The Wilson Family Papers (1875-1918) document the personal and professional lives of James B. Wilson Sr., James B. Wilson Jr., and George Twison "Tweed" Wilson, early pioneers in Southern Nevada. The collection is comprised of personal correspondence, invoices and advertisements from the Wilson family business, the Sandstone Ranch, and photographs of the extended Wilson family.
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 website for more information about reproductions and permissions to publish.
The Wilson Family Papers (1875-1918) document the lives of James B. Wilson Sr., James B. Wilson Jr., and George Twison "Tweed" Wilson and their business, the Sandstone Ranch, located in Clark County, Nevada. Materials include personal correspondence, business invoices, and advertisements for ranching and farming equipment. Also included is a family photo album and additional loose photographs with a brief list of identified individuals, including James B. Wilson Sr. and his brother, Thomas J. Wilson.
James B. Wilson Sr. settled in Southern Nevada after his release from military service at Fort Mojave, Arizona in 1864. In 1875, Wilson Sr. and his business parter George Anderson obtained a piece of property near Blue Diamond, Nevada and began raising cattle and running a goods delivery service at what they named Sandstone Ranch. Anderson married a Paiute woman from a nearby reservation, who had one child. However, Wilson Sr. convinced her to name her firstborn James Jr. after him. She and Anderson had an additional child together, George Twison “Tweed” Anderson. Anderson's wife died giving birth to Tweed, and Anderson died a few years later. James Wilson Sr. adopted the the two boys and they both took his last name.
The family's primary source of income was cattle ranching and raising sheep, although Wilson Sr. mined for ore and other minerals to augment their income. Wilson Sr. deeded the land to his sons in 1902, and passed away in 1906. James Jr. and Tweed operated the Sandstone Ranch until financial difficulties forced them to sell the land in 1929. Willard George, a California furrier and long-time friend of the Wilson family, bought the land from them but allowed the Wilsons to remain on the property in their house. James Jr. passed away in 1943, but Tweed Wilson lived at Sandstone Ranch until his death in 1960. George sold the property in 1949 to Chester Lauck of the "Lum and Abner" comedy duo, who later sold it to Baroness Vera Krupp in 1955. The property changed hands several more times until the Nevada Division of State Parks purchased it in 1973 and developed a plan with the Bureau of Land Management for a state park. The Wilson’s Sandstone Ranch is now part of the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park and the Red Rock Conservation Area, which was entered in the United States National Register of Historic Places on April 02, 1976.
"History of Spring Mountain Ranch State Park." Nevada State Parks. Accessed March 21, 2018. http://parks.nv.gov/learn/park-histories/spring-mountain-ranch-history.
Materials are arranged by topic.
Wilson Family Papers, 1875-1918. MS-00125. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
Materials were donated in 1973; accession numbers 1973-001 and T1.
Materials were processed by Special Collections Staff. In 2015, as part of a legacy finding aid conversion project, Franklin Howard revised and enhanced the collection description to bring it into compliance with current professional standards. In 2018, as part of an archival backlog elimination project, Sarah rehoused the collection and revised the collection description.