Birth Name: Esther Hobart McQuigg
Born: August 8, 1812
Birthplace: Tioga County, New York
Died: April 2, 1902
Married: Artimus Slack, who pre-deceased her. One son. John Morris. Twin sons.
Elizabeth McQuigg owned her own millinery business as a young woman in New York and was incensed at the lack of woman’s suffrage. She was active as an abolitionist in her early life. Then she married, and her first husband died. This pioneer woman went to the Wyoming Territory with her second husband and their children. She became an advocate for women and lobbied the leaders of the community to grant them equal rights. Subsequently she became a Justice of the Peace in South Pass City, a first for a woman, possibly because of women’s suffrage in Wyoming allowing women the right to vote.
She later left the declining mining town of South Pass City. She moved around the latter part of her life between Wyoming and Illinois and New York, and she remained active in the suffrage movement and the Republican Party. There are some questions about the accuracy of some stories about her, but there is no doubt that she was contributory to the cause of women’s rights in Wyoming and the greater United States.
Inscribed on the base: “ESTHER HOBART MORRIS. PROPONENT OF THE LEGISLATIVE ACT WHICH IN 1869 GAVE DISTINCTION TO THE TERRITORY OF WYOMING AS THE FIRST GOVERNMENT OF THE WORLD TO GRANT WOMEN EQUAL RIGHTS.”
Also, “ A GRATEFUL PEOPLE HONORS THIS STALWART PIONEER WHO ALSO BECAME THE 1ST WOMAN JUSTICE OF THE PEACE”
The statue was the first project of the Wyoming State Historical Society.
Sculptor: Avard Fairbanks
Installation Date: 1952 (Wyoming), 1960(Washington D.C.)
Media: Bronze, on a granite base
Location: In front of Wyoming State Capitol Building, in Cheyenne, at 24th Street and Capitol Avenue; a second copy is in the U.S. Capitol Building, Statuary Hall, Washington, D.C.
Date of Photos: June 25, 2012