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Florence Lee Jones and John Cahlan Papers (MS-00200)

Abstract

The Florence Lee Jones and John Cahlan Papers (1929-1983) contain material created by the couple related to their work at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, their interest in the history of Las Vegas, Nevada, and the promotion of Southern Nevada for business and industry. The collection includes the Cahlan's correspondence as well as newspaper clippings about Las Vegas. It also contains drafts and manuscripts for their book, Water: a History of Las Vegas, commissioned by the Las Vegas Valley Water District.

Finding Aid - PDF
Date
1929-1983
Extent
16.37 Cubic Feet (28 boxes)
15.79 Linear Feet
Resource Type
Papers
Creator/Contributor Links
Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in this collection may be protected by copyrights and other rights. See Reproductions and Use on the UNLV Special Collections website for more information about reproductions and permissions to publish.

Collection Type
Scope and Contents

The Florence Lee Jones and John Cahlan Papers (1929-1983) contain material created by the couple related to their work at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, their interest in the history of Las Vegas, Nevada, and the promotion of Southern Nevada for business and industry. The collection includes the Cahlan's correspondence as well as newspaper clippings about Las Vegas. It includes materials from the Southern Nevada Industrial Foundation’s proposal for a high-speed train connecting Las Vegas and Los Angeles, California. Other materials document the founding and early work of the Service League (now Junior League). The collection also includes correspondence and invitations received by the Cahlans documenting Las Vegas social and political events during the period. They also collected extensive newspaper clippings and obituaries about prominent Las Vegans. Other items in the collection highlight their passion for preservation and history and work with the Nevada State Museum and John Cahlan’s role in the creation of the Nevada State Archives.It also contains drafts and manuscripts for their book, Water: a History of Las Vegas, commissioned by the Las Vegas Valley Water District.

Biographical / Historical Note

Florence Lee Jones

Florence Lee Jones worked at the Las Vegas Review-Journal and was widely respected for her detailed reporting. In addition to her full-time work at the paper, she volunteered with several community groups in Las Vegas, Nevada. She was born in Missouri in 1910 and graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in 1933. She then moved to Las Vegas, Nevada where her parents had relocated and opened a service station near Hoover Dam.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal hired Florence Lee Jones as the only full-time reporter at the paper. She later married the editor of the paper, John Cahlan, but continued to use her maiden name as her byline. She became involved in building the community of Las Vegas and helped started the Service League for women, now known as the Junior League. She also had an active role in the Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees). After some health problems, she retired from the Review-Journal in 1953, but continued to write occasional columns and articles for the paper. She later wrote a regular society column for the paper. Her writings often focused on the history of Las Vegas and she documented the stories of many of the city’s earliest residents.

The Las Vegas Valley Water District commissioned Jones and Cahlan to write a history of Las Vegas and in 1976, they completed Water: A History of Las Vegas. Her commitment to the history of Las Vegas led to her appointment as the first woman on the Nevada State Museum Board of Trustees. She donated the couple’s records to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Special Collections and Archives and to the Nevada State Museum and Historical Society. The Historical Society honored Jones and Cahlan and named the reading room after the couple. She passed away from cancer in 1985.

John Cahlan

John Francis Cahlan, a native Nevadan, worked as the editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He also worked to support education and preserve Nevada history, advocating for the establishment of the Nevada State Archives. He was born in Reno, Nevada in 1902, and attended the University of Nevada, earning a degree in journalism in 1926, and worked for the Nevada State Journal.

He moved to Las Vegas in 1929 to work at the Review-Journal, co-owned by his brother A.E. Cahlan. In addition to his work at the paper, he also served as a Clark County juvenile officer, as a Regent for the Nevada Higher Education System, and was active in community groups. After leaving the Review-Journal, he served as the managing director of the Southern Nevada Industrial Foundation. He worked to preserve Las Vegas and Nevada history and helped push through legislation to create the Nevada Division of Records and Archives. He passed away in 1987.

Sources:

Glass, Mary Ellen. John F. Cahlan: Reminiscences of a Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada, Newspaperman, University Regent, and Public-Spirited Citizen. UNOHP Catalog #035. 1970. https://contentdm.library.unr.edu/cdm/ref/collection/unohp/id/446.

Green, Michael. Online Nevada Encyclopedia. “Florence Lee Jones Cahlan.” 04 February 2009. http://www.onlinenevada.org/articles/florence-lee-jones-cahlan.

Green, Michael. Online Nevada Encyclopedia. “John Cahlan.” 15 January 2007. http://www.onlinenevada.org/articles/john-cahlan.

Hopkins, A.D. “Florence Lee Jones,” Las Vegas Review-Journal. 07 February 1999. https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/florence-lee-jones/.

Arrangement

The collection is divided into four series:

Series I. Personal, 1941-1983;

Series II. Community Interests, 1945-1981;

Series III. Articles and Manuscripts, 1929-1980;

Series IV. Water Resources, 1942-1978.

Related Materials

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

A. E. Cahlan Las Vegas Review-Journal Columns, 1930-1968. MS-00143. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cahlan, Florence Lee Jones. Interview, February 10, 1973. OH-00148. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cahlan, John Francis. Interview, 1975. OH-00153. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cahlan, John Francis. Interview, February 18, 1975. OH-00149. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cahlan, John Francis. Interview, July 2, 1975. OH-00154. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cahlan, John Francis. Interview, March 3, 1977. OH-00150. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cahlan, John Francis. Interview, April 10, 1978. OH-00151. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cahlan, John Francis. Interview, February 27, 1980. OH-00152. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Papers of John F. and Florence Lee Jones Cahlan, 1940s-1970s. MS-015. Cahlan Research Library, Nevada State Museum Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Preferred Citation

The Florence Lee Jones and John Cahlan Papers, 1929-1983. MS-00200. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

EAD ID
US::NvLN::MS00200
Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials were donated in several accessions beginning in 1978 by Florence Lee Jones Cahlan; accession number T128.

Processing Information

Collection was processed in 1997 by Carol A. Corbett. In 2016 and 2017, Joyce Moore revised and enhanced the collection. In 2018 Angela Moor further revised the collection description to bring it up to current professional standards.

Separated Materials

Some of the photographs in this acquisition were removed from the collection and placed in Florence Lee Jones Cahlan Photographs, 1909-1918. PH-00045. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada

Finding Aid Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
English