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Helen J. Wiser Stewart of Clark County Nevada

Helen J. Wiser Stewart

Helen J. Wiser Stewart Overview

With the help of her father, Hiram, she ran the ranch and began to purchase adjacent properties in anticipation of a railroad being built through the area. Stewart eventually became the largest landowner in Lincoln County, Nevada [Clark].


Helen Jane Wiser was born in Springfield, Illinois.




On April 6, 1873, she married Archibald Stewart in Stockton, California, and moved to Pony Springs near Pioche, Nevada.


Her father, Hiram Wiser, was a prospector who moved his family to Sacramento, California, where she attended school.

The Stewarts’ first three children, William James (1874), Hiram Richard (1876), and Flora Eliza Jane (known as Tiza) (1879), were born in the Pioche area. Evaline LaVegas (1882) and Archibald, Jr. (1885) were born in the Las Vegas area.

  1. William James Stewart, b. 1874 – d. 1931 [married Lena Mae Carl and Elmina “Mina” Hansen]
  2. Hiram Richard Stewart, b. 1875 – d. 1903 [married Ethel Dreeme Gann]
  3. Flora Eliza Jane “Tiza” Stewart, b. 1879 – d. 1955 [m. Rudolph Axtel Anderson and Charles A. Rucker]
  4. Evaline LaVega Stewart, b. 1882 – d. 1947 [married James Coffey and Clarence Arthur Stay]
  5. Archibald Richard Stewart, Jr., b. 1885 – d. 1899 [died as a teenager]


  • April 6, 1873 – Helen married Archibald Stewart and moved to Pony Springs near Pioche, Nevada.
  • April 1882 – Stewart moved with her husband and children to the Las Vegas Valley to take possession of the Las Vegas Ranch (called the “Los Vegas Rancho” at the time so it wouldn’t be confused with Las Vegas, New Mexico) from Octavius Gass, who had defaulted on a loan from Archibald Stewart.
  • 1882 – The Stewarts’ fourth child, Evaline LaVega, was born in the Las Vegas Valley.
  • July 13, 1884 – After her husband was shot and killed by a neighbor, Stewart, who was pregnant with her fifth child, Archibald Jr., tried unsuccessfully to sell the ranch.
  • 1893 – She became the first postmaster of Las Vegas (though the name was spelled “Los Vegas” until 1903).
  • 1902 – Stewart sold 1,834 acres of the ranch, including the water rights, to the Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad for US$55,000.
  • 1905 – The land that was sold in 1902 was used to establish the city of Las Vegas in 1905.
  • 1903 – She married Frank Stewart (no relation to Archibald Stewart), who had been hired at the Las Vegas Ranch in 1886. She moved into a new home in the growing community of Las Vegas and became an important part of social, political, and business circles.
  • 1916 – Stewart became the first woman elected to the Clark County School District’s Board of Trustees.
  • 1922 – She donated land for the Las Vegas Grammar School, which was built the following year. It was the first public school attended by Native American students from the Southern Paiute Indian Colony.
  • 1979 – The Las Vegas Grammar School building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
  • 1926 – Helen Stewart died in Las Vegas.

Places Lived

Helen was born in Illinois and lived most of her life in the Lincoln and Clark Counties of Nevada.

References Used

Helen J. Wiser Stewart