PHILLIP IRVING EARL February 13, 1937- January 8, 2019 Phillip Irving Earl, Nevada Historian passed away January 8, 2019. Phillip was born February 13, 1937, in Cedar City, UT. His father, Irving Bradshaw Earl, had served with the Civilian Conservation Corps, and was working for the Works Progress Administration as part of building Boulder Dam at the time of his birth. His mother, Dorothy Anderson, drove to Cedar City all by herself to give birth. Although born in Cedar City, Phillip grew up in Boulder City, and considered Nevada to be his home state. He joined the U.S. Army in 1957, serving as a communications operator in Europe. He always told stories about his adventures, in France and throughout Europe as a young man. Phillip wrote the "This Was Nevada" weekly column for newspapers, throughout the state from 1975 until 1996. These historical columns detailed life and happenings throughout early Nevada and the West, providing insights into the colorful history of the state he loved. These columns were published in a two-volume series titled "This Was Nevada." Philip was instrumental in the development and placement of the Nevada-shaped historical markers that are commonly seen throughout Nevada, writing the text for many of the markers. He worked for 26 years as the Curator of History at the Nevada Historical Society in Reno. His dedication to Nevada's history led to an emphasis on historical preservation and research on the history of the state. Phillip's focus on increasing the archives and research materials has assisted countless students and researchers in their work with Nevada history. His areas of research in Nevada history included women's suffrage, the role of women in World War I, boxing, early transportation, law enforcement, and the many colorful characters that he discovered during his research. Phillip was involved with many groups and organizations over the years. He was involved in the establishment and publication of "Nevada in the West" magazine. Phillip wrote many articles for Nevada Magazine, the Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, the Humboldt Historian, the Northeastern Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, the Central Nevada Historical Society, and for the National Outlaw and Lawman Association (NOLA). He was an active member of the Lincoln Highway Association, and he presented several papers at their annual meetings. Phillip participated in the creation of documentaries about the western United States, to include the building of Boulder Dam where his father had worked and of early law enforcement in Nevada and the West. Phillip lectured extensively at the Gold Hill Hotel, providing presentations about the history of Nevada to many audiences. He completed numerous projects for the National Register of Historical Places, and conducted historical environmental assessments in preserving Nevada's historical buildings and locations. Phillip found it very important to support history in rural areas of Nevada. He especially enjoyed presenting programs in rural counties, and was always ready to respond to requests from them. Phillip was a Clamper in good standing for many years, and always spoke of his friendships with persons in this organization. For over 40 years, Phillip and his wife, Jean worked to preserve images carved by Basque sheepherders on aspen trees as they herded sheep on the summer ranges in the High Sierra meadows. They developed a technique for preserving this unique art. This work culminated in publishing an art book titled "Basque Aspen Art of the Sierra Nevada". Phillip's love of the history of Nevada remained strong throughout his life. Right to the end, he continued to work on his projects at the Historical Society and to expand understandings of the history of Nevada. As Phillip noted, a historian's work is never done because history never ends. Memorial services were previously held January 26 at the Nevada Historical Society.
Published in Boulder City Review on Jan. 31, 2019.