Douglas County holds the first permanent settlement in Nevada. The town of Genoa was originally settled in 1851 by Mormon traders selling goods to settlers on their way to California.
November 25, 1861 Douglas County was one of the first nine counties formed in 1861 by the Nevada territorial legislature. Named for Stephen Arnold Douglas, a nationally known political figure and opponent of Abraham Lincoln. Seat: Minden. H.F. Dangberg, Sr. settled in Carson Valley in 1857. He was born in the village of Halle near the Prussian town of Minden, Westphalia, hence the town name.
Douglas County School District's office was built in 1908 and was the first school in the county called the "Little Green Schoolhouse". The school operated until it closed in 1980 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008, along with another Douglas County School, Gardnerville Elementary School. Gardnerville Elementary School is a historic Classical Revival-style school that was built in 1928.