On October 31, 1864, Nevada became the 36th state in the union and that same year the first settlers took up ranching in the Lamoille Valley, which a mere five years later would become part of the newly established Elko County. In 1867, Tuscarora was founded and the first permanent settlers established ranches in Starr Valley and South Fork Valley.
With the arrival of the Central Pacfic Railroad in 1868, Elko, Carlin and Wells were established. That same year the Idaho Central Wagon Road connected Carlin to the mines in Silver City, Idaho. Mountain City was also founded.
On March 5, 1869, by act of the Nevada Legislature, Elko County, the 4th largest county in the continental United States, was created. A special election was held on June 21, 1869 where Len Wines, J. Pierson and J.H. Lettingwell were elected as the first Commissioners of Elko County. One of their first acts was to commission the building of a courthouse and jail. On January 10, 1870, the Commissioners accepted the completed Elko Courthouse building at a cost of $22,942.48
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