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Jean McElrath

Jean Sybil McElrath

Jean McElrath transcends words like adversity. “Guts” more accurately describes this remarkable woman, who distinguished herself as a Nevada journalist and author during a career spanning three decades. Her column “Tumbleweeds,” published in the Wells Progress for more than 20 years, was written while McElrath lay crippled from arthritis that had her bedridden since her teens. Later, when she became blind, Braille letters were taped to the keys of her typewriter. When a story broke, her sister Anita would load her gurney into a station wagon and bound across Elko County to get the story. A 1965 Distinguished Nevadan, McElrath was known for more than her determination. “Not only has she breathed life into fine old stories that would otherwise be left to die, but she has done so with a true storyteller’s gift of narrative,” wrote Robert Laxalt.

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