I was recently on another blog web site where one of the topics was the decline of woman’s equality. It had me pondering about the history of Wyoming. I feel like Wyoming has always been in the forefront of woman’s equality. One of Wyoming’s nicknames is the “Equality State”. In 1869, John A. Campbell, first territorial governor of Wyoming, gave woman the right to vote. Not without a little persuasion. As the story goes, women kept vigil outside Governor John A. Campbell’s office until he signed the bill into law. That wasn’t the only woman’s first for Wyoming. Bet you might not have known:
- The first woman Justice of the Peace was Esther Hobart Morris, South Pass City, February 17, 1870
- The first all woman jury, Laramie, March 7, 1870
- The first woman bailiff (in the world) was Mary Atkinson, Albany County, 1870
- The first town in America to be governed entirely by woman was the city of Jackson. The mayor, town council, and town marshal were all woman. One of the councilwoman defeated her husband for the council seat, 1920 to 1921.
- The first woman governor in the United States was Nellie Taylor Ross. She was elected to complete the term of her husband who died in office. She served from 1925 to 1927. In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed her to head the U.S. Mint. Another first for a woman and a position she held until 1953.
I know this was a long time ago, but my experiences lead me to think the mindset of the citizens of Wyoming are still the same today. We embrace our heritage and history and look to build upon it. Hopefully, we will be in the forefront of future firsts to come. Girls rule!