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University of Nevada Oral History Transcripts

Special Collections at the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries provides public access to hundreds of oral history transcripts in its University of Nevada Oral History Archives. Most of the oral histories in the archives were recorded by the University of Nevada Oral History Program from 1964 through 2013. Oral histories from other sources are part of the digital archives, including several relating to the Stewart Indian School, Reno's Midtown, and Fourth Street/Prater Way. Original audio record...



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University of Nevada Oral History Transcripts
by Barber, Alicia (editor)
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The Midtown History Project, of which these oral histories are a component, was initiated by the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC) in 2015 as part of its Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension Project. That broader RAPID project aims to create connectivity between the University of Nevada, Reno, downtown Reno, and Midtown, encourage economic development, enhance safety, and improve livability in the Virginia Street corridor. Its primary transit-oriented elements...
Topics: Regional Transportation Commission, Washoe County, Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension...
University of Nevada Oral History Transcripts
by University of Nevada Oral History Program
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Nevada’s legislature legalized casino gambling in 1931. Soon after, the Smith family moved to Reno in order to take part in the business. They founded Harold’s Club in Reno in 1935. From the 1940s to the early 1960s, Harold’s Club was the largest casino in Nevada and probably the most widely known in the world. Perhaps the most significant factor in the club’s success in the 1940s was World War II, when a steady stream of servicemen who were stationed at military facilities near Reno...
Topics: Harold’s Club, gaming industry, gambling, AB 98, Casino Gambling Act, Raymond I. Smith, Harold...
University of Nevada Oral History Transcripts
by University of Nevada Oral History Program
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Through interviews with 21 individuals with a wide range of firsthand experiences, this oral history project illuminates the evolution of gaming regulation in Nevada. This history covers the elimination of organized crime from the state’s casinos, casino licensing responsibilities, the Nevada Tax Commission, and the creation of the Gaming Control Board and the Gaming Commission. Detailing the origins of the state’s regulatory policies, investigations of prominent mob figures, the advent of...
Topics: Gaming industry, gaming laws, casino, Nevada Tax Commission, Gaming Control Board, Gaming Commission
Norman H. Biltz was born in Connecticut in 1902. He played an important role in Nevada economic and political circles for more than four decades. He was active in selling ranches throughout Nevada from the 1930s on, in developing what he believed to be the first housing tract in the state and various high-income housing areas in southwest Reno, and in starting several other businesses. He promoted Nevada's "One Sound State" tax advantages to attract several millionaires to the...
Topics: Real estate, Reno, One sound state, Nevada, George Wingfield, Senator Patrick McCarran, Lake Tahoe,...
University of Nevada Oral History Transcripts
by University of Nevada Oral History Program
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Harry Callahan was born in 1895. He is the grandson of Matt Callahan, an Irish immigrant who owned the major brickyards in Carson City and Virginia City during the years of the Bonanza. By 1883, the Comstock Lode was practically exhausted. Harry Callahan's oral history is largely an account of life on the ranch from 1884 through the post-World War II years. It contains descriptions of rural schooling, Indian-white relations, the economic matrix of the region, property and water rights...
Topics: Galena Creek, Jones Creek, Reno, Nevada, Lake Tahoe, Matt Callahan, Carson City, Nevada, Virginia...
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by University of Nevada Oral History Program
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This oral history presents the life of Adolf Rosenauer from childhood in the shaky time between World War I and World War II, adolescence with the Hitler era underway, and young manhood in the German Wehrmacht. By virtue of an uncanny survival instinct, Adolf Rosenauer got through those experiences before finishing medical school in Austria and his residency training on both sides of the water. He came to Reno in the late 1950s to start his medical practice. Dr. Rosenauer has served his...
Topics: World War I, World War II, Austria, Reno, Nevada
Thomas Cave Wilson was born in Arizona in 1907. Wilson's career was in advertising and promotion, and this oral history concentrates on that aspect of his life. He established the Wilson agency in Reno in 1939, and has continued in the advertising business since that time. He devised the first-ever ad campaign for a gambling casino - Harold's Club in Reno. Wilson's agency handled political campaigns for some of Nevada's best-known office holders, most often successfully. His recounting of...
Topics: Frederick Weston Wilson, University of Nevada, Claire Cave, prohibition, gambling, divorce,...
Ivan Sack was born in Colorado in 1908. He spent the early years of his life in Iowa, where he attended schools and Iowa State University. His youthful interest in botany and forestry later developed into a career with the U.S. Forest Service. He was Supervisor of the Toiyabe National Forest when he retired in 1965. Mr. Sack held many positions in the Forest Service which gave him an extensive knowledge of the plants and animals within this vast area. He is recognized as an authority on western...
Topics: Iowa State University, botany, forestry, U.S. Forest Service, wildlife management, Toiyabe National...
University of Nevada Oral History Transcripts
by University of Nevada Oral History Program
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Every Light Was On is the story of Bill Harrah and his clubs as remembered by twenty former employees and two women who were married to him. Harrah’s rise in the world of gaming began in 1946 when he went deeply into debt to become the sole owner and operator of a casino that he named Harrah’s Reno Club. He soon ventured out by building another Harrah’s Club in Tahoe and forming the world-famous Harrah Automobile Collection. This set of memories is both an exploration of a singular...
