UW Homecoming – Flashback to 1938

In looking for UW Homecoming images from the past, we came across two short films from 1938. One is a 6-minute clip of that year’s Homecoming parade through the streets of Laramie. Amazing floats!  Although we do have some sympathy for the folks riding in the stagecoach.


The other is a short clip of a gathering of UW students, highlighted with a display from a talented baton twirler.

Both films (and other interesting blasts from UW’s past) can be found in the UW University Relations/Media Services records.

What else was happening at UW in 1938?  For one, the Wyoming Union was under construction. Ground was broken for the project in March 1938. Funding for the Union was aided by a loan from the Public Works Administration. The PWA was one of the programs created by the U.S. government to counteract the Depression by providing construction jobs to build public works. Many UW students were involved in the construction and twenty-five students were trained to be stone-cutters. The building was completed in 1939.


Wyoming Union not long after its completion in 1939

Posted in Archival Film, Current events, events, found in the archive, Local history, Student Life, University of Wyoming, University of Wyoming history, Wyoming history | Leave a comment

Book Signing on the UW campus for “Snow Chi Minh Trail” by AHC Archivist John Waggener

book signing

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AHC Celebrates Homecoming 2017 at the University of Wyoming

On display in the AHC’s reading room is memorabilia from the papers of Elma Brown, a Moorcroft, Wyoming, native who graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1926 with a degree in home economics.

This display includes a scrapbook she created during her time as a UW student. The scrapbook contains a large number of photographs, news clippings, bulletins, some personal letters, dance cards (so fun!), programs, and other items related to UW. Additionally, other items related to Elma’s time at UW are her brown and gold beret, ribbons, and name tags. There is also one of her UW yearbooks.

Reading Room Display 4

The display illustrates what life was like for a young woman attending UW in the 1920s, a time when Wyoming was experiencing one of its wildest booms ever in oil production. In fact, it was thanks to Wyoming’s oil boom that funds were available to construct Half Acre Gym in 1925, which happened while Elma was attending UW.

The display was put together by one of the AHC’s student employees, Dylan May.

Reading Room Display 2

The display is open to anyone who would like to come by to see it. The reading room is open the rest of the week from 8am to 5pm (we’re closed Saturday and Sunday).

Reading Room Display 1

Other interesting items from the AHC for Homecoming Week:

  • 1968 Wyoming v. Colorado State University football game film. The tradition of the Bronze Boot started in 1968. The film can be seen in the AHC’s Loggia on the 2nd floor.
  • University of Wyoming yearbooks are available in the AHC’s Reading Room (4th floor).
  • The AHC is sharing UW Homecoming history through photos posted on Facebook and Twitter this week.

The AHC is a place to get information not found in many books or even online sources. We have firsthand data and evidence from letters, reports, notes, memos, photographs, audio and video recordings, and other primary sources. We’re accessible onsite on the UW campus and online at uwyo.edu/ahc. We also hold the archives of the University of Wyoming, so anyone interested in that history is welcome to come by. No appointment needed!

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The Adeline M. Leitzbach Papers: Part II of a Two-Part Series

Adeline Leitzbach once mused: “[In] the old days in pictures… we used to go out on a lot with a couple of actors, a horse, a camera man and an author. We used to shoot scenes, and mould them into a story. And they used to pay us ‘authors’ about twenty five dollars for such a story.” (“Why I Have Decided to Write for the Radio,” p. 1).

As her more than twenty credits attest, Leitzbach moved up the ladder and spent the 1910s through the early 1930s as a busy movie scenario writer. As most of her movies were produced during the silent days, many of them are lost. In fact, of the 20 known feature films and shorts for which Leitzbach is credited (alternately credited as Adeline Hendricks), few at all are known to survive and just two are available on DVD. A complete list with release year, director and leading players, Leitzbach’s specific credit, production company, as well as survival status, if known, follows. Note: The notorious 1937 Fox vault fire in Little Ferry, New Jersey resulted in the loss of most of the silent films produced by Fox Film Corporation, which would make it highly unlikely that Leitzbach’s four 1918 Fox films remain.


