NEWSPAPERS

Survey number:      Owner:      Date of discovery:

George W. Glover — Randsburg Miner

George Glover who had came from South Pasadena started the first newspaper in Randsburg, the Randsburg Miner.  The first edition was published on the 12th of December 1896.  Mr. Glover ran the paper until 1898 when he sold out to Frank P. McDivitt.  Mr. Glover returned to Pasadena and later relocated to Oceanside, Cal.

January 03, 1898: “The Randsburg Miner affords striking evidence of the increasing prosperity of that camp by enlarging from four to six pages, in order to accommodate a rapidly growing patronage and at the same time do justice to passing events in the rich Mojave gold fields. “The development of our mineral resources,” says the Miner, “is being pushed forward, and it is our intention to keep pace with the onward march in this district.” –San Francisco Call

Frank P. McDivitt — Randsburg Miner

Frank P. McDivitt is believed to have purchased the Randsburg Miner from George Glover in 1898.  Sometime after 1902 he sold the paper to W. A.  McGinn, who was a schoolteacher in Randsburg.   C. J. McDivitt was the editor of the paper during Frank’s ownership, and in the 1902 business directory is listed as the printer and publisher.

J. Mills Davis — California Rand

The Bakersfield Daily Californian reported in January of 1898 that Randsburg was to be getting a new newspaper that would be published daily and weekly.  The publisher was to be Mr. Mills and the paper was to be devoted to the interests of the whole desert mining region.  No mention was made of the name but in a March issue the same year an article was attributed to the California Rand so it is assumed that this was the name of the new paper.

W. A. McGinn — Randsburg Miner

Mr. McGinn was the brother of J. E. McGinn, who was in business in Garlock and Randsburg.  W. A. McGinn was a schoolteacher and principal of the Randsburg School.  He was also listed as one of the directors of the United Randopah Mining and Milling Company, which had mines located in Tonopah, Nevada and offices in Randsburg, Cal.  He later became the Public Administrator and Coroner of Kern County.  W. A. McGinn acquired the Randsburg Miner sometime in 1903 and ran it until May of 1904 when he sold it to C. J. McDivitt.

Clyde James McDivitt — Randsburg Miner

C. J. McDivitt, who had been the Editor of the Randsburg Miner under his brother Franks ownership, left Randsburg in 1902 when the paper was sold to W. A. McGinn. He went to Tonopah Nevada where he and T. H Eckles founded the Tonopah Miner in June of 1902.  They quickly sold out to Sam Dunham and T. D. Vandevort, in August of that year.  Mr. McDivitt was connected with a Goldfield paper in some way according to the article ran in the Randsburg Miner at the time of his death.

In May of 1904 C. J. McDivitt purchased the Randsburg Miner and published the following statement:

” I have purchased the Miner, first because I considered it a good business venture and secondly, because I like the desert, it’s pure air, bright sunshine, and incomparable nights.  Having lived here almost continuously since the camp started, I am personally acquainted with all the old residents, and need no introduction.  To the old friends and the new ones I hope to make, I will say the Miner under my ownership and management, will at all times work for the best interest of all, with malice toward none.  I invite your co-operation and support in the future as in the past.  Mr. W. A. McGinn, my predecessor, and I, have been friends for years, and where ever he may go, or in whatever he engages, he will have my heartfelt wishes for his success.”

Clyde was no spring chicken when he first came to Randsburg among the early pioneers.  He was born on 23 January 1842 in Hunnington, Pennsylvania and served during the Civil War in the 125th Penn. Vol. Infantry.  Around 1888 he moved to California from Kansas where he had been living.  When he arrived in California he founded the Santa Paula Chronicle. He then moved on to Santa Barbara where he became the editor and publisher of the Morning Press. When he arrived in Randsburg he was working for the Los Angeles Times.  It is said that he was among the first to arrive after the discovery of gold.  It is not known whether or not Mrs. C. J. McDivitt ever made her home in Randsburg or not.  In June of 1905 she was running the Hotel Madison in Los Angeles.

Mr. McDivitt was active in the newspaper circles of the state and was one of the organizers of the Southern California Editorial Association of which he was president for two terms, one of which he was elected to in April of 1907.  He also served as the postmaster of Randsburg for several terms.   C. J. was also vice-president and a heavy stockholder in the Amber Oil Co.; a corporation made up of mainly Randsburg investors.

While C. J. appeared to have been a popular man in the town one has to wonder just what happened in July of 1908 when he and some companions went out to see the new railroad that was being built through the Fremont Valley.  When they started back, according to the report in the Bakersfield Morning Echo. C. J.  found that the heat was too much for his and told his friends to go on and send a rig for him when they got back to town.

One cannot but wonder how they got out there.  This was July and the temperature was reported to be 110 degrees in the shade.  Who in their right mind would have walked seven miles?  His friends however left behind McDivitt.  Who having recovered somewhat started walking back to town.  When he wandered into town that night he was reported to have been almost a raving maniac, his tongue was swollen and sticking to the roof of his mouth.  His friends (?) had forgotten him, and only through sheer determination, making a few hundred yards at a time, did he manage to keep from losing his senses and walk all the way back.  It is suspected that if he was as popular a man as was reported that both him and his friends had something besides printer’s ink coursing through their veins.

Mr. McDivitt had a long running interest in the oil fields in the San Joaquin Valley dating back to at least 1900 when he was a partner in the Desert Brokerage Firm.  This firm dealt In December of 1910, Randsburg having became a bit tame, the lure of the booming oil fields called and C. J. McDivitt sold the Randsburg Miner to Charles Garvin and moved to Taft, California to start the Midway Driller which eventually absorbed the Midway Courier. He ran this paper until his death at age 70 in 1912.

