Wyoming September 01, 2019
6 Inspiring Ways That Wyoming Women Made History
Wyoming is known as the Equality State thanks to its efforts to grant women rights, decades before the idea was more mainstream in America. Read a few of our groundbreaking historic moments below.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. One of the first and most significant moments in Wyoming history came when Esther Morris was appointed to be Justice of the Peace in South Pass City, in February of 1870.
Wyoming Territory had passed a law allowing women to vote the previous year, this was a show that they truly meant it.
2. In March 1870, Eliza Stewart Boyd was called to serve on the Grand Jury in Laramie. She, along with five other women, became the first women in the world to serve on a trial jury.
Wyoming became a state in 1890, and beyond a small trial in 1891, it took until 1950 for women to serve on a jury again. Statehood affected a lot of progress that had been made in the so-called Equality State.
3. During that trial, the jury needed more time to deliberate. Martha Symon Boies was appointed the first ever woman bailiff in order to protect the jurors.
Since the jurors did not make a decision on day one, they were sequestered to the Union Pacific Hotel. Martha was appointed and protected the room where the women were staying.
4. A few months later, Louisa Swain made history by becoming the first woman to ever vote in a United States General Election. She voted on the morning of September 6, 1870, in Laramie.
Louisa was heading into town to purchase yeast, and decided to vote at the polling place on her way. Though it was not yet open, officials decided to let her cast her ballot.
5. By 1920, the state could brag about its progress in local politics, too. Jackson elected the countrys first all-woman Town Council, including a female town marshal, making history.
To get a closer look at this moment in time, visit Cafe Genevieve near the Jackson Town Square. It was the home of one member of the council and is now a historic log cabin restaurant.
6. Wyoming continued its ways by electing Nellie Davis Tayloe Ross to the position of Governor in 1925. She was the first woman to be sworn in to the position in the country, and later became the first female director of the United States Mint.
Today, the Wyoming House for Historic Women in Laramie tells the stories of these famous women who left an impact on the country, and on the Equality State.
This museum was opened in 2012 and honors 13 remarkable women who made Wyoming history.
You can visit the museum in the summertime, or out of season by appointment.
Address: 317 S 2nd Street, Laramie, WY, 82070
You can find out more
about the History House here.
Did you know about Wyoming’s famous women? Let us know your favorite bit of Wyoming history in the comments below.
If you’re looking to plan a day trip based on Wyoming history, find inspiration in our list:
These 7 Amazing Wyoming Restaurants Are Loaded With Local History