Valley historian writes about Nevada pioneer
by Kurt Hildebrand
Carson Valley historian Bob Ellison’s latest book, “Long Beard,” tells the story of Nevada pioneer Warren Wasson.
Wasson was an early Genoan, who at one point owned half of historic Ranch No. 1.
It was after settler’s 1860 defeat in the Paiute Indian War that Genoa’s women and children took refuge in Wasson’s stone home, which still stands on the ranch.
“Wasson bought the property and owned if for a number of years, but didn’t get too much of a chance to stay on it,” Ellison said.
Wasson was a scout during the war and following the second battle, was named acting Indian agent and for a few years served as Indian agent for the entire state. He was the first U.S. Marshal in the Nevada territory and later became U.S. Assessor for Internal Revenue.
The pioneer served as military advisor to Nevada governors James Nye and Henry Blasdale and was a delegate to two of the state’s constitutional conventions.
According to Ellison, Wasson was an inventor.
“In the 19th century he had his name on more patents than any other person in Carson Valley,” Ellison said. “But in the end, he was an enigma.”
Ellison has lived in Carson Valley for 40 years and has taught school, college and at the Nevada State Police Academy.
He served as a deputy sheriff, a constable and was head of security for Bently Nevada for a number of years.
“Long Beard: Warren Wasson, Nevada Pioneer, Indian Agent, U.S. Marshal, Inventor and Enigma” is Ellison’s third book. His first book was “Territorial Lawmen of Nevada, Volume 1.”
“It deals with every man known to have a law enforcement commission from the first in 1851 through 1861,” he said.
Ellison’s second book was “First Impressions,” which is a history of the Emigrant Trail through Carson Valley.
“It deals with the day-to-day business of the trail from 1848 to 1852,” he said. “It is based on all of the known journals and reminiscences of the pioneers, so you can see how the trail developed.”
Robert is married to Marion Ellison and they have five children, all of whom graduated from Douglas High School.
“Long Beard” was published this year by Hot Springs Mountain Press and is available at Borders Books, Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center bookstore, the Nevada State Museum and from Hot Springs Mountain Press, P.O. Box 548, Minden, 89423.