Topics: Gaming industry, gambling, William Harrah, Harrah’s Clubs, Lake Tahoe, Golden Hotel, Harrah...
University of Nevada Oral History Transcripts
by University of Nevada Oral History Program
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Casino gambling was made legal in Nevada by the state legislature’s passage in 1931 of AB 98, the Casino Gaming Act. Pete Cladianos Sr. started a slot machine business shortly after AB 98 was passed.  Over the next thirty years, Pete Sr. built a diversified business empire that included bars, motels, hotels, rental properties, and even a mercantile business. By the mid-1960s, Pete Jr. had taken on responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the family enterprises. Pete Jr. soon opened...
Topics: Gaming industry, gambling, Casino Gaming Act, cigar store, Greek immigrant, Reno, Nevada, AB 98,...
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by University of Nevada Oral History Program
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Jack Douglass was involved in gaming since the 1930s, getting his start by running a slot machine route in central Nevada and rising to become a founding partner in both the Club Cal-Neva and the Comstock Hotel-Casino. His transcript is rich in gaming history, but it also contains a considerable amount of family history. Douglass is the son of William "Billy" James Douglass-a prominent figure in central Nevada's mining history. 
Topics: Basque, Basque Studies Program, University of Nevada, Bill Douglass, gaming industry, Club...
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by University of Nevada Oral History Program
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Barbara Bennett was born in 1923 in Oakland, California. She married John Bennett and started a family. In 1964 the Bennetts moved to Reno, and Barbara went to work for a telephone company. Injustice to herself and to others eventually led Barbara Bennett to become active in women's issues and ultimately to be instrumental in forming the Nevada Women's Political Caucus. Barbara Bennett founded the Nevada Homeowners Association, and through this group righted many of the wrongs associated with...
Topics: Oakland California, World War II, Bay Area Defense Plants, Reno, Nevada, Nevada Women’s Political...
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by University of Nevada Oral History Program
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The oral history of Clarence Ray is the third in a series intended to document the history of the black community in Las Vegas, of which Mr. Ray has been a member since the mid-1920s. Mr. Ray provides sketches of many of the early black residents of downtown Las Vegas and some of the NAACP's attempts to end racial discrimination in the 1930s. Mr. Ray participated in efforts to secure the employment of black workers during the building of Hoover Dam, was involved in the 1960 effort which ended...
Topics: Las Vegas, Nevada, Clark Townsite, Mammy Pinkston, Mary Nettles, Stevens Family, Ensley Family,...
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by University of Nevada Oral History Program
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Morton "Mort" Saiger was born in 1903 and raised in a Jewish ghetto in Poland. He fled the country at the close of 1920 to avoid military service, and came to the United States. In 1942, R. E. Griffith offered him a position with the Last Frontier Hotel organization in Las Vegas. Since then, Mr. Saiger has been a participant in the development of the gaming industry on the Strip and has witnessed the transition in its character from a quiet family resort area to a booming center of...
Topics: Jewish, Poland, Denver, Colorado, Los Angeles, California, Victor McLaughlin’s Light Horse Trail,...
Peter B. Merialdo was born in Eureka, Nevada, in 1899. Mr. Merialdo soon began a long political career by winning election as recorder and auditor of Eureka County. He was continuously reelected to that position from the early 1920s until 1950, when he was elected state controller. This oral history provides a record of the life of a colorful and prominent Nevada politician. Through several decades of public life and activity in real estate and insurance, Peter Merialdo helped many people and...
Topics: Eureka, Nevada, Politics and Government, Controller of Eureka County, George Wingfield, Senator...
Following the discovery of the Comstock Lode in 1869, miners and speculators rushed into the previously unsettled area, and three new towns quickly sprang up: Gold Hill, Silver City, and Virginia City. 
Topics: Comstock, Gold Hill, Nevada, Silver City, Nevada, Virginia City, Nevada, mining, Mt. Davidson,...
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Andrew Ginocchio was born in the northern Italian community of Comuneglia di Ligure on June 29, 1893. His father, Giovanni Ginocchio, traveled to the United States in 1864 at the age of eighteen, and found work in San Francisco with the Central Pacific Railroad. In 1910, Ginocchio followed in his father’s footsteps and moved to Reno, Nevada. He briefly worked for George Armstrong who owned the prominent Armstrong Manufacturing Company. In 1930, Ginocchio along with his bought half interest in...
Topics: San Francisco, California, Central Pacific Railroad, Virginia City, Nevada, bonanza, C & C...
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by University of Nevada Oral History Program
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Fifty years since Allied victory, here is World War II as remembered by twenty-one Americans who experienced it. These oral histories recount surviving combat, enduring captivity, dealing with wounds and with the death of comrades, avoiding friendly fire, and accumulating points toward discharge. Combined, they present a vivid picture of military service during the only war this country has fought without reservation and with certainty that its cause was just. Each story is illustrated with...
