Stewart, Jan Interview, 2010 June 28. OH-01765. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
Standardized Rights Statement
An Interview with Janzon (Jan) Stewart An Oral History Conducted by Claytee D. White and Karen Shank The Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ©The Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2007 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV - University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Editors: Barbara Tabach and Gloria Homol Transcribers: Kristin Hicks and Laurie Boetcher Interviewers and Project Assistants: Barbara Tabach and Claytee D. White • • 11 The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of Dr. Harold Boyer. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank the university for the support given that allowed an idea the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader's understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project. Additional transcripts may be found under that series title. Claytee D. White, Project Director Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University Nevada, Las Vegas • • • 111 List of Illustrations Following Page: John Harold, famous quarter horse 10 Ranch and family photos 17 Appendix "John Herold" (sic) song lyrics by Mike Prince Assorted Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper articles regarding quarter horse racing iv Preface In 1901, Jan Stewart's grandfather William T. Stewart brought his family to Alamo, Nevada in Lincoln County and about 90 miles north of Las Vegas to ranch. Soon he and his wife were operating a livery stable. One of his customers was an executive with the Union Pacific Railroad for whom he provided transportation to Las Vegas, where the railroad owned a ranch referred to as the Old Ranch. In this narrative Jan recounts how his grandfather and later his father became managers of the Old Ranch and lived a just a few dozen yards from the Old Mormon Fort, a historic Las Vegas landmark. In addition to sharing stories of his family's history, he describes how the ranch was a unique place to group up, brought the family in contact with many community people and an occasional celebrity. ORAL HISTORY RESEARCH CENTER AT UNLV Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project Name of Narrator: ~7G> l\ Name oflnterviewer: t LMirE£_ Use Agreement H-rr& We, die above named, give to die Oral History Research Center of UNLV, die recorded interview(s) initiated on (c /7 /•%.&>/O as an unrestricted gift, to be used for such scholarly and educational purposes as shall be determined, and transfer to die University of Nevada Las Vegas, legal tide and all literary property rights including copyright. Tliis gift does not preclude die right of die interviewer, as a representative of UNLV, to use die recordings and related materials for scholarly pursuits. There will be no compensation for any interviews. *&/&&rO Library Special Collections 4505 Maryland Parkway, Box 457010, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-7070 (702) 895-2222 1 This is Claytee White and I am with Mr. Jan [Janzon] Stewart. We're here in the Reading Room at Special Collections UNLV Library. It is June 28th, 2010. So how are you today, Mr. Stewart? I'm pretty good. How are you? Fantastic. And the name Stewart, you know what my first question really has to be. Are you related to — Helen J. Stewart. That's right. No, we're not actually related to her. But it gets confusing because we once lived on the same ranch that she operated for many years. Yes, and your history with that ranch goes back a couple of generations. So why don't we start there. I usually ask tell me about your early life, but in this case because you had a grandfather associated with this old ranch—that we call the old ranch today, the old fort, tell me about your grandfather. My grandfather's name was William T. Stewart, Jr. He and his parents moved to the place called Alamo, Nevada in 1901. They came from southern Utah. So their purpose was to establish ranching in that community and a rangeland in Lincoln County—which they did. Well, not soon after they moved there, they obtained a livery stable in a place called Delamar. Delamar was a mining operation that was booming at the time. So they obtained a livery stable. My grandfather and his wife went to operate the livery stable. In 1903, their first child Jesma was born in Delmar. And then my father, he was born in Delamar in 1904. So they ran the livery stable there for a year or so. A person came to town; named Walter Bracken. He was an important official with the Union Pacific Railroad. He needed a ride. He came to the livery stable to get a ride from Delmar to Las Vegas. So he talked to my grandfather. Would you take me? And they made some arrangement. So my grandfather drove him in a horse and buggy from Delamar to Las Vegas. In the meantime, the railroad was being constructed in this area. So during his trip Mr. Bracken found out that my grandfather was a cowboy. And that he knew how to manage wild cattle. And it turns out that when the railroad purchased the old ranch, there was a lot of cattle on the ranch that had been scattered out throughout all the valley, not taken 2 care of, not branded, not made steers. You