On May 10th, 1855 after Las Vegas had by taken and incorporated into the United States – Brigham Young was ordered to take 30 Mormon missionaries to help convert the Paiute Indians in the area. They built a fort in what is now the downtown area. But over the years there would be problems that stirred between Brigham and new people in the area. The new people that came had more liberal views and questioned Brigham’s practices. This tension caused the Mormons to leave in 1857. Over the coming years ownership of the Las Vegas Valley and the fort built within its borders would pass between the divided parts of the United States. It was not until 1881 that Archibald Stewart and his wife Helen J. Stewart would gain ownership of the land and would become the new Las Vegas Postmaster.

In 1884 the Stewart family would face tragedy when Archibald was murdered – but this did not stop the plans that were in motion to expand the property. The Stewarts were able to expand it to 1,800 acres and kept the land until it was acquired in 1902 by the San Pedro, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake Railroad. The building of the railroad would bring in many people to Las Vegas helping it to grow in population. Many of these people were farmers. Another boost in population would come in 1930 when President Herbert Hoover would sign the appropriation bill for the Boulder Dam. The population jumped from 5,000 to 25,000 in hopes that they would be given the job of helping to build the dam. When completed the dam would help to give Las Vegas electricity. The city became the first customer for Southern Nevada Power company and the dam’s name was changed to the Hoover Dam.

By now Las Vegas had made a name for itself because of the erection of the dam. But the year 1931 would forever stick in people’s mind and it became the time when it would start to grow to new heights. Heights that no city had ever reached.

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