Topic: World War II
University of Nevada Oral History Transcripts
by University of Nevada Oral History Program
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Silver Peak: Never A Ghost Town recounts the lives of the people who lived in this small mining community. As with many towns tied to mining, it has suffered the booms and busts that are inherent in the industry, but the difference with Silver Peak is that it has weathered them all and stood its ground in the desert. This combination of sources provides a vast array of information on Silver Peak and addresses some of the following questions: Why did Silver Peak survive when other Nevada mining...
Topics: Silver Peak, Esmeralda County, Nevada, mining, Mineral Ridge Resources, Inc., Bureau of Land...
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by University of Nevada Oral History Program
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Ioannis A. Lougaris was born in 1887 in a rural community in Greece. This oral history by Lougaris covers his life as a new immigrant in the United States, activities in the San Francisco Bay area, World War I experiences, and business and civic affairs at Carson City and Reno with a philosophical conclusion.
Topics: Greece, immigration, United States Army, World War I, attorney, civic affairs, Veterans...
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Through interviews with 30 community members, conducted between 2009 and 2011, The Cultural Side of Reno explores the growth and development of Northern Nevada’s cultural and artistic landscape. With chroniclers’ memories reaching as far back as the 1930s, the subjects covered are extensive and touch on art, theater, music, dance, photography, festivals and special events, historic preservation, casino entertainment, film, media, the humanities, and the literary world. From the Young...
Topics: Reno, Nevada, University of Nevada, Young Audiences Program, Ageless Repertory Theater, Nevada...
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by University of Nevada Oral History Program
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The 1930’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) program, formed in response to the Great Depression, brought 30,000 young, unemployed men from eastern cities and Midwest farms to work solving ecological problems in Nevada. Ecological blows added to economic problems when severe winters were followed by droughts, Mormon cricket infestations, and rampant range fires.  The Grazing Service’s CCC program in the West was critical to implementing the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934. CCC camps were also...
Topics: Great Depression, George Wingfield, Grazing Service, CCC Program, Taylor Grazing Act, U.S. Forest...
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A native of Redlands, California, Florence M. Boyer was born in 1890 to Charles P. and Delphine Anderson Squires. The memoir recorded by Mrs. Boyer includes a history of the prominent Squires family, reminiscences of early settlers in Clark County, details of everyday life in southern Nevada, accounts of her careers, sketches of various local figures, and a philosophical conclusion.
Topics: San Pedro-Los Angeles-Salt Lake Railroad, Las Vegas, Nevada, Charles P. Squires, Clark County
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by University of Nevada Oral History Program
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Rollan Melton was born in Boise, Idaho, at the beginning of the Great Depression. He moved from school to school until his mother moved to Fallon, Nevada, where she found work at the Owl Cafe-Casino. Melton enrolled in Fallon High School. There he became interested in competitive sports and worked with the Fallon Standard, a weekly newspaper. After winning the Harold’s Club scholarship to the University of Nevada. There he majored in journalism and played football. After graduating, he became...
Topics: Boise, Idaho, Great Depression, Fallon, Nevada, Owl Café-Casino, Fallon High School, Fallon...
In 1972, when Jeanne Hood's husband, Dave, became president of Hyatt in Nevada, Hyatt Corporation was one of only a handful of licensed gaming corporations in the state. After the death of her husband, Jeanne Hood was chosen as her husband’s replacement. Jeanne took over the Four Queens when the slot machine shift was just beginning and adapted to the rapidly changing environment. In later years, Hood brought much success to the Hyatt industry through additions and improvements to her casinos...
Topics: Gaming industry, Hyatt Corporation, Four Queens, Las Vegas, Nevada, Atlantic City, New Jersey,...
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by University of Nevada Oral History Program
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Mrs. Amy Thompson Gulling was a member of Reno's oldest family. Her grandmother, then a widow with three children, married the town's founder, Myron Lake. Thompson’s interview provides accounts of her school days in Franktown and Reno; descriptions of Reno buildings and streets at the turn of the century; biographical material on her sister, Dr. Alice Thompson; discussions of Reno social and cultural activities; observations on Reno politics; narratives of participation in national Republican...
Topics: Reno, Myron Lake, Honey Lake Valley, Lake’s Crossing, William Thompson, Washoe Valley, Nevada...
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Ten ethnographers share their life histories and reflect on the discipline of anthropology and what inspired them to become ethnographers in Washoe County. They detail their fieldwork with Washoe people and consider how these individuals and experiences affected their professional lives, personal histories, their values, and worldviews. Their stories provide a cross-section of American cultural anthropology and contribute to the history of anthropology and the broader contexts of their own time...
Topics: Washoe Indian, Native American, Washoe County, Carson Valley, Lake Tahoe, World War II
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Peter I. Breen is a third-generation lawyer and judge who was influential in the Nevada court system. He graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno and from law school at Santa Clara University. Judge Breen’s oral history is rich in stories of his budding legal career, Reno attorney Ernest Brown, and many other well-known Nevada attorneys.  At thirty-four years old when appointed to the bench in 1973 by Governor Mike O’Callaghan, Judge Breen is one of Nevada’s longest serving jurists....
