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Transcript of interview with Neil Henry Holmes by James Greene, January 14, 1975






On January 14, 1975, collector James Greene interviewed foreman, Neil H. Holmes (born on November 16th, 1897, in Chicopee, Kansas) in his home in Boulder City, Nevada. This interview covers the early days in Boulder City. Mr. Holmes also discusses the local education system, family life, employment opportunities, housing, and the building of Hoover Dam.

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Holmes, Neil Henry Interview, 1975 January 14. OH-00881. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes i An Interview with Neil H. Holmes An Oral History Conducted by James Greene Ralph Roske Oral History Project on Early Las Vegas Special Collections and Archives Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada, Las Vegas UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes ii © Ralph Roske Oral History Project on Early Las Vegas University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2019 UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes iii The Oral History Research Center (OHRC) was formally established by the Board of Regents of the University of Nevada System in September 2003 as an entity of the UNLV University Libraries’ Special Collections Division. The OHRC conducts oral interviews with individuals who are selected for their ability to provide first-hand observations on a variety of historical topics in Las Vegas and Southern Nevada. The OHRC is also home to legacy oral history interviews conducted prior to its establishment including many conducted by UNLV History Professor Ralph Roske and his students. This legacy interview transcript received minimal editing, such as 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. The interviewee/narrator was not involved in the editing process. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes iv Abstract On January 14, 1975, collector James Greene interviewed foreman, Neil H. Holmes (born on November 16th, 1897, in Chicopee, Kansas) in his home in Boulder City, Nevada. This interview covers the early days in Boulder City. Mr. Holmes also discusses the local education system, family life, employment opportunities, housing, and the building of Hoover Dam. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 1 (Tape begins midsentence)—In his home at 640 California Street in Boulder City, on January 14th, 1975. Mr. Holmes, has a varied (unintelligible) experience in the building of the Dam, coming to Boulder City in 1931, and retiring eight years ago, and continued to live in Boulder City. Mr. Holmes’ tapes will be placed in the Special Collections section of Nevada History, at the University of—in the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. And held in perpetuity for his use, his family’s use, and for the use of serious researchers in Nevada History. Mr. Holmes, you say you were born in Chicopee, Kansas, in 1916—or November 16th, 1897. Did you get your elementary school education in Chicopee? No. No. We moved south there about, oh, ten, twelve miles. Ah-huh. Lived around (Unintelligible), Kansas. Where city? Down near Columbus, Kansas. Between (Unintelligible) and Columbus. Oh, I see. I got my schooling there, in that school. And how far did you go to school, through school there? Eighth grade, is all. Eighth grade? And did you continue education in another place? No. That’s just where it (unintelligible). I see. And after that you went up into Wyoming, did you not, sir? Yes. We went to Wyoming in 1916. Did you go with your family? UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 2 Yes. My dad took a homestead up there. I see. And we went up there and lived on that homestead till 1931. Was it a ranch type, homestead? Yes, it was a ranch type. We—(unintelligible) farmed a little bit. But— Uh-huh. Mostly cattle. Now that’s mighty hard work, isn’t it? Yes, it is. And you lived there for how long? Till 1931. Till 1931? Yes. That Depression come along in 1929. Yes sir. Twenty-nine and thirty. Uh-huh. And— Work was mighty hard to get. Yes. I’ll say it was. And everybody heard about the Dam, I guess. Yes. I worked for—Frank Crowe, and Chelsen, and the (Unintelligible) Dam. And where was that, sir? UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 3 That was the little town of (Unintelligible), just to the west of Torrington, Wyoming, about thirty miles from where we lived, forty miles. On what river was that? Flat River, North Flat River. North Flat River? They built a little, well, it was a (unintelligible) down there. Little power plant with two units in it. Did Mr. Crowe, work