Overview

Title: Grant Sawyer Papers
Creator(s): Sawyer, Grant, 1918-1996
Collection Number: 97-28
Dates (inclusive): 1939-1993
Physical Extent: 9.0 cubic feet (4 boxes)
Preferred Citation: Grant Sawyer papers, 97-28. Special Collections, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Reno.
Repository: University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department
Permanent Link: http://dewey.library.unr.edu/xtf/view?docId=ead/97-28-ead.xml

Biographical Note

Grant Sawyer was born on December 14, 1918 in Twin Falls, Idaho. He moved with his family to Fallon as a youngster, where his father Harry W. Sawyer, Sr. was a doctor and state senator from Churchill County.

Grant graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, and received a law degree from George Washington University in 1948.

Sawyer served in the U.S. Army Infantry in World War II. After he completed his law degree Sawyer became active in Nevada Democratic politics and was elected Elko County's district attorney in 1950 (1950-1958). He served as the governor of Nevada from 1959-1967 and during his term created the state Equal Rights Commission, pushed for economic development and diversity in the state, and created the Gaming Control Act of 1959 and Nevada Gaming Commission.

After serving as governor, Sawyer formed the law office of Lionel Sawyer & Collins in Las Vegas. He served as chair or was on the board of directors for many political, charitable, and educational organizations.

Sawyer was married to Bette Norene Hoge Sawyer for fifty years; they had one daughter, Gail. Grant Sawyer died on February 19, 1996.

The University of Nevada's Oral History Program conducted an oral history of Governor Sawyer which was published in 1993: Hang Tough!: Grant Sawyer, an Activist in the Governor's Mansion, conducted by Gary Elliott.

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Scope and Content

The Special Collections Department received a portion of the papers of Governor Sawyer from his wife, Bette, in 1997. The collection as received consisted of materials which had been stored in the Sawyer home in Las Vegas and constitutes only a small part of the Sawyer papers as a whole. The remaining collection remains in the law offices of Lionel Sawyer and Collins.

The Sawyer collection in the Special Collections Department consist of newspaper clipping files, photographs, certificates, memorabilia, paintings, plaques, diplomas, and three-dimensional objects such as hats, gavels, ground-breaking shovels, and ribbon-cutting scissors. It consists of seven cubic feet, plus assorted items too large to be stored in boxes. There are no restrictions on their access.

Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Bette Sawyer in 1997.

Separated Materials

This inventory contains a list of clipping topics and description of collection contents by category. All photographs have been transferred to the department's photographic archives. UNRS-P1998-14

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Arrangement

  • Arranged by type of material.

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Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog of the University Libraries, University of Nevada, Reno. Researchers wishing to find related materials are encouraged to use the following index terms:

Organizations:

People:

Subjects:

Geographic Locations:

Genres:

ClippingsPaintingsRealia

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Administrative Information

Collection processed by Susan Searcy and Becky Richards, 1997. Finding aid prepared by Susan Searcy and Becky Richards, 1997. Finding aid revised by Jacquelyn Sundstrand, August 11, 2008 . This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on July 15, 2016.

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Detailed Description of the Records

Series 1: Clipping Files, Circa 1959-1966 2.0 cubic feet

These files consist of Nevada newspaper articles and columns written while Sawyer was governor. Arranged by name of newspaper.

box
folder
Contents
1/S1
1-3
Elko Independent, "Hot Copy.", January 1962 to October 1966
1/S1
4
Las Vegas Review Journal, "The Boiling Pot."
1/S1
5-6
Las Vegas Sun, "Where I Stand.", December 1959 to May 1962
1/S1
7
Las Vegas Review-Journal, "Setting it Straight."
1/S1
8
Mason Valley News, "Two Cents Worth."
1/S1
9
Mineral County Independent, "Jasper.", October 1959 to December 1965
1/S1
10
Mineral County Independent, "Jasper" and "Left Corner."
1/S1
11
Nevada newspapers; lists and addresses
box
folder
Contents
2/S1
12-15
Nevada State Journal, "Political Front in Nevada.", June 1959 to October 1966
2/S1
16
North Las Vegas Valley Times, "Adam's Atoms."
2/S1
17
"Pins and Needles."
2/S1
18-19
Press information
2/S1
20-22
Reno Evening Gazette, "Nevada Political Picture.", June 1959 to October 1966
2/S1
23
Review-Journal, "Political Analysis."
2/S1
24
Ely Daily Times, "Second Thoughts."
2/S1
25
Las Vegas Sun, "Sundial" and "Paul Price - Dateline: Las Vegas."
2/S1
26-29
Tonopah Times-Bonanza and Goldfield News, "Tamp'er Light."
2/S1
30a
Las Vegas Sun, "Where I Stand.", January 1962 to October 1966
box
folder
Contents
3/S1
30b
Las Vegas Sun, "Where I Stand.", January 1962 to October 1966
3/S1
31
Certificates

