Henderson Nevada is a city within Clark County, also known as the “City Born Overnight”. Henderson is the second largest city in Nevada after the famous, well-known Las Vegas Nevada with a population exceeding 285,667.
In the early 1800s, Spanish explorers ventured through Southern Nevada discovering Las Vegas on their way to California. The Mormon missionaries eventually settled there (1855), but left shortly thereafter. Later that century, Las Vegas (along with Henderson) detached from Arizona and became part of Nevada. Then the construction of the Boulder Dam (now Hoover Dam) in 1931 brought several people to the area for work.
Though there were many cities developed throughout Southern Nevada, Henderson was one that was created nearly overnight. The need for weapons for the war brought in the construction of a magnesium plant. In 1941, Howard Eells of Basic Magnesium Inc. (also known as BMI) and the US Defense Plant Corp. partnered up to create the world’s largest magnesium plant, Basic Magnesium plant. The city grew to accommodate the peaked 14,000 plant workers and their families until the plant closed in 1947. Since the war was over and magnesium was no longer needed, more than half of the population left the city. With minimal work opportunities available, Henderson nearly vanished as quickly as it started.
The Boulder Dam (now known as Hoover Dam) saved the small town of Henderson when the Basic Magnesium Plant became the site of construction for a power generator at the dam. A unanimously approved bill sanctioned the purchase of the plant from the Colorado River Commission of Nevada. By 1953, the city was once again improving and was officially incorporated with a total of 7,410 residents.
Henderson stayed a relatively small factory town until the 1980s when Green Valley and neighboring communities started developing. Henderson’s population more than doubled by 1990 and is well on it’s way to hitting the 300k mark. I think it is safe to say that the city which was close to becoming a ghost town has been revived and will continue to prosper.