Modern Settlers (Early 1900s)
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, known as Mormons, made the first attempt to settle Las Vegas in 1855. The purpose of the settlement was to teach the gospel to the Indians and to establish a halfway station between Mormon settlements in Utah and California. Journals kept by Mormon settlers and explorers suggest that they explored Las Vegas Wash on their journeys to the Colorado River. After the close of the Mormon settlement, other early ranchers, including the Gass, Kiel, and Stewart families, settled around the Las Vegas Valley's springs.
In 1901 the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad was formed and by 1905 the first train from Salt Lake traveled the railway through Las Vegas. With the railroad came new prosperity and land speculation. Between 1900 and 1910, Las Vegas grew from a sleepy stopping point to a bustling railroad town. Mining also played an important role during this period. The booming Las Vegas economy drew settlers to Las Vegas Wash. Along the Las Vegas Wash, the Bishop family established a cattle and horse ranch in 1905. By 1912 the ranch, also known as the Glendale Farm had grown to 800 acres, of which 135 acres were under cultivation, with a house and outbuildings. Ambitious plans for the property did not materialize, and there is no recorded activity on the property after 1915.
(Excerpt from Greg Seymour, Archaeologist, Springs Preserve)