Wingfield, George

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  • Tagged “king of Nevada” in the popular press, George Wingfield (1876–1959) dominated both politics and economics in the state from 1906 until the collapse of his banking empire in 1935. Unique among those who made mining fortunes in Nevada, Wingfield remained in the state with his money. By investing in mines, ranches, hotels, real estate, and banks, he almost effortlessly became a significant political player, though he was never elected to office. Notorious as Nevada's political boss, during his heyday he was accused of operating a “bipartisan machine” that controlled both political parties.

    Wingfield was born August 16, 1876, near Cincinnati, Arkansas. He moved as a child to Lakeview, Oregon, where he obtained an eighth-grade education. Reportedly an “incorrigible boy,” Wingfield left home at an early ...

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