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Ancestors of Anna Nuhfer and William Roberts

Updated September 6, 2004

Patrick Gaffey
3130 South McLeod Drive
Las Vegas, Nevada 89121
United States

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Anna Nuhfer and William Isaac Roberts were pioneers of Las Vegas, Nevada, arriving six years after the 1905 founding of the city. She was 22, he was 55. They didn't marry until 1914. In 1912 they opened a dry goods store, the People's Store, on Fremont Street where Binion's Horseshoe Hotel and Casino stands today. In the fall of that year they founded Nevada Lime and Plaster, later Nevada Lime and Rock, a limestone quarry at Sloan, 20 miles south of Las Vegas. In 1915 they started the Las Vegas Undertaking Company, which became Roberts Undertaking.
In 1925, when Anna returned to Las Vegas from embalming school in Los Angeles, where she studied to get her license, she found that Will was living above Roberts Undertaking with a married woman. She fought a full year for a fair divorce settlement and won. Will went back to California. Then, a single woman supporting her aged mother and a young daughter, in 1927 Anna opened Palm Funeral Home. She sold it in 1945, but today Palm Mortuaries is the largest funeral chain in Nevada.
During her life in Las Vegas, which ended with her death in 1962, she amassed a huge collection of rocks, minerals and historical material which after her death became the first museum in the Las Vegas Valley. It is now Clark County Museum.