know, they were just kind of ragged and weren't taken care of. So he ottered my grandfather a job. You come and work for me and I'll pay you $45 a month plus room and board. He was making $30 a month with no room and board. So this was a good wage for him in that period of time. He sent word back to his wife (who was) still in Delamar: Look, this has worked out for us; what do you think? She says: Oh, yes, let's do it. I don't think this mining camp is a good place to raise our kids anyway. So she packed up her stuft and got a ride into Caliente where she could catch the railroad. By this time she could ride the railroad train as far as Moapa. Do you know where Moapa is? And then grandfather went up—he or his brother went up and picked up my grandmother and the two kids with a horse and buggy. My father at this time was a two-month old baby. The trip from Moapa to Las Vegas was 50 miles. It was in the middle of July. It was dusty and it was hot and the road was rough. There's no water. So you had to carry a drink. That is a very long drive. I don't know if they made it in one day or spent the night somewhere. But eventually they pulled into Las Vegas. But the little girl became very ill on this trip. Grandmother did everything she could, but the child would not eat, would not take anything. She lost a whole lot of weight. She called Helen Stewart, who lived nearby, because they actually located my grandfather on the old ranch in a structure they called a tent house, which was part wood, the bottom part, and then the top was canvas. And I think there are some pictures of that kind of a dwelling in the history of the old ranch. Well, they lived in one ot those. But the child — Helen gave her best advice and the child was still not very well. Finally Dr. Bracken came to Las Vegas. He was a brother of Walter and also an official of the Union Pacific Railroad. He gave some advice and some medicine to grandmother. Eventually the child started recovering. Now, this child at this time was just skin and bones. There was no flesh on this child. The eyes were just sunken. So in six months or so the child had gone back to normal. So they were very happy, very please. They felt blessed that this had happened to them. So this is your father's older sister? Yes. Just two of them in this family at this point. V • £• 3 So only two kids. Yes and so he spent a couple of years gathering the cattle from the mesquite forests in the lower part of Las Vegas Valley and taking care of them on the old ranch. This is in 1904. In 1905 lots were sold by the railroad which established Las Vegas. They were here when that occurred. But my grandfather was a rancher and he wasn't interested in that. Eventually, the cattle had been taken care of and he was no longer needed at the old ranch. In the meantime, Rhyolite, which is a mining community just up by Beatty, was booming. So grandfather thought, you know, there's a good freighting business between here and Rhyolite. And he came across a guy who had a team of six horses that he used to pull his freight wagons. But the horses didn t pull together. And the teamster didn't know how to train them. So his business was failing. He just couldn t make good time and couldn't get the horses to pull a big heavy load. So my grandfather bought these horses and the wagon and spent two weeks training them. He was an expert horseman. I mean, he could jump on a wild horse and grab hold of the mane and just ride him down. That's how good he was. In two weeks he had those horses up to speed. So he got in the freighting business. Now he's making $3,000 a week compared to $45 a month. He did that until that kind of petered out. He took his money and went back to Alamo and bought into the ranches and the rangeland up north and west of Alamo. That's where they made their home. They lived there for many years. They had 12 children. One died as child about nine years old. The rest grew to adulthood. One was lost in the Second World War. So all that family was raised up there. All the daughters went to college, none of the sons. But wasn't that unusual? No. No. It was more important for these people, they were Mormon, to see that the mother was educated because she's the one that's going to raise the kids. She's the one that's going to teach them. The men in those days made their living by hard labor. All of their work was hard work. So it figured out best to educate the girls. And that's what occurred in this family. My grandmother was a school teacher. See, I think that's very smart. Yeah. So all the sisters were sophisticated. My dad and his brothers, they were smart about horses and ranching. 4 So where did the girls go to school? BYU. [Brigham Young University] So your grandfather left Las Vegas. When he went back to Alamo, did he ever return to Las Vegas to live? Yes. So in the early 40s they were, of course, still acquainted with what was going on in Las Vegas. Those folks came down to Las Vegas every once in a while to get a paying job. The Wittwer family was operating the ranch in 1933. And so in 1942 my grandfather, my father and his brother-in-law, Earl Leavitt tormed a partnership to run the ranch. Well, one of my dad's sisters married a Leavitt. Another ot my dad's sisters married a Bunker. So the old families around here pretty much got interconnected as time went on. In 1942 they arranged to take over the lease. Albert Wittwer had been running the ranch. He died and his brother Will Wittwer took over the lease tor a short time and they transferred it to our tamily... The Leavitt family—my dad's sister and her husband—were already in Las Vegas and my grandfather came to Las Vegas in about 1942. My dad stayed in Alamo and ran things up there until we moved to Las Vegas in 1945. Now, keep in mind that my dad and mother had lived here between 1930 to 1937. People come from Alamo to Las Vegas to earn some money. Then they would go back to Alamo and spend it on the cattle business. And my dad worked on the dam. He worked at the old icehouse delivering ice. He worked unloading railroad cars and those kinds of things for about seven years. So in that time I was born here and lived here until I was about three years old. So do you remember any of your father's stories about the dam? No. Any of his stories about the icehouse or anything else related to Las Vegas during that period? The icehouse, there were stories about the icehouse. They'd deliver big blocks of ice. They'd lift the ice blocks with large tongs or hooks. They carried the ice on their shoulder or their back. They'd go upstairs and they'd go into bars with this ice. There were a couple of times my dad or his brothers ended up in some kind ot fight in a bar just coming in delivering the ice. So in some locations it was a rough place. But they did that. It was very heavy work that they did. So it's like delivering Sparkletts water. 5 Yeah, except it was much heavier and more difficult to carry. You didn't have wheels to put it on. Right. So what are your first memories of Las Vegas? I have no memories myself of that early time when I was three years old. I didn't bring it, but I have one picture ot my dad holding me in front of just a bungalow or small house that was on Bridger and Fifth Street. Long time ago. That's downtown. Great. Karen Schank has just come in and joined us. Karen, do you want to take over the interview? We're just getting ready to talk about Mr. Stewart's experiences here in Las Vegas. He just told me about his grandfather, a little about his father. So now we're getting ready to talk about his experiences. So we're now living on the old ranch. We had a small, framed house that was about 30 yards from the fort. My grandparents were living in the old ranch house, which at that time faced Fifth Street and was adjacent to the creek. So we lived there. And my uncle and aunt, the Leavitts, lived in another framed house that was about 20 yards from the old fort. So we are very familiar with the old fort and we played around it. There was a piece of the wall still left. We would walk on top of the wall and do those kinds of things. There was a family that lived in the old fort at that time. I'm not sure if it was the entire time we were there. The husband's name was Arthur (Art) Thompson and his wife's name was Gladys. Her maiden name was Lamb. But they lived in the fort -- they also had come from Alamo -- although he didn't work on the ranch and I don't know what his occupation was and what he did. So this is a wonderful place for me to grow up, on the old ranch. There were parts of an old orchard that were still there. There were giant fig trees and we used to feast on those figs. They would get very juicy and soft. There wasn't much market for them. Well, I think we gathered them up once or twice and sold them to the 5th Street Market, a grocery store. And sometimes they would be kind to us and put them out. But there really wasn't much market for those figs. But they were the sweetest figs. There was a big pecan tree that we used to harvest for the pecans, a walnut tree and an apple tree. And all these had survived over the years. I don't know how long they had been there, but they had been there tor a long time. Whether these were part of the orchard planted by 6 Helen J. Stewart. I don't know. So we had all those things. There were corrals down below. We all had horses. There were places to ride all over the ranch and beyond. So I have some pictures. In fact, let me just show you. I don't know if you need to remember them. This is a picture ot me during that period of time. This is in front of the house. You can see it's just a small house that's just 30 yards from the old fort. Now, this was taken when you were 11? I was about 12.. .This is a picture ot the side of that old house. The only reason we have a few pictures is because it snowed and everyone ran out to take a picture. Karen Shank: This is the home you lived in? Beg your pardon? This is the home you lived in? Yes, that's the home. That's the side of the house. (In the previous photo) I'm in front of the house. Now, if I looked directly from the front of the house straight out, I'd be looking at the old fort. I'll show you a picture of that. This photo shows my family inside the old house. I had an older brother who is not in the photo. He was away at college. Now, if I looked out the front door or we walked out the front door, this photo shows what we'd see. That's what the old fort looked like when we were there. So, yeah. We didn't appreciate its importance when we were kids. Now, if I looked out from the back of my house—we were kind ot on a hill we looked down upon the ranch. These are the corrals and the fields are way out. You see a silo. You have any questions on that picture of what you see? The train, do I see a train? No, that is not a train. That is some storage units that somebody placed back there. Oh, it looks just like railroad tracks. So that's nothing significant. Eventually this is where Rancho High School was built down by those storage units. Where was the racetrack in connection with this? You really can't see the racetrack. You can see a round building. That's the grainery. 