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Transcript of interview with Owen Earl Cox by Mark Milford, March 6, 1981







On March 6, 1981, Mark Milford interviewed Owen Earl Cox (born 1909 in Bunkerville, Nevada) about his experiences growing up in and working in Nevada. Cox first talks about his early moves to and from Nevada and his work in road construction in the 1930s. He then discusses his work of machinery at the Basic Magnesium Plant and some of his experiences during that time. Cox also talks about his family, the Mormon Church, the growth of population, and the increase in tourism. He later describes managing a store he owned known as Vegas Village and the types and prices of the products that were sold there. The end of the interview involves a discussion of crime, Cox’s hobby of cattle ranching, and his views on the growth of Las Vegas.

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Cox, Owen E. Interview, 1981 March 6. OH-00436. [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 Owen Cox i An Interview with Owen Earl Cox An Oral History Conducted by Mark Milford 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 Owen Cox ii © Ralph Roske Oral History Project on Early Las Vegas University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2017 UNLV University Libraries Owen Cox 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 Owen Cox iv Abstract On March 6, 1981, Mark Milford interviewed Owen Earl Cox (born 1909 in Bunkerville, Nevada) about his experiences growing up in and working in Nevada. Cox first talks about his early moves to and from Nevada and his work in road construction in the 1930s. He then discusses his work of machinery at the Basic Magnesium Plant and some of his experiences during that time. Cox also talks about his family, the Mormon Church, the growth of population, and the increase in tourism. He later describes managing a store he owned known as Vegas Village and the types and prices of the products that were sold there. The end of the interview involves a discussion of crime, Cox’s hobby of cattle ranching, and his views on the growth of Las Vegas. UNLV University Libraries Owen Cox 1 The informant’s name is Owen Cox. The date is March 6th, 1981. It is 3:30. The place is 1408 South Seventeenth, Las Vegas, Nevada. The collector is Mark Milford, 1400 Franklin. Brother Cox, what was it like to be born in Clark County? In 1909 in Bunkerville, Nevada, it was not too old a community at that time, and we left shortly after a year-and-a-half, two years after I was born; my father moved into St. George, Utah, leaving Bunkerville. My education, early life and education, was in St. George, Utah, until the year of 1928. I come back to Las Vegas seeking employment—worked here at the time in the ice and coal yard. I remember Vegas as a very small town. The place now where Fifteenth and Fremont was one of the best rabbit hunting places there was in the valley, and I hunted rabbits there in 1928, along with some of my relatives that was living here at that time. I worked here and then went back and went to school again in St. George, returning again in summer of ’29 and earning a little more money and then going back, getting ready for one more year and getting ready for marriage; in 1930, I was married. Again, in 1931, I come back here into the Vegas area to work. What kinda changes were there between those periods of time, coming back each time? By 1931, there was some nice homes built along on South Sixth Street; where South Sixth Street is now was some of the nicer homes in Vegas, and that was the last street out of town, but it was the nicer residential district. Over where now Charleston intersects what is known then as South Fifth Street, there was some nice new homes built along in there—Wingerd had built a nice home in there, and we all thought it was quite a match. What kind of work were you doing at this time here? UNLV University Libraries Owen Cox 2 In 1931, ’32—in fact, up until about ’33, we were in road construction work here around Vegas, and I was driving a truck here, hauling gravel on roads and this sort of thing, and doing mechanic work. What kind of trucks were you driving back at that time? They were all gas-driven trucks. They were the different makes—GMC International was the most popular at that time. What kinda wages did they pay you for doing road construction? In 1932, we got a raise; we was getting seventy-five cents an hour. What kind of traffic, or how much building of the roads did they do at that time? It was just the starting of a boom of road building era throughout Southern Nevada here. The old Arrowhead Trail, as it was known at the time, which pr[e]ceded Highway 91, which was the forerunner of I-15, we were working on, actually, the old Arrowhead Trail. And from the state line, south of Sloan through to Mesquite, Nevada, was very few places did it have any oil. It was mostly all gravel, graveled base, and bladed quite often to keep the riffles out of it. But we were rebuilding the road at that time through this area. Then the road from Warm Springs, or from Glendale through to Pahrump, it was an old tough road, and that was the year of 1932, is when they built that nice road out of Glendale, around through to Pahrump, and I was on that construction. What’d you guys do to fight the heat in the summer working on the outside roads? It was pretty