Starkey & Richards
The first saloon in Randsburg appears to have been the Starkey & Richards Saloon. Ed Starkey was a saloonkeeper from Mojave and Charles Richards was a popular young man from Los Angeles County. They opened the saloon sometime in 1895 and ran it until their deaths. Ed Starkey died of natural causes in December of 1896 at his home in Mojave. His partner Charles Richards who was the first man killed in Randsburg preceded him in death.
Charles Richards was described as “…. one of those happy, bright dispositions that drew all his acquaintances at once into a warm friendship with him…..”. He was supposed to be married to Sally Payne of Tehachapi, but a fellow by the name of L. A. Scott put an end to his life in early September of 1896. Mr. Scott was a miner on whom the sheriff had received a number of complaints in the prior year.
The dispute that ended in Mr. Richards’s death started in his saloon, where he and Scott had been drinking. An argument believed to be over money broke out and a scuffle ensued. The fight started in the saloon and ended up outside. Mr. Richards returned to the saloon and picked up Scott’s hat and went outside to return it and retrieve his own hat and another fight broke out. When this incident drew to a close Richards returned to his saloon. As he was entering the door Scott challenged him to accompany him to his tent. Richard accepted the challenge and accompanied Scott to his tent. When they arrived at the tent another fight broke out and according to Mr. Scott Richards had struck him in the face with a pistol and in the ensuing scuffle the pistol was dropped. Scott picked up the pistol, which he says was cocked and it went off with out his intending to fire it. F. W. Thompson who had witnessed the fight stated however that when the fight broke out Scott had got Richards down and when with a sudden lurch Richards got free he started to run and Scott picked up the gun and took deliberate aim at Scott’s back and fired. Richards was about twenty steps away from Scott when he was hit in the back. Mr. Thompson helped Richards to his Saloon where he died.
Mr. Thompson and Frank Stevens, who was later identified as the leader of the “Dirty Dozen”, obtained a rifle and went to put Mr. Scott under arrest. This was done peaceable and they procured a team to transport the prisoner to the train in Mojave. When they reached Garlock they got learned that word of the killing had preceded them and that a lynching party had left Mojave to meet them. They proceeded by out of the way roads and trails in their buggy to a point south of Mojave where they hid out for an hour until a freight train came. They had sent word into Mojave to the lawmen what they were doing and when the train stopped in Mojave they were joined by Deputies Crawford and Carrillo who had been sent out from Bakersfield to pick up the prisoner and by Constable Vollmer of Mojave. They then proceeded to Bakersfield without any trouble.
Mr. Scott was tried for murder. He had some influential friends including John Singleton, one of the owners of the Yellow Aster Mine, who testified for him at his trial. The first trial ended up in a hung jury. The second trial, which took place in October of 1897, found him guilty of manslaughter and sentenced him to the maximum sentence of ten years in San Quentin. After serving a year and a half in prison Mr. Scott was set free on a bond signed by Moores, Singleton, and Burcham of the Yellow Aster Mine and was granted another trial by the State Supreme Court in February 1899 in which he was set free.
When he was released from prison he returned to Randsburg where he had interests in the Windy Mine. Scott had not lost his bullying ways while in prison and as a result he ended up in a fight in The Great San Joaquin Distributing Co. Saloon in Randsburg and was beaten to death by two Randsburg men, Sam Fleming and Jack. A coroner’s jury found that the men had acted in self-defense.
Joe Monaghan — Desert Queen Saloon
According to Geo. McPherson in The History or the Rand Mining District Joe Monaghan showed up in Randsburg in January of 1896 and immediately opened a saloon on Butte Ave. where he remained in business until he was burnt out in January of 1898. He then opened a saloon on Broadway (Burma Rd.) for a few months while he was building an adobe building on Rand in which to house his Saloon. This building is still standing on the west side of the south end (upper end) of Rand St. Joe stayed in business in Randsburg until approximately early 1901. About this time Joe and his wife became divorced (see Florence Arnold — Laundries) and Joe it is believed sold out to Garrity & Tomicich.
The photo of the check pictured below which was issued to John McQuillan on 31 August 1901 and endorsed over to Monaghan, and subsequently by Byrne & Shipsey to the Los Angeles Brewing Co. leads the author to believe that Joe sold his saloon to Byrne & Shipsey in the early part of September 1901.
Chris H. Matson — Yellow Aster Saloon
The first mention of Chris Matson in Randsburg is found in an April 1896 edition of the Bakersfield Daily Californian which stated that G. W. Ham was in charge of designing and constructing a building for C. Matson which was to be used as a “short order” restaurant and saloon. On May 4, 1896 Kern County issued C. Matson a liquor license for a saloon in Randsburg. In December of 1896 it was reported that the post office was being moved into Chris Matson’s building. It is believed that Mr. Matson had a saloon in “Pioneer Camp” and was probably one of the three saloons that were listed in a June report on the town to the Daily Californian. It would seem plausible that one of the buildings shown in Figure I is Chris Matson’s first saloon building in town. A photograph in the collection of the Kern County Museum shows the Yellow Aster “short order” as being next to the post office on Rand St. Based on these facts the author believes that the name of Mr. Matson’s saloon was the Yellow Aster. At this time The Yellow Aster Mining and Milling Co. had not been founded, although one of the original claims of the group was called the Yellow Aster. The company originally was known as the Rand Mining Company. After settling their legal disputes in November of 1897 they changed the name, as other companies were using the name Rand. They stated in the Daily Californian, that:
“Of necessity we have had to change the original name of Rand Mining Company, the one selected by us in 1895, because of the appropriation and repeated use by several incorporation’s in the district, and because of their standing in the market. Shares in these corporations have sold and are now being offered at the price of one cent per share. Hence that no bad results or disastrous complications may arise in the future, we have to give up the name we originated and find another. “
Chris Matson was 30 years old when he came to Randsburg in 1896. A native of Denmark, he became a naturalized citizen in 1893 in Kern County Ca. Chris stayed in business in Randsburg until around 1902. 3
The C. Matson piece shown below is a brass piece measuring 21mm in diameter. It is blank on the reverse. The author has only seem two of these pieces one which he acquired from Rom and Jan Austin of Austin’s Antiques in Randsburg, and the other which was found by Wayne Threckeld of Bakersfield, while metal detecting in the vicinity of the old jail in Randsburg. This is believed to be the oldest of the Randsburg tokens.
Davis & Wolfskill — Butte Saloon
A license to operate a saloon in Randsburg was issued by the Kern County Board of Supervisors to Davis & Wolfskill on the 1st of July 1896. H. Wolfskill renewed the license on 1 January 1897. Wolfskill was said to have been located at the upper end of Fiddler’s Gulch. Due to the proximity of the upper end of the gulch to the Butte Mine and the fact that the Butte Saloon was reported to have been located close to the mine, it is believed that Davis and Wolfskill were the proprietors of this saloon. J. W. Wolfskill came to Randsburg from Los Angeles. 4
Joseph G. Endl — Mineral Saloon
Joseph George Endl came to Randsburg from Los Angeles in April of 1896 to open a saloon. He is probably best described by Geo. McPherson in his History of the Rand Mining District of California, who stated “The man in Randsburg who doesn’t know Joe Endl doesn’t know he is alive. His place is the headquarters for all those who make any pretensions to being alive. He can talk to more people at one time, and on more subjects, than any one man in camp can. He has been known to open wine with one hand while signing checks with the other, and to entertain the crowd between acts with a well told story. He is in touch with all classes, and can open a bottle of beer with the man who has not yet struck “pay dirt”, and talk over the prospects of the claim with perfect familiarity, or he can open a bottle of Mumm without a corkscrew and discuss stocks and bonds with Jim Keene. Being of an adventuresome disposition, he has kept in the vanguard of mining and other speculations from boyhood. He has been around the world several times, and has done business in Melbourne, Australia, Victoria, B.C. and other places. He conducted a place at the World’s Fair in 1893 and after that came to Los Angeles.”
April 9, 1898: “A few days ago Joe Endl received word that one of his claims in the Slate range was being worked and ore was being shipped. He immediately started to set about it, returning Thursday. He reports that on the Congo claim he had uncovered a twenty-two foot blanket ledge and that this unknown party had gone in thirteen feet on it and had made at least two shipments, one going $1800 and the other about $4000. Mr. Endl did not find them and or discover who he was, but it is known where the ore was shipped and it will be only a matter of a few days when the name of the man will become known. Mr. Endl owns four claims in that locality. From an assay made the ore from the Congo runs about $40 per ton. ” – The Herald
Joe was burned out in the May 1898 fire but rebuilt and was in business until he sold out sometime late in 1899.
October 7, 1899: “The auction sale at Endl’s saloon of the fixtures and stock consisting of liquors, cigars, etc. will take place without further adjournment on next Monday forenoon at ten o’clock.” –Randsburg Miner
E. M. Thompson — Thompson’s Saloon
The Thompson Saloon was a frame and canvas structure located on Jerusalem Flat, at the junction of Fiddler’s Gulch and the Randsburg Roads. In October of 1896 the second killing to take place in Randsburg occurred as a result of an argument over a card game in this saloon. The argument was between George Wooster, who was Chris Matson’s bartender and a father and son by the name of Buster.
