On December 28, 2021, the State of Nevada lost its longestserving Congressman, Harry Reid. He is survived by his wife Landra Gould and five children.

Like any politician, Reid was a controversial figure, but he left a lasting impact on the town of Hawthorne with his support of the Army Depot.

Lifelong Hawthorne resident and former Mineral County Independent-News owner Tony Hughes remembers him fondly. Tony started working at the MCIN in 1951 and him and his brothers Ted and Frank became part owners in 1984. The Hughes brothers bought the paper in 1992 and managed it through 2012.

“We were all involved in that business for more than 60 years,” Tony says. Tony’s father Alvin Hughes came to Hawthorne in 1928 and was one of the first four people hired at the army depot base. Frank still lives in Hawthorne and their sister Bonnie lives in Schurz.

Reid would visit Hawthorne and visit the newspaper, and him and Tony would go to lunch at the El Capitan and talk.

“Harry is a good man,” Hughes says about Reid. “When he ran for senator, we helped him out quite a bit. When he was lieutenant governor with Michael O’Callaghan, I got to know him well,” he adds.

“Harry liked Hawthorne because it put him in office. The rural counties always voted for him. He supported the base [the Hawthorne Army Depot], trying to get jobs and things for them. He’s a good man. Him and his wife are good people,” says Tony. And while Tony didn’t always agree with his political agenda- especially during the Obama years- he considers Reid a close friend.

“We talked about Searchlight a lot and his wife quite a bit,” Tony recalls. “I liked O’Callaghan a lot and we’re both in the same religion- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Harry and I had a good friendship and he tried to do a lot for the base; he really appreciated it and supported the base in many ways. Harry also got us the Care & Share building for senior citizens here.”

Born in Searchlight, Nevada, Reid grew up in a cabin that didn’t have indoor plumbing with his mother who did laundry for local brothels. When he got older, he hitchhiked to Henderson to go to Basic High School. While there, Reid met Mike O’Callaghan, a teacher who later became a Nevada governor; O’Callaghan also became Reid’s coach during his amateur boxing career.

After receiving a degree from Utah State University in 1961, double-majoring in history and political science and minoring in economics, Reid attended George Washington University Law School and earned his JD degree in 1964. He returned to Nevada and became the city attorney of Henderson before he moved up to the Nevada Assembly in 1968 serving Clark County. In 1970, O’Callaghan chose Reid as his running mate for the Lieutenant Governor of Nevada position. They both won their respective races and Reid served in that position from 1971-1974. That started his political career, and in 1986 he won a U.S. Senate seat. Reid was re-elected in 1992, 1998, 2004, and 2010. He served on the Senate until January 2017.

Harry Reid was 82 years old when he died battling pancreatic cancer.