A few people in Wyoming know the secret behind their state flag. They will give a knowing smile, as they nod, yes—that bison wasn’t always hitched to the staff, he used to survey over the mountains and prairie. But the flag holds more secrets in its weave . . .
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.
From Union Army soldier to teamster to Guernsey, Wyo., town father, John “Posey” Ryan earned a reputation as an honorable man. But his life’s path took a wrong turn when, believing they had stolen his livelihood, he publicly shot his wife and her daughter to death.
The onset of Prohibition in 1919 not only didn’t stop drinking in Wyoming, it added new layers of lawlessness—bribery, corruption, murder. Enforcement officials had to battle crime in their own ranks, too. One high-profile federal case charged corruption at all levels in Casper, but the jury refused to convict.