A fairly concise summation of the events appeared in the 2 November edition of the Bakersfield Daily Californian, which stated the following:
The inquest on the remains of Frank Ault, held at Mojave on Saturday, did not develop any solution of the question that fired the fatal shot. The evidence showed that Wooster accused old man Buster of cheating at cards and seized the money on the table. Then young Buster grabbed Wooster and held him while his father stabbed him and twisted the knife in the wound. Then Wooster got a rifle and tried to shoot old man Buster, but the weapon snapped. Then ensued a rough and tumble fight for the gun and when it was over, Wooster had a six shooter which he fired twice, but not in the direction that Ault was. The rifle has got into the hands of Frank Wilson, the barkeeper, but no one would swear that they saw him fire the gun. A couple of shots were also heard back of the tent, but no one could be found who knew who fired them. In fact there was a woeful lack of knowledge all around.
Mr. Ault was not in the saloon when the fight took place. He had been walking down the road and the bullet that killed him passed through the tent, through his body, and lodged in a post in a blacksmith shop. George Wooster, Frank Wilson, and old man Buster were charged with murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Buster was later released from custody on a writ of habeas corpus, on the grounds of lack of evidence. He had mistakenly been charged with murder of George Wooster rather than assault and could not be held, as George would not accommodate the court by dying.
Shootings were not the only entertainment provided by Mr. Thompson in his saloon. In December of 1896 on Christmas Eve., there were three friendly boxing matches of three rounds each. It was reported that half the male population of camp attended. One female was reported to have attended the fight and seemed to enjoy it. A 10 round match between the “Montana Kid” and “Arizona Jake” was scheduled for New Year’s Eve.
John M. Crawford — St. Elmo Saloon
John M. Crawford was a Deputy Sheriff from Bakersfield. Along with some other Deputies and lawmen from Bakersfield, he came to the new strike to do some prospecting. A group of them, Sheriff Borgwart, Elmo Pyle, and Si Drouillard, with John Included, made a pretty good strike that they called the St. Elmo. John obviously invested some of his newfound riches in developing property. He built a hotel and a saloon, which was licensed on April 10 1896 He, found that the hotel business was not for him and he disposed of that property to Henderson and Roach. The St. Elmo Saloon was the headquarters for the men from Bakersfield and surrounding area. One newspaper report told of a half-ante-stud poker game that had gone on for several nights with high stakes. At one time there was $500 dollars in the pot. (Equivalent to $10,000 in today’s money) All of the players were from the San Joaquin Valley.
In the February 7, 1898 edition of the Los Angeles Herald it was reported that: “There is on exhibition at J. M. Crawford’s a sword and scabbard which were found a few weeks ago by W. J. Kerr while out prospecting near Fremont’s peak, twenty miles from Randsburg. The blade of the sword is firmly held in the scabbard by the accumulation of rust, and thus far has resisted all attempts at pulling it out. The woodwork on the handle has fallen off through decay, but the steel part is still intact, and shows some elegant chased ornamentation. The relic has been viewed by a number of old soldiers, who say it is of a style used long before the civil war. It is presumed, therefore, that it was lost by some of the members of the Fremont party, who passed through this section in 1848, en route to Monterey.
The St. Elmo Saloon burnt to the ground in the May 1898 fire. It appears that Mr. Crawford did not rebuild it as sometime prior to December of 1898 he either loaned or sold the cash register from his business in Randsburg to J. C. Mefford of the Arlington Hotel in Bakersfield. Mr. Mefford then sold his interest in the hotel to Mr. Wible, but failed to inform him that the cash register belonged to Crawford. Mr. Crawford sold the register to a Mr. Tibbets. On the night of December 3rd 1898, Crawford and Tibbets entered the Arlington while Mr. Wible was gone and removed the Register, contents and all. Crawford unlocked the drawer and removed the money in the amount of $37.35 and put it in his pocket, saying he had a right to it, as he was a partner in the Arlington Hotel.
Crawford, Tibbett and a man named Scott who had accompanied them were indicted by the Grand Jury for robbery a week later and Crawford who by then had gone to Randsburg returned to Bakersfield and gave himself up. The charges against Scott and Tibbett were dropped in January of 1899 for lack of evidence as Crawford had given testimony in a civil case regarding the register, which placed the whole affair on his shoulders. John was finally given his day in court in May of 1899 and was found not guilty. The following day a notice in the Bakersfield Daily Californian read:
“A great many persons feel relieved now that it is known that Johnnie Crawford is not a thief. There was in some quarters a disposition to lock and bar stable doors, erect touchas around chicken houses and put burglar alarms in houses, for Crawford was loose and prowling about on bonds whithersoever his fancy lead him. He was allowed to do this regardless of the fact that not all kinds of property can be kept either red hot or nailed down. Now that it has been shown that he stole nothing but his own cash register, the public feels safer.”
Mr. Crawford was appointed as one of the original trustees of the Rand School District in January of 1897. John stayed in Randsburg until 1899. In 1901 John was again working as a Deputy Sheriff in Bakersfield, where on Friday the 13th of December he arrested the infamous Jim McKinney who according to Joseph E. Doctor in his book Shotguns on Sunday was the “West’s Last Badman.” John arrested Jim for the shooting and killing of Thomas “Long Red” Sears. Jim was found not guilty as the shooting was ruled a justifiable homicide in self-defense. McKinney later killed two men in Arizona that resulted in a 450-mile posse chase from Arizona to Bakersfield via Randsburg and Rademacher where Jim’s brother Ed ran a saloon. Jim McKinney met his death in a shootout in Bakersfield in which he killed two law officers. This shooting involved Sheriff John Kelly who had been in business in Randsburg and for whom the Kelly Mine in Red Mountain was named. Jim McKinney and Sheriff Kelly were not strangers as Jim had been arrested in Randsburg in February of 1899 along with Frank Stevens for beating two harmless men over the heads with their guns. Frank Stevens was involved in an earlier shooting in Randsburg, which resulted in the death of a man by the name of William Davis. (See Roach & Van — Elite Theater) John Crawford died in Porterville, Ca. in February of 1906 on his way to Deer Creek Hot Springs, where he was going for his health.
Mr. Emerald is listed in the 1896 Great Register of Voters as being a Liquor Dealer in Randsburg.
J. Whiting –
The Kern County Register of Licenses shows that on 10 October 1896 a liquor license was issued to J. Whiting to operate in Randsburg. 9
Bohannon & Bailey — Capital Saloon
Claude Bohannon was appointed Constable of the 10th township on 6 October 1896. The first record of a liquor license issued to Bohannon & Bailey was on 17 October 1896. On 3 December 1896 a tragic accidental shooting resulted in the fourth killing in Randsburg, which lead to headlines in the Bakersfield Daily Californian stating that Randsburg was keeping up with its record by having killed “One Man for Breakfast” and “Another Man for Dinner”. The accidental shooting occurred on the same day the shooting at the Elite Theater that resulted in another death.
The accidental shooting resulted in the death of A. J. Klein who was sitting in front of the Capital Saloon when Constable Bohannon knocked his rifle off the counter in back of the bar. When the 44 caliber Winchester fell to the floor the hammer struck the floor and the gun fired. The bullet passed through the wall and struck Klein. Physicians were summoned at once and using a card table in the saloon as an operating table they tried in vain to save the life of the victim. Despite their efforts Mr. Klein died several hours later.
The shooting did not seem to effect Claude’s reputation and in January when the 11th township was carved out of the 10th Mr. Bohannon was selected as the Constable along with John W. Kelly of Garlock. John Kelly was later to become Sheriff of Kern County and one of the founders of Silver in what is now Red Mountain. The Kelley Mine is named after him.
Adams & Bailey
Marcia Wynn Rittenhouse in her book Desert Bonanza shows that Adams & Bailey were the owners of the Capital Saloon on the 4th of July in 1897. The Register of Licenses shows however that Bohannon & Bailey were issued a liquor license in June of 1897. Obviously some type of transfer of ownership took place between 14 June 1897 and 4 July 1897.
Although Adams & Bailey are listed in the 1898 business directory as a saloon, they actually had sold the Saloon to Mr. Underhill from Mojave in September of 1897
Sid L. Turpin (Tourpin)
Mr. Turpin of the Mojave and Tehachapi areas purchased the Starkey & Richards saloon after the death of Mr. Starkey in December of 1896. He was issued a liquor license for Randsburg in January of 1897 12
Bell & Renner — The Cliff House
The December 12, 1896 issue of the Randsburg Miner list Bell and Renner as the proprietors of The Cliff House.
Freeman & Nelsmith –
The Kern County Register of Licenses shows that on 12 December 1896 a liquor license was issued to Freeman & Nelsmith to operate in Randsburg.
