You may have heard that Wyoming became known as the “equality state” because it was the first state to give women the right to vote. But did you know that the same year the 19th amendment was ratified, the state had a town run by an all-women government?
During a time when giving women the same opportunities as men, the residents of a town in Wyoming did something incredibly progressive. On May 11th, 1920, the town of Jackson, Wyoming, elected Grace Miller as their mayor.
They also elected Rose Crabtree, Mae Deloney, Faustina Haight, and Genevieve Van Vleck as their local council members.
The women were dubbed ‘the petticoat rulers’, and they made sure to get things done around the town of Jackson while they were in office.
One of the most important things the petticoat rulers did while they were in office was improve the town’s budget and collect unpaid taxes. They would personally collect money that was owed to the town.
When the petticoat rulers were first elected, the town only had about $200 in its treasury. But soon, thanks to the women’s efforts, they increased it to $2,000.
The petticoat rulers also installed street lamps throughout Jackson and expanded its electrical service. They were very focused on improving the living conditions of Jackson’s residents so it could continue to be a progressive town.
The petticoat rulers inspired a town-wide clean-up, where residents were encouraged to clean up their homes and yards. They also made littering a misdemeanor and removed any loose livestock from the center of town.
At the end of their term, three out of the five women were re-elected. Grace Miller, however, was not.