7 Right here. Yes. They kept grain in that and the silo. On the ranch, we grew alfalfa hay, of course, barley and then corn, corn for silage. They would chop up the stalks and corn shucks and everything. And they kind of bury it and then it ferments a little bit. This made good teed for the cattle. Keep in mind my folks were cattle people. So they still operated the rangeland in Lincoln County where the cattle grazed and calved. It was an open range, hundreds ot miles almost. Then they d bring them down here to Las Vegas and feed them out from what was grown here, the corn, the barley and the hay. Then they'd truck them down to Los Angeles to sell. So that was their business. There was also at this time a slaughterhouse in Las Vegas over where Scotch 80s (neighborhood) is. So some of their cattle were taken over there. But most ot it was trucked down to Los Angeles. If I could see that picture again: no, it's not in there, but to the left of the trees is where all the big corrals were, the feedlot corrals. So that would actually be north if you were looking at this picture. It would be on the other side of the trees from the side we're looking. So more corrals than what we see right there? What we see in the photo are the horse corrals. Horse corrals were used not only by us but people from uptown in Las Vegas. So we had a lot of horse people that we got acquainted with, most of them gamblers, people that worked in the clubs and on Fremont Street and stuff like that. So we got acquainted with a lot of those people and they became our friends. So how would they use the corrals? They would put their horse in the corral and they'd come down and feed them every day. Or sometimes if they were going to be gone, we'd take care ot them. Did they have to pay a leasing fee or a rental? I think they paid something for the hay. The corrals, I don't know if they were actually charged. But the racetrack was also down here where those storage units are. The racetrack was actually down there. But you cannot see any of it in this photo. So what year are we talking about for the racetrack? Well, the racetrack went on for several years. It was probably constructed in the late Forties... Now, keep in mind my dad and his family were quarter horse people. Quarter horses were the favorite horse for cattle people. Then they all had to race them and see who had the fastest horse. Gradually 8 they d become racehorses. But the maximum distance they ran for was 440 yards, which is a quarter of a mile. They would also run a hundred yards, 200 yards, and 300 yards. Getting out of the gate fast was important if you're running cattle. A horse had to move quickly to head off a calf. So this is an important characteristic of a quarter horse, which you wouldn't really find in a thoroughbred. So that s why they got into the horse business early. In fact, there's an article ~ I don't know it I brought it — in the newspaper about the horses that they had acquired. They went back to Oklahoma to purchase their first horses and they brought them out here. Other folks did the same. Pretty soon a number of people around Las Vegas that were excited about this horse and we would see them on the ranch all the time. They'd come down to the races or they'd come down to exercise their horses. So which of the horses — I've been to a horse race where the men were sitting in the little — Starting gate? No. They were sitting in like a little buggy. Oh. Oh, no. Those are trotters. So those are different. Yes, but keep in mind that this track was a very crude track. It was not Churchill Downs. In fact, they had railings for only for 400 yards. Although the track eventually made a circle, they didn't bother with railings for the last part. It was that first 400 yards where the race was taking place. They had gates, but they didn't have like 16 gates. They had, maybe, six gates. So that's what they d come out ot. They would have match races where you'd bring your horse over and match a race with somebody else. They'd stick them in the gates and out you'd come and the race was on. Now, eventually they got more sophisticated and they built a tower so that they could take photographs of the finish and pari-mutuel betting was established. If I recall one of the Ashworth brothers operated the pari-mutuel betting because you had to be an accountant to keep all these figures straight. So that took place on a very small scale. The town was very small. But a lot of the people would come down to the ranch and bring their horses. If I can just refer to this. This is an article that appeared in Las Vegas Review-Journal November 28, 1947. By '47 they're