The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History

Two crusaders: a newspaperman and a temperance woman

Two crusaders: a newspaperman and a temperance woman

March 2020

This month, we feature a reformist frontier editor respected even by his enemies, and a temperance advocate taking  public stances in a Prohibition-era political campaign. Also, on our Education page, check two new lesson plans aimed at middle- and highschoolers.

Always entertaining, often scathing

Skilled editor and moral crusader James H. Hayford ran the Laramie Daily Sentinel from 1869 until the paper, by then a weekly, folded in 1895. Eliciting reluctant admiration even from his most bitter rivals, Hayford and his paper were colorful, blistering, tireless and articulate. Read more in Judy Knight's article "James Hayford of the Laramie Sentinel."

“Even if we have to import some Carrie Nations.”

During the 1928 Hoover-Smith presidential race, WCTU activist Minnie Fenwick was quite clear where she stood on Prohibition. Former Wyoming Gov. Nellie Tayloe Ross, however, a ‘dry’ working hard for the ‘wet’ candidate, navigated a more complicated route. Read more in Rebecca Hein’s article “Minnie Fenwick, Nellie Tayloe Ross and the Presidential Campaign of 1928."

New lesson plans

We’ve recently added two new digital toolkits of Wyoming history for classroom use by teachers and students. These lesson plans clearly link Wyoming topics to specific eras in U.S. history, and are aimed at middle school and high school students:

Women of Campbell County

Wyoming, Home of the Women’s Vote: Celebrating 55 Amazing Campbell County Women, published by the Campbell County Historical Society, 2019, 111 pages. $15.00 paperback; price includes a deck of playing cards. Natives, transplants, old settlers, more recent residents—this book profiles women from all walks of life: doctors, lawyers, community and church volunteers, librarians, writers, sheep and cattle ranchers, state and local politicians, homemakers, coal miners and teachers. Together, these brief life stories, along with a photo of each woman, convey the flavor of country and town life in Campbell County from the mid-1800s through the present. Available at the Campbell County Rockpile Museum, 900 W. Second St., Gillette, WY 82716; 307-682-5723; rockpile@vcn.com.

Women’s History Month links 

To 'Hold a More Brilliant Torch:' Suffragist and Orator Theresa Jenkins: Suffragist and temperance orator Theresa Jenkins delivered a key address at Wyoming’s statehood celebration on July 23, 1890. Later, she spoke widely in Colorado and other states, promoting Wyoming’s example in women’s rights, and spoke at the 1920 W.C.T.U. World's Convention in London. 
Esther Hobart Morris, Justice of the Peace and Icon of Women's Rights: Esther Hobart Morris, appointed justice of the peace in South Pass City in 1870, was the first woman in the nation to hold public office. While she is notable for that and for her longtime advocacy for women’s rights, much of her fame comes from something she almost certainly didn’t do.
Wyoming Ratifies the 19th Amendment: In 1919, 50 years after Wyoming women won the right to vote, Congress finally passed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the same rights nationwide. Before the measure could become law, however, 36 of the 48 states would have to ratify it. Wyoming suffragists organized for a final push.
Wyoming's First Woman Mayor: Susan Wissler, elected mayor of Dayton, Wyo., in 1912, was Wyoming’s first woman mayor and possibly the second in the nation. Promising to act “without fear or favor,” she served three terms, with some success cleaning up local saloon and gambling elements, all while running her own millinery and dry-goods business.
Wyoming Ratifies the Equal Rights Amendment: Would the Equal Rights Amendment jeopardize alimony and child support, or would it bring women better opportunities and a fairer society for all? As the 42nd Wyoming legislature prepared to vote, concerned citizens lobbied, wrote letters and argued on all sides of the question.
Feminist Orator Wows Territorial Cheyenne: When celebrity suffragist and women’s-rights activist Anna Dickinson lectured in Cheyenne in September 1869, a crowd of 250 turned out. The press downplayed her message and focused on her looks. But two months later, the Territorial Legislature, also in Cheyenne, voted to give women the vote.
Women on the Jury: Wyoming Makes History Again: In 1870, three months after the Wyoming Territorial Legislature gave women the rights to vote and hold office, six women were called to serve on a grand jury—the first time in history. Lawyers objected, but Justices Howe and Kingman, strong supporters of women’s rights, stood firm and the women served.

Visit our Wyoming History Day page

The theme for the 2019-2020 competition is “Breaking Barriers in History.” The Wyoming History Day contest will be held April 19-20, 2020 at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, and the National History Day competition is slated for June 14-18, 2020 in College Park, Md. 
Teachers, students and others interested in the Wyoming History Day contest can find more information—including contest dates and links and Wyoming History sample topics—by clicking on the “History Day” tab on the orange bar on any page on WyoHistory.org or by visiting  https://www.wyohistory.org/wyoming-history-day.  

Calendar Events

National Historic Trails Interpretive Center Foundation fundraiser
The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center in Casper will be holding its Second Annual History Bee on March 21, 2020. For more information see https://www.facebook.com/NHTCF/?ref=br_rs, or contact Carrie Reece, carrie@nhtcf.org, 307-262-7269 or 307-265-8030 for ticket prices for individuals or groups.
C.J. Box signing new book at the Carbon County Museum
On March 19, 2020, author C.J. Box will be signing copies of his latest book, Long Range, for sale at the Carbon County Museum in Rawlins. For more information see https://www.carboncountymuseum.org.
Third annual quilt exhibit at the Sweetwater County Historical Museum
From now through April 4, collaborating with the Sweetwater County Quilt Guild, the Sweetwater County Historical Museum is sponsoring the third annual quilt show. For more information see https://www.sweetwatermuseum.org.
Women's History Month event and Black and Yellow Theatre at the Campbell County Rockpile Museum
Living History performer and storyteller Joyce Jefferson portrays Wyoming rancher Lucretia Marchbanks on Tuesday March 10. And every Saturday, the Rockpile museum features Black and Yellow Theatre performances. Learn more at https://www.ccgov.net/317/Rockpile-Museum.
Events sponsored by Fremont County Museums in Lander, Riverton and Dubois
Fremont County Museums programs for March 2020 include "Lander in 1920" at the Lander Pioneer Museum, March 12; "History of Radio and Broadcasting in Fremont County" by Ernie Over at the Riverton Museum, March 12; also at the Riverton Museum, March 21, "Build Your Own Telegraph;" and March 19 at the Dubois Museum, Jackie Klancher on "Glaciers in the Wind Rivers." See the overview page for more on all these events at https://fremontcountymuseums.com/events/.
"Snow White" performance in Worland includes local students in cast
The Washakie Museum and Cultural Center will be co-sponsoring a Missoula Children's Theatre production of "Snow White" on March 14 at the Worland Middle School Auditorium. Local students will be auditioned on March 9. For more information see https://www.washakiemuseum.org/missoula-childrens-theatre1.html.
Women’s writing exhibit in Jackson Hole runs through April 4, 2020
Mountains to Manuscripts, a multi-media exhibit sponsored by the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum, features four female authors from early 20th century Wyoming. The author profiles are illustrated through books, text, photographs, objects and original artwork by Katy Ann Fox. The exhibit is open to the public until April 4, 2020.