Diamonds and Pearls aka The Hour Glass (1917), directed by George Archainbaud; starring Kitty Gordon, Milton Sills, Curtis Cooksey; written by Adeline Leitzbach (credited as Adelaine Leitzbach). World Film. Survival status: unknown.

Stolen Honor (1918), directed by Richard Stanton; starring Virginia Pearson, Clay Clement, Ethel Hallor; scenario by Adeline Leitzbach from a story by George Scarborough. Fox Film Corporation. Survival status: unknown.

The Heart of Romance (1918), directed by Harry Millarde; starring June Caprice, Bernard Thornton, George Bunny; scenario by Adeline Leitzbach, from the screen story “Her Father’s Money” by Frances Crowley. Fox Film Corporation. Survival status: unknown

Her Price (1918), directed by Edmund Lawrence; starring Virginia Pearson, Edward J. Rosen, Victor Sutherland; scenario by Adeline Leitzbach from a story by George Scarborough. Fox Film Corporation. Survival status: unknown.

The Liar (1918), directed by Edmund Lawrence; scenario by Adeline Leitzbach from a story by Katharine Kavanaugh; starring Virginia Pearson, Alexander F. Frank, Edward Roseman. Fox Film Corporation. Survival status: unknown.

Dad’s Girl (1920), directed by David G. Fisher; starring Jackie Saunders, Jack Drumier, Kempton Greene; scenerio by Adeline Leitzbach (as Adeline Hendricks). Waldorf Photoplays, Inc. Survival status: unknown.

Ashamed of Parents (1921), directed by Horace G. Plympton; starring Charles Eldridge, Jack Lionel Bohn, Edith Stockton; scenerio by Adeline Leitzbach (as Adeline Hendricks) based on the story “What Children Will Do,” by Charles K. Harris. Warner Brothers Pictures. Survival status: unknown.

Wife in Name Only (1923), directed by George W. Terwilliger; starring Mary Thurman, Arthur Housman, and Edmund Lowe; adaptation by Adeline Leitzbach (as Adeline Hendricks) of her own play based on the Bertha M. Clay novel of the same name. Pyramid Pictures. Survival status: unknown.

Success (1923), directed by Ralph Ince; starring Brandon Tynan, Naomi Childers, Mary Astor; screenplay by Adeline Leitzbach and Theodore A. Liebler, Jr. [based on their play] with titles by George V. Hobart.  Murray W. Garsson Productions (distributed by Metro Pictures Corporation and Gaumont [France]). Survival status: unknown.

Counterfeit Love (1923), directed by Ralph Ince and Roy Sheldon; story by Thomas F. Fallon and Adeline Leitzbach; starring Joe King, Marian Swayne, Norma Lee. Murray W. Garsson Productions (distributed by Playgoers Pictures). Survival status: unknown.

* I Am the Man (1924), directed by Ivan Abramson; starring Lionel Barrymore, Seena Owens, Gaston Glass; scenario by Adeline Leitzbach (as Adeline Hendricks). Chadwick Pictures. Survival status: A Welsh IMDb reviewer claims to have watched a French-language print used for exhibition in Belgian cinemas.

* Walls Tell Tales aka Great Actors and Authors #1: Walls Tell Tales (1928; short film), directed by Edmund Lawrence; scenario by Adeline Leitzbach and story by Irwin S. Cobb; starring Madge Kennedy, Roland Young, and Efrem Zimbalist. Famous Lasky Corporation. Survival status: a 16mm copy exists at UCLA Film & Television Archive (UCLA catalog, inventory number: M43411).

Manhattan Knights (1928), directed by Burton L. King; story and screenplay by Adeline Leitzbach; starring Barbara Bedford, Walter Miller, Betty Worth. Excellent Pictures. Survival status: unknown.

Two Masters aka Great Actors and Authors #2: Two Masters (1928; short film), directed by Edmund Lawrence; scenario by Adeline Leitzbach and story by Rita Weiman; starring Mary Eaton, Guy Bates Post, Minnie Dupree. Famous Lasky Corporation. Survival status: unknown.