Topics: Reno, Nevada, Goldfield, Nevada, Tonopah, Nevada, University of Nevada, Santa Clary Univeristy,...
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This oral history of Dr. Edwin Cantlon encompasses the life of a fascinating individual, who in his eighty plus years has experienced enormous changes in the social and economic structure of Nevada. Dr. Cantlon grew up in western Nevada during the early days of the twentieth century and attended public school in Sparks and was later the student body president at the University of Nevada. Upon completing his years of residency, Dr. Cantlon entered the United States Army and served for four years...
Topics: Sparks, Nevada, University of Nevada, medicine, United States Army, World War II, Reno, Nevada,...
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While the rest of the nation struggled through the Great Depression of the 1930s, there existed a few isolated oases-towns where a single industry offered jobs and allowed families to remain together, intact and relatively unscathed by economic hardships. Silver Peak, Nevada, was among those special spots where families could thrive during the country's Depression. Each of the chroniclers added important pieces to the amazing picture that was Silver Peak from the 1930s through the 1980s.
Topics: Oases-towns, Great Depression, Silver Peak, Nevada, mining, Mineral Ridge Resources, Inc., Bureau...
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Charles W. Aplin arrived in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1905, at eighteen years old. At that time, Las Vegas existed mainly as a tent city; the Los Angeles-San Pedro-Salt Lake Railroad had only recently established the site as a station on its route. Aplin quickly associated himself with the growth of the town, serving as a teamster or drayman, as an odd-jobs worker, and finally as a carpenter and painter. In his middle years, Aplin gave up his painting and carpentry contracting business to take a...
Topics: Las Vegas, Nevada, Los Angeles-San Pedro-Salt Lake Railroad, Nevada State Highway Department,...
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Ralph Denton practiced law in Elko and Las Vegas, Nevada for half a century. He has held two public offices: district attorney of Esmeralda County and Clark County commissioner. Throughout his life, he was worked closlely with many famous polititcal figures like John F. Kennedy, Eugene McCarthy, Jerry Brown, and Senator Pat McCarran. Denton’s story encompasses an important era of social and political change for Nevada and the nation. In this oral history, Denton recalls growing up during the...
Topics: Elko, Nevada, lawyer, Las Vegas, Nevada, district attorney, Esmeralda County, Clark County,...
Grace Dangberg was born in 1896 in the small community of Minden. Miss Dangberg used her anthropological training from the University of California and wrote a linguistic and cultural study of the Washoe Indians. Dangberg developed an interest in the history of Carson Valley and in the history of the Dangberg family. She was one of the founders of the Carson Valley Historical Society and she wrote or edited a number of works relating to the history of the area. In this 1984 interview, Grace...
Topics: Carson Valley, Washoe Indian, Margaret Ferris, ranching, agriculture, Minden, Nevada, University of...
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Harry Eugene Claiborne was born in 1917 in McRae, Arkansas. His most notable position was his controversial time as a district judge for Nevada from 1980 to 1986 upon his impeachment and jailing for tax evasion. In his oral history, Claiborne recalls his childhood, law school, and his professional life as a defense attorney and district judge of Nevada.
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Topics: Las Vegas, Nevada, McRae, Arkansas, Federal Strike Force, criminal defense attorney, J. Bruce...
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John Francis Cahlan first arrived in Las Vegas in 1929. A native of Reno, he was born to Albert and Marion Cahlan in 1902, the youngest of two sons. John Cahlan attended schools in Carson City and Reno, graduated from the University of Nevada with a journalism degree, and worked at the Nevada State Journal before moving to Las Vegas. In this oral history, John Cahlan recalls the impact and effects of the construction of Hoover Dam, the legislation of gambling, World War II, Bugsy Siegel and...
Topics: Reno, Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, Albert Cahlan, Marion Cahlan, Carson City, Nevada, University of...
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L. Mead Dixon began practicing law in Reno in 1950 and quickly became an important participant in the expansion of casino gaming in that community, at Lake Tahoe, and in Las Vegas. In 1957 Dixon became the principal attorney for William F. Harrah and his Harrah’s Clubs, and by the late 1960s he was on the boards of directors of Harrah’s, the Showboat and the Tropicana. Dixon played a key role in the 1980 merger of Harrah’s with Holiday Inns, Inc. and the expansion of Harrah’s and...
Topics: Gaming industry, gambling, Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Nevada, William F. Harrah, Harrah’s Club, The...
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Bud Beasley was born in New Mexico in 1910 and soon moved to California where he graduated from Santa Cruz High School. He came to Reno in 1930 where he enrolled in the University of Nevada on a football scholarship. Here, he discovered his love of coaching and teaching. Throughout his 70 years as an educator, Beasley taught in Battle Mountain and Reno, Nevada. For his decades of service, Bud Beasley Elementary School was built in honor of him. He also had an impressive baseball record, both as...
Topics: Reno, Nevada, Santa Cruz High School, University of Nevada, Battle Mountain, Nevada, Reno High...
