History of Nevada Diversity

Jewish Agricultural Experiment in Wellington

When Nevada's ore production dropped precipitously after 1877, the population steadily declined and public officials searched for ways to attract new citizens and bolster the tax base. Eventually, the Hebrew Agricultural Society of the United States unveiled a plan to triple Nevada's population with thousands of eastern European Jews. In 1897, Governor Reinhold Sadler commissioned Jewish entrepreneurs Morris Cohn and Theodore Hofer to take out an option on a 5,500 acre spread in Wellington, forty-five miles south of Carson City.

Jeanne Janish

Jeanne Russell Janish was the first female graduate from Stanford University with a master's degree in geology. Her botanical illustrations are recognized nationally and generations of Nevadans have learned local botany from her field guide illustrations.

Janish was born in 1902 in Marshall, Iowa, but grew up in California. She graduated from Vassar College in 1924 with a major in Latin and a minor in geology. She continued studies at Stanford and in 1926, became the first woman to receive a master of science degree in geology from the university.

James Graham Fair

James Fair is credited with discovering the Big Bonanza, one of the richest pockets of gold and silver on the Comstock Lode. He used his wealth to secure a seat in the U.S. Senate. Born in Northern Ireland in 1831 to Scots-Irish parents, Fair immigrated with his family to the United States when he was a boy. Following the 1849 Gold Rush, he traveled to California.

Jacob Sheyer, Resident Rabbi of Carson City

Rabbis in the West often required an alternative source of income because their constituency was often quite small. Jacob Sheyer, rabbi and merchant, had business interests in Marysville, California, and in Carson City as early as 1863.  Sheyer had the longest tenure of any rabbi in Nevada in the nineteenth century despite his untimely death.

Jacob Dodson

Jacob Dodson was an African-American member of John C. Fremont's group of explorers who traversed Nevada in the mid-1840s. As such, he is, with Peter Ranne, one of the first known persons of African descent to enter the territory now known as Nevada.

J. David Hoggard, Sr.

J. David Hoggard, Sr. fell in love with Las Vegas during a short stint at Nellis Air Force Base (formerly known as the Las Vegas Army Air Corps Gunnery School) toward the end of World War II, and went on to play an important role in the police department and the community.

Italian and Swiss Immigrants: Nineteenth-Century

The 1860 federal census reveals thirteen Italians and three Swiss Italians in the part of Utah Territory that would become Nevada. All of these immigrants were men and ten were miners. It was an inauspicious beginning for an ethnic group that would eventually play a dominant role in the state.

Irish Immigrants: Nineteenth-Century

Popular imagination links the Irish with the building of America's transcontinental railroad. Irish track layers dominated the westward push in answer to their largely Chinese counterparts heading east from California. Nevertheless, most Irish in early Nevada were miners with no railroad experience. The Irish contributed to Nevada's earliest mining period.

International Community of Christ

The International Community of Christ has had a presence in Northern Nevada since its founder, Douglas Eugene “Gene” Savoy—an American explorer of pre-Columbian cultures, theologian, and author—established its permanent North American headquarters in Reno in 1972. The church was organized in 1959 in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, but shortly thereafter moved to Peru, where Savoy had centered his historical, archaeological, and religious career.

Idah Meacham Strobridge

Idah Meacham Strobridge deserves her identification as the "first woman of Nevada letters" for the vivid evocation of the Great Basin and its people in her books In Miners' Mirage-Land (1904), The Loom of the Desert (1907) and The Land of Purple Shadows (1909). And the facts of her personal life reveal a resourceful woman of strength and determination as well.

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