In 1902, Sen. William Clark purchased a large portion of the Las Vegas Ranch to create a rail stop for his latest business venture, the San Pedro, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake Railroad. On May 15, 1905, a land auction was held, officially marking the birthday of Las Vegas. Situated in Lincoln County, Las Vegas was located over 200 miles from the county seat of Pioche, making it difficult to conduct official business from so far away. Politicians lobbied for the creation of a new county, and Clark County, named after Senator Clark, was established in 1909 with Las Vegas as the county seat. In the following century, the county developed again due to the construction of Hoover Dam, the growth of the gaming industry, and the later introduction of Basic Magnesium Industries in what would become Henderson. More than a tourist destination, Clark County is now the most populous county in Nevada and represents a diverse cross-section of the United States.
Author Bio: Crystal Van Dee has lived in Clark County for almost 10 years and is the manuscripts curator at the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas. She enjoys studying the cultural and social aspects of history and has selected photographs that represent the unique spirit of Clark County.
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