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Family Photos

  • Thomas Henry Nuhfer, b. March 10, 1876 (47 KB)
    Thomas Henry Nuhfer, b. March 10, 1876
  • Nuhfer farmhouse detail: group right side of porch (19 KB)
    Adults from left: Christina (Dena) Frehn Stuck, Maybelle Stuck, unknown man, Catherine Nuhfer, Kate McLaughlin, Clifford Stuck, Gilbert Nuhfer, Philip Nuhfer
  • Anna Nuhfer in 1910 or 1911 (52 KB)
    Anna Nuhfer (1888-1962) in 1910 or 1911 in the Corona, California photo studio of Henry Roberts, nephew of her boyfriend William Roberts.
  • Nuhfer farmhouse detail: lower group (44 KB)
    Back row from left: Pearl Stuck, Anna Nuhfer, Peggy Goucher, Oscar Goucher, Minnie Kinsey Nuhfer; seated adults: George A. Nuhfer with son Orville, Betha Nuhfer Robinson with baby Gladys, James Robinson, Nelson Douglas with son Harry, Christina Nuhfer Douglas with baby Elsie, Thomas Henry Nuhfer with son Harry
  • Mary Kerstetter (1834-1886) (31 KB)
    Mary Kerstetter Frehn, wife of Jacob Frehn
  • William C. Harkless, about 1930 (56 KB)
    William C. Harkless, about 1930. The photo was taken shortly before he was injured on the job and spent a year in a body cast. Of course workmen's compensation hadn't yet been created.
  • Jeremiah and Lydia Nuhfer farmhouse about 1905 (100 KB)
    Adults on porch, l-r: Mrs. Thressa Jane Nuhfer, Jeremiah Nuhfer, Lydia Frehn Nuhfer, Mary Kerstetter Frehn, Jacob Frehn, Theresa Nuhfer, Matilda Nuhfer Gannon, Frank Gannon, George Ehret, Wilda Deshner Ehret, Mrs. Meagren?, Christina (Dena) Nuhfer Stuck, Maybelle Stuck, unknown man, Catherine Nuhfer, Kate McLaughlin, Clifford Stuck, Gilbert Nuhfer, Philip Nuhfer; below railing: Pearl Stuck, Anna Nuhfer, Peggy Goucher, Oscar Goucher, Minnie Kinsey Nuhfer; front row seated: George A. Nuhfer & son Orville, Betha Robinson & baby Gladys, James Robinson, Nelson Douglas and son Harry, Christina Nuhfer Douglas & baby Elsie, Thomas Henry Nuhfer & son Harry.
  • Earl Clark (20 KB)
    Earl Clark, first husband of Opal Roberts
  • Anna Nuhfer & Helen Nuhfer (45 KB)
    Sisters Anna Nuhfer Roberts & Helen Nuhfer outside Las Vegas about 1915.
  • Thomas Henry Nuhfer, b. March 10, 1876 (96 KB)
    Thomas Henry Nuhfer, b. March 10, 1876
  • Edith Roberts Jennings & Jim Santini, late 1960s (59 KB)
    Edith was working to establish what became Clark County Museum; Jim Santini was a public official
  • The Ninneman Family (122 KB)
    Sheri Dorinda Goolsby Ninneman, her husband John and sons Zachary and Erik Matthew
  • Jeremiah Nuhfer (1848-1916) (63 KB)
    Portrait of Jeremiah (Jerry) Nuhfer (1848-1916), likely taken in Oil City, Pennsylvania
  • Elizabeth H. Nuhfer Robinson (65 KB)
    Elizabeth H. (Betha) Nuhfer Robinson in 1936.
  • Nelson D. and Christina Douglas family (37 KB)
    Nelson D. Douglas, Emeline Christina "Christi" Douglas with, from left, Elsie or Helen Douglas, Harry Douglas and unknown daughter, Columbus, Ohio about 1908.
  • Philip and Emeline Nuhfer and children about 1890 (59 KB)
    Back row from left: David Nuhfer (b.1881), Philip Nuhfer (1840-1912), Philip A. Nuhfer (1880-1954), Margaret Hannah Nuhfer (1878-1972), Emeline Thompson Nuhfer (b. 1849). Front row: Agnes Nuhfer (1885-1971), Edgar (Ed) Nuhfer (b. 1883), Florence (Floss) Nuhfer, (1886-1974), Perry (Pat) Nuhfer (1889-1945). By photographer J.W. Sires, McNeil Block, Oil City, Pennsylvania.
  • Lydia Frehn Nuhfer (48 KB)
    Lydia Frehn Nuhfer
  • Jacob Frehn and Mary Kerstetter Frehn (48 KB)
    Jacob Frehn (1827-1911) and his first wife, Mary Kerstetter (1834-1886)
  • Minnie Frances Kinsey, wife of Thomas Henry Nuhfer (59 KB)
    Minnie Frances Kinsey, wife of Thomas Henry Nuhfer
  • Lydia Frehn and her sisters (80 KB)
    The Frehn sisters, with their married names, L-R, back row: Becky Knight, Sarah Long [pasted in], Mary Sandrock, Lizzie Miller, Lydia Nuhfer [pasted in], Lovina Deshner. Front row, L-R: Lucy Groner, Somly Wood, Christina (Dena) Stuck.
  • Jacob Frehn and his second wife, Liddia (32 KB)
    Jacob Frehn (1827-1911) and Liddia A. Frehn (maiden name unknown), his second wife. they married around 1888, and the photo was likely taken around that time.
  • George Adam Nuhfer, Thressa Jane Myers and family (75 KB)
    George Adam Nuhfer, wife Thressa Jane Myers Nuhfer, son Orville Ralph and daughter Freda Veronica, probably taken at their home in Oklahoma.
  • George Adam Nuhfer and family (45 KB)
    George Adam Nuhfer with his hands on the shoulders of his wife, Thressa Jane Myers Nuhfer. The young woman to her left is their oldest daughter, Freda Veronica. Their other children, unidentified.
