Fenimore Chatterton

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Fenimore Chatterton
F Chatterton.jpg
6th Governor of Wyoming
In office
April 28, 1903 – January 2, 1905
Preceded byDeForest Richards
Succeeded byBryant Butler Brooks
3rd Secretary of State of Wyoming
In office
GovernorDeForest Richards
Preceded byCharles W. Burdick
Succeeded byWilliam Schnitger
Member of the Wyoming State Legislature
In office
Personal details
BornJuly 21, 1860
Oswego County, New York
DiedMay 9, 1958 (aged 97)
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Stella Wyland Chatterton
Alma materGeorge Washington University
University of Michigan

Fenimore Chatterton (July 21, 1860 – May 9, 1958) was an American businessman, politician, and lawyer. He was the sixth Governor of Wyoming from April 28, 1903 until January 2, 1905.


Chatterton was born in Oswego County, New York, but raised in Washington, D.C.. He attended the George Washington University, then Millersville State Normal School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In 1878, he moved to Sheridan, in Wyoming Territory, and set up as a businessman. He received a law degree from the University of Michigan in 1892. Chaterton married Stella Wyland Chatterton.


In 1888, he began his political career by successfully running for treasurer and probate judge of Carbon County. He served time in two classes of the Wyoming State Legislature from 1890 until 1893. He was the Wyoming Republican state chair from 1893 to 1894.[1]

In 1898, he was elected Secretary of State, but his tenure was interrupted by the death of Governor DeForest Richards in 1903, thrusting him into the position of governor. Chatterdon served as governor from April 28, 1903 to January 2, 1905.[2] It was during Chatterton's time as Governor that the hanging of Tom Horn occurred; it has been speculated that Chatterton's failure to win re-election as governor in 1905 was the result of his refusal to commute Horn's death sentence. Chatterdon was not nominated by his party to fill the office of governor for the 1904 election, but continued to serve as Secretary of State until his term expired in 1907.

After his term as Secretary of State expired, Chatterton did not serve in public office again. He set up a private law practice, from which he retired in 1932.

Death and legacy[edit]

Chatterton died on May 9, 1958, and is interred at Lakeview Cemetery in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He was an Episcopalian and a member of the Knights Templar Masonic Order.

Chatterdon has been credited as the first to announce the Wyoming (song) as the official state song, during the Industrial Convention in 1903. The song was later endorsed as the official song by the state press association, state industrial convention and the state university.[3][4]


  1. ^ "Chatterton, Fenimore (1860-1958)". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  2. ^ "Wyoming Governor Fenimore Chatterton". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  3. ^ "Grand Encampment Herald" (PDF). Grand Encampment Herald. Oct 26, 1903. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  4. ^ "Wyoming's State Song" (PDF). Wyoming Library Roundup. Retrieved October 30, 2012.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Charles W. Burdick
Secretary of State of Wyoming
Succeeded by
William Schnitger
Preceded by
DeForest Richards
Governor of Wyoming
April 28, 1903 – January 2, 1905
Succeeded by
Bryant B. Brooks