%> Nevada Riches: The Land and People of the Silver State
People & Life Ways
Riches, Ranching & Railroads
(1850-1900)

Civic and Social Organizations

People who settled in Nevada were generally intent upon making a living and establishing a home.  But once new residents settled into a comfortable routine, they often established civic and social organizations.  Some of these groups or clubs provided companionship for members.  Some groups organized to improve living conditions in their town.  Temperance, or the campaign against alcoholic beverages, was a common interest for many people in the 19th and early 20th centuries.  The Sons and Daughters of Temperance organized to fight alcohol and drunkenness on the Comstock.  It was a difficult task; there were many breweries and saloons in Virginia City and most mining communities.

Other groups were organized to provide opportunities for social gatherings, as well a community improvement.  Fraternal organizations such as the Elks, the Masons, the Oddfellows, and others, raised money for worthy causes while providing social affairs.  The Knights of Pythias had their own building for meetings and social events.

In 1905, women in the Las Vegas area established the Hostess Club.  Members brought sewing implements to each meeting to sew for the hostess, and did charitable work for the needy.  The Goldfield Women's Club was founded for the purposes of literary advancement and philanthropy.  Members of that club gathered and distributed food and clothes in the community.
 

Photo Credit:
Library of Congress