Before the arrival of the "white man," Wyoming's native born were all Native American, like Chief Washakie. Many forefathers of our state were not born here. In fact many were not here for long before 1890, but we'd sure name our towns and streets after them.

Not to beat a politically correct drum, this historic fact just begs a question. Today we might ask in these terms, "When was the birth of Wyoming's first anglo anchor baby?" Well, that was answered by an unknown Cheyenne newspaper reporter in 1921. It's ironic how it was put, "As Laramie would later claim birthplace of woman suffrage, a female was the first white child..." It was 30 years before statehood.

Mrs. Mattie Stinger was born at old Fort Laramie, December 15, 1860. For a Kentucky mother, who'd married an immigrant from Switzerland, she was the territory's first of that descent on record. Doctors at the old post pointed out perhaps births were in caravans that passed through to Utah or further, but no records of any were found.

Her maiden name was Mattie Tomamichel. Her father, after meeting Maddie's Mom in Kentucky, enlisted in his new country's army, and was sent to Fort Laramie. Over some years he grew tired of the military, so Mattie was taken to St. Louis, and then to Irving, Illinois, where they lived for more years until 1875, when father re-enlisted in the army. Being returned to Wyoming, this time it was their home to stay.

Mattie married a military man, herself, N.J. Stinger, who had quite a career as well. He was a member of a party sent to join Custer and troops. Fortunately, their guide was lost and they did not reach Custer on schedule, but what they found along the Little Big Horn was gruesome. Mattie was told many times about it.

Maddie was 61 when her story was in the August 23, 1921 Wyoming State Tribune - Cheyenne State Ledger. She'd been born before the Civil War, and after 1921 lived 23 more years, until 1944 when World War II ended.