Tag Archives: Wyoming Governors

Greetings From… Trail End!

It seems appropriate that we end our Wyoming tour at Trail End. This was Governor John B. Kendrick’s luxurious home on top of the hill in Sheridan, Wyoming, and is now open to the public as a state historic site. P2003-21_35, Kendrick Residence, Sheridan, exterior, color postcard Kendrick’s life reads like a fairy tale  He was born in Texas and orphaned early in life. In 1879, he trailed a cattle herd from there to Wyoming. It was said that he was so keen on saving money that he actually washed and mended his socks rather than just throwing them out like most cowboys of his day. Those pennies kept adding up and in 1883, he used his savings to start the Ula Ranch. Kendrick worked as foreman and manager for several other ranches while building his own empire. He married Eula May Wulfjen of Greeley, Colorado, in 1891, and they raised 2 children, Rosa Maye and Manville.

Governor and later Senator John B. Kendrick on the OW Ranch, 1895 (WSA Sub Neg 22685)

Governor and later Senator John B. Kendrick on the OW Ranch, 1895
(WSA Sub Neg 22685)

In 1910 Kendrick entered politics and was elected Senator of Sheridan County. He was elected Governor in 1914 and served until February 1917 when he resigned to serve as a senator in Congress. He proudly served in this capacity until his death in 1933. Throughout his political career, Kendrick was influential in politics and defending Wyoming’s water rights. Only weeks before his death, he succeeded, almost single-handedly, in gaining final approval for the Casper-Alcova (Kendrick) Irrigation Project.

The Kendrick family on the porch of the LX Bar Ranch house (WSA Trail End Neg 22305)

The Kendrick family on the porch of the LX Bar Ranch house
(WSA Trail End Neg 22305)

The LX Bar Ranch outside of Gillette became the family’s home ranch, though Kendrick’s holding included 7 ranches scattered throughout Northern Wyoming and Southern Montana. Several buildings, including the house and barn, were constructed around 1910 using locally quarried native stone. In 2012, property containing the buildings was gifted to the State of Wyoming and is now administered by the Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources. Trail End itself is an impressive edifice. Built in 1911, the three-story mansion includes 5 entrances, a formal drawing room with French silk covered walls, a hidden cabinet (purportedly used to stash liquor during prohibition), an elevator, a walk-in vault, intricately carved woodwork, and six bedrooms with private baths. Nearly the entire third floor was used as a ballroom, complete with a musicians loft. Visit the Trail End Historic Site website for a virtual tour of the house.

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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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Friday Foodie: Governor’s Mansion Hollandaise Sauce

In 1965, First Lady Martha Close Hansen helped to compile a cookbook full of Wyoming family recipes for the 75th anniversary of statehood. This was a special anniversary for Wyoming as there were still many people living who had either seen the original statehood celebration or had heard about it from those who had lived it.

Publicity photo for the Cooking Wyoming cookbook. Mrs. Martha Hansen and three ladies all dressed in period dresses in the Historic Governor's Mansion. The Hansens lived in the house from 1963 to 1967. (WSA Cheyenne Star P83-11/269)

Publicity photo for the Cooking in Wyoming cookbook. Mrs. Martha Hansen and three ladies all dressed in period dresses in the Historic Governor’s Mansion. The Hansens lived in the house from 1963 to 1967.
(WSA Cheyenne Star P83-11/269)

One entire section of the book was dedicated to Wyoming’s first ladies’ recipes and included submissions from Mrs. Robert D. (Julia) Carey, Nellie Tayloe Ross, Mrs. Frank (Jean) Emerson, Mrs. Leslie (Margaret) Miller, Mrs. Nels (Marie) Smith, Mrs. Lester (Emily) Hunt, Mrs. Frank (Alice) Barrett,  Mrs. C.J. (Mabel) Rodgers, Mrs. Milward (Lorna) Simpson, Mrs. Joe (Winifred) Hickey, Mrs. Jack (Leona) Gage,  and  of course Mrs. Cliff (Martha) Hansen.

Cooking in Wyoming, 1965 (WSA 641 H249)

Cooking in Wyoming, 1965
(WSA 641 H249)

Hollandaise Sauce (submitted by Martha Hansen)

When we first came to the [Governor’s] Mansion, Mrs. Conroy, our housekeeper, said that she would try to cook anything we asked her to, except Hollandaise Sauce. We tried this recipe and she has made it successfully every time. We serve it often with vegetables. 

1/2 cup butter  or margarine
1/4 cup hot water
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of cayenne

Melt butter or margarine in top of double boiler over simmering water; stir in hot water. Remove top from heat and set on work surface. Add unbeaten egg yolk all at once; beat with electric or rotary beater 2-3 minutes, or until mixture is almost double in bulk. Stir in lemon juice, salt and cayenne.

Place over simmering water again; cook, stiring constantly, 5 minutes, or until thickened.

(Be sure water in lower part does not touch bottom of upper part or boil at any time during cooking.)

Remove sauce from heat; let stand, uncovered until serving time. To reheat: Place over simmering water again and stir lightly for 2-3 minutes (In reheating, sauce may lose some of its fluffiness but it will keep its golden rich creaminess.)

Fake Hollandaise

If you are in a hurry.

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup milk
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Cook milk and mayonnaise together in top of double boiler for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper; stir.

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