for the Bureau of Reclamation? No. Frank Crowe—yes, he did, at one time. Years before. Mm-hmm. But at that time he was working for Utah Construction and Morrison-Knudsen. Morrison-Knudsen? Yes. Uh-huh. Had that contract, together, the two of them. And when you finished that—? When we finished up there, why, he went on and took a few other jobs and I stayed there on the ranch— Yes. Until 1931, they got this job down here and I wrote to Chelsen, and— Yes. He said, “Come on down. I got a job for you.” I see. You were surprised to find, Mr. Crowe here, were you? (Laughs) UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 4 Oh, no. I knew he was here. Oh, you did? Oh, yes. I knew he was here. We had—it was in the papers, you know that— (Laughs) Crowe was quite a—an organizer. He got these Six Companies together, you know. He was the one that pushed this thing. He’s the one that did it? Yes. That Six Companies, you know. There was no other company at that time was big enough to handle this job. I see. And— Well, was—if it—was he at that time, an employee of the government? No. No. He was still on (unintelligible). He was just an organizer. Yes. He was an engineer? Yes. He was an engineer, yes. He seemed to be quite a dam builder, didn’t he? Oh, he was a dam builder, yes. I think probably, I recall that after Hoover Dam was finished, he went to another one. He went to (Unintelligible) Dam down the river here. Yes. And then he went to— UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 5 Up in Washington, maybe? No. In—California, oh what’s the name of that dam? Just above—Red Field, Redlands, up there. Shasta? Shasta Dam, yes. Uh-huh. Yes. That’s over there. Well, then you weren’t really very concerned about not getting a job, were you? No. I knew I had a job when I come down here. Because I wrote to Chelsen, and he told me to come on down, and— Did you drive down? Yes. And what kind of a car, did you have to drive down? It was that 1929 Model A Ford. (Laughs) And what was your age, then? At that time I was—see that was ’31, I was thirty-three years old. Thirty-three? Yes. And you had your family by that time? No. No. I’d only been married a short time. We got married in June of ’30, then we come down here in May of ’31. In what city were you married in? I was married in Hot Springs, South Dakota. Hot Springs? UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 6 Yes. And then, you and Mrs. Holmes came to Boulder in ’31, together? Oh, yes. How were you housed? How—what were you able to find in the way of living quarters? We bought a tent in Wyoming, before we left here. A little—a second hand tent. Yes. Seven foot square. Uh-huh. And—we got a tent and a couple of folding chairs. Uh-huh. Canvas seats in ‘em. Oh, yes. And a gasoline stove and a table. Uh-huh. You get it all in the car? And a bed, yes. We had it all in the car—in and on the car. (Laughs) How’d you do that? (Laughs) Oh, in and on the car. Oh, we just piled in on there, you know. And our family, of course was all born here in Boulder City. You know, I want to ask you just something—you know, today we’re talking (unintelligible), you know. Yes. And it’s (Laughs) it’s really such a serious problem. What kind of a car did you say you had? UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 7 Model A Ford. What did it cost you? I think about eight hundred dollars. Eight hundred dollars? Yes. I think around that. Eight hundred a—give or take a few dollars. And goodness, a Ford will now cost you anywhere from five and or four thousand maybe for the smallest ones. (Unintelligible) yes. Right on up. Yes. And you bought that for about eight hundred dollars? Mm-hmm. I think that was the best Ford, in my opinion—that they ever made out in the old—old line. Yes. That there—that was good, a good car. Because right after that they came out with the—in the thirties, the V8, wasn’t it? Yes. That first V8? Yes. But that—but that Model A would just run and run and run. Yes. You did—I don’t know how—to get your bed and everything, you (unintelligible) on top, or did you have a trailer? Oh, our bed was a canvas bed. It rolled up. What? UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 8 It was just a folding mat—bed. I see. It wasn’t a cot. It was a—oh, it was—kind of like a three quarter bed. Well, you brought everything you could get in the car, in other words? Oh yes. Oh yes. We brought it. Your Chester drawers— Yes. And all the rest of the things had to be purchase here, huh? Yes. We brought our furniture. What furniture we had was here. (Laughs) And that wasn’t very much the first year. I’ll say not. No. Where’d you put up—? Where’d you put your tent? We put it down on that