ELPHINE and I are just awak-
ening to the fact that the
sixty - second anniversary of
our marriage is practically
upon us. It was the 21st of
August, 1869, that we were married
in Seattle and that evening boarded
the fine old steamer Walla Walla en-
roule to San Francisco.
That was soon after the great Seattle
fire which destroyed a large part of
the city and the harbor was full of
floating logs and other debris which
had not yet been brought under con-
trol. Trying to make its way out of
the port the Walla Walla struck a mess
of floating logs and had quite a hole
stove in her bow. However she went
on that night to Victoria, where the
next day was devoted to the work of
patching up the damage so that she
could proceed that evening out through
the foggy straight of San Juan de Fuca.
The ship’s pumps were working dur-
ing all that voyage to San Francisco
and there was considerable nervous-
ness among the passengers. However
we arrived safely in San Francisco
about ten o’clock on the morning of
August 25, 1889. At the pier we se-
cured one of the old-fashioned (but
then at the height of style) hansom
cabs with the driver of the old horse
sitting up above us. We drove over
the cobblestone pavements of Market
street into the great rotunda of the
beautiful old Palace Hotel, around the
circular drive until the horses stopped
right at the desk where, for the first
time I proudly registered “Mr. and Mrs.
Charles P. Squires.”
For some years we, have every year
visited the Palace Hotel on our an-
niversary, but this year we are just
quietly staying at home with a little
we heard from him about winter
But the race track idea persisted.
Time and again our dear old friend Dr.
Roy Martin made strenuous efforts to
promote a great tourist hotel and a race
track with winter training quarters. But
Doc was twenty years too soon. How I
wish he might see the Las Vegas of
today and realize that most of his great
ambitions for Las Vegas have been real-
A few of us never gave up the con-
viction that Las Vegas Valley is an
ideal place for raising and training race
horses, but we were not in touch with
the right people.
Then along comes the right man at
the right time in the person of Mr.
J. M. Smoot. He it was who was largely
instrumental in promoting the world
famous Santa Anita track and several
other great racing plants of the na-
tion. He has been in no hurry, pre-
ferring to carefully survey the situation
before making a start.
Now he is going ahead full speed.
He has ample money available for the
construction of the great plant and will
have in Las Vegas, not the largest, but
as complete and perfect a race track as
there is in the country. His chief worry
just now is to get it ready for opening
by October first, and he is pushing work
at full speed with that end in view.
We have heard the remark that Las
Vegas can hardly hope to compete with
Santa Anita and other great tracks in
California. The truth is that race horse
owners of California welcome a place
where they can hold race meets during
the season when there are no tracks
operating in California. They see in the
Las Vegas enterprise an opportunity to
get their horses out of the fog and smog
of California for a few months each
year and at the same time afford race
tracks patrons some good sport during
the California off season.
Southern California has nearly five
million people living within five or six
hours of Las Vegas, all of whom ex-
pect to come to Las Vegas some day.
They realize the fact that from most
of Southern California they can drive
to Las Vegas with but little more trou-
ble than it takes to go from Los Angeles
to the Santa Anita track. Those who
know horse lovers realize that thou-
sands of people will come here during
the Las Vegas racing season and add to
the prosperity of our already estab-
lished hotels and entertainment enter-
by Charles P. "Pop" Squires
SINCE the town of Las Vegas
was first started, there has
been talk of a race track as
an addition to the varied en-
terprises of the place. The talk
generally was based on the idea that
some of us developed that this climate
and other conditions were fine for the
raising of fancy racing stock and that
race horses from California would be
brought here for training between the
racing seasons.
For a little variety in the race track
hopes of Las Vegas, we remember that
in 1921, Al G. Barnes Stonehouse,
principal owner of the Al G. Barnes Animal
Circus, “The Greatest on Earth,” came
to Las Vegas for a divorce. With him
came a gay young woman with a couple
of children who called Al “Daddy.”
The young woman soon raised pangs
of jealousy among some of the Las
Vegas matrons by driving about the
streets with her children in what for
those days was quite a fancy auto-
mobile with the name “JANE” on the
doors in heavy gold letters.
After a bitter fight in divorce court,
Al was given a decree of divorce and
immediately married Jane, who by this
time was recognized by Vegas people
as formerly having been a bareback
rider in Al’s circus.
Then in 1923, Al came to Las Vegas
again, this time to divorce Jane. In
taking up his residence here again, Al
made an announcement which created
quite a sensation in Vegas. The Al G.
Barnes Animal Show, greatest on earth,
would establish winter quarters in Las
Vegas. Al was negotiating for a large
tract of land east of town on which to
build the necessary housing for the
circus and its approximately one thou-
sand employees. It was a grand enter-
prise from the standpoint of Las Vegas.
Al got his divorce and that was the last
family party. Oh, no! Not getting old
or anything like that! Just taking
things easy as we go along. But come
to count them over on our fingers,
sixty-two are quite a batch of years for
two people to have lived together in
peace and contentment,
A year ago (August 5, 1950) I wrote
in “Fabulous Las Vegas” a little story
of “My Lady of the Grapes,” just as I
had done each year when Mrs. J. T.
McWilliams sent us a box of grapes
dripping with sweetness, from the
trellace in the yard of her lovely little
home on the West Side.
This year again we have been re-
membered by this kindly and friendly
lady whom Delphine and I have known
and loved for so many years. And the
sweet, purple grapes which she grows
(Continued on Pago 43)
(Continued from pog* S)
so well have a finer flavor because of
the loving care she gives them.
By the way, I wonder if anybody
now in Las Vegas knows that Las Vegas
grapes took first prize at the Chicago
Exposition in 1893, for sugar content?
Mrs. Helen J. Stewart, then owner of
the Las Vegas Ranch which was after-
ward bought by Senator Clark as the
site of his new Townsite of Las Vegas
and division terminal of his new rail-
read. sent the grape exhibit to Chicago,
I understand. After the award was
made there were great hopes that Las
Vegas might be enriched by extensive
vineyards and wineries, but nobody up
to now has ever had the patience to do
much about it.
Over forty years ago, Frank Buol,
brother of Pete Buol who was elected
first Mayor of Las Vegas and among
the most enterprising of our early citi-
zens, left Los Vegas, buying himself a
ranch in Pahrump Valley, in Nyc
County and going into the wine busi-
ness. For many years he was engaged
in the making of wines in a small way,
but never on a scale sufficiently large
to command a profitable market. But
every once in a while I was recipient
of a bottle of fine wine from my friend
Frank, who, by the way, has been for
many years one of the assemblymen
from Nye County in the State Legis-
I recall another little incident about
grape growing and wine making in this
region. Along in the 1860s Charles W.
Towner, traveling with our old friend
Sam Yount from Oregon down through
Nevada driving a band of horses, was
stopped in this part of the country by
unfriendly Indians. He came into
possession of the Indian Springs Ranch,
about five miles northwest of Las
Vegas, built him a home and started on
the business of making a living out of
the soil.
Among other things, Towner took
pains to get cuttings of choice wine
grapes and planted and cultivated a
fine vineyard at Indian Springs.
