%> Nevada Riches: The Land and People of the Silver State
The Landscape
Territory & Statehood

The current counties

The first Nevada Territorial Legislature created nine counties in the new Nevada Territory:  Churchill, Douglas, Esmeralda, Humboldt, Lyon, Ormsby, Storey, and Washoe. There was an additional county, Lake County in northern Nevada. It was renamed Roop County in 1862. Roop County had a small population, and in 1883 Roop County became part of Washoe County.

By 1874, Nevada Territory had been a state for ten years, and six more counties had been added: Lander, Nye, Elko, Eureka, Lincoln, and White Pine. Clark, Mineral, and Pershing counties were added after 1900. In 1969, Ormsby County was eliminated when Carson City consolidated county and city governments.
Bullfrog County was created in 1987, but the law that established it was declared unconstitutional in 1989.

The 17 counties in Nevada, the years they were created, and the original and present county seats are in the chart below:

County Created Orig. County Seat Present County Seat
Carson City 1969 CarsonCity Carson City
Churchill 1861 Buckland's Fallon
Clark 1909 Las Vegas LasVegas
Douglas 1861 Genoa Minden
Elko 1869 Elko Elko
Esmeralda 1861 Aurora Goldfield
Eureka 1873 Eureka Eureka
Humboldt 1861 Unionville Winnemucca
Lander 1862 Jacob's Spring BattleMtn
Lincoln 1866 Crystal Springs Pioche
Lyon 1861 Dayton Yerington
Mineral 1911 Hawthorne Hawthorne
Nye 1864 Ione City Tonopah
Pershing 1919 Lovelock Lovelock
Storey 1861 Virginia City VirginiaCity
Washoe 1861 Washoe City Reno
White Pine 1869 Hamilton Ely


Photo Credit:
Nevada State Library and Archives