Tag Archives: Francis E. Warren

Wyoming’s Civil War Legacy

150 years ago, before Wyoming was even a territory, the United States was in the middle of a bloody civil war. Even though Wyoming did not exist during the actual fight, the territory, and later state, felt the repercussions of the war for decades.

Did you know….

— Francis E. Warren, Wyoming’s last territorial governor, 1st state governor and 2nd state senator to congress, won the medal of honor for bravery at Port Hudson, Louisiana. (Of course you knew that. You just read his WyoWhiskers profile, right?)

(WSA Sub Neg 19423)

Sen. Francis E. Warren
(WSA Sub Neg 19423)

— On March 11, 1890, the Wyoming Territorial Legislature passed a law requiring public agencies to give preference to honorably discharged Union soldiers and sailors for public jobs. This law would still apply when Wyoming became a state that July.

Wyoming State Legislature House Chambers before the current chambers were completed in 1917.  (WSA Sub Neg 5712)

Wyoming State Legislature House Chambers before the current chambers were completed in 1917.
(WSA Sub Neg 5712)

— The 1890 Federal Census population schedule for Wyoming was lost to a fire, but the Veterans Schedule still exists. According to the 1890 statistics, 39,343 of Wyoming’s 60,705 in habitats were male. Of these, there were 1,171 Union Civil War veterans, 17 of whom were black, and 62 widows living in Wyoming in 1890. The census also counted 94 Confederate veterans and 8 widows. Wyoming’s Civil War veteran population was the 4th smallest in the nation. Only Arizona, Utah and Nevada claimed fewer. The state with the fewest Confederate veterans? Vermont with only 11. (Wyoming was 41st of 49 states and territories)

A page from the 1890 Veterans Schedule. This page includes Theodore Bath. Bath, a talented stone mason, built the stone houses called Bath Row in Laramie. The houses remaining on Bath Row are now on the National Register of Historic Places.

A page from the 1890 Veterans Schedule. These schedules includes information about  the veteran’s rank, unit and service.  (image from Ancestry.com)

— By 1910, between 25 and 30 percent of Wyoming’s population aged 65 and over was receiving a Civil War pension.

A group of Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) members (WSA Meyers Neg 174)

A group of Wyoming Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) members, photo by Joseph Shimitz.
(WSA Meyers Neg 174)

— Levi L. Davis enlisted with Company E, 11th Illinois Infantry on August 15, 1862 and was discharged on July 14, 1865 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.   After the war he married, had a family, and was a farmer in Union County, Illinois.  In the early 1900s, he moved to Buffalo, where he did odd jobs.  Davis was the last Civil War veteran admitted to Wyoming Soldiers and Sailors Home in Buffalo, Wyoming, in December 1930.  He was also the last Civil War veteran to die at the home on January 16, 1933. The Soldiers and Sailors Home is now called the Veteran’s Home of Wyoming.

Soldiers and Sailors Home in Buffalo, Wyoming, ca. 1930.  (WSA BCR Album)

Soldiers and Sailors Home in Buffalo, Wyoming, ca. 1930.
(WSA BCR Album)

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Wyo Whiskers: Francis E. Warren

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 E. Warren as a young man (WSA Sub Neg 4101)

Frances E. Warren as a young man
(WSA Sub Neg 4101)

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.

Senator Warren, Governor Nellie Tayloe Ross, Governor Robert Carey (soon to be Senator) and Senator John Kendrick, ca 1927 All four had  served as Governor of Wyoming. (WSA Sub Neg 12577)

Senator Warren, Governor Nellie Tayloe Ross, Governor Robert Carey (soon to be Senator) and Senator John Kendrick, ca 1927 All four had served as Governor of Wyoming.
(WSA Sub Neg 12577)

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.

Senator Warren lying in state in the Wyoming Capitol Building, 1929. (WSA Brammar Neg 5066)

Senator Warren lying in state in the Wyoming Capitol Building, 1929.
(WSA Brammar Neg 5066)

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.

Entry gate to F.E. Warren Air Force Base (WSA Sub Neg 20526)

Entry gate to F.E. Warren Air Force Base
(WSA Sub Neg 20526)

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.

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