come from deep wells, and these may eventually drain the basin.  At least they will affect each other when a number are put down close together.  At Koehn Springs the water comes to the surface and the supply is said by an engineer who has examined it, to be equal, with a little development to 600 inches.  The road from the mine to either place is a good one and all down grade, so that the heaviest of loads can be hauled.  Garlock being twelve miles distant, and Koehn Springs eight miles farther.” –  The Los Angeles Daily Times

December 30, 1896:  “CHARLIE KOEHN  is taking some very rich ore from the Yucca mine out in the stringer district, and all that section is being prospected now very closely.” — Los Angeles Daily Times

January 3, 1897: “THE YUCCA TREE located and developed by Hammond, but afterward  traded  to Charlie Koehn for a stock of goods invoicing $4500 is one of the best producing mines here.  It is located almost due south of Randsburg and about three miles distant.  Work upon it is being pushed night and day, and some wonderfully rich rock is being taken out, many pieces showing free gold in clusters.  This ore is hauled to Koehn Springs for treatment.  Mr. Hammond has just completed the sale of another mine in the same vicinity to a Mr. Conway, the consideration being $1000.”  – Los Angeles Daily Times

January 3, 1897: ”LLEWELLYN IRON WORKS. (is) enlarging a 5-stamp to a 10-stamp mill for C. A. Koehn at Kane’s Springs.” –The Herald

January 20, 1897: “LOCATED JUST OVER THE HILL from the Bully Boy was the Yucca Tree owned by Koehn & O’Brien.  Not being worked at this time due to legal problems.”  — Los Angeles Times

February 24, 1897:  “MR. SAVAGE of San Jose, who bargained for the Winnie and Yucca Tree mines, is now here, and will remain for a week or so until all the arrangements are completed.  He visited the St. Elmo a day or two ago and is loud in his praise of that property, predicting that it will one day be worth millions.”  — Los Angeles Daily Times

March 2, 1897: “C. T. PEPPER & E. L. ALLEN OF THE WEDGE MINE (Randsburg), who have been here from Los Angeles for the past week, will leave for home tomorrow.  The Wedge had recently been incorporated under the mining laws of Colorado, under the name of “The Wedge Gold Mining, Milling, and Water Supply Company, with a capital stock of $500,000, divided into shares of the value of $1 each.

“The officers and directors are, Dr. C. T. Pepper, president; J. W. Rogers, vice-president and superintendent; the First National Bank of Los Angeles , treasurer; E. L. Allen, secretary;  F. A. Allen, foreman of the working force and one gentleman from Colorado.  The company does not at present expect to put any of the stock on the market, but will go on developing the mine with their own resources.  They are now working eighteen men and are down 165 feet.  From this point they expect to connect with the Butte mine, which will give both the benefit of an air shaft.  The ore at this depth is milling a little over $100 per ton and a run of ten days of the mill at Koehn Springs from fifty tons made, last week, produced three god bricks of $2000 each or $6000 from fifty tons. Two mills of ten stamps each have been running on the Wedge ore this week, one at Garlock, and the other at Koehn Springs, and with clean up tomorrow. The product of this clean will not be less than $15,000, which, with that on hand, will make this shipment aggregate $20,000. –  The Los Angeles Daily Times

May 1897:  “CALIFORNIA RAND” Listed in the Overland as one of the producing mines of the Rand District in March of 1897.  It was discovered February 26, 1896.  Shaft was 60 ft. Owners listed John Gilmore, Chris Matson, and Chas. Koehn.”  – Overland Magazine

June 27, 1897:  “THE ACTUAL PRODUCTION OF THE DISTRICT is now about $50,000 a month.  A large part of the ore goes to the Selby Smelting Works, and the rest is worked at the eight custom mills in that region now.  Six are at Garlock,   running   two to ten stamps each; one is at Cuddyback Lake, twelve miles east of Randsburg, and one of the ten stamps is at Koehn Springs, twenty miles from Randsburg.  One of these mills is run by a gasoline engine, and the rest by steam power.   All sort of fuel is used – sagebrush, oil, coal, and wood.” –San Francisco Call

July 27, 1897: “WILL BE RETURNED TO SAN JOSE. RANDSBURG, Cal., July 26.— For the past seven or eight months William Wright has been the bookkeeper, for Charles Koehn, merchant and mill-owner of Koehns Springs. Several days ago Wright resigned his position and came to Randsburg for a good time. Claude Bohannan, the local constable, soon recognized Wright as a man wanted at SanJose for embezzlement, and wired the officials there. This evening Deputy Sheriff Tennant of San Jose left for home with Wright.” –San Francisco Call

September 5, 1897: “KANE SPRINGS–Twenty-six miles from Mojave and twenty-five from

Charlie's Combination House, Store and Bar Was a Substantial Building For the Time. Roberta Starry Collection of the Maturango Museum.

Randsburg Is Kane Springs, where Charles A. Koehn, an enterprising German-American, established a five stamp mill in 1895, owing to the immense water supply on his 160 acres upon which he had settled (the pioneer of that section in 1892). Mr. Koehn has been operating as a merchant and cattle raiser for his meat markets in Red Rock, Goler and Randsburg, besides Kane Springs, for years, but last November he disposed of all his interests except at Kane Springs, where he is postmaster, merchant, butcher, cattle, hog and poultry raiser and millman combined, besides possessing 160 acres of land that has wonderful and diversified springs of mineral and domestic water. Mr. Koehn’s pet scheme is to build a sanitarium at this point and fully utilize the sulphur, salt and other excellent mineral and domestic waters that abound here. The mill has now ten stamps and has a concentrator in connection. From 400 to 500 tons of ore per month are reduced, most of which comes from Randsburg. Messrs. Dean & Brand have an eighteen ton cyanide works at this point and are as yet working on tailings from Mr. Koehn’s mill.” The Herald

September 15, 1897:  “ Charles A. Koehn of Kane Springs and the Kern Valley bank, Bakersfield, own the Two Brothers, which has tunnel in 50 feet, a 2-foot ledge of pay ore, average assay $61, and twenty tons of partly free milling ore on the dump. Forty tons of ore has already been milled. – The Herald

November 16, 1897: Messrs. Dean and Brand, who own the little cyanide plant at Koehn Springs, shipped a gold brick a few days ago, worth $2,000, to Selby & Co. San Francisco.  This is the fifth shipment of about equal amount since July, when the plant was put into operation.  The millmen bought 2000 tons of the tailings from Koehn Springs mill, put up their plant, and have been quietly operating it ever since, employing four men.  They formerly operated the same plant in the Slate range, beyond Borax Lake, on the road to Panamint.  –  The Daily Californian

November 22, 1897: “Charles A. Koehn, of Kane Springs, was here this week, looking after his interests in the Winnie mine, one of the most promising in the Stringer district.” – The Herald

The Winnie Mine Was Charlie Koehn's Biggest Producer As A Mine.

November 22, 1897:  “THE MOJAVE MINING DISTRICT’S again beginning to ship ore.  Charlie A. Koehn, Kane Springs, has contracted to mill and cyanide sixty tons of ore from the Gipsy and other mines in the district.” –The Herald

January 9,  1898:  “A FEW DAYS AGO  THE G. B. MINE, situated in the Stringer district about a  mile and a half from Randsburg, changed hands, the consideration being $–000,one third to be paid the 20th of this month, the balance in  30, 60, and 90 days. The purchasers are Charles Koehn of Kane Springs and Solomon Jewett of Bakersfield. The new company assumes all liabilities. Ore from this mine is being hauled to Kane Springs for milling.” –The Herald

January 13, 1899:  “DEEDS—Dan Phillips to Charles Koehn et al undivided half interest in Galene and City Dell mining claims in Goler district $1.” – Bakersfield Daily Californian

March 1899: “Col.” (HAFFORD) AS HE IS KNOWN TO HIS FRIENDS, arrived in camp in the latter part of 1896, and opened a saloon which he conducted until the big fire of May 1898, by which he lost his building and stock.  He immediately rebuilt on the same ground and has since been doing well.  He is an owner in the Ruby mine, which is bonded at present to Chas. A. Koehn, out of which he is taking some very rich ore.  He is also interested in many other good mines in the district, and some of them are sure to turn out well.”  — McPherson

March 1899: “CHAS A. KOEHN—At present he is working the Ruby group, which are paying well.”  – McPherson

April 18, 1899:  “GORDON BROTHERS AND LONG have bought the two-stamp mill at Garlock and will move it to Dry Lake and put it near their mines.” –Bakersfield Daily Californian

November 4, 1899:  “NOTICE FOR PUBLICATION –Land office at Independence, Cal.

