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Transcript of interview with J.W. Campbell by Raymond Haft, February 19, 1979







On February 19, 1979, Raymond Haft interviewed his friend, J. W. Campbell (born June 13, 1918 in Pioche, Nevada). This interview covers the history of Nevada, including Mr. Campbell’s personal history and the growth of Nevada, overall. Mr. Campbell discusses the Stewart Ranch, the Mormon Fort, swimming pools in Las Vegas, and the above ground atomic tests. He also recalls the crash of Carole Lombard’s plane and the building of the Basic Magnesium Plant in Henderson. Mr. Campbell calls Las Vegas a “One industry town,” stating that gambling (and tourism) are the main and major factors in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Campbell, J.W. Interview, 1979 February 19. OH-00327. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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UNLV University Libraries J. W. (John) Campbell i An Interview with J. W. (John) Campbell An Oral History Conducted by Raymond Haft 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 J. W. (John) Campbell ii © Ralph Roske Oral History Project on Early Las Vegas University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2017 UNLV University Libraries J. W. (John) Campbell 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 J. W. (John) Campbell iv Abstract On February 19, 1979, Raymond Haft interviewed his friend, J. W. Campbell (born June 13, 1918 in Pioche, Nevada). This interview covers the history of Nevada, including Mr. Campbell’s personal history and the growth of Nevada, overall. Mr. Campbell discusses the Stewart Ranch, the Mormon Fort, swimming pools in Las Vegas, and the above ground atomic tests. He also recalls the crash of Carole Lombard’s plane and the building of the Basic Magnesium Plant in Henderson. Mr. Campbell calls Las Vegas a “One industry town,” stating that gambling (and tourism) are the main and major factors in Las Vegas, Nevada. UNLV University Libraries J. W. (John) Campbell 1 Okay. We’re here with Jesse Campbell of Las Vegas. And the first question, ah, were you born here in Southern Nevada? Yes. I was born in Pioche, Nevada. Pioche. Now that has quite a bit of history here in Nevada. What can you tell us about Pioche? Oh, Pioche was a mining camp that came into existence in about 1870, when they found a load of high-grade silver. It was a big camp for about ten years. It got up to about ten thousand people and then faded into the smaller—when the silver load was gone and they had to go to through the zinc lead, why, it became a smaller operation. So when you were growing up there were they still mining the mine and silver? Yes. They still were working the zinc lead. Because it was the complex ore which contained lead, zinc, silver, and some small quantity of gold. I see. Did your parents, ah, do they have roots in Southern Nevada and Pioche? My mother has. My mother was born at Panaca, Nevada. She’s ninety-three years old and still resides in Pioche, Nevada. Yes, and your father? My father was from Michigan. His—his father was a pioneer doctor who graduated from John Hopkins in Baltimore and came west and stopped at a mining camp near Ely, Nevada, which was known as Taylor. Was he involved in the mining at all? No. He was an MD. He was a typical country doctor who went to the homes and took care of people all hours, whenever and whenever, anything happened. Is that right? Hm. So how long did you live in Pioche? UNLV University Libraries J. W. (John) Campbell 2 Thirty-nine years. Thirty-nine years? Mm-hm. So I guess you saw it go from a pretty large mining town to a, kind of be depleted, along the line? Well, Pioche was never, after the boon of the seventies, it never was a large town. During the war years when the government was subsidizing zinc lead, why, it became a good-sized operation. But it never was a major mining center actually. Hm. Let’s see, what kind of positions did you hold when you were living in Pioche? I worked in an automobile dealership as a bookkeeper and parts man, part of the time. Was there any historical remembrance that you can think back to, when you were growing up there in Pioche? Well, probably one of the greatest events was in 1937 when we received the first power from Hoover Dam when such dignitaries as Ed Clark and the governor who I’m not sure, I think it was Richard Kerman, I’m not sure. But they came and we received power from Hoover Dam, which was godsend to our area because we had to depend on small DC light plants in that area in the earlier