It happened that among Towner’s
nearest neighbors were the Kyle Broth-
ers. who owned a ranch three miles
north of the Las Vegas Ranch, where
they already had a fine vineyard and
were making considerable good wine.
Unfortunately Las Vegas was far
from any market for wines, but this
defect was partially remedied by Kyle
Brothers becoming the best and most
enthusiastic consumers of wine from
the Kyle Brothers Vineyard.
The outcome of this situation was
that there were frequent wild revels
cn the Kyle Ranch, during one of which
the two Kyle Brothers had a violent
falling out. One of the brothers with
his rifle in hand, had been hunting
rabbits, and as he approached the house,
his brother, who was on the porch, saw
him coming and making threats. He
stepped inside the house, seized his
rifle, opened the door, aimed and fired,
then stepped inside and slammed the
The brother out in the yard fell,
mortally wounded, but he still had the
strength to raise his rifle and fire
through the closed door of the little
house. As fate would have it his bullet
found its mark and the brother in the
house was instantly killed. That bullet
hole in the door was one of the in-
teresting tilings shown to newcomers.
I wonder if it is still an interest of the
Boulderado guest ranch?
It happened that Charles Towner was
just then making a journey down from
his Indian Springs ranch, arriving at
the Kyle Ranch just in time to he called
as one of the little group who estab-
lished themselves as a coroner's jury
to inquire into the cause of death of the
two Kyle Brothers.
Mr. Towner returned to his Indian
Springs Ranch deeply affected by the
terrible Kyle Brothers tragedy. Soon
after reaching home, he hitched one
of his horses to a plow and plowed
down the long rows of growing grape
vines, uprooting and killing every one.
After that, for many years, there was
not one single grape vine on the In-
dian Springs Ranch where Delphine
and I spent much time each summer,
after the ranch was bought by Mr. and
Mrs. Ira MacFarland. Mrs. MacFarland
still lives on the ranch quite undis-
turbed by atomic explosions and jet
plane activities, although Mr. MacFar-
land died about ten years ago.
For myself as well as all those who
help to make this gay little magazine.
Fabulous Las Vegas, I wish for all our
readers and all our advertisers the Hap-
piest Christmas you have ever enjoyed.
And to all you girls and boys in the
entertainment world who are giving so
generously of your lives to make this a
truly fabulous Las Vegas, we give the
wish that you may enjoy all the thrills
of the Christmas season every time you
step on the stage.
To all you who have visualized, fi-
nanced, built and operate our great
resort hotels, we glory with you in the
success you have earned in bringing
new thousands of fun seekers to enjoy
with us this fabulous Las Vegas.
Which includes just about everybody
—to all we wish . . .
A Very Merry Christmas!
ERHAPS those enterprising
men who have created our
great resort hotels with all
their beauty and glamour and
our great downtown casinos
with their myriad lights, gay decora-
tions and enticing games, wonder what
the few poor devils who lived in Las
Vegas 40 years ago. more or less, did
for entertainment and recreation.
We did have some good times (in a
rather simple way, perhaps), to soften
the hardships which insisted in sur-
rounding us.
One of the very first of our summer
pleasures was “the old swimmin’ hole”
DECEMBER 22, 1951
at the Stewart Ranch. Mrs. Walter R.
Bracken very kindly invited the women
of the new town of Las Vegas to enjoy
the shade of the great cottonwoods and
the pleasant waters of the pool. It was,
I imagine, almost the first excuse our
women had for establishing some sort
of social life in the new town.
I remember, one hot afternoon in the
summer of 1906, a half dozen women
who lived in the new townsite, banded
together and, to escape for a while from
the burning sun and the desert dust,
walked (there were no automobiles
then), down the bank of Las Vegas
Creek to the Ranch.
It was one of those hot, muggy after-
noons with great banks of clouds hang-
ing over Mount Charleston. The women
planned to go bathing in the pool and
since there were then no bathing suits
(Continued on Page 35)
(Continued from Page 3)
in Las Vegas, each had brought her
filmiest night gown to serve the pur-
Every thing went nicely so long as
the girls kept under water. But a star-
tling thing happened. There was a
quick gust of wind, a vivid flash of
lightning and a crash of thunder. Rain
came driving in on the wind with
cloudburst force.
Just naturally the women were star-
tled. Not exactly afraid they would get
wet, but instinctively seeking the shel-
ter of the Stewart home, the girls
climbed out of the pool and started
running toward the house.
Those filmy, wet night gowns stuck
to every form so closely that to the
casual observers it appeared that the
girls had nothing on at all. It was a
sight for long years thereafter referred
to only in whispers by the few men
who happened to witness the scandal-
ous affair.
Like most other desert blasts, the
storm was soon over. But the vision of
the running women clad in wet night
gowns will live long in memory.
The Old Ranch served the pioneers of
Las Vegas well. In 1855 the Mormon
missionaries, sent here by Brigham
Young, selected that place as the site
of their first settlement and they built
a fort, the remains of which still stand.
They also built a “Bowery” where they
held religious services and whenever
possible other meetings and social af-
The year the railroad townsite was
opened Harry Beale built a platform
and covered it with cottonwood
branches to form a “Bowery,” at the
Ranch, and there public dances were
held every night of the summer. All
told, the Stewart Ranch was the scene
of many gay parties as well as of some
very tragic events.
Those first summers in Las Vegas, the
Big Springs divided the honors with
the Ranch as a place for picnics. Teams
and buggies and wagons were scarce so
many of the women walked the three
miles from Vegas to the Springs, some-
times carrying a basket of lunch and
carrying the baby in the other arm.
There were two great swirling pools
not far apart; the waters which boiled
up quite strongly forming the stream
which we knew as Las Vegas Creek.
The creek flowed past the townsite to
The Ranch and thence to Vegas Wash
where the waters lost themselves in the
It was quite a stream and the people
who were here the first few months
after the railroad came, were glad to
have such a bright, clear, pure stream
from which to dip their water supply.
It was, I think, along in the fall of
1905 before the railroad company had
water mains laid, establishing the water
system of the Las Vegas Land & Water
Company. At any rate the Big Springs
for some years provided the railroad
and the townspeople with a very ample
supply of clear, pure water without the
necessity of a reservoir or of wells.
The Big Springs were long ago en-
closed by a high fence with locked
gates and later, I think, were roofed
over to keep out contamination. The
fencing in project was started after a
miner missed his pack burro and a
week later discovered its body floating
merrily around in one of the springs.
There was history attached to the
Big Springs. General John C. Fremont
and his party, including the famous
scout. Kit Carson, camped there the
night of May 3, 1855. Fremont wrote a
very concise and accurate description
of the Springs.
“After a journey of 18 miles in a
northeasterly direction we camped in
the midst of another very large basin,
at a camp ground called Las Vegas—
a term which the Spaniards use to
signify fertile or marshy plains. Two
narrow streams of clear water, 4 to 5
feet deep, gush suddenly, with a quick
current, from two singularly large
“These and other waters of the basin
pass out in a gap, eastward. The taste
of the water is good but rather too
warm to be agreeable, the temperature
being 71 degrees in the one and 73 de-
grees in the other.