Oct. 21, 1899

Notice is hereby given that the following named settler has filed notice of his intention to make final proof in support of his claim, and that said proof will be made before A. C. Maude, U. S. Commissioner at Bakersfield, Cal., on December 4th, 1899, viz Charles A. Koehn, Homestead Entry No. 780 for the S. W. 1/4 , sec. 8, T. 30 S,. R. 38 E., M. D. M.  He names the following witnesses to prove his continuous residence upon and cultivation of , said land, viz: William C. Wilson, of Mojave, Kern Co., Call;  John  H. Underhill, of Mojave, Kern Co., Cal; H. A. Blodgett, of Bakersfield,  Kern Co., Cal.; Charles A. Lee of Bakersfield, Kern, Co., Cal.

S. W.  AUSTIN, Register

Randsburg Miner

March 14, 1900:  “OFFICIAL NOTES, COUNTY AND CITY—Charles a. Koehn vs. G. L. Dean at. al—Set for trial April 25th.” – Bakersfield Daily Californian

May 15, 1901:  “TITLE QUESTIONED—Sheriff Borgwardt is in receipt of a communication from Mariam Young of Loa Angeles in which he is notified that she is the sole owner of the Winnie mining claim in the Rand mining district which has been ordered sold by the sheriff on May 18th to satisfy a judgment against Charles A. Koehn and in favor of Dean and Jones in the sum of $764.44.  Mariam Young states that the mining claim was deeded to her by Koehn on January 24, 1899.   Provided it is sold at sheriff’s sale, it is said that damages will be asked for clouding the title to the property.  Sheriff Borgwardt’s asks that the parties in whose favor the judgment is given put up a bond to protect him should he sell the property.” – Bakersfield Daily Californian

November 14, 1903:  “JUSTICE IS SUMMONED—JUDGE MANNING MUST EXPLAIN PROCEEDINGS IN RANDSBURG COURT –Charles Koehn Brings Habeas Corpus Proceedings to Get Out of Jail.—Charles Koehn who was brought to the county jail to serve a sentence of 180 days for battery, of which he was convicted in Justice Manning Court at Randsburg, was before Judge Bennett late yesterday afternoon on a habeas corpus application.  His counsel, S. C. Smith, contended that there was a fatal flaw in the proceedings in the justice court but the court desired to get further evidence and ordered the case continued until Tuesday.  Meanwhile a subpoena was ordered to be issued for Justice Manning to appear in court and testify in regard to the proceedings at the trial.

Koehn still contends that the justice sentenced him to 200 days instead of 180, which is the limit and the justice is said to deny having done so.   Koehn intimates that he can prove his contention by witnesses.  He admits that the court record does not sustain his contention.

Until the case is heard on Tuesday the prisoner must remain in the custody of the sheriff.  As effort was made to obtain his release on bond pending a decision but Judge Bennett held that this could not be done in a case of this kind.” – Bakersfield Daily Californian

November 13, 1903: “MUST SERVE SENTENCE AFTER LONG CONTEST—After Appeal Pending Over a Year Charles Koehn is Sent to Jail—Charles A. Koehn, who about a year ago, was convicted of battery in Justice Manning’s court at Randsburg, was brought to the county jail last night by Deputy Constable J. R. Price to serve a sentence of 180 days imposed at that time.

The case has been pending since the conviction on account of an appeal which was taken to the Superior Court and recently dismissed by Judge Mahon.  Koehn had trouble with a party in Randsburg about a year and a half ago and was arrested, at first on a felony charge.  This was dismissed and one of battery substituted.  He was tried and convicted before Judge Manning.  E. M. Dearborn of Mojave appearing as his attorney and Deputy District Attorney Burton representing the people.

The appeal was taken and bond given, the principal ground alleged being that the justice had imposed a fine of ($) 400 with the alternative of 200 days in jail, whereas he had only the power to impose 180 days.  Judge Manning, however disputed the correctness of this claim and the records of the court failed to sustain it.” – Bakersfield Daily Californian

November 18, 1903: COMMITMENT AND DOCKET BOTH DEFECTIVE –Judge Bennett After Thorough Investigation Discharged Chas. Koehn –Charles Koehn who was sentenced to 180 days in jail for battery, was discharged by Judge Bennett yesterday afternoon on a habeas corpus proceeding.  The ground for the action was that the commitment failed to state any offense known to the law for which the defendant had been sentenced.

Justice J. R. Manning was summoned from Randsburg and brought his docket according to the orders of the court, and it was introduced in evidence, but failed to show any offense having been committed.  On this defect being fully shown Judge Bennett discharged the defendant.” – Bakersfield Daily Californian

January 1904: LOCATED in section 11, T30, R40 near Randsburg. Developed by 150-foot vertical shaft, 1000 feet of open cut and 500 feet of drift.  Owned by F. B. Layton of Los Angeles.”  — Aubrey

October 30, 19o4:  “GOLER PRECINCT

Inspectors: George W. Alexander, Eugene Garlock

Judges:  Charles A. Koehn

Clerks:  N. J. Ayer, O. G. Broderson

Ballot Clerks:   George R. Johnson, William H. Whisler

Election must be held at Pumping Station Goler” –Bakersfield Daily Californian

October 23, 1906:  “GOLER PRECINCT –

Inspectors: J. T. McInerney, N. J. Ayers

Judges:  Joseph Short, R. L. Falkins

Ballot Clerks:  Rudolph Hagen, Charles A. Koehn

Clerks:  F. Frinke, Frank Burnett

Election must be held at Goler Pumping Plant.” –Bakersfield Daily Californian

April 25, 1907:  “Tomorrow Chas. Wetherbee ship four tons of tungsten ore.  This ore comes from several parties.  Some of it is from the Winnie mine owned by Charlie Koehn and is in a pure state, just as it comes from the mine.  Some of it comes from the Gold Stone mine owned by Wetherbee just west of the Papoose and the balance from Wickard mine.  Some of this ore has been concentrated and is of a high degree of purity.  The shipment goes to Philadelphia and is paid for at the rate of $8.00 per unit F.O. B. Johannesburg.  The Gold Stone mine is showing up in fine shape.  They were down 100 feet and now drifting.” –Randsburg Miner

June 19, 1907:  “OTHER CLAIMS RECORDED are three by the Spaulding  brothers, adjoining those  recently purchased in the Delonga district: two gold and  one tungsten locations by Charles Koehn of Randsburg, who recently sold his mine, the  Winnie, to eastern capitalists, and a Tehachapi location by C. V. Barnard.” –Bakersfield Californian

October 11, 1907:  “WAIVES EXAMINATION—S. F. Dixon is Bound Over at Randsburg on a Charge of Embezzlement –S. F.  Dixon accused by Charles Koehn of embezzlement, waived right of preliminary examination, when his case was called before Justice Maginnis, of Randsburg, yesterday, and was bound over for trial before  the Superior Court, bonds remaining at $500.

Dixon has as yet secured no lawyer, but will retain one for the trial.  He is confident of acquittal.

The charge is alleged to have grown out of trouble between the two, on account of business transactions.” –Bakersfield Californian

March 1, 1908:  “FILED DEMURRER—In the case of Kern Valley Bank against Charles A. Koehn the plaintiff has filed a demurrer to defendants cross complaint.  G. E. Whitaker, attorney for the plaintiff.” –Bakersfield Californian

November 8, 1909:  “MINING LOCATIONS—Charles A. Koehn and A. H. Lee, southeast quarter of northwest quarter of section 28, 30.38.” –Bakersfield Californian

November 27, 1909:  “GYPSITE FOUND AT KANE SPRINGS –Charles Koehn Makes Discovery Of A Valuable Mineral—Is offered Fifteen Thousand Dollars for the Location, But Pioneer of Desert Refuses.—The new discovery of gypsite near Kane Springs is likely to result in some surprises.  Although this ground has been passed over for years and not regarded as important, some time ago Charlie Koehn, who always has his weather eye open for good things, took it into his head that the stuff might be valuable, so he induced some parties to examine it after locating the ground.

Parties came, and after examining, took an option on it for thirty days without naming a price, a small payment being made down. They made an examination and were so well pleased that they shipped ten tons of the stuff to Palmdale for a test.    The test was so favorable that a few days ago they made Charlie and offer of $15,000 in payments.  This he refused, as there is estimated to be 180,000 tons of it on forty acres and more nearby.

