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Governor Milward L. Simpson

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Office Dates:  Jan 03, 1955 - Jan 05, 1959

Born:  Nov 12, 1897

Passed:  Jun 11, 1993

Birth State:  Wyoming

Party:  Republican

Family:  Married Lorna Kooi; two children

School(s):  University of Wyoming

National Office(s) Served:  Senator

Military Service:  Army


MILWARD L. SIMPSON was born in Jackson, Wyoming. Raised on the Wind River Indian Reservation, he worked as a coal miner, day laborer, cowpuncher, and semi-professional baseball player, and served as 2nd Lieutenant of Infantry in World War I. After receiving a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wyoming, he went on to Harvard Law School and was admitted to the Wyoming Bar in 1926. Simpson was a member of the Wyoming House of Representatives from 1927 to 1929. From 1943 until 1955, he was president of the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees. He was defeated in his campaign for the U.S. Senate in 1940, but was elected governor in 1954. A critic of federal land policy, he urged that all federal lands be returned to the states. Under his administration, the state’s first division of mental health was established. And he is credited with securing federal authorization to build the first uranium mills in Wyoming. In 1958 he was defeated for reelection by John Joseph Hickey, but went on to beat Hickey in his bid to fill the unexpired U.S. Senate term of Edwin Keith Thompson, who died shortly after being elected in 1960. Because of debilitating Parkinson’s Disease, Simpson did not seek reelection to the Senate.

Sources:

The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. I. New York: James T. White & Company.

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Wyoming State Archives