Nellie Tayloe Ross

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Nellie Tayloe Ross (November 29, 1876 – December 19, 1977) was an American politician, the 14th Governor of Wyoming from 1925 to 1927, and director of the United States Mint from 1933-1953. She was the first woman to serve as governor of a U.S. state. To date, she remains the only woman to have served as governor of Wyoming. She was a staunch supporter of prohibition during the 1920s.


Early years

Nellie Tayloe was born in Andrew County near Amazonia in northwestern Missouri (now part of the St. Joseph Metropolitan Statistical Area) to James Wynn Tayloe, a native of Stewart County, Tennessee, and his wife, Elizabeth Blair Green, who had a plantation adjacent to the Missouri River. In 1886, when Nellie was seven years of age, her family moved to Miltonvale in Cloud County in northern Kansas. The relocation occurred after their Andrew County house burned, and the sheriff was about to foreclose on the property.[1][2]

After she graduated from Miltonville High School in 1892, the family moved to Omaha, Nebraska, where she attended a teacher-training college for two years and then taught kindergarten.[3] While on a visit to her relatives in Dover in Stewart County in northwestern Tennessee, she met a young shopkeeper named William Bradford Ross, whom she married on September 11, 1902. William Ross engaged in the practice of law and wanted to live in the American West. The couple hence moved to Cheyenne. Ross was successful there and soon became a leader of the Democratic Party in Wyoming. He ran for office several times, but always lost to Republican candidates.

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