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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Mojave in Kern County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Josephine Stephens Bishop

 
 
Josephine Stephens Bishop Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, December 4, 2011
1. Josephine Stephens Bishop Marker
Inscription. "Josie" was born on June 18, 1875 in Silver City, New Mexico to Harvey and Harriet Whitehall. At 19 years old, she taught school in Pinos Altos, New Mexico. She married Herbert Hall Bishop on March 4, 1896, bearing him seven children. The Bishops moved around the country for several years, finally separating in 1920. While living in Long Beach, Josie began her short acting career and mined this area for gold and silver. After acquiring numerous claims, Josie finally hit pay dirt in 1937 by discovering the richest Radium deposit known at the time. The media gave her the name, "Radium Queen of the Desert" and Josie's fame spread worldwide. As a representative of Kern County and the mining industry, she toured the nation, appearing on various radio shows and in many publications. The only wealth she ever got from her big strike was fifty dollars. Josie Bishop died in an auto accident on July 12, 1951. She is buried at her claim, approximately five miles North of this spot.
 
Erected 1998 by Peter Lebeck Chapter No. 1866, Billy Holcomb Chapter No. 1069, Slim Princess Chapter No. 395, E Clampus Vitus. (Marker Number 93.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
 
Location. 35° 18.049′ 
Josephine Stephens Bishop Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, December 4, 2011
2. Josephine Stephens Bishop Marker
N, 118° 0.11′ W. Marker is in Mojave, California, in Kern County. Marker is at the intersection of Jawbone Canyon Road and Aerospace Highway (California Highway 14), on the right when traveling north on Jawbone Canyon Road. Touch for map. The marker is located about 19 miles north of Mojave. It is visible inside the fence at the BLM Jawbone facility, Jawbone Canyon Road is 1.1 miles south of the SR-14 & US 395 junction. Marker is at or near this postal address: 28111 Jawbone Canyon Road, Cantil CA 93519, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Florence "Pancho" Barnes (approx. 0.4 miles away); Desert Spring (approx. 2.7 miles away); William Henry "Burro" Schmidt (approx. 10.4 miles away); The Randsburg - Mojave Road (approx. 11.9 miles away); 20-Mule Team Trail (approx. 12.9 miles away).
 
More about this marker. After her discovery of radium the name "Radium Queen of the Desert" was a natural "handle" and stuck. Although Josephine made a big strike, she unfortunately was not able to cash in big on it. Josephine died as result of a vehicle accident on July 12, 1951.
SOURCE: Billy Holcomb Chapter 1069 35th Anniversary Plaque Book by Phillip Holdaway
 
Also see . . .
1. Josephine Stevens "Josie" Whitehill Bishop - Find-A-Grave
Josephine Stephens Bishop Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, December 4, 2011
3. Josephine Stephens Bishop Marker
. Josie's mining claim and grave site were recognized by the State of California, State Historical Resources Commission as Point of Historical Interest "Josie Bishop Mining Claim Site KER-010" on November 4, 1994. (Submitted on December 7, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.) 

2. The Making of Josie Bishop, "Radium Queen of the Mojave". In August of 1937, following a long battle over ownership of her 170 acres, and 11 claims, word was released in both Life and Time magazines, that an old time desert rat had discovered radium. The ore sample taken to San Diego had assayed in at 130 milligrams of radium bromide per ton of concentrated ore. (Submitted on December 10, 2011.) 
 
Categories. Notable Persons
 
Jawbone Station image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, January 15, 2012
4. Jawbone Station
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 7, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. This page has been viewed 771 times since then and 83 times this year. Last updated on November 3, 2014, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 7, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.   4. submitted on January 16, 2012, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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