“They, however, afford a delightful
bathing place.”
I am not sure that none of us older
folks ever took advantage of the op-
portunity of bathing in the springs,
although we did bathe in the streams.
But small boys were daffy about swim-
ming in the Big Springs and battling
the strong current which gushed up
from below.
Moreover, I remember with pleasure
that in the winter the railroad com-
Eany piped hot water from one of the
oilers to a wooden “bath tub” located
where the railroad crossed the stream
just north of where the freight house
is now located, and permitted some of
us townspeople to take an occasional
bath there, although the convenience
was originally installed solely for the
railroad employes.
We really thought Las Vegas was
made when the railroad company erect-
ed the Railroad Eating House, a rather
large, two-story building a short dis-
tance north of the depot. And we were
highly gratified when the company an-
nounced that the dining room would be
(Continued on Page 41)
Here's a hope that the New Year holds a full store of
love and prosperity
for you in 1952
(Continued from Page 35)
open for the use of fraternal organiza-
tions, banquets and political meetings.
It was a really fine dining room and
we were proud of it and of the railroad
company and before we knew what we
were doing the place was invariably
referred to as The Beanery, but really,
never in derision.
In The Beanery, the Las Vegas Ro-
tary Club held its first meeting and
was organized in the spring of 1923.
And there were many gay parties, some
of them quite dignified social events.
There, we held some of the dinners in
honor of those who were working with
us to promote the Boulder Canyon
project, Secretary of Commerce Herbert
Hoover and Mrs. Hoover being among
those so entertained by Las Vegas
Chamber of Commerce.
To skip along a little faster with this
story: Las Vegas was really all swelled
up with glory when Frankie and Louis
Cornero came to Las Vegas and built
the famed resort named “The
Frank and Louis (Tony, the third of
the Cornero brothers, was then very
busy with his Los Angeles enterprises),
came here to live and they worked very
hard planning and supervising con-
struction of the resort.
The location was, we thought, a little
too far out of town, being on the south
side of Charleston Boulevard, about
half a mile east of the city limits. But
we were really gratified that the great-
ness of Las Vegas (that was along in
the middle ’30s, I think), was at last
recognized and that our social, artistic
and gambling proclivities were at last
properly recognized.
When “The Meadows” opened we all
put on our evening clothes so as to vie
with the tuxedoed waiters. Everybody,
even down to the cook and bus boys,
was dressed up and the dealers of the
games were dignified and severe.
In all the history of Las Vegas we
never had finer meals in more dignified
surroundings, nor more lovely and tune-
ful music for the dancing.
To be sure the ambition of the own-
ers to make money brought the place
finally to a shady sort of a reputation.
And there was intense bitterness on the
part of the owners when the section of
“the hotel” which housed the girls was
destroyed one night by fire.
The bitterness, on the part of Frankie
and Louis, was emphasized by the fact
that when the fire alarm was sounded
the Las Vegas Fire Department quickly
responded, made a fine run to the city
limits and there stopped while our
lovely hotel adjoining The Meadows,
burned down.
It was explained by the chief of the
fire department that the city commis-
sioners of Las Vegas had just recently
passed a resolution forbidding the fire
department to go outside the city to
fight fires. And that really marked the
end of our civic pride, for the time
being, until about the year 1940, Max
Kelch started Radio Station KENO in
what once was the dining room of our
delightful resort “The Meadows.”
This clipping from the Ogden Standard Examiner July 17, 1931 reports on the building permit taken out by P. O. Silvagni for the Apache Hotel.  Pop Squires column below describes his recollections of that time in early downtown Las Vegas.
To most residents of Las Vegas
the Apache Hotel has been a
part of this town since the be-
ginning of lime. There are a
few of us. however, who re-
member that corner of Second and Fre-
mont streets as a discreditable hole in
the ground, partly filled with water and
overgrown with willows.
Without taking the time for a lot of
tedious research in order to verify dates,
my recollection is that the lots were
purchased at the auction sale of lots
in May, 1905, by Judge W. R. Thomas
with the intention of building a hotel
there. My partner, C. N. Brown, and I
bought the lots across Second street
where the Shell Oil Station now is, in-
tending to build a hotel there. After
the first hot summer hit us we all
soured on the hotel idea, for the time
at least. We used our Second and Fre-
mont lots as a site for making cement
blocks. Judge Thomas built two small
frame cottages for rent on the back of
his lots facing Second street next to the
For some years the Thomas property,
except for the cottages, was idle. Then
the town was electrified by the an-
nouncement by Judge Thomas that he
was ready to proceed with building his
Sure enough, the two cottages on the
back of the lots were moved off. Then
shortly, two or three teams and scrapers
appeared at the site and began to dig a
hole for a basement. As was learned
years afterward by many others of our
citizens, digging was hard and slow and
expensive in that hardpan. But as the
work of blasting the caliche went on
we became quite enthusiastic over the
idea of having a modern, high-class
hotel in Las Vegas.
Soon there was an excavation for
quite a sizable basement and when
Judge Thomas had a lot of sand and
gravel and cement hauled in and began
Fabulous Las Vegas    April 26, 1952
to pour foundations, we really were en-
thusiastic. Soon there were a lot of
2xl2-inch lumber brought in and floor
joists were laid on the concrete founda-
tions. Everything, it seemed to us hope-
ful Las Vegans, was going ahead full
blast and in a few months there would
be a fine hotel added to the resources
of the city.
Then something happened. We never
did quite understand it, but work on
the big, new hotel project ceased. Water
began to collect in the big basement
excavation and all was gloomy around
the corner of Second and Fremont.
Of course we knew that work would
soon be resumed again. But as time
went on nothing happened. The next
spring we noticed green sprigs of wil-
lows growing in the bottom of the hole.
The next spring after that the willows
(Continued on Page 37)
Golden Nugget Saloon
(Continued from page 5)
had pretty well filled the hole, grow-
ing up to the floor joists which by now
were becoming warped and crooked
under the influence of the heat of sum-
mers. By about the third summer, the
willows were growing up between the
floor joists and soon that unsightly cor-
ner became a nice little forest of vig-
orous willows.
As I remember it (without looking
up exact dates) that condition continued
for more than ten years, until about
the time the Boulder Canyon Project
bill was passed by the Congress, Decem-
ber, 1928. Then, along about that time,
a man named P. O. Silvagni came down
from Price, Utah, prospecting for some
promising investment in the coming
metropolis of Las Vegas. Soon he
bought the Second and Fremont corner
and announced that he would build a
fine hotel for Las Vegas.
True to his word, Silvagni tore out
the old floor joists and the foundations
which had been standing unused for so
long, put a lot of teams and scrapers
and wagons on the job and before long
had an excavation large enough for a
full-sized basement.
Of course, there were occasional
spells of trouble as the project ad-
vanced, but Las Vegas really was
pepped up when the new hotel was
completed, three stories and basement,
with an elevator! It was almost incred-
ible that Las Vegas should have a build-
ing pretentious enough to boast an ele-
vator, but so it was.
