Las Vegas Sun

December 22, 2014

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Jeanne Smith Stewart: 1922-2007

Jeanne Smith Stewart, the last surviving child of Las Vegas education pioneer J.D. Smith and a driving force behind getting the family's downtown home put on the National Register of Historic Places, died June 20 in Los Angeles. She was 84.

Stewart also was the ex-wife of Gaming Hall of Fame member J. Kell Houssels Jr.

Services were scheduled for this afternoon in Southern California.

In the 1980s, Stewart and her sister Cassandra Smith filed with the Interior Department to have the family's Spanish colonial revival home at 624 S. Sixth St. added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The home's significance historically and architecturally is that it was built during Las Vegas' first building boom , coinciding with construction of Hoover Dam , and it has had no major alterations to its asymmetrical facades or red-tiled roof, the city of Las Vegas says on its Web site.

"Modest compared to houses in major cities, the Smith House is elaborate for the Las Vegas of the early 1930s," Stewart and her sister wrote in the application to the historic register.

It is the only Spanish colonial revival structure built in Las Vegas in the 1930s to have survived intact, the application says, noting 29 such single-family residences and 10 apartment buildings of that style and period were constructed locally.

The 40-by-52-foot, single-story home was designed by Warner & Nordstrom architects and built by Hampton Bros. Construction . It was added to the National Register on Feb. 20, 1987.

Born Jeanne Smith on Nov. 20, 1922, in Minneapolis, Stewart grew up in the Smith House , which was built on three parcels purchased by her father.

Las Vegas dentist Jay Dayton "J.D." Smith settled in Las Vegas in 1926 and served as a Clark County School District board member from 1935 to 1953.

Clark County's first junior high school was named for him.

J.D. Smith lived in the Sixth Street home until 1947 and his wife lived there until her death in 1970.

Jeanne Smith Stewart is survived by a son, Kell Houssels III , and daughter-in-law, Jennifer.

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