Lytle family matriarch Edythe Lytle Leavitt, now 89 and living in Alamo, where she is a retired judge, said she often came to Las Vegas as a member of Moapa Valley High School's debate team to compete against Las Vegas High."The towns were similar in size because nothing really happened in Las Vegas as far as big growth until the Hoover Dam project was announced in the late 1920s," said Leavitt, who was born in Overton.
"You'd come into a town that was nothing but desert after you got past Sixth Street.In downtown, I recall there was Beckley's Department Store that became Ronzoni's and the El Portal Theatre.There also was the police station, the Fifth Street Grammar School and the high school."Leavitt
, who was married to John V. Lytle, perhaps the most well-known of the Lytles for his stint as a Las Vegas justice of the peace in the 1950s, said the big event every year was the Helldorado Western-themed parades and rodeo.
attended the first one in 1935, eight years before moving to Las Vegas
..."I'm proud of what our family has contributed," said Edythe Lytle Leavitt, noting that other family luminaries include miner George Lytle and his wife, Clara Perkins Lytle, who owned one of the town's first children's shops on Fifth Street -- today called Las Vegas Boulevard -- north of Fremont Street.
said the thing that has most impressed her
about Las Vegas
has been witnessing so much growth since she
first saw the town as a teenager in the mid-1920s.
"The growth is absolutely amazing, and I love it," said Leavitt
, who travels to Las Vegas
every Wednesday to serve as a volunteer ordinance worker at the Las Vegas temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints