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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
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July 31, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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July 31, 1997
 

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20 Thursday, July 31, 1997 Pahrump Valley Gazette Nevada-then and now Hazen: Truckee Canal Boomtown by Phillip I. Earl Nevada Historical Society A recent two-part series on the history of Derby Dam and the community of held to await a hearing before Constable Judd the next morning. Wood was never to Derby would not be complete without a feature on Hazen, the third historic site see the sun come up, however. About 2:00 a.m., a lynch mob broke him out and strung associated with the Truckee Ca- him up to a telegraph pole. The body was nal and the Newlands Project. left dangling until mid-morning, lest Named in honor of Brigadier General those similarly inclined somehow miss William Babcock Hazen, an aide to Gen-  the lesson to be learned there alongside eral William Tecumsa Sherman of Civil the tracks that morning, but little changed War fame, the community had its origins in Hazen. as a southern Pacific Railroad siding dur- Governor John Sparks vetoed a legis- ing the realignment of the right-of-way | lative bill closing down saloons along across the state, 1901-02. By the time ser-  " the canal and Churchill County officials vice openedthroughthissectionofNevada refused to act on a petition. Hazen in October 1902, plans were afoot for a saloonmen were soon facing a decline thirty-one mile canal from Derby Dam to in their business, however, when the Lahontan Reservoir. Hazen became the canal was completed in April and la- headquarters for the U.S. Reclamation Ser- =: borers moved further east to work on vice in August 1904. Some 300 canal la- :,.:.. ,;  "..  .:/ laterals, ditches and smaller canals in borers were living in tents on the site by .v_.. ' *,, / the Fallon area. In June 1905, they were that time and the community was gaining a 1.:-... -. replaced by railroad laborers and track reputation for lawlessness second only to  " ...... : . gangs working on the twenty-mile Derby's. . Hazen Cut-Off between Hazen and Churchill County officials appointed Churchill Station. Assaults, murderand Judd Allen, alocalhotelman, as Constable, all manner of petty crimes resumed, but otherwise ignored the burglaries, as- William "Red" Wood, hanged at Hazen, March 1, 1905. continuing until the line was opened in saults, occasional murders and lesser crimes late August. Hazen boomed thereafter, which plagued the area. On August 11, photo by Nevada Historical Soc&ty becoming the principal railhead for all 1904, Reclamation Service officials re- traffic moving to and from Tonopah. quested county officials to deny new saloon licenses and close down the four operating Goldfield and other mining camps in central Nevada. The community thus generated in Hazen, but to no avail. On September 3, four men attacked Percy McDonald and Elbert its own crime. Howe, civil engineers on the project, near the Hazen depot. Other men on the scene came In February 1905, Southern Pacific officials sent out a survey crew for a branch to their rescue, but only one man was captured. There was talk of organizing a "vigilance line to Fallon. Grading began in April 1906 and the first train from Hazen arrived committee" at that time and county officials ordered the construction ofajail three weeks over the line on January 10, 1907. Many of the men who had worked on the new later. J.D. Ellis got the contract with a bid of $224 and the small wooden facility was branch had previously labored on the canal and the Hazen Cut-off. Those who made completed and ready for occupancy by November 1. Dan Bums and E.J.Wade indicted a living selling rotgut whiskey and drugs, assaulting and robbing laborers, passing for robbery and held in Fallon, were the first inmates, but the level of criminal activity counterfeit money, forging checks and engaging in assorted troublemaking were in Hazen remained about the same. still on the scene as well. On February 28, 1905, several citizens apprehended William "Red" Wood as he and The Newlands Project was not quite the "Wild West," but those who settled there a partner, "Kid" Wilson, were waylaying a canal laborer. Wilson escaped, but Wood was in the early days did their level best to uphold the standard. H I I I Custom Home Design Center 727-0744 Contractors Lic. #38250 # Lic. P-115-SS Lic. # P-450-CS Sign of an Expert I 1 22 Colors to choose from