FREIGHTERS

Survey number:      Owner:      Date of discovery:

George Washington Lloyd – Randsburg Transfer & Freighting Co.

George Lloyd, a 35-year-old native of Illinois, came to Randsburg in the latter part of 1896. He was an enterprising man and soon started a feed yard and dealt extensively in hay and grain. In later years he also carried oil, coal, and fuel. In addition to his hay and grain business he did most of the freighting from the Randsburg Railroad Depot in Johannesburg to Randsburg and the outlying camps.  He laid the pipe to provide water to the Yellow Aster Mining & Milling Co. In the latter part of 1898 he opened a general merchandise store dealing in feed, hardware, coal, paints and oil. .  His freighting company was located at the corner of Fiddler’s Gulch and Butte Ave.  Mr. Lloyd and his wife left Randsburg for their future home in Santa Barbara in 1905. Mr. Lloyd was said to have been an astute businessman who had the respect and confidence of all who knew him.

Bright & Crandall

In May of 1897 great excitement was elicited by the announcement that the Kramer-Rand Railway was a fact and that grading had started at Kramer by Bright and Crandall a freighting firm out of Randsburg.  This announcement proved to be a bit premature, as surveying did not start for almost a month.  In June of that year the Union Construction Company was incorporated in Arizona to build the railroad.  Whether Bright and Crandall ever got a piece of the action is unknown.

Houser Brothers–Albert, Roy, and William

Albert and Roy came to Randsburg in late 1899 or early 1900 and were followed shortly thereafter by William.  They were reported in March of 1900 by the Daily Californian newspaper to be making “..some grand improvements in the appearance of the city moving houses and otherwise assisting in its growth.  It is believed that they purchased George and Ira Gordon’s business.  The Houser Brothers are best remembered for the Houser Hotel which is believed to have been constructed in 1901, however blacksmithing and the livery business was their mainstay.

Although A. W. Houser is listed in the 1905 Suits-Schuman Business Directory as being in the stable business this information was outdated by the time it was printed. In 1904 William and Roy bought out all the business interests of Albert except for the Houser Hotel.  They also purchased the feed business of J. T. Curry and his one-half interest in the firm of Heydlouff and Curry.

The Hotel was leased most of the time until it was sold to A. C. Burcham one of the owners of the Yellow Aster Mining & Milling Co. in 1906.  Prior to its sale it had been leased during the year of 1905 to the Y. A. M. & M. CO.  Upon his retirement from the hotel business William Houser entered politics and served as County Supervisor from 1908 until his death in 1912.

In 1910 he made one unsuccessful try at being elected Sheriff of Kern County, an election that he lost by a vote of 752 to 745. Albert moved to Dos Palos and took up ranching.

In 1907 Roy took and interest in the Skidoo boom and purchased three lots in Skidoo with the intent of starting a livery stable, feed coral, wood and water business. In July of 1907 the partnership between Roy and William was dissolved and William remained the sole owner of all the Randsburg business interests.  Roy however returned to Randsburg after his Skidoo adventure and it is assumed that he ran the family business for his brother while William was in Bakersfield serving as County Supervisor.

The brothers however did remain in partnership as late as 1912 on the William R. lode mine, along with Frederick Williams and Pat Byrne. During the previous years they had also been in partnership with G. P. Brady in the blacksmithing business in 1904 and with J. T. Curry in the lumber business in 1905.

McCUTCHEON & CHAPPEL

October 8, 1921: “McCutcheon and Chappel, well-known truck men of the West Side oil fields, have started a truck line, between  Los Angeles and the Rand district. They have met with a hearty assurance of our people and have a load each way for their initial start. They will come through the same day. They have nine standard trucks.” – Bakersfield Californian

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