Raul Jusinto

Helen Jane Stewart

Helen Jane Stewart
Helen Jane Stewart (1854-1926). Photograph of Helen J. Stewart, circa early 1900s. Helen J. Stewart Collection. UNLV Libraries Special Collections & Archives.

Nevada State Parks marker reads:

“It will only be for two years,” Archibald promised his wife Helen in 1882, coaxing her away form civilized Pioche, Nevada to a ranch in the middle of the desert. Two years later, Helen buried Archibald after he lost his life in a gunfight at the nearby Kiel Ranch. Helen stepped out of her traditional role as wife, mother, and homemaker, to take over the “LDS Vegas Rancho”. Helen never looked back. She expanded the ranch to nearly 2000 acres, and became one of the largest property owners in the Las Vegas Valley. Helen sold 1835 acres of her property to the San Pedro, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake Railroad in 1902 for $55,000. She kept some land for herself and donated 10 acres to the local Paiute tribe. Helen was indeed a woman of “Firsts” – first postmaster in the valley – first woman in Las Vegas to serve on a jury – first woman to serve on the Clark County school board. As a founding member of the local Christ Episcopal Church and the Mesquite Club, and a Red Cross Activist, Helen shaped early Las Vegas into a vibrant community. Local leaders shut down the city of Las Vegas during Helen’s funeral in honor of her pioneering spirit.

Helen Jane Stewart resided in Las Vegas, Nevada from 1882 to 1926.