Politics and Government

Esmeralda County Courthouse

When the seat of government moved from Hawthorne to Goldfield in 1907, county commissioners authorized the construction of a new county facility. The first courthouse still stands in Hawthorne where it later served Mineral County.

Emilie Wanderer

Emilie Wanderer was the first female attorney to open her own practice in Las Vegas. Despite threats, she represented the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in the 1950s. She was also the first woman to run for district court. Wanderer worked to protect the interests of children and promote equal rights.

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.

Elko County Courthouse

The Nevada legislature created Elko County in 1869, and chose the town of Elko as the county seat. Commissioners selected a site for their courthouse a block from the central business district. They hired Walter Moberly, the county surveyor, to design the courthouse, and granted a $17,444 construction contract to Colonel W.P. Monroe. Dan P. Bell was appointed to supervise the project.

Edwin E. Roberts

Edwin E. Roberts came to Nevada in 1897 to attend the March 17 heavyweight prizefight between Bob Fitzsimmons and James Corbett, and he stayed. Born in Pleasant Grove, California, on December 12, 1869, Roberts graduated from California State Normal School in 1891 and worked for several years as a teacher and principal. He settled in Carson City, Nevada, where he taught school at Empire, read law, and was admitted to the bar. He was elected Ormsby County district attorney in 1900.

Eben Rhodes

The first man to hold the office of Nevada state treasurer may have been the most notorious. Accused of embezzling over $100,000 from the permanent school fund and other state accounts, Ebenezer "Eben" Rhodes died a mysterious death and set off a political firestorm that preoccupied state officials for almost four years after his death. No other state officials were ever charged with wrongdoing, and the bondsmen who had vouched for Rhoades' character were relieved of any liability.

Douglas County Courthouse

Created in 1861, Douglas County was named after failed presidential candidate Stephen A. Douglas, chairman of the Senate Committee of Territories at the time. The state legislature selected Genoa as the location for the county seat.

Crandall v. Nevada

Admitted to the Union in 1864, the new state of Nevada was starved for revenue. An act of the legislature of March 8, 1865, imposed a variety of taxes, including a levy of one dollar for every person leaving the state on a common carrier, such as a stage coach or railroad. The tax was to be paid by the person or company operating the conveyance.

Cole-Malley Embezzlement

In perhaps the largest and best-known political and financial scandal in Nevada history—State Treasurer Ed Malley and State Controller George Cole embezzled $516,322.16 from the state treasury in the 1920s. With the assistance of a cashier of the Carson Valley Bank, the two began to divert state funds for their own benefit in 1919. With this money, they invested in Tonopah mining stocks and Signal Hill Oil Company. The oil wells came up dry, so the money was lost.


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