The Cheyenne League of Women Voters participated in the renaming ceremony of the 1932 federal building in Cheyenne to the Louisa Swain Federal Office Building. It honors of the first woman in the world to cast a ballot in an election on Sept. 6, 1870, giving her equal rights as men.
At the ceremony on Oct. 17, the League distributed commemorative coins with Swain’s image.
Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., who was the driving force in the passage of public law 117-120 to rename the building at 308 W. 21st St., traced Swain’s journey from an orphanage in Charleston, S.C., to her settlement in Laramie to her death in Maryland. Swain “was specifically chosen to cast the first vote because she was an upstanding woman,” Lummis explained, “and because the women in Laramie knew it was a historic event.”
Leigh Anne Bunetta, regional counsel for the Rocky Mountain region of the General Services Administration, noted the Neoclassical-style structure was part of its small inventory of historic buildings. But she surprised the audience when she said it was the only federal building in Colorado, Montana, North and South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming that was named for a woman. The building, designed by noted Cheyenne architect William Dubois, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.
Also speaking was Mary Mountain, executive director of the Louisa Swain Foundation, who announced a reenactment of Swain as part of the Wyoming Women’s History House’s Sip ‘n’ Savor program is now on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlN3GlX3zzU.
Some of the members of the Cheyenne League of Women Voters who attended the renaming of the 1932 federal building to the Louisa Swain Federal Office Building Oct. 27, show off the new sign. From left, front row, are Keren Meister-Emerich, Bonnie Harrison, Marguerite Herman, Mary Guthrie, Denise Burke, Rosalind Schliske, Kari Eakins; back row, Mary Keating-Scott and Kelley Pelissier. (Photo by Ty Stockton)
Dignitaries present for the renaming of the historic federal office building in Cheyenne were Leigh Anne Bunetta, regional counsel for the Rocky Mountain region of the General Services Administration; Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.; Mary Mountain, executive director, Louisa Swain Foundation, and Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon.