On July 8, 1889, Wyoming Territory held an election of delegates to Wyoming's one and only Constitutional Convention. Forty-nine men gathered in Cheyenne during September 1889 and wrote the constitution. The House passed a statehood bill March 27, 1890. President Benjamin Harrison signed Wyoming's statehood bill, making Wyoming the 44th state.
Gold in California and the lure of rich land in Oregon brought increasing numbers of pioneer wagon trains rolling over the Oregon Trail through Wyoming. Pony soldiers came to protect the wagon trains from hostile Indians, and the soldiers established forts along the trails.
Great herds of buffalo once grazed on the rolling hills of Wyoming, giving rise to one of the state's best known citizens, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody. Today in the town he founded, Cody, near Yellowstone National Park, is an enormous museum dedicated to Buffalo Bill and the West he loved and helped settle.
Wyoming is known as the “Equality State” because women in Wyoming were the first in the nation allowed to vote, serve on juries and hold public office.
Women were allowed to vote in order for Wyoming to have enough voters to get statehood. However, when the U.S. Congress threatened to withhold statehood from Wyoming if women were allowed to vote, Cheyenne officials declared that Wyoming would remain out of the Union 100 years rather than join without this right for women.
In 1869, Wyoming's territorial legislature became the first government in the world to grant “female suffrage” by enacting a bill granting Wyoming women the right to vote. The act was signed into law on December 10, of that year by Governor A. J. Campbell.
Less than three months later, on February 17, 1870, the “Mother of Women's Suffrage in Wyoming” - Esther Hobart Morris of South Pass City, became the first woman ever to be appointed a justice of the peace. Laramie was also the site for the first equal suffrage vote cast in the nation by a woman, Louisa Swain on September 6, 1870.
In 1894, Estelle R. Meyer became the first woman in the United States elected to a public office - Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction.
In 1924, Nellie Tayloe Ross was the first woman in the United States elected for the office of state governor. She took office on January 5, 1925, 20 days before “Ma” Ferguson of Texas (elected on the same day) took office. Ross went on to become the first woman to be appointed Director of the United States Mint, a position she held for 20 years.