Soon after that the hotel portion of
the building was leased to Mr. and Mrs.
Bob Russell, who operated it for more
than ten years. The ground floor corner
at Second and Fremont was first occu-
pied by quite a fancy restaurant, the
casino business having not yet reached
its present-day importance. But gradu-
ally the casino business displaced other
ground floor features of the hotel until
now all except the hotel office is occu-
pied by Benny Binion with his brilliant
Horseshoe club and restaurant.
For some years the Las Vegas Rotary
Club, after leaving The Beanery, met
each week in the basement dining room,
right where for ten years or more the
willows grew out of the pools of water.
And the Apache hotel still remains just
about the center of downtown Las Ve-
gas. There are a few of the women. I
am sure, who remember attending the
bridge classes which Mrs. R. H. Gate-
wood, then living in Boulder City, used
to give. They sure were pretty stylish
affairs for Las Vegas, especially when
the bridge tournaments were sponsored
by one of the national bridge authori-
Just why I should choose the Apache
Fabulous Las Vegas    April 26, 1952
hotel for my comment this week I can-
not tell. Perhaps because I observed
the brilliance of the Horseshoe the
other day and could not help contrast-
ing it with the long years when that
corner was just a hole with pools of
water out of which grew vigorous
young willow trees as a sign that we
might easily revert to the desert jungle.
Jake Kozloff. general manager of the
Hotel Last Frontier, is general chairman
of the Variety's Club's 16th Annual
Convention, and committee chairman of
Tent 39 Heart Fund
(Continued from Page 35)
round Cancer Crusade is the only means
of continuing research, education and
service, involving cancer. Your contri-
bution will enable scientists to work in
the field of research, volunteers to work
in the field of education and service to
be provided cancer patients. Give to
conquer cancer. Give to the American
Cancer Society. It will be money well
invested . . . and that’s for sure.
First wife: “My husband snores.”
Second wife: “You should complain!
My husband is a ventriloquist and he
snores double!”
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a biography
IT ALL began when a young
Minneapolis. Minnesota, high
school miss was stricken with
the mellow-throated crooning
style of a rising radio singer
by the name of Bing Crosby. She was
a talented pianist and singer and in
demand everywhere for both local pro-
fessional and impromptu home enter-
tainments. She had a natural flair for
the keyboard and pounded out a "hot"
piano by ear.
So it was only logical when her idol,
Mr. C., was billed on a radio program
with a local trio called the Boswell Sis-
ters, that this talented teen-ager lent
her sensitive ear to their catchy tune
deliveries, and decided that it would
be fun if she and her two singing sis-
ters, who also headed the local home
talent parade, would join forces and
warble a la these Boswell girls. The
very next evening, when the family
and a handful of music-loving friends
were gathered in their customary circle
around the living room piano, LaVerne
Andrews fingered a lively demonstra-
tion of one of the Boswell song arrange-
ments she had heard, and sisters Max-
ene and Patty blended their voices with
hers in close natural harmony.
With that, the Andrews Sisters were
in business — but the road to the
present-day popularity and profits
stretched a long, hard way ahead of
Already veterans of innumerable lo-
cal show and club dates, but always
soloing or dueting, the three girls now
turned to trio possibilities and when
the opportunity came, auditioned as a
threesome for visiting Larry Rich. This
resulted in their joining his traveling
stage unit. They bid their high school
studies a fast adieu and were officially
on their way toward a first-hand edu-
cation in show business—and what
turned out to be a minimum amount
of fame and a maximum amount of
After their Rich period — which
wasn’t remuneratively so—they joined
a Joseph E. Howard production in New
York, and from there, toured the coun-
try with such bands as Ted Mack,
Maurice Sherman and Leon Belasco,
spending their time between engage-
ments loosening their vocal chords
while tightening their belts.
The Andrews Sisters were spotted
during one of their engagements by an
executive of Decca Records. Unknowns
at the time, they took the regular small
term contract naturally hinging on
whether the public would accept them
as recording stars. The rest is history.
Their truly first great hit was “Bei Mir
Bist Du Schoen,” followed by such
equally sock hits as “Joseph. Joseph,”
“Hold Tight,” “Beer Barrel Polka,”
“Scrub Me Mama,” “Beat Me Daddy,”
“Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” and their
identifying theme, “Apple Blossom
Time.” Today, wax-whirlers are still
enthusiastically spinning these all-time
hits as well as such succeeding An-
drews Sisters successes as “Rum and
Coca-Cola,” “W i n t er Wonderland,”
“Near You,” “I Can Dream, Can’t I?”
which spotlights some smash soloing
by Patty, lead singer of the trio. They
now enjoy the distinction of having
sold over 25,000,000 records, their latest
release being “Why Worry.”
After “Bei Mir,” radio welcomed the
Andrews girls immediately to the
microphone fold, and such top spon-
(Continued on Pag* 179)
Fabulous Las Vegas Christmas December 20, 1952
(Continued from Page 3)
that the company would build its ma-
chine shops there, and that we liked
the climate of Las Vegas, even with her
hot summers, much better than the
climate of Caliente with the cold and
ice and snow of her severe winters.
I have often thought that had Cali-
ente at that time a few more people
like Mrs. Culverwell, full of optimism
and faith in their town, Caliente might
have become such a city as Las Vegas
now is. 1 remember a slogan with
which we in our Chamber of Commerce
spurred ourselves to activity many
years ago: “Las Vegas, City of Destiny”
coupled with the statement that “Las
Vegas men can make Las Vegas what
they will.” I wonder! Caliente has had
a lot of able and optimistic men during
the past forty or fifty years who fought
vigorously to build their railroad town
into a city. Perhaps the element of luck
entered into the matter to some ex-
That election of 1906, when Search-
light and Las Vegas were tied in the
number of registered voters on the vot-
ing lists at Pioche, with 320 each, re-
newed our faith and courage. The idea
that we were equal in voting strength
to the great mining camp of Search-
light gave us new courage. We decided
that it was time to make a more vigor-
ous effort to divide Lincoln County and
make a new county of the southern
half with Las Vegas as the county seat.
I found in an old file the other day,
the records, quite complete, of that
“Lincoln County Division Club” which
we formed in the summer of 1908 for
the purpose of making out of a part of
old Lincoln County this new county of
Clark. There were listed fifty-six of our
businessmen, who contributed $1490
to the fund, which was a lot of money
in those days. I notice on the list three
who still survive, Ed Von Tobel, John
F. Miller and C. P. Squires, each of
whom contributed $50 to the fund. So
far as I know there are no other sur-
vivors of that “Lincoln County Division
We put on a vigorous campaign,
sending Judge W. R. Thomas to all the
towns and settlements in the north half
of Lincoln County trying to persuade
those folks to “Let My People Go.”