tough in the middle of the summer here. However, if we were mostly camped out in construction camps, and hang up wet sheets and get in between them, you could sleep pretty good. What were the housing like—keeping school during the summer in the housing in 1932? UNLV University Libraries Owen Cox 3 Here in Vegas, as we was in here quite a bit, there was no coolers, as I recall, at all. They did have a lot of electric fans, and there was a few people improvising the forerunner of the swamp coolers, blowing it through wet canvass or something of this nature, but you tried not to move too much during the middle of the day. (Laughs) What was the LDS Church like back in ’32? In ’32, they was a branch—it was not a ward yet—it was a branch of the church. The headquarters of the church was in Overton, Nevada. Our Jay Earl was the branch president here when I was here, and then they did build a chapel during that time, and then they created the ward as the Old Las Vegas First Ward, and I did help build that old First Ward chapel. During some of that time, we done quite a bit of donated labor and worked there in the evening. And the chapel was completed. And when did you leave Las Vegas after ’32? Well, I worked down in this area up until ’33. In ’33, we went to the northern part of Nevada, in up around what is now Wells and Contact, and worked there during that one summer. In the fall of ’33, left there in Thanksgiving time of ’33 and went back to St. George, Utah, and was there until fall of 1937. In 1937, I moved my family to Gold Hill, Nevada, and there I was employed by a company by the name of Nevada Rock and Sand, which was doing overburden work, hauling of ores to the old Comcoller Mining Company in Gold Hill, Nevada, where they were processing the ore there. What was your job there? I drove truck, mechanic caterpillar—quite a few different things there. At that time, a man had to do—he just wasn’t a truck driver, he had to do a lotta other things in order to maintain his work, and it was expected of him that whatever come along, you had to do. However, we stayed mostly UNLV University Libraries Owen Cox 4 with the trucking end of it until ’42 when the war had broke out, and the government had put a ban on all gold operations, and the gold mining was shut down, and all the equipment that we had there was destined to be all brought to Las Vegas for the building of Basic Magnesium Corporation. And I helped bring down that equipment here to Las Vegas, and when we got here, we would set up a great gravel plant out south of Vegas, and there we supplied all the gravel that went into building of the Basic Magnesium Plant. What’d it do, building that plant, what did it do to the economy of Vegas? When we got here to Vegas, Vegas had not grown very much. It had went through the Boulder Dam boom, but it leveled off. Of course, I was acquainted here with a lot of the people, and now I had relatives and friends here, but there was absolute—when we got here in ’42, there was just no housing available whatsoever. There just was none. You couldn’t find one, and you couldn’t hardly find a tent. Did a lotta people live in tents? Yes, there was tents all over the country, and between here and where now is Henderson, it was the two little towns of Whitney and Pittman that was springing up, and they were actually little shack towns. And there was so many people coming here for employment, you could find no housing. It took me quite a long while before I could find a house for my family, and I had a lotta pull. What’d it cost to get into a house then? The rent wasn’t too high. The inflation wasn’t too great. Of course, the wages wasn’t too big yet either. We were just starting to get into a higher wage bracket, but as I recall, my first house that we rented here in Vegas, I think we only paid somewhere around fifty dollars a month for it. How big was it? UNLV University Libraries Owen Cox 5 We had two bedrooms. Two bedrooms? How many kids did you have? Two. Two children. Two kids? No, I had three children. Three children. Three children. The baby had just been born, or, yes, boy Mike had just been born when we moved here. What were the hospitals like? There was only the one hospital here, the Las Vegas Hospital. It provide pretty good medical service, and they had some real good doctors there at that time, and it was providing some real good medical service here, but it was soon outgrown very bad. And then Boulder City had a hospital, then they put in a hospital later at Henderson, or Rose de Lima, and that really relieved pressure some. What were your main functions out there at the titanium plant? Well, we weren’t at it long before titanium came into the picture. We were actually making magnesium there, Basic Magnesium, that’s what it was called. And the order was being shipped in here by rail and by truck from Gabbs Valley. I was assigned after the plant was built. During the building of the plant, why, I worked with and was a foreman at the gravel plant after the completion of Basic Magnesium. In fact, just a little prior to its final completion, they was winding down the gravel, I was assigned to work at the plant for a short while out of the machine shop, ‘cause I had had some heavy duty equipment experience working on them, they assigned out of the machine shop. And I was there for, oh, a couple of months when they asked if there UNLV University Libraries Owen Cox 6 was a few of us, would like to go to Boulder City to the Bureau of Mines down to work over there out of that machine shop in the development of sponge ore. Bill Trethaway, one of the fellows that was managing the machine shop, asked me if I would go—felt that I could do him some good. So when I got to Boulder City and went there to work at the Bureau of Mines, I was assigned to a fellow by name of Scott (unintelligible). And he and I—he showed us how he wanted to develop the ore, then we had to figure out a way to compress the ore, because sponge ore was different from many other type of ore, as it is really actually lighter than aluminum. And to develop this ore, we had to reverse an entire process of separation. And it couldn’t be separated as normal things because the purities of the sponge was lighter than the overburdened of it. So it had to be a reverse process. So, we did devise, Mr. Goodyear and I, along with Scott—him being the (unintelligible)—we devised a machine that would separate the impurities away from the sponge ore, then we had to put that sponge ore through a massive burner to melt it down, and then through a compressor to sort of a deal to where we put around 150 tons of pressure to the square inch. And this would form into a metal. And when that was completed, why, they asked if I’d stay there, but I was already assigned back at Basic Magnesium because the war was still on, and you went where the government told you to go. So I went back to Basic Magnesium out of the machine shop as a mechanic maintaining the equipment in what is known as the preparation building and also where there was an electrical building. And there, we worked on those great huge fans that they had there in the electrical building. And that was our main job for a long time was the maintenance of the steam turbines in the plant. Is there much difference between the machinery nowadays compared to those back then? Oh yes. Those machines were very fine machines, but our machinery today is far greater. I compare very much our engines, our power. I noticed that our diesel engines are so far more UNLV University Libraries Owen Cox 7 advanced today than they were back in the forties there. We had some fair, good old machines, but we’re far advanced now. Our steam turbines at that time were a good engine there to run that machinery. The reason they used the steam was because them old diesel engines were so rough, so you couldn’t get a smooth drive on a fan with it, and that’s the reason they went to a steam turbine, so they had to have a real smooth drive, and steam is one of the smoothest of all power. But I had an education on—I thought I knew a lot about machinery, but if you want to get into steam turbines, you need to know what real fine machinery is. How many people did this plant bring in to the Nevada area? I remember very well when they was hauling people in here by the truckload. Where from? I’ve seen as high as truckloads of colored people come in from the east, along with other people, just haul ‘em in here because they just was so shorthanded, and I seen there at that plant where they even had to move machinery by human hands. They just didn’t have enough machinery to move the other kind around. Yet they built, there, a tent city of Henderson—the town of Henderson was ever built, they had a tent city there. I stayed in it until I could get a place here to move my wife down here to be with me. And we stayed in tent city. And I imagine in tent city, there was 5,000 men staying in that big camp. Where’d you eat, or what’d you eat? We had a big mess hall, and you ate kinda in shifts, because they bed us pretty good, but they had an awful big mess hall there where we could take care of ourselves. They provided pretty well for showers; a man could shower there pretty good, and it was not a bad place to stay, and you could find a house. But they just barely had started to build the town of Henderson. How many people per tent? UNLV University Libraries Owen Cox 8 In them barracks—as I recall, in the barracks that I were in, or we called it barracks—there was four of us in one room—four beds in there and four men. And that room was the size of this room here, about the size of my living room here. I’d say it was about fourteen by sixteen-foot room, and there was four of us in there. And was the plant going twenty-four hours a day? Yes, they was working on the plant twenty-four hours a day around the clock—never did shut off. Even after we got the plant built and they was making magnesium, they never did shut down. It was a continuous operation. I remember very well there in the plant, while we had just got some of the first magnesium run, an alert had come—and I was on the maintenance crew in the plant—alert come, and we had a blackout. They felt that we was going to be invaded by Japanese planes or some sort, and we were not allowed to leave the plant. I was there for better than a twenty-four hour period before they lifted the blackout, and it was that vital to the operation of what they wanted to complete there—making this magnesium which was going into incendiary bombs, and that’s what they was making out of it. It was a highly flammable material. And it was one of the most important plants that was built on the west coast for the war effort. And there was two or three scares that come along during that time, that we