Montmarte Rose (1929), directed by Frederick Hiatt and Bernard McEveety [director credits unconfirmed, per IMDb]; adaptation by Isadore Bernstein, written by Sylvia Bernstein and Jacques Jaccard, story by Adeline Leitzbach (as Adeline Hendricks). Excellent Pictures. Survival status: unknown.

* The House of Secrets (1929), directed by Edmund Lawrence; starring: Joseph Striker, Marcia Manning, Elmer Grandin; screenplay by Adeline Leitzbach, from the novel The House of Secrets by Sydney Horler. Chesterfield Motion Pictures Corporation. Survival status: The film is presumed lost (silentera.com), however a (partial?) sound disc of the film exists at the UCLA Film & Television Archive (UCLA catalog, inventory number M112644).

* The Dancing Town aka Great Actors and Authors #3: The Dancing Town (1928; short film), directed by Edmund Lawrence; scenario by Adeline Leitzbach adapted from the story “Daughters of Shiloh” by Rupert Hughes with titles by San Marx and Sidney Skolsky; starring Harry Beresford, Elizabeth Patterson, Charles Eaton, Helen Hayes. Famous Lasky Corporation. Survival status: a 16mm diacetate copy exists at UCLA Film & Television Archive (UCLA catalog, inventory number: M00884). This film was restored and shown at UCLA’s 12th Festival of Preservation on July 28, 2004.

* The Peacock Fan (1929), directed by Phil Rosen; starring Dorothy Dwan, Tom O’Brien, Lucien Prival; scenario by Arthur Hoerl, from a screen story by Adeline Leitzbach. Chesterfield Motion Pictures Corporation. Survival status: print exists [16mm reduction positive] (silentera.com) Available on DVD through Alpha Video; 85 minutes.

One Splendid Hour (1929), directed by Cliff Wheeler; written by Sylvia Bernstein and Jacques Jaccard, adapted by Isadore Bernstein, story by Adeline Leitzbach; starring Viola Dana, George Periolat, Allan Simpson. Excellent Pictures. Survival status: unknown.

* Notorious But Nice (1933), directed by Richard Thorpe; story by Adeline Leitzbach with screenplay and dialogue by Carol Webster. Chesterfield Motion Picture Corporation. Survival status: extant. Available on DVD through Alpha Video; 71 minutes.

Leitzbach’s most accessible film is the last known for which she is credited, Notorious But Nice. Produced by the Chesterfield Motion Picture Corporation, a “Poverty Row” studio that made low budget second-bill features, it has now fallen into the public domain. The movie featured a strong cast for its budget— Marian Marsh (who broke out as the female lead of 1931’s Svengali), Donald Dillaway (who had appeared in “A” pictures Min and Bill and Platinum Blonde), and Betty Compson (who had earned an Oscar nomination as Best Actress for 1928’s The Barker).

The film tells the story of small town girl Jennie Jones (Marian Marsh) whose secret past causes her to lose her man Richard Hamilton (Donald Dillway).  Betty Compson, plays Millie Sprague, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks that eventually comes to Jenny’s aid.


From Notorious But Nice (1933), in which Jennie Jones (played by Marian Marsh) appears in court at the film’s climax.


A page found within one of Leitzbach’s stories, suggesting that her work often went uncredited.

The scope of the Leitzbach papers suggests that she was a prolific writer and would indicate that she occasionally, if often, worked uncredited. A clue to the mystery can be found within the AHC’s collection. Typed inside the title page of the synopsis of a motion picture story called Captain Haide of the Royal Mounted Police is the following (as seen above): Screen Productions by the same author for the coming season: ONE SPLENDID HOUR [in caps], Gentlemen Preferred, Just Off Broadway, Chinatown Nights, Circumstantial Evidence. Leitzbach therefore may have been an uncredited writer on the  features: A Gentleman Preferred (a 1928 western directed by Arthur Hotaling and starring Gaston Glass, from Mayfair Productions), Just Off Broadway (a 1929 drama directed by Frank O’Connor, starring Donald Keith and Ann Christy, notably from Chesterfield Motion Picture Corporation and the credited screenwriter Arthur Hoerl of The Peacock Fan), Chinatown Nights (a 1929 crime-action movie directed by William A. Wellman, and starring Wallace Beery and Florence Vidor, from Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation), and Circumstantial Evidence (a 1929 drama directed by Wilfred Noy, starring Cornelius Keefe and Helen Foster, also notably from Chesterfield Motion Picture Corporation). This would explain the break from 1929 to 1933 in her credits.