years. Hm. That’s interesting. Ah, so when and why did you come to Las Vegas? In 1953, after the war, the government removed the subsidies from lead and zinc, of course, and Pioche has always had been a marginal mining camp. In other words, there were—the values weren’t really high and you had to produce it cheap enough to make it pay on the market. And then, there was a flood of foreign zinc and lead on the market at the time and oh, the mines had UNLV University Libraries J. W. (John) Campbell 3 been more or less depleted during the war years. A mine was out thinking of the future and so in 195—approximately 1955, nearly all the mines in that area closed. Was that more or less the end of Pioche as a—as any type of residential area? More or less, there had been attempts by Charlie Steen, who is the uranium millionaire who was in Reno, built the mansion in Reno. And then, there was a Canadian exploration outfit and now it’s owned by Bunkerhill out of Kellogg, Idaho, where it was leased by them. Hm. So that was the main reason that brought you to Las Vegas was the-- That’s what brought nearly sixty percent of Lincoln County to Las Vegas. Hm. What was Las Vegas like when you first arrived here? Well, in 1959, I don’t know what the population figure was but I would imagine around two hundred thousand— Hm. In the Valley and the area I lived in was just off Decatur and at that time Decatur was a two-lane dirt street. Mm-hm. And Charleston Heights was just beginning at that time. The hotel Sahara was the one small tower and the other hotels were built more on a Rancho type affair. They weren’t high rises, they were two-story buildings, not like the high rises they have now. Hm. So it’s changed quite a bit in the last ten, fifteen years? Oh yes. The hotel situation since 1959 would be un-relatable unless you’ve seen it happen in a way. Hm. Has the hotel industry or any of the gambling facilities been involved in your life in any way? Have you worked there or anything? UNLV University Libraries J. W. (John) Campbell 4 No. I’ve never been involved in any business that was directly involved, I mean, of course we had gambling accounts. But we didn’t have, we never worked in the gambling area. Hm. What types of jobs and education have you received in Southern Nevada? I—I didn’t, I went to high school in Lincoln County, at Lincoln County High School. Mm-hm. I graduated from Lincoln County High School in 1936—7, ’36, I guess. Ah, any college or? I went to the University of Nevada, Reno, for one semester, and then I went on to business colleges in Salt Lake City. Hm. What was the education environment here? Were the colleges of any—? Enrollment at UNR at that time was around nine hundred, and that included everybody in the state, not just, the students were primarily Nevada students who lived in Nevada most their lives. Hm. Not all but most of them. Was the medical school there at that time? Oh no. (Laughs) They had never been heard of at that time. Wow. And there was no—Vegas had about eight thousand people. Hm. When—in that, at that time. So the—so you’ve seen the growth of UNLV itself from the beginnings to what it is today? I saw it when it was nothing but Frazier Hall and there was, I don’t know if they renamed the building or not but it was just a small— Yes. Frazier Hall is still there. It’s still there? UNLV University Libraries J. W. (John) Campbell 5 It’s the largest building. Yes. Huh? Yes. It’s the largest. Well has it been changed though, it must’ve been since that time? Yes. Well— It was a very small building to begin with. Hm. It was a—and the only thing they taught out there was education, at the time. I mean it was a, primarily a teacher college. When do you remember UNLV growing to any size worth mentioning? Was it the late sixties or? Well, it’s been a gradual growth. But the more, the most building over there come along in the late sixties and seventies, early seventies. Hm. Ah, the concept of the school was, well, like everything else; it had a evolution of growth and that’s the way it came about. It was, it started out with a teacher’s college and ended up with, or is growing from what it is now. Mm-hm. Let’s see were you married here in Southern Nevada? Was I married here? No. I wasn’t married here. But I was living in Pioche. I was married in my wife’s home in Utah. Hm. But I went, we lived in—she was teaching in Lincoln County. Mm-hm. UNLV University Libraries J. W. (John) Campbell 6 At that time. Hm. So you first arrived here in Las Vegas as married person, then? Yes. Uh-huh. Hm. What were some of the changes that you noticed