Photo: Grand Teton National Park

WYOMING — The U.S Senate and House of Representatives recently passed a bill to designate the Federal Office Building at 308 W. 21st Street in Cheyenne as the “Louisa Swain Federal Office Building.”

Louisa Swain was the first woman to vote in a general election in the United States in 1870. She was 69 years old. In Wyoming, women were granted the right to vote in 1869.

Wyoming joined the union in 1890, becoming the first state to allow women to vote.

The bill was led by U.S. Senators for Wyoming, Cynthia Lummis and Senators John Barrasso as well as Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Ben Cardin (D-MD).

“As the first woman to serve Wyoming in the U.S. Senate, I am honored that my first bill to pass both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives is one that commemorates a true pioneer from my home state of Wyoming,” Senator Lummis said. “I cannot think of a better name for a federal building in the first state to recognize this right and enshrine full suffrage for women in law. It has been an honor working with colleagues in Wyoming and Maryland on this bill to honor a pioneer so important to both of our states.” 

Congresswoman Liz Cheney also supported the renaming.

“The track record of female leaders in Wyoming is long and extensive,” Cheney said on the House floor, “It runs through who we are as a state, whether that’s Esther Hobart Morris service as the first female justice of the peace in Sweetwater County in 1870, Susan Johnson serving as a postmaster in Cheyenne in 1880, Mary Bellamy being elected to the Wyoming House of Representatives in 1911, or my own grandmother, Edna Vincent, who was the first female Deputy Sheriff in Natrona County.”

“It’s appropriate that we acknowledge Wyoming’s historic leadership when it comes to advancing rights and opportunities for women. Renaming our Cheyenne federal building after Louisa Swain will serve as an important reminder and honor for all the trailblazing women who have come before us, and will put Wyoming’s proud history and heritage on display as an example for the entire nation,” Cheney said.  

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.