The Ely Times

The Nevada Press Association held its annual convention in Ely this past weekend and inducted the former owner of The Ely Times into the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame in the process.

Vail Pitman, a former Nevada governor as well, was one of three inducted into the Hall of Fame. Joining Ptiman, who died in 1964, were Holly Rudy-James, former general manager of Winnemucca Publishing and two-time president of the Nevada Press Association, and C.J. Hadley, publisher of Range Magazine and former editor of Nevada Magazine.

Pitman is the second governor inducted into the Hall of Fame, but the first to be a newspaperman before he was elected to public office.

Pitman moved to Nevada in 1904 and initially entered the coal business, but also was undersheriff of Nye County, sergeant-at-arms of the Nevada Senate and partner in a mining company.

In 1920, Pitman and his wife bought The Ely Daily Times and launched what was to become a successful newspaper business.

In 1925, Pitman was elected to the Nevada Senate, where he served until 1929.  He was elected lieutenant governor in 1942 and was a candidate in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senator in 1944, but was defeated by incumbent Pat McCarran.

Pitman became Nevada’s 19th governor when Edward P. Carville resigned in 1945 to accept an appointment for a vacant U.S. Senate seat. He was elected in 1946 to a term of his own and served until 1951. He lost two subsequent elections for governor in 1950 and 1954.

After leaving office, Pitman and his wife returned to Ely and the newspaper business. In 1951, Pitman sold the newspaper to Donald W. Reynolds. DonRey Media Group, which eventually became Stephens Media Group, sold the newspaper to Battle Born Media in 2011.

Pitman died of lung cancer in 1964. He in interred at Masonic Memorial Gardens in Reno.