“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
West Wendover in Elko County, Nevada — The American Mountains (Southwest)

Wendover Will Reclaims Skyline Once Again

Wendover Will Reclaims Skyline Once Again Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Dawn Bowen, June 17, 2007
1. Wendover Will Reclaims Skyline Once Again Marker
Inscription. Wendover Will has been greeting travelers to Wendover since 1952. His name comes from the founder of the State Line Hotel & Casino, Mr. William “Bill” Smith, who started the State Line Service, a cobble stone service station, on the Utah/Nevada border in 1926. Prior to Wendover Will arriving, visitors were greeted by a shimmering light atop a tall pole that provided a signal of sorts to weary travelers crossing the Great Basin Desert, that they were within reach of this small but important oasis on Highway 40 called Wendover. With gaming legalized in the state of Nevada in 1931, State Line Service grew into the State Line Hotel & Casino, a company which until its sale in 2002 to the Wendover Nugget Hotel & Casino, was on record as the single longest held gaming license in Nevada. As this growth took place, in 1952 after 26 years that light stop the pole was retired making way for what has become a community and State icon, Wendover Will.

Wendover Will was constructed and erected by Young Electric Sign Company out of Salt Lake City, Utah, who has been providing electric and other sign services since 1920. At the time Wendover Will was created, his small twin “Vegas Vic” was also completed, who today stands adjacent to Las Vegas’ famed Freemon Street. Wendover Will made the Guiness Book of World Records
Erection of Wendover Will in 1952 Photo, Click for full size
By Dawn Bowen, June 17, 2007
2. Erection of Wendover Will in 1952
as the “world’s largest mechanical cowboy”. At the time he stood 63 feet tall, had 1,184 lineal feet of neon tubing with his two large waving arms powered by a single ¾ horsepower motor, his eye winking and cigarette flicking. The original pedestal of Wendover Will proclaimed proudly “This is the Place” “Where the West Begins”.

Wendover Will through time proved to become not only an icon of the State Line Hotel & Casino, but as well became an icon of the community itself. When West Wendover, Nevada, was incorporated in 1991, Wendover Will took a prominent position in the creation of the City Seal which proclaims proudly “Come Grow With Us,” a true reflection of the original light atop a pole and later the waving arms of a towering mechanical cowboy, welcoming all to this desert oasis.

Wendover Will was given to the City of West Wendover by Wendover Nugget Hotel & Casino in 2004 and now he once again stands tall representing to all, the heritage of our community as “this is the place” “where the west begins”.

This monument is hereby dedicated in loving memory to two important and founding members of our community, William “Bill” and Anna Smith.

We thank the many involved from the City of West Wendover, the State of Nevada, Young Electric Sign Company and
Wendover Will Photo, Click for full size
By Dawn Bowen, June 17, 2007
3. Wendover Will
other businesses and individuals; all who have given their time, efforts and support to help bring this monument to fruition.

City of West Wendover, Nevada 2005. Mayor, Josephine E. Thaut • City Manager, Chris J. Melville • Council Members, Michael J. Miera • Viola S. Troyan • Michael R. Gunter • Jamey L. Reilly • Jimmy D. Carter. • Director of Public Works, Thomas C. Stratton.
Erected 2005.
Location. 40° 44.41′ N, 114° 4.378′ W. Marker is in West Wendover, Nevada, in Elko County. Marker is on Wendover Boulevard half a mile west of U.S. 93, in the median. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: West Wendover NV 89883, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Hastings Cutoff (within shouting distance of this marker); 509th Composite Group – First Atomic Bombardment (approx. 0.9 miles away); Control Tower (approx. 2 miles away in Utah); Bomb Squadron Hangar (approx. 2 miles away in Utah); South Base Area (approx. 2 miles away in Utah); Operations Building (approx. 2.1 miles away in Utah); Atomic Mission Hangar 1831 (approx. 2.4 miles away in Utah); Base Chapel (approx. 2.5 miles away in Utah). Click for a list of all markers in West Wendover.
Categories. 20th CenturyNotable PersonsRoads & Vehicles
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,339 times since then and 79 times this year. Last updated on , by Chris English of Phoenix, Arizona. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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