WyoHistory.org

The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History

Lori Van Pelt

Lori Van Pelt

Lori Van Pelt is the assistant editor of WyoHistory.org. She is an award-winning poet, fiction and nonfiction writer who has written books and numerous articles on Wyoming and the West. Her nonfiction books include Dreamers and Schemers: Profiles from Carbon County, Wyoming’s Past (Glendo, Wyo., High Plains Press, 1999); Capital Characters of Old Cheyenne (Glendo, Wyo.: High Plains Press, 2006) and Amelia Earhart: The Sky’s No Limit (New York: Forge Books, American Heroes series, 2006).

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Encyclopedia | When famed aviatrix Amelia Earhart piloted an autogiro coast to coast in 1931, she drew big crowds at stops in Cheyenne, Laramie, Parco, Rock Springs and Le Roy. Earhart and her husband, publisher George Putnam, were having a vacation cabin built near Meeteetse, Wyo., when she disappeared in 1937.
Encyclopedia | In December 1892, newly elected Gov. John E. Osborne, a Democrat, took office a month early in a storm of controversy. State politics were still reeling from the Johnson County War and the 1893 Legislature, in an uproar, failed to elect a U.S. senator.
Encyclopedia | From the high-wheel bicycles of the 1880s through the one-gear racers of the 1890s and tandems of the nineteen-aughts, bicycling grew increasingly popular in Wyoming, with active clubs, long-distance races, bicycle socials and even a Cowboy Bicycle Race at Cheyenne Frontier Days.
Encyclopedia | Sisters Gertrude and Laura Huntington, the first women newspaper owners in Wyoming, bought the Platte Valley Lyre in Saratoga, Wyo., in 1890 and ran it for 12 years, competing all the while with the Saratoga Sun to inform and entertain their readers. Both women later led long professional careers in Carbon County.
Encyclopedia | Cheyenne schoolteacher Harriett Elizabeth “Liz” Byrd, Wyoming’s first black woman legislator, served in the Wyoming House and Senate from 1981-92. She concentrated on social justice issues, and nine times sponsored a bill to make Martin Luther King day a state holiday before it was finally adopted in 1990.
Encyclopedia | Wyoming’s first poet laureate, award-winning poet and fiction writer Peggy Simson Curry, grew up on a ranch in North Park, Colo., a world that informed much of her work. As an adult she taught writing at Casper College for 25 years, nurturing the work and hopes of generations of writers that followed her. 
Encyclopedia | The brilliant lawyer Willis Van Devanter of Cheyenne made a name for himself in the 1890s as a loyal Republican and protector of the interests of the powerful. He was rewarded with a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court in 1910, where he served as a staunch conservative for 27 years.
Encyclopedia | Scout, guide, ferryman, freighter and stockman Jim Baker trapped with Jim Bridger and Kit Carson in the 1830s, guided troops in the 1850s and briefly ran a ferry over the Green River. In 1873, built a cabin near the Little Snake River in southern Wyoming, where he died in 1898. 

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