might be bombed or something of that nature. Why did they build the plant in southern Nevada? The reason that they gave to build that plant here—first place, was electricity. We had plenty of it at that time. Second was water, and they needed lots of water. I helped install some of the big pumps over on the lake, where is now known as the intake tower, I helped install them pumps to draw the water out of the lake to feed that plant. And this was the big reason to build the plant here, was because they could have plenty electricity, plenty of water, and the ore that they UNLV University Libraries Owen Cox 9 wanted to bring in to make this was at Gabbs Valley, and it could be either brought in by rail or by truck very fast. So, it was easier to ship the merchandise here than it was to go anywhere else. Did any of the employees ever have problems with the gambling and the things of this sort? Oh, yes. There was some problems at all time with the gambling and drinking here. It was always—whenever you have that many men, you’re going to have that; however, they claim that the absenteeism from work there during the war was very minimal, because if your work wasn’t satisfactory and you didn’t want to work, you could always go into the Army. So you had a choice: either work at Basic Magnesium or go in the Army. And that was applied of a lot of them, especially the men in my age, even though with three children, I was 1A and right on the verge of being drafted. And I’d say seventy-five percent of our employees there were in the same category that I were in. But it was the right age, between twenty and thirty years of age, and it was the right age for draft and the right age to work, and they was all there. They did start bringing in a lot of good, older master mechanics, too; I shouldn’t over look them because they were a lot of good, what we call master mechanics that was brought in there to do a lot of training. They brought ‘em in. Those that come in to run some of them fine lays that they brought in there in the machine shop to make some of the—some of the machines that we had to use in that plant had to be actually made by hand. And it was made right there, right there on the job, why, a lot of that equipment was made. So they brought in a lot of fine master mechanics. And then the town here in Vegas was growing and trying to—they were really having growing pains here because material to build house was so scarce that you just had to wait your turn in time. By the time they had built the little town of Henderson with them government housing, why I moved my wife and family into one of them first. Then later on, when I went into business here in Vegas as the war wound down and I come into Vegas, why, I bought a home here in what UNLV University Libraries Owen Cox 10 is known as the old Huntridge Edition up on Jessica Avenue. And my home on Jessica Avenue was only two streets from the desert when I bought it. Who were some of the prominent men at the plant? Are there any still around or? Yes, there’s a few of them yet. The big FBI man that was there that had control of all security was a man by the name of Shire—fine fella, I’d well-acquainted with him. He was there for the FBI, and he had quite a force under him of investigation along with the policing of Basic Magnesium Plant at that time, and he was kind of a kingpin. If he said, “Turn off the lights,” we turned off the lights; that was it. He had that much power. There was a fellow there by the name of Henderson that—I don’t know whether that’s the reason they named the town Henderson or not—I forgot—but he was quite prominent in the plant and quite well-known. And there was Bill Trethaway; he was sent here from Anaconda out of Butte, Montana to oversee all the mechanics in that plant. When the war was winding down and the plant was, what happened to most of the workers and the people, and the prominent people? At one time here, as that wound down, and I had come into Vegas here and went into business, there was quite a migration out of here. I recall very well, in the garage business there and the radiator shop that I was in on South Fifth Street, we went in to making of trailers, little two-wheel trailers. We could sell ‘em as fast as we could make ‘em for people that was leaving Vegas, because the work had slowed down, and it looked like that it was gonna go into a slump here, and everybody figured it would, and they were just a migration out of Vegas of a lot of people. Where did they go to, do you know? Oh, they just dispersed themselves into California, Arizona, Utah. UNLV University Libraries Owen Cox 11 What did the Las Vegas area do to overcome this? At about this time, we had just barely started to have one or two of the hotels on the Strip. The old El Rancho Vegas had just been built, and this was in the latter part of the forties. And the Frontier had just been built; it was a nice resort hotel, and the tourist industry was picking up a little. We had some good hotels up in town, and the town had then grown to a pretty good size here because we thought— [Recording cuts out] I think it’s around 50,000 population. And our tourist industry started to grow, other things started to grow, and some good-sized business were—he went in, stayed in the Prime Meats & Provisions. And it was the forerunner of what is known as the Vegas Village Shopping Corporations—built Vegas Village