racing horses. There's 11 races going on and they're all pretty much matched races. Jack Wollenzine had a horse named Sizzler. He owned a grocery store on 9 south Fifth Street. He was quite well known. Nephi Potter, Bob Fones, Dave Campbell, Tommy Young, Nig Graham, Jimmy Middleton and other horse people would come down to the Old Ranch. Then things got bigger as time went on. Then we had a lot of people that we used to see down there. Then they had a famous race in 1946 that I want to bring your attention to. One of the first quarter horses my family purchased in Oklahoma was a horse named John Harold. This is a picture of my grandfather — he's the one with the nice hat on ~ and my father with the horse John Harold. This was taken on the old ranch in the arena they had. Maybe you can see a piece of it in the photo. In this one? It s right over here. You can just barely see a piece of it right behind the pecan tree. That's where this picture was taken. So John Harold was their prize horse. He was pretty fast and they raced him around a little bit at some other tracks. So some people come up from California with a horse that couldn't be beat. And they were showing a lot of money and they wanted to race John Harold. Of course, they had nice tracks and nice facilities in California and they didn't expect very much competition. They came with a challenge: you claim your horse is good; we got $10,000 that says we can beat him. My dad -- and his brothers were ranchers and they didn't have that kind of money. But they knew Benny Binion. So off my dad goes to Fremont Street to talk to Benny Binion. Well, Benny, he's excited to get in this thing. So he went to his safe and filled up his briefcase with cash. Off they went. So Benny says: we'll match your money; and we'll up it even more you think your horse is so fast. So the betting got even higher the than $10,000. So the word got around town about this big event that was about to happen down at the old ranch. Of course, John Harold beat the other horse pretty good. Well, a little kid was watching this race. His name is Mike Prince. I'm acquainted with Mike. He's kind of a cowboy poet in his spare time. So it's a cowboy poet. He wrote a home about this race. I want to leave it with you because you'll enjoy reading it. I have to explain a few things because he's a poet and often times they're not exactly accurate to the facts. But it's poetry. The basic facts are true -- the horse race, the betting, the winning and all that business is all true. But he gets a little mistaken about how he describes the horse. The horse didn't have four white stocking feet like he says. He calls the California people "Prunies." I don't know if you've ever heard that. 10 No. Well, they grow a lot of prunes in California. So it's kind of a derogatory name for California people. Okay. I see. The folks in Las Vegas were not going to be looked down upon by people from California. So they used the name Prunies." That s not done any more. This photo shows the horse, my grandfather and my father. Here's the poem about that race. So you can read it in your spare time. What I'd like to do is I'd like for Karen and you to continue talking. What I'd like to do is start scanning the photographs so that when you get ready to leave — I'll take this stack now. Leave that there because you're still looking at those as you're talking. So, Karen, we ve talked about the horse races. I had one article that mentioned some of the people that had their horses, but I didn't bring it. There were names that are familiar to old-time Vegans, the gamblers mainly. But Jimmy Middleton, he had a horse down there and he'd come and race. Cliff Jones would bring his horse over and race. Benny Binion, I remember an event where we were having some races and he came on a horse, a beautiful horse. Of course, his saddle and everything was silver and the blankets and the bridles. We had tack that's falling apart. That's what we used. Then he brought all his kids. He had, I don't know, six or seven kids. So it just went the oldest and then the next one had a little bit smaller horse and the next a little bit smaller. It went all the way down to a Shetland which the very youngest boy rode. They came from their house over on Bonanza down to the old ranch to see what was going on at the races. It was a real parade because they all had just beautiful tack - the bridles, the saddles, the blankets ~ and the horses were just immaculately cared for. So I was very impressed. Grant Price and Buck Blaine were two other gamblers that came to the ranch. There are others that I just can't quite remember their names. So that's the racetrack. That's where the races took place on the ranch. For a few years, it was an exciting activity and a lot of people came over and enjoyed those races. I got to ride in one race because I was still young and light enough to be a jockey. But I didn't win. I came in second. That sounds great. This picture shows the corrals and stuff, you can see a silo. This is used to store grain, usually grain. " 3. . < ; • l! ..-•- ?n e\w &$>. ' " .*&. _• ^ MV : -• J . -r' ' - - ** *' •4 *'• • ** . . . ; « ,-.y ^ . ,~v » ••<'•••-•• •• . .-.< •$. I ** v - . • " ' • >• •«* • * .1 $ & " ' • - ' - - ; :/• . 2 -•* - „'*•** - -r*• jt k- . » - •- *' .