  • Thomas Henry Nuhfer and family, probably in Ohio (71 KB)
    Thomas Henry Nuhfer and wife Minnie Frances Kinsey with their children, from left: Edna, Roy (in Tom's arms), Carl, Andrew and Harry. Anna Lerch says that since they lived in Ohio until after the 1917 birth of their next child, Jerry, the photo was probably taken there.
  • Lovina Frehn Deshner Mahle and her children (46 KB)
    From left, Frank Deshner, Wilda Deshner Ehret, William Deshner, Jake Deshner and Lovina Frehn Deshner Mahle, August 30, 1925
  • Frank Gannon and Will Roberts in Black Canyon (41 KB)
    Frank Gannon, William Isaac Roberts, Lydia Mary Gannon, unidentified sitting child, unidentified woman; probably Anna Nuhfer or Matilda Nuhfer Gannon. Hoover Dam was built in Black Canyon in the 1930s. Photo probably taken around 1915.
  • William Isaac Roberts (32 KB)
    William Isaac Roberts (1855-1945) in his nephew Henry Roberts' Corona, California photo studio in 1910 or 1911.
  • Opal Roberts, Blanche Roberts and Susan Sheffer (41 KB)
    Susan Wilson Sheffer in Garden Grove Iowa with the visiting Blanche and Opal Roberts, the daughters of William I. Roberts and Susan's late sister, Rosette Wilson Roberts.
  • James and Betha Nuhfer Robinson and children (39 KB)
    from left: Jere Robinson, James C. Robinson, Gladys Robinson and Elizabeth H. "Betha" Nuhfer Robinson, probably in Bakersfield, about 1914.
  • Peggy Nuhfer Sweeney and J.J. Sweeney, 1930 (101 KB)
    Peggy Nuhfer Sweeney & J.J. Sweeney, probably Hot Springs, Arkansas, 1930
  • Florence, Leroy and Wilda Ehret (30 KB)
    Florence Ehret, John Leroy Ehret and their mother, Wilda Deshner Ehret, August 30, 1925
  • Sloan, Nevada, 1912 (44 KB)
    Beginnings of Sloan limestone quarry, 20 miles south of Las Vegas. Started by William Roberts, Anna Nuhfer, Thressa (Theresa) Nuhfer, William Elwell and a few others, it was managed from 1913 through 1920 by George Ehret and still operates in 2002.
  • Florence, Leroy and Wilda #2 (42 KB)
    Florence Ehret, John Leroy Ehret, Wilda Deshner Ehret at her mother, Lovina Frehn Deshner Mahle's house, August 30, 1925
  • Gilbert Nuhfer and wife in 1963, prob. Long Beach (62 KB)
    Gilbert (Bert) Nuhfer (1891-1971) and wife Evelyn Rainey Nuhfer in 1963, probably at their home in Long Beach, California.
  • J.J. Sweeney, son Raymond and Peggy Nuhfer Sweeney (48 KB)
    J.J. Sweeney, son Raymond and Rebecca (Peggy) Nuhfer Sweeney about 1910
  • Frehns and Kerstetters about 1910 (81 KB)
    Jacob Frehn, 1827-1911, with beard; girl center front is Ruth Fortune, born about 1900.
  • Ella Ellen Frain (1861-1935) (37 KB)
    Ella Ellen Frain (1861-1935), wife of Cyrus Kelly Harkless
  • Jacob Roberts (1821-1896) (24 KB)
    Jacob Roberts, father of William Isaac Roberts
  • Rebecca Frehn, born 1862 (54 KB)
    Rebecca Frehn Knight, born 1862 in Venus, Venango County, Pennsylvania
  • Cyrus Kelly Harkless (1855-1937) (35 KB)
    Cyrus Kelly Harkless (1855-1937), husband of Ella Ellen Frain
  • Nancy Polly (1827-after 1910) (21 KB)
    Nancy Polly Roberts, mother of William Isaac Roberts
  • Hans (John) Knight (53 KB)
    Hans (John) Knight, husband of Rebecca Frehn
  • Nuhfer farmhouse detail: group left side porch (27 KB)
    Adults, back row, from left: Mrs. Thressa Jane Nuhfer, Jeremiah Nuhfer, Lydia Frehn Nuhfer, Mary Kerstetter Frehn, Jacob Frehn.
  • Roberts family at their home in Osceola, Iowa (101 KB)
    Roberts family in Osceola, Iowa between 1911-1915. On porch, Nancy Polly Roberts is 6th from left, Anna Nuhfer 2nd from right. Anna's fiance, William Isaac Roberts, took photo.
  • Nuhfer farmhouse detail: middle group on porch (19 KB)
    Back row, from left: Thressa (Theresa) Nuhfer, Matilda Gannon, Frank Gannon, George Ehret, Wilda Ehret, Mrs. Meagren (?), Christina (Dena) Nuhfer Stuck
  • Roberts family near woods in Osceola, Iowa (102 KB)
    Roberts family standing for photo in Osceola, Iowa between 1911 and 1915. Photo taken by William I. Roberts. Nancy Polly Roberts standing center in high-necked black dress. Anna Nuhfer standing 5th from right. Woman in white holding sign: "We Are M-----," possibly: "We Are Married."
  • Opal Roberts Clark, Walter Clark, Rose Clark, 1910 (30 KB)
    Opal Roberts Clark, 28; Walter Clark, 11 months; Rose Clark, 2 years, 4 months. Taken August, 1910, Myrts Studio, Bakersfield, California, on a visit to Opal's father, William Isaac Roberts.
  • Mildred and Robert Ross, about 1911 (37 KB)
    Mildred and Robert Ross, children of Blanche Roberts Ross, taken at their granduncle Henry Roberts' studio in Corona, California about 1911.

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