Remembering four women in Carson Valley history

Honorees for the Women in History Remembering Project include Tempy Robinson, Jane Ann Raycraft Campbell, Lois Stodieck Jones and Eileen Cohen.

Honorees for the Women in History Remembering Project include Tempy Robinson, Jane Ann Raycraft Campbell, Lois Stodieck Jones and Eileen Cohen.

In 1877, Genoa resident Tempy Robinson sued W.H. Boyd to get her seven cattle that had been found on Boyd’s land.

A Justice Court jury found in her favor and ordered the cattle returned or “if not, then for its value, to wit: $30 a head gold coin, that is, $210 U.S. gold coin.”

She died Dec. 8, 1887, three years after being thrown from the Boyd Lane bridge and breaking her shoulder.

Robinson is one of four women being honored at this year’s Women in History Remembering Project sponsored by Douglas County Historical Society.

Presentations on all four women are March 11 at the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center in Gardnerville. Doors open at 1 p.m. to give people a chance to see the material on display about each of the four women.

“Unlike the other women honored this year, the early lives of Mrs. Tempy Robinson, her husband and their six children are a mystery,” according to her presentation. “No journals, photographs or living descendants have been found. This isn’t surprising since the Robinson family had once been enslaved. But they would become one of the few black pioneer families who had arrived in the 1850s in Carson Valley, Utah Territory—where slavery was still legal.”

Robinson was the matriarch of the family after her husband died shortly after arriving in Genoa.

“ The family had just survived a harrowing overland trip from Missouri through areas where bounty hunters were known to kidnap free blacks to sell at slave auctions,” according to her biographer. “After her husband’s unexpected death, Tempy’s determination to make a better life for her children helped the family forge even closer bonds by working together to raise money to purchase land and lots in and around Genoa. Finally, they were able to homestead a 120-acre farm near the confluence of the Carson River’s East and West Forks just east of Genoa.”

A contemporary of Mrs. Robinson, Jane Ann Raycraft Campbell, Lillian Virgin Finnegan’s aunt, was one of the founders of Candy Dance.

Like the Robinson’s the Raycrafts arrived via a wagon train, settling in Carson Valley in 1863.

“The legacy of Jane and her family can be seen today, including Walleys Hot Springs, the Candy Dance, and the streetlights of Genoa to name a few. Jane will forever be remembered for her culinary expertise and hosting travelers, including celebrities such as Mary Pickford, that put this area of Nevada on the national media stage. A true pioneer woman, Jane contributed to the rich history of Nevada. As noted in her obit, published Jan. 22, 1937, in The Record-Courier, she was “A woman of keen intellect and business sense...(and) unlike a great many of the pioneers, Mrs. Campbell accepted new developments and marched along with the progress of time.”

Lois Stodieck Jones was born on August 19, 1914, at the ranch of Louis and Helene Stodieck off Waterloo Lane. She had an older brother, Elmer, and sister, Ruth.

She attended local schools, graduated from Douglas County High School in 1932, followed by two years at College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland and another year of studying voice.

A lifelong member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Jones served on various committees, taught Sunday School, and was the musical director for 30 years.

She became involved in the Carson Valley Historical Society in the 1960s. Since the Society’s goal was to transform the Genoa Courthouse into a museum and historical repository, she became the driving force behind the restoration and the first curator.

Lois passed away May 1984.

Eileen Cohen has spent years promoting Western Nevada history. Her hiking adventures have led her to remote spots in Douglas County, the Emigrant Trail, and Carson City still has Fuji Park because of Cohen. She has made sure these, and many other areas will be available for years to come.

As a member of the Nevada Women’s History Project, which was founded by Jean Ford, she has completed 28 oral histories. Jo Ann Smokey Martinez and Alice Gottchalk Downer of Douglas County to name a few. As a teacher she influenced many students. She has carried this over to leading tours for adults to become aware of all of the interesting history in our area.


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