C. Clifton Young Papers

Identifier: 96-06

Scope and Contents

The C. Clifton Young Papers consists of materials dating from 1878-1995, related to Justice Young's family, and in particular, his mother and father, Florence and Clarence L. Young; his maternal grandfather, Peter Anker; and Justice Young.

The papers of Clarence L. Young provide valuable insights into the history of the Lovelock area during the early years of the twentieth century. In particular, Clarence's acquisition of land and development of the Young Ditch are documented through correspondence, deeds, and other legal documents. A series of newspaper clippings from the Lovelock Review-Miner provide information about the ditch and subsequent water development projects, as well as accounts of rancher John G. Taylor's empire building and subsequent bankruptcy.

Another valuable topic, that of the creation of Pershing County out of Humboldt County in 1919, is illuminated in court documents in which newly elected Pershing County officials (including Clarence) were sued by Humboldt County to prevent them from carrying out their duties. There is also information about the Grace Methodist Church in Lovelock; both Clarence and his wife Florence were active in that church.

The Florence Anker Young series (Series 2) contains materials related to Florence and the Anker Family. Her father's land acquisitions in the 1870s are documented through legal documents such as deeds and purchase agreements. Correspondence from the oldest son of Florence (Llewellyn Anker Young) documents his family's life after World War II, prior to their move back to Lovelock. There are also letters from other relatives, including Florence's sister.

Other materials in Series 2 provide tantalizing glimpses into Florence's active community life: the Methodist Church and Eastern Star to name two organizations to which she belonged.


  • 1878-1995


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 on 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 a 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.

Young was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Nevada in 1953 and served until 1956. He served in the Nevada State Senate from 1966-1980. Young was elected to the Nevada Supreme Court in November 1984 and served as Chief Justice of the Court from 1989-1990.

Cliff married Loretta Jane Hempfling Gibson on December 25, 1952. She was born in Kansas City, Missouri on October 13, 1926. She was an artist and was active in many Reno club and church activities. She had a son, Mark Craig Gibson, born July 13, 1948 in Altadena, California.

Cliff and Loretta had four children: Diana Jane Young Monfalcone, born November 11, 1954; Florence LaVonne Young Duhon, born February 13, 1956; Clifton James Young, born January 8, 1958; and Robert Alfred Young, born June 24, 1961.

Loretta died March 28, 2011 in Reno, Nevada. C. Clifton Young died on April 3, 2016 in Reno, Nevada.

Clarence L. Young, father of Cliff Young, was born in Lovelock, Nevada, on August 17, 1886 to Stephen R. and Mary E. Wilson Young. He attended public schools in Lovelock and was an engineering student at the University of Nevada. He supervised construction of the Lovelock and Woolsey Light and Power Company plant situated on the Young Ranch. For nine years he was Superintendent of the Lovelock and Woolsey Light and Power Company until the transmission lines and distribution system were sold to the Nevada Valley Power Company, later part of Sierra Pacific Power Company.

He was the first man elected as County Auditor of Pershing County when Pershing County was created from Humboldt County in 1919. He was admitted to the Nevada State Bar in July 1922 and in addition to practicing law, operated a general hardware store in Lovelock. He was active in the Masonic Order at both the local and state level.

C. L. Young was married to Florence Eliza Anker on December 31, 1914. They had three children: Llewellyn Anker Young, born May 11, 1917 (he married Florence Gulling and died in 1994); Merle Florence Young Nesbitt, born November 24, 1920; and Clarence Clifton Young, born November 7, 1922.

C. L. Young died in Lovelock on September 2, 1978.

Florence Eliza Anker Young was born in Lovelock, Nevada, on November 3, 1890 to Peter and Julia Ann Faas Anker. She was educated in Lovelock schools and pursued musical studies in California. Clarence L. Young and Florence were married on December 31, 1914 in San Francisco and honeymooned in Hawaii (see photograph collection UNRS-P1997-38 for their souvenir album).

Florence worked as a reporter for the Lovelock Review-Miner and Reno newspapers. She was a member of the Lovelock United Methodist Church and was the organist for many years. Florence was active in the Ruth Chapter No. 11 of the Order of Eastern Star and was a matron and life member. She was a member of the Lovelock Study Club and an avid gardener. She also managed ranching interests of both the Anker and Young families and real estate investments.

Florence Anker Young died on October 17, 1976.

Peter Anker, father of Florence Anker Young, was born in Bornholm, Denmark, on January 7, 1852. He immigrated to America in 1870 at age eighteen and quickly traveled to northern California where he supported himself through carpentry and farm work. He moved to Nevada on September 1, 1871 where he initially worked in Old Washoe City in the lumber industry, then as a bridge carpenter for the Virginia and Truckee Railroad.

Anker relocated to the Lovelock area when he was contracted to build a barn in Big Meadows for P. N. Marker. Peter homesteaded 160 acres and began building what was to become a large ranch.

Anker married Julia Ann Faas (born 1860) of Iowa. They had five children: Rose Hannah Anker Wiley (Mrs. Edgar Byron [Barney] Wiley), born December 21, 1880; James Phillip Anker, born October 2, 1882; Minnie Jacobena Anker Kennedy, born October 1, 1884; Chester Henry Anker, born November 19, 1887; Florence Eliza Anker Young, born November 3, 1890.

From 1890-1894 Anker was a Humboldt County Commissioner and also later served as Assemblyman in the 22nd Session of the Nevada Legislature. Active in the Methodist Church in Lovelock, he was one of the original trustees and helped secure a minister and church building.

For many years, until his death in 1922, Peter Anker held the position of Vice-Counsul in Nevada for Denmark.


2.25 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials



The C. Clifton Young papers document the lives of Clarence Clifton (Cliff) Young, his father Clarence L. Young, and and mother Florence Anker Young. Including personal and business documents, these family papers give insight into life in Lovelock Nevada in the nineteenth and twentieth century (1878-1995).


Arranged into the following series: 1) Clarence L. Young; 2) Florence Anker Young; 3) C. Clifton Young

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Justice C. Clifton Young in 1996.

Separated Materials

Photographs transferred to the Special Collections Department photo archive as collection number UNRS-P1997-38.

Guide to the C. Clifton Young Papers
Jacquelyn Sundstrand
October 2008
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)