The Ernie W. and Lucille Marleau Cragin Photograph Collection contains photographic prints, negatives, and slides depicting early Las Vegas and Boulder City, Nevada events, buildings, and people between approximately 1900 and 1950.
Finding Aid PDF
Scope and Contents Note
The Ernie W. and Lucille Marleau Cragin Photograph Collection contains photographic prints, negatives, and slides depicting early Las Vegas and Boulder City, Nevada events, buildings, and people between approximately 1900 and 1950. Event photographs portray the first Helldorado parade, rodeos, and military assemblies at the Las Vegas Air Gunnery School (currently Nellis Air Force Base). Other images depict buildings, namely the El Portal theater construction, street scenes of Fremont Street, and residential areas in Boulder City. People in the collection are seen in swimming holes, ferries on the Colorado River, weddings, conventions, parties, speeches, award ceremonies, and cars driving around Las Vegas and Boulder City. Other photographs in the collection depict locations throughout Nevada and the United States including Tonopah, Nevada; and Macon, Georgia.
Collection is open for research.
Materials in this collection may be protected by copyrights and other rights. See Reproductions and Use on the UNLV Special Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permissions to publish.
Materials remain as they were received.
Biographical / Historical Note
Ernie W. Cragin was the mayor of Las Vegas, Nevada, serving his first term from 1931 and 1935 and his second term from 1943 and 1951. He was born in Wyoming on April 17, 1895 to James H. and Margaret Cragin. He moved to Las Vegas in 1911 where his father worked with the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad. Ernie Cragin later attended business school and married Lucille Marleau in 1917. He opened the El Portal movie theater in 1928 with his business partner William Pike.
During his second term as mayor, Ernie Cragin served as part of the group that converted the Basic Magnesium complex in Henderson, Nevada to peacetime uses after World War II. He also supported programs to fund civic improvements including a new police stations, street pavements, and public swimming pools. However, during this time, he received opposition for attempting to annex the Las Vegas Strip and for policies furthering the segregation of Las Vegas's black communities. C. D. Baker defeated Ernie Cragin in the 1951 mayoral election. Afterwards, Ernie Cragin worked in his insurance office located in the El Portal until his death on July 13, 1959.
Lucille Marleau "Seely" Cragin was born in September 25, 1898 in Los Angeles, California to Louis Marleau and Lucy Mueller. She married Ernie W. Cragin in 1917 and had one son, Marleau J. Cragin, who died October 25, 1944 during World War II. She remained in Las Vegas until her death on August 4, 1991.
Hopkins, A. D. "Ernie Cragin."
Genealogy files about "Ernie W. Cragin" Accessed on March 18, 2020 on familysearch.org
Genealogy files about "Lucille A. Cragin" Accessed on March 18, 2020 on familysearch.org
"PhoM1 Marleau J. Cragin." Find A Grave. May 16, 2002. Accessed March 26, 2020. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/6421102/marleau-j_-cragin
"Widow of former LV mayor dies."
Ernie W. and Lucille Marleau Cragin Photograph Collection, approximately 1900-1950. PH-00017. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
Materials were donated in 1977 by Lucille Marleau Cragin; accession number 1977-076.
In 2020, as part of an archival backlog elimination project, Jimmy Chang wrote the finding aid and entered the data into ArchivesSpace.