Throughout his journalism career, Thermopolis newspaperman E. T. Payton’s episodes of mental illness landed him in the state’s mental hospital, where he and other patients suffered sometimes brutal treatment. He died there in 1933, but his whistleblowing helped change laws and improve conditions and care.
Politics & Government
Browse Articles about Politics & Government
|Cheney, Dick, biography of||Geoffrey O’Gara|
|Cheyenne, Wyo., history of||Lori Van Pelt|
|Civilian Conservation Corps, Wyoming||Kerry Drake|
|Clark, Alonzo||Wyoming State Archives|
|Clark, Clarence Don||Barbara Allen Bogart|
|Crane, Arthur||Wyoming State Archives|
|Dawes General Allotment Act, 1887||WyoHistory.org|
|Downey, Stephen Wheeler||Tyler Eastman|
|Eastern Shoshone Tribe, 1905 Land Cession Agreement||WyoHistory.org|
|Eastern Shoshone, two Fort Bridger treaties with||WyoHistory.org|
Politics & Government
Two highly educated families of African-American farmers founded Empire, Wyo., near the Nebraska line northeast of Torrington in 1908. At one time it boasted school, church and post office. But drought, low crop prices and, evidence shows, the racial prejudices of their neighbors drove the people away; all were gone by 1930.
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.
A sudden, hot wind one August afternoon in 1937 blew a small fire into an inferno that rushed for ridgetops above Blackwater Creek, in the Shoshone National Forest west of Cody, Wyo. Fifteen firefighters died; 38 more were burned in the fourth deadliest wildfire in the nation’s history.
Begun as a jobs program in the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps—“Roosevelt’s Tree Army”— employed more than 1,000 men in Wyoming building roads, improving parks, fighting fires and boosting local economies. The CCC legacy includes the classic, rustic stone-and-log buildings at Guernsey State Park.
Democrat Kathy Karpan traces her love of politics to her youth in working-class Rock Springs, Wyo. She served as Wyoming secretary of state from 1987 through 1994, when she ran unsuccessfully for governor. During the Clinton administration, she directed the Office of Mining and Reclamation Enforcement, and now practices law in Cheyenne.