George Wingfield

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George Wingfield (August 16, 1876 - December 24, 1959) was a Nevada banker and miner. He was considered to be one of the state's most powerful economic and political figures during the period from 1909 to 1932. Wingfield rose from faro-dealer to the position of richest man in Nevada in less than five years.[1]

Biography[edit]

Wingfield was born at Fort Smith, Arkansas in 1876. His family removed to Oregon when he was five years old, and he became a buckaroo on a ranch in Burns.[2] At age 20, he became a cattle drover in Nevada. He arrived in Tonopah in 1902 and dealt cards at the Tonopah Club.[3] He moved to Winnemucca, where he became friends with United States Senator George S. Nixon.[4] By the age of 30, he made a fortune in Nevada, having mined in Tonopah and Goldfield. With Nixon as his partner, Wingfield was worth $30 million after taking their Goldfield Consolidated Mining Company public in 1906, which had been organized with $50 million in capital. In 1906, his wife, May, filed for divorce; the case ended in an annulment.[5] In 1908, he moved to Reno and became active in politics, banking, ranching, and hotel-keeping. He owned many of the banks in Nevada, as well as several hotels in Reno, including the Riverside Hotel, and an international mining company.[6] He also ran a ranch and dairy farm in Fallon.[7] In 1928, Wingfield was elected to the University Board of Regents for the University of Nevada,[5] but rejected an offer to become a US Senator.[8] Much of Wingfield's fortune was lost during the Great Depression.[9]

Wingfield Park, alongside the Truckee River in Reno, was built on land donated by George Wingfield. Starting in 1995, a new 1660-acre, 400-home neighborhood was constructed on the site of George Wingfield's former Spanish Springs Ranch.[10] Red Hawk at Wingfield Springs was completed in 2005 and named after Wingfield by its developer, Harvey Whittemore.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bonner, John; Curtis, George William; Alden, Henry Mills; Samuel Stillman Conant, Montgomery Schuyler, Carl Schurz, John Foord, Henry Loomis Nelson, Richard Harding Davis, George Brinton McClellan Harvey, John Kendrick Bangs, Norman Hapgood (1907). Harper's weekly (Public domain ed.). Harper & brothers. pp. 909–. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  2. ^ Toll, David W. (November 2002). The Complete Nevada Traveler, Revised Edition: The Affectionate And Intimately Detailed Guidebook To The Most Interesting State In America. University of Nevada Press. pp. 173–. ISBN 978-0-940936-12-6. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  3. ^ Foundation, George Edward Durell (21 March 1995). Money and banking: the American experience. George Mason University Press. p. 326. ISBN 978-0-913969-74-8. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  4. ^ Southern Pacific Company. Passenger Dept (1912). Sunset (Public domain ed.). Passenger Dept., Southern Pacific Co. pp. 446–. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Edwards, Jerome E. (1 January 1982). Pat McCarran, political boss of Nevada. University of Nevada Press. pp. 10, 28, 41–. ISBN 978-0-87417-071-9. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  6. ^ Raymond, C. Elizabeth (1 November 1992). George Wingfield: owner and operator of Nevada. University of Nevada Press. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-0-87417-197-6. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  7. ^ BeDunnah, Gary (26 April 2006). Nevada, Our Home: Revision of Discovering Nevada. Gibbs Smith. pp. 160–. ISBN 978-1-58685-821-6. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  8. ^ Reid, John Bevis; James, Ronald Michael (2004). Uncovering Nevada's past: a primary source history of the Silver State. University of Nevada Press. pp. 94–. ISBN 978-0-87417-567-7. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  9. ^ "George Wingfield". Library, State of Nevada. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  10. ^ "ULI - Development Case Studies". Urban Land Institute. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  11. ^ Damon, Anjeanette (10 June 2012). "Indictment caps lobbyist Harvey Whittemore's dramatic fall from grace". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 27 May 2013.