river camp. In the river camp? We called that—well, they called it—Williamsville, I think was the proper name. We used to call it Hollywood, or Hooverville, and Rag Town. Rag Town? Tent Town. Oh, Williamsville, you say? Yes. Well, that was the proper name of it. Was it named after a man? UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 9 A man named Williams, was the ranger down there in Tennessee. Down there looked after (unintelligible). He was a ranger, huh? Yes. Government (unintelligible) I see. How many people were in Williamsville? Oh, there were several hundred there, I imagine. I don’t know how many. So, a hundred to—well, there— (Unintelligible) About how many tents were there? Going and coming. I don’t know how many tents there was. There was—there was a lot of them. I don’t think we have any pictures of that. (Unintelligible) Did you live right on the river, Mr. Holmes? Well. Or back up a little bit? We was—we was back up a ways, probably two or three hundred yards back from the river. Did you have trees and so forth, you know? No. No trees there. There was a mesquite— Just the rocks came right to the river, huh? Mesquite bushes down there. Uh-huh. And they just had the desert bushes and— Tamarisks, probably, and something like that. Yes. Yes. That’s right. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 10 Must’ve got pretty warm down there? Oh. It got terrible hot. I’ve heard people say, it got to be a hundred and fifty. Do you believe that? I do. And they—not outside I don’t believe. The tunnels used to get a hundred a fifty. When they were blasting the tunnels out. (Unintelligible) tunnels. They didn’t have ventilation to—? No. No ventilation. No fans to blow that dust out of there or anything? Oh later—later on they did. But that first year, we didn’t have electricity here. When we lived down in river camp, there was no electricity or anything. Well, goodness sakes, it’s a wonder all you men didn’t have silicosis and lung disease, in those tunnels. Well—I didn’t work in the tunnels. Yes. I worked in and out of ‘em, you know (unintelligible). Well, you had to be, yes. I went and put pipe in, you know, but I never drilled, I was never down there drilling. Well, what would be the need for pipe in the tunnel when they were blasting? Airlines—water lines. Air and water, huh? Yes. Uh-huh. You had to (unintelligible) air and water in there, for their liners, you know. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 11 Oh yes. Was—who was your foreman at that time? Chelsen, was the—Chelsen was the master mechanic and Spike Gergesene was the head piper. Did any of them ever stay in Boulder like you did? Not of the—of the higher up foreman here, no. Chelsen and Crowe and (Unintelligible) and all of them fellows, you know, they left— Sigh, who—? Ci Bouse. Bouse? Yes. He was— How do you spell his name, sir? B-O-U-S-E. Uh-huh. I believe it was. And in fact, Chelsen was a master mechanic when I come down here. He’s the one I worked for in (Unintelligible), and it got too hot for him here—and he couldn’t take it. He had to— I— He took a leave of absence and went back to Idaho from Montana. Right. And then, he come back down here the following winter on ’31 and ’32 and worked that winter, and then, he quit. And then, Ci Bouse was put on as a master mechanic, at that time. I see. Now how long did you live down in Williamsville? We lived down there till October the 10th. Of your first year? UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 12 Yes. Thirty-one? Yes. Then you moved up to Boulder City? Then I moved up to Boulder City in a house; one of the house they built here, then. Six Companies house? Yes. Do you remember the address? Yes. 712 Fifth Street. 712 Fifth Street. Yes. That’s about the edge of town, Fifth Street, wasn’t it? It was at that time. (Laughs) Oh, there was—there was houses built on down a little further, down as far as Seventh and Eighth Street. Did you bring your—well, when did your family started coming—start coming? Our son was born in March of—March the 31st, 1932. Thirty-two? Yes. Quite near a year after we come. Uh-huh. Ten months after we come. And then the rest of the children were—? UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 13 Another two years later, the girl was two years later—two and a half years after. What was her—what was her name? Doris. And your son’s name? Bob. Yes. Robert. Did you just have the two? No. We had another daughter two years later than that. Uh-huh. Carol. What? Carol? C-A-R-O-L. Yes. Well, then I suppose your children all went through the Boulder City schools? Yes. They got their education here in Boulder, you know. Through high school? Yes. Did any of them go on? No. Oh, yes, Doris went on. She went to Business College. Oh yes. And took up bookkeeping. That was about the only job that the ladies, you know—was available for women. Yes. