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The West Trivia

Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge

Esther Morris, the first woman to hold a judicial position in the United States, presided over an interesting first case. The departing justice of the peace refused to turn over the court docket and other records, perhaps to protest the fact that he was being replaced by a woman. She dismissed his case after explaining that as she had a personal interest in the case she must recuse herself, and there was not another judge in South Pass.43

Female voter turnout was not high in the first Wyoming election in which they were eligible to vote. Only 15% of the eligible women voters voted in Atlantic City. In South Pass, home of William Bright and Esther Morris, only 8% of the eligible women voters cast ballots.44

San Franciscans used a variety of city ordinances to harass the Chinese living in the city. One 1870 law required 500 cubic feet of air per person in the crowded tenements of Chinatown. But after making mass arrests to enforce the ordinance, city officials found themselves, and their now overcrowded jails, in violation of the law.45

Henry Miller and Charles Lux owned well over a million acres in the western states. They boasted that they could drive their cattle from Mexico to Canada yet sleep every night on their own land.46

Nicholas Yung responded to Charles Crocker's "spite fence" with a symbolic statement (and maybe a curse) of his own. The undertaker mounted a coffin on his rooftop aimed at Crocker's house.47

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