A series of stories prepared for the Albany County Museum Coalition, an alliance of institutions that promote Laramie’s historic and cultural resources. This series originally appeared in the Laramie Boomerang.
Stephen and Eva Downey served their community in many roles over a span of 70 years.
When Esther McQuigg was born in upstate New York in the early 19th century, there was no indication that it would be her fate to become known in the Equality State as the “Mother of Women’s Suffrage.” One thing is for certain: in 1869 she was the first woman to serve in a government office in Wyoming Territory. She died in 1902 and after that, people began to attribute more to her than she ever claimed when she was living.
Dr. Grace Raymond Hebard (1861 – 1936) stood head and shoulders above other pioneering women involved with the fledgling University of Wyoming (UW), which opened its doors in 1887.
When one thinks of women at the start of the University of Wyoming many think of Grace Raymond Hebard or June Etta Downey. But neither were the first.
"I guess you'll just have to shoot me" was Verna Johannesen’s reply to a desperate man who said he’d shoot her if she didn’t give him money.
Although his name may not be familiar to many now, there was a time when Laramie could take pride in having reared a celebrity actor.
When the Browns were not the Browns - case of mistaken identity at the museum.
Jane and David Love had a knack for uncovering the human and natural resources of Wyoming that few other married couples have demonstrated.
The story of Lettie Welch’s time in Laramie isn’t quite the rags to riches story of her contemporary, Molly Brown (1867-1932) of Denver. However, her story rivals that of Molly’s in perseverance through adversity.
Trigger-happy range detective Tom Horn was hung as a murderer in Cheyenne in 1903, after a sensational trial.
On March 7, 1870, for the first time in the world, women served on a formal jury. It happened in Laramie because passage of the Suffrage Act by the Wyoming Territorial Assembly in December of 1869 gave women the right to vote and hold office.
One of the giants of mid-20th century Wyoming was UW Professor Samuel Howell Knight (1892-1975). He had a passion for other “giants”—the dinosaurs that roamed here about 65 million years ago.
On Nov. 11. Mary G. Bellamy was declared one of the five Albany County Democrats who swept into office, all winning seats in the Wyoming House of Representatives. She made history as the first woman to be elected to that office in Wyoming.
If you were a causal reader of the Laramie newspapers in the 1800s you would not know that Jane Ivinson, at one time or another, owned most of what is now downtown Laramie. That is true because women’s activities, other than social issues, were not well coved by the press.