^jjp »- • . "- . " •«•. «••.. * '£^* • *— • - & : • . , ... »r. * - .-•.» . " -., . , .,-. ; . ' *-• * ... •'•• w r • - - " - - ' • & . ' " ' - ' * * * • " • - * HkwBWFb- -.rMmmm® V. 4'f:' < - *y *»;«*£ ** v -• • 7 ' 4 ,% . * . * ? • - . . . » ' . • *t*<j - % v ^ * St;* -?v . ^v.4.. - .. -vrv . \±M The famous quarter horse, John Harold. 1 1 So here s a picture. You'll see that there is a kid that has climbed up to the top of that silo. My brother says that's our cousin Doug Stewart. Now, I don't know if you knew about Doug, he became a famous playwright. He lives in St. George now. So these kids would climb on top of the silo and walk around the edge. Parents did not know this. But you can see how high that is and how dangerous it was. Sometimes it wasn't too dangerous because it would be half full of grain. So if you fell on the inside, you would hit the grain and you're okay. Not so if you fell on the outside. This is a picture of the teed yard. This is where the cattle were kept. That's one picture. Here s another picture from a different direction. The cattle were brought in from the rangeland in Lincoln County down to the Old Ranch where they were fattened and then taken to the market. This other picture is similar to the one you have in color showing the ranch and where the corrals are from our house. You can even see my mom's sheets that she had hanging up on a clothesline. If you look you can see this old truck. That was a truck that they used to haul the cattle from the rangeland to Las Vegas and from here down to L.A. There was also a trailer that came behind the truck. Just under those sheets you can see part of a building. Can you see a doorway maybe? Okay, that was a dairy barn. There was a dairy herd on the old ranch at this time. Another fellow ran the dairy operation. It wasn't my people. I don't know what the financial arrangement was. But he came on the ranch and actually ran the dairy. So he was the dairyman. So we had a dairy there. And the dairy — What was his name? Well, he was a Leavitt, but I don't know his first name. He had a son named Benny Leavitt I think. I've lost track of all that. So they ran the dairy. Now, over time the dairy was abandoned. By now the town is getting closer and there are a lot of cattle yards. And the dairy was kind of smelly. So they eventually shet the dairy down before we moved away. But we still managed to keep three or four milk cows, which we used ourselves. I spent some time in the dairy barn milking cows. There was a cooler, a freezer to cool off the milk. Then you could get an ice cold drink of milk that was just really fresh. It tasted really good. Of course, it wasn't very good for you because it had a lot of cream in it I guess. But we're still alive, right? So that's the dairy. Eventually that was 12 sold off. Did ymoauk e ice cream with your dairy? No, we didn t. I think they sold the milk to a company called Rancho Creamery or something. It was before Anderson Dairy. Maybe it was a predecessor of Anderson Dairy. I don't know. But Rancho Creamery was downtown on South Third Street, somewhere in there. They made a lot of ice cream. So we ate their ice cream. But my mom made butter from the cream off the milk. When we first arrived on the Old Ranch, there was a fairly large pig operation, you know, like the pig farm they have out north of town, but smaller. It also was operated by another fellow, not by my family. They would use what they called the wet garbage from the hotels and the restaurants to feed the pigs. That also was kind of a smelly operation. So that didn't last many more years after we arrived. But the cattle business ran for quite sometime. There came a period of time towards the end of our stay there, which is in 19 -- what did I say, 56? Although the creek still ran, most of the water out of the Vegas springs had been taken by the town and by the railroad. So the creek didn't run much water. My family built a reservoir to store up the water for irrigation. The creek itself, though, was quite an attraction. The kids would come from uptown or around to chase crawdads or crawfish in the creek. They'd take them home and some folks would eat those things. Also on the ranch just across — if you know where the old ranch house was, where it was located in front of the fort, between the fort and Fifth Street or Las Vegas Boulevard and then just to the south of that house and the fort was the creek. Across the creek was a swimming pool. That was operated by my Aunt Jesma and her family. She was the two-year-old that arrived here in Las Vegas very sick in 1904 when they made the trip from Delamar to here. The swimming pool was a real attraction to people in town. At that time I think they only had Twin Lakes pool and the pool down at the old ranch. The pool down at the old ranch was much closer to everybody that lived in this area. So they had big crowds in the summertime. The pool was very noisy and a lot of kids. It was a nice place to go. I don't think people know much about the swimming pool. So I brought here an advertisement in the newspaper, 1946 Review-Journal. Here's just an ad about the swimming pool on the old ranch. Then there is another article in '45 in the Review-Journal about swim classes 13 taking place a