Transcript of interview with Thelma Turner by Claytee D. White, October 21, 2004


Digital ID
Transcript of interview with Thelma Turner by Claytee D. White, October 21, 2004
Material Set
White, Claytee D.
Interview transcript with Thelma Turner by Claytee D. White, October 21, 2004. Turner lived on the Westside, then later moved to North Las Vegas. She talks about her early jobs at the Moulin Rouge and later work at the Town Tavern and Villa d'Este.
Thelma Turner came to Las Vegas from Midland, Texas, in 1947 at the age of 13. Thelma's parents were Melvin and Leola Givens. Her father was pastor of several churches across the state of Texas before following other relatives to Las Vegas, and Thelma and her nine siblings lived either with their father on Washington Street or on F Street with an aunt and uncle. Thelma recalls attending school at the Fifth Street School and then Las Vegas High School, shopping on downtown Fremont Street, and marrying Lawrence Daniels in 1952. They went on to have three children. Lawrence was junior pastor at Cox Upper Room Church, and Thelma was involved as a Sunday school teacher and secretary. Her first jobs included making cooler pads for swamp coolers and working at the Moulin Rouge first as a change girl and then as a waitress. In 1958, she met and married her second husband, with whom she had four more children. They were together for forty years. Thelma shares vivid memories of Helldorado, integration, famous personalities that she met in the course of her varied working situations, and learning to cook at the Algiers. She recalls working at Villa D'Este and the Flamingo Hotel during the so-called "Mob" days, then leaving the hotels to work at the Lone Star Steakhouse in 1992. The Westside was home to Thelma's family until 1966 when they became the first black family to move to North Las Vegas. She describes several housing areas on the Westside, such as Berkeley Square, Cadillac Arms, and Bonanza Village. She also remembers many of the black leaders who made their homes on the Westside, like Dr. West, Dr. McMillan, Ruby Duncan, David Hoggard, and Jimmy Gay.
Identified Individuals
Identified Corporate Bodies
Identified Neighborhood
Westside; North Las Vegas
Neighborhood City / Town
F850.N4 T87 2012
Original Collection
Original Date (interview)
Subject (FAST)
DC Type
Genre (TGM)
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University of Nevada Las Vegas
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