Dangberg Family Business Records

Identifier: 2006-01

Scope and Contents

The Dangberg Family Business Records primarily consists of financial records relating to the running of the H. F. Dangberg Land and Live Stock Company and the Dangberg family's various other business interests. The collection, however, is not complete in its chronological coverage of these companies, nor is it completely clear which company or function these financial records covered. Therefore, the items have been placed with similar company records as far as they could be determined.

The records are divided into five series, primarily organized by the family's various businesses.

Series 1 contains most of the records dealing with the H. F. Dangberg Land and Live Stock Company. These are divided into five subseries depending on the type of financial record. Researchers interested in names of employees will find the payroll and time books in Subseries 4 of particular interest, as many entries can be found for Chinese and indigenous workers.

The next four series cover the remaining companies. Series 2, the Carson Valley Hay and Produce Company, and Series 3, Walley Hot Springs Resorts Company, reflect some of the other business interests Fred Dangberg held. As with the records in Series 1, the records of these two companies are not complete. Series 4 contains miscellaneous business records regarding mining and cattle, or for those aspects which could not easily be placed with a parent company.

Series 5 contains information about the Dangberg family and includes a few diaries as well as a Minute Book used to chronicle events and correspondence of H. F. Dangberg. The only correspondence is found here, although it is mainly written in German. Included with the letters is a copy of a court affidavit which outlines Dangberg’s early work on irrigation ditches and water use from the Carson River.


  • 1854-1954


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law or special donor agreement.

Biographical / Historical

Henry Fred Dangberg was born in Westphalia, Germany, September 16, 1830. He came to the United States in 1848, working along the Mississippi River to St. Louis. He traveled west and arrived in Dayton, Nevada on October 11, 1853. He worked in the Virginia City mines until 1857, when he bought land in the nearby Carson Valley to raise crops and stock. By the time of his death, the Dangberg property had grown to 36,000 acres.

According to court records, Fred Dangberg settled on land along the Carson River in Douglas County in August 1857. He first owned the land in partnership with Benjamin Mast and Charles Holbrook. This claim of 320 acres was purchased from Jackmann & Williams. In 1858, the claim was enlarged by survey and appropriation to approximately 918 acres. In the spring of 1858, Holbrook sold his interest to Benjamin Mast and Dangberg. By that fall, Mast and Dangberg bought another 250 acres, totaling their holdings to 1150 acres. In 1860, Mast and Dangberg divided their acreage. In May 1862, his brother August Dangberg bought Mast out and took possession of his land. Fred Dangberg continued to enlarge his holdings, purchasing 160 acres from Peter Lightle in 1863. The following year, Fred Dangberg bought August Dangberg's holdings.

In 1865 he married Margaret Ferris, sister of George Ferris, the engineer who constructed the "Ferris Wheel" at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. He and Margaret had 6 children, 5 of whom survived, 4 sons (Henry Fred, Jr.; John; George; and Clarence) and one daughter (Eva). While his primary interest remained his ranch, he did enter politics. Dangberg was elected to the Nevada State Assembly to represent Douglas County from 1869-1875, and in 1879, was elected senator and served one term. He was re-elected in 1883 and served until 1887.

Dangberg died in July 1904. Two years before his death, the H. F. Dangberg Land and Live Stock Company was incorporated. His sons continued the family ranch and various business interests.


20.958 Linear Feet (26 Boxes, 14 volumes)

Language of Materials




H. F. Dangberg was a German-American who settled in northern Nevada in the mid-19th century. He, along with various family members, are responsible for several ranches and business enterprises in the region. Collection contains records of the Dangberg Ranch and associated businesses from the 1854-1954.


Arranged into the following series: 1) H. F. Dangberg Land and Livestock Company; 2) Carson Valley Hay and Produce Company, Inc.; 3) Walley Hot Springs Resorts Company; 4) Miscellaneous Ledgers and Account Books; 5) Dangberg Family Diaries and Miscellaneous

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by the Grace Dangberg Foundation via David Thompson on January 25, 2006.

Guide to the Dangberg Family Business Records
Ian McGlory, Jacque Sundstrand, and Theresa Nielson
July 2021
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)