Douglas County is a political subdivision of the State of Nevada, operating under provisions of Title 20 of Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS). On November 25, 1861, Douglas County became one of the first nine counties established by the first Nevada Territorial Legislature, with the County seat located in the Town of Genoa. The County was retained when the territory became a state on October 31, 1864. Douglas County is named for Stephen A. Douglas, a former United States Senator from Illinois, who opposed Lincoln in the 1860 election for President.
Douglas County is the site of some of Nevada's earliest development. Many small communities are scattered along the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, remnants of some of the first towns in the state. A good number of these communities were established in the 1850s as trading posts and centers of ranching and farming. Genoa, originally known as Mormon Station, is the oldest of these and was settled in 1851. In 1910, the Douglas County Courthouse in Genoa was badly damaged by fire. This disaster, along with a population decline within the town of Genoa and subsequent growth in the town of Minden, prompted the Nevada Legislature to change the location of the county seat during the 1915 session. Today, the county seat is located in the town of Minden.
Douglas County owns and operates the Minden-Tahoe Airport, which is governed by the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners.