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Politics & Government

Industry, Politics and Power: the Union Pacific in Wyoming

The construction of the Union Pacific in 1868 gave rise to the towns, geography of settlement and the economy of new Wyoming Territory in 1869. Obstacles to construction were both physical and financial, and the railroad overcame them with sometimes slapdash results—hastily laid track and rickety bridges, watered stock and Congressional corruption. But the Union Pacific contributed enormously to Wyoming’s growth and development, made its modern economy possible and continues today as an economic power in the state.

Right Choice, Wrong Reasons: Wyoming Women Win the Right to Vote

In the fall of 1869, lawmakers in Wyoming’s first territorial legislature passed a bill allowing women the right to vote. The governor signed the bill into law Dec. 10, 1869, making the territory the first government in the world to grant full voting rights to women. The lawmakers mixed partisan politics, racial fears and an eye for national publicity in with a desire among some, at least, to do the right thing.

Amalia Post, Defender of Women’s Rights

In 1870, Amalia Post of Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory, became one of the first women to serve on a jury in the United States. Soon, she began advocating for women’s rights on a national level. She was an independent businesswoman from the time her first husband abandoned her in Denver in the early 1860s, through her marriage to her second husband, Cheyenne banker and politician Morton Post and up to the time of her death in 1897.

The Ambition of Nellie Tayloe Ross

Nellie Tayloe Ross, a Democrat, was elected governor of Wyoming a month after her governor husband, William Ross, died of appendicitis in the fall of 1924. She ran because of respect for her husband’s Progressive ideas and also as a result of her own ambition. She lost her bid for re-election in 1926, but went on to figure prominently in the leadership of the national Democratic Party. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed her to direct the U.S. Mint after he took office in 1933, a job she held for 20 years. She died in Washington in 1977, at the age of 101.

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Encyclopedia | During Francis Warren's second term as Territorial Governor, Wyoming was granted statehood on July 10, 1890. Territorial Governor Warren was then elected Wyoming's first State Governor September 11, 1890.
Encyclopedia | Alonzo Clark was elected to the office Secretary of State in November of 1926 and served two terms. He took office as acting Governor to complete the first half of the late Governor Emerson's term.
Encyclopedia | Elliot S. N. Morgan was the only Acting Governor during the Territorial period, serving as Acting Governor upon the death of Governor Hale.
Encyclopedia | President Grant appointed John A. Campbell Governor of the Wyoming Territory April 3, 1869. The newly appointed Governor took the oath of office on April 15, 1869 and served until March 1, 1875.
Encyclopedia | Governor Ed Herschler was elected to three terms as Governor and then returned to private law practice in Cheyenne.
Encyclopedia | Milward Simpson also served on the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees from 1939 until 1954 when he was elected Governor.
Encyclopedia | After years of political activity and serving on many commissions, Clifford P. Hansen was elected Governor in 1963. Governor Hansen was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1967.
Encyclopedia | Leslie Miller was elected Governor in 1932 to serve the last two years of Governor Emerson's unexpired term. Reelected in 1935, Governor Miller served until 1939.

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