Chinatown Nights

The extant Chinatown Nights (1929), does not feature a credit for Leitzbach, who may have worked on the film uncredited.

Also of interest among the AHC’s Leitzbach papers is the story Mother Knows, for which a handwritten note scrawled across the cover reads: “Sold to Chesterfield Pro — Sept – 1933 thru Jay Packard” [Packard was Leitzbach’s agent]. The story concerns the Briggs children: Edward (age 23), Grace (age 19), and Albert (nearly 18) who, sick of small town life, decide to head to the big city to find their fortune. Cross-referencing the story with the Chesterfield productions of the mid-30s, no such movie appears to have been made based on it. Therefore, in addition to her uncredited work, there is potential that she had story sales for movies that were unproduced.

The final chapter of Leitzbach’s writing career concerns her interest in writing for radio. Within The New York Public Library’s Adeline Leitzbach papers, Billy Rose Theatre Division, are letters that she wrote to New York radio station WOR. In a response to an inquiry sent to the NYPL, the collection “contains a few letters regarding WOR. They are about procedure of submission and one regarding an appointment. None address the success or failure of any submissions.” No known radio show by Leitzbach has been identified (notably, none exist at the Paley Center for Media, a major repository of radio programming).

Within the AHC’s Adeline Leitzbach Papers are three manuscripts of note regarding radio. They reveal her dedication to her craft and her love of New York City. To begin with, is Leitzbach’s 3-page essay entitled “Why I Have Decided to Write for Radio.”  In the undated document she writes: “…. the head of a large motion picture organization who had just offered me a job in the scenario department of his company… looked at me aghast when I said I didn’t want to go to Hollywood, that I intended to remain in New York and write for the Radio…. Radio Audiences to-day are demanding programmes of interest and merit. That of course, goes for the dramatic playlets that are presented on the air. We have fortunately a few very fine programmes, and as time goes on, radio will develop as pictures did, in the dramatic field of writing.”


A page from Leitzbach’s radio script, “White Collars and Overalls,” offering some typical dialogue.

Additionally, there is a three-episode “pilot” for a radio drama entitled “White Collars and Overalls.” As noted in the opening announcement of the script, this was intended to be “the first of a series we call City Close-ups in which we take you into the homes, the highways and the byways of the great city of New York. We show you the little tragedies and the comedies in the lives of the dwellers in the greatest city of the world.” In fact, Leitzbach’s radio play offers a personal touch as it features the character Otto Krause, a German immigrant like herself, and centers around his family and their prosperous bakery and lunchroom.  Interestingly, for the final episode of the “pilot,” Leitzbach offered the following in the show’s announcement: “If any member of our radio audience would like to hear about any particular section of New York, if they will send in their request to this office, Miss Leitzbach, the author of City Close-up[s] will tell them a story of the locality in which they are interested.”


The first page of the radio script, “Women in the News,” a curious manuscript in the Adeline Leitzbach papers.

Lastly, as relates to radio, is the curious appearance of the script of a produced show from NBC, broadcast on November 13, 1931. Called “Women in the News” the 3-page script offers the “gossip-fest” of Sylvia Gay, who talks directly to the ladies about tidbits in the news. The orchestral opening is the “Who Is Sylvia” Theme. Could Leitzbach herself have been Sylvia? Did she ghostwrite this radio series? One can only guess, as no other mention of the show exists in the files.

