Known as the Equality State, Wyoming was the first to grant suffrage to women. Most notably, the first woman governor of the United States was elected to office in Wyoming. The AHC houses the papers of this governor, Nellie Tayloe Ross (see below). AHC collections also feature some prominent women from the state's history, including the University of Wyoming's first librarian, Grace Raymond Hebard, and the first African American Wyoming legislator, Harriet Byrd. AHC holdings also include collections from several notable women journalists.
See also our gide to Womens History collections.
Nellie Tayloe Ross (1876-1977) was the first woman governor in the United States. Born in St. Joseph, Missouri, she married William Bradford Ross in 1902 and they lived in Cheyenne, Wyoming. William B. Ross, a Democrat, was elected Governor of Wyoming in 1922. Three weeks before election day in 1924, William B. Ross died and Nellie Tayloe Ross was elected in his stead. Nellie Ross lost in her bid for reelection in 1926. She was appointed Director of the U.S. Mint in 1933 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and served in that capacity until her retirement in 1953.
Dr. Grace Raymond Hebard was a University of Wyoming professor, historian, and librarian. The collection contains materials relating to Grace Raymond Hebard’s career as University of Wyoming professor, librarian, and western historian with subject files containing correspondence, manuscripts, transcripts and printed materials concerning places and events Hebard researched and participated in such as the women’s suffrage movement, Wyoming history, and the University of Wyoming.
Caroline Lockhart was a newspaper publisher, writer of Western novels and stories, journalist, rancher, and rodeo sponsor. She moved to Cody, Wyoming, in 1904 and remained in the area the rest of her life. The collection includes correspondence (1908-1960); diaries (1898, 1918-1942); ledgers (1941-1942); photographs, including four albums; manuscripts of articles and books; legal documents, including her 1953 will and a 1959 trust agreement; materials on the Cody Stampede; artifacts; and miscellaneous materials.
Laura Murra founded the Women's History Research Center in 1969 in Berkeley, California. The organization collected materials to document current and historical issues relating to women. Collection contains extensive documentation (mostly printed) on the economic and social status of women from 1845-1992. The collection includes subject files with newspaper and magazine clippings, reports, studies and theses on women's history, women activists and pioneers, and feminist movements; printed material including newsclippings, newsletters, newspapers and pamphlets published by women.
Byrd is a former Wyoming State Representative, Wyoming State Senator, and elementary school teacher from Cheyenne, Wyoming. In 1980, Byrd was elected to the Wyoming State House of Representatives and became the first African American legislator in Wyoming since statehood as well as the first African American woman to ever serve in the Wyoming State Legislature. She was also the first African American to serve in the Wyoming State Senate. During her legislative career, Byrd was the prime sponsor of legislation to create Martin Luther King, Jr./Wyoming Equality Day.
Grace Robinson was a nationally known woman journalist. She became a staff writer at the New York Daily News in 1922 and became a well-known crime writer, covering the infamous Hall-Mills Murder Trial in 1926 and the Snyder-Gray Murder Trial a year later. Starting in 1933, Robinson covered both President Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and was a member of Mrs. Roosevelt’s “hen press.” She later covered many of the notorious criminal cases of the 1930s, including the Charles Lindbergh Jr. Murder Case, including the trial, appeal, and subsequent execution of accused murderer Bruno Hauptmann.
Dickinson was a journalist who worked for United Press International and Ladies Home Journal. The collection contains correspondence, photographs, notes, research and subject files, and drafts. Many of her writings concerned women including women in war, women in the workplace, fashion, health, motherhood, feminism, jewelry, and immigrant women. Other topics include her articles about prominent politicians and noted personalities.
Betsy Talbot Blackwell was an editor for several women's fashion magazines. She was an assistant fashion editor at Charm magazine from 1923-1928 before becoming fashion editor at Mademoiselle magazine from its inception in 1935 and then editor-in-chief from 1937-1971. The collection contains materials relating to Blackwell's career as editor for Mademoiselle magazine including extensive subject files and correspondence regarding editorial policy, advertising, public relations, circulation, format, fashion news, her "Editor's Memo" column, speeches, and scrapbook material.
Lillian G. Genn was a journalist, playwright, and magazine editor. When she was hired as non-fiction editor of "Argosy Magazine" in the 1940s, she became the first female editor of a magazine aimed at men. The collection contains a scrapbook documenting her career from 1930 to 1974. Included are clippings by and about Genn, an advertisement for one of her plays, and correspondence. The collection also contains some loose correspondence and clippings. Many of the newspaper and magazine stories written by Genn cover such topics as child-rearing, sexual mores, and women's role in society.
The Cathrine Curtis Corporation (CCC) was founded in June 1919 by Cathrine Curtis, a pioneer woman film producer, as a motion picture production company. Collection contains materials relating to CCC and its production of "The Lost World" from 1920-1927. Included are legal agreements, synopses for "The Lost World"; an adaptation of "The Lost World" by Charles A. Logue from Doyle's book; a plan for production, including possible actors; legal materials relating to the lawsuits between CCC, John D. Williams, Watterson D.