Wyoming has led the way for women in this country for 150 years, starting with guaranteeing women the right to vote.

In Celebration of the century and a half of Wyoming equality, USA Today highlighted several women who define it. Do you know these folks?

  • Louisa Gardner Swain, She was the first woman to cast a ballot on September 6th, 1870.
  • Esther Morris, She was elected to office as the first female justice of the peace in South Pass City, Wyo.
  • Annie Oakley, She held such a prominent role in Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West.
  • Mary Bellamy was the first woman elected to the Wyoming Legislature in 1910.
  • Agnes Chamberlin was a prominent business owner and Cody media mogul. She was the editor for the newspaper, started the first radio station in Cody, and owned the Chamberlin Inn as well.
  • Nellie Tayloe Ross, She was the first-ever female governor, elected in 1925.
  • Estelle Ishigo helped her husband who was Japanese-American get his time in a World War II internment camp in Wyoming. Estelle drew what she saw at the camps and drawings are on display today at the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center.
  • Frances Pound was the first Rangerette at Yellowstone National Park.
  • Nancy-Carroll Draper established the Draper Natural History Museum in the Smithsonian.
  • Harriet Elizabeth Byrd was a teacher in Cheyenne before becoming the first African-American woman to get elected into the Wyoming Legislature. She was also elected to Senate.

The path that Wyoming started long ago has been traveled by many impressive, and important women from our state.

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