McClanahan Home (CA. 1910)

Two old miner’s cabins were joined together to make this house. In the 1920’s William McClanahan added a miniature kitchen inside for his 4’ 8’’ tall wife. McClanahan was a member of the pioneer family of Goodsprings. In the 1940s, schoolteacher Edmund Fleming and his family made their home here.

 

The McClanahans

John, Phillip, Melinda, Sam, William, Clara, Cora, Laura

John (1852 -1908)

John was the first of the McClanahans to come West. He arrived in Southern Nevada in the 1880s. McClanahan Springs in the McCullough Range is named for him. He made his way to Sandy(Valley) where he opened a store and saloon in 1894. John became the primary merchant in the area running a blacksmith shop and boarding house as well. He was postmaster of Sandy from 1898-1901. John was an active member of the local Masons and Elks. The Las Vegas Age newspaper reported that a delegation from the Las Vegas Masonic Order and Elks Lodge traveled to California to preside at his burial in 1908. With John no longer alive, the McClanahan businesses in Sandy closed and disappeared. Buried in Inglewood, CA.

Phillip Samuel (P.S.) (Sam) (1884 -1964 )

In 1906, John McClanahan sent for his nephew Sam who was living with his family in Missouri. Sam came to Nevada, worked with his uncle for a year, then returned to Missouri. The following year, Sam was called back to Sandy to handle his deceased uncle's affairs. Arriving in Sandy, Sam discovered that all John's business properties were gone and no will or documentation of their ownership could be located. Sam found work at the mines in Goodsprings and encouraged his younger brother William to join him there. Together, they opened the Goodsprings Laundry in 1915. Sam and William joined R.A.. Andrus in locating and operating the Double Up, Copper Peak mine from 1916-1918. Sam reinvested his profits in a number of mines in the Goodsprings area: the Accident, Golden Chariot, Monte Christo, Red Cloud. In 1932, he partnered with Schwartz, Reim, and the Smith brothers to open the Chiquita gold mine. These partners also purchased the Shenandoah Mill in Sandy Valley to process their ore. Later, Sam purchased the Jean Garage and Motel and held this property until it was sold to Pop Simon. Sam was one of the Goodsprings men who led authorities to the site of the Carole Lombard airplane crash. He is buried in Goodsprings Cemetery.

Phillip Frye (1850-1930) and Melinda Jane Davis (1854-1931)

Phillip was the brother of John, husband of Melinda Jane, and father of Sam, Will, Clara, Cora and Laura. He worked in the Joplin Lead mines and farmed while in Missouri. He followed his sons to Goodsprings bringing his wife and daughters with him. When they arrived in 1916, the women went to work in the laundry and Phillip joined his sons in mining. In 1925, Phillip and Melinda moved to Las Vegas where they lived until their deaths. They are buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Las Vegas.

William (1891-1975)

William was the 3rd McClanahan in Goodsprings arriving in 1914. He and Sam opened the Goodsprings Laundry in 1915. He worked in many mines in Goodsprings. See Bio: William/Frances McClanahan.

Clara (1888-1959)

Clara was the oldest of the McClanahan daughters. She arrived in Goodsprings in 1916 and married Fred Reim in 1917. Mr. Reim ran a trucking business in Goodsprings. He was partners in the Chiquita, Golden Chariot and Barefoot with his brothers-in-law. Clara and Fred lived in Sandy Valley in the 30s when he worked in the Shenandoah Mill. In 1940, he took a job at BMI in Henderson and moved with Clara to Las Vegas. Clara and Fred moved to Gridley in 1944 and he died soon after. Clara married Clarence Watkins (another Goodsprings miner) in 1950 and moved back to Goodsprings. Clara and Clarence are buried in Goodsprings.

Laura (1894-1978)

Laura was the twin sister of Cora. She came to Goodsprings in 1916 and worked in the laundry. She got a job in the Goodsprings Hotel and in 1921 transferred to the Hesperia(CA) Hotel. She married Roy Walters, owner of the Hesperia Mercantile, in 1922. She had one daughter Geraldine(1925-2006) and lived in Hesperia until her death. She is buried in Victorville, CA.

Cora (1894-1980)

Cora McClanahan

Cora McClanahan was born Nov. 12, 1894 in Douglas Co. Missouri. She and her twin Laura were the last children born to Phillip and Melinda Jane McClanahan. In 1916, the family moved to Goodsprings, NV. After getting off the train at Jean, the family traveled to Goodsprings in a buckboard pulled by donkeys. Cora went to work in the family laundry in Goodsprings. Mrs. George Fayle introduced her to Otto Schwartz at a local dance.

In 1917, Otto and Cora married and moved to the Copperside Mine camp where they set up housekeeping and Cora cooked for the miners. In 1918, they moved back into Goodsprings and purchased Quinn's Ice Cream Parlor which they ran as a restaurant and store. They purchased the larger Jensen Mercantile two years later and moved there, living on one side and operating the store on the other. The Schwartz Mercantile provided the town with groceries, fresh meat and produce, mining equipment, dry goods, clothing, coal, medicine, newspapers and magazines. Three daughters blessed their marriage: Jane(1919), Elizabeth(1920) and Mary Ellen(1926). In 1934, they liquidated the store's stock to Sheehan and Houssels but continued living in the building.

While Otto used his new free time to get back to mining ventures, Cora got more involved in community causes. She was the Nevada Power Company resident agent from 1958-1980. She was a chairman for the March of Dimes, a Civil Defense leader, a Red Cross volunteer and a registrar of voters. She created stockings for the annual school Christmas programs and organized fundraisers and social events at the Community Club House. She was a politically active Democrat and arranged political rallies for local and State candidates. She was a devout Christian and taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School all her life. One of her greatest joys was the completion of the Goodsprings Community Church in 1978.

The door to Cora's house was always open to family and friends. Aunt Rose Grissel, Miss Sarah Williams, her brothers Will and Sam McClanahan, her niece and nephew Trina and Walter Schwartz and many others all lived in the Schwartz home. Cora was an excellent cook and she loved having company for dinner. Holiday dinners with more than 20 guests were common in the Schwartz home. Cora was known as "Aunt Cory" to her friends, but she was "Gram" to her family: Mary Ellen, Jane Fleming(Edmund), Elizabeth Jorgensen(Richard), grandchildren Stephen Fleming, Mary Fleming Blake(Donn), and great grandchildren Brennan Fleming, Michael Fleming and Timothy Fleming.

Although her family tried to get her to move to Las Vegas, she refused to leave Goodsprings. In her 80s, she still stoked her coal and wood stove, baked rolls and pies, and walked to the Post Office to collect her mail.

In 1978, Nevada Governor Mike O'Callaghan and the Clark County Commission selected Cora as one of Nevada's three outstanding Senior citizens.

Cora died in 1980 and is buried in the Goodsprings Cemetery.

Family History by Mary Blake 2007

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