It is in such shape that it can be reduced to marketable condition without grinding or any other process except roasting.  From present appearances it will prove valuable and open an entirely new industry in this vicinity.  Luck is always on the side of the Mayor of Kane Springs.—Randsburg Miner.” –Bakersfield Californian

February 12, 1910: “W. R. Robinson and 7 others to Charles A. Koehn, $10—All their interest in southwest quarter section 28, 30-33.” –Bakersfield Californian

June 14, 1910:  “CHARLES A. KOEHN was married June 9 in Anaheim to Tehachapi’s popular milliner, Miss  Jeanie  E. Ellis.” –Bakersfield Californian

January 12, 1912:  “SHOTS EXCHANGED IN BATTLE OVER SALT CLAIMS—SINGLEHANDED HE CONQUERS FIFTEEN—In Face of Rain of Bullets Koehn Advances Behind Moving Fortress—Charles Koehn,  who established the first outpost of civilization in the Randsburg district twenty years ago, came to (town) yesterday with the particulars of a sensational but bloodless battle which took place Sunday noon, over salt claims in the bed of  Dry Salt lake in the  Mojave desert  in which Koehn protected by a  rolling log fort, advanced  on a  force  of fifteen  men who were trespassing on his land and held the leaders at bay until a posse of officers came from Randsburg and put the belligerents under arrest. (there is more of this article in the Bakersfield Morning Echo, but it is  cut out in the online digital copy.)

JANUARY 23, 1912: “BAKERSFIELD, Jan. 23.—Single handed, Charles Koehn, proprietor of Kain Springs in the Mojave desert, about 20 miles west of Randsburg, engaged two Texas and Nevada gunmen and 15 companions in a battle Sunday and held them at bay for three hours, until the arrival of Constable Thompson and posse from Randsburg and Constable Hamilton, and three deputies from, Mojave.

Were it not for an ingeniously contrived rolling fort behind which Koehn advanced and fired a few shots to frighten his assailants off his body might be reposing in a desert grave, for the gunmen shot to kill and, although their aim was bad, several dozen bullet holes were found in Koehn’s bulwark. Seven rifles and five revolvers were taken by the posse from Koehn’s enemies.

To defend himself Koehn drove a bolt in each end of a pine log 18 inches, in diameter and four feet long, fastened a couple of shafts: to the bolts so that he could shove the log ahead of him like a lawn roller, built a superstructure of railroad ties, and, armed with a big army rifle, crept on hands arid knees, firing.as he, went, several miles over. The desert until he came up to the enemy.

T. H. Rosenberger of Los Angeles “Slim” White were arrested with
Koehn and taken to Randsburg, “where charges of disturbing the peace were lodged against them. They all gave bail, and Justice McGinnls: set their trials for February 5.

The pitched battle is the last chapter in the trouble between Koehn and Rosenberger over Koehn’s salt claims in the dry salt lake, where a fight between the same parties occurred a year ago. Charges of assault with intent to commit, murder were preferred
against Koehn, but he defended himself in court and was acquitted.” –San Francisco Call

February 6, 1912: “REDROCK PRECINCT—

Inspector: Charles A. Koehn

Judge: L. M. Underwood

Clerks:  Rudolf Hagen, C. Newhill,

Election must be held at Underwood’s Ranch

February 6, 1912:  “ROLLING LOG FORTRESS CASE NOW ON TRIAL—Assistant District Attorney Tom Scott went to Randsburg yesterday to try the case against L. L. Rosenberger, Charles Koehn and others for disturbing the peace on the desert some weeks ago.  This affair was the “rolling log fortress” attack of Koehn on Rosenberger and his associates in which Koehn at best taking “the enemy” single-handed.” –Bakersfield Californian

February 7, 1912: “JURY HEARING “ROLLING FORTRESS” BATTLE CASE – According to advices from Randsburg, the trial of Charles Koehn, of that town and L. L. Rosenberger of Los Angeles, and others on charges of disturbing the peace, growing out of a fierce pitched battle between the former and the latter and his supporters on the other over salt claims on the Mojave desert currently is in progress at the mining camp named, a jury being in attendance.  Deputy District Attorney Tom Scott is attending the trial as prosecutor.  He is not expected to return to his post in this city for several days.” –Bakersfield Californian

February 9, 1912: “CHARLES KOEHN IS DECLARED NOT GUILTY—Charles A. Koehn, the Kane Springs salt claims prospector, was declared not guilty of the charge of disturbing the peace preferred against him as a result of his successful defense against the men who  invaded his claim to post location notices.

L.L. Rosenberger and Zed White who led the attack of Koehn’s claim, also were discharged, the former after a trial before the justice and the latter without a trial.

Assistant District Attorney Tom Scott represented the state in the trials, which covered several days.

From behind the big log which he mounted on a wagon, and which is referred to as the “rolling fortress,” Koehn had stood off a party of fifteen or twenty men until the arrival of peace officers from Mojave and Randsburg.” –Bakersfield Californian

February 9, 1912:  “RANDSBURG JURY AQUITS KOEHN—Desert Pioneer Defends Self at Trial of Rolling Fortress Case—Defending himself in an all-day legal battle, Charles  A. Koehn, the Kane Springs salt claims prospector was acquitted by a jury in Justice E. B.  Maginnis court’s at Randsburg.  Koehn was tried for disturbing the peace growing out of his “rolling fortress” assault on L. L. Rosenberger, Zed White and ten or fifteen other men who had invaded Koehn’s claim to post location notices.

Rosenberger was tried without a jury and found not guilty of disturbing the peace by Justice Maginnis.  White was discharged without a trial.

Assistant District Attorney Tom Scott returned yesterday from Randsburg where he had been for several days trying the case.  According to Scott’s statement Koehn, as he has done on previous occasions, put up a good defense and was able to convince the jury of his innocence, a verdict of acquittal being speedily returned.

Koehn, behind a big log which he pushed 7000 feet across the boggy sands of the lake, drove off all of Rosenberger’s supporters and captured Rosenberger and White while, it is stated, they were pouring hot lead into his wooden fortress.  Koehn could have shot down his assailants like rats but distained to do other than fire over their heads, poking his rifle through a porthole between the log and a heavy timber on top of it.

Koehn’s defense was that he was molested by Rosenberger and associates when he went out to post

Charlie Koehn And His Wagon. While the wagon in this photo is hitched to four horses rather than the two described in the newspaper article it it quite possible that this is the wagon used by Charlie to haul his "Rolling Fortress." --Roberta Starry Collection of the Maturango Museum

some location notices.  Nothing daunted Koehn speedily built his wooden fort and loading it on his two horse wagon, and he in spite of his wife’s expostulations started for the desert vats.  He drove as far as his horses could go through the bog and then dropping the fort to the ground got behind it and slowly advanced on Rosenberger’s army.

Assistant District Attorney Scott brought back two photographs of drawings of the scene of the battle and they are very good, showing the ___horipus but courageous efforts of Koehn in driving off the alleged interlopers.”—Bakersfield Morning Echo

December 8, 1912:   “CHARLES KOEHN SELLS FAMOUS SALT SPRINGS—Parts With Property Over Which He Had a Battle Last Winter –Randsburg, December 7. –The Salt claims at Kane Springs, the ownership of which was in dispute and gave rise to a lively battle on the dry lake last January, have changed hands.  Charles Koehn,  the original locator, made the acquaintance of Thomas Thordkildsen during the trial in the  local justice court, which case was the result of  the gun fight over the ownership  of the claims.   Koehn sold his claims to Thordkildsen shortly afterward who in turn recently disposed of them  to the Diamond Salt Company of Los Angeles.

These salt  claims are  situated  near Kane Springs 25 miles west of Randsburg.  The Diamond Salt Company will mine the  salt deposits on an extensive scale and ship it to the  Los Angeles refinery for treatment.  The salt is of excellent quality  and almost absolutely pure.  The salt brine of the lake is pumped into evaporating tanks near the lake, solar  evaporation  being  used solely for its separation and recovery.” –Bakersfield  Morning Echo

June 28, 1913: A. NIXON IS MILLING 40 TONS of scheelite from his White Flower claim near Atolia, at his concentrating plant at Barney Osdick’ mill.  His concentrator will handle three tons a day. After completing the mill run on his own ore he will concentrate 20 tons of ore from the Winnie mine in the Stringer district, the property of Cha. Koehn.” –Randsburg Miner

The San Francisco Call reported on January 24, 1912 that Charles Koehn Single handed engaged two Texas and Nevada gunmen and 15 companions in a battle Sunday and held them at bay for three hours, until the arrival of Constable Thompson and his posse from  Randsburg  and Constable Hamilton, and three deputies from Mojave.

