James and Maggie Riordan and their son, together with his brother Michael and his wife Hannah and their young son arrived at Emigrant Springs in January of 1871. The two families lived and ranched together there for ten years and then James and Maggie took their family about twenty miles south to what was then known as Big Warm Springs.
Records in Tonopah, Nye County, show that on December 19, 1881, James and Maggie Riordan purchased the Big Warm Springs Ranch, located near the George Lewis Ranch, from J. Hutchinson. On June 7, 1882 they bought additional land near the Carpenter acreage from Hardy Lewis. Big Warm Springs was later to be known as Hot Creek and the other property as Forest Home.
At one time the Riordans operated a Post Office at Hot Creek.
As the older boys grew up they became buckaroos and worked for neighboring ranchers, particularly the Adams-McGill Company. The eldest son, James, developed quite a reputation as an accomplished bronco rider. Their children were James, Jr., Mike, John, Dan, Katharine,Margaret and Mary.
In 1898 James purchased the Bill Bellinger ranch in Elko County and moved his family there. He sold the Hot Creek Ranch to Governor Adams (of the Adams-McGill Company) and the Forest Home ranch to Amos Gardner. This latter sale was recorded in Nye County on June 11 , 1903.
In 1900 James Sr. purchased the Saguinett Ranch in Elko County and gave the Bellinger Ranch to his son, James Jr. They resided at the Saguinett Ranch until their deaths in 1912. The ranch was subsequently run by sons John, Mike and Dan until Dan purchased his brothers' interests in 1915.
Dan married Pearl Hancock in Eureka in 1909. He had four children, Marie Zunino, Ellen Holcher, Donna Elsberry and Joseph. Dan died in 1930 and his son, Joe, together with his widow ran the ranch until
1940 when Joe took it over entirely and still operates it. Joe was an Elko County Commissioner for six years and is a past President of the Elko County Farm Bureau. He currently serves on the Nevada State Welfare Board and is on the Board of the Bureau of Land Management.
James Jr. sold his ranch in Mound Valley in 1900 and moved to Mountain City where he ranched until his death from an automobile accident in 1923. His first wife died in childbirth of his one child, Dan, and his second wife Jane was a legend for her ability to break and handlehorses. She passed away in 1930.
John started the first ice making plant in Elko in partnership with Ed Carville. He later worked for the Western Pacific Railroad. He and his wife Jennie are buried in San Jose, California where he retired and died in 1965.
Mike worked as a buckaroo and ranch hand. He never married and died in Elko in 1945.
Katharine (known as Kit) married Harry Trott and they ranched in Lamoille for many years. She died in 1937.
Margaret (known as Maggie) married Simon Young and they ranched for many years in Jiggs, Nevada. Her sons are Ross and Roy. Roy has large ranch holdings in Elko and Jiggs and has been prominent in Nevada affairs for many years. He served in the State Assembly for 20years, is a past President of the Cattlemen's Association and is currently on the Board of Directors of the First National Bank and on the Advisory Board of the Bureau of Land Management.
Mary married Bill Bellinger and died at a young age. Her daughter, Midge, was reared by her grandparents.
Written and submitted by:
Gertrude Riordan Gottschalk and Joe Riordan