Governor Nellie Tayloe Ross
Nellie Tayloe Ross, Wyoming’s first lady, wife of Governor William Bradford Ross, would become Governor herself. And when she did, in 1925, Nellie Tayloe Ross, Governor of Wyoming, became the first female Governor in America. It was really under tragic circumstances that Mrs. Ross ultimately assumed the State’s highest office. Governor William Bradford Ross would die in office, in October of 1924. And it was the First Lady, Nellie Tayloe Ross, who would be the Democratic Party replacement, would win the election, and be inaugurated Governor of Wyoming on January 5, 1925.
Nellie Tayloe Ross was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1876. Her family would move to Omaha, Nebraska, where Nellie would eventually teach kindergarten. It was in 1902, at age 36, when Nellie Tayloe met and married William Bradford Ross, and moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming. William Bradford Ross would begin a lucrative law practice, and in 1922, would be elected Governor of Wyoming, and Nellie Tayloe Ross became First Lady.
Nellie Tayloe Ross would serve as Governor of Wyoming for two years, from January of 1925 through January, 1927. She made an unsuccessful run at re-election, but former-Governor Nellie Tayloe Ross would stay active in public service. She was appointed vice-chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 1928, and moved to Washington, D.C., where she really became a local celebrity. Nellie Tayloe Ross would campaign for Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1932, and in 1933 she would be appointed Director of the United States Mint by the President, an office she held for 20 years. Nellie Tayloe Ross, America’s first female Governor, and former Governor of the Great State of Wyoming, would live in Washington, D.C. until her death in 1977, at the age of 101.