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 14 At those times. Yes. She went one year to college and the second year, she wanted to change and go to San Francisco. Uh-huh. And she didn’t get enrolled here in time and when she got down there, she couldn’t get in. So she took a business course. Well, sure. That was— That was probably the best thing. Oh Certainly. Because she went right out and—and went to work. And when she got married, her husband was in the Army. Uh-huh. And she followed him around wherever he went and she worked for the government while he was in the service. It was a good thing she did take her business course. So, yes. So they got along fine, all during the hitch in the Army, or his hitch in the Army. And then, she worked—while he went to school. Oh yes. He got his college education. He got his, huh? Yes. He had two semesters or—two years of college, I think, before he went in. Oh, I see. And he finished his education. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 15 Where did he receive that? In Fresno. In Fresno? Yes. Uh-huh. California. You must have had about a three bedroom house, then? We raised them right here in this house. Well, this is not Fifth Street. No. I know, but— Uh-huh. Oh, down there, well, they were very small down there, you know. We had what you call a two-room house, down there. That two-room and then of course a porch, you know. Two rooms? One side. Can you remember some of your neighbors, Mr. Holmes? Oh, yes. Fellow by the name of George Bwer lived on one side. Bwer? Yes. B-W-E-R. B-W-E-R? Yes. (Laughs) Then there was—oh, gosh, I can’t remember, too many of ‘em. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 16 Do you remember some of the men you worked with? Yes. Besides your foremen? Yes. I worked—I remember quite a few of them that worked for me. There was Bob Barker, he worked for me for oh, several months. And he didn’t think there was any percentage on that so he quit and went to work for, on a steam shuttle, as an oiler. Down at the Dam? Yes. Uh-huh. And then, a year or so later why he worked up and got to be an operator. He had a pretty good job. Oh, I should say, heavy equipment operator. Yes. That was—that was problem about the top of the reign, wasn’t it? Yes. It was. It was the top of the scale. Yes. Top of the scale. Yes. Do you ever remember Camp Williston being here? Yes. He had a (unintelligible) straight here. Right down California? Right where the school is now. Right where the school is? Yes. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 17 Ah. Just below there. Was it quite a large place? Yes. Yes. It was quite large. They had a lot of buildings? Yes. About how many men would you think would be there, Mr. Holmes? I don’t know, there were several hundred in here. Several hundred? Course they were going and coming, all the time. Do you think—? It ended up with a Negro Battalion in here. Oh. (Unintelligible) All Negroes or no white soldiers? Oh yes. Well, there was a—probably a few but a very few. I see. They were practically all Negroes. Well, what was—what were they being trained for? Or were they guarding the Dam? Well, they guarded the Dam there, during the war—the latter part of it, you know. They were here all during the war? Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Then, Camp Williston was closed down say probably in what—’46? UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 18 Yes. As soon as the war was over, ’45 or ’46, when that closed down. I see. So, those—all those Negro boys you say, were—soon as they get their training, they’d leave for another—? That’s right. They would. Another place and they’d train some more. Yes. Uh-huh. That’s right. Well, that’s interesting and I was having it somewhere in the back of my mind that—which was incorrect, according to you—that the people that guarded the Dam, all lived and stayed in Camp Williston, and didn’t go anywhere else; that was their only job. No. I don’t think so. I— But you say this was a training site? I think it was a training site. And I think they moved in and out of here. I see. Yes. Was—did it go over as far as Utah? Or? How big was it? Oh, from California and Fifth Street which way did it run, east? It ran east. No, I’d say, to G Street, was about the edge of it, yes. To G Street? Yes. G Street. And then? G Street and probably down pretty near to B. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 19 B the— About C Street, yes. C Street, yes. On the west side of town? I see. Mm-hmm. How’d you people manage to get a night’s sleep in those early days? (Laughs) There was a lot of times we didn’t get a night’s sleep—when in down around the river. I would imagine. There was thirty days here, during 1931 that the temperature never got below a hundred. Never? Day or night, for thirty days. So you could imagine how hot it was down there. Oh, down there with no breeze or anything? Uh-huh. And all none but rock around you? ‘Course up here, I suppose, it was fifteen, twenty degrees cooler, up here in town than it was down there. Right. Well, even so. It was hot. It was pretty warm sleeping here, too, wasn’t it? (Laughs) Yes, it was hot here. Did you—what cooling device did you have, fans? We had the fans. We didn’t have fans down there. No, no. We didn’t have electricity. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 20 Yes. We had fans after we moved up here. Oh, yes. And we—there was no refrigeration here, and the desert coolers come in two or three years later. Oh, yes. After we lived up here. Why, I made a desert cooler down there. I went to Needles one day to visit a friend down there, and he had the desert cooler. Uh-huh. So I came home and built one. And there were several built that summer. That was our first cooler. And I’ll bet you there were many after that. Oh yes, after that, yes. Now that was quite a relief, wasn’t it? Yes. It was. We used the desert coolers here. There’s one of the (unintelligible) there that we used. Oh, yes. Do you still use it? No. Not now. You got—? That was 1960, we went to the refrigeration. Yes. That’s much less trouble. Oh yes. Much more even temperature and less humidity, too, isn’t it? Yes. The humidity in August—July and August, is pretty bad here. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 21 Yes. It is. And the desert coolers, you know. Well, I know (Laughs) ‘cause we have one and that’s our tough time sleeping, you know. Yes. July and August is the— Especially August. And normally we get some rain showers then, too, to make it worse. Yes. What was your first job? Pipe fitter. After you were a pipe fitter. Oh, after pipe fitting, I stayed right on through that till—till then end of the construction. And you will just, you were just building an air and water lines? Yes. I was. Or fitting air and water lines, right? Yes. Setting pumps and switches out. After— Oh, that’s interesting. After a few months, I got a crew. Well, Fourth of July, before the Fourth of July, May, June, July, about two months, why I had a crew. And I had a crew most of the time after that and worked right on through and— Did you—were you responsible for three shifts, Mr. Holmes? No. No. I just had one crew—the pipers. Well, from six to eight men. Six to eight men. Well, certainly, your work had to go on around the clock. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 22 Oh, work went on around the clock. Yes. But Spike Gergesene was in charge of that for a while and then there was a fellow named—I can’t even think of his name now. He was an older man. And he was in charge of the pipe fitting for the rest of the—the duration of the— Uh-huh. Six Companies. Was Fifth Street paved at that time? No. When we moved in here, there wasn’t anything paved. Not a street? Not a street paved, no. (Laughs) Another thing, we drove by—when we were living in that house, we had to drive in the ally. The street wasn’t even graded or anything, it was just sand. Yes. I often wondered where you parked your car. We parked the car at the back of the house in the ally. And that wasn’t very big was it? And the year after or so—after we moved in the house, why they built the—paved Fifth Street, then. Then you could park in front of the house? Oh, yes. We could park there, then, yes. Or on the side of the house? We generally—we always parked in the back, anyway. Because it was (unintelligible) up the Dam, you know. Getting—went down and— Oh, yes. We was lucky, we had a little rocky (unintelligible) at the back of the house. That was—? UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 23 Go out there without getting stuck, but— Did you have a garden, a vegetable garden of any kind, or flowers? No. We didn’t—we didn’t try to raise any garden. Where did Mrs. Holmes shop? We had a commissary here in Boulder City. Six Companies had a commissary. Oh yes? And then there was a kind of—another store there. A guy by the name of Maddox, CC Maddox. Uh-huh. A department store, groceries and meat market, and— Yes. And clothing, shoes. Were the prices about the same for both? Prices, yes. Prices were very reasonable at that time. Of course, wages was low, too. Common labor got fifty cents an