From the end of her career to its beginnings, also within the Leitzbach papers is a novel that the teenage Adeline wrote circa the turn of the century. Wrapped in a now shredded manila envelope, the 238-page single-spaced tome concerns sultans, knights, and princesses.  Alternately titled The Crown of Glory and Life’s Guiding Star, it is both preceded and followed by descriptive phrases: “A Romance of the Holy City” and “A Romance of ‘Ye Olden Times.’” On the first pages are some adolescent doodlings and on the back of the last page Adeline was practicing her signature, especially her curlicue “A,” no doubt with daydreams of her future fame as a celebrated novelist.



Pages 88 and 89 from Leitzbach’s The Crown of Glory

Leitzbach’s death date is not entirely confirmed, but sources indicate that she died in 1968 in New York City at the age of 81.

The Adeline M. Leitzbach papers at the American Heritage represent the largest collection of her work in one location.


— Gary Rutkowski, Archives Intern/Graduate Student in UW American Studies



Posted in Authors and literature, Interns' projects, motion picture history, newly cataloged collections, popular culture, radio history, Uncategorized, women's history, writers and poets | Leave a comment

The Adeline M. Leitzbach Papers: Part I of a Two-Part Series


Three manuscripts from the Adeline M. Leitzbach papers.

A working writer of early 20th century stage and screen, Adeline Leitzbach had a formula for successful writing, “Careful plot, careful character delineation, well established atmosphere and plenty of heart interest with a dash of comedy thrown in.”

In the silent film era, the female voice was particularly strong in comparison with today; half of all copyrighted films from 1911-25 were written by women. Among these writers was Adeline Leitzbach (1887-1968), a screenwriter and playwright out of New York City, whose words graced the silver screen, Broadway, and, according to some sources, even the vaudeville stage. She worked alone or in collaboration, most famously ghost writing for budding acting sensation Mae West in the early-to-mid-1920s. It’s due to her connection to Mae West that Lietzbach is best known today, but that association is just a small part of her writing legacy.

Typing away at 2552 University Avenue in the Bronx, Leitzbach saw her fortunes rise along with her neighborhood, which blossomed in the ‘20s when middle-class families from Manhattan flocked to its new modern housing and convenient subway access to the city. Leitzbach’s work was usually set in and around the City and consisted of mysteries, dramas, and comedies. Her stories often centered around the upper classes, but she did enjoy writing smaller slices of life. On one of her manuscripts entitled “Unwelcome Wife” she notes: “This story has no murder, no robbery, no hold-up, no rape— no crime of any kind. There are no gunmen, gangsters, bootleggers or shady ladies in it…. It’s just a simple story of people and their emotions…. There are plenty of big scenes and tense situations to say nothing of big acting moments…. There is also opportunity for a great deal of comedy and laughs aplenty…” Additionally, toward the end of her career, Leitzbach created a radio series that featured stories of average people in the environs of New York City.


Fall 2017 intern Gary Rutkowski peruses the Adeline M. Leitzbach collection.

The Adeline M. Leitzbach papers at the American Heritage Center consists of two boxes containing over 50 manuscripts— novels, stage plays, motion picture stories, radio plays, novels, and other pieces. Born in Buffalo, New York, Leitzbach and her mother moved to the Bronx following the death of her father in 1909. For movies produced both in Hollywood as well as New York, Leitzbach began to earn her living in as early as 1917. She had a few of her plays produced on Broadway and in 1922 began a brief collaboration with Mae West. With West she wrote “The Hussy” (1922; unproduced) and the scandalous “Sex” (1926).  Not only did the subject matter of “Sex” create a stir (landing Mae West in jail for 8 days on moral charges following a raid of the theater), but playwright J.J. Byrne sued West on the basis that his play “Following the Fleet” had been lifted and its moral message subverted. In court, Adeline Leitzbach appeared as a witness for the prosecution, admitting that she and West had adapted the Byrne original, however the presiding Federal judge threw the complaint out completely, washing his hands of what he felt were substandard and salacious plays that didn’t deserve defending. Following the courtroom dramatics, the “Mae West” period was over for Leitzbach, but her career continued. The AHC’s Adeline Leitzbach papers do not appear to contain any material related to her work with Mae West; the scripts to both “The Hussy” and “Sex” reside at the Library of Congress.

