NEVADA: Graham Hollister Gets JFK job in Washington, February 1, 1961

Graham Hollister To Leave for Washington

Appointed a special assistant to the U.S. Secretary of the interrior Graham Hollister of Genoa this  week was making preparations to move to Washington D.C.  The Nevada ranch operator and Democratic political leader said today he must report for work in Washington on Feb 13, 1961.

This gives him little time to get his house in order in Nevada but he told newsmen today he would get the Job done. He will be accompanied to Washington by Mrs. Hollister and their younger daughter Amelia. His son-in-law John deRuntz who operates a ranch at Dayton will move to Genoa, Nevada and operate both and operate both ranches from the Hollister home.


Hollister said he had  been informed by Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall that his duties will involve straightening out  out land matters along the Colorado  River from the Hoover dam to the Mexican border  In recent years many settlers have onto lands along the  river which formerly were flood plains and the legal status of the land must be  decided. Hollister said problem promises to be large and difficult.

“This is a pretty nice honor for our state and for me and I am particularly appreciative ol what Gov. Grant Sawyer did in my belief.” Hollister said today.

“The appointment came from the  White House after Governor Sawer recommended me for the post and his efforts were most effective. Hollister said he was also appreciative of letters written by other Nevadans on his behalf.

“The appointment shows Nevada was recognized for the vote it came up in Kennedy’s favor,” Hollister said.

Hollister headed the Farmers for Kennedy and Johnson in the 1960 presidential election and he was Sawyer’s self-appointed campaign manager in the 1958 gubernatorial election campaign.

Reno Evening Gazette, Wednesday, February 1, 1961

RANCH. Graham and Janet build The Ritz, 1937.

(10) The Ritz, or The Hotel. The Ritz was built around 1937 or 1938 by Margaret Walker Davis for her daughter Janet, sister of Amelia Davis, wife of Clinton B. Hollister, who married Harry’s youngest son, Graham Hollister, (Clinton’s first cousin). Unlike the older, small, board-and-batten houses in the compound, it was a large, modern house of stucco and tile, with a generator and batteries for electricity, and other amenities of the time. The Ritz changed the lives of the Hollisters in the compound, as this house became a gathering place for the family–unlike the Big House. The children were welcoe here because Graham and Janet had children; there were birthday parties, movies, etc. In the late 1930s and 1940s, many guests came to visit here–famous Hollywood friends as well as people in the are, such as Peta and Helen Pedottie from Las Cruces Ranch, Jack and Cynthia Hollister from Winchester Canyon and Channing Peak and Katie Peak from Rancho Jabali.

After World War II, Graham Hollister and Janet moved away from the ranch. Clinton  stayed at the Ritz periodically in the 1950s and 1960s. The Ritz was used as a boarding school, called School of the Canyons, under the tutelage of Clinton Hollister.

From: The Hollister Ranch, Its History, Preservation and People, by Nancy Ward, Hollister Ranch Conservancy, 2004