#Lookback: Daylight Savings

by | Jan 17, 2020 12:14PM

A series where we take a #lookback at the stories and history of our community,

brought to you by Mick Pryor, Financial Advisor with Edward Jones.

The Upper Wind River Country has always had a unique mix of people that call this place home. Is it the people who find this hidden hole that are unique or does the hidden hole make the people unique? Probably a combination of both! However, this one is for sure, if you’re going to call the Upper Wind River Valley your home, you have to love nature, find your niche in a small community, develop amazing friendships, help a neighbor in need; but you also have to be strong willed, innovative, stubborn at times, and speak your mind. This is a common description of Dubois area residents from the early 1870s to today.

Jack Anderson is perhaps one of the best examples of this lifestyle that is preserved in the Dubois Museum. Jack refused to acknowledge the annual time change from standard time to daylight savings time. Jack did not change his clocks his entire life, but he did invent a clock that shined on the wall in his cabin so he could see what time it was in the dark, perhaps a half a century before today’s technology that can do the same thing.

So, to entertain Jack’s deep dislike of changing the clock, why do we do it? What is time? When did time like we think of it today start? On November 18, 1883 the United States and Canadian railroads designated standard time in time zones. Before this, time was a relative thing in daily life. Typically, a small town would have a clock on a church or another important building that the community would use. Standard time in time zones was not actually established as a United States law until the Standard Time Act of 1918. This act also established daylight savings time, but this portion was repealed in 1919. Daylight savings time was re-established early in World War II until the end of the war. The Uniform Time Act of 1966 provided standardization in the dates of beginning and end of daylight savings time in the United States but allowed for states to become exempt.

Jack Anderson served in World War I, and was discharged in 1919 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. When Jack was in his 70s he decided enough was enough and he was going to petition the State of Wyoming to end the nonsense of changing the clock. A draft of the petition leaves us all with a clear understanding of his feelings on changing the clock:

“To Governor Stanley Hathaway and the Law making Body, Greetings: We the undersigned citizens, of the State of Wyoming, ask relief now, from the hokum and hardships imposed upon us, by this absurd, decree officially, called day light saving time, but commonly called liars time.

The only one that this plan helps, that we have found is the golfer. He and the few bureaucrats, who have put this over on us, seem to have no idea of the torment and grief, and downright loss of efficiency, for most of the people, it upsets all habits and normal time tables, especially mothers and children suffer, its bad for schools, teachers and pupils alike do not like it, highway workers say at quitting time, in the middle of the afternoon is just when the materials are warm enough to work right.

We feel strongly that this time change is an insane fad and we ask and demand that we go back to standard time now.

Sincerely we the People who have signed below.”

The actual copy that was submitted dated May 30, 1972 simply stated “We the undersigned respectfully request that the State of Wyoming be restored to Mountain Standard Time rather than the confusing situation created by the adoption of Daylight Savings Time. We respectfully request that you and the legislature of the State of Wyoming take any and all appropriate steps to promptly eliminate Wyoming from those sates recognizing Daylight Savings Time.”

Apparently, Jack was not alone, this petition has 129 signatures from all over the county with Jack at the top. Names on the list are a piece of Dubois history on their own with the likes of Bob and June Albright: Double Diamond Ranch, Stanley Crouse Jr.: Red Rock Ranch, Harold and Kathleen Goodell, Harold Boedeker, Robert Grubb, B.T. Killion, Joe and Mary Back, Bill Moriarty, Wayne Steinert, Victor Lemmon, Holger and Lillie Poulsen, Verna Leseberg, and Carl Stringer to name a few. Other Fremont County residents to sign included: Fred Adams, Thom Duncan, Sidney Freese, and J.H. Field.

Nearly fifty years later most people on the list have passed on, and we are still changing the clock. The Upper Wind River Valley residents are still tough, nature loving and strong willed at times, but most of all still help a neighbor and have special friendships that can only happen in small town Wyoming.

Next up for the Fremont County Museums

January 23rd at the Dubois Museum 7 pm, “From Clovis to Cowboy: Five Years of Archaeological Reconnaissance … in the Wind River Mountains, Wyoming” By Todd Guenther

Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series

February 8th at the Riverton Museum 2 pm, “Exploring Historic Computers” 

Bailey Tire/Pit Stop Children’s Exploration Series

February 14th at the Riverton Museum 5:30-9:30 pm, “Murder Mystery Night at the Museum: Roaring 20’s”

March 12th at the Pioneer Museum 7 pm, “Lander in 1920”

Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series

Consider supporting The Dubois Museum, the Pioneer Museum in Lander or the Riverton Museum with a monetary donation. The museums are more reliant than ever on donations from the private sector to continue to provide the quality programs, collections management, exhibits and services that have become their hallmark. Please make your tax deductible contribution to be used specifically for the benefit of the museum of your choosing by sending a check to Fremont County Museums 450 N 2nd Rm 320 or taking it directly to the museum you choose to support.

This County 10 Series is brought to you by:

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