Wyoming Governors
Paul Smith Collection , Living WY govs & grandson of Hansen, Matt Mead, Aug 2001.jpg
Past, present and future Wyoming Governors Jim Geringer, Matt Mead, Mike Sullivan, Cliff Hansen and Stan Hathaway, August 2001 (WSA Paul Smith Collection)


The Wyoming Constitution vests the executive power in the Governor. He is commander-in-chief of the military forces of the state except when they are called into the service of the United States. He transacts all necessary business with the officers of the government, civil and military.

He has the power to convene the Legislature on extraordinary occasions and every bill passed by the Legislature is presented to him for approval or veto. He reviews and presents to the Legislature the overall state budget. The Governor has the power to remit fines and forfeitures, to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons after conviction, for all offenses except treason and cases of impeachment.

The Governor is chairman of the Capitol Building Commission, Board of Charities and Reform, Board of Deposits, Farm Loan Board, Board of Land Commissioners, Wyoming Liquor Commission, Commission on Prison Labor, and Board of Wills and Trust. Also, he appoints many of the department heads and members of various state boards and commissions.

Governor's Cabinet and Boards

Territorial Governors


Between 1869 and 1890, Wyoming's territorial governors were appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by Congress.

The duties of the Territorial Governors, prescribed in the Organic Act of July 25, 1868, increased with the growth and development of the Territory. By this act, he was endowed with all executive power and authority in and over the Territory; was made Commander in Chief of the Militia thereof, and was named Superintendent of Indian Affairs, until 1870, when the Governor ceased to hold that office.[1] He convened the Legislative Assembly in extraordinary sessions, delivered a message to each Legislative Assembly giving information on the condition of the Territory and recommended such measures as he deemed expedient. All bills passed by the Assembly were submitted to him for approval, he having the power to veto.

In 1878 the Governor made a report to the Secretary of the Interior on the affairs, resources, progress, conditions and special needs of the Territory. This practice was continued each year until Statehood with the exception of the years 1882 and 1884. Prior to 1878 the Governor made occasional reports to the Secretary of State. Similar reports were made to the Department of the Interior by the Surveyor General of the Territory, the first being made October 7, 1870.

The Organic Act fixed the salary for the Governor at two thousand dollars annually and one thousand dollars a year as Superintendent of Indian Affairs. There were various changes in the salary throughout the Territorial period. At the time Wyoming became a State the Governor was receiving an annual salary of two thousand six hundred dollars. The Governor received no other compensation other than that provided by the laws of the United States.[2]

State of the Territory Addresses




Governor (Party)

Date of Appointment

Oath of Office

Term Expired

Birth

Death
Sub Neg 1519 derivative, John A Campbell portrait, Governor, nd.jpg

John A. Campbell (R)

April 3, 1869

April 15, 1869[3]

March 1, 1875[4]

October 8, 1835

July 14, 1880
Sub Neg 4010, P97-19-1, John W Thayer seated, Governor, by Kirkland, Cheyenne, WY, nd.jpg

John M. Thayer (R)

February 10, 1875

March 1, 1875

May 29, 1878

January 24, 1820

March 19, 1906
Sub Neg 2114, H56-65, John W Hoyt portrait, Governor, nd.jpg

John W. Hoyt (R)

April 10, 1878

May 29, 1878

August 22, 1882

October 13, 1831

May 23, 1912
Sub Neg 1984 derivative, P97-19-3, William Hale portrait by Kirkland, Cheyenne, WY, ca 1885.jpg

William Hale (R)

August 3, 1882

August 22, 1882

January 13, 1885[5]

November 18, 1837

January 13, 1885
Sub Neg 12364, ESN Morgan portrait, Acting-Governor, nd.jpg

E.S.N. Morgan (R)

(Acting)[6]

January 13, 1885

February 28, 1885

January 1832

April 20, 1894
Sub Neg 19423, FRANCIS E WARREN, SENATOR 1890-1893 AND 1895-1929.jpg

Frances E. Warren (R)

February 27, 1885

February 28, 1885

November 11, 1886

June 20, 1844

November 24, 1929
Sub Neg 1395, George W Baxter portrait, Governor, nd.jpg

George W. Baxter (D)

November 5, 1886

November 11, 1886

December 20, 1886

January 7, 1885

December 1929
Sub Neg 12364, ESN Morgan portrait, Acting-Governor, nd.jpg

E.S.N. Morgan (R)

(Acting)[7]

December 20, 1886

January 24, 1887

January 1832

April 20, 1894
Sub Neg 2641, Thomas Moonlight portriat, Governor, nd.jpg

Thomas Moonlight (D)

Jan. 5, 1887[8]

January 24, 1887

April 9, 1889

November 10, 1833

February 7, 1899
Sub Neg 19423, FRANCIS E WARREN, SENATOR 1890-1893 AND 1895-1929.jpg

Frances E. Warren (R)

March 27, 1889

April 9, 1889

October 11, 1890[9]

June 20, 1844

November 24, 1929



State Governors


History of the Governor's Office

State of the State Addresses




Governor (Party)

