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Women of Wyoming

Women of Wyoming

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Encyclopedia | During the 1928 Smith-Hoover 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.
Encyclopedia | 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.
Encyclopedia | 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.
Encyclopedia | 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.
Encyclopedia | Boeing Air Transport, a precursor of United Air Lines, trained the world’s first stewardesses in Cheyenne beginning in 1930. This and other aviation-related industries boosted Cheyenne’s economy through the end of World War II and beyond; the stewardess school finally closed in 1961.
Encyclopedia | 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.
Encyclopedia | 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.
Encyclopedia | 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.

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