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1967 a small Basque studies program was established within the Social Sciences Division of the University of Nevada's Desert Research Institute. As originally conceived, the program's purpose was to study the Basques as a key human element in the Great Basin ecosystem. Today, the Center for Basque Studies is considered by many to be the leading research and educational institute of its kind outside the European Basque homeland.  A Candle in the Night chronicles the history of the center, as...
Topics: Basque Studies, University of Nevada, Reno, Desert Research institute Basque Studies Library,...
Gordon Alexander Sampson, a native of Canada, was born in 1888. Major Sampson became an auditor for Columbia Pictures Corporation during the heyday of the movies, a public accountant in California, and the first tax administrator for the Washoe County Fair and Recreation Board. A large portion of his discussion is dedicated to the development and operation of the V & T railroad, of which he was general manager for a number of years. Sampson recalls changing social mores and compares...
Topics: Toronto, Canada, Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, World War I, Columbia Pictures Corporation, tax...
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Roy A. Hardy, born in 1886,  worked as a businessman in mining and prospecting in Nevada. He served on the University Of Nevada Board Of Regents and helped create the Jot Travis Student Union. Hardy's reminiscences include geological evaluations of the various mining camps in which he had worked, brief sketches of some of the famous men he had met, and snatches of everyday life in the mining towns.
Topics: Mining, Tonopah, Goldfield, George Wingfield, University of Nevada Board of Regents, Alex Wise,...
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The Research Museum of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Nevada, Reno, was founded in 1980. Through the years, the museum became the repository of excavated materials originating from faculty contracts in prehistoric and historical archeology. The Museum, located for decades on the fifth floor of the Ansari Business Building alongside the Department of Anthropology, also has long served as a training facility for students pursing the interdisciplinary Museum Studies minor. ...
Topics: University of Nevada, Department of Anthropology, Nevada Archaeological Survey, Lulu K. Huber...
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Arnold R. Trimmer, a native of California, spent nearly his entire life in Carson Valley. His parents moved from Diamond Valley, California to the historic Frey ranch at the outskirts of Genoa in 1909 when he was four. Mr. Trimmer made a living by ranching and raising hay and cattle. Mr. Trimmer's contributions to the local historical society and volunteer fire department are numerous and important. Trimmer recalls everyday life on the ranches, in the forest, and in the towns of Carson Valley....
Topics: Carson Valley, Diamond Valley, California, Frey Ranch, Genoa, Nevada, Douglas County High School,...
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Roger Sam was a Northern Paiute man from the Pyramid Lake area in northwestern Nevada. He first came to Stewart Indian School as a fourteen year-old. He soon graduated and went on to work in military service before returning to Stewart as an employee. He raised his family while supervising the school’s Jack’s Valley Ranch. He trained hundreds of boys in agricultural skills over the years and found time to assist in coaching football, basketball, and boxing. He also mentored young people in...
Topics: Northern Paiute Indian, Native American, Pyramid Lake, Stewart Indian School, Jack’s Valley...
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Governor Grant Sawyer began his administration in 1959 with a reorganization program designed to streamline services and increase government efficiency. He created the Gaming Control Board early in his administration. Between 1959 and 1965, Governor Sawyer used his power and influence to push the cause of civil rights. He banned discrimination in all phases of state employment and required state contractors to do the same. His dedication to the cause of civil rights and equal justice is the...
Topics: Las Vegas, Nevada, Glitter Gulch, Kefauver Crime Hearings, gaming industry, Gaming Control Board,...
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Alice Edmunds Sauer, a native Nevadan and member of a pioneer western family, was born in 1877. Mrs. Sauer's parents lived and worked in Virginia City, her father as a mining engineer, her mother as a schoolteacher. She remembers a number of events of the post-boom days on the Comstock, and recounts them with obvious relish.  The memoir includes her reminiscences of childhood life in Virginia City, Nevada, an account of student days at the University of Nevada at Reno, her subsequent teaching...
Topics: Virginia City, Nevada, Comstock, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada
Cecyl Allen Johnson, born in 1890, was a descendant of one of Churchill County’s first families. Mrs. Johnson's memoir includes material from family records about the early pioneers of the St. Clair district where the Allens settled, the Allen family genealogy, anecdotes and historical notes about politics, ranching, and industries of the Fallon area, accounts of Mrs. Johnson's own activities, and social and cultural affairs of Churchill County. Johnson also references many unusual activities...
Topics: Churchill County, Cranston Allen, Lem Allen, University of Nevada, Fallon, Nevada, James W....
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The present account by Jack Douglass, a Tonopah native who began his gaming career in the mid-1930s in central Nevada mining camps, affords unique insight into the early period of pre-Las Vegas gaming.  Jack went on to become a principal in several Reno, Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas casinos, and therefore possesses insider knowledge about the growth of the casino industry and some of its prominent players. In this oral history, Douglass recounts his experience in the gaming industry and his...
Topics: Gambling, gaming, Bill Graham, Jim McKay, George Wingfield, Tonopah, Nevada, Reno, Nevada, Lake...
