Edwin Keith Thomson

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Edwin Keith Thomson
Edwin Keith Thompson (Wyoming Congressman).jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wyoming's At-large district
In office
January 3, 1955 – December 9, 1960
Preceded by William Henry Harrison
Succeeded by William Henry Harrison
Member of the Wyoming House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born (1919-02-08)February 8, 1919
Newcastle, Wyoming
Died December 9, 1960(1960-12-09) (aged 41)
Cody, Wyoming
Cause of death Heart attack
Resting place Arlington National Cemetery
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Thyra Thomson
Children Three sons
Residence Cheyenne, Wyoming
Alma mater University of Wyoming
Occupation Attorney/Lawmaker
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Battles/wars World War II

Edwin Keith Thomson (February 8, 1919 – December 9, 1960), usually known as Keith Thomson, was a United States Representative from Wyoming. A highly decorated World War II veteran, Thomson served three terms in Wyoming's only U.S. House seat. On November 8, 1960, he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1960, but died a month later of a heart attack before taking office.

Early life[edit]

Born in Newcastle, Wyoming, he grew up on a ranch in Crook County and attended public schools in Beulah, Wyoming, and Spearfish, South Dakota. He graduated in 1941 from the University of Wyoming Law School in Laramie. While in law school he met his wife, Thyra Godfrey Thomson, and they were married in 1939.[1]

Military service[edit]

Thomson was called to active duty on March 24, 1941 and commanded the Second Battalion, Three Hundred and Sixty-second Infantry Regiment, Ninety-first Division. He was released from active duty as a lieutenant colonel on January 24, 1946. He had been admitted to the bar in 1941 and commenced the practice of law in Cheyenne in February 1946; he was a delegate to the 1952 Republican National Convention in Chicago and was a member of the Wyoming House of Representatives from 1952 to 1954.

Political career[edit]

Thomson was elected as a member of the Republican party to the Eighty-fourth, Eighty-fifth, and Eighty-sixth Congresses and served from January 3, 1955, until his death. He did not seek renomination to the Eighty-seventh Congress, but was elected to the United States Senate on November 8, 1960, for the term commencing January 3, 1961. However, he died of a heart attack in Cody, Wyoming in December, before his term in the Senate began. Democratic Governor John J. Hickey appointed himself to the seat but was defeated in a 1962 special election to serve out the term by Republican Milward L. Simpson. Thomson was interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

Following Thomson's death, his wife Thyra Thomson was elected in 1962 as Wyoming Secretary of State. She was re-elected to five more terms, and served in that office for twenty-four years, until 1987.[2][3][4]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
William H. Harrison
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wyoming's at-large congressional district

January 3, 1955 – December 9, 1960
Succeeded by
William H. Harrison


  1. ^ "Former Sec. of State Thyra Thomson dies," Billings Gazette (Wyoming), John Barron, June 12, 2013.
  2. ^ Mark Junge, "The Wind is My Witness: A Wyoming Album", Roberts Rinehart, 1997.
  3. ^ "Former Sec. of State Thyra Thomson dies," Billings Gazette, June 12, 2013.
  4. ^ Obituary

External links[edit]