Browne and Haviland Family Papers

Identifier: NC1416

Scope and Contents

The Browne and Haviland Family Papers primarily contain material related to Howard E. Browne and his immediate family. This includes correspondence and materials that document Browne's time at the University of Nevada, his time in the U.S. Army during World War I, and his time at Harvard Law School. One scrapbook of Alice and Charles Browne, Howard's parents, and their family are also included. Of interest is an original 1940 court transcript for the State of Nevada vs. George Shovlin, which is believed to be the first successful prosecution in Nevada using fingerprints as evidence. Also included in the collection is a small amount of material related to the history of the Haviland family and their ancestors.


  • 1911-2021


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 / Historical

Howard Edgar Browne was born on September 24, 1896, in Reno, Nevada to Alice C. Fletcher and Charles Arthur Brown. Browne graduated from Reno High School in 1914 and attended the University of Nevada from 1914-1918, where he was on the wrestling team and played clarinet in the band. While attending the university, he met his future wife, Vera May Haviland (1903-1965). They were married in Winnemucca, Nevada on October 2, 1927, and had two children: Howard E. Browne, Jr. (1929-2008) and Bonnie Browne Allec.

In 1918, upon graduation, Browne enlisted in the Army, Corp Company A, 13th Infantry, and fought in World War I. After the war, he attended law school at Yale and Harvard. From 1922-1942, he served as the Lander County District Attorney in Austin, Nevada, and from 1945-1984, he practiced law privately in Reno, Nevada.

Browne died in Reno, Nevada on April 27, 1990.

[Biographical information partially provided by Kevin Allec, grandson of Howard and Vera. Additional information from, obituaries found on, both accessed January 4, 2022, and the biographical note from the Vera May Haviland Biographical Sketch, AC 0493, in the Special Collections and University Archives Department of the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries.]

The Haviland family were early settlers in Paradise Valley, Humboldt County, Nevada, arriving from Vermont via Michigan and Honey Lake, California, in the 1860s. Carlton (Carl) Earl Haviland, the only child of Ellen Palmer and Mark Haviland, was born in Paradise Valley on May 4, 1870. He married Lillian Estelle Nicholas (1876-1946), born in Winnemucca, Nevada, on September 21, 1898. After working for his grandfather on the Palmer Ranch in Paradise Valley, he went into business with Charles Hoskins. They ran a feed store as well as the Paradise Stage Line between Winnemucca and Paradise Valley. He later operated a car dealership and garage in Winnemucca. Carl and Lillian had four children: Edna (1899-1907), Harold Earl (1901-1974), Vera May (1903-1965), and Dorothy Marguerite (1906-1979). Daughter Vera May attended the University of Nevada, graduating in 1926 with a bachelor's degree in education. While at the university, Vera was a member of the Commerce Club, the Women's Athletic Association, the Beta Delta sorority, and lived in Manzanita Hall. On October 2, 1927, she married Howard E. Browne.

[Biographical information taken from Humboldt County Pioneer's: The Haviland's of Winnemucca by Kevin Allec. Additional information assembled from, accessed January 5, 2022. Additional information from the biographical note in the Vera May Haviland Biographical Sketch, AC 0493, Special Collections and University Archives Department of the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries.]


2.438 Linear Feet (4 boxes, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



Howard Edgar Browne (1896-1990) attended the University of Nevada (1914-1918), Yale Law School, and Harvard Law School. He served as the District Attorney for Lander County, Nevada from 1922-1942, and was in private practice from 1945-1984. In 1927, Browne married Vera May Haviland, who also attended the University of Nevada. Both the Browne and the Haviland families were early settlers in northern Nevada. The collection contains material related to Browne's time at the University of Nevada, Harvard Law School, his time in the Army during World War I, information on Nevada vs. George Shovlin court case argued by Browne, family research on the Browne and Haviland Families by Kevin Allec, and an album from Vera May on the Haviland family history.


Arranged into the following series: 1) Browne Family; 2) Haviland Family

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Kevin Allec in December 2021.

Related Materials

Related archival materials held by the University of Nevada, Reno University Archives:

Vera May Haviland Biographical Sketch, AC 0493

Guide to the Browne and Haviland Family Papers
Jessica Maddox
January 2022
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)