Were it not for an ingeniously contrived rolling fort behind which Koehn advanced and fired a few shots to frighten his assailants off his body might be reposing in a desert grave, for the gunmen shot to kill and, although their aim was bad, several dozen bullet holes were found in Koehn’s bulwark. Seven rifles arid five revolvers were taken by the posse from Koehn’s enemies.

To defend himself Koehn drove a bolt in each end of a pine log 18 inches in diameter and four feet long, fastened a couple of shafts to the bolts so that he could shove the log ahead of him like a lawn roller, built a superstructure of railroad ties, and, armed with a big army rifle, crept on hands arid knees, firing as he went several miles over the desert until he came up to the enemy.

Rosenberger of Los Angeles and “Slim” White were arrested with Koehn and taken to Randsburg, where charges of disturbing the peace were lodged against them. They all gave bail, and Justice McGinnls set their trials for February.

The pitched battle is the last chapter in the trouble between Koehn and Rosenberger over Koehn’s salt claims in the dry salt: lake, where a fight between the same parties occurred a year ago. Charges of assault with intent to commit, murder were preferred against Koehn, but he defended himself in court and was acquitted.

One of the interesting stories about Charley involved mining Charlie had many mining interest both in gold and other minerals such as salt and gypsite.  Charley had an early interest in the Windy Mine, had the claim on the salt beds at Saltdale which he sold to the Diamond Salt Co.  Had the early claims on the gypsite mined at Koehn (Kane) dry lake and a mine in the Stringer District called the Winnie that he had purchased from the original discoverer, Ed Hammond.  Charley leased this mine out to an old prospector by the name of Witte.  Witte sunk the shaft down twelve feet and took out six sacks or ore that would net him about $800.  Witte than proceeded to Kramer, and exhibited the ore, telling a story that he had found a new strike, but only giving a general hint as to its location.  Some railroad men advanced him some money for development work.  Needing a wagon and horses, Witte proceeded to Bakersfield to purchase them.

While in Bakersfield, Witte took to celebrating a bit too much and ended dying with his boots on as a result of a gunshot wound received during a drunken quarrel.  Thus having died with the secret of his “new discovery” another lost mine legend began.

The men in Randsburg got the story of this lost mine from the boys in Kramer, via the fellows in Mojave.  Somewhere along the line they forgot to mention the name of the miner.  Charley having heard this story twice scoured the country looking for the lost mine.  The name of the old miner finally reached the ears of Pat Bryne at the Mountain View Saloon.  Now Pat knew that Witte had taken some ore out of the Winnie, but had not known that he was the prospector that had died in Bakersfield.  When talking with Charley about the story they finally put two and two together and found out Charley had been spending money looking for a mine that he already owned, and in fact was already played out.

October 23, 1914:  “Koehn Springs Items –C. A Koehn is rushing hid dry wash to completion, and is sanguine of success when he gets it running on his placer gravel up Last Chance Canyon.  His neighbors here give him the highbail, a rush signal, and wish him success. ” –Mojave Press

October 23, 1914:  “Messrs. Binford, Arthur Gilbert and Bruster Roll of Los Angeles called at Gypsite Mills recently and inspected the deposit of gypsum and the mill with a view of starting up the plant.  They all seemed like men of the right quality to carry any business undertaking to a successful completion. ” –Mojave Press

October 23, 1914:  “MR. SHILLING, representing the California Hollow Tile Company, was a caller at Gypsite Mills.  Hope something will happen in the work line. ” –Mojave Press

October 23, 1914:  “MRS. C. A. KOEHN has been visiting friends at Randsburg, returning Friday.” –Mojave Press

November 16, 1914:  “C. A. KOEHN HAS BEEN TWO DAYS up Last Chance Canyon, fitting up water troughs for his cattle.  He has Jack Cragg dry washing on his placer ground.  He sanguine that that the Germans will whip the French and John Bull. ” –Mojave Press

November 13, 1914:  “M. P. BOAG, who bought the Eagle Group of claims from Charley Koehn recently, has within thirty days installed a 100-ton plant to extract the values.  Mr. Boag went to Bakersfield Monday with a threatened case of blood poisoning caused from a small scratch. ” –Mojave Press

November 13, 1914:  “CHARLEY KOEHN has taken possession  of  the Gypsite mill by reason of a mortgage he had on it.  If it is not redeemed soon he may ship the  raw  material for fertilizer. ” –Mojave Press

November 29, 1914: “MR. AND MRS. CHARLES A. KOEHN of Koehn Springs came to Mojave last  Friday in their Ford which Charlie purchased last week.   They visited many of their friends around  town before returning.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo

Charlie Koehn With a Later Model Automobile. The automobile was instrumental in bringing civilization to the remote desert areas like Koehn Springs.

April 28, 1916:  “CANTIL LIVE WIRES –Chas. Koehn is having bad luck with his live stock.  He reports having lost his fine milk cow with the blackleg.  He says he also lost a sow and twelve pigs but the chances are he has not looked around among those pumpkins he is raising “Pumpkinville.” –Mojave Press

February 26, 1916:  “CANTIL LIVE WIRESC. H. Kenisten has leased 40 acres from C. A. Koehn, a portion of the Pumkinville ranch, and is now engaged in putting in a diversified crop, barley being the leader.  He will plant a small acreage to sugar beets.  M. H. Magee is helping in this work. ” –Mojave Press

April 4, 1918: “THE WINNIE  MINE, owned by Charles Koehn, has leased several blocks of his holdings,  which are being worked for tungsten, with profits paid, and more and larger in plain sight.  Tungsten is all that is being worked for now.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo

March 6, 1919:  “FILES SUIT TO QUIET PLACER CLAIM TITLES — Asking that the gypsum placer claims in section 8, 30-27 on the Mojave desert be quieted, Charles A. Koehn today filed suit against Charles F. Stern et al.  The claims were formerly owned by the California Gypsum and Plaster Company; it was stated in the complaint.

Foster & Burnbart are attorneys for the plaintiff.” –Bakersfield Californian

March 28, 1919: “LEASE WINNIE  MINE IN L. A. FOR $20,000—The Winnie, a mine owned (by) Charles Koehn in the Stringer dist(trict) two and one-half miles from Randsburg, has been leased to parties from Los Angeles for a consideration of $20,000.  Immediate development is planned on the property.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo

December 21, 1919:  “CHAS. KOEHN OF MOJAVE desert has sued Jams A. Ceaider to quite title to gypsum lands in section 8, 30-34.” – Bakersfield Morning Echo

August 21, 1921:  “Charles A. Koehn may resume the sinking on the Winnie shaft.   He is shipping two carloads of gypsum from his lakeside ranch near Mojave.” –Bakersfield California

April 9, 1924: “Another complaint was filed with the  county clerk shows that  W. W. Kaye will sue Charles A. Koehn for $600 which Kaye alleges is owing  to him for  legal services rendered in behalf of Koehn.” –Bakersfield Californian

July 15, 1924; ‘COYOTES MUNCH MELLONS –Randsburg, July 15. – A visit to Koehn’s station on the road to Cantil found the original locator, Charles Koehn, still improving his many hundreds of acres of lake holdings.   His last successful development is the finding of a gravel bedrock at 150 feet for the new artesian flow brought in on his pumpkin patch.

Charlie’s greatest bother now is the coyotes.  As fast as a watermelon is fit for the table, the night prowler throws its fangs into the succulent melon and is away.” – Bakersfield Californian

October 10, 1924:  “Charles Koehn below Saltdale, is steadily hauling gypsum, the kind that use in plaster.” –Bakersfield Californian

June 24, 1926: “BREACH OF CONTRACT –Alleging breach of contract Charles A. Koehn of Gypsite, on the Mojave desert, has been sued for $50,000 damages by Alpine Cement and Plaster Company.  Under the terms of a lease the company claims it had the right to remove machinery and equipment which was denied by the defendant.  The lease was cancelled February, 1921, for alleged non-payment of rentals.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo

February 13, 1928: “The $50,000 breach-of-contract suit filed by Alpine Cement and Plaster Company against Charles A. Koehn et. al., is set for hearing when court opens.  Attorney Guy Krupp and C. L. Chafin will represent the plaintiff and Attorney’s Siemon and Garber the defendant.” –Bakersfield Californian

February 17, 1928: “$50,000 SUIT OVER CONTRACT CONTINUED—Because of the absence of a witness from this state the $50,000 suit, of the Alpine Cement and Plaster Company against Charles A. Koehn et al has been continued indefinitely.