in Southern Nevada? For example, some of the environmental changes? Was it, was the air quality good and was there much development change then, you think? Well, I think Vegas has more or less taken on the same air as Southern California. We course have gone, going to have environmental problems, with the number of cars involved in this town. Mm-hm. And we have a similar situation in that we sit in the Valley, and if it keeps going it’s gonna be more that I don’t know—I don’t look for any major growth, at the rate it has grown since I been here. Mm-hm. You know, in the next few years, because with New Jersey and other areas opening up gambling, people are going to be less eager to invest in the Nevada gambling. Mm-hm. Ah, what about the atomic tests and so forth, do you remember when it first began and any of the impact that it’s had here in Southern Nevada? Well, I was living in Lincoln County at the time but when they called I had been to a county meeting in San Bernardino and I was driving home early in the morning when the first one was shot. Hm. And it—the sky lighted up like daylight and I was over about a hundred and eighty miles in Las Vegas at the time. UNLV University Libraries J. W. (John) Campbell 7 Hm. And I was just within a few miles of Pioche. Hm. That’s very interesting. And those old houses in the mining camp shook like leaves up there, two hundred miles away from it. Were people aware that it was just an atomic test? Or? Oh yes. It was—they were announced. Oh that’s good. There was no secret about they’d be delayed because of wind and weather and whatnot and this is all coming out in these studies they’re making now that—and there’s accusations that they even changed the shots because of the way they wanted the fallout to go. Ah. But whether that’s true or not nobody knows. Hm. Or nobody will admit. So what year was that first test? Do you remember? Oh, let me see. I think it was 1954. But I don’t recall exactly. Do you recall through the years whether the test site had—do you recall any other personal notes or anything like that? The one you just told us. Well, the test site was a major employer of all the people that were dispossessed in the mining camps in Nevada. Hm. UNLV University Libraries J. W. (John) Campbell 8 Because they had the tunnels and at that time they were running tunnels, they didn’t use, they weren’t drilling at that time. But miners could get a job in tunnels because that was, you know, they were, they knew what they were doing. So most of the people from my area commuted. And others moved to Vegas and left the mining business and whatnot but it was a great employer for all the people from Southern Utah and all the mining camps in Nevada. Uh-huh. And for all the towns, which were mostly mining camps, anyway. Do you recall if there was any fear or upset over the testing? Oh yes. There were people that were afraid. Hm. People who were topped and they had to wash their cars and wash their luggage and change their clothes and whatnot up around Alamo, one day, we were certainly concerned as to why they were doing all of this. Mm-hm. I mean, we had friends who owned a store and they were on their way back from a buying trip from Los Angeles and they completely went over everything they had for a radioactivity. Hm. So it must have been quite an upset here when it first began? Well, I don’t know. People—it was employing a vast number of people and I don’t think anybody outside of maybe Howard Hughes had enough sense to know that it was gonna happen to the people. Hm. I mean, Hughes accused ‘em and now it’s turning out that Hughes was probably right. UNLV University Libraries J. W. (John) Campbell 9 (Laughs) Ah, let’s see, speaking of Hughes, now do you remember any of the visits by any of the presidents or other events, such as Roosevelt or Hoover or Hughes, when they first came here? Well, Hoover didn’t come when the dam was dedicated. He sent Ray Lyman Wilbur, who was the secretary of interior, to my knowledge Roosevelt, if I don’t recall Roosevelt ever, well, yes, he did. He made a tour of Hoover Dam but I—I wasn’t here at that time. Hm. Ah. Do you remember any other special events or—such as the crash? Well, I remember when Laxalt and Hughes had the conversations over the gambling and what and all, which was big news, and ‘cause— See, when was that? Well, the telephone interview in about 19—oh, I don’t know, ’65, ’66, somewhere there. I don’t recall. Whenever Laxalt was governor. Mm-hm. And it was a taped conversation between Laxalt and Hughes and I don’t think Laxalt met him face to face, I don’t think