“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Sinclair in Carbon County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)

Fenimore Chatterton

From Bookkeeper to Political Power

Fenimore Chatterton Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 9, 2015
1. Fenimore Chatterton Marker
Captions: (top left) Fenimore Chatterton as he appeared early in his carreer (sic) at Fort Steele; (bottom right) Chatterton's house at Fort Steele.
Inscription. At age 18, Fenimore Chatterton arrived in Wyoming on September 12, 1878 to begin a lifelong career of service to Wyoming.
The young Fenimore came west on the Union Pacific to Fort Steele for a bookkeeping job at the J.W, Hugus Trading Post. His first job was to unload a railroad car loaded with coal into wagons with a shovel. He continued on making sales to the local cowboys, prospectors, and patrons who would travel hundreds of miles with furs, hides, and ranch products to barter for canned tomatoes, dried apples, kerosene, chewing tobacco and whiskey available only at stores like Hugus located near the rails across the southern part of Wyoming's five counties. In five years he would buy the business and in another three have it paid for. Over the years Fort Steele would close, and Fenimore would survey in other towns, he would look at business options in California and Utah, and always come back to Wyoming. He worked with the railroad to create a line to Denver from Fort Steele. The line failed but he surveyed in, and named the town of Saratoga after the health spas in New York. In 1891 he was admitted to Wyoming's Bar, earned a 4 year law degree in one year from Michigan and from there the Republicans recruited for Treasurer and Probate Judge for Carbon County. During a short election campaign he collected nearly $200,000 of
Fenimore Chatterton image. Click for full size.
2. Fenimore Chatterton
delinquent taxes, won the election, and began his political career.
In 1898 he became Secretary of State when DeForest Richards was Governor, and in April 1903 became Governor with Richards death. He was a strong state rights advocate, fought the Forest Service for the small rancher and helped in the establishment of rail and irrigation services in Fremont County and Riverton. His failure to curry special interests and corporations lost him his second term. He and his wife Stella retired to Arvada, CO. He died at the age of 97 in 1957, and is buried in Cheyenne.
Erected by Wyoming Recreation Commission.
Location. 41° 46.463′ N, 106° 56.826′ W. Marker is near Sinclair, Wyoming, in Carbon County. Marker is on County Route 347 near Interstate 80, on the right. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sinclair WY 82334, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Tourist's Railroad (here, next to this marker); Powder Magazine (a few steps from this marker); Cemetery (a few steps from this marker); Sheepherder's Community (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ranching (about 600 feet away); Sheep Industry (about 600 feet away); Sheep Ranching (about 700 feet away); Fort Fred Steele State Historic Site (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sinclair.
More about this marker. This marker, among a grouping of a four markers, is located at Fort Fred Steele State Historic Site between the Entrance Kiosk and the Powder Magazine. The markers are on County Road 347, north of the Interstate 80 Exit 228 and south of the railroad tracks.
Also see . . .  Fenimore Chatterton - Wikipedia. It was during Chatterton's time as Governor that the hanging of Tom Horn occurred; it has been speculated that Chatterton's failure to win re-election as Governor in 1905 was the result of his refusal to commute Horn's death sentence. (Submitted on October 27, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
Categories. Notable Persons
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 27, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 229 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 27, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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