M. A. Vogh –
The Kern County Register of Licenses shows that on 30 December 1896 a liquor license was issued to M. A. Vogh to operate in Randsburg. 15
W. M. Beck — The Nugget
The Nugget Saloon is shown in a photograph in the collection of the Kern County Museum in Bakersfield. The Nugget is located next to the Yellow Aster “short order” Saloon. It is thought to be contemporary with that saloon and dates back into 1896. A liquor license was issued to William Beck on 8 January 1897. Marcia Wynn Rittenhouse in her book Desert Bonanza attributes the ownership of The Nugget to Gus Bender. The photograph however, clearly shows that W. M Beck was the proprietor, as does the above advertisement that appeared in the Randsburg Miner, in an issue that was published immediately after the May 1898 fire. Mr. Beck passed sometime in 1898 and at the public sale of his estate in January of 1899 the saloon building was sold to Jay E. Hunter for $210 the stock was bought by S. J. Montgomery for $150 and the fixtures brought $40.
Col. R. F. Hafford — Hafford’s Liquor Store
Col. Hafford arrived in Randsburg sometime in late 1896 and opened his liquor store that became one of the most popular saloons in the camp. When as a result of the killings, and general lawless attitude of the “Dirty Dozen” and others, in late 1896, a Citizens Committee (Vigilante Committee) was formed Col. Hafford appears to have been one of the founders. In addition to his efforts in keeping the camp peaceful he also supported activities such as the Fourth of July Celebration in 1897.
In August of 1897 the Col. and his partner in mining a Mr. A. G. Bowman sold the Hafford Claim in the Slate Range to Capt. J. A. Black of Salt Lake for $18,000. They also bonded the Bowman claim to George Montgomery for one year for a sum of $40,000. He was also the owner of the Ruby Mine which he had bonded to Charles Koehn in 1899.
According to an article describing the May 1898 fire, the fire started in a house next to Hafford’s Saloon on Butte Ave. This would place the saloon between Rand and Broadway (Burma Road) on the South side of Butte Ave. He immediately rebuilt and conducted business until late 1899 or early 1900. It is known that when he returned to Randsburg in May of 1900 that he had been gone for some time for health reasons. Despite his efforts at improving his health Col. Roderick Ferdinand Hafford died on the 21st of December 1900 in Bakersfield.
Byrne & Lechner — Mountain View Saloon
Pat Byrne came to Randsburg in November of 1896 and in partnership with a man by the name of Lechner opened a saloon on the upper end of Butte Ave., in approximately the location of the old High School building. Lechner is not listed as being in business with him after August of 1897. Being located on the upper end of Butte Ave. spared The Mountain View from the devastating fires of 1898 and 1903.
Patrick Byrne was endowed with a since of humor typical of his Irish heritage. On one occasion he was to raise “Old Glory” above his saloon, causing a great deal of curiosity among the locals as to why he had it flying. When questioned as to the reason he stated that the flag was flying in honor of a new arrival in Randsburg. It seems a brindle calf had been born in the cow-barn and Pat considered such an unusual event for Randsburg that it deserved the recognition of having the flag raised in its honor.
On another occasion, in an obvious satirical spoof at the mining stock speculations of the time, an article appeared in the local newspaper announcing the formation of a new mining company. It read as follows:
“New mining company has been recently formed in Randsburg with local names and local capital entirely. It is called ‘ The Stingrey Mining Company,” Incorporated. It was formed at midnight, with headquarters in Fiddler’s Gulch and the officers are: Firs, the Mayor of Koehn Springs, Charles Koehn, President, Jocob Nosser, Vice President; Tom Thraikill, Secretary; Jessie Little, Assayer and General Manager (he does all the work). The capital stock of the company is $4.15 divided into 100 shares at $5 each, now on sale for the purpose of bamboozling the general public, at the official headquarters, Pat Byrne’s Saloon, at 12 1/2 ¢ per share for a little while. At a later period the shares are expected to be lower. Everybody is encouraged to invest now, as the company is sure to be a winner.
Two week later it was followed up by another announcement as follows:
“Dissolution – The Stingrey Mining and Milling Co. has gone by the board. It is claimed that the affairs of the company were mismanaged by the President and he has gone to work. It is quite a come down from an office in the Mountain View Saloon with all the attendant luxuries, to the ordinary work with pick and shovel, bus such is life in a mining camp.
A new Board of Directors has been selected with Jack Nosser as President and it is hoped to redeem former pledged of faith by more work and less ________. The price of the stock remains the same, but the capitalization is much greater. The former luxurious offices in Pat Byrne’s Saloon have been closed but the stock is for sale there at the regular price. Investors are urged to call and examine quotations.
Pat Byrne like many of the businessmen in town was a mine owner. He owned the Great Western and Redondo mines. At the time this was reported in 1899 he had not had time to develop these mines. His Saloon business kept him fully occupied as it did most his life. In 1910 he leased his saloon to A. B. Elder but it is thought that he did not stay out of the business long as he was listed as a partner with A. Nixon. In 1912 they moved their location from next to a butcher shop back to the Mountain View. Pat stayed in the saloon and mining business in Randsburg until his tragic death in November of 1917. Pat was working at the bottom of a 110 foot shaft when a bucked of ore that was being hoisted came loose about ten feet from the top and crushed him. His funeral as reported in the Golden State Miner was the largest gathering of people for the purpose of a funeral in the history of the camp. Pat Byrne is buried in the Randsburg Cemetery at Johannesburg.
Price & Hopper — White Fawn Saloon
Col. John R. (Bob) Price and Charles W. Hopper opened a saloon in Randsburg called the White Fawn. This saloon was in business as early as January of 1897 and probably was operated in 1896 before the license was issued, as such seemed to be the practice of the day. The White Fawn was originally located on Rand Street and their first building was lost in the January 1897 fire. They did not let this discourage them and they rebuilt and operated a saloon on the south side of Butte Ave. They operated their saloon at this location until it was burnt out in 1903. In the 1905 Suits-Schuman business directory only J. R. Price is listed by as a Saloonkeeper.
Meyer & Hevran — The Great San Joaquin Valley Supply Co.
William H. Hevran, a native of Connecticut, and H. S. Meyer both recently of Visalia opened The Great San Joaquin Valley Supply Co. in January of 1897. It was the largest wholesale liquor dealer in this part of the state. They hired the popular Jo P. Carroll, who was a correspondent for a Visalia newspaper as their bartender. Mr. Carroll also had the distinction of being one of the first members of the Randsburg School Board of Trustees, along with J. M. Crawford and Ed. Hammond. The first board of trustees was appointed in March of 1897.
The Saloon was located on Butte Ave. in the heart of the business district. The building was lost in the May 1898 fire at a loss of $6,000. It was among the first buildings rebuilt and continued operation until it was burnt again in the 1903 fire. In 1899 Mr. Gerhardy was listed as having replaced Mr. Meyer in the partnership. After the fire of 1903 the building was rebuilt and sold to J. E. McGinn.
October 7, 1899: “The S. B. C. have just received a consignment of “Good old Steam” come early and avoid the rush.” –Randsburg Miner
Mr. Hevran had interest in mines in the local areas among which were the Sisters and the Blackhawk. In later years after doing a stint as part owner and Manager of the Grand View Hotel at Avalon, he became President of the Consolidated Mines Co., of Los Angeles and made frequent trips to the Randsburg area on mining business. 20
Peck, Halstead, & McGinnis
In January of 1897 the Kern County Board of Supervisors issued a liquor license to Peck, Halstead, & McGinnis.
N. H. Harem
In February of 1897 the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved issuing a liquor license to N. H. Harem to operate a saloon in Randsburg.
George A. Stewart -
In February of 1897 the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved issuing a liquor license to George A. Stewart to operate a saloon in Randsburg.
N. B. Poraquette
In February of 1897 the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved issuing a liquor license to N. B. Poraquette to operate a saloon in Randsburg.
Louis Swarthout —
Louis left Mojave in December of 1896 and came to Randsburg with the intent of opening a saloon. He was issued a license to operate by the Kern County Board of Supervisors on the 5th of February 1897.
C. Cerf & Co.
In January of 1897 it was reported that Chrisman, Cerf, and Hall from Ventura had purchased several lots on Butte Ave. up toward Fiddler’s Gulch. Mr. Cerf was to open a large wholesale liquor house on his lot and the other gentlemen were also planning on putting up business houses on their lots. In February of 1897 the Kern County Board of Supervisors issued the C. Cerf Co. a liquor license. The company apparently did not stay in business for much more than a year as the minutes of the Board show than on 10 March 1898 the clerk of the board was directed to write to them and explain that the law did not permit rebating a liquor license.
On the 5th of February 1897 the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved issuing a liquor license to George Keifer to operate a saloon in Randsburg.
H. W. Dean –
In February of 1897 the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved issuing a liquor license to N. H. Harem to operate a saloon in Randsburg.
