Archives On The Air 87: Wyoming, The 43rd State—The Downey Family Papers

Nov 19, 2018

Wyoming fought for many years to become a state.

The Downey Family were involved in the final push for statehood. When the Wyoming statehood bill passed the U.S. Senate in 1890 Wyoming was set to become the 43rd state. The Downey Family’s scrapbook contains a US flag with an additional star added that says “No. 43 Wyoming” in celebration.

But Wyoming’s statehood bill needed to be sent back to the House of Representatives. The Senate bill had a clause protecting Yellowstone National Park but the House had passed a bill that did not have this clause. As this was being resolved in Congress Idaho became the 43rd state. Days later Wyoming became the 44th state.

The flag marking Wyoming as the 43rd state and other records of Wyoming’s early days are available in the Downey Family papers at UW’s American Heritage Center.