Nellie Tayloe was born near St. Joseph, Missouri, November 29, 1876. Miss Tayloe married William Ross in 1902. She had met Mr. Ross while visiting friends in Tennessee. They chose to make their home in Wyoming, and in 1922 Mr. Ross was elected Governor of Wyoming. Late in 1924 he died. The democratic party nominated Mrs. Ross as their candidate for the special election to replace the deceased governor, but she refused to campaign. She won anyway. When the 1926 election rolled around, she again refused to campaign, and this time she was defeated. Thus the first woman governor in this country served in that position for two years.*
Mrs. Ross was nominated to run as vice-presidential candidate alongside Al Smith in the 1928 election, but the convention selected Joseph Robinson as the candidate. Though Ross disagreed with Smith on the issue of prohibition, she made a nominating speech in his behalf and supported him in the election. She later served as vice-chairman of the DNC. In 1933 she was named Director of the Mint by President Roosevelt. She was the first woman to hold this position, a post in which she remained for twenty years until her retirement.
In her retirement years, Nellie Ross traveled extensively and wrote many articles for various publications. She died in 1977 at the age of 101.
Nellie Tayloe Ross 1876 - 1977 RIP
*Ma Ferguson was inaugurated Governor of Texas twelve days after Ross's inauguration.
Sources: Famous Firsts by American Women;