down on North Main. Started to build it in ’53, completed it in ’55, and was in operation. But during that time, why, the town was growing quite rapidly, again because of tourist trade. People were coming back here for employment because this was the best place to find employment at that time, even though we’d had an exodus out of here of people. They was starting now to return a lot of ‘em, and new people coming in. And the town had started to grow. There was the Huntridge Edition had got completed, Mayfair Edition was completed, and they were just starting to build good on what is known as West Charleston—just starting to build out in that area. In fact, after you got past the railroad tracks and past where Memorial Hospital was, it was pretty sparse. There wasn’t too much there. Was there any problems getting supplies and foods into Vegas at this time? No. The railroad was providing pretty well. But the transportation, by now at this time—in the early fifties, the diesel truck had some into its own. They developed this good diesel motor that would propel a 70- to 76,000-pound vehicle up the road at a good clip. I know that I operated UNLV University Libraries Owen Cox 12 ‘em, owned some of them, and you could buy them good old diesel trucks and put ‘em on this road, and it delivered groceries into Vegas pretty fast. It had come in to its own then. Were the highways paved at this time? Yes, they were all paved and only two-lane—we only had a two-lane highway from Vegas clear in to San Bernardino. Then from San Bernardino into Los Angeles, we had four, but it was quite a while before they started to really widen the roads and do a great lot. In the next, after ’50 from there through to ’60 and ’65, why, we didn’t see—we seen a quite a bit of highway improvements they was really building the road and improving all the way from California to Las Vegas. When did, oh, air conditionings and things of these sort start coming in effect? We had swamp coolers in Henderson in the forties. They had developed the swamp cooler to where it was quite effective to keep our homes cooled down with the old time swamp cooler, and then of course, they went into air conditioning a little later. During the period of the forties here, air conditioner come in to its own. How did the LDS Church progress? When we moved her ein ’42, there was still only the one ward; I think we had somewhere around 250 members. By 1960, we had somewhere around—we had made our own stake. We was large enough to have our own stake over here where we had about five wards in the valley. And this would constitute somewhere around 5,000 members. And from then on, we grew very, very rapidly. After the sixties, especially here, the LDS Church grew quite rapidly here from two reasons: there were a lot of LDS people moved here for employment. The conversion rate here, converts to the church, was quite prominent at that time here, and there was a lotta converts, along with other people from Utah, Idaho, moving into Vegas, and we grew quite rapidly. In UNLV University Libraries Owen Cox 13 fact, as of right now, we’ve got in the Las Vegas Valley, fifty-one wards, which you figure around 700 people to a ward, you figured out how many people we’ve got just in Vegas—this don’t include Henderson or Boulder City or the other town. This is just Vegas. So we have grown quite rapidly. When we went into Vegas Village on North Main, we was very concerned that the town of the population would not support that store, it would not be enough people here to support a store of that size. And it was less than five years that our population doubled. Now, it was due to the air base coming in, the tourist trade; Vegas sits on a very unique place—there’s crossroads into this whole area. So, it was just natural for it to go on. What was the reactions of the Air Force base coming into Vegas? At first, we quite welcomed it. It brought in employment, and the boys that was being trained here, they were quite well-received in an overall picture. We was glad to see it move from the old McCarran Field out here out to where it is now and the air base and bring in this training program here for our boys. At that time, why, we thought it was quite a shot in the arm, so to speak; we welcomed it. Of course, the businesspeople did welcome it more than the other people, because it did bring in more business. What about the tourist trade? What was the reactions of people? Oh, of course, they always did go for the tourist trade. That was the (unintelligible). If you didn’t belong to the chamber of commerce, why, they’d kick you out of town. We all done that. We all went for the tourist trade. It was the big factor in teetering between survival and not for the amount of people that come into Vegas. However, I think that, now, we have a quite a division of people—I see this: a division of different type of people. You have your gambling element, and then you have the other element here that is, I would—in no reflection at all on the gambling element. I don’t know enough about it say too much about them, but they are an element there UNLV University Libraries Owen Cox 14 that is different, and then the old reliable are the old people that are leading a more Christian-like life—whatever you want to call it—there’s two elements here, and we’re living side-by-side and compatible. Did your store—what was the main things in your store