San Diego County








            Jay Elisha Randall, vice president and trust officer of the Bank of American in San Diego, has had a versatile career in banking, in newspaper work and in important promotional enterprises.  A native of Iowa, he was born in Algona, December 9, 1876, and is a son of Millard Fillmore and Alice Lucile (Hudson) Randall.  His early education, acquired in the public schools of Iowa, was supplemented by attendance at Highland Park College, now Des Moines University of his native state where he completed a course in the commercial department in 1895.   In 1889 he had entered upon apprenticeship as a printer which trade he followed until 1898.  He then became owner of the Whittenmore Champion in Whittemore, Iowa, which he published for two years, and later owned and published the news in George, Iowa, from 1899 until 1904.  Subsequently he severed the relations that bound him to his native state and came to California, believing that he would have better business opportunities in the rapidly growing west.  He became the founder and publisher of the Artesia News in Los Angeles County, California, and handled the town-site development of Artesia between the years 1906 and 1913.  Mr. Randall was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1909 and practiced law in Los Angeles until 1918, but his ambitions where directed elsewhere.  He became secretary of the New San Gabriel Levee District in 1909 and was in charge of the construction of the new San Gabriel channel from Downey to Alamitos Bay.  In 1910 he organized the Southern California Beet Growers Association.  He has been owner and publisher of a number of weekly newspapers, including the Lankershim Laconic, the Hollywood Inquirer, and ten district publications of the Suburban Publishing Company of Los Angeles which he controlled until 1918.  While practicing law in Los Angeles from 1910 to 1918, he organized fourteen banks in Southern California.  He was president of the Antelope Valley Bank in Lancaster, California, with a branch at Palmdale and also edited the Lancaster Ledger-Gazette from 1918 to 1920.

            In 1920 Mr. Randall became assistant trust officer of the Citizens Trust and Savings Bank of Los Angeles, and later aided in organizing the Bank of America, with which he was identified in the dual official capacities of vice president and trust officer until 1927.  In that year he became vice president and trust officer of the Bank of Italy National Trust and Savings Association, with headquarters in Los Angeles.  It was in June, 1929, that he came to San Diego and here assumed his official duties as vice president and trust officer of the Bank of Italy, continuing in that same position when that institution was absorbed by the newly organized Bank of American National Trust & Savings Association.

            On the 26th of June, 1899, in Rock Rapids, Iowa, Mr. Randall was united in marriage to Miss Blanche Barrett and they are the parents of two daughters, Ruth Barrett and Janet.  The former, graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, has taught in the Los Angeles schools and is now identified with Girl Scout work in an executive capacity.  The Randall residence is at 2555 Evergreen Street in San Diego.

            Mr. Randall served for four years in the Iowa National Guard and was a second lieutenant when the Spanish-American war broke out in 1898.  He was then commissioned a first lieutenant and was on active duty with Company F, Fifty-second Iowa Volunteer Infantry.  He is a member of the United States War Veterans, the Associated Armies of the United States and the Sons of the American Revolution.  His political support is given to the Republican Party, while his religious affiliation is with the Church of Christ, Scientist.  Fraternally he is a Knight of Pythias and a Knight Templar Mason, belonging also to Al Malaikah Temple of Mystic Shrine in Los Angeles.  He has been for many years a member of the Sierra Club.  Mr. Randall is interested in paleontology and is a trustee of the National History Museum in San Diego.  A contemporary biographer wrote: “His cordiality and genial nature make him a favorite in all the organizations in which he holds membership, while his business career, marked by a steady progress, should serve to inspire and encourage others, showing what may be accomplished when there is a will to dare and to do.”




Transcribed By:  Michele Y. Larsen on April 1, 2012.

Source: California of the South Vol. II,  by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 215-217, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles,  Indianapolis.  1933.

© 2012 Michele Y. Larsen.