Series 2: Other materials

The following is the original inventory list of the collection. Newspaper clippings are listed in Series I. All remaining items listed below are grouped by type of material and are stored in boxes 4-7. Since the list was compiled all photographs have been transferred to the photo archives of the Special Collections Department and all certificates have been removed from their frames and stored in box 3 of the collection.

Works of art

Item
Contents
1
Painting of Lake Mead and Red Rocks by Roy Purcell. 36" x 72", 1982
Item
Contents
2
Lithograph of Nevada State Capitol by Lyle Ball with signatures of six governors in lower border. Marked "Governor Sawyer's copy." 30" x 40"
Item
Contents
3
Lithograph of "Heavyweights" (Virginia & Truckee Railroad engine) by Steven Saylor. Signed by artist and Nevada's six living governors and others who served as models for people in the painting. 30" x 40", Undated
Item
Contents
4
"Going for Broke" sculpture of a jockey, mounted on wooden base.
Item
Contents
5
Portrait of Governor Sawyer. Photographer unknown. 36" x 48"

Photographs (black and white, framed unless otherwise noted)

Item
Contents
1
Sawyer and President Kennedy. 48"x60", Undated
Item
Contents
2
President Kennedy and wife Jacqueline, color. Mrs. Sawyer said it was a gift from Mrs. Norman Biltz, sister of Hugh Auchincloss. 24"x30"
Item
Contents
3
President Lyndon B. Johnson (hereafter referred to as Pres. LBJ), Sawyer, Alan Bible, Walter Baring, Howard Cannon and unidentified man
Item
Contents
4
Pen and ink sketch of [Harry Truman?] inscribed "To Hon. Grant Sawyer kindest regards from Harry Truman. Reno. " D.C. 1942 sketch by Carolyn [Shundson?], October 28, 1960
Item
Contents
5
Sawyer and Pres. LBJ with small dog
Item
Contents
6
Sawyer and Pres. LBJ with small dog, inscribed "To Grant Sawyer from his friend, Lyndon B. Johnson."
Item
Contents
7
Sawyer in classic car at the Golden Anniversary of Gaming Dinner, MGM Grand Hotel, Reno, March 19, 1981
Item
Contents
8
Collage of photos of acting and elected governors of Nevada up to Mike O'Callaghan, 1974
Item
Contents
9
Sawyer and Pres. Jimmy Carter shaking hands
Item
Contents
10
Sawyer and Pres. LBJ shaking hands, inscribed "With Best Wishes, Lyndon B. Johnson
Item
Contents
11
Group photo, signed, of Grant Sawyer, Mike O'Callaghan, Richard Bryan, Charles Russell, and Robert List
Item
Contents
12
Sawyer on a stage, hold campaign sign, "Sawyer in '70." Color
Item
Contents
13
Pen and ink sketch of Sawyer. no artist named.
Item
Contents
14
Photo of interior of Harolds Club with 3 gaming tokens included in mat
Item
Contents
15
Sawyer with Pres. LBJ and others in tuxedos. Inscribed "To Grant Sawyer with Warm Regards Lyndon B. Johnson."
Item
Contents
16
Portrait of Sawyer. No frame
Item
Contents
17
Senator Pat McCarran, inscribed "To my friend Grant Sawyer wishing every success Pat McCarran U.S. Senator, Nevada." No frame
Item
Contents
18
Paul Laxalt, Mike O'Callaghan, Charles Russell, Grant Sawyer. Signed by all subjects. No frame
Item
Contents
19
Sawyer and Pres. LBJ signed "To Grant Sawyer my best always Lyndon B. Johnson." Background shows a photo collage on wall with photos of former presidents. No frame
Item
Contents
20
Portrait of Pres. LBJ signed "To Grant Sawyer with best wishes, Lyndon B. Johnson
Item
Contents
21
Alan Bible, signed and inscribed. 1959