Peck & Parker
In February of 1897 a liquor license was issued to Peck & Parker of Randsburg. Oscar M Peck was listed in the 1898 Great Register of Voters as a Liquor Dealer.
The correspondent for the Visalia Daily Delta reported from Randsburg in the 2 February 1897 edition that Wm. Balch had located a saloon next to the skating rink on Butte Ave. According to the correspondent Mr. Balch had the finest stock of liquors and cigars in camp and therefore had the best trade. One wonders how many free drinks that this bit of advertising cost Mr. Balch.
A photograph in the collection of the Kern County museum show The Wedge as being located on the same street (Rand) as the Yellow Aster and the Nugget saloons. It was a popular practice of the time to name the saloons after the more successful mines and thus in Randsburg there was the Wedge, the Butte, and the Yellow Aster Saloons.
Adams & Bailey — Capital Saloon
It appears that sometime prior to July of 1897 the ownership of the Capital Saloon changed from Bohannon & Bailey to Adams & Bailey. Marcia Wynn Rittenhouse in her book Desert Bonanza reports that the July 9, 1897 issue of the Los Angeles Times told of the July 4th celebration in Randsburg where Adams & Bailey had donated six bottles of Claret as the first prize in the wheelbarrow race. By September of the same year this partnership had sold the saloon to J. H. Underhill of Mojave.
Lehman & Ewing
In July of 1897 the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved the Liquor bonds of W. C. Lehman and Thos. Ewing. In August of that year a license was issued for a saloon in Randsburg.
On August 6 of 1897 the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved the Liquor bonds of Smith Bros. On 9 August of that year a license was issued for a saloon in Randsburg.
On August 6 of 1897 the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved the Liquor bonds of John Islinger. On 9 August of that year a license was issued for a saloon in Randsburg. John Islinger was also in the saloon business in Mojave.
Underhill & Foren — Mohave Saloon
John Underhill of Mojave purchased the Capital Saloon from Adams & Bailey in September of 1897. He was reported to have remodeled it with the latest in cosmopolitan fixtures. Unfortunately the January 1898 fire completely destroyed the saloon. The big fire of January 1898 that destroyed much of Randsburg started in a vacant building between the Mojave and White Fawn Saloons. Although an immediate alarm was given nothing the fire could not be stopped because of the lack of water. Within a few minutes it had spread to the backs of the two saloons and within a half an hour it had burnt all the buildings going up Rand St. to the Harrington House and down to the forks of Rand and Butte. It then burnt up the other side of Rand to Broadway (Burma Rd.) and down Broadway to Wagner’s Saloon. The fire spread so fast that little stock was saved from the businesses. The big losers were the St. Elmo Hotel, Wilson & Company, J. H. Underhill and S. J. Montgomery. It is assumed that the saloon was rebuilt as they were advertising in the Randsburg Miner in May of 1898 when the second disastrous fire occurred. While the “Miner” stated that he and his partner intended to rebuild it is not known whether John rebuilt the saloon or not. It is known however, that he was still in Randsburg in February of 1899 when Deputy Sheriff John Crawford arrested him for resisting an officer during a “Claim jumping”.
The “claim jumping” incident took place when the party leasing the Butte Mine, a man named Wilson gave up his contract and Underhill according to some reports of the time moved onto the property without permission of the owners. Mr. Underhill however contended that he owned a quarter interest in the mine. The other owners had lost their interests in a Sheriffs Sale to a Mr. R. McDonald who took Underhill to court to have him ejected from the property. This resulted in a standoff for a few hours as Mr. Underhill and his men stood off Deputy Crawford at gunpoint. Mr. Underhill and his men were eventually arrested and taken into custody.
January 12, 1898: “A Quick Trip. The quickest trip ever made between Randsburg and Mojave was made a week ago last Thursday, when Mr. Archie Cruse drove down with a physician in three hours and forty-seven minutes. The drive from here to Garlock was made in fifty minutes; from there to Kane Springs, nine miles, was made in just thirty minutes. Here a fresh team was secured, with which the rest of the trip was made. The rapid drive was made owing to the serious illness of Mrs. J. H. Underhill, who is Mr. Cruse’s daughter. She is much better now and is thought to be out of immediate danger. This record will probably never be broken. — Randsburg Miner.” –The Herald
J. H. Underhill was a well-respected businessman in both Mojave and Randsburg and had been a trusted law officer in Mojave. While the eventual outcome of this case is unknown it is believed that Mr. Underhill must have had some basis for his claim of ownership. The Daily Californian a Bakersfield newspaper reported in March of 1900 that C. F. Dempsey had begun suit against J. H. Underhill et al to gain quiet title to certain mining property in Randsburg. John returned to Mojave where he stayed in business until his death in 1904.
F. W. Bendal — The National
Roberta Starry in her book Gold Gamble shows an example of a publicity article written for either the Los Angeles or San Francisco newspapers in 1897 which lists one of the business’s supporting this promotion as F. W. Bendal proprietor of The National dealing in wines & liquors.
James F. Bruris
A liquor license was recorded in the Kern County Register of Licenses for James F. Bruris of Randsburg in November of 1897.
The Bouquet Saloon — Bohannon & Jackson
The Bouquet Saloon is listed in Roberta Starry’s book Gold Gamble as one of the businesses burnt out in the January 1898 fire that destroyed much of Randsburg. In the May 12, 1898 edition of The Rand newspaper the adjoining advertisement states that they will open their new place on upper Rand street. It is not clear whether this advertisement was placed in the paper before or after the May 6, 1898 fire.
Richard Callahan – Callahan’s Restaurant and Saloon
After losing the Los Angeles Hotel in the 1898 fires Richard Callahan built an adobe building on the west side of Rand Ave. at the intersection of Broadway.
By 1900 they had sold this business out to Ernst & Dickinson who had converted it to the Adobe Hotel & Saloon.
September 30, 1899: “FOR SALE—Cliff Lodging House and furniture. Inquire at Callahan’s restaurant. Mrs. R. Callahan” –Randsburg Miner
Samuel Noritzky (Notvitsky) –
Samuel was in business in Randsburg in 1897 and 1898. The Kern County Board of Supervisors issued him a liquor license in March of 1897. He is listed as S. Notvitsky in the 1898-business directory.
J. P. Lyon
J. P. Lyon is listed in the 1898 business directory as being in the saloon business in Randsburg. 41
James A. Christy -
The 1898 Great Register of Voters lists James A. Christy, a native of Illinois, as being a saloon man in Randsburg.
C. H. Anderson
Mr. Anderson was listed in the 1898 Great Register of Voter for Kern County as a saloon man in Randsburg in 1898. Roberta Starry in her book Gold Gamble shows that a store belonging to a Mr. Anderson was lost in the May 1898 Fire. It is not known if the store belonged to C. H. Anderson or if the building that was actually lost was a saloon and it was incorrectly identified in the reports of the time.
William J. Landers
Listed in the 1898 Great Register of Voter for Kern County as a saloon man Mr. William J. Landers was in business in Randsburg in 1898. The May 12, 1898 edition of the Johannesburg newpaper The Rand, mentions Lee & Lander having had a small saloon across Butte Ave. from Broadwell’s store.
A. J. Aristen– The Rand Saloon
May 12, 1898 edition of Johannesburg’s newspaper The Rand has the following advertisement in the Randsburg section of avertisements.
George W. McPherson – Oasis Saloon
Although primarily a Real Estate Agent & Mining Broker, George W. McPherson the author of The History of the Rand Mining District was apparently a saloonkeeper in 1898. As reported in Roberta Starry’s book Gold Gamble, the McPherson’s Saloon was one of the buildings lost in the May 6, 1898 fire.
In Geo. McPherson’s book, which was published in March of 1899, he inserted the following sketch describing himself:
“The writer has found it easy to describe the mines with which he is familiar, or give a sketch of a business man’s standing in the community, but to write of himself is a task to hard to even attempt, he therefore quotes what others have said, which was published in the Los Angeles Herald, Oct. 31, 1897, which paper was at the time writing the resources of the District, and complimented him with the following’
A VALUABLE CITIZEN
“”The progressive character of any community is easily determined by its leading citizens and particularly its business men. Randsburg is indeed fortunate in this respect, as it possessed a large number of public-spirited men in various lines of business, comprising hotel, mercantile, mining and real estate departments.
Among the latter class is George W. McPherson, who has done yeoman service during the past year in promoting the general interest of this district. He is not large, nor strong, physically, but is nevertheless, energetic, persevering and full of ginger— three essential characteristics in the make up of a successful man. Mr. McPherson is popular with all, and will, doubtless, be a leading factor in the development of the mining and general resources of this section.
The successful start of a Rand District Board of Trade recently is largely due to Mr. McPherson’s indefatigable efforts, which is demonstrated in the fact that he received the highest at the election of Board of Trustees, and was by them unanimously elected Secretary for the first year– a wise selection– inasmuch as Mr. McPherson is probably better posted in all matters pertaining to the district than any other citizen, and will, moreover, make an ideal Secretary.
