The City of Ely will honor its former, long time police chief, Jack Caylor on Saturday at noon, when they hold a dedication ceremony and name a park near the railroad station after him. The park is located by the freight barn at the railroad; 10th St. and Ave. A.
Caylor, who passed away in 2010 at the age of 91, had served as chief of police in Ely for 28 years, a time when Ely had its own police department.
Caylor was born in Memphis, Tenn. and served in the South Pacific as a sergeant in the Marine Corps. When he was discharged from the Corps in San Diego, he worked for a masonry contractor that landed a contract building the Safeway store in Ely, now the back part of the Jailhouse Motel and Casino. It was in Ely he met his future wife, Lenora. They married and had two children, Mark and Debbie, who they raised in Ely.
Caylor went to work for the Ely Police Department and after a year of hard work, he was named the city’s police chief, a position he held for the next 28 years.
was always helping people,” said his son, Mark. “He was very compassionate. Instead of always arresting people, if someone had too much to drink, he would take them home and tell them to stay there. He instructed his officers to do the same.”
Once when a family from out of town was in a bad accident and were hospitalized, their car in ruins, Jack Caylor drove them back to their home in Bozeman, Mont. in the ambulance.
“He was always helping people, no matter the problem,” Mark said.
Jack Caylor was always active in the community as well, volunteering his time and the time of his officers with whatever project was being implemented. He was active with the Elks Club, the horse races, and he was always willing to provide security for the town’s special events.
“He was just involved in anything that went on,” Mark said. “Both my parents were involved, no matter what they had going on.”
Lenora (Nora), who passed away in 2000, was equally active by his side, volunteering for many of the same events and more. She opened the Spudnut shop, which Mark described as being a donut shop that also made pizza and sandwiches. It later became an Italian-style diner, Teresa’s Cafe, named after Mark’s grandmother. Nora later ran the snack bar at the bowling alley for a few years, a place Jack and Nora were regulars at while Mark and Debbie were growing up.
“Both of my parents were very avid bowlers,” Mark said. “I remember growing up in the bowling alley and the house was always full of trophies and bowling shirts.”
Mark said the family made many trips out of town to bowling competitions when he was a kid. He also had many memories of family camping trips and picnics, and of helping his father, who built the family home with his own hands and the help of his young son’s labor.
“He was a great father, whatever he did,” Mark said. “I was always helping him. He never ordered cement trucks of concrete, we mixed it ourselves. He was always a hard worker and that was one of the things he taught me.”
Jack Caylor was best friends with former mayor and local businessman, Jack Smith, who also passed Always the volunteer, at 80 years old, the two would drive the streets of Ely in a bucket truck in the cold of winter, putting up Christmas decorations for the town’s residents to enjoy. In the summer, they returned to put up flags for the Fourth of July.
“The Caylor’s (Jack and Lenora) both made a great impact in the community,” said Yvonne Ogden DeForest, a niece of the couple. “Jack will be remembered as being a strong, caring and an influential leader while enforcing the law.”
Wayne Cameron, executive director of the White Pine Chamber of Commerce, said that he had known Jack and Nora since he moved to Ely in 1965.
“We attended a lot of horse races in Elko and worked together for many years at the horse races here,” Cameron said. “We had several parties at their place and several other places, and had many good times at the bowling alley. They were two great, great people.”
There will be free hot dogs and hamburgers at noon at the about to be christened Jack Caylor Park, followed by the dedication ceremony at 1 p.m.
“I am grateful to the city of Ely and the citizens of Ely who have voted to make this happen,” Mark Caylor said on a Facebook page dedicated to the honor being bestowed on his late father. “I am very proud and I know my father would be, as well. I look forward to seeing you on Saturday, my Dad’s birthday.”