North Las Vegas and Centennial Hills street namesake Smiley Washburn was quite the character.
Washburn was known as a 1950s and 1960s "cowboy comedian," musician and transplant Nevadan who served as Las Vegas' prospector character for hire.
He was also described as "the one who strums on a washboard and wears a battered Australian campaign hat, a bushy gray beard and red garters on his sleeve," according to a Danville (Va.) Register archived article.
The piece, which also identifies him as B.C. Washburn, highlights the 1968 opening of an Old West saloon in Virginia City.
"The people come here looking for old-time stuff We're trying to put over the atmosphere of the place," Washburn is quoted as saying.
Washburn cashed in on the bonanza that was Las Vegas as a faux Wild West town, said Mark Hall-Patton, administrator of the Clark County museum system.
"He played the grizzled prospector type whenever you needed him," Hall-Patton said. "He moved here during a time when you used the Old West theme even though we were never an Old West town. We didn't become a community until 1905."
Last Frontier Village, a now-shuttered tourist destination, was often known as Smiley Washburn's Last Frontier Village because he served as the sheriff character.
Washburn's home, which still exists, was in the area that is now Washburn Road and Commerce Street in North Las Vegas. Washburn Road was named in his honor, Hall-Patton said.
Washburn appeared in promotional material for Las Vegas, and some of his artifacts are on display at the Clark County Heritage Museum.
It is unknown when Washburn died or if he had descendants.
Contact Centennial and North Las Vegas View reporter Maggie Lillis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 477-3839.