This reference to Mr. McPherson is entirely unsolicited and unexpected by him, the writer deeming it simply a graceful tribute to the sterling qualities of a valuable citizen.””
Unfortunately for Randsburg Mr. McPherson left Randsburg sometime in early 1900 and moved to Los Angeles where he continued in the Real Estate business.
Lee & Peacock
The Great Register of Voters for Kern County in 1898 shows that John Hutton Peacock was in the saloon business in Randsburg in 1898. Mr. McPherson in The History of the Rand Mining District, written in 1899 shows that he was a partner of a man by the name of Lee in a Saloon.
J. W. Chaney
In May of 1898 the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved a liquor license for J. W. Chaney to operate a saloon in Randsburg.
John Dewald listed his vocation as a saloonkeeper in the 1898 Great Register of Voters for Kern County. He was a resident of Randsburg at the time. John was a native of Iowa.
In April of 1898 the Register of Licenses for Kern County shows that a liquor license was issued to Jno. Miller of Randsburg. 49
J. B. Allen
In April of 1898 the Register of Licenses for Kern County shows that a liquor license was issued to J. B. Allen of Randsburg.
A. Everett —
In August of 1898 the Register of Licenses for Kern County shows that a liquor license was issued to A. Everett of Randsburg.
Emil Waldeck — Burg Saloon
Emil Waldeck was listed in 1898 Great Register of Voters for Kern County as a saloonkeeper. In 1900 he was listed in the Twelfth Census of the United States as a miner. He does not show up again as a businessman until 1907 when in partnership with Herman Schultz and Julius Schade they built the Burg Saloon. (See The Breweries).
Louie and Pauline Stoll — Louie’s Place
The name of the establishment may have been Louie’s Place but the license was issued to Pauline. She was first issued a license in August of 1898 and maintained the license until they sold the place in 1905. The original building was wood but it was lost in the big fire of 1903. Adobe Bowman built a new adobe building for the Stoll’s and they reopened in February of 1904. The building is still standing on Butte Ave. and is known presently as the White House Saloon.
In 1905 due to Louie’s bad health they sold the business to W. H. McGinnis and retired to their farm near Dos Palos, California. Retirement unfortunately did not last long for Louie as he died at the Pacific Hospital in Los Angles in November of 1905.
Louis J. Anfsten Louis who was listed a barber in the 1896 Great Register of Voters registered again in 1898, however he listed his occupation as saloonkeeper in that year.
Thomas, who had plied the trade of barber during the period 1896 through 1898 had by the time he register to vote in 1900 changed his occupation to Barkeeper.
In 1900 Ralph Higgins was listed in the Twelfth Census of the United States as a saloonkeeper in Randsburg.
In 1900 John Loren was listed in the Twelfth Census of the United States as a saloonkeeper in Randsburg.
Walter B. Vickers
A native of California, Walter Barrow Vickers, age 23, was listed as a barkeeper in Randsburg in the 1900 Great Register of Voters for Kern County.
Ernest & Dickinson — Adobe Hotel & Saloon
In 1900 Ernest and Dickinson were running the Adobe Hotel on Rand
St. This hotel is thought to have set just south (on the uphill side) of the Adobe Saloon. A large Adobe building is shown on the 1917 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map in that location. Although the Advertisements for the Hotel show the name of the proprietors as Ernest & Dickinson the owners were actually W. F. Ernst and Samuel K. Dickinson. Ernst & Dickinson stayed in partnership until sometime in between 1903 and 1904 when Ernst sold out to Thomas Garrity and Garrity’s partner Tomocich also sold out. This combined the Hotel and Saloon under the partnership of Dickinson & Garrity.
Keating & Meyers –
In May of 1901 the Kern County Board of Supervisors issued a liquor license to Kittie Keating and Martie Meyers. Could this license have been issued for a saloon in support of one of dance halls? None of the names match up with those mentioned in contemporary accounts of the dance halls however it does seem likely.
Joseph A. Mendoza — Arizona Saloon
Joe Mendoza came to Randsburg as a performer. In January of 1902 he was issued a liquor license, however no other record of licenses is noted until August of 1906. In the interim he listed his occupation as an actor and night watchman. In July of 1908 a man by the name of J. A. Mendoza who was employed on the Southern Pacific Railroad was arrested for forgery. Mendoza admitted signing other people’s checks. He said he had been playing poker with some Mexican workmen and won their pay checks. They hadn’t endorsed them so he did in order to collect his winnings. The Judge, however, was not impressed with the story and gave him free room and board at San Quentin
Utrecht & Mastin
In January of 1902 the Kern County Board of Supervisors issued a liquor license to Utrecht & Mastin to operate in Randsburg.
J. I. Lechner –
J. I. Lechner is known to have operated a saloon just north of Asher’s Store from prior to February of 1902 into 1903. It is believed that he may have purchased this saloon from Col. Roderick F. Hafford.
A. L. Wilson
In February of 1902 the Kern County Board of Supervisors issued a liquor license to A. L. WILSON, to operate in Randsburg.
Caroline Leo was issued licenses from May of 1902 through Oct. of 1905. In a Yellow Aster Mining & Milling ledger there is a notation regarding the sale of property to Caroline Leo. Although the notation fails to list the block number the majority of the lot numbers coincide with block 9 which is the same block that Joe Monaghan’s Desert Queen Saloon, that was later to become the Adobe Saloon, was on. A short article in the Randsburg Miner regarding a fire in on of Fay Leroy’s cribs gives the location as being behind the Adobe Saloon. Nothing else is known about Caroline, but it is possible that she was fronting the License for Fay Leroy’s Dance Hall.
In July of 1902 the Kern County Board of Supervisors issued a liquor license to W. Alfred, to operate in Randsburg.
Arndall & Gill –
In November of 1902 the Kern County Board of Supervisors issued a liquor license to Arndall & Gill to operate in Randsburg. The 1902 Business directory lists the spelling of Arndall’s name as Arandall.
Nixon & Kuffel — The Great San Joaquin Supply Co. — Steam Beer Club – Butte Ave. Saloon
Clyde Kuffel, Miner, Merchant, Vigilante, and Saloon man along with Andrew A. Nixon, Miner, Saloon man and Constable were partners in 1901in The Great San Joaquin Supply Co. Saloon, and remained so until 1903. This may have been the Gold Brick Saloon that Roberta Starry refers to in her book Gold Gamble. According to Roberta, Clyde came to town one evening to celebrate the clean-up of a pocket of gold he had found in his mine. He laid a gold brick on the bar for all to admire. Later in the evening he got into a heated discussion with someone and threw the brick of gold at him and missed. He did not however miss the window, which was a very expensive item in those days. When he later acquired the saloon as his own, according to Roberta, he changed the name from the Stein Beer Parlor to the Gold Brick Saloon. No confirmation of the Gold Brick Saloon has been found, however the trade token pictured below has the initials SBC on it. It is thought that this stands for Steam Beer Club as the same initials are on F. C. Moore’s trade token and he was listed at the owner of the Steam Beer Club when it was lost in the big fire of June 1903. It may be that the old timer who told Roberta this story was confused about the name as no other reference to the Stein Beer Parlor has been found. An early advertisement from 1901 show that the San Joaquin Supply Co. was also known as the Steam Beer Club. They were listed in the 1902 Business Directory as being in the Saloon business. The Kern County Board of Supervisors issued them a liquor license in April of 1903.
Clyde and Andy were reported to be opening another saloon in 1905 in the old Butte Dining Hall. It is not known how long the partnership between these two lasted. In 1912 Andy Nixon and Pat Byrne were listed as partners. Andy Nixon was listed as being in the Saloon business until Prohibition closed down the trade, besides the Steam Beer Club one of his saloons was named the Butte Ave. Saloon as is evidenced by a partial label found on a broken whiskey bottle dug by the author in Randsburg.
1917 — “PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AT MAY MEETING—In re Application for Liquor License—A. A. Nixon, No. 48, Lot 2, Block 3, Randsburg—On motion of Paxton, seconded by Hart it is ordered that the application of A. A. Nixon for a retail liquor license on Lot 2, Block 3, Randsburg, be and the same is hereby granted: the bond with Julius Schade surety in the sum of $1,000, O. F. Rinaldi, surety in the sum of #2500, T. L. Royal and Geo T. Phillips surety in the sum of $1500. Dave Crichton surety in the sum of $1500 and Martin Coyne surety in the sum of $2,000, approved and the County Tax Collector authorized to issue a recall liquor license to the said Nixon on the said location.’ – Bakersfield Californian
Andrew A. Nixon was a native of Nova Scotia. He left his native land at the age of 12 and came to California “by way of the horn”. He worked for a time in the California lumber camps and in Montana where he became a naturalized citizen at Silver Bow in 1889. He came to Randsburg in 1895 and lived here until his death in 1925. He is buried in the Cemetery at Johannesburg. During Andy’s life in Randsburg he ran saloons in various locations and various times. He was in partnership with both Clyde Kuffel and Pat Byrne. In 1913 he married Lillian Rockhold who had run the Cliff House boarding house. Andy became the town constable sometime between 1922 and 1924, a position that he still held at the time of his death in 1925.