he ever met the man face to face. Hm. (Unintelligible) this conversation, however Laxalt was very alert in getting Hughes to invest his money in Nevada. He—I think that Laxalt was more aware of what could, good could come to Nevada from the Hughes operation. Mm-hm. Ah, so when Howard Hughes did come here, he changed Southern Nevada quite a bit, wouldn’t you say? UNLV University Libraries J. W. (John) Campbell 10 Oh yes. The fact that the state played ball, with Hughes completely—I mean, politicians and whatnot I mean, they played ball with Hughes, whatever he wanted he got. And as a result, this is what we got, six hotels. Right. Owned by the Signacor Corporation or whatever it is. Let’s see, do you remember any special events, such as in 1942, the crash of Carole Lombard’s plane? Oh yes. And other important persons? Yes. It was big news. Clark Gable was here. Right. And Lombard’s plane hit the mountain, southeast of—the southwest of Las Vegas here. And they had sort of (unintelligible) and then it was more difficult then because they didn’t have all these off-the-road vehicles that could get into these areas. Mm-hm. But that caused quite a bit of stir here? Oh. It was a national, it was covered throughout the United States. Because Clark Gable and Carole Lombard was, well, that was the thing at the day, that was the—you know, those were people that, in those days, those people were not considered accessible to the public like some of ‘em are now. I mean, they lived in a world by their self and everybody sat off to the side and all the hero worshiper, idol worshiper, whatever you want to say. I mean. Mm-hm. It just wasn’t—the accessibility of those kind of people at that time was very, I mean it was very hard to get to ‘em. UNLV University Libraries J. W. (John) Campbell 11 Mm-hm. (Laughs) They didn’t appear in public, only when it was necessary. They didn’t—only at premieres and whatnot. They didn’t appear out here in a hotel and sit in the lounge or— Mm-hm. Something like that. Can you remember any of the divorces or marriages such as Clark Gable’s? Or any other notable people? Oh. There’s been a lot of them. (Laughs) Clara Bow, she was the “It” girl who is Rex Bell, Jr.’s mother. Huh. He’s an attorney here in Vegas. Yes. I’ve heard of him. And she was a redheaded beauty in the late ‘thirties and she was known as the “It” girl and she lived here. They owned a big ranch at Searchlight. Mm-hm. And actually, I don’t think till World War II those people were very accessible to the public other than just going to them. They didn’t have to appear at all these public functions for their exposure like they do now. I mean, it was a different, there wasn’t a—well, there wasn’t any television in the first place and so it wasn’t—there was no way to get ‘em on camera, only a Hollywood premiere or something like that. That brings up an interesting point, what type of recreation did you seek other than gambling were there—when there wasn’t radio or TV or what have you? Ah, can you recall? UNLV University Libraries J. W. (John) Campbell 12 Well, I’m not that old that I can’t remember. Radio was a big thing and that sort of up until the late forties, I guess you’d say. Television actually didn’t blossom till after World War II. Yes. And it may have been accessible in the eastern states but it never was out here. But oh, most people in Nevada were outdoorsmen. They’d hunt fish and stuff like that. But they still do. But I mean that was about all there was other than just a local theatre and the more—there were small communities and of course there was, everybody knew about the community functions. Huh. Ah, let’s see, were church activities an important part of your life? No. Not to any great extent. I did attend. But I was never a great church member. How about politics? Were you involved in politics in any way? Oh, only at the local level. We—Nevada was a Democratic state at that time; everything depended on the Democrats. We, my brother was a postmaster and he had to get a Democratic approval, which came through Ed Clark, and we were engaged in politics and because of his job. Even though, he could not go out and work openly. Because of the Hatch Act, why, we depended on Key Pittman and Ed Clark were the powers at that time in Nevada. And what time was that? Oh, it was in the late thirties. Hm. Or the early—well, the late thirties, I guess you’d say. Ed Clark was a powerful man. He, anything that was given to Nevada through the Congress, either came usually through Key Pittman, Pat McCarran and Ed Clark. That was the team that set up McCarran Field