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Ralph Hug Jr. was born in Reno, Nevada in 1931 and has made a lasting mark on Nevada’s legal and judicial history as Senior U.S. Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Judge Hug attended the University of Nevada, Reno where he followed in his father’s footsteps as Student Body President.  After serving as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, Hug graduated from Stanford Law School in 1958. He returned to Nevada to practice law in Reno’s then-small legal community. In...
Topics: U.S. Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Reno, Nevada, Sparks High School,...
In 2011, the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) initiated a comprehensive study of the entire Fourth Street-Prater Way corridor, intending to improve not only public transportation in the area, but safety and livability. The conjunction of this and other factors made this transitional moment an opportune time to conduct an extensive oral history of the area.   Sponsored by the RTC, the 4th Street-Prater Way Oral History project began under the auspices of the University of Nevada Oral...
Topics: Regional Transportation Commission, Fourth Street-Prater Way, Reno, Nevada, Sparks, Nevada
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Hugh A. Shamberger was born in Idaho in 1900. The memoir includes recollections of early days in Idaho and California, an account of his work in the Las Vegas Valley in the early 1930s, a discussion of water and land problems in Nevada, impressions of the Colorado River adjudication, information about the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and discussions of political and civic affairs.
Topics: Las Vegas, Nevada, Alfred Merritt Smith, State Highway Department, water resources, Colorado River...
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Victor Kral was born in Pasadena, California in 1911. He moved to Reno and attended Reno High School and the University of Nevada's Mackay School of Mines during the Depression. While working toward his degree, he worked at the Nevada Highway Department and the Soil Conservation Service. Vic graduated with a bachelor's degree in mining and went directly from Reno to the E.L. Cord cyanide mill located outside Silver Peak, Nevada. Vic later worked for the Department of Education in Carson City...
Topics: Pasadena, California, Reno, Nevada, University of Nevada, Mackay School of Mines, Great Depression,...
Roger Teglia is a native of Nevada, born in Dayton in 1902. His father and mother, Italian immigrants, worked on farms in the Dayton area, finally acquiring land of their own. Here, Roger Teglia grew to young manhood, learning to love the out of doors and to form some opinions on the conservation of native species. This interest grew until he found himself deeply involved in Nevada state and local fish and game affairs and organizer of a group of sportsmen devoted to carrying out the goals of...
Topics: Dayton, Nevada, immigration, fish and gaming, agricultural business, Sparks, Nevada, Farmers...
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William (Judge) Vernon was born in 1884 in Iowa and grew up in Lake Elsinore. He went to Lake Tahoe Tavern in 1909 to play his cornet in a band. In 1923, he, his wife, and his two daughters moved to Meeks Bay on Lake Tahoe. In 1927, they moved to Tahoe City where they resided for over fifty years.  In his oral history, Mr. Vernon discusses the development of skiing in the Lake Tahoe area and the rapid commercial development of the area. He discusses the evolution of public utilities and of his...
Topics: Lake Elsinore, Lake Tahoe, Lake Tahoe Tavern, Meeks Bay, Tahoe City, tourism, skiing
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No attorney has played a greater role in the rise of the casino industry and how it is regulated than has Robert D. Faiss. In this oral memoir, Faiss gives an eloquent, eyewitness account of crucial events and moments in the history of gaming regulation and gaming law in Nevada.  He recalls his positions within the Nevada Gaming Commission, White House, Lionel Sawyer & Collins, and U.S. Treasure Department. During his decades of service, he was able to make an impact within the local and...
Topics: Gaming industry, gaming law, Grant Sawyer, Nevada Gaming Commission, List of Excluded Persons,...
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Jean Ford was born in 1929 into an era of major transformations for women in the United States. When Jean first moved to Las Vegas, she studied every nook and cranny of her new state, and then set out to nurture Nevada through her talents and skills. Along the way she helped many individuals develop their own skills as she worked to improve Nevada's legislative system, to save its parks, to promote tourism, and to preserve the history of its women.  From homemaker to lawmaker to educator,...
Topics: Women’s rights, Las Vegas, Nevada, legislation, politics and government
Paul A. Leonard was born in Fallon, Nevada, in 1911. After graduating from the University of Nevada in 1936, he entered into the field of journalism in Elko County as a reporter and editor of the Elko Daily Free Press. For most of the following thirty-six years, Mr. Leonard was actively engaged in journalism in Elko with the Free Press, in Ely with the Ely Daily Times, and in Reno with the Reno Evening Gazette and the Nevada State Journal. His account of these years includes information on the...
Topics: Fallon, Nevada, Reno, Nevada, University of Nevada, Elko, Nevada, Elko Daily Free Press,...
Beatrice Fettic Jones was born in 1909 on the Buckeye ranch in Genoa, Nevada. Her father, Frank Fettic, purchased Genoa's oldest bar in 1884, renaming it Fettic's Exchange. Beatrice Fettic’s makes observations on Fettic's Exchange, its renowned proprietor, and the people and buildings of Genoa.  Mrs. Jones describes people, events, and structures associated with life in the Mottsville-Genoa area of Carson Valley, concentrating on the period of the late nineteenth and early twentieth...