Clyde Kuffel and his father Adam Kuffel were mining in Goler when the strike was made in Randsburg. They were among the first to arrive in the new camp. One or both of the Kuffel s became partners with W. C. Wilson of Mojave in a general mercantile store in Randsburg. Clyde was one of the original developers of the Black Hawk Mine. When the early pioneers of the camp formed a vigilante group called the Citizens Committee, in late 1896 to deal with the “Dirty Dozen” and others of their type, Clyde was on the original committee. Kuffel continued in mining after his saloon days, and retired to Big Bear California. He returned briefly during the silver boom in Osdick (Red Mountain)
Forrest C. Moore — The Great San Joaquin Supply Co. Steam Beer Club
In June of 1903 the Steam Beer Club which was operated by Forrest was lost in the fire that started in the Orpheum Theater. He did not let this deter him, however, from staying in business and he renewed his license in September of 1903.
Garrity & Tomicich
J. Tomicich was listed in the 1902 business directory as a saloonkeeper. This is about the time that Calaghan’s is thought to have gone out of business. In December of 1903 a liquor license was issued to Garrity & Tomicich. As Garrity is in partnership with Dickinson in 1904 in the Adobe saloon it is thought that Garrity may have originally bought or leased the building from Calaghan. Thomas Garrity was a native of California and was 29 years old in 1903. (see Randsburg Restaurants – Tomicich Bros. — French Cafe)
P. H. Muller — Muller’s Saloon
P. H. Muller was operating a saloon in Randsburg in June of 1903 when the fire that started in the Orpheum Theater wiped out a large part of the business district including Muller’s Saloon.
Geo. McPherson in The History of the Rand Mining District, wrote in 1899 that the Palace Saloon was aptly named as it had the finest bar and fixtures in town. It sported the latest improved cash register and was the proud owner of a $600 piano. It is sad to think that all of this was lost in the June 1903 fire, but such was the case.
J. A. Petray
In September of 1903 the Kern County Board of Supervisors issued a liquor license to J. A. Petray, to operate in Randsburg.
Edward Kileen –
Edward Kileen appeared to be the front man for Marguerite Roberts and her My Place Dance Hall. Seeing as liquor license could not be issued to a dance hall, it was expedient to have the liquor license in the name of a confederate who operated a saloon adjacent to the dance hall. Such a man was Edward Kileen, who although repeatedly mentioned in the newspaper articles of the time as Marguerite’s bartender, was actually the license holder. The first record of license found was in December of 1903 and licenses were issued regularly up to January of 1905, at which time Mr. Kileen was under charges of assault with intent to kill. (See Marguerite Roberts — My Place Dance Hall — Randsburg).
E. B. Aubrey — Everybody’s Place
Blake Aubrey was most likely Tom Aubrey’s younger brother. He was said to be a dashing young man who was very popular with the young ladies of town. It is assumed that Blake took over ownership of Tom’s Saloon and Billiard Parlor, which was located on Broadway. (Burma Road) the exact location is unknown, but seeing as Mr. Bowman ran a bowling alley in the basement of the place it was most likely on the Dunnhill or west side of the street. Although E. B. Aubrey is listed in the 1905 Suits-Schuman Business Directory, Mr. Aubrey actually sold this saloon to Alonzo Giboney in June of 1904.
McGinn Bros. –James E. McGinn — The Great San Joaquin Valley Supply Co.
It is not known exactly when the McGinn Bros. purchased The Great San Joaquin Valley Supply Co. in Randsburg… It is assumed that it was sometime after the fire of June 1903.probably when the building had been rebuilt. In April of 1904 the business was sold to C. A. Bell. Jim had two brothers who were in camp with him. John McGinn moved on to Tonopah where he took up residence and remained all his life. W. E. McGinn who was the owner and editor of the Randsburg Miner in 1902 and the principal of the Randsburg School moved on to Bakersfield. James’ wife Edith ran Boarding Houses and played piano to help support the family after Jim sold the business and went mining. Their daughters Bessie McGinn – Tyler and Margaret McGinn- Roos ended up in Westend Ca. One of the Jim’s Granddaughters Meredith Haughton still lives in the Trona area and is active in the museum there. (see also James E. McGinn – Garlock)
Bell & Ray —
C. A. Bell bought out J. E. McGinn’s interest in The Great San Joaquin Valley Supply Co. in April 1904. The Kern County Register of Licenses shows licenses issued through December of 1904. It was reported however that Bell & Ray sold their Saloon on Butte Ave. to M. E. Gustave in July of 1904.
Dickinson & Garrity — Adobe Saloon
Samuel Kyle Dickinson and Thomas Francisco Garrity are first shown as partners in the Saloon business in August of 1904 and are known to have stayed in business through at least most of 1907 as both names show up together in the 1908 business directory. There first saloon was the Adobe on Rand St. In 1906 they purchased what is now the White House Saloon from W. H. McGinnis. Dickinson & Garrity capitalized on the interest in Prize Fighting. They staged fights such as the match between Howard & Wells, which ended in a draw in March of 1906. In September of 1906 they arranged to receive round by round bulletins from the Gans – Nelson fight that was staged in Goldfield, Nev.
In 1908 Garrity was no longer associated with Dickinson in the Saloon. At about this same time the Fraternal Order of Eagles was formed and originally held their meetings in the Houser Hotel, however by 1912 there official headquarters was the Dickinson Saloon. Dickinson even had a drink called the “Eagle Fizz” in their honor. Over the years the Eagles stayed with this saloon and were still holding dances there during World War II.
In August of 1908 Sam became embroiled in a license dispute when he applied for a license to open another saloon. This saloon just up the street from the present White House is thought to have been the saloon that Marguerite Roberts had ran in connection with her Dance Hall. Chairman Jastro of the Board of Supervisors received an unsigned letter that read as follows:
Randsburg, August 1, 1908
Board of Supervisors, Kern County: — A petition is being circulated to have a retail license granted to S. Dickinson and E. A. Williams. Now is this license was for a saloon it would be O. K. But it is for a public mining camp dance house with the saloon in connection with girls going up soliciting and drinking publicly at the saloon bar–a low dive. We pray you not to issue same.
Enclosed with the above letter was another sheet of paper without signature, which stated:
Mr. Jastro — If you want the vote of the best voters of the district you had better not grant this license.”
The Chairman of the Board was not impressed or intimidated and stated that he felt that any man who would not sign his name to a letter of this nature ” …is different only in degree from a midnight assassin or an anarchist.” In addition there was the petition for a license was signed by Otto F. Rinaldi, William M. Houser, A. W. Houser (by William M. Houser), R. P. Houser, F. J. Henderson, R. H. Upton, Mrs. Lillie Rockhold, A. G. Bole, Daniel Gunderson J. L. Roberts and fifty three others. The license was granted.
In 1909 licenses were issued to Sam for saloons at lot 16, Block 3, Randsburg (Location of White House) and Lot 11, Block 3, Randsburg. In 1912 he built the addition behind the saloon which is now used as living quarters.
In February of 1915 Dickinson was again under fire from members of the community who claimed that he was not running his saloon in accordance with the laws. He was accused of allowing gambling and staying open after the legal closing time of 1 o’clock. A hearing was held before the Board of Supervisors in which the prosecution called upon Dave Thompson, A. F. Dominquez, Justice E. B Maginnis, Mrs. Katherine Kuffel, Charles Christianson, Sam Barnum, Robert Tait, and W. V. Bagley. The defense called F. E. Smith and Barclay McGowan as witnesses. No witnesses could testify that they had ever seen any gambling for money or had they ever seen the saloon open after hours. As some of the witnesses called by the District Attorney had not shown up he requested a continuance until the next meeting. The continuance was granted but so was the license.
Little is known about the Peerless Saloon. It was advertised for sale in September of 1909 and was located on Butte Ave. Owner offered to build an addition to suit on vacant lot next to saloon.
A. Giboney — Everybody’s Place
Alonzo Franklin Giboney was raised in the North Fork area of the Kern River around Onxy, California. In June of 1904 he purchased Everybody’s Place from E. B. Aubrey. Shortly thereafter he married a young lady from Lower Lake, in Lake County by the name of Mattie Grigsby. In 1905 it was reported that he was going to open a saloon in the building formerly occupied by the Post Office which would be the old Wells Fargo building or as known in recent years Rinaldi’s Market. In October of 1905 Mr. Giboney and family moved to Bakersfield and in the 1906 Great Register of Voters he was listed as a miner in the Oil Precinct of Bakersfield. Alonzo did not stay out of the saloon business however and is known to have had a saloon along the Los Angeles Aqueduct and in the Isabella, Ca. area in 1906.
