NYE COUNTY- Southern
Nye County was named after James Nye, who served as Territorial Governor prior to statehood. Upon achieving statehood in 1864, James Nye went to the U.S. Senate and Nye County was officially formed. The first capitol city of Nye County was the silver mining boom town of Ione. The two prominent industries in Nye County at that time (and still through today) were mining and ranching. The decline of Ione and the boom of Belmont caused the county seat to shift to Belmont in 1867. Belmont became a prosperous town that revolved around mining and ranching. Many prominent figures in Nevada history such as Tasker Oddie (U.S. Senator and Governor) once made their home in Belmont. However, like most Nevada mining towns, the ore had to eventually run out. The pattern held true with Belmont. When Tonopah was discovered in 1900, it would eventually become one of the richest silver camps in history. It rightfully earned the nickname of “Queen of the Silver Camps.” Coming out of the mining downturn in the 1890’s, which caused Nevada to suffer greatly, the Tonopah boom went a long way towards helping Nevada recover. As the pattern goes, when Belmont declined and Tonopah boomed, the county seat eventually shifted to Tonopah in 1905. Today, the county seat is still in Tonopah (population 2,500). The largest populated place in Nye County today is Pahrump, with a population of about 45,000 residents.