FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

Survey number:      Owner:      Date of discovery:

J. Q. Hutton – Bank of Randsburg

A bank for Randsburg was a long time coming.  After the aborted attempt of Mr. Fox in Garlock an attempt at forming a bank in Randsburg was reported in Visalia Morning Daily Delta in February of 1897. The Delta reported that an article in the San Francisco Examiner stated that a Mr. F. M. Myers had left San Francisco for Randsburg to open the Bank of Randsburg, which was to be backed by San Francisco and Los Angeles capital.  This bank was reported to be located in the Pierson Hotel.  No further mention of this bank or F. M. Myers has been found except for some correspondence regarding a large sum of money that Mrs. F. M. Myers had on deposit in the Bank of Randsburg, which she wished to withdraw.  It would appear that either Mr. or Mrs. F. M. Myers or both were major backers of the bank; however, based on an article in the Bakersfield Daily Californian it was J. Q. Hutton of Los Angeles who finally succeeded in opening a Bank of Randsburg in October of 1897.  Letterheads from the Bank of Randsburg and a blank check, which are in the collection of the author, back this up. These pieces were included in a bundle of paper, found in 1981, under the Wells Fargo building, which was later Rinaldi”s Market.  The owners tore down this old adobe building in 1981 due to neglect.

Robert T. F. Smith– The First Bank of Randsburg

January 28, 1924:  “Both of the Jewell buildings on Butte Avenue, are looming up; the building for the First bank, thus far looks well finished for the purpose that it will be used.  Concrete work on the local bakery is going along fine.”—Bakersfield Californian

February 26, 1924: “BUILDING IS READY; FIRST BANK TO MOVE—At a meeting of the local bank directors, held recently, there were present Robert T. F. Smith, president; C. R. Bell, vice-president; Paul t. Ratcliff, cashier;  Dr. W. L. Denton, director; R. I McGinnis, assistant to the vice-presidents of the Hellman C. T. and S. banks of Los Angeles; and temporary assistant cashier, Edward B. Moore.

The principal business was completion of plans and arrangements for moving the First Bank from Johannesburg to Randsburg.  With assurance of C. C. Jewell that the new concrete building now under construction and designed especially for the bank’s new home will be completed on or before April 1, only three weeks’ legal publication of notice of intention to move is required.

A bank inspection, dancing, popular entertainers and a repetition of the popular buffet luncheon is part of the plan for the bank opening.  With the business houses and the homes decorated by day—and at night all “lit up”—it will be a reminder of the early Rand days—when “they never closed””—Bakersfield Californian

The First Bank of Johannesburg, which was established in Johannesburg, Ca. in 1922 relocated to Randsburg in June of 1924.  Geo W. Anderson was the Cashier and Doctor Wm. L. Denton had replaced F. H. Smith as one of the Directors. On 15 September 1924 the name was changed to the First Bank of Randsburg.  The bank voluntarily liquidated on 17 December 1925.  It was located in the West End of the large adobe building located on the North West corner of Butte Ave. and Jewell Street.

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