Charles Pember "Pop" Squires, prominent pioneer Las Vegas newspaper editor and publisher, is sometimes called the "Father of Las Vegas." He was even referred to as "Mr. Las Vegas" before singer Wayne Newton captured the title. During Squires's long tenure as a newspaper editor-publisher, he owned the Las Vegas Age for thirty-two years. "Pop" promoted the creation of the Colorado River Commission and the construction of Hoover Dam, as well as the growth and prosperity of Las Vegas. Active in politics, he has also been called the "Father of the Republican Party in Clark County."
Squires was born in Waterloo, Wisconsin, in 1865, but his family soon moved to Austin, Minnesota, where he grew up. He taught briefly, and because he was already a staunch Republican, used his political connections to land a job in the Austin Post Office. In 1887, his family moved to southern California, eventually settling in Redlands. Squires operated a real estate, insurance, and title business, but depression conditions in the 1890s destroyed property sales and he looked for other ways to make his fortune.
On Aug. 21, 1889, Squires married his childhood friend, Delphine Anderson, in Seattle where she was teaching school. Delphine later became a leader of early Las Vegas community organizations, and the couple entertained many social and political leaders in their home on Fremont Street.
Squires came to Las Vegas in 1905 and participated in the original land auction, expecting to exploit the potential of the new town created by the coming of the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad. He and his partners started a bank, a hotel, and the first electric power and telephone companies in Las Vegas. They also engaged in the lumber and wagon sales businesses, and briefly became involved in mining. In 1908 Squires bought the weekly Las Vegas Age, one of the city's original three newspapers.
The Age served as a medium for Squires's message about controlling the Colorado River to ensure Southern Nevada's well-being. He represented Nevada at various meetings where the creation of a river commission was discussed. Squires, on behalf of the state, lobbied Congress to obtain funding for the construction of Hoover Dam on the Colorado River.
Squires published the Age for the next three decades, varying its frequency according to competitive and financial need and ability. In 1943, Frank F. Garside, publisher of the rival daily Las Vegas Review-Journal, bought the Age but kept Squires on as editor until the newspaper was suspended on November 30, 1947.
Squires continued to write after he sold the Age, and, with Delphine, compiled an extensive history of Las Vegas. He was still working on the project when he died in 1958 at the age of ninety-three. The C. P. Squires Elementary School located in North Las Vegas is named for him.
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