Portrait from the Handbook of the Nevada Legislature, 1953.
Hailing from a state that has been severely underrepresented here on the site, Nevada state representative Baptista Maynard Tognoni packed an incredible amount of activity into a life that ended at just 40 years of age. A veteran of WWII and an assayer and freight agent with several Nevada based businesses, Tognoni would serve two terms in the Nevada legislature from Eureka County, dying in office in February 1955.
Born of Italian descent on March 6, 1914, in Eureka, Nevada, Baptista M. Tognoni was the son of Giovanni Antonio and Bernardina Caviglia Tognoni. Little is known of his early life in Eureka, excepting notice of his graduating from the Eureka County High School in 1931.
Tognoni entered the Army in 1942 and would serve with distinction during the Second World War. He would attend the Radar School at Camp Davis, North Carolina and after receiving his certificate of proficiency served over two years in the South Pacific, being stationed in Australia, New Guinea, and the Philippines.
By the time of his discharge in December 1945, Baptista M. Tognoni had attained the rank of Staff Sargent. Following his return stateside he worked as a freight agent for the White Pine Fuel Co. and as an assayer for the Standard Oil Company from 1948-49. He would later be employed with the Nevada State Highway survey crew from 1951-1953. In November 1952 he was elected as one of Eureka County's representatives to the Nevada legislature and took his seat at the start of the 1953-55 session.
During his brief service in state government, Tognoni held seats on the house committees on Fish and Game, Mines and Mining, Veterans Affairs and Roads and Transportation. He would win re-election to the legislature in November 1954 and served until his death in Carson City on February 3, 1955, a few weeks short of his 41st birthday. Details on Tognoni's sudden death remain sketchy at best, with a legislative memorial resolution noting that he had "for many months" been in a state of impaired health and was apparently "stricken with a fatal ailment until a comparatively short time before the end came." This ailment was later revealed to have been a sudden heart attack.