Framed memorabilia

Item
Contents
1
Framed collage of silver medallions depicting "Great Moments in the History of the Flag."
Item
Contents
2
Four-part facsimile of the Emancipation Proclamation, gift of Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1962; original in New York State
Item
Contents
3
Collage of eight letters signed by eight presidents of the U.S., addressed to Nevada Governors
Item
Contents
4-7
Individual collages, one for each of the following governors, consisting of inaugural ball invitations, programs, and photos, mounted on velvet. Carville, 1939; Pittman, 1947; Russell, 1951; and Sawyer, 1958.

Miscellaneous

Item
Contents
1
Fireman's and plastic campaign hats
Item
Contents
2
Pick, shovels engraved and used for ground-breaking events
Item
Contents
3
Mounted pen and pencil set used by Sawyer at the mansion
Item
Contents
4
Name plate used in office at mansion
Item
Contents
5
Large canvas banner used in parades throughout Nevada with words "Grant, Bette, and Gail."
Item
Contents
6
Nevada Centennial flag, rose-colored with fringe
Item
Contents
7
Nevada state flag and stand from Sawyer's office in the Capitol
Item
Contents
8
Two automobile license plates "Republica Argentina Sesquicentenario Sawyer Nevada.", 1960
Item
Contents
9
Two pair oversize gold scissors for ribbon cutting ceremonies, 1965
Item
Contents
10
Four gavels
Item
Contents
11
Five metal plates used for printing campaign signs
Item
Contents
12
Box of metal printing plates

Archival material

Item
Contents
1
Sawyer: The Decisive Years in Nevada. Campaign Fact Book, Nevadans for Sawyer, Circa 1966
Item
Contents
2
News clippings, organized by county, 1959-1965 2.0 cubic feet

Framed or mounted plaques, awards, and certificates (unless otherwise noted, items are plaques)

