In honor of Veterans Day this weekend, today’s Wyo Whiskers post highlights Francis E. Warren, who won the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Civil War. He also sport fantastic facial hair throughout his life.
Frances Emroy Warren was born in Hinsdale, Berkshire County, Massachusetts on June 20, 1844 and attended the common schools in his area and Hinsdale Academy. During the Civil War, Warren enlisted and fought with the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, eventually advancing to non-commissioned officer and was award of the Congressional Medal of Honor. A farmer and stockman in Massachusetts, Warren moved to Wyoming in 1868 to clerk for Amasa Converse in his mercantile store. He soon became involved in a variety of businesses from real estate to livestock and promoted the first lighting system in Cheyenne, where he also served on the city council and the Territorial Assembly, becoming its president. Warren continued his interest in politics as chairman of the Republican Territorial Central Committee, Territorial Treasurer, and Mayor of Cheyenne.
Wyoming was granted statehood on July 10, 1890, during his second term as Territorial Governor. Warren traveled to Washington DC to campaign for statehood. He was then elected Wyoming’s first State Governor September 11, 1890. He served only two months of his term before he was elected as the second United States Senator for Wyoming in November 1890 and resigned as governor. He served in congress until his death on November 24, 1929, 39 years to the day after he resigned as governor.
As governor, Warren was involved in many issues of the day, including the Chinese Massacre in Rock Springs and similar incidents, railroad routes, women’s suffrage, statehood, creation of Yellowstone National Park, Indian reservations, relief and aggression, and the national government’s abandonment of military instillation as agreed to in treaties. Fort D.A. Russell outside of Cheyenne was renamed Fort Frances E. Warren (now F.E. Warren Air Force Base.) Dodge Street in Cheyenne was renamed Warren in his honor. Throughout his life in Wyoming, Warren and Hon. Joseph M. Carey were fierce rivals. But if you read the last Wyo Whiskers post, you know all about that.
Warren’s daughter, Helen Frances, married a promising soldier, and distinguished ‘stache in his own right, named John J. Pershing in 1905. It is debated whether Warren helped to advance his son-in-law’s military career.