at that time? Well, when they built Vegas Village, it was a one-stop shopping center. You buy anything in there from soup to nuts. It was a large grocery store along with a large department store. And then the department store, at one time, you could buy automobiles in it. What kinda automobiles? They had Ford agency in there. And how long did you work for Vegas Village? I was with them for thirty years. I was with them for (unintelligible) thirty years—with Prime Meats and Vegas Village, I was there thirty—[recording cuts out]. You asked about food comparison then and now. I said that we was able to sell watermelons there to promote, and yet we bought ‘em so reasonable. We sold them there at ten cents apiece. The idea was, of course, to get people there, but we only paid down there at that time for those watermelons less than a cent a pound in Blythe, California. Watermelons would cost us about fifteen dollars a ton. And we sold ‘em, 40,000 pounds in one afternoon, we did it for a two-week period. We was able to obtain potatoes out of Utah, what is known as Modena Desert; we was selling potatoes down there for a dollar a hundred to a dollar-and-a-half for a hundred pounds. And what is potatoes today? Somewhere around ten, twelve dollars a hundred. So this was comparison of prices. Other produce was very reasonable—we thought would high at that time, but now you look back, and it was a reasonable buy. Groceries followed the same trend. I asked the president of Vegas Village at one time—oh, I imagine it was ten years ago, so that’d been about 1970, ’72, ’73, along in UNLV University Libraries Owen Cox 15 there—I asked him one time, I said, “Mr. Archer, your biggest job that you have is pricing index.” And I said, “If you know the time since we’ve been in business that you have had to go back and lower the price of any item on the grocery side,” and he said, “Not to my knowledge,” did he ever go back, that the price of groceries was on a steady climb all the time—never it quit. What was, as you opened up Vegas Village in 1955? Uh-huh. What was the general people’s outlook of a store like that? They all doomed it to failure because it was too big. They said, “It’ll never go.” And we had doubts about it, too. We wondered if we’d overbuilt, and we wasn’t right sure that it would pay off, but within the two-year period, when the town started to grow then, and the Air Force base come in, stronger, why, then that we was able to get it off the ground, pay it off. [Background talking] Right, this is the first grocery store and department store combined in the town. What other kind of shopping were there at that time before then? There was markets all over town, just like straight grocery markets, or there’d be straight, like J.C. Penney that was up in town, Sears was up in town, but they were on a smaller scale. You had a few good furniture stores in town, but not big. And most of your business was confined there on Fifth Street from Fourth Street on down to about where Fifteenth is—that was your business. Down on the corner of Fifteenth was a little grocery store there on the corner, and that is the last one out of town. So, the grocery, the businesses, was not near as plentiful as they are today. So, it was a big undertaking at that time to build Vegas Village. Who was doing most of the building during that period of time? The housing started off pretty good. There was quite a few good contractors in here that were good contractors, and then there was some shysters, too, but we had some fair contractors in here UNLV University Libraries Owen Cox 16 that was trying to build pretty good. They built some pretty good buildings. Yet, as it went along, a lot of ‘em got to cutting corners too much, and we run into some, lot of building problems, and that’s when the building codes really come in strong in Vegas. Was there much of a crime problem in Las Vegas at this period? Well, for the size of the town, Vegas has always had a problem with crime as far back as I can remember. Back in the twenties, it was talked about as Vegas was having a crime problem, but it wasn’t any greater than any other town around at that time. See, gambling didn’t come in very strong in the state. They had their night spots here and their speakeasies. I was in and out of here and knew a little about it. But gambling didn’t come into the state but long into thirties, or early thirties, ’30, ’31. I think it come into the state in ’31, voted in to legalize gambling. And it was a while before we started to notice a difference much in our unsavory element within the confines of Vegas. Up until 1960, you felt pretty safe in going uptown and leaving your house unlocked; you didn’t have any problem. We lived up here on Jessica Avenue, and we never did lock the house. And we’d had no problem. But they always had a little crime problem up in middle of town because of the gambling and the liquor element up there. But I don’t recall it’s what you call—our police force was not too big, of course, and was able to get along with them pretty well. Back in that time, did you know most everybody in town, or? Yes, you were pretty well acquainted with everybody. You knew the banker and the post office man and everybody else uptown. A man by the name of Garside was the postmaster. We had the one bank here, the First National Bank, and a fella by the name of Wingerd was the president of the