Judge C. E. Beaumont of Fresno, sitting in Superior Court, Department Three, where the hearing was in progress, has returned to his home in the northern valley to await return of the witness to Bakersfield so that the case may continue.

The complaint alleges breach of contract on the part of Koehn and others.” –Bakersfield Californian

April 12, 1928: $50,000 SUIT TRIAL RESUMED BY COURT—Judge C. E. Beaumont of Fresno returned to Bakersfield today to have the suit of the Alpine Cement Company against C. A. Koehn, which had been continued until this date.  The cement company alleges a breach of contract in connection with a gypsite lease near Saltdale and ask $50,000 damages.  Judge Beaumont began hearing the case here some weeks ago and the trial was continued after which the judge returned to his own court. –Bakersfield Californian

May 17, 1928:  “ATTEMPT MADE TO BOMB FRESNO HOME; MAN HELD—Fresno, May 17.—A home-made infernal machine with the fuse extinguished less than a foot from the explosive was found by Superior Judge Campbell E. Beaumont on his front porch early today when he opened the door to get his morning newspaper.  The machine was so designed as to spread flame in the wake of its explosion.

Charles A. Koehn, giving the address of Saltdale, on the fringe of the desert, known as a “desert rat,” was being held for investigation by police on suspicion of having planted the death dealing contraption.

The bomb consisted of two parts, one containing the explosive and the other a quantity of gasoline.

The bomb, which was directly in front of the door of the judge’s home at 3957 Kerckhoff Avenue had been placed there about 1 o’clock this morning according to the police.  The fuse had apparently extinguished itself, thus preventing the setting off of the explosive, believed to be nitro glycerin.

Upon finding the bomb Judge Beaumont removed it to his garage and then notified the police and sheriff’s office.  Koehn was almost immediately linked with the bombing attempt because he had been arrested at 1:30 a. m. by two patrolmen who saw running from an alley near the Beaumont home.  Following his arrest as a suspicious character his automobile, parked nearby was searched and a section of fuse matching that attached to the infernal machine was found.  Later a further search of the car revealed portions of Los Angeles newspaper, other parts of which had been wrapped about the bomb.

MAN RECOGNIZED—When Koehn was taken before him, Judge Beaumont immediately recognized him as a defendant in a $50,000 damage suit in which the jurist sat in Kern County a few weeks ago.  The case, however, has not yet been decided.  The suit involves a gypsum deposit in the desert near Koehn’s home.

Koehn, who is 67 years old, says that because of the litigation in which he became involved, his wife deserted him.  The suit was brought by the Alpine Cement and Plaster Company of Porterville, for asserted breach of contract in leasing the gypsum deposit.” –Berkeley Daily Gazette

May 17, 1928:  “FRESNO JUDGE WHO SAT IN LOCAL CASES DEATH TARGET—Charles Koehn, Saltdale Resident, Is Jailed by Officers –EVIDENCE FOUND IN ROOM, ALLEGED—Fuse of Crude Device Partly Burned When Discovered, Report—Charles Koehn, Kern County “desert rat” by his own description, a resident of Saltdale on the Mojave Desert, is being held in the Fresno jail in connection with an alleged attempt to bomb the home of Superior Judge Campbell E. Beaumont early today, according to a special dispatch to The Californian.

The bomb, consisting of two parts, one containing the explosive and the other gasoline, was found by the jurist when he opened his front door to get a newspaper.  The fuse had extinguished itself when less than a foot remained.

EVIDENCE FOUND—Koehn was arrested by the police as a suspicious character prior to discovery of the bomb—as he ran from an alley two blocks away from the Beaumont home.  In his automobile was found a quantity of fuse which matched that attached to the bomb.  While Koehn denies implication and said he was lost, the officers found torn portions of a Los Angeles newspaper in his car which matched a piece wrapped around the top of the infernal machine.

Both the explosive and the gasoline were contained in discarded coffee cans, blackened and rusted with age.

CASE HEARD HERE—When Koehn was led before him, Judge Beaumont recognized his as a defendant in a $50,000 damage suit in which the jurist sat in Kern County a few weeks ago.

Judge Beaumont, early this spring heard a number of civil cases in Kern Superior Court, sitting for the judge Howard A. Peairs, and among the cases, court records reveal was that of the Alpine Cement Company vs. Charles Koehn, involving a gypsite plant on the Mojave Desert.

The suit began February 15 here and _inter was taken under advisement, no decision having been rendered by Judge Beaumont to date.

The Judge said today:

“I cannot conceive what Koehn, if he is the guilty person, could have against me as the case in which he is involved as a defendant has not been settled.” –Bakersfield Californian

May 17, 1928: “BOMB PERILS FRESNO JURIST—“Desert Rat” Held as Suspect in Attempt to Blast Judge’s Home.–A home-made infernal machine with the fuse extinguished less than an a foot from the explosive was found by Superior Court Judge Campbell E. Beaumont on his front porch early today when he opened the door to  get his morning newspaper.  The machine  was ___________________

Charles A. Koehn, giving his address as Saltdale, on the fringe of the desert, known as a “desert rat” was being held for investigation by police on suspicion of having planted the death dealing contraption.

The bomb consisted of two parts, one containing the explosive and the other a quantity of gasoline.” –Oakland Tribune

MAY 19, 1928:  “DESERT FRIENDS OF KOEHN WILL COME TO HIS AID WITH BAIL CASH.—Move Launched Here to  Free Prisoner in Fresno for Period Until Trial—ATTORNEY IRWIN IN COURT FOR DEFENSE—Resident Held for Alleged Bomb Attempt Sponsored Cantil Event May 30—Desert friends of Charles A. Koehn, Saltdale miner who is accused of attempting to bomb the home of Superior Judge C. E. Beaumont in Fresno Tuesday morning, are attempting to raise the $25,000 bail fixed for Koehn when he was arraigned in police court late Friday, it was learned here today.

Attorney Rowen Irwin of Bakersfield went to Fresno Friday to represent Koehn.  Hard-skinned old “desert rat” that he claims to be, Koehn nevertheless gave a smile of relief when Attorney Irwin walked into the courtroom during arraignment proceedings yesterday and said, “Hello, Charley.”  Attorney Irwin told the court he had long known Koehn and that the desert character was a respected citizen of the county. (Researchers Note: Rowen Irwin was a well-known attorney from Bakersfield he has served as a California State Assemblyman and District Attorney of both Fresno and Kern Counties.)

WILL MISS PROGRAM—“We have got to get Charley out pretty soon or he’s going to miss the big doings over at Cantil when we fix up the burying ground May 30.” A desert friend of Koehn’s said today while in Bakersfield.

“Charley promised to let us eat under his trees and said he would make a speech—but maybe he won’t now unless somebody gets busy and raises enough money for his bail.”

The “doings” of which the desert resident spoke were announced several  days ago by J. S. Bishop, Cantil resident, who with Koehn was sponsoring a gathering of Kern residents at Cantil May 30 to fix up the graves in the cemetery, in which many Kern pioneer miners and borax team drivers  are buried.

Charles A. Koehn His Wife Jenny and Two Of Her Nephews. --Roberta Starry Collection of the Maturango Museum.

MAINTAINS DENIALS—Koehn continues to deny his guilt in the case.  “Why should I blow him up?”  he is quoted as telling authorities.  “I have nothing against him.  While I was not exactly pleased with some of the things the judge (referring to Judge Beaumont during a recent trial of civil suit in Kern) did, I was more than pleased with some of the others.”

District Attorney Glenn M. Devore of Fresno County appeared against Koehn in Police Court Friday.  He suggested to the court that bail be set at $15,000 on each of the two counts against Koehn, but Attorney Irwin protested, declaring that his  client would not leave the country even though he  were released on his own recognizance.

DeVore countered with the declaration that he had first planned to ask for a $25,000 bail on the second count of the complaint, charging malicious use of explosives, which carries a possible life sentence, and $15,000 on the first count.  The judge, however, set the total amount at $25,000.” –Bakersfield Californian

June 30, 1928:  “CHARLES KOEHN OUT ON DESERT FAILS TO PLEA—Scheduled yesterday to enter pleas of guilty or not guilty to charges of attempted murder and malicious use of explosives, Charles A Koehn, Mojave Desert miner, failed to appear when court was called in Fresno.  Koehn, arrested in connection with the attempted bombing of Superior Judge C. E. Beaumont’s residence in Fresno, May 17, was released early this week on $40,000 bond.

