Mar 13, 2013 · 7:00 PM
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by Sally Zanjani and Carrie Townley Porter
Known as the mistress of the Mormon Trail, Helen J. Stewart not only paved the way for women in the west, but also was instrumental in laying the groundwork for the future of Las Vegas.Born in the Midwest in the mid-1800s, uprooted and transplanted as a young girl into the frenzied gold rush days in California, Helen J. Stewart experienced the rigors of pioneer life early. Married at nineteen, mother at twenty, widow at thirty with four children and pregnant with her fifth, she had no time to ponder her fate. Instead, she became a force to reckon with.Sally Zanjani and Carrie Townley Porter chronicle the extraordinary life of a woman dedicated to providing for her family and improving the lives of those around her, a woman ahead of her time who befriended Indians as well as congressmen, a woman who truly was the "First Lady of Las Vegas".