Years Served

Hometown

Birth

Death
Sub Neg 19423, FRANCIS E WARREN, SENATOR 1890-1893 AND 1895-1929.jpg

Francis E. Warren (R) [10]

1890

Cheyenne

June 20, 1844

November 24, 1929
Sub Neg 1384 derivative, Amos E Barber portrait, Governor, nd.jpg

Amos W. Barber (R)[11]

1890-1893

Cheyenne

April 26, 1861

May 19, 1915
Sub Neg 2758 derivative, John E Osborne portrait, Governor, nd.jpg

John E. Osborne (D)

1893-1895

Rawlins

June 19, 1858

April 24, 1943
Sub Neg 24083, WA Richards portrait, Governor, nd.jpg

William A. Richards (R)

1895-1899

Red Bank

March 9, 1849

July 25, 1912
Sub Neg 6384 derivative, Governors DeForest Richards portriat, nd.jpg

DeForest Richards (R)[12]

1899-1903

Douglas

August 6, 1846

April 28, 1903
Sub Neg 6384 derivative, Governor Fenimore Chatterton portrait, nd.jpg

Fenimore Chatterton (R)[13]

1903-1905

Saratoga

July 21, 1860

May 9, 1958
Sub Neg 1482b, Gov. Bryant B. Brooks.jpg

Bryant B. Brooks (R)[14]

1905-1911

Casper

February 5, 1861

Dec. 8, 1944
Sub Neg 1528 derivative, Joseph M. Carey.jpg

Joseph M. Carey (D)

1911-1915

Cheyenne

January 19, 1845

February 5, 1924
Sub Neg 2278, John Kendrick, portrait.jpg

John B. Kendrick (D)[15]

1915-1917

Sheridan

September 6, 1857

November 3, 1933
Sub Neg 2108, Frank L Houx.jpg

Frank Houx (D)[16]

1917-1919

Cody

December 12, 1860

April 3, 1941
Sub Neg 1524A derivative, Robert D. Carey.jpg

Robert D. Carey (R)

1919-1923

Careyhurst

August12, 1878

January 17, 1937
Sub Neg 2946, Governor Ross, portrait, seated in chair.jpg

William B. Ross (D) [17]

1923-1924

Cheyenne

December 4, 1873

October 2, 1924
Sub Neg 2403, Frank E Lucas portrait, Acting Governor, ca1947.jpg

Frank Lucas (R)[18]

1924-1925

Buffalo

August 4, 1876

November 26, 1948
Sub Neg 2942, Nellie Tayloe Ross, Governor of WY, nd-dusted, derivative.jpg

Nellie Tayloe Ross (D) [19]

1925-1927

Cheyenne

November 29, 1876

December 19, 1977
Sub Neg 1804 derivative, Frank C Emerson portrait, in dark suit, nd.jpg

Frank C. Emerson (R)[20]

1927-1931

Cheyenne

May 26, 1882

February 18, 1931
Sub Neg 6442, Alonzo M Clark portrait, Acting Governor.jpg

Alonzo M. Clark (R) [21]

1931-1933

Gillette

August 13, 1868

October 12, 1952
No Neg, P87-22-94, Leslie Miller portrait 6-6-1958.jpg

Leslie A. Miller (D)[22]

1933-1939

Cheyenne

January 29, 1886

September 29, 1970
Sub Neg 27864 derivative, P2004-22-8, Nels H Smith portrait, Governor, nd.jpg

Nels H. Smith (R)

1939-1943

Horton

August 27, 1884

July 5, 1976
Sub Neg 27059 derivative, P99-37, Lester Hunt portrait, in dark suit, nd.jpg

Lester C. Hunt (D) [23]

1943-1949

Lander

July 8, 1892

June 19, 1954
Sub Neg 19345 derivative, AC Crane portrait, oval, Governor, nd.jpg

A. G. Crane (R)[24]

1949-1951

Cheyenne

September 1, 1877

August 11, 1955
No Neg, P73-3-2, H65-208-2, Frank Barrett portrait, with handwritten comments.jpg

Frank A. Barrett (R) [25]

1951-1953

Lusk

November 10, 1892

May 30, 1962
Sub Neg 2918, CJ Rogers portrait, with handwritten comments, Governor, nd.jpg

C. J. “Doc” Rogers (R)[26]

1953-1955

Cheyenne

December 20, 1897

May 18, 1962
Sub Neg 3015, Milward Simpson-dusted.jpg

Milward Simpson (R)

1955-1959

Cody

November 12, 1897

June 10, 1993
Sub Neg 27299 derivative, JJ Hickey portrait, Governor.jpg

J. J. Hickey (D) [27]

1959-1961

Rawlins

August 22, 1911

September 22, 1970
P2013-8_9, Jack R Gage, SPI 1935-1939.jpg

Jack R. Gage (D)[28]

1961-1963

Sheridan

January 13, 1899

March 14, 1970
Sub Neg 1992, Clifford Hanson, Governor, received from Governor Hansen's Office 9-22-1965.jpg

Clifford P. Hansen (R)

1963-1967

Jackson

October 16, 1912

October 20, 2009
Sub Neg 20039, Governor Stan Hathaway, portrait.jpg

Stanley K. Hathaway (R)

