Francis E. Warren
The Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, on the western outskirts of Cheyenne, Wyoming, bears his name. Of course the famous base actually kept the name of Fort Warren, which was once Fort Russell. Fort Russell was re-named Fort Warren in 1929, upon the passing of Francis E. Warren. And Warren Air Force Base became Warren Air Force base in 1947.
It was this Civil War Union soldier and recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, who would come to the Wyoming Territory after the War, and make such a mark as to have those immortal honors bestowed upon him. Francis E. Warren was born in Hillsdale, Massachusetts, on June 20, 1844. And now a young man in his early 20’s, he would return to his hometown after the War, but soon make the move West. Warren would settle in the bustling territorial town of Cheyenne. He would open a mercantile, he would sell real estate, and he would ranch. Warren was both a cattle and sheep baron, and would become a public servant, and major political figure in the late days of Territory, and the early days of Statehood.
Francis E. Warren was elected to the Territorial Council in 1884, at age 40, and became Mayor of Cheyenne the next year. Then in October of 1890, when Wyoming became the 44th State in the Union, Francis E. Warren became the state’s first Governor. Interestingly, Warren would, within weeks, be elected to the Wyoming Senate, entrusted to represent the newest State in Washington, D.C. And Warren would serve in the Senate for 37 years.
Francis E. Warren, the powerful Statesman, who would often be called the “Boss of Wyoming” would lead Wyoming through its formative, turbulent, and exciting years. Francis E. Warren would die on November 24th, 1929.