Item
Contents
1
"Grant Sawyer, final Governors' Conference.", Greenbrier, W. Virginia, December 1966
Item
Contents
2
Certificate of membership no. 307, State Bar of Nevada, 1953
Item
Contents
3
Silver Spur award; silver spur by G.S. Garcia
Item
Contents
4
Certificate of appointment as a notary public for Elko County, 1956 by Rex Bell, Lieutenant and Acting Governor, July 26
Item
Contents
5
Three certificates admitting Sawyer to practice law in District of Columbia, May 24, 1948; May 20, 1948, and October 6, 1967
Item
Contents
6
B.A. Diploma from University of Nevada, May 12, 1941
Item
Contents
7
Certificate of appointment to Board of Regents, University of Nevada, March 21, 1957
Item
Contents
8
Two governor's proclamations for dedication of Grant Sawyer Middle School, March 31, 1994; and as Distinguished Nevadan by the Nevada State Museum and Historical Society, November 14, 1991
Item
Contents
9
Law school diploma, George Washington University, February 8, 1948
Item
Contents
10
Certificate of appointment of Sawyer as professor at George Washington University Law School, April 21, 1967
Item
Contents
11
Certificate of appointment to Nevada Commission on Nuclear Projects, October 17, 1985
Item
Contents
12
Certificate admitting Sawyer to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court, May 4, 1959
Item
Contents
13
Certificate of Recognition from Citibank Nevada and the School-Business Partnership Program, May 1988
Item
Contents
14
Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas Founders Board recognition, 1988
Item
Contents
15
Three plaques for Lionel Sawyer & Collins Invitational Tournament Finalists, 1986, 1987, 1989
Item
Contents
16
Plaque of appreciation for service to the Democratic Party of Clark County, 1974
Item
Contents
17
Plaque with certificate of induction into Historic Moulin Rouge Preservation Association, Inc., Hall of Fame Museum, March 25, 1994
Item
Contents
18
American Cancer Society, Nevada Division to Sawyer as State Crusade Chair., 1974-1975
Item
Contents
19
American Lung Association of Nevada Governor's Tribute, October 28, 1987
Item
Contents
20
Plaque of appreciation to Sawyer as Master of Ceremonies of the Western States Aids Workshop, August 19, 1988
Item
Contents
21
Optimist Creed
Item
Contents
22
Henderson Boys Club, 1970
Item
Contents
23
9th Annual Gaming Conference and Workshop, 1987; also 4th Annual, 1982
Item
Contents
24
Century membership in Boy Scouts of America, Boulder Dam Area Council, 1987
Item
Contents
25
Alpha Tau Omega Alumni Association for Gold Contributor, Undated
Item
Contents
26
Mounted specimen share of Caesars World, Inc., signed "Grant: Thank you! J.T."
Item
Contents
27
Certificate of membership in the National Judicial College Senate, 1992
Item
Contents
28
California-Nevada Section, AWWA, October 30 to November 2, 1990
Item
Contents
29
Professional Achievement Award, University of Nevada, Reno Alumni Association, 1990
Item
Contents
30
Founders Award, Urban League of Southern Nevada, Inc., March 14, 1986
Item
Contents
31
Outstanding Service to Juvenile and Family Courts of America, National Judicial College, January 22, 1988
Item
Contents
32
American Arbitration Association, April 20, 1970
Item
Contents
33
Blue and white satin board "Governor Grant Sawyer."
Item
Contents
34
Certificate of thanks from the Democratic Party of Nevada. May 8, 1982.
Item
Contents
35
2 certificates of appreciation for Sawyer as guest speaker at the Professional Luncheon Southern Nevada Association of Life Underwriters, April 22, 1970 and April 29, 1971
Item
Contents
36
Certificate of appreciation for speaking to Red Rock Optimist Club, December 20, 1972
Item
Contents
37
Salvation Army for Capital Campaign Committee, April 27, 1979
Item
Contents
38
Appreciation from Appointive Directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, October 31, 1981
Item
Contents
39
Lifetime Achievement Award from Nevada Gaming Attorneys, May 12, 1993
Item
Contents
40
Certificate of Appreciation from the Board of Directors, Clark County Public Education Foundation, Undated
Item
Contents
41
Recognition of Contributions to Gaming Industry from the Nevada Society of Certified Public Accounts and the State Bar of Nevada, April 30, 1992
Item
Contents
42
Thanks for dedication and support, Nevada Delta Iota, Alpha Tau Omega, April 26, 1990
Item
Contents
43
Certificate of membership, Alpha Tau Omega Golden Circle, February 10, 1990
Item
Contents
44
Certificate proclaiming a Day Honoring Nevada's Living Governors, October 28, 1987
Item
Contents
45
Certificate of proclamation for Grant Sawyer Day from City of North Las Vegas, February 10, 1988
Item
Contents
47
Letter honoring Sawyer as Honorable Co-chair, Gubernatorial Inaugural Ball Committee from Richard Bryan, January 1983
Item
Contents
48
Certificate of proclamation from Clark County Board of County Commissioners, February 1988
Item
Contents
49
Membership in the President's Associates to Grant Sawyer for allegiance to UNLV
Item
Contents
50
Certificate from City of Las Vegas proclaiming Grant Sawyer Day, February 11, 1988.
Item
Contents
51
Certificate of appointment to the American Arbitration Association National Panel of Arbitrators, Undated
Item
Contents
52
Certificate of admittance to the U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, May 31, 1974
Item
Contents
53
Two certificates of designation as Chairman of Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, February 10, 1978 and March 2, 1981.
Item
Contents
54
Diploma, Honorary Degree of Dr. of Laws, June 1, 1964
Item
Contents
55
Diploma, Dr. of Laws degree, Linfield College, May 29, Circa 1960s
Item
Contents
56
Certificate of appointment to Board of Regents. No frame, July 24, 1957
Item
Contents
57
Two certificates of election of Sawyer as governor of Nevada, December 18, 1958 and December 10, 1962
Item
Contents
58
Certificate of initiation into the International Legal Fraternity, Phi Delta Phi, November 16, 1947
Item
Contents
59
Certificate of membership in the American Bar Association, January 1, 1956
Item
Contents
60
License to practice law in Nevada, March 11, 1948
Item
Contents
62
Plaque from Toastmasters International, March 18, 1966
Item
Contents
61
Certification of election as District Attorney of Elko County, November 15, 1950