Wyoming Women Were Granted The Right To Vote 149 Years Ago Today
Today marks one of Wyoming's most historic anniversaries. 149 years ago, on December 10, 1869, legislators in the new Territory approved a bill granting women the right to vote and hold public office.
The landmark law was the first of its kind, enacted nearly 21 years before Wyoming became a state and 51 years before the United States Congress ratified the 19th Amendment. Voting rights were one of several firsts for women in what would later become the "Equality State".
In 1870, Esther Hobart Morris became the first female Justice of the Peace in South Pass City. Less than a month later, a court in Laramie seated the nation's first all-female jury. Also that year, another Laramie woman, Martha Symons Atkinson became the first female court bailiff.
In 1910, Wyoming elected its first woman to public office when Albany County voters chose Mary G. Bellamy to represent them in the state legislature.
In 1920, Jackson became the first town in America to have an all-female government, electing women to serve as Mayor, Marshall, and Town Council.
In 1925, Wyoming became the first state to elect a female governor, when Nellie Tayloe Ross was chosen to replace her late husband William Ross.
In 1917, the Daughters of the American Revolution dedicated a historic marker at the site where the first territorial legislature convened. The building is now occupied by a retail shop near the corner of 17th Street and Carey Avenue in Cheyenne.