Politics and Government

Cliff Young

Interviews with Nevada Supreme Court Justice Cliff Young were conducted during May, June, and July of 1999 at his home south of Reno. The setting is peaceful and relaxed—a ten-acre ranchette with a large pond near the front entrance and a driveway through mature shade trees. The Young ranch house is well-known to many who have been invited to enjoy a summer barbeque. The big, black lab Jet, who was Justice Young’s constant companion except when chasing ducks out of the pond, welcomed this visitor.

Bruce R. Thompson

Born July 31, 1911, Bruce R. Thompson was a native Nevada son. His father taught Latin, Greek, and history at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR); his mother was a homemaker. Judge Thompson describes the family home on Reno’s Riverside Drive as one acre on the Truckee River with cows, chickens, and a large vegetable garden. He recalls milking the cows, weeding the garden, and serving as a marriage witness for a minister neighbor’s wedding business.

Howard D. McKibben

Born April 1, 1940, in Virginia, Illinois, Howard McKibben lived at The Baby Fold orphanage in Normal, Illinois, until 1942, when he and his sister, Marian, were adopted by James and Bernice McKibben. Judge McKibben’s father was superintendent of schools, and his mother was an English and Latin teacher. Throughout his oral history, Judge McKibben expresses his gratitude to his adoptive parents for the love and values that inform his life and career, and adoption remains an important advocacy issue for him.

Herbert M. Jones

Herbert Monroe Jones was born July 22, 1914 in Phillipsburg, Missouri. His father, an oil-drilling superintendent, worked for Shell Oil Company. In 1925, Mr. Jones was 11 years old when the family moved to Klulong, in Sumatra, Indonesia, a town he describes as being “carved out of the heart of the jungle.” It was a big change for the Missouri paperboy.

Elmer Millard "Al" Gunderson

Elmer Millard “Al” Gunderson was born August 9, 1929 on the proverbial “wrong side of the tracks” in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A life story of never knowing an invalid father— in his own words, having met his father perhaps four times while growing up—and feeling as if he were at times an “orphan” are evident in the man he became.

Frank W. Daykin

Frank W. Daykin, born October 28, 1920 in Cleveland, Ohio, was a Midwesterner with the soul of a classicist. He became “the editor’s editor” and, in the process, reshaped the way Nevada statutes are read.

Harry Eugene Claiborne

The life of Harry Eugene Claiborne had many chapters, from rural McRae, Arkansas to the neon lights of Las Vegas, Nevada. From his years as a rural farm boy who started a rabbit business at ten to a federal judgeship, imprisonment, and impeachment for tax evasion by the U. S. Senate, his was a varied life that eventually put him in the crosshairs of a federal Strike Force investigating and prosecuting organized crime.

John Barrett

Judge John W. Barrett was a member of the greatest generation. Born in 1917, he lost his mother at the age of seven, grew to manhood during the Depression, and served in the U.S. Army Infantry from 1939 to 1945. Formed in the crucible, Judge Barrett’s bedrock values were duty, determination, and respect for authority, all evident in his approach to offenders and in his determination to participate in this oral history project in spite of rapidly declining health.

Milton Badt: Oral History

Milton B. Badt, Associate Justice of the Nevada State Supreme Court, was a member of a pioneer Nevada family. His father, Morris Badt, was one of the state’s early merchants, arriving in Elko County in 1868.

Charlotte Hunter Arley

The year was 1947. Reno’s population was a mere 25,000, yet it boasted a total of 175 attorneys, many serving the wealthy eastern divorce trade. In this era of dude-ranch divorcees, only two other women besides Charlotte Hunter were practicing lawyers, Felice Cohen and Margaret Bailey.

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