To be found among the AHC’s collection are two of Leitzbach’s Broadway plays— “The Night Call” (1922) and “Dora Mobridge” (1930), the later appearing under the draft titles “The First Stone” and “Dollars and Sex” (on one of the drafts, in the character list, there is an epplisis and a star penciled in next to Dora Mobridge’s name as if to indicate the title for which the play would ultimately be named). Neither play was well received in its day. “The Night Call” was panned by Women’s Wear’s Kelcey Allen: “ bootleggers, rum runners, the use of radio and constant diming of lights failed to make … [the play] an exciting thriller or mystifying production… The author has adopted about every conceivable method in an attempt to build a mystery melodrama with the result that it becomes a piece of crude patchwork.” (4/27/22). “Dora Mobridge” was lambasted by the New York Herald Tribune (“rambles from dullness to hysteria and back again to boredom” [New York Herald Tribune review by Howard Barnes, 4/21/30]) and the New York Times (“the most pathetic venture of the season” [New York Times, 4/21/30]). Her most prominent work for Broadway was “Success” (1918).  Although “Success” (written with Theodore Leibler, Jr.) does not appear in the AHC collection, a seed of the same story can be found under the title: “Death Comes to Broadway: An Original Drama for the Screen” (an 81-page treatment). Considering it’s genesis as a screen story, it’s therefore kismet that the Broadway show would eventually find its way to the silver screen when “Success” was adapted into a 1923 feature film with a screenplay co-written by Leitzbach and Leibler, Jr. (with titles by George V. Hobart). (Leitzbach’s sometime collaborator was the son of impresario Theodore Leibler, Sr., who, with his producing partner George C. Tyler presented 240 plays, notably bringing Eleanora Duse to America in the later part of her celebrated career.)


Scene from the feature film Success (1923), based on the Broadway play by Adeline Leitzbach and Theodore Leibler, Jr.

Success tells the story of alcoholic Shakespearean actor Barry Carleton whose wife leaves him to raise their daughter alone and who, many years later, is reunited with his daughter when they end up playing Lear and Cordelia together in what becomes an instant hit. In Leitzbach’s undated but presumably earlier story “Death Comes to Broadway,” noted actor Barry Steele, in the same situation, helps his long lost daughter become a stage success but keeps his true identity a secret, until he winds up in the hospital in the climax, at which point all is revealed.

The original Broadway show ran for 64 performances according to the Internet Broadway Database, and received a rave review from The New York Times (“stiring heart appeal and an abundance of humorous lines… unusually well acted” [New York Times review by Eugene Kelcey Allen, 1/29/18]). The 1923 film featured ingénue Mary Astor, who would soon co-star in two high profile John Barrymore vehicles and would later win an Academy Award. There are no known film prints of Success. Two still photos from the production were recently added to the Leitzbach papers. Without captions, one appears to feature Stanley Ridges and Mary Astor, the other Naomi Childers and Brandon Tynan, left to right respectively below.


Stay tuned tomorrow for Part II of this series about Adeline Leitzbach and her papers at the AHC.

– Submitted by Gary Rutkowski, AHC intern from UW American Studies



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Elizabeth Orpha Sampson Hoyt, Notable Woman of the West

Born December 7, 1828 in Athens, Ohio to an adventurous father and a pragmatic mother, Elizabeth Sampson early on displayed qualities of both parents.

A letter to Grace Raymond Hebard from Elizabeth’s son Kepler tells a delightful story from his mother’s youth. He writes that while a young girl, Elizabeth ran away from home and ended up near the property of an astrologer in the Cincinnati area. The astrologer and his wife befriended her and proceeded to chat with her about gardening, horoscopes and fortune telling. This incident, complete with psychic predictions for the future, stayed with Elizabeth her entire life. She preferred dealing on a personal level with the spiritual world rather than seek involvement or association with organized churches, mediums and such.

By the age of 10, Elizabeth had developed such a keen sense of curiosity and an, “…unusual interest in philosophy…” that she was allowed, “…special admission to the class in mental philosophy, taught by President William H. McGuffey of the Ohio University, Athens.”* She went on to study Greek and, by the age of 12, was a regular contributor of verse to the press in her early teens. While still in her youth, she went on to teach philosophy at the Female Seminary in Worthington, Ohio.

