Born in Oswego, New York, FENIMORE CHATTERTON grew up in Washington, D.C., where he attended Columbian University (now George Washington University). He moved to Wyoming Territory in 1878, where he established a mercantile business and later practiced law after receiving a degree from the University of Michigan in 1892. He was elected Probate Judge and Treasurer of Carbon County, Wyoming in 1888, and served two terms in the State Senate. He was defeated in a bid for a United States Senate seat in 1894, but became Secretary of State—a position from which he assumed the office of Acting Governor upon the death of DeForest Richards. During his administration, Chatterton opposed an increase in forest reserves and the extension of Yellowstone Park, while encouraging railroad building and the development of irrigation. He was not nominated by his party for the 1904 election to fill the office of governor, but continued to serve as Secretary of State until his term expired in 1907. He later served on the Public Service Commission and on the State Board of Equalization.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vols. 47 and A. 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.