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Located halfway between Las Vegas and Reno, the unincorporated town of Tonopah is the county seat of Nye County, Nevada. The area was settled around 1900, when gold and silver ore was discovered by prospector Jim Butler. Tradition has it that Butler had gone looking for a lost burro. Unable to find the animal until morning, the frustrated Butler picked up a rock to throw at it, and noticed that it was unusually heavy. He had stumbled upon the second largest silver strike in Nevada history. Today, since gold production is down considerably, the community depends on the nearby Tonopah Test Range as a chief source of employment. Although the town was known as Butler City for a time, Tonopah was the name that Jim Butler himself had chosen for it. Tasker Oddie, the 12th governor of Nevada, was a Tonopah resident. Tonopah is north of Goldfield, east of Coaldale Junction, and west of Warm Springs.


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