Wedertz Family Papers

Identifier: NC1145

Scope and Contents

The Wedertz Family Papers contains materials collected by Clarence Wedertz, who graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, in 1900. The majority of materials in this collection are Mono County, California, court records. Aurora, the county seat, was located in a section of land which was claimed by both California and Nevada. Most of these records were generated during the time of dispute and deal with Aurora and the California laws and offices. In 1863, a boundary survey placed Aurora in Nevada and it became the county seat of Esmeralda County.

The Carson River Water Rights Case, Anderson vs. Bassman, includes testimony on events in Nevada and California, and in particular the Carson Valley, from the 1860s-1900, and includes statements from many prominent Nevadans important to the state's history. The volumes of testimony are one of only three sets made at the end of the court case.


  • circa 1860-1930s


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

Ludowig (Louis) Edmund Wedertz was born in Germany on May 22, 1824. He came to America around 1845 for both economic reasons and also to escape the compulsory German military service. He landed in New Orleans where he married Niklamine Wischmann in 1851. After the birth of their first child, they traveled to California reaching San Francisco in 1853. Louis became a merchant and operated a brick yard business there for many years before the riches in Nevada's mining towns prompted him to move the family in 1862.

Louis operated a stage station at Sulpher Springs, now in Lyon County, Nevada, on the Carson-Aurora road from about 1862 until 1866. He moved his family to Aurora for two years where he operated a hotel and stage stop. The family then moved to Burlington, Iowa, to be near other Wedertz relatives, but by 1874, they again were living at Sulpher Springs, moving to a homestead known as the Freidell Place, located on the West Walker River in Mono County, California. In 1879, Louis Wedertz moved the family to Bridgeport, California, where he opened a general merchandise store. After his death on November 29, 1881, his widow, Niklamine, took over the operation of the store until it was closed in 1883. Niklamine died in Bridgeport at the age of 83 on February 10, 1916.

Louis and Niklamine Wedertz had eleven children, but three did not live to adulthood. Those that did were: Louisa, 1851; Emma, 1854; Dorothea, 1856; Adela, 1858; Bertha, 1860; Charles, 1865; Clarence, 1873; and Frank, 1876. Wedertz family members settled in Bridgeport, California, and Smith Valley, Nevada.


2.4 Linear Feet (9 boxes)

Language of Materials



Ludowig (Louis) Edmund Wedertz (1824-1881) operated a stage station at Sulpher Springs on the Carson-Aurora road from about 1862-1866 when he moved his family to Aurora for two years. By 1874 they were living in Sulpher Springs again where Clarence R. and Frank Lewis were born. In 1881, Wedertz opened a store in Bridgeport, California, which his widow Niklamine ran after his death in December 1881. The family continued to live in Bridgeport and Smith Valley. The collection primarily contains court records of Mono County, California. Most of the records were created at the time when Aurora, the county seat, was claimed by both California and Nevada. Also included is a Carson River water rights case, which includes lengthy testimony on events in California and Nevada from the 1860s to 1900, certificates of incorporation of mining companies, a survey plat of Aurora, and family memorabilia from the University of Nevada.


Arranged into the following series: 1) Mono County, California Court Records; 2) Mining; 3) Memorabilia; 4) Photographs; 5) Carson River Water Rights Case

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Frank Wedertz on July 8, 1978.

Separated Materials

Photographs transferred to the Special Collections photo archives as photo numbers UNRS-P2430 to UNRS-P2444.

Guide to the Wedertz Family Papers
Carrie Townley
July 1978
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)