Mr. Sumner –
The Bakersfield Daily Californian reported in April of 1896 that Mr. Sumner, formerly of Tulare, would be running a stage, every other day, direct between Mojave and Randsburg.
A report of a drunken stage driver in the Visalia Morning Daily Delta, cannot be directly attributed to this stage line. However, it seems that the Visalia contingency in Randsburg were a clannish bunch and would more likely charter a stage from a Tulare neighbor than anyone else so the story will be told here.
It was reported in the Delta, that a party of Visalians including George A. Parker, J. M. English, J. F. Gibson, John L. Rhoades, and Dr. H. M. Combs, had taken a trip to Randsburg in January of 1897. Upon their return they decided to charter a stage to take them to Mojave where they could catch the train. They left Randsburg about noon on a Wednesday and after a few miles and several near upsets they realized that the stage driver was drunk. They deposed the driver and J. M. English took over the reins and took the four-horse stage into Garlock, a distance of twelve miles. At Garlock Mr. English decided that he was tired of driving and pulled over to let someone else drive. While the stage was at a stop the driver tried to unhook the horses, but Captain Merritt told him that they were going on to Mojave. The driver surrounded by his friends tried to stop them but they left him standing by the side of the rode and with Captain Merritt handling the ribbons they proceeded to Mojave. A short while later the driver passed them in a buckboard but did not try to stop them. When they reached the next stage stop (Mesquite Springs) the driver was waiting for them. He humbly begged the party to let him aboard, which they did. Captain Merritt drove the stage into Mojave and turned over to the driver who had become partially sober.
Rice, Shippee & Co.– Mojave, Garlock and Randsburg Stage.
The first mention of this stage line is found in a September 12, 1896 edition of the Bakersfield Daily Californian. It was reported that L. M. Shippee had acquired ten new horses and was expecting his stage any day, which he intended to put on the road between Mojave and Randsburg. In November of that same year Rice & Shippee ran their stage over a new route to Randsburg. The stage left Mojave at 9 o’clock and arrived at Randsburg at 2 o’clock, just five hours after leaving Mojave. This new route was only 35 miles, versus the standard route of 54 miles through Garlock. According to the Los Angeles Herald November 22, 1896 edition they had recently been awarded the contract to carry the U. S. Mail. This route which is now the Randsburg/California City road has a historical marker placed by E. Clampus Vitus in California City.
The company was short lived as the short route was sold to a Mr. Williams on the 16th of January 1897, and the route through Koehn Springs and Garlock was sold to W. K. Miller on the 22nd of January. Mr. Rice however did not stay out of the transportation business and in October of 1897 bought our W. T. Lockhart’s business of hauling the freight received in Mojave from the Southern Pacific Railroad.
Killians Stage –
Killians stage is pictured on page 84 of Roberta Starry’s book Gold Gamble. It is thought to be one of the earlier stages although no other references have been found to date it.
W. K. Miller– Mojave & Randsburg Stage Line
In January of 1897 W.K. Miller who had run the Mojave to Keeler stage line through Indian Wells Valley purchased the stage line Of Shippee & Rice including the mail contract. Mr. Millers thirty years of experience added to new stages and stock were thought to assure the success of the line.
On January 8, 1898 the Los Angeles Herald showed how he was to assure his continued success in their article which stated:: “W. K. Miller, owner of the Mojave stage line, has found the “cut” from $3 to $2.80 a winning card, for he has all the business he can attend to and is frequently compelled to run extra stages.”
January 16, 1900: The stage to Ballarat now leaves Randsburg Mondays and Thursdays, instead of Wednesdays and Saturdays.” –Los Angeles Herald
H. Galeron –Eureka Feed and Stage
The Randsburg Miner has a listing for H. Galeron, Eureka Feed and Stage in their December 12, 1896 edition. The Stage ran daily to Kramer Siding on the Santa Fe Railroad. Kramer Siding, which was later to become the southern terminus for the Randsburg Railway is 2.3 miles west of the present day town of Kramer also known as Four Corners at the junction of highway 395 and 58. In 1898 Mr. Galeron is listed in the Feed yard and freighting business presumably because of the Randsburg Railway he dropped the stage line and switched to freighting.
December 19, 1897: “The Randsburg and Kramer stage leaving Johannesburg about 6 p. m. Friday night, when about one mile out of Johannesburg, directly opposite Ramish & Marsh’s grading camp, was upset with the following persons on board: C. D. Willard, Los Angeles; W. F. Ludington, San Diego; Mrs. J. C. Crenshaw and baby one year old, Randsburg; R. Smith, Los Angeles; F. D. Noble, Pacific Grove, and an unknown man. The night was very dark and the driver lost the road. No one was injured, but C. D. Willard. He was thrown out on his head, inflicting a small scalp wound, and otherwise shaking him up. Several pieces of baggage were more or less damaged. The stage turned completely over and all the occupants were upset.” – The Herald
P. J. Hartt –The Kramer Stage Company
A stage line from Kramer to Randsburg was first established in October of 1896. It was 26 miles from the connection with the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad. P. J. Hartt was the manager of the Kramer Stage Company. It is not known whether this was the same stage that was running out of H. Galeron’s Eureka Feed and Stage or if it was a competitor. P. J. Hartt however played a significant role in the founding of the town of Randsburg, as he was on the original Vigilante Committee that was accredited with stabilizing the camp so that it could attract the capital investment needed to grow.
December 19, 1897: “The Randsburg and Kramer stage leaving Johannesburg about 6 p. m. Friday night, when about one mile out of Johannesburg, directly opposite Ramish & Marsh’s grading camp, was upset with the following persons on board: C. D. Willard, Los Angeles; W. F. Ludington, San Diego; Mrs. J. C. Crenshaw and baby one year old, Randsburg; R. Smith, Los Angeles; F. D. Noble, Pacific Grove, and an unknown man. The night
was very dark and the driver lost the road. No one was injured, but C. D. Willard. He was thrown out on his head,
inflicting a small scalp wound, and otherwise shaking him up. Several pieces of baggage were more or less damaged. The stage turned completely over and all the occupants were upset.” – The Herald