Page 33

St. Mary's County


second enlargement of Nevada at Utah's expense occurred in 1866, and it placed the boundary at its present location—the formal survey occurring several years later.^ Although Utah thus lost substantial territory to Nevada, its settlers, prospectors, and businessmen retained a considerable social and economic interest there. Wallace Stegner in a lyrical description in Mormon Country, published in 1942, suggested that approximately the eastern one-third of Nevada might be still considered part of that cultural domain.^ That was an accurate generalization forty years ago, and it is even more valid in the late 1980s than at any previous time in the twentieth century. In the late 1860s Nevada organized three large counties along its eastern border: Lincoln (1866) covered the entire southeastern corner of the state, including the southern tip which became Clark County (1909) following the establishment of a townsite at Las Vegas; White Pine (1869), after the rush to the Hamilton region; and Elko (also 1869) in response to the establishment of a town of that name by the Central Pacific Railroad builders. Except for the division of Lincoln and Clark counties nearly eighty years ago, the three eastern Nevada counties have changed little on the maps in the past century. The basic demographic data for 1980 for these three counties that adjoin Utah were: COUNTY

SQ. M I .

Elko White Pine Lincoln

17,135 8,902 10,635



17,269 8,167 3,732

In spite of some obvious social differences, these counties have retained significant economic and historic kinship with Utah. This is true because of some elementary geographical facts. The cities and towns of Elko and White Pine counties are nearer to Salt Lake City than they are to Reno/Carson City or Las Vegas. The Lincoln County towns of Pioche, Panaca, and Caliente are closer to Cedar City and St. George than they are to Las Vegas, and considerably nearer to Salt Lake City than they are to Reno and Carson City. Repeatedly in the

^U.S. Statutes at Large, 14, p. 43, chap. L X X I I L See also Swackhamer, Political History, p. 90. There are two Nevada studies that relate to the shifting of the boundary: J o h n M. Townley, Conquered Provinces: Nevada Moves Southwest, 1864—1871 (Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1973), Charles Redd Monographs in Western History, no. 2; James W. Hulse, Lincoln County, Nevada: The History of a Mining Region, 1864-1909 (Keno: University of Nevada Press, 1971), pp. 15-16. sWallace Stegner, Mormon Country (1942; reprint, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1981), p. 35.

Profile for Utah State History

Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, Number 3, 1987  

Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, Number 3, 1987  

Profile for utah10