He left Fresno immediately following his release for Kern County, and the desert, with no means of communication in its out-of-the-way corners, apparently has swallowed him.

Superior Judge Denver S. Church was scheduled to hear the Kern man’s pleas Friday, but Koehn failed to appear and his arraignment was continued until July 6.

Koehn’s attorneys said he had gone to his desert home and they had been unable to inform him of his court appearance.” –Bakersfield Californian

August 22, 1928:  “NEVER INTENDED BOMB EXPLOSION, KOEHN DEFENSE—Bakersfield Doctor Declares “Desert Rat” Paranoia Victim—Charlie A. Koehn. Kern desert prospector and mining man, merely wanted to frighten Judge C. B.  Beaumont and never intended that the bomb he placed on the porch of the Beaumont  residence in Fresno should explode, he told a jury in Fresno Superior Court Tuesday when he took the witness stand in his own defense.

Koehn, charged with attempted murder and malicious use of explosives, is being tried on his plea of “not guilty by reason of insanity.”  He sprung his own surprise on the court when placed on the stand yesterday.

Star witness for the defense during the session was Dr. George Sabichi of Bakersfield, who testified that he believes Koehn is a victim of paranoia

DEFENSE CALL EXPERT—Dr. Sabich was called by defense counsel, Attorney Rowen Irwin of Bakersfield and Attorneys Lindsay and Georhart of Fresno.

Insistent reiteration by Koehn that he “was being robbed by the courts” and that he “thought he had a right to scare Beaumont,” only aided the defense in building up its insanity case.

Koehn was involved last spring in a civil case being tried in Kern Superior Court by Judge Beaumont.

On the stand Koehn asserted that he merely wanted to warn Judge Beaumont and that he never wanted to hurt him.  He wanted to be arrested so that the newspapers would tell how “the courts were robbing me.”

KOEHN SPRINGS SURPRISE—Koehn sprung his surprise on everyone but his lawyers by saying that the fuse on the bomb was burned at his Saltdale ranch days before he went to Fresno.  The fuse never was lighted on the Beaumont porch, he says.

It was an old “Sure Shot” fuse, famous with miners.

“If I had wanted to hurt him I would have done it,” Koehn testified “I know how. A good fuse is guaranteed to work every time.”

Koehn told how he had rubbed black grease under the coffee  can in which were the explosive to make it look as through the fuse was burned on the Beaumont porch.

Others called to testify during the day included J. W. McGraff, J. L. Osborn, and T. F. Allen, all of Bakersfield.

It is possible the case may go to the jury late today.” –Bakersfield Californian

August 23, 1928: “JURY MAY GET KOEHN BOMB EVIDENCE TODAY –A Fresno county jury may decide tonight whether Charles Koehn, eccentric desert character of Kern County, is sane of insane.

Koehn is on trial in Fresno Superior Court on charges of attempted murder and malicious use of explosives, to both of which he entered pleas of not guilty by reason of insanity.  By the plea he admitted placing a bomb on the front porch of the Judge C. E. Beaumont residence.  The bomb failed to explode, saving the Beaumont family and a good sized section of Fresno’s residential section from destruction, the prosecution alleges.

Arguments by defense counsel, Attorneys Rowen Irwin of Bakersfield and Gearhart of Fresno were scheduled to begin today and it was considered likely that the case would go to a jury before court adjourns this evening.

Three witnesses, Dr. George Sabichi of Bakersfield, Dr. C. P. H. Kjaerbys of Fresno, and Dr. J. L. Richards of San Francisco, have testified that Koehn is a paranois, explaining that a paranoiac is one with an exalted opinion of one’s self and one’s abilities, combined with a delusion of oppression by others.

As a paranoiac, Koehn is not responsible for his actions, the doctor testified.

The state was expected to place its technical witnesses upon the stand this morning before arguments start.” –Bakersfield Californian

August 24, 1928: JURY DELIBERATING ON FATE OF KOEHN—A jury of 12 men today is deliberating upon the sanity of Charles A. Koehn, Kern Desert miner, on a trial in Fresno Superior Court on an alleged attempt to bomb the  residence of Superior Judge C. E. Beaumont.  Koehn is being tried on his pleas of not guilty by reason of insanity.

The case was given to the jury late Thursday and at a late hour this morning no verdict had been reached.

Final hours of the four-day trial yesterday were devoted to argument with District Attorney Glenn M. DeVore making the final argument and attacking the contention of defense counsel that Koehn’s acts were those of an insane man.” –Bakersfield Californian

August 24, 1928:  “JURY DISAGREES IN KOEHN  BOMB HEARING—After  failing to reach an agreement in hours of deliberation, the jury trying Charles A. Koehn, Kern mining man,  in Fresno Superior Court for the attempted bombing of Judge C. E. Beaumont’s home, was discharged late today, according to a special dispatch to The Californian.

The Kern man’s bond was raised from $30,000 to an aggregate of $200,000 by the judge presiding over the case and Koehn was returned to the Fresno jail pending another trial.  He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of attempted murder and malicious use of explosives.” –Bakersfield Californian

August 25, 1928:  “JURY IN KOEHN BOMBING TRIAL JUDGE’S TARGET—Jurist Insinuates Possibility of Paranoia Among Jurors—Mildly insinuating that there might be paranoiacs on a jury which could not agree after hours of deliberation, Judge Charles R. Bernard, Friday dismissed the jurors who sat in the trial of Charles A. Koehn, eccentric Kern desert character, charged with the attempted bombing of Judge C. E. Beaumont’s residence in Fresno.

Koehn pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, and defense counsel offered medical testimony that Koehn is a victim of paranoia.

“And I hope,” Judge Bernard is quoted as saying when he dismissed the jury, “that there are no paranoiacs on the jury.  It is a symptom of paranoia, you know, if you will not listen to argument.”

In the meantime, Koehn was sent back to Fresno County Jail to await a new trial, with his bail increased from $30,000 to $100,000 cash bond or $200,000 property bond.

In raising the Kern man’s bail, the judge stated:

“If Koehn is insane, he can’t be trusted.  If he is sane, his thought that he would be immediately turned loose by the jury may now change his attitude.  The purpose of bail is to make sure the defendant will be present for the trial.”

The jury pondered over the evidence for more than 20 hours without arriving at a verdict, Reports was to the effect that the 12 jurymen stood nine to three for holding the defendant insane.” –Bakersfield Californian

September 20, 1928:  “KOEHN RELEASES ATTORNEYS; WILL FIGHT OWN CASE—Desert Man Declares He Will Change Plea; Is Opposed By Devore—Charles A. Koehn, self-styled “desert rat” of Kern County will turn attorney in his own defense when he goes on  trial Monday in Fresno Superior Court for the second time on charges of attempted murder and malicious use of explosives.  His first trial ended in a deadlocked jury.  The charges grew out of the finding of a bomb on the front porch of the Judge C. E. Beaumont residence in Fresno.

“Out $4000 for legal counsel in his first trial, Koehn asserted today in Fresno jail that he is “through with attorneys.”

He is going to change his plea back to not guilty and withdraw the plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, he says.

DEVORE SAYS NOT—District Attorney Glenn Devore says Koehn isn’t going to do any such thing if he (Devore) can help it.

“They (his attorneys) soaked me $5000 for the first trial, got me a hung jury and then said they wanted $4000 for the second trial.” Koehn wrathfully told reporters at the Jail.

“I fired them,” he said, “and hired me two new attorneys.  The new attorneys took the job, but didn’t even come to see me until Tuesday.  How could they prepare a case in four days?  So I fired them too.  I’ll defend myself, but not on that “crazy plea.”

ON THE JUMP—When told that the district attorney would not let him change his plea, burst forth:

“What’s he got to do with it?  Is he the Lord of all?  I can change my plea any time I want to.  I’ve got the district attorney’s office on the jump.” –Bakersfield Californian

September 22, 1928:  “KOEHN SUCCEEDS IN PLEA CHANGE—Substitutes Plea of “Not Guilty” for Insanity Defense at Fresno—Charles A. Koehn, Kern County prospector who “fired” his attorneys and will defend himself in Fresno Superior Court on charges of attempting to murder Judge C. E. Beaumont, entered the legal ring to win his first bout with Dist. Atty. Glen Devore Friday, according to dispatches here today.