And, strange as it may seem, we had
a lot of vigorous opposition right here
in what became the new county. They
said it would bankrupt the property
owners and taxpayers if they had to
pay taxes to build a new court house
and pay salaries to another set of coun-
ty officials. We answered this by agree-
ing that the business men of Las Vegas
would provide a building sufficient to
Fabulous Las Vegas Christmas December 20, 1952
house the new county government for
five years, without any cost to the
county. We contributed $1800 and built
the first little court house on Carson
Street. This one thing I believe turned
the trick. The people remembered all
too well that the old Lincoln County
court house built in 1873 and paid for
in bonds, finally, in the process of add-
ing interest at ten per cent and refund-
ing occasionally, had reached the tasty
sum of over six hundred thousand dol-
lars (of which the new county finally
had to pay $430,000 in spite of all our
In the election of November, 1908,
we managed to elect a majority of the
members of the new legislature who
were in favor of county division. But
still there was a bitter fight in the
legislature before the Lincoln County
Division Bill was passed creating the
new county of Clark. The new county
became effective July 1, 1909.
There are two holidays which stand
out in my memory above most of the
others. Christmas of 1908, we were
pretty sure we had won the fight to
make a new county for ourselves. And
when we celebrated the birth of the
new county on the Fourth of July,
1909, we really had something to shout
The greatest Christmas we ever had
in Las Vegas was Christmas of 1928.
(Continued on Page 181)
(Continued from Page 177)
sors as Wrigley Gum, Dole Pineapple,
Chesterfields, Nash-Kelvinator, and
now Campbell Soups, have been keep-
ing them on your loudspeakers ever
since. Today, dialers tune them in three
times weekly, Monday, Wednesday,
Friday on CBS’ “Club 15.”
Movie audiences, too, have acclaimed
this top singing trio, for their song and
laugh contributions to many a filmu-
sical, including Walt Disney’s “Make
Mine Music” and Paramount’s Crosby-
Hope co-starrer, “Road to Rio.”
Their every appearance on a theater
or nightclub stage continues to draw
record-breaking crowds that constant-
ly send the girls out on the road again
for return engagements. A few seasons
ago, when a road tour took them back
to New York’s Club Riviera, they found
themselves drawing a salary of a hun-
dred times the fee that was paid them
when they sang at the same spot ten
years before.
Yes, on stage, screen, records and
radio, the Andrews Sisters are Amer-
ica’s top singing act—and they’re still
(Continued from Page 179)
On December 14 of that year the Boul-
der Canyon Project Act was passed by
the United States Senate. That was
the real victory of the long campaign
and there remained only some com-
paratively unimportant amendments to
be approved by the House of Repre-
sentatives and the signature of Presi-
dent Coolidge to make the bill a law.
That was the time that several hundred
Las Vegas people formed an automo-
bile caravan and drove the long, sandy,
treacherous road, then entirely unim-
proved, to the head of Black Canyon,
where they knelt on the sands of the
Colorado River bank and joined in
prayers of thanksgiving for that great
Christmas present for which they had
been hoping for so many years.
I suppose, after all our struggles when
trying to do something for our com-
munity, that the enacting into law of
the “Boulder Canyon Project Act” was
the greatest victory and the greatest
blessing this community ever won.
Oh, yes; I saw The Sands, gorgeous,
charming and beautiful new hotel
down on the Strip, Sunday evening.
The thought came to my mind that,
after all, our two Nevada Senators,
Oddie and Pittman, and our Nevada
Congressman, Sam Arentz, were en-
titled to most of the credit for the pas-
sage of the bill. Without their hard
work through those vital years of the
1920s, the river might not yet have
been harnessed and there would not be
enough electricity in the entire state of
Nevada to serve this great, new
“Sands” for half an hour.
The reason why their efforts succeed-
ed when so many politicians had spent
years of political squabbling over it
without getting results, was that those
three Nevada men, one Democrat and
two Republicans, were big enough to
ignore partisan politics and devote
themselves to the best interests of the
people of their state. I well remember
that after all the multitude of details
and small amendments to the bill had
been agreed to, Senator Key Pittman
invited several of us, including Ari-
zona’s two Senators, Carl Hayden and
Henry Ashurst (who bitterly opposed
the Boulder Canyon Project Act), to
dinner at his beautiful home, then in
the outskirts of Washington.
That evening we celebrated the pas-
sage of the Act (which did not occur
until the next day) in champagne. It
was a gay and happy evening which I
shall never forget. Among the group
very active in the movement down
through the years to dam the Colorado,
were Senators Oddie and Pittman and
Congressman Sam Arentz of Nevada,
Senators Hiram Johnson and Sam
Shortridge of California, Phil Swing,
congressman from California: W. B.
Mathews and Bill Mulholland repre-
senting Los Angeles—there are too
many to list here. All of those I have
mentioned except Phil Swing have
passed on to their reward.
I wish they might all come back and
see the great industrial cities on the
coast which their efforts made possible,
and Las Vegas with the brilliantly
lighted and decorated Santa Claus Lane
on Fremont Street and the four miles
of the glittering Strip and all our great
and perfectly lovely and beautiful ho-
tels, beginning with Tom Hull’s El
Rancho Vegas, too wonderful to be
true when it was built about 1940.
Then our fine friend Griffith and Bill
Moore went a step farther with lovely
Hotel Last Frontier. Then the fabulous,
ill-fated Buggsy Siegel gave us the
miracle of the Flamingo. Wilbur Clark
surmounted tremendous obstacles to
come out victorious with the sensation-
al Desert Inn—too wonderful to be
true. But there it is speaking for itself.
It was the pinnacle, we thought.
Then the very acme of wonder and
beauty and attractiveness—the Thun-
derbird, the creation of Marion Hicks,
Cliff Jones and a little group of great
minds; a delightful place in all respects
and lovely beyond description.
Milton Prell really fooled us. When
he told me in August, 1951, that he was
planning to build our favorite and
beautiful Club Bingo over into one of
the finest resort hotels in the country
we were just a little doubtful. But the
marvelous Sahara more than fulfilled
his promise—it amazed all of us.
Now The Sands! A little glimpse of
it Sunday evening amazed all of us.
It would take a high expert on beauty
and a writer with the descriptive pow-
ers of Dickens to describe it. Wonder-
ful and beautiful! Just how wonderful
and beautiful we will not know until
it has settled down to its niche in this
great galaxy of Las Vegas resort hotels.
I give up. Nothing will seem impos-
sible to me now after having seen our
Las Vegas—the most gay and charm-
ing little city in all the world!
Tailor Made to Your Measure
421 South 5th St. Phone 6644
Fabulous Las Vegas Christmas December 20, 1952
Seasons greetings from the Las Vegas Club.
House of jackpots.
Merry Christmas
Horseshoe day box men  P. S. Burton  Jimmy Horn
Christmas cheer from the Boulder club.
Fabulous Las Vegas Christmas issue  December 20, 1952
FOR ALMOST two thousand
years, the Christmas season
has been the brightest, hap-
piest and gayest season of the year.
At that time, our souls take on new
life. Our hopes are renewed and we
again are not afraid to look into the
future. The birthday of Christ has
brightened the world for countless
millions of discouraged human beings.
It brings to us anew that strange pow-
er we call religion, without which, in
spite of ignorance and disbelief and
all the sordidness of mankind, life
would not be worth the living.
