Biographical Sketch of Jane Hilton

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Jane Hilton, 1829 - 1883

By Kim Viner, independent historian, September 2017

Jane Hilton was born 1829 in New York. In 1870 she was living with her husband George F. Hilton and daughter Nellie Hilton in Laramie. They had arrived in 1868 and her husband, who was a physician, was also a minister and organized the Methodist church in Laramie. In March 1870 she was called by Sheriff N.K. Boswell to serve on the first formal jury in the world to seat women. She served with five other women (and additional men) on the grand jury convened in Laramie, Wyoming Territory. She served again on a grand jury in Laramie in February 1871.

Her husband also ran a drug store in town through 1873 but then the family drops out of local newspaper accounts. It appears that they may have moved on to California just after that. A very brief obituary was published in the Laramie Boomerang on May 24, 1883. It mentioned that news from "elsewhere" noted that she had passed away. No details of her life were given but an even briefer announcement in the Laramie Sentinel noted she died in San Francisco.

Sources:

1870 U.S. Census at https://www.familysearch.org/

Laramie Boomerang "Women on the Jury" October 17, 1889, pg 1 at http://newspapers.wyo.gov/

Laramie Weekly Boomerang no title. May 24, 1883, pg 8 at http://newspapers.wyo.gov/

Laramie Sentinel, no title. May 26, 1883, pg 2 at http://newspapers.wyo.gov/

Viner, Kim. Laramie Wyoming Women Made World History. Laramie, Wyoming: Laramie Plains Museum Association, 2015.

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