The self-styled “desert rat” went before the bench in Superior Court and succeeded in having his plea of “not guilty by reason of insanity” changed to one of not guilty of the charges, despite the fact that the district attorney had announced his intention of fighting such a change “to the limit.”

Koehn lost only “the last round of the entire bout,” having “a shade in all the other rounds.”  In the “last round” he tried to have the charge of malicious use of explosive dropped, but failed.

The two charges, attempted murder and malicious use of explosives, grew out of an alleged attempt to bomb Judge Beaumont’s residence.

Koehn’s first trial ended when the jury disagreed and was dismissed.  All of next week has been allotted for his second trial, during which he will set as his own attorney.” –Bakersfield Californian

September 24, 1928:  “KOEHN DEFENDING SELF AT FRESNO—Asks Judge From Some Other County, but Motion Denied by Court—Fresno, Sept. 24—After his motions for continuance and a change of judge on the ground of prejudice had been denied, Charles A. Koehn, 67-year-old “desert rat,” went out on trial here today for the second time on charges of attempting to murder Superior Judge C. E. Beaumont and the malicious use of explosives.  The jury disagreed in a trial on the sanity of Koehn last month, but in the present trial he is fighting the accusation on a plea of not guilty.

“All the judges in Fresno County are associated with Judge Beaumont, the complaining witness in the case, and I believe I should have a judge from some other county,”  the aged prospector told Superior Judge Charles H. Barnard, who is hearing the case.

After discharging two sets of attorneys, Koehn acted as his own counsel today, interrogating prospective jurors. He told the court that he wished to secure another attorney to represent him later in the day, however.

T. F. Allen, Bakersfield attorney, who was seated in the courtroom, announced that he had been retained by Koehn.

Koehn was arrested on May 16 last, when Judge Beaumont found a nitroglycerin bomb on the porch of his Fresno home.  The fuse burned out and the bomb did not explode.  The state contends that Koehn sought to kill Judge Beaumont to prevent the jurist from making a decision in a damage suit for $50,000 in which the “desert rat” was the defendant.  The case was heard before Judge Beaumont in Bakersfield last April.

The jury, composed entirely of men, was selected in less than an hour.  Koehn exercised one challenge, excusing the only woman on the panel.

Judge Beaumont was called as a witness and told of finding the bomb, unexploded at his home.  He also related conversations he had with Koehn in which the prospector denied any knowledge of the alleged attempt to take the jurist’s life.”—Bakersfield Californian

September 25, 1928:  “KOEHN SPEEDING UP FRESNO TRIAL – Accepts Jury of Twelve Men in Rapid Order; Excuses Woman From Duty—Charles A. Koehn, Kern desert prospector, who is acting as his own attorney during his trial on charges attempting to murder Judge C. E. Beaumont of Fresno, is setting a speed record in Fresno Superior Court.

The sun-parched, self-styled “desert rat” of Kern is amazing Fresno with his conduct in court and his knowledge of law, according to reports here.

Monday, the opening day of his second trial, he accepted the first 12 men in the jury box, excusing only one woman, and the state began putting on its witnesses immediately.

Then he gave the first for the defense a hard few minutes cross-examination and chalked up his first score on the case against him.

This witness, A. B. McKinney of Kern County, had testified, he heard Koehn voice a threat to injure Judge Beaumont if the judge decided a suit against, Koehn.  McKinney referred to a Kern County suit over which Beaumont presided and in which Koehn was involved.

“When did I say that?” Koehn demanded of McKinney on cross-examination.

“About three days, I am not sure, before you got in jail up here.”

“Are you sure I said I would, or I ought to?”  Koehn asked.

The witness said he wasn’t sure and Koehn’s deep voice said “that’s all.”

With the speed with which Koehn is conducting his case it appeared the trial must be over within 48 hours.–Bakersfield Californian

September 26, 1928: DESERT MINER CONVICTED OF BOMB  ATTACK—Koehn Guilty on Two Counts by Jury; Recommends Leniency –Fresno, Sept. 26.—Charles A. Koehn of Kern county self-styled desert rat, was found guilty last night on two counts, one of attempting to murder Superior Judge C. E. Beaumont with a bomb and the other of malicious use of high explosives.  The jury recommended leniency.  He will be sentenced Friday morning by Superior Judge Charles R. Bernard.

Koehn, who is 47, pleaded his own case at this, his second trial, the jury in the first trial disagreeing on his plea of not guilty by reasons of insanity.  This plea he later withdrew.  In his closing argument today, Koehn characterized Judge Beaumont as the “bandit in the court house” and a “sheep” and referred to a previous civil suit for $50,000 against himself over which Judge Beaumont presided at Bakersfield and which Koehn feared would be decided against him.

Koehn, who admitted placing the coffee can bomb on Judge Beaumont’s porch here in Fresno, denied that he intended to kill the judge.

The state in its closing argument described Koehn as “a mean old man with murder in his heart.”

On the attempt to murder charge Koehn may be given one to fourteen years and on the explosives charge from one year to life in the discretion of the prison board.” –Oakland Tribune

September  26, 1928:  “KOEHN CONVICTED ON TWO CHARGES AFTER PRESENTS OWN COURT CASE—Prospector in Plea to  Jury Surprised Spectators by Knowledge of Law –DENIES ALLEGATION OF MURDER ATTEMPT—Will be sentenced Friday to Term in San  Quentin; Assails Beaumont—After acting as his own attorney and conducting one of the speediest trials in Fresno court history, Charles A. Koehn, Kern County’s eccentric “man of the desert,” last night was found guilty on both counts, of attempted murder and malicious use of explosives, in connection with an alleged attempt to bomb the Fresno residence of Judge C. E. Beaumont.  The jury deliberated only a few hours and returned its verdict with a recommendation for leniency.

Sentence is to be passed by Judge Charles R. Barnard at 9:40 o’clock Friday morning.  The trial lasted just two days.

The self-styled “desert rat” of Kern County amazed courtroom attaches by his adeptness as an attorney in defending himself.

ASSAILS JUDGE—He received the verdict with but little show of emotion and stated before the court that the district attorney’s office had treated him fairly and permitted him to get all of his evidence before the jury.

To the last argument, Koehn admitted that he had placed the bomb on Judge Beaumont’s porch but maintained he had never lighted the fuse and had merely wanted “to get arrested and expose the way Judge Beaumont was robbing me.”

Koehn was the defendant in a $50,000 damages suit involving his Mojave Desert properties, heard recently in Kern Superior court by Judge Beaumont.  No decision has been rendered in this case.

“NO MURDERER,” SAYS—The 67-year-old prospector scoffed at the idea that “he was a mean old man with murder in his heart,” as he was described by the prosecution.

“If I was a murderer,” Koehn told the jury, as he pounded a copy of the penal code against his fist, “I could have killed Beaumont in the streets of Bakersfield.

“I was tried for attempted murder once before.  Seventeen gunmen from Los Angeles attempted to take my property away from me, and I fought them off, all alone, an old man, with my gun.  I tried my own case then and the jury acquitted me.  Nine of them told me that they wished I had killed some of the gunmen.  But I didn’t want to, I am no murderer.”

Describing Beaumont as being “guilty of conspiracy with Bakersfield lawyers” to take his property away from him and as “guilty of fraud and perjury,” Koehn demanded before the jury, that Dist.  Atty. Glenn DeVore “who will tell you that he is the representative of all the people,” attend to Beaumont.” –Bakersfield Californian

September 27, 1928: “DECLARE DESERT MAN GIVEN FAIR HEARING—Charles Koehn, desert man convicted in the Fresno Superior Court in connection with placing a bomb on Judge C. E. Beaumont’s porch, had the fairest kind of trial, Detective A. E. Cook said here today on returning from Fresno.

“Though I was retained by the prosecution in the case, I can say without prejudice that the judge and district attorney in the Fresno Superior Court allowed Mr. Koehn the greatest of latitude in his examination of witnesses and in his own handling of the case.  They gave him the benefit of the doubt in each instance, and the trial was a fair one.” –Bakersfield Californian

September 28, 1928:  “KOEHN IS GIVEN STAY FROM TERM—Sentenced to Prison, Local Desert Man Appeals for Court Alternatives—Fresno, Sept. 23—Charles Koehn, 67-year-old prospector from the Mojave Desert, was sentenced in the Superior Court today to an indeterminable term in San Quentin prison on his conviction of attempted murder of Superior Judge C. E. Beaumont and malicious use of explosives.  The law provides sentence of from 1 year to 20 years on the first charge and from one year to life on the second.

