The Fayle Family Papers (1895-1998) document the family's personal and business interests in Goodsprings, Nevada and Las Vegas, Nevada. The collection contains mining documents, business records, and photographs from Leonard Fayle’s work with the Las Vegas Valley Water District, where he documented reservoirs, dams, and both abandoned and functioning mines. The photographs also include family members, vacations, and Southern Nevada fraternal organization pictures.
Finding Aid PDF
Scope and Contents Note
The Fayle Family Papers (1895-1998) contain correspondence, photographs, and business and legal documents concerning the family’s life in Goodsprings and Las Vegas, Nevada. The collection concentrates on the family’s mining, grocery, hotel, and bakery businesses, which includes materials such as quitclaim deeds, maps, site location studies, account ledgers, a hotel registry book, and stock documentation for personal and professional investments. The bulk of the collection consists of personal and business correspondence between family members, investors, banking officials, and lawyers. The photograph albums, scrapbooks, and slides mainly depict the Fayle family, their vacations, and involvement with fraternal organizations. A large portion of the photographic slides document Leonard Fayle’s work with the Las Vegas Valley Water District, as well as Southern Nevada mining interests. The collection also documents Leonard Fayle and his wife Anna Trapnell’s civic accomplishments in Southern Nevada.
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.
The materials are organized into three series:
Series I. Fayle Family, 1895-1991;
Series II. Business and Financial, 1908-1982;
Series III. Mining, 1902-1998.
Biographical / Historical Note
The Fayle family's association with Southern Nevada began in 1904, when 23-year old George Arthur Fayle arrived at Goodsprings Junction with nine horses and two ore wagons. Born in Los Angeles, California in 1881 he had previously worked hauling ore near Barstow, California. In later interviews, George Fayle said he was drawn to Southern Nevada to take advantage of the region’s mining boom. Fayle's uncle, Samuel E. Yount, operated a general merchandise store in Goodsprings, a small settlement seven miles from a new railroad junction.
Jean (Henderson) Fayle immigrated to California from Glasgow, Scotland with her parents when she was ten. She met George Fayle in Barstow, where her father worked as a commissary agent for the Santa Fe Railroad. The couple married in California and had two sons, Arthur and Leonard.
By the time the rest of the family arrived in Nevada a year later, George was operating a tent store with an underground storage area for perishable foods. Goodsprings Junction was soon renamed Jean, Nevada, after Jean Fayle, who was the first postmaster of the newly established post office. The couple also named their daughter Jean Nevada when she was born in 1908. Jean’s mining business grew with the opening of a narrow gauge railroad, which transported ore from the Yellow Pine Mine to neighboring Goodsprings, Nevada for processing, and then to Jean, Nevada where the ore was transported elsewhere for smelting. In addition to operating the mercantile store, George and his uncle also handled business transactions between miners and smelters. In 1912, George purchased half of the interest in Yount’s Goodsprings store. In 1915 Samuel Yount retired, and George took over the business and moved his family to Goodsprings. George soon pursued other ventures, most notably the construction of the Pioneer Saloon and Hotel Fayle. The hotel, which advertised hot and cold running water as well as steam heat, opened in 1916.
George was elected in 1912 to the Board of County Commissioners in Clark County and served until his death. He was also instrumental in the development of the Yellow Pine Mining District. George died in the influenza epidemic of 1918 at the age of thirty-seven. At the time of his death, his estate was valued at over $175,000.
After George's death, Jean moved the family to Los Angeles, California. In 1928, she married former Las Vegas Police Chief and businessman O.C. Boggs. Throughout her life, Jean remained active in Las Vegas as a member of civic organizations such as the American Red Cross, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, and the Order of the Eastern Star, as well as women’s clubs like the Mesquite Club and the Hostess Club. She died in Las Vegas on January 9, 1950 at the age of 66.
George and Jean’s son, Leonard Fayle, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1926. After completing his education, Leonard moved to Delano, California where he owned and operated a tire store for eleven years. It was while living in California that Leonard met his wife, Anna Trapnell. Anna was a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, and later received her master's degree in education from University of California, Berkeley. The couple married in 1932 and moved to Las Vegas, Nevada during World War II. In addition to being a mother of three, Anna taught high school in Las Vegas. Leonard bought the local Quality Bakery. He sold the business in 1951 and shifted his work toward managing various family properties.
Involvement in local civic and fraternal organizations was important to Leonard and Anna. Leonard was an active and lifelong member of Rotary International, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, the Shriners of North America, the Royal Order of the Jesters, and the Masons. His ten years (1958-1968) of service as an employee and later chairman of the Las Vegas Valley Water District culminated in the opening of the Fayle Reservoir, named in his honor. In 1970 the University of Nevada, Las Vegas honored him as a “Distinguished Nevadan." Leonard died on July 27, 1983 at the age of 79.
Anna was also an active member of numerous Las Vegas service organizations. These included the Daughters of the Nile, Rotary Ann's, Junior League, Literacy Advocates, and the Mesquite Club. Anna Fayle died on October 30, 1996 at the age of 88.
Sullivan, Jack. “George Fayle Saw Opportunity in the Nevada Desert.” Accessed November 18, 2019. http://pre-prowhiskeymen.blogspot.com/2019/02/george-fayle-saw-opportunity-in-nevada.html
Weisner, Kathy. “Goodsprings, Nevada -- Still Kicking in the Desert Dust.” Accessed November 18, 2019. https://www.legendsofamerica.com/nv-goodsprings/
Fayle Family Papers, 1895-1998. MS-00404. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
Materials were donated in 1998 by Jane Louise Fayle Nordgren; accession number 1998-018.
Material was processed in 2004 and 2005 by Kate Wintrol. In 2018, as part of an archival backlog elimination project, Lee Hanover rehoused and arranged the materials, wrote the finding aid, and entered the data into ArchivesSpace. In 2019, Lauren Paljusaj revised the finding aid.
The majority of photographs in this collection have been separated and placed in Fayle Family Photographs, 1888-1990. PH-00113. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.