Joseph M. Carey

Joseph Maull Carey (January 19, 1845  February 5, 1924) was an American lawyer, rancher, judge, and politician, who spent most of his political career in Wyoming before and after it achieved statehood.

Joseph Maull Carey
8th Governor of Wyoming
In office
January 2, 1911  January 4, 1915
Preceded byFenimore Chatterton
Succeeded byJohn B. Kendrick
United States Sentator
from Wyoming
In office
November 15, 1890  March 3, 1895
Succeeded byFrancis E. Warren
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wyoming Territory's at-large district
In office
March 4, 1885  July 10, 1890
Preceded byMorton Everel Post
Succeeded by(none)
District Eliminated
Associate Justice of the Wyoming Supreme Court
In office
Personal details
Born(1845-01-19)January 19, 1845
Milton, Delaware
DiedFebruary 5, 1924(1924-02-05) (aged 79)
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Political partyProgressive (191224)
Other political
Democratic (191012), Republican (Before 1910)
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania


Carey was born January 19, 1845 in Milton, Delaware, and was educated in Fort Edward Collegiate Institute and Union College before graduating from the law department at the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia in 1864. He was admitted to the bar three years later, in 1867.

Shortly afterwards, he struck west and became the first United States Attorney for the Territory of Wyoming from its organization and served in that capacity from 1869 to 1871. He subsequently became an associate justice in the Supreme Court of the Territory of Wyoming. He served the court from 1871 to 1876 before retiring from the bench to become a rancher.

Afterwards, he began to enter politics, first as a member of the Centennial Commission from 1872 to 1876, and then as a member of the Republican National Committee from 1876 to 1897. He was subsequently elected as mayor of Cheyenne, Wyoming (from 1881 to 1885) and then was elected to the United States House of Representatives representing the Territory of Wyoming from 1885 to 1890. When the territory became a state, he was elected to the United States Senate from 1890 to 1895. In 1895 however, he failed in a run for re-election and returned to the practice of law. Reentering politics in 1910, Carey won the state's gubernatorial election as the Democratic nominee, having been unable to win the Republican nomination in part due to his rivalry with Sen. Francis E. Warren, who controlled the state party.[1]

In 1912, he became one of the organizers of the Progressive Party, which sought to re-elect Theodore Roosevelt. He also served as the vice president of the Federal Land Bank and a member of the board of trustees of the University of Wyoming at Laramie.

He died in Cheyenne, Wyoming, aged 79.

See also


  • American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Peters, Betsy R. Joseph M. Carey and The Progressive Movement in Wyoming. (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Wyoming at Laramie, 1971).


  • Works by or about Joseph M. Carey in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
  • United States Congress. "Joseph M. Carey (id: C000145)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
Legal offices
Preceded by
John H. Howe
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Wyoming
Succeeded by
Jacob B. Blair
Political offices
Preceded by
Mayor of Cheyenne, Wyoming
Succeeded by
Francis E. Warren
Preceded by
Bryant B. Brooks
Governor of Wyoming
January 2, 1911 – January 4, 1915
Succeeded by
John B. Kendrick
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Morton Everel Post
Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wyoming Territory's at-large congressional district

March 4, 1885 – July 10, 1890
Succeeded by
District Eliminated
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Wyoming
November 15, 1890 – March 4, 1895
Served alongside: Francis E. Warren
Succeeded by
Francis E. Warren
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