Koehn, who admitted that he placed what he called a “dud bomb” on the front porch of the jurists home to frighten him, made motions through his counsel for arrest of judgment, resetting of the trial on his original motion of not guilty by reason of insanity, a new trial, and that probation be granted.  These were denied but a stay of execution for 10 days was granted.

In denying Koehn’s motions, Judge Charles R. Barnard said the law made it impossible for him to follow the jury’s recommendation for leniency.

“The defendant’s own point of view in this case make him a dangerous man to be at large,” he continued, “By his very act he overturned all the theories of government.  I don’t believe that Koehn would bother Judge Beaumont again, but he has that attitude toward the law which would make him a dangerous individual to be at large.”

Koehn was arrested here last may  after Judge Beaumont discovered an unexploded bomb made of nitroglycerin and gasoline on the front porch of his home.  He first stood on a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity and the jury disagreed.  He was found guilty in the second trial last Wednesday.  Notice of appeal was filed.” – Bakersfield Californian

September 29, 1928:  “SENTENCE KOEHN TO SERVE LONG TERM IN PRISON—“Desert Rat” Must Spend One to Fifteen Years in San Quentin, Edict—Many months will elapse before Charles A. Koehn, aged Kern Prospector, again prods a burdened burro over the sands of the of the Mojave desert in search  of precious metals.

Koehn today was under sentence of from 1 to 15 years in San Quentin for the attempted murder of Judge C. E. Beaumont of Fresno, and one year in San Quentin for the malicious use of explosives, the sentences to run consecutively and nor concurrently.

A jury in Fresno Superior Court this week decided that Koehn placed a dynamite bomb on the front porch of the Beaumont residence with intent to murder Judge Beaumont.  The bomb did not explode.

After being found guilty, Koehn filed motions for a new trial, release on probation, a stay of execution, and various other resources.  The stay of execution was granted by Superior Judge Barnard and Koehn has 10 days to get his affairs in shape before he passed through the gates of San Quentin penitentiary.

The jury that found the Kern man guilty recommended leniency but the Superior Court Judge said he was unable to grant the recommendation.”  –Bakersfield Californian

September 29, 1928:  “PROSPECTOR GIVEN SAN QUENTIN TERM—Fresno, Sept. 29.—Convicted of attempted murder and the malicious use of explosives,  Charles A. Koehn, aged desert prospector, was today under sentence of  from 1 to 15 years in San Quentin on the first count and one year on  the second.

Judge Barnard ordered that the terms should run consecutively and not concurrently.  Various motions by defense attorneys, including those for a new trial and release on probation were denied, but Koehn was granted ten days in which to arrange his affairs before being taken to prison.

Koehn was found guilty of attempting to murder Judge C. E. Beaumont last spring by placing a bomb which failed to explode, on the porch of the jurist’s home here.” –Berkeley Daily Gazette

December 3, 1928:  “DESERT RAN” MAKES HIGH COURT APPEAL—San Francisco, Dec. 3.—The appeal of Charles A. Koehn, desert prospector, under sentence to  San  Quentin for an alleged attempt to dynamite the home of Judge C. E. Beaumont in Fresno was submitted to  the State District Court of Appeals today.

The chief contention of the man’s attorneys was that their client should not have been convicted on two counts, attempted murder and malicious use of explosive.

Koehn was convicted on his second trial.  The first jury disagreed and before the second trial Koehn announced he would conduct his own defense.  His plea at each trial was not guilty by reason of insanity.” –Bakersfield Californian

February 1, 1929:  “KOEHN CLEARED ON ONE CHARGE—Appeals Court Upholds Attempted Murder Count; Must Serve Term—Charles A. Koehn, Kern’s self-styled “desert rat,” who turned a publicity spotlight upon himself and the Mojave desert when he attempted to bomb the residence of a Fresno Superior Court judge, today stood cleared of the charge that he “attempted to terrify Judge C. E. Beaumont by the malicious use of explosives.”

The State District Court of Appeals at San Francisco reversed his conviction on the charge.

But there is small consolation for the Kern miner in the reversal as the court upheld his conviction on the more serious charge of attempting to murder the jurist.

Koehn was convicted on both charges last year in the Fresno County Superior Court.  He was arrested as a suspicious character while coming out on an alley back of the Beaumont residence and a short while later Judge Beaumont arose to find an unexploded bomb outside his front door.

The district court reversed the conviction on the charge of “malicious use of explosives” under the ruling that “one offense should not be split up to make several charges,” according to a special dispatch to The Bakersfield Californian by the Associated Press.”—Bakersfield Californian

February 2, 1929:  “PRISON SENTENCE FOR PROSPETOR UPHELD –San Francisco, Feb. 2.—The sentence of the Fresno County District court consigning Charles J.  Koehn, eccentric prospector, to prison for from one to 29 years was upheld here today by the district court of appeals, when it sustained the verdict which found Koehn guilty of attempted murder when he tried to blow up the home of Judge C. M. Beaumont of Fresno.  Koehn was freed on a second count which had found him guilty of the malicious use of explosives.” –Oakland Tribune

February 2, 1929: “BOMBER’S CONVICTION AFFIRMED BY COURT –San Francisco, Feb. 2.—The state district court of appeals has affirmed the conviction in the Fresno superior court of Charles A. Koehn of an attempt to murder Judge C. E. Beaumont in May 1928, by placing a bomb under his home.

The court reversed a second conviction of Koehn on a charge of attempting to terrify Judge Beaumont by malicious use of explosives.  The second conviction was reversed on the grounds that one offense should not be split up to make several charges.” –Oakland Tribune

March 3, 1929: “KOEHN AWARDED REHEARING BY SUPREME COURT—Carrying his fight for freedom into the State Supreme Court, Charles A. Koehn, self-styled Kern “desert-rat,” scored victory in the high court Friday when he was granted a rehearing of his appeal of his conviction on charge of attempting to murder Superior Judge C. E. Beaumont of Fresno, according to a press dispatch here today.

Koehn at present time is an inmate of San Quentin penitentiary serving an indefinite number of years for an attempted murder.

The Appellate Court recently reversed a jury’s verdict finding Koehn guilty of malicious use of explosives but upheld the verdict finding him guilty of attempted murder.  It was alleged during his trial that he placed a bomb, which failed to explode on the front porch of the Beaumont residence.

Under the Supreme Court’s ruling his appeal for reversal of the attempted murder conviction will be heard again, it was reported.” –Bakersfield Californian

July 30, 1929:  “STATE REVERSES KOEHN DECISION –Conviction of Kern Man on Attempted Murder is Overruled—California’s Supreme Court has just issued a decision relative to the Charles A. Koehn case concerning the alleged bombing of the home of Judge C. E. Beaumont of Fresno following and adverse decision against Koehn while Judge Beaumont was sitting in the Kern County Superior Court.   The Supreme Court has found Koehn guilty on only the charge of having used explosives and has overruled the conviction on the charge of assault with attempt to commit murder, according to information supplied Atty. Rowan Irwin, who defended Koehn.   Koehn was a Kern County resident from the Mojave Desert.

Koehn was convicted in Fresno during 1928 following the alleged bombing.   In Fresno, Attorney Irwin made a motion to dismiss one of the two counts against the defendant on the grounds that the state was charging him with the same state of facts for two offenses.

The court denied this motion and tried Koehn on both counts and he was convicted on both.

The District Court of Appeal then set aside the judgment convicting Koehn on the use of explosives and sustained the judgment on the attempted murder count. From this decision both sides appealed in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court reversed the District Court of Appeal decision by setting aside the judgment of conviction on attempt to commit murder and reversed the count for having dismissed the charge appertaining to the use of explosives.  The Supreme Court then sustained the trial court in having convicted Koehn on the use of explosives.

Thus Koehn finally stands convicted on the explosive charge.

In passing judgment the Supreme Court paid a rare tribute to Attorney Irwin and his colleagues in the case for the skill of their presentation.” –Bakersfield Californian

December 30, 1930:  “MRS. CHARLIE KOEHN of Saltdale was a business visitor in Mojave Saturday.” –Bakersfield Californian

A Photo Of Charlie Koehn's House Taken In Later Years. The home was destroyed in an earthquake in the 1950's. The property had been purchased by the infamous Pancho Barnes,who had planned to establish a "Resort" there to replace the "Happy Bottom Riding Club" which the U.S. Government had ran her out of at Muroc. It was to become part of Edward's Air Force Base.--Mojave Desert News

This entry was posted in Fremont Valley, Fremont Valley Mining Camps / Mines. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

Back to top