%> Nevada Riches: The Land and People of the Silver State
The Landscape
Territory & Statehood
(1848-1864)

Counties and Territories

In 1850 unorganized territory acquired from Mexico was divided into two territories and one state. The two new territories were New Mexico territory and Utah territory. The new state was California.

The counties of the Utah and New Mexico territories were bounded by long, narrow lines that stretched across the landscape of Nevada.

In 1852 and 1853 many people moved into the western section of the territory. By 1854 the population of the far western portion of Utah territory had increased so much that it was necessary to create another county. Carson County was cut out from the narrow strips of five other counties. Two years later, in 1856, Carson County was extended north to the Oregon line. Humboldt and St. Mary's counties were created out of western portions of existing counties. The narrow strip of Iron County was made even smaller when Beaver County was established.

Just before Nevada became a territory of its own, more counties in Utah were reorganized and more lines drawn on the map.

In March, 1861, the Territory of Nevada was organized. The shape of the territory doesn't look exactly like the current map of the state yet. More land was added on the eastern boundary in 1862, and the territory remained that size until after Nevada became a state.
 

Photo Credits:
Political History of Nevada