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Newspaper Archive of
Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
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July 24, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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July 24, 1997
 

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T Pahrump Valley Gazette, Thursday. July 24, 1997 19 i Gazette on the stre ... What would you do if someone gave you a million dollars to use anyway you wanted? Pahrump Pennsylvania Belgium Pahrump Pahrump ALVIE YORK -- Retired CARL MILLARD, JR. -- projectionist -- "Pay my bills first Teacher-- "I would use it for my thing and then I would help my son's education and pay off debts family outand neighbors whohave and travel." been good to me over the years and then travel." FRANK DeLANGE -- Electronics -- "Buy a new car, house and travel. Take a part- time job." ANGLE BRUNO-- Grocery bagger -- "I'd take my immediate family on a cruise for a long time, like a couple of months." BILL BLYTHE -- Retired computer technician -- "i'd probably put both my kids into houses and retire with the rest." Compiled by Gazette staH photographers III i ii ] 482-301 6 No to Abuse 751 -111 8 Tonopah 24 Hr. Crisis Line Pahrump ! Nevada-then and now DERBY: A short and violent history by Phillip 1. Earl Nevada Historical Society A interesting history. Established in 1901 when Southern Pacific Railroad officials were in- volved in re-routing the transcontentinental railroad, the town was named for either Lt. George E. Derby, leader of an 1850s survey across the Great Basin, or Chancellor Derby, a pioneer rancher in the area. Construction laborers lived there initially and men working on Derby Dam and the Truckee Canal first took up residence in 1903. Southern Pacific officials abandoned Salvia Siding in April 1904, designating Derby a regular station. Several nearby mining opera- tions had opened up and the town was showing promise, saloons and other businesses being established to serve the miners and those men employed on the irrigation project. Among those men attracted to Derby were a number of criminal types. The bodies of several canal and dam laborers were soon found in the river, skulls bashed in and pock- ets gone through. A number of saloon keepers were thought to be in league with this element, spiking recent article in this column on the history of Derby Dam reminds us that the construction camp of Derby, three miles east of the dam site, also has an Men at work on the Truckee Canal near Derby, January 1905. photo by Nevada Historical Society drinks with narcotic potions or encouraging men to imbibe to the point that they would be easy prey when making their way to their.quarters. The saloons were licensed by Washoe County, but county officials did little to protect the citizenry, only sending out the coroner when a body turned up. In July 1904, the citizens of Wadsworth petitioned the Board of County Commissioners to revoke saloon licenses and station a special officer in Derby. The Commissioners pulled the licenses on Aug. 2, but the saloons remained in operation, as did those in Story County to the south Derby saloon men got an injunction staying the action of the commissioners, claiming that the operators of Wadsworth establishments were only seeking to monopolize the liquor trade. Nothing thus changed and the human carnage continued. The mangled remains of one E. Griffith were found next to the tracks on Oct. 7 and a saloon was blown up on Oct. 16. A Constable William Wilson and Deputy Constable, J.R. Groton, were sent out the next week. Although several arrests were made on Oct. 27, the assaults continued. A railroad conductor and a brakeman were taken in hand, beaten and robbed on Nov. 14 and a canal laborer had his nose bitten off in a saloon brawl on Nov. 24. Four days later, Jery McCarty of the Monte Carlo Saloon was poisoned. One Michaerl Carey was arrested on Dec. 9 while rifling his victim's pockets and there was talk of a lynching Officials of the U.S. Reclamation Service discussed banning sa- loons from the project, but found that Derby was outside its boundary. Murders continued to be reported in Janu- ary 1905 and one James Ferrel was sentenced to life imprisonment on Jan. 9, but with little effect on his brothers in the business. Edward Kelley was shotby Frank "One Eyed" Smithie in the Monte Carlo on Jan. 14,dying four days later, and "Mickey the Rat" beat Dr.George D. Culver when the physician refused to treat his injuries on Jan. 16. In February, the Nevada State Legislature passed a bill providing for the recall of saloon licenses at Derby, but Gov. John Sparks ve- toed the measure, saying it was "special leg- islation," thus unconstitutional. Officials of the U.S. Land Office also put forth a proposal, but the U.S. Attorney for Nevada decided that neither they nor Interior Department officials had any jurisdiction. The canal and the dam were completed in the spring of 1905 and Derby's troubles came to an end as canal and dam laborers moved on. Mining operations continued to support some business activity, as did the routing of the Lincoln Highway through the community in 1913. In 1934, highway construction took the main street and several businesses closed. The post office shut down on April 30, 1936, and Frank Wheeler, a rancher, purchased and tore down the few remaining buildings in October 1937. The school, maintained for the children on surrounding ranches, closed in December 1938, only four students being enrolled for that term. Motorists on old U.S. 40 were able to see some town remnants until 1-80 was constructed in the 1960s, but there is no sign of Derby today.