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People & Peoples

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.

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 | Thomas Moonlight was elected State Senator for Leavenworth County in 1872 and then appointed Governor of Wyoming Territory by President Cleveland on January 5, 1887. Governor Moonlight took the oath of office January 24, 1887 serving until April 9, 1889
Encyclopedia | Stanley Hathaway was elected to two terms as Governor in 1966 and 1970. Appointed Secretary of the Interior by President Ford in June 1975, Hathaway resigned the next month due to ill health.
Encyclopedia | Wiliam Ross worked his way from prosecuting attorney of Laramie County to the nomination for Governor on the Democratic Party's ticket. He died in his office and his wife was elected to take his place.
Encyclopedia | 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.
Encyclopedia | Frank Lucas took over as acting Governor upon Governor Ross' death and filled that post until the election of 1925.
Encyclopedia | Jim Geringer was first elected to the Wyoming Legislature in 1982, and served six years in each house before taking office as Governor of Wyoming in 1995.
Encyclopedia | Clifford Rogers served as Acting Governor from 1953-1955 and twice held the office of State Treasurer (1946-1950, 1958-1962).
Encyclopedia | Elected to fill out the unexpired term of Gov. DeForest Richards in 1904, Bryant B. Brooks was re-elected to another term in 1907. He was also the first governor to live in the newly complete governor's mansion.

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