On July 24, 1861, Territorial Governor Nye appointed Henry DeGroot to take a count of the Nevada population, a count that did not include names of residents. The 1862 census was authorized by the first Territorial Legislature in November, 1861. Chapter LX of the 1861 Laws of Nevada directed county assessors to make lists of all white inhabitants, their residences, ages, and sex by July 1, 1862 and send the returns to the governor. From these reports the governor would apportion the number of members of the state assembly for each county.
Changing county boundaries meant new censuses. A census was conducted in 1863 of Lander, Lyon, and Churchill Counties; H.L. Joachimsen was appointed on June 13, 1863 to conduct the Lander census because the 1862 Legislature created a new county (Lander) from portions of Humboldt and Churchill counties. The 1864 Legislature had created a new county (Nye) from the eastern part of Esmeralda County, [re-]organized Churchill County, and changed boundary lines of Lander County, thus the need for a new enumeration. John A. Benham was appointed on April 4, 1864 to take a census of Nye and Churchill Counties. For more information on these early censuses, see the online version of Political History of Nevada, 2006 edition, pages 93-116 at: http://nsla.nv.gov/Archives/Political_History_of_Nevada_2006/