Because of her deep love of children, Elizabeth became an avid writer of children’s stories and poems.  One of nine children, she endured while most of her siblings died during early childhood. Elizabeth’s exceptional published works earned her more compensation than her peers and were often considered for illustration. Drawn from her own life, her insightful prose was broad to include historical, romantic, political, sociological, and philosophical subject matter. Many of Elizabeth’s published poems appear in Poets and Poetry of the West by William Coggeshall, published in 1864.


Photo of Elizabeth Hoyt from Women of Wyoming compiled by Cora Beach and published in 1927. A copy of the book can be found in the American Heritage Center’s Toppan Rare Books Library

Teaching, in Elizabeth’s opinion, was second only to spiritual leadership. Nevertheless, she was a passionate advocate for many issues. Near to her heart were public libraries, all things of a patriotic nature, religious liberty, and the impoverished. She was particularly interested in “…birth control, in women’s higher education, in equal suffrage, and in the general advancement of her sex.”** Although, she considered herself a ‘natural realist’ in all things philosophical, according to Cora Beach, compiler of Women of Wyoming (1927), Elizabeth’s “…life was preeminently one of cheerful sacrifice” (p. 61).

Elizabeth arrived in Wyoming with her husband Dr. John W. Hoyt when he was appointed Wyoming’s Territorial Governor in 1878. He served as governor until 1882. Five years later, John Hoyt became UW’s first president, serving from 1887 to 1890. Elizabeth had married John at the age of 26, already having lived a selfless and dutiful life that was marked by perseverance. Elizabeth’s support and encouragement of her husband was renowned and she was regularly by his side at public events.

Her academic credentials included degrees in philosophy and psychology, which opened additional doors later in her life. From 1887 through 1891, she taught as Professor of Psychology and Moral Philosophy as seen in the UW circular of General Information from 1890-1891 as “Mrs. E. O. Sampson Hoyt, Ph.D., Lecturer”.


Course Circular 1890-91, UW Presidents Collection, #510000, Box 1, UW American Heritage Center

After John Hoyt left the UW presidency in 1890, he and Elizabeth moved back east to the Washington D.C. area where she kept busy as an active member of the Society for Philosophical Inquiry.

Toward the end of her life, she often recalled lines from a favorite essay by naturalist, John Burroughs:

 I live my life with even pace,

I make no haste, I hail delays;

I stand amid the eternal ways,

And what is mine will know my face.

  – Submitted by Vicki Glantz, UW American Heritage Center Reference Dept.

*Women of Wyoming, p.59

**Women of Wyoming, page 62

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Toppan Rare Books Library and Reformation Influences

The University of Wyoming Department of Religious Studies is hosting a mini-conference,“The Protestant Reformations: 500 Years and Counting,” on October 15 & 16, 2017.  The event commemorates the 500-year anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformations. Event programming is being held at three UW locations: the  Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts, the Berry Center, and the American Heritage Center.

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his “95 Theses” to the door of the Wittenberg Cathedral in Germany. Six years later, the Catholic Church excommunicated Luther and, by 1526, he began organizing a new church. This was the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. The Reformation then spread widely throughout Europe.

As part of the activities, a display will be available on October 16 from 11:30-12:30 in the AHC’s Toppan Rare Books Library.  Rare Books Curator Anne Marie Lane will be on hand to offer explanations about the books, which will illustrate Reformation influences from the 16th to 19th centuries.

While Lutheran books will be the focus (including German-American Bibles; example seen below), England will also be represented, as well as a few Spanish, Italian, and French Catholic books from the 16th century to put the Protestant movement into context.

German american bible_1

Frontispiece and title page of German-American Lutheran “picture Bible,” published in Philadelphia, 1869. Toppan Rare Books Library, UW American Heritage Center.

German american bible_2

Illustration from German-American Lutheran “picture Bible,” published in Philadelphia, 1869. Toppan Rare Books Library, UW American Heritage Center.

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