Black and white image of Dan De Quille

Dan De Quille

1994 Nevada Writers Hall of Fame Inductee


Dan De Quille aka William Wright was lured to the Comstock in 1857 and became Nevada's most popular writer in the 19th Century. He was a prolific and versatile story-teller and journalist best known for The Big Bonanza (1876). He was also a correspondent for a variety of popular newspapers and magazines, and is still considered the founder of the style used by present-day columnists.

Biographers Richard Dwyer and Richard Lindenfelter say De Quille "captured for posterity much of the spirit of the western mines." As the editor of Virginia City's Territorial Enterprise off and on again for more than 30 years, one of his employees was young Samuel Clemens a.k.a. Mark Twain, whose two years on the Enterprise, under De Quille's tutelage, was the turning point in Mark Twain's life. Twain said of De Quille that "the first big compliment I ever received was that I was 'almost worthy to write in the same column with Dan De Quille.'"