Arrowsmith and Evans Family Correspondence

Identifier: 2011-29

Scope and Contents

The Arrowsmith and Evans Family Correspondence collection contains primarily letters written by the Arrowsmith and Evans families. It documents life in rural Nevada, the family ranching and farming business, as well as life in Ohio.

A majority of the letters are between Dick Evans Arrowsmith and his wife, Gertrude (Rhodes) Arrowsmith, the earliest of which date prior to their marriage in 1892. The greater part of their letters are from 1897-1903 and discuss Dick's horse and mule trade. Dick spent much of his time traveling to markets in order to buy and sell his animals. These letters discuss particulars of the trade and his business. Other letters include those written to Gertrude, mostly from her mother and father after she and Dick sold their Nevada ranch and relocated to the family farm in Ohio.

This collection contains a few very early letters written by Arrowsmith family members. Two early letters from 1869, written by Dick's mother, Mary, to her Grandfather discuss her plan to relocate with Dick to California to be with her brothers, Allen, Alvaro, Orlando, and John Newton "Newt" Evans. The second, written in November 1869, is especially interesting as it describes rail travel just months after the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.


  • 1816-1956



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

Dick Evans Arrowsmith was born in Defiance, Ohio on October 29, 1862 to John Caraway and Mary Ann Evans Arrowsmith, who had married on December 21, 1861. Dick’s father was the auditor for Defiance County and volunteered for the Union Army, but was rejected due to his declining health; he died young on March 22, 1864 from tuberculosis. Dick's mother was 24 when she became a widow and, after a few years in 1869, relocated with her son to California to live with her brothers, Allen, Alvaro, Orlando, and John Newton "Newt" Evans on the ranch in Long Valley. In 1879, she relocated to her brother John’s home in Reno, Nevada.

Dick attended school and Reno and continued on to college at the University of the Pacific in San Jose, California. Dick returned to Ohio after graduating college to work on farmland left to him by his father, and eventually returned to Nevada where he and his wife, Gertrude, owned a ranch at Newcomb Lake, Nevada located approximately 40 miles north of Reno. They sold the ranch after experiencing a financial disaster when the government stopped buying mules. They then relocated back to his home state of Ohio, settling in Hicksville, Ohio. Although he owned a farm in Ohio, Dick was most proficient in surveying, working to create ditches and survey lands in Defiance County.

Dick and Gertrude Rhodes married on February 18, 1892 in Reno, Nevada. They had 6 children: John, Mary, Elizabeth, Emily, Horton, and Helen. Dick died in Hicksville, Ohio on August 22, 1954.


0.25 Cubic Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



Dick Evans Arrowsmith (1862-1954) was a rancher in Ohio and Nevada. Original letters both to and from Arrowsmith and Evans family members, especially for Dick Evans Arrowsmith. Includes news clippings and some text. Letters date from 1816-1956 and were used to write Letters from the Past + Revelations by Dick Reed; Dick Arrowsmith was Reed's grandfather.


Arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Richard C. Reed in June 2011.

Related Materials

Related archival materials held by the UNR Special Collections Department:

91-42, John Newton Evans Papers 99-49, Orlando Evans Correspondence

Letters from the Past + Revelations by Dick Reed [Special Collections Stacks F594.R443 2010]


Inventory to the Arrowsmith and Evans Family Correspondence
Jessica Maddox
May 2017
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)