and of course, they, you know, they’re good people of quality but they were the ones at that time that were instrumental in getting these things. Pat McCarran was a very powerful man. He held very UNLV University Libraries J. W. (John) Campbell 13 high ranking positions in Congress and so, of course, Nevada had to depend on him. Course Pittman was a powerful man but he was not as outstanding as McCarran, I wouldn’t say. Mm-hm. Do you remember what some of the major issues were at that time? Political issues? Well, McCarran, of course, was involved in the—I don’t recall exactly, the McCarran Act had something to do with people coming into the country and when off, the communist and whatnot. He was fighting communism with this Immigration Act. I don’t remember exactly the background of it all but the McCarran Act is still in effect on immigration. Hm. And Key Pittman made, had the Silver Act passed, which was probably laughable now. Because that pegged silver at a dollar an ounce, and silver now is about two hundred and eighty-seven bucks an ounce. So. Wow. Okay. Uh-huh. If you wanted to see how the world has changed. Yes. Let’s see, do you remember any other, through the years, any other major political involvement or any type of upsets here in Nevada? Well, the only, the biggest one that I ever recall is when Clint Young, who was the, our representative in Congress ran against a guy named McLane and nobody ever heard of McLane. He was living up in Northern Nevada, of course, he ran on a Democratic ticket and Clint Young was powerful Reno attorney and still is. And this McLane made a door-to-door campaign throughout the state and he beat Clint Young. (Laughs) Is that right? And served, he only served one term. But it was about the biggest political upset that I know have ever heard or known of in Nevada. UNLV University Libraries J. W. (John) Campbell 14 Oh. Or have been noted or nothing like that. When was that? Oh. You got me again. It was somewhere in the fifties I’m not really sure. You’d got to get the Nevada history book out. All right. Let’s see, do you remember anything with the James Ray Houston case. That was quite a political football here for a while. Well, I never followed it that close. I don’t really know if he’s had some good attorney’s about all I can say, I don’t know. Hm. How about any of the notable sports, mentions here? Didn’t—wasn’t there a minor league team here? A minor league baseball team? Well, Reno has always had one. But Vegas had one but it didn’t catch on. They had a summer pro team called the Wranglers and no it was pro, they played in the Western League with Reno and Fresno and through there. But it never—it didn’t catch the public’s fancy and it didn’t, it lasted about three years. Hm. Were there any major sporting events here that was a national pastime? Oh. The biggest, at that time, they would usually bring two, the Elks would bring in two major league baseball teams that were training out here in the western part of the United States and there’d be a big baseball game, which was a big event for baseball fans, anyway. All right. So was there any, any as far as basketball or football that is worth mentioning? No. Ah, until UNLV and that’s only been in since, I don’t know, there was some good teams prior to Titanium but it wasn’t the thing it is now. UNLV University Libraries J. W. (John) Campbell 15 Hm. How about, let’s see, were you a member of any social group or other special interest group? No. I was in Lincoln County. I never had been here. Ah. What were you involved in? I was involved with American Legions (unintelligible) after the war. Huh. My wife helped get me out of the mood for that stuff. Hm. Do you remember with the war, I take it World War II have any major impact here in Nevada? Oh yes, when the Las Vegas Gunnery School was opened, which is now Nellis Air Base. Mm-hm. They trained aerial gunners here, all during the war. Mm. They flew in the OHE6s and used the gunnery range that they use now, except they’ve taken up more desert out there. Is that right? And we would have lost it had it not been for oh people like Bob Griffiths and some of the pioneers here. They prevailed upon the Congress. They were going to, they were gonna do away with that. I mean, it was not to be carried on and somehow they prevailed about ‘em about good flying weather all the time and they were able to bring about Nellis Air Base. But it was touch and go for a while. They didn’t know whether it was gonna be activated, reactivated and used as a base or not. It was again through McCarran and some of the powers that be that were able to swing the thing for ‘em. It was originally McCarran Field. It was used by the commercial airlines UNLV University Libraries J. W. (John) Campbell 16 at the same time the military was there. And of course, military when they decided that they were gonna activate it and as a permanent base they didn’t want any commercial airplanes out there. So that’s how McCarran Municipal Air, the international airport came about, was, they had to move away from Nellis and that’s when the airport was put to the southeast out here. That’s interesting. Ah, so it was actually the gunnery range that began McCarran then, huh? That was the beginning of the first growth, yes, and then during the war it was—it wasn’t a major growth but I mean it was a lot of military personnel living here and of course it brought the families, those that had. Some of ‘em liked it and stayed on. There’s still a lot of ‘em here that were probably here in the forties when they were out there. Hm. Did Southern Nevada have any other play in the war? Well, yes. They built Basic Magnesium at Henderson. Hm. However, most people felt that was a waste of money. Because the process was brought about by someone in England that had designed the reclaiming magnesium. But I don’t really know. I’ve been told that the magnesium that was— (Tape ends) Okay. We were discussing the role that Nevada played in World War II. Now wasn’t McCarran or any of the other airbases, weren’t they threatened to be closed after the war? Yes. Ah, the Las Vegas Gunnery School, which is now Nellis Air Base was to be deactivated. And they deactivated Stead Air Base in that era and Stead Air Base is in Reno. And it was only by the fact that we had some powerful politicians like Pat McCarran and some local people like UNLV University Libraries J. W. (John) Campbell 17 Bob Griffiths and Rob (Unintelligible) and the (Unintelligible) and the Dickersons and whatnot that they brought about keeping Nellis Air Base here. Huh. Bob Griffiths personally put up the money to put in the water system out at Nellis. So that it would be, come up to the government standards and they—at that time the commercial aircraft landed at Nellis Air, what is Nellis Air Base. But the government wouldn’t allow commercial aircraft on their base so they had to build McCarran International that’s southeast of town here. Hm. Now Hoover Dam, one of Nevada’s most well-known facilities here in Nevada, ah, I’m sure that must have had prime effect on the people here. What do you recall about Hoover Dam? Well, I think we went way up once when I told you about the power companies in Lincoln County. Oh yes. That was the big thing in our life. Course we watched it from the time it was first running the diversion tunnels, to get the river out of the riverbed until it grew into the dedication by Ray Lyman Wilbur, who was the Secretary of Interior. So. And— Do you actually remember the construction and so forth? Were you ever there? Oh yes. I saw the construction. We were, we had relatives here and we come to the doctor down here a few times. But we saw it. We could get on the down river face of the thing at that time and watch, on the cement. Hawkers and whatnot came over and they would drop into their forms and it was ah, very interesting to watch, I might note that that’s for Jake Dealman, who was the UNLV University Libraries J. W. (John) Campbell 18 owner of Jake’s Train and Rigging began. Was running those giant trains that floored the buckets into the dam area, poured the cement, was dumped into the forms. He’s a, he’s at the Boulder City and he knows more history of the Hoover Dam than probably anybody you can run into. Huh. Let’s see, going back, oh we’ll go back quite a ways now, to when Nevada, of course, had some of its history formed. Can you remember any stories or anecdotes from the actual Comstock Lode when it was discovered here? Well, the only contact I ever had with anyone with anyone who was involved in the Comstock was in 1939, I was an (unintelligible) at the state legislature, and I lived in Carson City for about three months. And I lived with some people who owned a, I had a room at their home, they took in roomers, as they said, at that time. And this man, his name was Jim Gliding and he told me that he had worked in the Comstock and probably the thing that was most astounding that a lot of people really don’t know, is that the water—the mines got so deep and the water got so hot that anytime there was a cave in or break where the water came in, it just burned people to death before they had a chance to get out of there. I