Alice Ward Boyer arrived in Las Vegas from Oklahoma in 1937. Her brother and former husband came earlier to escape the dustbowl depression and get settled. In the middle of the summer, just at dusk, she emerged from the train at Kingman, Arizona with her two small children to meet her family and drive through the darkness to her new home in Las Vegas.
Born in rural Oklahoma, she spent her early years on a ranch. Alice graduated from high school just as the Great Depression began and worked briefly at a newspaper before marriage.
Her recollections revive the older Las Vegas when community life characterized the small town. At the heart of her story is the Mesquite Club. The non-partisan civic activities of the Mesquite Club are part of a national history of women’s club voluntarism in the nineteenth and twentieth century United States. Founded in 1911, this pioneer Las Vegas women’s club played an essential role in the development of the growing town.
Alice Boyer joined the Mesquite club in 1944. She first served as the chair of the Garden Committee, then “went right up through the chairs,” and was elected President of the club for 1958-59. She was also a member of the First United Methodist Church.
Alice Boyer died February 16, 2008 in Pennsylvania at 94 years old.
Photo courtesy of Alice Ward Boyer.
May not be reproduced without special permission.