Morthman E. Gustave
Mr. Gustave bought out Bell & Ray in July of 1904 and is known to have stayed in business at least into early 1906. He listed his occupation, however, in the 1906 Great Register of Voters as a clerk as if he was working for someone else. In 1918 however, the Great Register of Voters again shows Gustave as being a liquor dealer.
W. H. McGinnis
In June of 1905 W. H. McGinnis purchased Louie Stoll’s Saloon. He did not however stay in Randsburg long and sold out to Dickinson & Garrity in January of 1906 and left for Mexico to accept a position with his father who had large interests there.
Meanor H. Rivera
The Board of Supervisors issued Meanor H. Rivera, a native of Mexico, a liquor license in May of 1905. Records indicate that it was renewed in November of 1905 and that he was still a saloonkeeper when he registered to vote in 1906.
Harry Leroy Cheesebrough –
The 1906 Great Register of Voters for Kern County lists Harry as a saloonkeeper. By September of 1907 however, according to a ledger, in the collection of the author, Harry was working for wages of $75.00 per month. The ledger shows draws for cash, and entry for $4.00 and $3.85 for shoes for “Babe” Cheesebrough. It also shows a $2.00 draw for a card game. This ledger shows that the railroad tickets were paid for women to come from Los Angeles and San Diego. It shows and entry for money paid out on a slot machine, and for drinks bought on credit. Board was charged to some of the ladies in the account book however certain ladies such as cooks either paid no board or did not reside at the establishment. Harry was not charged board but “Babe” was. Based on the apparent recruitment of female help and on the fact that one of the entries in the ledger is for “Pinto Byers”, who is thought to be C. H. Byers who was Fay Leroy’s bartender it is thought that this ledger is from one of the Dance Halls. Quite possibly Harry Cheesebrough was fronting the Liquor License for Fay Leroy at this time.
Anders listed his occupation as a saloonkeeper in Randsburg when he registered to vote in 1906.
A. G. Bandottini
Mr. Bandottini was reported by the Randsburg Miner to have been issued a liquor license to operate a saloon in Randsburg in April of 1906, by the Kern County Board of Supervisors.
Earl A. Hillman — Shorty’s Place
Earl Hillman was born in Madison County, N. Y. on the 20th of February 1873. His parents moved at an early age to Hebron Illinois, where he received his education in the public schools. Mr. Hillman had always had an abiding interest in the west and at first opportunity he made it his home. In 1902 he came to Randsburg and worked in the Yellow Aster for a short period of time, and at other places around the camp until he purchased Alonzo Giboney’s saloon which he operated until December of 1914. James Tyler, who later married Bessie McGinn, was involved in a fracas at “Shorty’s” saloon in September of 1912. This fight developed when James and some Mexicans who had been celebrating their “great national day” exchanged words. One of the Mexicans drew a razor and James retaliated with a pool cue. “Shorty” promptly separated the combatants and threw them both out of the saloon. However, peace was only temporarily restored and after a few minutes the saloon was subjected to bombardment by rocks. These large rocks thrown by a group of the Mexicans destroyed the front door of the saloon and all the windows. According to the newspaper report of the time “D. Handy and Pat Williams received severe scalp wounds, while “Doodles” Duran cleverly stopped a rock with his jaw. U. G. Printz was struck in a prominent portion of his anatomy and fell beneath a card table. E. A. Stockton received a blow which will disable him for some time. G. C. Nebecker received the most severe injury being struck with a large rock just above the right temple, resulting in laceration of the scalp and a fracture of the outer plate of the skull.
Three men, Jesus Sisneros, Stanislaus Flores and Refugio Ynigez were arrested by Constable Thomson, brought before Judge Maginnis and fined $30.00 or 30 days.
In 1914 “Shorty” was charged and pled guilty to a charge of selling liquor illegally and allowing gambling in his place, by the Grand Jury. As a result the Board of Supervisors held a hearing to revoke his license. He testified that he had pled guilty because he had been held in Bakersfield so long by the Grand Jury investigation that he agreed to pay a fine and plead guilty rather than neglect his business any longer. He would not however swear to the fact that he had not allowed illegal practices to occur at his place. The Supervisors therefor ordered his license revoked.
Earl also invested in property in both Los Angeles and Richmond, an endeavor in which he was very successful 87
Fergensen & O’Donnell
In June of 1906 the Kern County Board of Supervisors issued to Fergensen & O’ Donnell, to operate in Randsburg, a liquor license. By November of that same year though Fergensen appeared to have been replaced by an individual by the name of Johnson. The local paper reported at that time that a boxing match was staged at their place between “Kid Montana” and two of the locals. The first being Ed Majors who was knocked out in four rounds and the second being Jack Porter who lasted two rounds before getting his nose broken. “Kid Montana” was paid $100 and each of the other contestants was paid $25.
“Kid Montana” came to town again in August of 1907. His name appears in the ledger described under Harry Cheesebrough. This time however he was accompanied the “Miss Montana” who was being paid as a musician. No payment to “Kid Montana” is recorded and a search of the newspaper at that time does not show in record of a boxing match being staged in town.
J. R. Lloyd –
An article that appeared in the Randsburg Miner in October of 1907 reported that an old single barrel, breech loading shotgun, of the Zulu type had been found in the old J. H. L. mine, by J. R. Lloyd a Saloon man of Randsburg. Lloyd had dug the gun out of the old shaft. It is thought to have been the property of a former owner of the mine. The owner had disappeared and was never heard of afterwards.
George Nelson (alias Joseph Coplan) — The Club
One of the most bizarre stories told about Randsburg, even tops recent years stories of the Rand Communities Water District. This story involved a plot by the employees of the Hurst Detective Agency of Los Angeles, who were employed by the Yellow Aster Mining & Milling Co., to send an official of the Western Federation of Miners to the penitentiary and break up the miners’ union. It was stated by Bakersfield, Morning Echo, that it “…reads like a sensational detective story…”.
It seems that a woman, Mrs. Alice Clark, from Los Angeles, who had been separated from her husband for some time was approached by him with an offer to work as a team for a detective agency. Seeing as she had been having trouble getting any support out of him for their children, it seemed like a good idea to her. She had previously been employed by the Pinkerton Agency and as a schoolteacher.
The detective company hired her in the first week of April of 1908. She was informed that there had been a great leakage of high-grade ore that the officials of the detective agency believed was being stolen by the miners. The men detectives had been unable to find any evidence of theft and they believed that the miners were depositing it with the women in the “Red Light” district. Mrs. Clark was to be hired and was to work under the supervision of Mr. Coplan. Mrs. Clark represented herself as a dressmaker and went to work among the “ladies of the evening” to find out what she could.
According to Mrs. Clark, after a while had passed and no incriminating evidence was coming to light, her husband became concerned that the detective agency would let him go. He came to her residence and outlined a plot to blow up the mine and blame it on the union. While he was outlining this plot, in great detail, Mr. Coplan came in and listened but did not say anything. Mrs. Clark claimed to have been horrified but her husband insisted on telling her every detail of the plan.
Later that night according to Mrs. Clark, Mr. Coplan came into her room disguised as a black man. “He had shaved off his mustache, and used burnt cork liberally.” She claimed that Mr. Coplan had a revolver in his hand and tried to force his attentions upon her. She said that when he realized he could not succeed in his evil purpose that he took up her husband scheme, and told her that she could light the fuse. He then proposed to blame it on Mr. Yockey an official of the Union. When she protested that she might be killed he assured her that they would make the fuse long enough. She then told him that she would do no such thing even if he shot her so he left.
The next afternoon he called her to his office and forced her at the point of a revolver to sign a false report implicating Mr. Yockey in having plotted the ruin of the mine by blowing up the pipeline to the mine. She said that previously to this she had turned all her reports in to the Los Angeles office and that her code was “M40″. She stated that she had to turn in reports under similar circumstances sixteen times, and that she had reason to believe that the officials of the mine knew about the reports and knew they were false. Sometime during the period of the sixteen reports her husband left the company and Mr. Coplan (alias Nelson) abducted her daughter and took her to Los Angeles on orders of Mr. Clark.
Mr. Yockey who had previously been identified with labor troubles at Cripple Creek, Colorado, where he was a leader and labor official of the Western Federation of Miners, was arrested on charges of plotting to blow up the Yellow Aster Mine. After he was arrested it came to light that Mr. Yockey had been spending the nights at Mrs. Clark’s house. According to Mrs. Clark this started taking place after Coplan/Nelson came to her house disguised again as a black man and forced an entrance to her home. He accused her of hiding Yockey and threatened to kill her. She then sent for her mother, who on her arrival in Randsburg went to Mr. Yockey and explained the plot and asked him to come to the house to protect them. Mrs. Clark denied explicitly that she had any illicit relations with Mr. Yockey. Her mother corroborated the testimony of Mrs. Clark in all details.
Mr. Yockey was arrested in Los Angeles and while being held in jail there pending transport to Randsburg, Mr. Coplan/Nelson wanted to accompany Mr. Yockey to Randsburg, but Attorney Appel convinced the sheriff to have Deputy Sheriff Dave Thomson do the chore. Later In Mr. Yockey’s hearing, testimony was given that Mrs. Clark’s daughter Edna who had been abducted by Coplan/Nelson heard him say that he was going to take Yockey to Randsburg and would kill him on the way. He would then say that he had tried to escape.
