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Harmon Family Papers (MS-00301)


The Harmon Family Papers consist of the political and personal correspondence of Las Vegas, Nevada pioneer Harley A. Harmon from 1910 to 1934, and his son, Harley E. Harmon, from 1950 to 1966. The collection also includes correspondence, personal papers, and photographs of Harley L. Harmon from approximately 1950 to 1999. Also included are family scrapbooks with wedding announcements, photographs, birthday cards, newspaper clippings, and other ephemera.

Finding Aid PDF


1910 to 1999
bulk 1910 to 1961


8.56 Cubic Feet (12 boxes, 6 oversized boxes, 1 flat file)
17.52 Linear Feet

Related People/Corporations

Scope and Contents Note

The Harmon Family Papers consist of the political and personal correspondence of Harley A. Harmon from 1910 to 1934, and his son Harley E. Harmon from 1950 to 1966. The papers also include family scrapbooks, correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings about Harley A. Harmon's campaigns for County Clerk, District Attorney, and Governor, and articles reporting on his death. Correspondence includes letters and greeting cards, certificates of acceptance into groups such as the Fraternal Brotherhood of Eagles, and a Western Union Telegraph from Franklin Roosevelt looking forward to counting Nevada as a Democratic state in future presidential elections. There are also political campaign advertisements for both Harvey A. Harmon and Harvey E. Harmon. The collection includes a small number of items related to Harley L. Harmon, son of Harley E. Harmon, including photographs, high school yearbooks, and some correspondence.

Access Note

Collection is open for research. If use copies of the recordings do not exist, reformatting/production of use copies is required before access will be granted; this may delay research requests. Advanced notice is required.

Publication Rights

Materials in this collection may be protected by copyrights and other rights. See

xlink:href="" xlink:show="new" xlink:title="Reproductions and Use"> Reproductions and Use

on the UNLV Special Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permissions to publish.


Collection is organized by individual family member and grouped by topic.

Biographical / Historical Note

Harley A. Harmon was born in 1882 in Wier City, Kansas. His father, Elmer Harmon, was an attorney who moved the family to Los Angeles, California when Harmon was nine years old. In 1903, Harley A. Harmon unsuccessfully ran for Los Angeles City Clerk. In 1905, Harley A. Harmon joined the Union Pacific Railroad as an engineer and drove one of the first construction trains to Las Vegas, Nevada, where Harley A. Harmon was stationed in 1908.

That same year, Harley A. Harmon attended the Democratic State Convention and advocated for the establishment of Clark County in Las Vegas, which passed in the next session and became effective on July 1, 1909. When Las Vegas was incorporated in 1911, Harley A. Harmon became Clark County's first City Clerk. Harmon took his bar examination and passed in 1919, and in 1921 he was elected District Attorney. Harmon held the office until 1934, when he ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for governor. After the election, the newly elected Democratic Governor Richard Kirman appointed Harmon the chairman of the State Public Service Commission. Harmon ran again for the gubernatorial nomination in 1938 and lost a second time. He was a member of the Colorado River Commission which negotiated rights for the water and power emanating from the Colorado River and the Boulder Dam.

Harley A. Harmon married Leona McGovern in 1911 and had two children, Charles E. Harmon and Harley E. Harmon. Harley A. Harmon died October 10, 1947.


The First One Hundred: Portraits of the Men and Women Who Shaped Las Vegas, F849.L35 F58 1999.

Hopkins, A.D. "Harley Harmon." Las Vegas Review-Journal. October 28, 2017. Accessed March 12, 2018.

Harley Emmett Harmon was born November 21, 1918 to Harley A. Harmon and Leona Gates Harmon in Las Vegas, Nevada. He attended school in Las Vegas, Nevada and graduated in 1937. Harley E. Harmon graduated the from the University of Nevada, Reno. In 1947, Harley E. Harmon married Cleo L. Katsaros, and the couple had two sons, Harley L. Harmon and Jeffrey E. Harmon. Harley E. Harmon was elected to the Nevada State Assembly for one term in 1948 and to the Board of Clark County Commissioners in 1950, where he served for twelve years and was a chairman for eight years. He established and was president of the Harley E. Harmon Insurance Agency, Frontier Fidelity Savings and Loan Association, and in 1961 organized the purchase of Nevada State Bank and became president. In 1976, he moved from the Nevada State Bank and joined Valley Bank as Vice President for Marketing. He resigned from that position in 1979 and later began Harley E. Harmon Insurance with his wife. Harley E. Harmon died on September 24, 2001.

Harley L. Harmon, son of Harley E. Harmon and grandson of Harley A. Harmon, was born January 6, 1948. He graduated from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. He later served in the Nevada State Assembly. After leaving the legislature, he worked at the insurance company started by his father, Harley E. Harmon Insurance. Harley L. Harmon also founded the Harley L. Harmon Mortgage Company in 1981. In 2003, he was convicted of mail fraud related to Harley L. Harmon Mortgage Company. Harley L. Harmon married Barbara Jeanne McBride on August 7, 1971 and had three children, Heather Harmon, Alexa Harmon, and Nicki Harmon. Harley L. Harmon passed away September 2, 2006.


Radke, Jace. "Harmon gets nearly five years." Las Vegas Sun. September 23, 2003. Accessed May 13, 2020.

Related Collections

The following resources may provide additional information related to the materials in this collection:

Harley E. Harmon oral history interview, 1972 April 14. OH-00793. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Harley E. Harmon oral history interview, 1998 April 16. OH-00794. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Harmon Family Photograph Collection, 1900-1961. PH-00182. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Preferred Citation

Harmon Family Papers, 1910-1999, MS-00301. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Acquisition Note

Materials were received periodically between 1982 and 2022; accession numbers T180, 1982-012, 1989-001, 2003-015, 2019-031, 2021-030, and 2022-021.

Processing Note

Material was minimally processed by staff in 1983 and 1989. In 2014, as part of a legacy finding aid conversion project, Lindsay Oden revised and enhanced the collection description. In 2018, as part of an archival backlog elimination project, Sarah Jones rehoused and arranged the new materials, revised the collection description, and entered the data into ArchivesSpace. In 2019, Tammi Kim minimally processed and updated the finding aid to include the 2019 addition. In 2021, Tammi Kim accessioned the 2021 addition and updated the finding aid. In 2022, Sarah Jones added one additional box of material.

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