Charles L. Garvin — Randsburg Miner

In 1910 Charles L. Garvin purchased the Randsburg Miner, and it is known the Samuel H. Dolbear was the managing editor in March of 1911, as the author has been unable to locate any editions of the paper during the periods of 1898 to 1900, 1908 through  1911 , with the exception of the March 25, 1911 edition of the Randsburg Miner, and the —-issue of the Golden State Miner, it is difficult to piece together the chain of events leading to different owners.  It is possible that when Charles L. Garvin was reported to have purchased the paper that the actual ownership passed to a consortium of Randsburg businessmen.  These  businessmen consisted of C. A. Burcham, S. K. Dickinson, John W. McLeod, C. L. Garvin, William Houser, Otto Rinaldi, Charles Fahey, C.J. and E. E. Teagle.   These individuals, with the exception of Wm. Houser, being listed as the estate of, were the owners in August of 1912 under the name of Randsburg Miner Publishing Co.  Charles L. Garvin besides being an owner was the managing editor. 6

Taylor & Hepp — Randsburg Miner

The Randsburg Miner passed was leased to Herbert Sault Taylor who had previously been employed by the Miner in the composing room and John Marcus Hepp on January 15, 1915.   Mr. Garvin had the following to say about the new publishers:\

“These gentlemen are practical printers, and publishers, and we bespeak for them a liberal patronage and support, feeling certain that they will merit this confidence.”

Whether Mr. Garvin’s confidence in these men was well placed cannot be said for certain, but it appears that they had their own doubts as in May of 1915 they published the following comment:

“While corresponding with a prospective advertiser, telling him of the circulation, etc. of the Miner, we received a reply from him, wanting to know “”where is it circulated””.  A reply was sent thus “”In every state in the U. S., England, Germany, and France, Alaska, Mexico, Honolulu, and it’s all we can do to keep it from “”Going to Hell””.

On May 8, 1915 Mr. Taylor apparently lost confidence and left the paper. Mr. Hepp continued on as the Editor and Publisher. 7

S. J. Harmeling — Randsburg Miner

It was reported that S. J. Harmeling purchased the Randsburg Miner and its supplementary Atolia paper, the Tungsten Review, in June of 1916.  The publishing of the paper however did not change hands.  Mr. Harmeling had been the proprietor of the McFarland Messenger, which he reportedly sold to J. E. VanEaton who was the proprietor of the Delano Record. It is not certain that this sale actually took place, as there is no other mention of Mr. Harmeling ever found as editor, publisher, or owner.  8

Hepp & Dent – Randsburg Miner

In 1916 a Mr. Dent joined the paper, probably in January when the lease was renewed, thus becoming the firm of Hepp & Dent. They turned over the publishing of the Randsburg Miner to H. B. Watson about the first of January 1917.

H. B. Watson and Bowsher– Randsburg Miner The Golden State Miner{PUBLISHED 21 YEARS IN WHAT WAS ONCE THE WILDEST AND WOOLIEST-YET THE RICHEST GOLD CAMP _________) So read the mast head of the Golden State Miner.

By September of 1917 Mr. Bowher is no longer listed on the bill heads and Mr. Watson is listed as the manager.  It is not known why this is but possibly the sale of the paper to S. J. Harmeling finally took place.

The Golden State Miner is known to have been published in Randsburg in 1917 and possibly 1918, although an article in the Morning Echo, from Bakersfield alludes to the last issue being printed in 1917 on wallpaper.  The paper statement that it had been publised in Randsburg for 21 years makes it clear that H.B. Watson had changed the name from the Randsburg Miner to The Golden State Miner. The census of newspapers on file taken as part of the WPA program during the depression in the 1930’s showed that the Beale Library in Bakersfield had this paper on file.  No copies however seem to exist at that location today.  The paper is said to have moved to Wickenburg, Arizona and opened up as the Arizona State Miner. Two copies of this newspaper are known to exist. One copy iis in the collection of the Rand Desert Museum and another is in the hands of a private collector iin Randsburg.

Wesley L. Davis–

The 1924 Great Register of Voters shows Wesley L. Davis as being a Newspaper Publisher in Randsburg.

Witten W. Harris-

The Bakersfield Californian, on January 28, 1924, reported that Witten W. Harris would soon be publishing a newspaper in Randsburg.  He had secured a large building formerly occupied by the Rand Mining Bureau and the  printing plant was being crated and packed at Bakersfield.

February 14, 1924: “BUINESS MEN OF RANDSBURG HONOR NEW PUBLICATION –Randsburg, Feb. 14,–Wednesday evening, February 20, the local Business Men’s club will tender a smoker to the newspaper fraternity.  The management of the California Theater has donated the use of the comfortable show house, and it is thought that the P.T.A. will look after the buffet lunch.

It is expected that every mining company and every company interested in minerals, salines, and clays on this part of the great desert will be represented.  The Rand district boasts of as well equipped a printing plant as can be found in any prospecting camp.

Editor W. W. Harris will expect those present at the affair to hand in an appropriate name for the new mining paper.  As the Miner, Mining News and Review have had their day; it will have to be something different unless a popular vote decided otherwise.  A general invitation is extended.”—Bakersfield Californian

Harry Oliver – Desert Rat Scrapbook

The Bakersfield Californian reported in April of 1948 that Harry Oliver had published his latest edition of the “Desert Rat Scrapbook”.  He has no deadline for his paper and it is the smallest paper in the world, having only 5 pages.  It is printed on one piece of strong butcher paper and can be opened and read in the wind.

The paper has news of the Mojave Desert, with tall tales from the old timers.  It features stories about lost mines, ghost towns, burros, gold and desert tortoises.

It is contemplated that four issues a year will be published.  This edition was printed in orange and black on a buff stock.

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