Interviewed by: Kay Long and Caryll Batt Dziedziak
Rachel Gibson was the granddaughter of Nevada pioneers. Her maternal grandparents, George Rammelkamp and Anna Dougherty, were among the earliest residents of northern Nevada, settling first in Dayton and later Yerington. Her mother, Clara Angelina, and her two aunts, Elizabeth and Georgie, graduated from the University of Nevada at the turn of the century. Clara taught in Yerington for a number of years before marrying Chase Masterson, a dentist.
Rachel was born in 1913 in Yerington. The eldest of three children, she continued the tradition of women’s learning and education that began with her mother’s generation. When she was in sixth grade, the family moved to Tonopah. They later moved to Las Vegas, along with the Garside and Ronzone families.
The family moved into a house on Seventh Street in Las Vegas. Her 1930 class was the first to graduate from Las Vegas High School, and soon after Rachel moved to California to attend college, spending one semester at USC. She moved to Northern California and studied at the College of the Holy Name before transferring to University of California at Berkeley, where she earned her degree. After working for a year, she went San Francisco State College and received her teaching credentials. She received her
She moved to Las Vegas, and began teaching second grade in Boulder City. She then married her college beau, Al Gibson, in 1938. Rachel continued to teach until the birth of the couple’s first child, Marjorie. With the onset of World War II, Rachel was left to care for their young daughter as Al left for military service. Throughout the war years the couple were together whenever possible, and their son John was born in 1941. After the war, Al returned to Las Vegas and went to work for Nevada Power Company, and a second son, Bill, was born.
Rachel’s interest in education never flagged, and when her children entered college, she returned to teaching. Rachel Gibson passed away in 2004.
In this narrative, Rachel recounts the joys and trials of growing up. Filled with detail, her stories paint a vivid picture of life in the early twentieth-century