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The Integrity of HM Yerington

Did you know the city of Yerington used to be called Pizen Switch? Back in 1894, the town renamed it, partially as a ploy to try and attract the Carson and Colorado Railroad to be routed through their town. They named their town after the General Superintendent of that railroad, HM Yerington. He was not swayed and kept the planned route, which did NOT go through the now newly renamed town.

What kind of man would not be impressed by folks who deliberately named their town after him?

Henry Marvin Yerington was born in Canada in 1828 and came to Nevada in 1863. He died in Carson City in 1910 after an amazing run at being one of the key influential leaders of Carson City, Virginia City, and Nevada in general. His burial plot is one of the most prominent in the Carson City Lone Mountain Cemetery. Right near the main entrance. His house is still standing on the corner of North Division and Robinson streets. The church that he was very active in, was the Episcopal Church just a couple blocks south.

HM was a successful businessman, once running an ore stamp mill (the Merrimack) on the Carson River that the Bank of California, represented by William Sharon, wanted to purchase so they would have a monopoly in that region. HM refused to sell out, even though Sharon used his powers to make Yerington’s stamp mill business suffer. Later, when William Sharon was looking for a General Superintendent for a new railroad (Virginia and Truckee Railroad), he decided on the man with the most integrity that he had ever met, HM Yerington. The rest of the V&T is history, but much of it was because of the careful and great leadership of HM Yerington. In later years, when it was decided to build the Carson & Colorado Railroad, HM was the obvious choice to build it and run it as President.

HM, being a friend of Mr. Sharon who later became a US Senator, was very involved in politics as a lobbyist for the Nevada State Legislature as well as feeding information to Sharon that influenced national politics. He was well known to be very active in lobbying for or against bills that had anything to do with mining, logging, railroads, land development, etc.

Near the end of HM’s life, he chose to have an operation on one of his ears that was going quite deaf. The Doctor accidentally operated on HM’s good ear, damaging it considerably. From there on, HM was almost totally deaf, yet he refused to sue the Doctor. Accepting that we all make mistakes.

Just before HM died, he went down to his office (which still stands on the corner of Carson Street and Washington Street) and burned all the papers that were evidence of the many outstanding loans he had made to folks.

Have you heard? Prov 11:3a says, “The integrity of the upright shall guide them…”

Kelly Bullis is a Certified Public Accountant in Carson City.Contact him at 775-882-4459.On the web at BullisAndCo.comAlso on Facebook

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