History of Nevada Diversity

Florence Lee Jones Cahlan

In a town and an era in which women often were second-class citizens, Florence Lee Jones was a true Las Vegas leader and pioneer. Born in 1910, Jones was raised in Missouri where she earned a journalism degree from the University of Missouri in 1933. She soon moved to southern Nevada to join her family, including brothers Cliff and Herb Jones, who worked on Hoover Dam and went on to lengthy political and legal careers.


Located in Elko County, Wells became a natural rest area for emigrants heading west because of its open meadows and natural well water. The first written report of the area came from a pioneer's journal in 1845. Because the springs, (or "wells") are the source of the Humboldt River, the area was originally dubbed Humboldt Wells. By the 1850s and 1860s, hundreds of covered wagons passed through Humboldt Wells every year.

Welsh: Nineteenth-Century Immigrants from Wales

For centuries, the Welsh gained international fame as miners. Nevertheless, they were slow to come to Nevada's mines. This was largely due to the fact that coal dominates Wales's industry, giving its workers experience more useful in the coal fields of the eastern United States than in western hard rock mines.

English Immigrants

English immigrants, particularly men, came to Nevada in large numbers during the nineteenth century and frequently occupied significant social and economic positions, often becoming community leaders who helped shape the state. English immigrants were active in the western Great Basin prior to the establishment of Nevada Territory, and they were among the earliest settlers to arrive in the 1850s.

Elmer Rusco

Elmer Rusco sought to serve the people of Northern Nevada through both scholarship and community activism. As a scholar, he created a foundational body of work on the historical experience of ethnic minorities in Nevada. As an activist, he devoted himself to a number of social justice causes and organizations, including the Nevada branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, an organization he led through much of the 1970s.

Elko Republican Club

The Elko Republican Club was an African American "literary and political" organization established by members of Elko's African American population in 1870s. As such, it reflects a sense of unity and optimism among members of this community.

Elizabeth Brady

Elizabeth Brady was a connecting link between the past and the future for the Shoshone people of Nevada. Raised in a very traditional family in Battle Mountain and Beowawe and speaking only Shoshone until she went to school, Brady absorbed stories, songs, and skills in beadwork and willow basketry that she carried all her life. Brady was particularly known for her cradleboards, which were made with a bent dogwood frame, rows of fine willow sticks held together with more split willows, and a cover of brain-tanned buckskin.

Edward Von Tobel Lumber Company

The Edward Von Tobel Lumber Company opened for business in 1905 and remained in operation until 1976, the longest lasting family business in Las Vegas history. It was founded by second-generation German Americans Edward Von Tobel Sr. (1873-1967) and his partner and boyhood friend Jake Beckley on two twenty-five-foot lots on South Main Street.

Dr. James B. McMillan: Committed to Freedom

A month after Dr. James B. McMillan's death on March 20, 1999, the Nevada legislature passed Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 49 on April 23 with the fitting conclusion that "Dr. James B.


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