Southern Nevada’s first permanent settlement was established as a Mormon colony by Francis C. Lee and others in 1864. Poor in resources, but rich in people, Panaca has changed little through the years. Although mining at nearby Bullionville and Pioche has had its effect, Panaca remains an agricultural community.
The post office was established in 1867, moved to Bullionville in 1874, and returned in 1879. During the 1870s, coke ovens produced charcoal here for the smelters at Bullionville.
Originally located in Washington County, Utah, Panaca became part of Nevada by an act of Congress, dated May 5, 1866. As the boundary was not then surveyed, a dispute arose over taxes levied by Lincoln County, Nevada. The matter settled in favor of the Panaca citizenry on December 4, 1871, after a long period of bitter litigation.