Mr. Coplan/Nelson was himself arrested in the mean time for running a saloon in Randsburg without a license. He was fined $5.00. E. E. Newman, the bartender for Nelson also testified that the last time Mr. Nelson was in town he had asked him to go the cellar and bring up a package. It was Mr. Newman’s opinion that the package contained dynamite. Despite his testimony in favor of the Union Rep. Mr. Newman’s name is found on an undated list put out by the Western Federation of Miners, at about this time, showing that he had been declared unfair by the Randsburg Miner’s Union No. 44. At the end of Mr. Yockey’s hearing the district attorney was seriously considering filing perjury charges against Mr. Clark and Mr. Coplan/Nelson.
Claude H. Clarke –
The 1908 Great Register of Voters for Kern County listed Mr. Clarke as being a saloonkeeper in Randsburg. Whether this Mr. Clarke and the Mr. Clark referred to in connection with Mr. Coplan/Nelson are one and the same is unknown.
C. A. Burcham — Houser Hotel
In April of 1909 Mr. Burcham, one of the owners of the Yellow Aster Mining & Milling Co., who also owned the Houser Hotel, applied for and received a liquor license from the Kern County Board of Supervisors.
Wright & Elder — Wright & Elder Saloon
Emmet J. Elder and Burch Wright were listed in the 1910 Census as being liquor dealers. They also resided in the same the same cabin on a hill south of and overlooking Butte Ave. and Highland. The exact location of this saloon is not positively known. It is suspected however that it may have been in Dickinson’s building. (Present Whitehouse.) Dickinson’s is thought to have run his saloon from the basement. At times he rented out the upstairs part of the building.
The Wright & Elder Saloon token pictured below is a brass piece measuring 21 mm in diameter. The author has found six of these tokens. Five were found next to the cribs behind Marguerite Roberts dance hall and one in the bottom of an outhouse on Broadway (Burma Road).
Abner B. Elder –
Abner B. Elder of the Lone Pine Ca. family of Elders was in the saloon business in 1910 in Randsburg. He did business both in the Mountain View Saloon and in the Houser Hotel. Abner was also a saloon man in Lone Pine, Keeler and Mojave at different times.
Christiernsson & Newman Bar –
No direct reference to the Christiernsson & Newman Bar has been found except for the Token from that establishment. What has been found is the reference to E. E. Newman as a bartender at the Club Saloon in 1908 (see George Nelson), and a reference to Oscar L. Christiernsson as a blacksmith in Randsburg in 1912.
Jesse P. Cuddeback –
The renowned saloonkeeper Jesse P. Cuddeback who had ran several saloons in Mojave and along the Los Angeles Aqueduct finally arrived in Randsburg to do business in 1913. Not much is known for certain about his saloon as he did not advertise. He did however make the newspaper when his wife became upset with him and arming herself with an automatic shotgun went husband hunting. She found him in his saloon about nine o’clock at night along with the bartender and one customer. She told the bartender that she had no ill will towards him but would shoot him if he tried to interfere. He left quickly by way of the front door. Mrs. Cuddeback’s first shot went wild and struck the ceiling. Mr. Cuddeback and the customer Timothy Danahar ran for the front door. Jesse made it out but Danahar was not as lucky and received a superficial scalp wound right above the temple.
Mrs. Cuddeback was arrested and charged with assault with intent to commit murder. Her husband who secured a $5,000 bond for her bailed her out. What ever happened as a result of this trial has not yet been found in the author’s research. Mr. Cuddeback was still in business in Randsburg in 1914. He later moved to Darwin, Calif. where he ran a pool hall and was arrested for running a blind pig (bootlegging.)
Royal & Phillips — Palace Saloon
George T. Phillips came to Randsburg originally in February of 1897. According to Geo. McPherson in The History of the Rand Mining District, Mr. Phillips ” While traveling and conducting a shooting gallery in various western towns, saw an article in some of the newspapers regarding the newly discovered gold fields in the “”Rand District,”“and concluded to try his luck among the others, the early part of February 1897 found him in the town of Randsburg. After looking over the situation, he concluded there was a better chance for making money by following his trade than opening up in his more recent vocation. He therefore, rented a building and put before the door “”George T. Phillips, Any Kind Of Sign Made in Double Quick Time.”” The result was that he was kept busy from that time on. He was born in New York State, but in the early part of his manhood came west, and during the last few years has lived in the mining states, and has therefore acquired those easy-going and sociable ways so characteristic among those who live on the frontier. Soon after his arrival he was given the nickname “”Doc Bush”” (by William Kinyon), the reason therefore being that his long bushy and golden hair gives him the appearance of one of those jolly, quick witted and talkative individuals who are seen on the street corners of all western cities and towns selling the “”Greatest Remedy”” to cure any ailment known to medical science from a corn on the foot to a broken heart. “”Dr. “” is popular among his friends, who are as numerous as the colors he can mix from his paint laboratory.””
George left Randsburg in 1904 and left for Redlands. In October of 1912 the local paper reported that “Doc Bush” had arrived back in Randsburg from Avalon, Catalina Island and had come to stay. He immediately set out to open a business. He leased two lots from J. McCormick on Butte Ave. adjoining E. A. Stockton’s store and ordered a carload of lumber. He built a 24′ by 60′ building with a 12″ ceiling, which he planned to equip as an up to date billiard parlor. In late November of 1912 he went to Visalia and purchased bar fixtures and stock for his new business and reportedly applied for a saloon license to the board of supervisors. Apparently he ran into some trouble securing a license as it was reported, in January of 1913, that Mr. Thomas L. Royal was granted a license to operate a Saloon in the building that he had leased from Mr. Phillips. The fact that this was in deed a partnership rather than an outright lease is shown by the label from a whiskey bottle that is pictured below. It is noted that while Mr. Royal always listed his occupation as liquor dealer, Mr. Phillips listed his as merchant. Although by 1917 the license was being issued in both their names.
Starting in January of 1915 they were accused of allowing gambling in their establishment and selling liquor to minors. The hearings of these charged drug on through May of that year, but could not be substantiated. The establishment stayed open as a saloon until Prohibition at which time it became a Billiard Hall and Soft Drink Parlor. The Palace was located on lots 16 and 17 of Block 1 on Butte Ave., across from and a little to the right of the present telephone building. The Palace Saloon burnt down in the June 28, 1929 fire, a fire that started at the Palace and burnt twenty-seven buildings at a loss of $45,000.
In 1922 George had returned to the sign painting business.
Emmett and Moses Elder — White House Bar
February 26, 1917: “PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AT FEBRUAY MEETING In re Granting Application of E. J. Elder for Liquor License on Lot 11, Block 3, Randsburg – On motion of Paxton, seconded by Hart, it is ordered that the application of E. J. Elder for a retail liquor license on lot 11, block 3, Randsburg be and the same is hereby granted, the bond with C. F. Rinaldi and F. G. Munzer surety in the sums of $2500 each and S. K. Dickinson in the sum of $5000 approved and the County Tax Collector authorized to issue a retail liquor license to the said Elder on the said location.” – Bakersfield Californian
Harris B. otherwise known as “Moses “or ” Whiskers” Elder and his brother Emmet J. Elder appear to have opened the White House Bar in February of 1917 when a liquor license was issued to Emmet. Although no written record has been found showing Moses involvement in the establishment a wine bottle with a paper label pictured below shows that H. B. Elder, Whitehouse, bottled the wine. Randsburg, Cal. The bottle is the type used in the late teens. The license, which was issued to Emmet, was for a saloon located at lot 11 Block 3 that is the current location of the Whitehouse Saloon. The author when screening for tokens in the wash behind the Whitehouse found broken pieces of a Backbar Bottle which had lettered on it “WHITEHOUSE CLUB” in red, white, and blue enameled letters.
Monarch Saloon —
No information has been found on the Monarch Saloon. That it existed cannot be denied as Rom Austin found a bag full of tokens from the saloon in an outhouse on Rand St… There were thirty some tokens in the bag. The token is pictured below and is a brass piece measuring 21-mm in diameter. The outhouse where these tokens were found was in the vicinity of Caroline Leo’s property on Rand St.).
Old Crow Bar –
Until February of 2001 written records of the Old Crow Saloon had not been found. Mrs. Eldora Purington was told by one of the old timers that her building had been the location of this saloon, but that cannot be confirmed. Based on the description of the Cuddeback shooting the author believed that Jesse Cuddeback may have occupied Mrs. Purrington’s building after Julius Schade and could possibly have been the Old Crow Bar, however the only written record of the bar dates to 1917 when Jesse was running a blind pig in Darwin, Cal.
A token exists which states that Bill’s Place was in Randsburg. Other than the token no reference has been found to this place. It is only an assumption that this is a saloon.