1967-1975

Torrington

July 19, 1924

October 4, 2005
Sub Neg 19421 Governor Ed Herschler.jpg

Ed Herschler (D)

1975-1987

Kemmerer

October 27, 1918

February 6, 1990
Governor Mike Sullivan.jpg

Mike Sullivan (D)

1987-1995

Casper

September 22, 1939


Gov Jim Geringer.jpg

Jim Geringer (R)

1995-2003

Wheatland

April 24, 1944


Gov Dave Freudenthal.jpg

Dave Freudenthal (D)

2003-2011

Thermopolis

October 12, 1950


P2011-3_1, Gov Matt Mead portrait, 2011.jpg

Matthew H. Mead (R)

2011-

Jackson

March 11, 1962



  1. ^ Until 1876, an additional appropriation of $1,000 per year was made for the governor to serve as Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the territory. (See Federal Statues, 1870 - 1876) National Archives, Washington, D.C., P.M. Hammer, Chief of Division of Reference, letter to author [Virginia Trenholm], December 12, 1941.
  2. ^ Revised Statues, U.S. 1878, p. 328, Chapter 1, Section 1855.
  3. ^ Governor Campbell was sworn in in Washington, D.C. before heading west. He arrived in Cheyenne on May 7, 1869.
  4. ^ Resigned
  5. ^ Died January 13, 1885.
  6. ^ Secretary of the Territory. Acting Governor for 45 days.
  7. ^ Secretary of the Territory. Acting Governor for 35 days.
  8. ^ Appointed December 9, 1886, but appointment not confirmed until January 5, 1887.
  9. ^ Became State Governor on October 11, 1890.
  10. ^ Warren resigned about one month into office to accept the U. S. Senate seat to which he was elected by the Wyoming Legislature.
  11. ^ Barber served as acting governor from Nov. 24, 1890, upon the resignation of Warren.
  12. ^ Richards died in office, April 28, 1903.
  13. ^ Chatterton served as acting governor from April 28, 1903, following the death of DeForest Richards.
  14. ^ Brooks was elected to complete the last two years of DeForest Richards’ unexpired term.
  15. ^ Kendrick resigned Feb. 26, 1917, after election to the U. S. Senate.
  16. ^ Houx served as acting governor on resignation of Kendrick.
  17. ^ Ross died in office, Oct. 2, 1924.
  18. ^ Lucas served as acting governor from Oct. 2, 1924 following Ross’ death.
  19. ^ Nellie Tayloe Ross, widow of William Ross, was elected to complete the final two years of her husband’s unexpired term. She was first woman elected governor of any state.
  20. ^ Emerson died in office Feb. 18, 1931.
  21. ^ Clark served as acting governor from Feb. 18, 1931, on the death of Emerson.
  22. ^ Miller was first elected to complete the final two years of Emerson’s unexpired term. He was subsequently elected to a four-year term.
  23. ^ Hunt resigned Jan. 3, 1949, after election to the U. S. Senate.
  24. ^ Crane, former president of the University of Wyoming prior to election to Secretary of State, served as acting governor following Hunt’s resignation.
  25. ^ Barrett resigned Jan. 3, 1953, after election to the U. S. Senate.
  26. ^ Rogers served as acting governor upon the resignation of Barrett.
  27. ^ Hickey resigned Jan. 2, 1961, to accept appointment to the U. S. Senate following the death of Senator-elect Keith Thomson.
  28. ^ Gage served as acting governor after the resignation of J. J. Hickey.



Wyoming Governors Born in Wyoming


1. Robert D. Carey (Cheyenne, 8/12/1878)
2. Milward L. Simpson (Jackson, 11/12/1897)
3. J. J. “Joe” Hickey (Rawlins, 8/22/1911)
4. Clifford P. Hansen (Teton County, 10/16/1912)
5. Ed Herschler (Kemmerer, 10/27/1918)
6. Jim Geringer (Wheatland, 4/24/1944)
7. Dave Freudenthal (Thermopolis, 10/12/1950)
8. Matthew H. Mead (Jackson, 3/11/1962)


Wyoming First Ladies


1. Helen Warren
2. Aurelia Barber
3. Harriet Richards (Mrs. W.A.)
4. Elise Richards (Mrs. DeForest)
5. Stella Chatterton
6. Mary Brooks
7. Louisa Carey
8. Eula Kendrick
9. Ida Houx
10. Julia Carey
11. Ina Belle Lucas
12. Nellie Tayloe Ross +
13. Zennia Emerson
14. Lucy Clark
15. Margaret Miller
16. Marie Christensen Smith ++
17. Emily Hunt
18. Lura May Crane
19. Alice Barrett
20. Mabel Rogers
21. Lorna Kooi Simpson
22. Winifred Hickey
23. Leona Gage
24. Martha Close Hansen
25. Roberta “Bobbi” Hathaway
26. Kathleen “Casey” Herschler
27. Jane Sullivan
28. Sherri Geringer
29. Nancy Freudenthal
30. Carol Mead

+ Also served as governor
++ First native-born first lady, born in Weston County.


Additional Resources