Native Americans, the Paiute tribe, first lived there. It was called Las Vegas by the Spanish. The name means The Meadows in the Spanish language. It had a lot of these in 1854. The city is known for its dry weather, as is the rest of southern Nevada. It is surrounded by deserts.
In 1905, 110 acres owned by William A. Clark, on which he built a railroad to Southern California were auctioned and Las Vegas was founded as a railroad town. Las Vegas officially became a city in 1911.