Dean T. Prosser

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Dean T. Prosser, Jr.
Wyoming State Representative from Laramie County
In office
1971–1983
Preceded by At-large seat
Succeeded by At-large seat
Personal details
Born (1917-05-10)May 10, 1917
Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
Died September 24, 2007(2007-09-24) (aged 90)
Newport, Rhode Island, USA
Resting place Lakeview Cemetery in Cheyenne
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) (1) Harriot Ann McSween Prosser (married 1940 - deceased)

(2) Gloria Prieto Craw Prosser (1979-2007, his death)

Children (1) Alden Prosser

Ann Truxell Palen
Edward Riner Prosser
Stepdaughter Gigi Harvey

Alma mater Cheyenne Central High School

University of Colorado at Boulder

Occupation Rancher; officer of Wyoming Stockgrowers Association; businessman

Dean T. Prosser, Jr. (May 10, 1917 - September 24, 2007), was a Republican member of the Wyoming House of Representatives from 1971–1983, who authored major environmental legislation to preserve the Wyoming landscape. Prosser was also the executive secretary and then the executive vice-president of the influential Wyoming Stockgrowers Association from 1963-1984. He worked thereafter with the National Cattleman's Association to establish the existing cattle import quota law.

Early years[edit]

Prosser was born in Cheyenne to Dean Prosser, Sr., and the former Dorothy Riner (1889–1973) and spent his early years on the family ranch in Albany County near Laramie. He attended the first six grades at the former Pumpkin Vine School in Tie Siding located north of the Colorado border. He then attended University Prep School and lived at Sherwood Hall in Laramie. In 1934, he graduated though from Cheyenne Central High School. Thereafter in 1939, he procured a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

In 1940, he wed the former Harriot Ann McSween. They settled on the Chalk Bluffs Ranch near Cheyenne, where Prosser assisted his father in the ranching operation. Prosser took over the management of the ranch after his father's death in 1958. He ranched in Cheyenne until 1963, when he joined the stockgrowers association.

Legislative record[edit]

Prosser served six two-year terms in the legislature under Governors Stanley K. Hathaway, a fellow Republican, and Edgar Herschler, a Democrat. He was named to these committees: (1) Agriculture, Public Lands and Water Resources, (2) Mines, Minerals, and Industrial Development, (3) Transportation and Highway, and (4) Rules and Procedures. The Department of Environmental Quality was established during his term as chairman of the Mines and Minerals Committee.

In addition, Chairman Prosser worked for passage of the Wyoming Mined Land Reclamation Act and the Industrial Siting Act, both laws being the backbone of state environmental protection legislation. The Mined Land Reclamation Act requires mining companies to restore disturbed areas to their natural state and was a prototype of similar legislation adopted nationally. Prosser sponsored the Wyoming Beef Council Act, which established a checkoff system to collect funds to promote the sale of beef. Representative Prosser also worked successfully to remove the ad valorem tax on livestock, which saves ranchers $6 to $10 per year per head. He also worked to improve brand inspection laws.

From his capacity at the Stockgrowers Association, Prosser cautioned ranchers not to overproduce cattle during periods of high prices. Once a downturn in the economy took effect, the ranchers would be unable to make good profits on future sales. "The real culprit is the guy who looks back into the mirror while preparing for your daily shave," Prosser told cattlemen in their annual convention in June 1977.

Prosser was the past president of the International Livestock Brand Conference, which coordinated the transfer of cattle across state lines. In 1983, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Northern International Livestock Exposition because of his overall contributions to agriculture. He was a past chairman of the Laramie County (Cheyenne) Fair Board and a past president of his county Farm Bureau.

After World War II, Prosser served on the Laramie County Draft Board. He was a director of Memorial Hospital in Cheyenne. He was a member of the Governor's Agricultural Advisory Committee. In 1967, he was named secretary of the Wyoming Council for Economic Development. U.S. President Richard M. Nixon appointed Prosser to the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board, which implements congressional legislation to protect wild horses and burros. President Ronald W. Reagan named Prosser to the National Public Lands Advisory Board. In 1998, he was chosen as a finalist in the field of agriculture for the honor "Wyoming Citizen of the Century".

Death and family[edit]

After the death of first wife Harriot, Prosser in 1979 married the former Gloria Craw Prieto. The couple retired and moved, first, to Green Valley, Arizona, and then Tiverton, Rhode Island. Prosser died in a hospital in Newport, Rhode Island.

In addition to second wife Gloria, Prosser was survived by his children from his first marriage: Alden Herbert Prosser (born 1943) and wife, Sherilyn Kay Prosser, of Wheatland, Ann Truxell Palen and her husband, Jerry Joseph Palen (both born 1944), of Saratoga, and Edward Riner Prosser (born 1949) and wife, Nancy Prosser, of Cheyenne; one stepdaughter, Gigi Harvey and husband, Andrew, of London, England; nine grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren.

Edward Prosser is a former member of the Wyoming House who was unseated in the 2004 Republican primary by Representative Dan Zwonitzer. He also failed in a 2006 primary comeback attempt against Zwonitzer.

Services for Dean Prosser were held on October 2, 2007, in Schrader Funeral Home Chapel in Cheyenne. Burial followed at historic Lakeview Cemetery in Cheyenne.

Prosser was the fifth former Cheyenne-area lawmaker to have died between April and September 2007. Republicans Joseph D. Selby, Larry D. Shippy, and Robert Schliske died on April 20, June 8, and June 21, respectively. Democrat Edwin H. Whitehead succumbed on May 20.

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