Nellie Tayloe Ross (1876-1977)


Political pioneer Nellie Tayloe Ross was a schoolteacher for several years in Nebraska until 1902 when she moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, with her husband.  He practiced law and participated in politics, becoming Wyoming’s governor in 1922.  Nellie Ross actively supported her husband, and when he died in office in 1924, the Democratic Party nominated her to complete the term.  After some reflection, she decided to accept the nomination to try and continue the work her husband started.  She won the election, becoming the first woman governor in the United States.  Her term lasted two years; she was defeated in the re-election.  In 1928 she was appointed the vice-chairperson of the Democratic National Committee and directed the women’s division.  From 1933 to 1953, she held the position of Director of the United States Mint.  Up until her death in 1977, she often had speaking engagements around the country.      


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