Topics: Genoa, Nevada, Carson River, Carson Valley, Eliza Mott, Mormons, Mottsville, Buckeye Ranch, Israel...
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Thomas W. Miller was born in 1886 in Wilmington, Delaware, a member of one of that state's political families. He served as Secretary of State of Deleware as well as in the U.S. House of Representatives. In Nevada, he served on the Nevada State Park Commission, Nevada Defense Council, and Reno Park and Horticultural Commission. His remarks about the behind-the-scenes maneuvering in the various political campaigns in Nevada and his analysis of issues and participants will be invaluable to...
Topics: Secretary of State of Delaware, House of Representatives, United States Army, Western Front,...
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Cora Gage Sayre, a Smith Valley native, was born in 1897. She received her education in the West: in the one-room Smith Valley School; Hamilton School on Geary Street in San Francisco; Carson City; and at Berkeley High School. On Nevada deserts and in the mountains, Mrs. Sayre acquired tremendous knowledge of mineralogy.  Mrs. Sayre's account of Smith Valley history-and her collection of early day photographs, newspaper clippings and other memorabilia-is a boon to any Nevada history buff. The...
Topics: Smith Valley, Nevada, Smith Valley School, San Francisco, California, Carson City, Nevada, Berkley...
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Lester Ben "Benny" Binion, is a native of Texas, born in Pilot Grove in 1904. His family were farmers, stock raisers, and horse traders near El Paso, Dallas, and Sweetwater. In his early teens, Benny Binion developed interests in gambling, especially by traveling with friends and relatives to farm-town trade days, where card and number games were popular. From the 1920s through World War II, Binion worked to become established in gaming in Dallas; then, having gained considerable...
Topics: Pilot Grove, Texas, El Paso, Texas, Dallas, Texas, Sweetwater, Texas, gaming industry, World War...
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James B. McMillan was born in 1917 in a small town in racially segregated Mississippi. James and his mother moved around the U.S. until finally settling in Michigan. He eventually attended the University of Detroit on an athletic scholarship. After, he earned a degree from Meharry Medical College’s School of Dentistry. After World War II and the Korean War, McMillan and his wife moved to Las Vegas, Nevada and became involved in the local branch of the NAACP. Fighting Back is James B....
Topics: Mississippi, U.S. Supreme Court, Fourteenth Amendment, Jim Crow, African American, segregation,...
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Les Moren was born in Webster, Wisconsin, in 1914. He attended the University of Minnesota School of Medicine. While an intern at Mounds Park Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, Moren met Dr. R. P. Roantree, who practiced in Elko, and who persuaded young Dr. Moren to move to Nevada. His first few years in eastern Nevada provided Les an opportunity to work with some of the state's early physicians. He was one of the founding fathers of the Elko Clinic. Dr. Moren was president of the Elko County...
Topics: Webster, Wisconsin, University of Minnesota School of Medicine, Mounds Park Hospital, St. Paul...
John Francis Cahlan is a native of Nevada, born in Reno in 1902. He had a long career as a newspaperman and followed an avocation in politics, serving as a regent of the University of Nevada, a legislative lobbyist, and as an instigator of the establishment of the Nevada State Archives. Cahlan watched the building of Hoover Dam, the growth of Las Vegas, and the development of the Atomic Energy Commission's testing facility from a unique point of view. This account contains descriptions of the...
Topics: Reno, Nevada, politics and government, University of Nevada, lobbyist, Nevada State Archives,...
Phyllis J. Walsh, a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was born in 1897. In the 1930s she arrived in Nevada to assist in managing a ranch. In Nevada, Phyllis Walsh became a civic leader, with responsible positions in numerous patriotic organizations.  Phyllis Walsh's years in Nevada form the major part of her memoir. With Helen Marye Thomas, member of a pioneer Comstock era family, Miss Walsh managed and worked the S Bar S ranch on the Truckee River within the boundaries of the Pyramid Lake...
Topics: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, World War I, French Army, Prohibition, ranching, Helen Marye Thomas,...
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Edward Shier Parsons was born in Tonopah, Nevada, in 1907. Interested in an architectural career from a very early age, Parsons studied his profession at the University of Southern California and graduated in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. He returned to Nevada to establish his practice and to engage in a wide variety of activities related to his profession. Parsons played a great role in the construction and restoration of many buildings at the University of Nevada as well...
Topics: Tonopah, Nevada, Salt Lake City, Utah, Reno, Nevada, University of Southern California, University...
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Late in 1997, Andre J. Duchane, Vice President of Operations for Franco-Nevada Mining Corporation, along with Debra W. Struhsacker, environmental and government relations consultant for Midas Joint Venture (MJV), launched a project to record the mining and milling history of Midas, Nevada, through oral history interviews. While using Dana Bennet’s oral interviews titled Forward With Enthusiasm: Midas, Nevada, 1907-1995 as starting point, this collection of interviews builds off of Bennet’s...