You boys and girls of the stage
(life’s playground) are just humans
like ourselves. So — when you feel
discouraged and down and almost out,
come with us to our Christ Church
and have your souls refreshed and
your tired faith in life renewed. Be-
cause, whatever the spirit of atheism
and disbelief which may possess you
and cast you down, religion is the
great power which none can ignore
for very long.
I was just about to tell you of the
first Christmas Celebration by white
men in Las Vegas. The strength and
faith to make it true came from the
religion of the Mormon Church.
By the late "POP" SQUIRES
(Reprinted from December, 1952.)
Their tireless faith and indomitable
spirit gave them strength to earn
out their desperate projects and the
wisdom to preserve them for us.
So, I will tell briefly, about that
band of thirty men, summoned by
Brigham Young, their great leader, to
outfit themselves for a journey
through the almost untracked and
unknown desert country, far to the
southwest of Great Salt Lake and
establish a Mission at Las Vegas.
They reached Las Vegas after in-
credible hardships on June 14, 1855
and proceeded at once to start build-
ing a fort and cultivating garden
plots to save themselves from starva-
tion and building a Church to make
a permanent settlement.
The day-by-day records preserved
by the Church show us that their
existence during that first summer
was a desperate fight for survival.
Yet, they kept the faith and did what
they could to minister to the Indians
starving here. There was no word of
complaint in their daily record al-
though their condition must have
been pitiable.
On December 20, “Mr. Conger ar-
rived with the mail from Great Salt
Lake and President Wm. Bringhurst.
Stardust Hotel
President of the Las Vegas Mission,
received a letter from Brigham
Young, which cheered the Las Vegas
missionaries greatly. With this mail
came word that a post office had
been established in Las Vegas.”
On the 21st, the only record is “The
mail left for San Bernardino at 9:00
“Sunday, December 23. Meeting
was held at the usual hour. Several
of the brethren spoke and a good
feeling prevailed. A good meeting was
also held in the evening.
“Monday, December 24. The breth-
ren did public work again this day,
but it was so cold and blustry that
they did not do much. Brother Bring-
hurst and a few others staked out
their pre-emption claims, taking in the
whole valley near the creek on both
sides, probably eight miles in length
and one mile or more wide.”
“Tuesday, December 25,1855.
Christmas. This was the coldest morn-
ing the brethren had experienced in
Las Vegas. The ground froze hard
enough to hold up a horse and rider
in some places. During the night the
Indians stole a quantity of squashes,
corn, etc. out of Brother Mitchell and
Carter’s house. They entered the fort
at the unfinished portion, took the
loose adobe out of the window and
carried the squashes off unperceived
by the guard.
“This being considered a licenses
holiday, the brethren mustered for a
wolf hunt on horseback. About a doz-
en went out and after chasing around
a few hours, returned without success.
“In the afternoon. President Bring-
hurst and Smoot went out and located
the Indian farm for the coming season
on a little stream two miles north of
the fort. Some of the brethren enjoyed
themselves at a game of ball in the
Jumping over a few days we come
to Sunday, December 30:
“The weather for a few days past
had been quite cold; some of the
time very blustery. Meeting was call-
ed at an early hour and after the
brethren had finished preaching. Pres-
ident Bringhurst sent for Brother
Season’s Best
Wishes —and a
Happy 1965
Dolores and Alex
Riviera Hotel
Hulet to come in, whereupon com-
plaint was made by the President that
Elder Hulet had manifested a spirit
of opposition from time to time to the
counsels and regulations given by the
authorities in Las Vegas and he con-
sidered that Hulet had used his influ-
ence to prevent others in camp from
fulfilling the requirements made of
them. Brother Hulet acknowledged in
part and said he was sorry and would
try to live more strictly to the duties
of his calling. He hoped that forgive-
ness would be extended to him. A
vote was accordingly called for that
purpose and it was agreed to unani-
mously, by all present. Thus, peace
and confidence was again restored in
their midst.”
About the only lesson I could learn
from this bit of history of Las Vegas
(almost a hundred years ago) is to
note that while there was much about
which those people might complain,
their religion brought them humility
and with humility, the strength to
bear their sufferings with fortitude.
(The greatest Christmas we ever
had in Las Vegas was that of 1928.
On December 14 of that year, the
Boulder Canyon Project Act was
passed by the U.S. Senate. That was
the real victory of the long campaign
and there remained only some com-
paratively unimportant amendments
to be approved by the House of Rep-
resentatives and the signature of
President Coolidge to make the bill
a law. That was the time that several
hundred Las Vegas people formed an
automobile caravan and drove the
long, sandy, treacherous road, then
entirely unimproved, to the head of
Black Canyon, where they knelt on
the sands of the Colorado River bank
and joined in prayers of Thanksgiving
for that great Christmas present for
which they had been hoping for so
many years.)
It should be interesting to us just
now while we are reveling in the
brightness and beauty of our brilliant
streets and gaze in wonderment at
the glories of our great resort hotels,
Jack Cortez
to look back at the dreary desolation
in which the little band of thirty brave
men who founded L.V. Mission in
1855 found themselves.
It may be food for us now to dwell
for a moment on that first day of the
year 1856, the first New Year Day in
Las Vegas, of which we have any
record. The leader of the hand of
L.V. Missionaries wrote:
“This day commenced a new year
with the brethren at L.V. and they
could truly say their hearts were full
of gratitude to their Heavenly Father
for his protecting care that has been
over them while on their mission; they
enjoyed health and reasonable
strength, food and raiment, and their
efforts had thus far been attended
with success in gaining the friendship
and confidence of their Lamanite
brethren, by whom they are surround-
ed. Peace and good will prevail.”
The Lamanites referred to were the
Indians of this region, whose constant
thievery was finally a considerable
factor in driving the missionaries back
to Salt Lake City.
“Peace and Good Will prevailed,”
declare our Mormon friends on New
Year’s Day, 1856. We hope those
strong souls who, for their religion,
could endure such privations patient-
ly and without complaint, may be
able to look down from a pleasanter
world on the L.V. of today and see
what the foundation they so well laid
in 1855 has enabled the men of this
later generation to build so well.
I wish they might see the magnifi-
cent churches of their faith here in
L.V. with all their comforts and con-
veniences and their hundreds of mem-
bers still working just as sincerely as
they were for the benefit of mankind.
And I wish we might say with the
same sincerity as did they, “peace and
good will prevail,” though, I fear, that
might too much tax the credulity of
many of us.
On that New Year Day of 1856, the
little band of missionaries were busy
building fences to protect their farms.
Also, they hung one-half of the south
gate of the fort enclosure in its place.
They were a little bit apologetic as
they explain:
“The only hindrance in not having
Season's Best Wishes
Stardust Hotel
Season's Greetings
10 East 60th Street
it completed was lack of files for put-
ting the saw in order that the lumber
might be sawed out for the same.”
Another serious and troublesome
problem was the depredations of the
Indians toward whom the missionar-
ies had been so uniformly kind and
helpful. On that night of January 1,
1856, we are told:
‘The natives climbed over the back
part of Elder Rick’s house and stole a
quantity of corn therefrom.”