mean it was scalding hot water. Wow. He said they only worked in some of the drifts and whatnot for half an hour and then you’d go out and then you’d see somebody else and then you’d come out and then you’d go back. Huh. That’s when the famous Sutro Tunnel was driven in the Valley out of Virginia City there and they were going to drain this Sutro or the German engineer and his theory was that he could drain the water out of those mines from the lower level of the mountains around there. But it was never too successful and in fact, I don’t think the Sutro Tunnel had that much effect on any of it. Hm. UNLV University Libraries J. W. (John) Campbell 19 And I might mention that at that time that the attorney general was a man named Alan Bible and he ate lunch where we did at this home and he went on of course to be a senator for three or four terms in Washington. Hm. Yes. I’ve heard of him. Ah, let’s see, going along with the history of Nevada, can you remember anything from the Old Ranch, formally, the Stewart Ranch, now known as the Mormon Fort? Oh, we’re back to the swimming pool. That’s about the only thing I know, or remember about it. What was that story now? Well, there was a swimming pool down there, somebody had—the Stewarts built a swimming pool. There was two swimming pools in Las Vegas: one at Lorenzi Park and one at the Old Stewart Ranch. And that’s where you went swimming here in town at that time. Those were the only two places you could go swimming. They never heard of all these different pools they have now. Huh. Lorenzi was owned by the Lorenzi family and it was the first tile pool, I think was ever built in this country. And it was all artesian water, well, the Stillwater tasting water, I guess. And it was a combination dance, pool, and whatnot. They had they’re public dances there and then of course for the swimming activity and whatnot. Huh. Do you remember any of the old buildings at the Old Ranch? I don’t really know. I haven’t been down there for so long. I don’t think there’s any—I don’t think, I think most of it was destroyed and then it was refurbished because I used to know a man who owned the swimming pool and I don’t think it was all there at that time. Huh. UNLV University Libraries J. W. (John) Campbell 20 I don’t really know what these, this committee has done. I think they’ve gone and got people to rebuild it. In fact, I know they did. Because as I said, they brought in some adobe experts from New Mexico supposedly to (unintelligible) originally was made of adobe. Wow. Yes. And I read where they were bringing in people from New Mexico who were supposed to be able to come up with the same kind of a—there was a small section of a lift down there. Mm-hm. So would you say that there’s really no—nothing that the original Mormon Fort that is left, in its true state? Well, I couldn’t state, I don’t know. But there was one section there that I know, an old house-like section that was adobe. But most of it’s been knocked down, from what I remember. Huh. The swimming pool and whatnot, there was a wooden house there at that time, where the people lived and whatnot. But I don’t think that was part of the Old Fort. I know it wasn’t. Huh. Now how about—there’s a new construction, the Old Nevada. Do you fear that these really give people a true representation of what Nevada was like back in the old west? No. No, it’s a Hollywood version of what Nevada was like. The old mining camps were rough, hard places, but then all the gun fights were not in the streets. From my, what I read of Pioche’s history and if you read Dr. James Holts, James Holts history of Lincoln County you find that most of the gunslingers shot people in the back in an alley. They wouldn’t, they weren’t shot in a main street like you see it on the television set. Huh. They were some lawmen that shot men in the street but there were very few met-you-at-sundown dudes that you see on television. UNLV University Libraries J. W. (John) Campbell 21 Huh. The mining companies hired gunslingers to protect their claims. Because when there was the high grade silver, the claim jumpers would come in, or get in a fight over the claims and Raymond Ely, (Unintelligible) in Lincoln County, they brought in hired guns to protect mining interest. Wow. But as far as the actual shootouts, they were few and far between. Most of ‘em were somebody was laying for somebody. They weren’t outright out in the opening going for a gun and outrun you. Sure. So actually the, as you say, the Hollywood version of the old west, is exactly what it is—just a Hollywood version. As well, it, more