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People & Peoples

Fenimore Chatteron

Fenimore Chatterton was born in Oswego County, New York on July 21, 1860. Chatterton was raised in Washington, D.C. where he attended public schools. After attending Columbian University (now George Washington University) Chatterton graduated from Millersville State Normal School in Lancaster, PA. He moved to Wyoming in 1878 and became a clerk in a general mercantile and banking concern.

Robert Carey

Robert D. Carey was the first Wyoming Governor to be elected by vox populi (the voting public). He served from January 6, 1919 to January 1, 1923 and his term of office was marked by his establishment of sound financial footing for the state and an increase in state revenue.

Verda James, First Full-term Woman Speaker of Wyoming's House of Representatives

Verda James, a schoolteacher, deputy director of public instruction for the state of Wyoming, assistant superintendent of the Natrona County schools, and later a faculty member at Casper College, was first elected to the Wyoming House in 1954. She served eight terms. During the last term, 1969-1970, she was elected House speaker, the first woman to serve in that position for a full term.

The Reverend John Roberts, Missionary to the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes

The Welsh-born Episcopal priest John Roberts arrived in 1883 at Fort Washakie on what’s now the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming, became a friend of the Shoshone chief Washakie, and served the Shoshone and Arapaho people with a loving paternalism well into his old age. John Roberts died in 1949.

Robert Roripaugh, Wyoming Poet Laureate 1995-2002

The clear, quiet poetry and fiction of Robert Roripaugh, poet laureate of Wyoming from 1995 through 2002, has long been informed by his youth on his family’s ranch near Lander. In the early 1950s, Roripaugh won bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of the Wyoming before spending two years with the U.S. Army in Japan, where he met and married his wife, Yoshiko. In 1958, the Atlantic Monthly published a short story, and Roripaugh has been publishing and winning prizes on a national level ever since. Also that year he began teaching in the English department at the University of Wyoming, rising to the rank of full professor before retiring in 1993.

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Encyclopedia | Owen Wister’s enormously popular novel, The Virginian, published in 1902, was set in Wyoming and established the cowboy in American literature as the noble, competent, humorous, laconic hero still familiar today. Wister, a Philadelphian, first came to Wyoming in 1885, looking for stories and better health. He visited the state 14 more times between then and 1900, writing and publishing western stories and books of stories before The Virginian made him famous and rich, and set a pattern for thousands of western novels and films to come.
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 | Three-time All-American Kenny Sailors, of tiny Hillsdale, Wyo. led the University of Wyoming’s 1943 men’s basketball team to an NCAA championship in Madison Square Garden. Sailors was only 5 feet 10, but he was a great jumper and shooter, and highly skilled with a weapon of his own invention—the jump shot.
Encyclopedia | The yarn that Thomas Edison dreamed up the idea of a bamboo filament for the incandescent electric light bulb while staring into a Wyoming campfire is almost certainly not true. He did come to Rawlins, Wyoming Territory in 1878, however, as part of an astronomical expedition, and he did go fishing afterwards. The rest of the facts still make for a pretty interesting story.
Encyclopedia | Bill Carlisle robbed passengers on the Union Pacific Railroad three times in 1916 and once more in 1919, after escaping from the state penitentiary in a box of shirts. In 1936 he was paroled and opened a café and tourist court in Laramie, and later wrote a book about his remarkable life.
Encyclopedia | Gerry Spence, born, reared and educated in Wyoming, is recognized nationwide for his powerful courtroom victories.
Encyclopedia | W. Edwards Deming grew up in difficult financial circumstances in Powell, Wyo., early in the 20th century. Still, he worked his way through the University of Wyoming and Yale and became absorbed by statistics as a way to solve problems. After World War II, he shared his ideas on efficiency with Japanese manufacturers eager to rebuild their shattered economy. The Japanese used that knowledge to flip the global economy on its head and beat U.S. industry at its own game.
Encyclopedia | President Grant appointed John Thayer Governor of the Wyoming Territory in February 1875 and he took the oath of office March 1, 1875.

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