Then comes the touching part of
that incident:
“President Bringhurst reprimanded
the Chief for allowing such acts to be
perpetrated by his people. Chief Tosh-
earump took offense on account of the
President threatening to punish of-
fenders caught stealing and he forth-
with left for the mountains, saying he
would stay away a long time.”
This possibly grieved the devout
missionaries very much. I am relating
these small happenings so that we
can better understand the faith and
forebearance of those men and the
kindly disposition they bore toward
One Hundred Thirty-four
the Indians. This was quite in con-
trast with the treatment the Indians
suffered at the hands of other travel-
ers. An example of this we find re-
corded on January 6, 1856, when Pres-
ident Bringhurst went over to the
Indians’ camp to see a man who had
disabled his foot with an ax while
working for the brethren. He pre-
scribed the manner of treating the
wound, gave him some food and com-
forted him the best he could. The
method of visiting the Indians in their
afflictions created a better feeling be-
tween the whites and them than any
other mode of procedure.
The record goes on to state that
the Indians preserved the same good
feeling toward the brethren as hither-
to. “But sometimes they were very
Now, I ask you, can you blame
these poor, ignorant, starving Indians
for stealing food to keep the spark of
life alive in them? Most any of us
would do the same thing under the
same circumstances, probably.
Right here the missionaries list 65
Indians whom they baptised, giving
with care the Indian name; the Eng-
lish name; by whom baptised; by
whom confirmed and the date of bap-
tism. They are listed with infinite
care; 53 of the Piute Nation; of the
Quoeech Nation, four; of the Iat Na-
tion, three. How they managed to
spell out those Indian names is a
wonder. Among those names we find
such as these: Newahwewary, Ween-
ahbegunt, Pakweahrum, Patsearump
(a Piute Chief). There were but a few
nice short names such as Kibe and
On the 10th of January, three other
brethren sent from Cedar City by
Erastus Snow, arrived at the Mission.
They were in destitute circumstances
and had but little or no provisions.
On that same day, January 10, 1856,
a great event in our history happened.
Documents establishing a post office
at L.V. were received. It was to be
called: “Bringhurst’s P.O., Las Vegas
County, Territory of New Mexico,
William Bringhurst, Postmaster.”
And so Las Vegas was bom!
It should be remembered that this
part of the country was then a part
of the Territory of New Mexico. One
of our most prominent citizens, Mr.
O. D. Gass, was a member of the
Legislature of the Territory of New
Mexico and served as such during the
session of Santa Fe.
On this same day, January 10, 1856,
Mr. James Williams arrived in camp
on his return from Great Salt Lake to
San Bernardino and President Bring-
hurst made a bargain with him to
bring grape cuttings and fruit trees
Traffic lights on the strip will make everything in Las Vegas the most fabulous in the world.
and seeds from California at the rate
of $10.00 per 100. One thousand slips
were ordered.
Even then Las Vegas was an enter-
prising community!
-- ------ -----
The gentleman stopped to talk to
the wee girl who was making mud
pies on the sidewalk.
“My word,” he exclaimed, “you’re
pretty dirty, aren’t you, my little
“Yes,” she replied, “but I’m prettier
Yule Tide Greetings
Flamingo Hotel
 Fabulous Las Vegas Christmas Issue  December 26, 1964 
Reprint of Pop Squires Observations from December 1952
AS VEGAS enjoys and sup-
ports as many civic organiza-
tions as any other town I
know of—perhaps more than
is usual for a small city. From
the day the town was born. May 15,
1905, the need of organization was fell
by all the several hundred people who
met here as strangers and remained
to try to make a community of this
bare and desolate piece of desert.
The people who comprised the first
citizenship of Las Vegas in that spring
of 1905 were strangers to each other.
Some of us had begun to get ac-
quainted with our fellows a little bit,
but Las Vegas settlers had seeped in
from every state in the Union and
hardly any two had more than the mere
speaking acquaintance which resulted
from the necessity of working together.
Immediately after the auction sale of
town lots, the necessity for some sort
of public sanitation was realized. In
McWilliamstown, people had been
packed like sardines into shacks and
tents without any means of sewage dis-
posal. In the new town were a hundred
or more tents and shacks, the occupants
of which used water from wells only
six or eight feet deep, located within
perhaps a few feet of the garbage dump.
Cases of what we feared might be ty-
phoid were breaking out here and there.
We just had to do something.
I posted a notice in Hotel Las Vegas
calling a meeting. Everybody came,
because everybody was vitally inter-
ested in trying to save the life of the
new infant Las Vegas. We talked things
over a while, the natural pessimists declaring that there was no use trying to
do anything because we had no author-
ity. I was among those who declared
that if we made regulations, the people
would obey them—they just would not
dare do otherwise, even if they wished.
I was chairman of the committee to
draw up regulations. We presented our
findings and requirements to the ad-
journed meeting. They were adopted.
The requirements seemed rather strin-
gent, and besides every property owner
was assessed one dollar a week as the
cost of carrying out the requirements.
We appointed Mr. Fitzwilliam—a big,
tall, strong fellow—as garbage and sew-
age remover and had no trouble what-
ever in enforcing our regulations. In
fact, we began to suspect that people,
even the unknown and unrelated ele-
ments which composed the new Las
Vegas, desired to be governed by rule
rather than by chance. At that time
Las Vegas was 155 miles from Pioche,
the county seat, and while we had a
deputy sheriff, his time was devoted to
looking after the drunks and keeping
order, if he could, in the saloons. So
in that first attempt at local govern-
(Continued on Page 21)   FEBRUARY 23, 1952
(Continued from Page S)
ment in Las Vegas we felt well pleased.
It was not very long before we felt
the pressing need of another organiza-
tion, this time a “Board of Trade,” in
which businessmen could join together
for the exchange of information and for
their own protection in business. A
meeting was held July 6, 1905, and the
organization perfected in a hurry, be-
cause it was feared that some of our
too many business houses would not be
able to survive very much longer in
the heat and dust and pest of flies. Too
many of those who bought lots and
thought at first they would stay in
Vegas, gave up the idea. It was a little
worse than they could bear and a lot
of them just “beat it” without paying
their debts or saying goodbye.
There was not much a Board of Trade
could do except exchange information.
But within a few weeks we were able
to intervene in the matter of the failure
of Crowell & Allott, the town’s big
mercantile house and save a loss of some
thousands of dollars to our permanent
population. It was on that occasion that
I made my first trip (in the night) to
Eldorado Canyon and thereby saved the
First State Bank a loss of $2,800, which
at that time would have been a very
serious loss. However, the day after I
returned home and deposited the notes
I had taken for the bank in payment
of various accounts the Eldorado Can-
yon people owed Crowell & Allott, the
representatives of the Los Angeles
Board of Trade walked into the bank.
“How much do Crowell & Allott owe
this bank?” they inquired.
“They owe us nothing at all,” said
Cashier John S. Park.
And those smart fejlows from Los
Angeles were furious to think we got
in ahead of them, but we made it. We
had a Board of Trade.
