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Letter from F. R. McNamee (Los Angeles) to Leo McNamee about surface and underground water rights, May 23 1924


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Though the deed from Stewart makes no mention of water rights, it was McNamee's opinion that the water was part of the land and went with it.

Digital ID


Physical Identifier

Box 75 Folder 174-2 Vol. I Law Department UPRR Water Supply-Las Vegas


hln001057. Union Pacific Railroad Collection, 1828-1995. MS-00397. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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Manual transcription





Surface and underground water rights - Las Vegas. Los Angeles, May 23, 1924. Dear Leo: Supplementing my letter of the 22nd relative to the above: I have examined the original titles and find that on Dec. 8, 1902, Helen J. Stewart conveyed to William A. Clark, all of the land both east and west of the railroad at Las Vegas covering the source of the water, now Las Vegas Spring, and the channel or course of the water to the extreme eastern portion of Sec. 25, a distance of five miles, and that on July 2, 1903, William A. Clark conveyed all the rights acquired by him to San Pedro Las Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad Co., a copy of which latter deed I enclose you. I find that on May 8, 1905, San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad Co. conveyed to the Las Vegas Land & Water Co. all of the land described in said deed situate east of the rail-road, and in addition thereto, the latter Company acquired from other sources, the W1/2 of the NE1/2, and the S1/2 of the NW1/2 , and the SE1/2 of Sec. 34, without any mention whatever of water rights in connection therewith or appurtenant thereto. I am of the opinion that notwithstanding the omission of any mention of water in the deed of May 8, 1905 from SPLA&SLRR Co to L.V.L & W Co., the water being appurtenant to the lands con-veyed, passed with the land, and that when the Railroad conveyed the land, it conveyed the water appurtenant thereto without any express provision therefor, for there is no right in water other than the user, and the Railroad retained only such water under its deed as it used for railroad purposes, and as the L.V.L.& W. Co. supplied Clark's Las Vegas Townsite with water from the year 1905 until about 1910, without any contractural relations with the rail-road, and without recognizing the Railroad's rights to this water, and after the sewerage was installed in Clark's Las Vegas Townsite and adjoining territory, the L.V.L & W.Co. acquired an easement and right by instrument in writing from the city of Las Vegas for the waters that flowed away from the sewerage system and through the septic tank for use on the land, such user confirms my views that the L.V.L & W Co. always had the rights to this water. Please advise me of your views of the matter. FRM-H F. R. MCNAMEE