Payson W. Spaulding, Attorney for Progress

Payson Spaulding's law office on Main Street in Evanston, WY. Spaulding appears on the right. Payson W. Spaulding papers, Box 96, Folder "Photographs--Evanston, Wyoming--1904-1936," Box 96. American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Payson Spaulding’s law office on Main Street in Evanston, WY. Spaulding appears on the right. Payson W. Spaulding papers, Box 96, Folder “Photographs–Evanston, Wyoming–1904-1936,”  American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Payson W. Spaulding established himself as a notable attorney in Southwest Wyoming, serving the community and state for 70 years. He was counsel for the Lincoln Highway Association, Union Pacific Railroad Company, and John D. Rockefeller’s Snake River Land Company, which involved Spaulding in the establishment of the Lincoln Highway and the Jackson Hole National Monument.

Payson Spaulding, May 30, 1904.  Payson W. Spaulding papers, Box 96, Folder "Photographs--Payson W. Spaulding--1904-1936," American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Payson Spaulding, May 30, 1904. Payson W. Spaulding papers, Box 96, Folder “Photographs–Payson W. Spaulding–1904-1936,” American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Payson W. Spaulding was born in Bingham, Maine in 1876; however, he spent most of his youth growing up in the Midwestern states of Minnesota and Illinois. Spaulding attended Kent College and the University of Colorado law school, where he earned his law degree in 1901. Shortly after graduation he moved to Evanston, Wyoming, opened a law office, and married Nelle Johnson Quinn. Spaulding was interested in automobiles and road travel. He was the first person to own an automobile in Evanston and in 1908 he joined J.M. Murdock and his family on a transcontinental automobile tour to New York.

spaulding auto and snow

Snowfall near Evanston, WY during the winter months of 1935 and 1936. Payson W. Spaulding papers, Box 96, Folder “Photographs–Evanston, Wyoming–1904-1936,”  American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

He also took a personal interest in oil drilling; investing time and money mining Southwest Wyoming and Nevada.  He continued to practice law in Wyoming until 1971 and died in 1972 at the age of 95.

The AHC has just finished processing the collection and has produced a new online finding aid.  The collection contains legal case files regarding civil, divorce, corporate, criminal, land, water, and probate cases from Payson W. Spaulding’s private practice.  These files contain correspondence, legal documents, and financial records concerning the case and/or clients; including his work with the Lincoln Highway Association, Union Pacific Railroad, and the Jackson Hole National Monument and involvement of Rockefeller’s Snake River Land Company in acquiring land for the monument.

–Jamie Greene, Processing Archivist

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