hour. Ooh. And pipe fitters and carpenters got five dollars a day. Can you recall any other businesses that you did business with? Yes. There was a couple of barbershops here. And— Who operated those? Gee, I can’t even remember their names now. (Laughs) Did the ladies have any beauty shops? Oh, I suppose they did, yes. But I didn’t— (Laughs) UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 24 (Unintelligible) them. Ah, of course not. (Laughs) How did you get to and from the Dam? They—Six Companies had a fleet of trucks—that left from uptown. Do you remember what kind of trucks they were? They were international—most of them were international, flatbeds. Flatbeds? Yes. They were flatbeds. Most of them had a cover on top, you know, cameras. Sunshields. On their covered wagon, yes. What—did you ever have any that were more than one deck? Oh yes. Like a double decker or a triple decker? Yes. They had three that they built, they especially built. They were built—I think, I don’t know whether they was international, or whether they was a white (unintelligible). I see. But they were big. They had the deck on the bottom and another one put on top. One of them I think was a hundred passenger and the other one hundred. Oh boy. No. Two of them was a hundred passenger and the other one was a hundred and fifty passenger. Well, did they go around to the different barracks to pick ‘em up? No. Or do they have a central location? They had a central location at the—down at the garage, you know. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 25 In what garage? Well, Six Companies had a garage. Where was it located? It was back over— (Tape one ends) (Audio starts midsentence)—Yes, there is a government garage now. But that was in a different building. The government garage that they—they had at that time was here on Nevada Highway, where the fleet of the firemen, about there. Oh! Yes. About there. That was an (unintelligible) The old fire station. Yes. Fire station. I see. Well, they moved out of that now. I see. I understand the bank of Nevada had bought that and they’re ‘gonna build there, I don’t know. Ah. But the garage over there now was a big warehouse at one time. Did you have a bank here in 1931? No. No. Our banking was all done at the post office. Oh, it was? Yes. You cash your checks and mailed money order, huh? UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 26 Mailed money orders, yes. And no place to keep your securities at all? No. No, we had no— What—? No Bank here. Bank didn’t come in here until oh, along about 1940, I guess. And that was the Bank of Nevada? Early on in ’40, yes. Mm-hmm. Yes. When did Mr. Track come in with his Central Market? Or was it something else before he bought it? It was something else. A fellow by the name of—well, anyway, he had the Central—the Central Market was built there where the doctor has his office there now. Oh. I see. Here on Wyoming Street. Dr. French? No. Not French. Oh. That— Dr. Washer. Dr. Washer? Yes. That was the—the Central Market Building at that time. Oh I see. And Dwight Track come down here and bought that. In what year was that? I don’t know what year that was? UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 27 Was forties? I imagine it was in the forties, yes. Yes, it was, probably. Yes. Probably close to forties, then, Yes. I think it was—it might have been after the war. We knew it to be with Track. Now I might tell you this, just as an incident, when my oldest daughter was born, Dwight Track’s oldest son was born. Oh, really. Yes. They were in the hospital at the same time. (Laughs) His wife and mine. Oh, yes. And I got acquainted with them. They were in the same room, in the hospital there. Oh, yes. I knew him in Las Vegas. Oh, you’re longtime friends, then. Yes. We knew them ever since 1931. (Laughs) They’re fine people. Yes. At that time he had a store there in Las Vegas. I don’t remember the name of it anymore. Was he a grocer there, too? Yes. He was a grocer there. And he bought this store from—from Stubbs was his name (unintelligible). Well, then, when that store was built up there where Dwight Track is now, or was before he sold out— Yes. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 28 Safeway Market was talking about coming in here and buying that. Huh? And Dwight could see the handwriting on the wall. Yes. So he went up and bought the building and moved in up there, which is a— And then, we didn’t get Safeway for another what? Another good many years. Fifteen years. (Unintelligible) Or oh, more than that. Oh yes, it was two or three years ago, they (unintelligible) Yes. Sure. Yes. The thirty-two years. But Dwight has been a good grocer here. He’s had a good grocery all the time. He all— He always carried good food. Oh yes. Yes, he had good—good merchandise. Do you remember your first independent drugstore here? Yes. Who had it? Ah, I’m trying to remember his name. Delmar, I believe. Delmar. Mr. Delmar? Yes. It’s down there where Bob (Unintelligible) had the fire here. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 29 Bob Broadband Bakery. From years ago. That’s the same grocery store. Well, that’s—? Well, he had—that burned out four or five years ago and he rebuilt it. That’s right across from Harry’s Chinese Café? Yes. Yes. Well, apparently then, that corner there—that pointed shape building has always been a drugstore. Yes. It has. And on the south side of that, where that little notion store is now, or what they call it, that was where Maddox had his department store. Oh yes. It was just them two buildings there, to buy—he had a department store and then the grocery store was the Three Corner building, you know. Yes. Did Maddox build that building? Yes. Maddox built it. He built it? Yes. And how long was he in business here, Mr. Holmes? He was in business for quite some time. Now I think till he died. He come in here—he probably opened his store in ’32. I see. I don’t believe he had (unintelligible) by ’31. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 30 You know it’s unusual that he’d be in competition with the Six Companies stores, but it seems to me something that there was some kind of legislation that said there had to be one private store besides the Six Companies. There may—may have been, I don’t know. Did you recall that at all? No. I didn’t recall that. But I don’t doubt but what—what there was. But I remember there was two—two barbershops and across the street from the Maddox Department Store was the first restaurant in town. Oh. That’s why it was Called (Unintelligible) is now. It’s still there? Coming in there. Well, it’s—changed hands. That was Broader building, right? Broader building, yes. Well, who ran the little restaurant? Mrs. Broader had it, I think to start with and she built the building and— Well, well that’s— And probably leased it out, you see. Well, everything is right there. Yes. That was the—(unintelligible) In one block you had about everything. Yes. Well, two blocks, going up further north there was another building up there that burned down. It was where the dime store was and that burned out a few years ago. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 31 Yes. Who had that store up there in those days? Ah. I don’t—I don’t remember their name. Was it—was it—what type of store was it, Mr. Holmes? Well, it was a restaurant, then there was a flower shop and then you kind of had a (unintelligible) store in there. I see. The—it stayed there until it burned, huh? Yes. And—then, of course, you left—probably left Boulder City, huh? Well, no. I think he’s still here. He sold out to somebody else. And then, when, after he sold out then it burned down. Was that Otto Keizer? Yes. Well, he was here early then, right? Or in the forties. No. No, he wasn’t—the one that has it now, you mean? No. Otto Keizer. Oh Keizer. Yes. Yes. He— The one that burned. The old Ten Cents store. Yes. Well, yes. He was—he was here quite a long time. I don’t remember when he come but— Probably in the thirties, sometime? No. I don’t think he was here. Late thirties? UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 32 I don’t think he was here that long, though. I see. Probably not till the late forties or in there and fifties, after the war I imagine. Did you have any gas stations here? Oh yes. There were several gas stations. Did you know those men? Yes. I knew some of them. Who’d you trade with? I traded with Texaco, most of the time. And who was the owner of that? Well, you can’t even call his name now. (Laughs) Ottis Hughes. He had the Union Station here. Yes. I traded with him. And he’s still here. Uh-huh. And there was a fellow named—his son is a doctor out here in Henderson now. He’s son was the JP out here in Henderson. Potter? Potter. The ole’ Potter had a— A gas— A gas station here, too, at one time. So you—did you have any garages to fix your cars? UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 33 Yes. There was one garage here and then some of the filling stations had little garages, you know. There was a garage—still a garage up there, I don’t know—I don’t think it is now, but the filling station that’s just above the old government garage there. Yes. I remember. Yes. I think there still is a garage there. At one time, the fellow that sells the (unintelligible) in Vegas now, he was out here. The (Unintelligible)—was that (Un