Tuesday, September 30, 2008

McGriff Ranch

Evey, Wixon, McGriff and Griss
According to a 30-Oct-1909 Las Vegas Age article, John F. Evey tapped into an artesian basin to produce one of the strongest flowing wells in the valley. Local news on page 4 of the 03-Dec-1910 Las Vegas Age claimed that he would “be remembered in Vegas as the owner of the greatest of the artesian wells developed in this valley to date, on what is now known as the Wixon ranch.” According to the map titled Las Vegas Valley showing Artesian Wells, the Wixon Ranch was located in Section 10, Township 22-S, Range 61-E which is a 160-acre parcel, now bordered on the north by Warm Springs Road, on the west by Amigo Street, on the south by E Robindale Road and on the east by Paradise Road (east of the intersection of I-15 and I-215.)

After finding a general location of the ranch on the early McWilliams artesian well map my initial attempt was to search the Nevada Division of State Lands database to find the initial "owner". However, there is only one patent listed for any of the 16 40-acre parcels that make up section 10, Township 22S, Range 61E... and it's not for the Evey / Wixon / McGriff farm. My next try was the Bureau of Land Management, or BLM's Nevada Land Records Search. Feeding the township, range and Mt Diablo meridian, requesting a Master Title Plat, and then chosing section 10, I found a map that showed the ranch's location. This provided patent #174779, which could then be fed into the BLM's Land Patent Search engine (using serial patent number) to find a patent issued to John F. Evey on 1-Feb-1911.

In a March 1911 newspaper article, Mr. Wixon is commended for the improvements he has made on the ranch. This suggests that Evey paid the balance on the land, and received his land patent just after selling to Mr. Wixon. Wixon doesn't appear to have stayed long, as in 1914, E. C. McGriff took over the ranch (LVA: 24-Mar-1914.) Mr and Mrs McGriff (LVA: 24-May-1913) previously lived on the Stewart ranch. Upon taking charge, the newspaper says that “Mr. McGriff has planted some orchard and is preparing to considerably increase the acreage of alfalfa.”

A 1936 map of the Las Vegas Vicinity still shows an arrow pointing toward the McGriff Ranch, south of the city. However, a 1954 map of the Las Vegas Valley shows the property to be owned by T. M. Griss who applied for water rights in 1951.

Although there is no indication when the property transferred from McGriff to Griss, a visit to the country recorder's office, looking at property record #16-45-2 shows that

  • In 1952, Griss sold to Lucille F. Athearn
  • In 1962, the property transfered to Maxwell L. Rubin and Angelus Industries, Inc and then to Arthur Liebert
  • In 1962, the land transferred to Star Investment, Co and to Menlo Inc.
  • In 1964, it was transferred to Yeltro Corporation and Ambassador, Inc.

The property went from Yeltro Corp / Ambassador, Inc to Clinton Ables, who sold it to the Hughes Tool Company in 1968. Looking at the history record, after searching one of the low parcel numbers within the old ranch area (such as 177-10-110-001) using the Clark County Assessor database shows that the land was finally subdivided into housing lots in 1986.

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