It was not very long after the Board
of Trade was started that our fine old
friend, Judge M. S. Beal, who had for
months been giving practically all of
his time and attention to trying to help
the sick little town, came up with the
idea that we should organize something
like a chamber of commerce, but he
did not favor calling it that as long as
we had a Board of Trade. He sug-
gested “Las Vegas Promotion Society”
as the name, with the slogan, to be at-
tached to all letters and other publicity,
“Nothing to Sell.” The judge did not
want strangers to get the idea that we
were trying to unload town lots on
them. He wanted to tell of the fine
winter climate of Las Vegas, the fertile
(more or less) soil, the crystal pure
water, and the majestic scenery.
The “Las Vegas Promotion Society—
Nothing to Sell” served a very useful
purpose if it did nothing more than to
encourage ourselves. It at least kept
us busy and gave us renewed courage
from time to time as we needed it.
We did not really get down to brass
tacks and get into the life and death
struggle in dead earnest until some
time in 1908, when we began to feel
too strongly the burden of paying taxes
for Pioche to spend and spending our
substance on the three- or four-day
trip every time we had business at the
county seat.
We determined that “County Divi-
sion Must Come.” So Judge Beal gave
up for the time at least, his “Las Vegas
Promotion Society — Nothing to Sell,”
and helped us organize the “Lincoln
County Division Club,” the object of
which was frankly stated to create a
new county out of the south half of
Lincoln county, with Las Vegas as the
county seat.
I have all the old papers of Lincoln
County Division Club, with the list of
those who subscribed money for mak-
ing the fight. It was an uphill business,
because the people of the old, northern
part of the county considered us of Las
Vegas as interlopers in Lincoln County
who were interfering in something that
was none of our business. They made
it pretty tough for us, but we fought
it through at the 1908 election, and
then in the legislature early in 1909.
After promising the people that Las
Vegas would build the new county a
courthouse sufficient to serve for five
years, without any cost whatever to the
taxpayers, we got it through.
The new Couny of Clark was organ-
ized and began operation July 1, 1909,
and then began business in the fine,
new courthouse (now the old library
building) without a cent in the treas-
ury, but in debt to the old County of
Lincoln in the amount of something
like $430,000. It took us twenty long
years to pay that indebtedness, but we
made it—and here we are—
PHONE 10381000S.MAIN
You mean to say . . .
have gone by ! !
for making them
Frankie Rapp
Restaurant and coffee shop,
the ultimate in fine foods,
hot corned beef sandwiches, California Club
Cashman's Firestone for a complete line of fishing tackle check local papers for dollar day specials
phone 2716,
107 N. Main
Observations by Pop Squires Fabulous Las Vegas Magazine -- February 23, 1952
WE WHO HAVE KNOWN MIL­TON PRELL for the past sev­eral years as a kindly, friend­ly, yet very efficient gentle­man, must now change our es­timate and add the element of greatness to our appraisal of this gentleman's fine qualities.
I have been among the many casual acquaintances of Mr. Prell since he bought the barny looking, half finished building which had been standing a long time just outside the city limits on the strip, its high, upward-expanding feature looking forlorn as it implored somebody to come and take pity.
It did seem just too bad that so pleas­ant a man as Mr. Prell should get stuck with the unfinished, sprawling shack but, oh well! I suppose it's his own af­fair. So without protest or any attempt to save Mr. Prell from disaster by giv­ing him good advice, we just let him go his reckless way and spend his money as he pleased. Whatever happened, it was good money spent in Las Vegas anyhow!
And so one day that upward expand­ing wedge-shaped thing that had been sorrowfully beckoning at the passers-by for a year or more blossomed into brilliance, with an operating "Bingo" card bingoing with lights once every minute and the attractively designed sign "Club Bingo."
As Ray Bolger said in his opening remarks of his opening act Tuesday night:
"Just a few years ago, desert! All of a sudden, BINGO!"
And there it was, full of life and lights and activity—a lovely club, with fine foods and all the attractive fea­tures of a great Club, including the pleasant Bingo room and Mr. Prell pleasantly greeting his friends.
Then, a year ago, a greater ambition was burning in the Prell heart. A new hotel was proposed for the site. Club Bingo was to be demolished and the new enterprise was to give us another great Strip hotel, excelled in size, beau­ty, novel design and beauty by no other hotel on our world-famous "Strip."
"It will take us a year to build it," said Mr. Prell. And then some of us looking forward to the inevitable trou­bles and delays and heart-breaking dis­appointments such an enterprise always carries with it, really had sorrow in our hearts as we saw the beautiful Club Bingo destroyed and great piles of building materials scattered over a large area about the site. Somehow it gave some of us a feeling of futility and disappointment, for how could Mr. Prell
with all his genius and energy give us anything more pleasant than the old '•Club Bingo"?
Tuesday night we had our answer when "Hotel Sahara" had its opening. There is no use for me to try to describe it. Others have done that better than I possibly could do it. Besides if I really-tried to describe the new Sahara in any detail it would require several issues of Fabulous Las Vegas to contain it with­out any of the life saving advertise­ments Jack Cortez must depend upon to keep it going and growing.
But I cannot resist the temptation to dwell very briefly on a few of the fea­tures that most pleased and impressed me. The first, and probably most im­portant feature of any similar enter­prise, is the friendly and kindly senti­ment of those who operate Hotel Sa­hara and are responsible for the pleas­ure of its guests.
First of these in importance, so far as Delphine and I are concerned, is the clever Stan Irwin, director of entertain­ment, who put together for the opening a program which it would be difficult to excel on any occasion.
Knowing that first nights, especially opening night celebrations, may easily be flops because of the worry and con­fusion of last moment preparations, we were delighted that Stan's presentations were just about the most pleasant and appropriate that could be chosen to adorn such an important occasion as Hotel Sahara's opening.
Then—my, oh my! What am I letting myself in for! I will just subdue my en­thusiasm and let other pages of Jack's Fabulous Las Vegas tell you all about it better than I possibly could. From the creator and supreme manager, Milton Prell, down through all the stages of management and operation the results are great. And, instead of being compe­tition for the other great Strip hotels, the Sahara is an adjunct, bringing to Las Vegas more patronage for all.
Las Vegas today is a greater and more prosperous city than she ever had been prior to Tuesday evening.
And there goes the urge again! Did you ever see a more perfect miracle than the wide reaching green lawns about the great swimming pool, where just yesterday, it seems, was only the sand and dust of the desert?
Sahara! We of Las Vegas salute you! A sentiment in which, I notice, Wilbur Clark and his Desert Inn and all the other great Strip hotels—El Rancho Vegas, which the genius of Tommy Hull and his sister Sally created some twelve years ago: Hotel Last Frontier, the Thunderbird, the Sands, the Flamingo (built on the forty acres of worthless desert Delphine and I owned for about twenty-five years) and all the down­town casinos and hotels heartily join!
Observations by Pop Squires — Fabulous Las Vegas Magazine — October 11, 1952
Observations by Charles "Pop" Squires
Fabulous Las Vegas Magazine
1950 - 1952
Use the menu below to read columns for the years as noted.
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