C. Clifton Young Papers

Identifier: 2002-14

Scope and Contents

The C. Clifton Young Papers are primarily composed of personal correspondence from Young’s office at the Nevada Supreme Court and papers having to do with his political campaigns for the U. S. Congress and the Nevada Supreme Court. Also included are research materials for his book about the Nevada justice courts, and various biographical materials.

There are seven series in the collection. Series 1 contains materials relating to the writing and publication of Young’s book From Kings’ Court to Justice Courts. It comprises general research materials on the justice court system and onsite research of the justice courts in Nevada. Drafts of the manuscript and a copy of the book are included.

Series 2 is devoted to correspondence from Justice Young’s office. The series is composed of letters of a personal nature filed by date and the correspondents’ last names and more general correspondence concerning legal topics and, finally letters of recommendation. Due to privacy concerns some of the letters of recommendation have been redacted and replaced with photocopies.

Series 3 covers materials about Young’s election to and career in the United States Congress from 1952 to 1957. One folder of newsletters to constituents and seven scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, campaign materials, certificates, and other mementos make up the series.

Series 4 is a large scrapbook covering Young’s unsuccessful campaign of the United States Congress in 1956 in which he lost to Alan Bible. The scrapbook contains newspaper clippings covering Young’s campaign and other electoral races in Nevada.

Series 5 is devoted to Young’s electoral campaigns for Nevada Supreme Court justice in 1990 and 1996. One folder of correspondence, bank records and a campaign finance report comprise the 1990 campaign materials. The 1996 campaign materials are the majority of the series with correspondence, campaign finance reports, letters thanking supporters for donations, public relations firms’ reports, newspaper articles, and recorded interviews and campaign ads.

Series 6 covers Young’s involvement with the National Wildlife Federation and the Nevada Wildlife Federation from 1985-2001 and consists of three folders of correspondence and newsletters.

Series 7, covering 1954-2002, contains miscellaneous career and biographical materials including newspaper clippings of family activities, a transcript from the University of Nevada, Reno’s Oral History Project interview with Young, and newspaper clippings and photocopies of newspaper articles about Young’s retirement as Nevada Supreme Court Justice in 2002. Also included are six scrapbooks covering a wide range of career and family subjects, including a scrapbook from a dinner honoring Young in Hawaii in 2002. Of note are two letters from President Richard M. Nixon thanking Young for his help with the Nixon election campaign in 1968.


  • 1952-2002


Conditions Governing Access

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.

Biographical Note

Clarence Clifton (“Cliff”) Young was born November 7, 1922 in Lovelock, Nevada. His parents were Florence Eliza Anker Young and Clarence L. Young. Cliff graduated from Pershing County High School in 1939 and the University of Nevada, Reno in 1943. He served three and one-half years in the Infantry in World War II, including action in France, Germany, and Austria. He was discharged as a major in 1946 and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1949. He was a member of the Reno law firm of Breen, Young, Whitehead, Belding & Hardesty.

A lifelong Republican, Young served in public office beginning in 1950 when he first took office as the Washoe County Public Administrator. Young was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives from Nevada in 1953 and served until 1956. In 1957, after an unsuccessful bid for the U. S. Senate against Alan Bible, he returned to private practice. He served in the Nevada State Senate from 1966-1980. Young was Nevada state chair of the Richard Nixon for president election campaign in 1968. In November 1984, Young was elected to the Nevada Supreme Court and served as Chief Justice of the Court from 1989-1990. He was re-elected to the Supreme Court in 1990 and in 1996. He retired from the court in 2002.

In 1994, Young published From Kings’ Courts to Justice Courts (Fallon, Nevada: Artistic Press, 1994), a book about the history of the Justice Courts in Nevada.

Cliff married Loretta Jane Hempfling Gibson on December 25, 1952. Cliff and Loretta have raised five children, one son from Loretta’s previous marriage and four from their union.

Young’s love of the outdoors, i.e. camping, fishing, and hunting, led to his interest in wildlife and parks. While a Nevada State Senator his focus was on the environment and state parks. He was the author of a bond issue proposal to establish the state’s park system in 1969 and was also involved with similar efforts in Washoe County to build county parks. He was a member of the board of the National Wildlife Federation and served as president from 1981-1982.

As a Nevada Supreme Court judge, Young was known for his efforts to push through reforms that helped reduce the backlog of cases: a fast-track method of handling appeals from prison inmates and a settlement conference program for civil cases.


17 Linear Feet (19 boxes)

Language of Materials



Clarence Clifton (“Cliff”) Young was born November 7, 1922 and served as a Nevada Supreme Court judge. The C. Clifton Young Papers are primarily composed of personal correspondence from Young’s office at the Nevada Supreme Court and papers having to do with his political campaigns for the U. S. Congress and the Nevada Supreme Court. Also included are research materials for his book about the Nevada justice courts, and various biographical materials. Date range 1952-2002.


Arranged into the following series: 1) Book Research for From King’s Courts to Justice Courts; 2) Correspondence; 3) Congressional Career; 4) Senate Race; 5) Nevada Supreme Court Campaign Materials; 6) National Wildlife Federation and Nevada Wildlife Federation; 7) Miscellaneous Biographical and Career Materials

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by C. Clifton Young in 2004.

Related Materials

C. Clifton Young Papers, 96-06

Separated Materials

Photographs transferred to the Special Collections Photo Archive as collection number UNRS-P1997-38.



Guide to the C. Clifton Young Papers
Jacque Sundstrand
November 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)