The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History

World War I at home; a suffragist's speaking tour; more landmarks on the trails

World War I at home; a suffragist's speaking tour; more landmarks on the trails

March 2017

This month we offer a pair of articles that take a look at Wyoming in the 19-teens — the first about Wyoming in wartime and the second about a charismatic women's-rights orator who passed through on a speaking tour. In our ongoing series on the historic trails, we offer two more selections of early diarists' reactions to notable landmarks.
Finally, as March is Women’s History Month, see below for links to other stories from our archives that celebrate remarkable women from Wyoming’s past.

Life on the Home Front

Patriotic feelings soared in Wyoming during the years of the Great War, bringing generosity toward the people of war-torn Europe and the soldiers who fought. Pacifists, however, and people of German heritage often suffered the scorn of fervent fellow citizens.  Read more in historian Rebecca Hein’s article, Life on the Home Front: Wyoming During World War I.  

Oregon Buttes

Just beyond the summit of South Pass stand the Oregon Buttes—two flat-topped hills and a smaller, conical one. To Oregon Trail travelers coming from the east, the buttes, more often called Table Rocks, dominated the horizon of that vast, treeless landscape for a day’s travel or more. Read more at Oregon Buttes, Landmark on the Oregon Trail

Ice Slough

Iced drinks on the Oregon Trail? Early emigrants refreshed at the fabled Ice Springs near the Sweetwater River—now known as Ice Slough. But after a decade of trailside chopping and trampling, the spot became less attractive. Later travelers felt deceived by the stories they had heard. Read more at Ice Slough, Novelty on the Oregon Trail

‘Noted Beauty Coming’

Turning heads and changing minds, Inez Milholland helped galvanize women nationwide in their long campaign for the vote. Years of persistent demonstrations—sometimes violently opposed—climaxed in 1916, just weeks before her early death, in a final speaking tour across Wyoming and the West. Read more at Lesley Wischmann’s article,
‘Noted Beauty Coming:’ Suffragist Campaigns Across Wyoming.

And see these articles for more on some remarkable Wyoming women:

Esther Hobart Morris, William Bright and woman’s suffrage in Territorial Wyoming
Amalia Post, early woman juror, defender of women’s rights
Estelle Reel, first woman elected to statewide office in Wyoming
Mary Godat Bellamy, Wyoming’s first woman legislator
Nellie Tayloe Ross, first female governor in the nation
Louise Graf, first woman jury foreman in Wyoming
Thrya Thomson, Wyoming secretary of state 1963-1987
Verda James, first full-term woman speaker of Wyoming’s House of Representatives
Liz Byrd, first black woman in Wyoming’s Legislature
Kathy Karpan, secretary of state 1987-1994 

History Day needs judges!

The 37th annual Wyoming History Day contest will be held in Laramie on Monday, April 10, 2017 at the University of Wyoming American Heritage Center, UW Gateway Center, the Hilton Garden Inn and the UW Conference Center. New and returning volunteers are invited to judge the student entries.

Click here to register as a judge. Please register by March 19.

Wyoming History Day, an affiliate of National History Day, is a process of discovery and interpretation designed to engage individual students or small groups of students in projects in grades six through 12. Students enter their projects in one of seven regional contests around Wyoming. They enter in one of the following categories: historical papers, exhibits, documentaries, websites or performances. The top three entries in each category qualify for the state contest. All projects are related to an annual theme. State contest winners will enter the national competition June 11-15 at the University of Maryland at College Park, Md. This year's theme is "Taking a Stand in History".

Judges are responsible for assessing student entries based on the quality of the historical research, the relationship to the theme, organization and clarity of the presentation and compliance with the rules of the competition. Judges work in teams of three to reach a consensus rating and ranking of entries in each group.

Judges are asked to attend one of two orientation sessions which will take place Sunday evening, April 9, and Monday morning, April 10, before the contest begins. Please plan to attend one of these meetings regardless of your previous experience. A continental breakfast and buffet lunch will be provided for all judges the day of the contest at the Hilton Garden Inn.

Click here for a schedule of the regional contests and much more information. Questions? Contact Wyoming History Day Coordinator Jessica Flock at 307-766-2300, jflock@uwyo.edu

Still more to come on Wyoming’s historic trails

Watch for more articles this spring about Wyoming’s historic trails, part of our ongoing collaboration with the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office and TravelStorysGPS™ of Wilson, Wyo., to add content on the trails to WyoHistory.org that will translate into three-minute, GPS-triggered audio segments available via the free app at TravelStorysGPS™. Special thanks to Douglas, Wyo.-based scholar and retired schoolteacher Randy Brown of the Oregon-California Trails Association, who has supplied us with the many pioneer journal entries on which these articles are based.