Topics: Franco-Nevada Mining, Andre J. Duchane, Debra W. Struhsacker, Midas Joint Venture, Midas, Nevada,...
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Richard "Dick" Graves was born in Boise, Idaho, on August 23, 1912. An astute businessman, he spent nearly twenty years in the gaming industry in Idaho. When that state banned gambling in 1953, he came to Nevada in 1954 to start over. Graves operated lucrative establishments in Reno, Carson City, Yerington, and Sparks including opening the Sparks Nugget. In this oral history, Graves recalls his business ventures in Idaho and Nevada, his legal battle about the Golden Rooster, and his...
Topics: Boise, Idaho, gaming industry, Sparks, Nevada, Carson City, Yerington, Sparks Nugget, Bill Howard,...
Louie A. Gardella was a native of Nevada and was born in 1908 on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation. Gardella, a descendant of Italian pioneer farmers, spent his early years on a ranch near Wadsworth, Nevada. He attended local schools and the University of Nevada, graduating with a degree in agriculture. A long career with the Agricultural Extension Service followed, with work in several Nevada counties. Here, he became interested in 4-H Clubs and dealt with pesticides, weed control, drainage,...
Topics: Nevada agriculture, Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation, Wadsworth, Nevada, University of Nevada,...
Bernice Auchoberry, a Washoe Indian, was born in 1914, near the end of a fifty-year period during which many Washoe families lived and worked on ranches owned by whites, scattered throughout the valley. Bernice eventually worked in the Minden home of the ranch’s owners.  In this 1984 interview, Bernice Auchoberry discusses some important elements of Washoe life in Carson Valley from the turn of the century through the 1950s. Of particular interest are descriptions of traditional Washoe...
Topics: Washoe, Nevada, Minden, Nevada, Washoe Indian, Native American, Carson Valley
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Carlene Jackson Burton was a Western Shoshone woman born in Schurz, Nevada. She attended Stewart Indian School in the late 1950s for one semester when she was fourteen. Her mom was a single parent and when she moved to Austin, Nevada for work, Carlene chose to attend Stewart instead of relocating to the Austin school. Carlene was familiar with Stewart because her two older brothers attended the school. However, she immediately regretted her decision, and did not return to the campus the next...
Topics: Western Shoshone, Native American, Schurz, Nevada, Steward Indian School, Austin, Nevada, Nevada...
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In this oral history, Beatrice (Little) Allen recalls her life as a Paiute Indian in Nevada. Beatrice attended Stewart Indian School from 1940-1948. She is of Paiute descent and hails from Owyhee, Nevada. She began at Stewart as a fifth-grader and graduated eight years later. She trained at the Stewart infirmary and after graduation, she married her high school sweetheart Andy Allen and moved to California while he served in the military. They returned to Nevada and Beatrice began working in...
Topics: Stewart Indian School. Paiute Indian, Stewart Infirmary, Andy Allen, Bureau of Indian Affairs,...
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The culture and lifestyle of the American Indian have undergone tremendous change since the appearance of the first Euro-American settlers. Leonard Lowry's oral history chronicles some of these changes, from the generation of his great-grandfathers up through the generation of his grandchildren.  Mr. Lowry was born May 16, 1920, in Milford, California, and grew up in Susanville. In this oral history Mr. Lowry discusses how local tribes in the area made a living, gathered and hunted for food,...
Topics: American Indian, Milford, California, Susanville, California, Washoe India, Suzi Jack, Indian...
Carroll Gladding Dolve was born into a mining family in Virginia City, Nevada, in 1908. She grew up in Virginia City and attended the Fourth Ward School, graduating from there in 1925. Mrs. Dolve then moved to San Francisco to become a secretary and returned to Virginia City in 1973. Mrs. Dolve reminisces about her childhood experiences growing up on the Comstock with her brother and sister. Through her eyes the reader can glimpse the active life of children in Virginia City in the opening...
Topics: Mining, Virginia City, Fourth Ward School, San Francisco, California, Arthur Charles Dolve, Comstock
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Robert (Bob) L. McDonald was born 1920 in Reno, Nevada; The first part of McDonald’s oral history includes memories of his childhood neighborhood in Reno. Bob joined the Army Air Corps and spent a majority of his time flying with his wife Gloria Peck. After returning to Reno upon his discharge, McDonald moved to San Francisco with his wife to attend law school. He began his legal career under Alan Bible as a Deputy District Attorney. Eventually they started their own private practice, Bible...
Topics: Reno, Nevada, Nevada State Journal, University of Nevada, Zephyr Cove, Lake Tahoe, Reno High...
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Bill Turner is from Bishop, California, and attended Stewart Indian School from 1975 to 1976. He was briefly on the Bishop High School football team before he dropped out of high school. After being urged by a family member to return to school, Turner chose Stewart because of the strong athletics programs. Bill rose quickly to star status as a boxer for the school and competed in the U.S. Olympics Boxing Team tryouts in 1976. After graduation from Stewart, he then competed as a professional...
Topics: Bishop, California, Stewart Indian School, Bishop High School, U.S. Olympics Boxing Team, Bishop...