Stanley K. Hathaway

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Stanley Knapp Hathaway

In office
June 12, 1975 – October 9, 1975
President Gerald R. Ford, Jr.
Preceded by Rogers Clark Ballard Morton
Succeeded by Thomas S. Kleppe

In office
January 2, 1967 – January 6, 1975
Preceded by Clifford P. Hansen
Succeeded by Edgar Jacob Herschler

Born July 19, 1924
Osceola, Nebraska
Died October 4, 2005 (aged 81)
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Resting place Valley View Cemetery in Torrington in Goshen County, Wyoming
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Roberta Louise "Bobby" Harley Hathaway
(married 1948–2004, her death)
Children Susan H. Garrett

Sandra H. D'Amico
Robert C. and Lily Koehler Knapp
Adopted parents:
Franklin Earl and Velma Hathaway

Alma mater Huntley (Wyoming) High School

University of Wyoming
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
(Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws}

Military Service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army Air Corps]]
Battles/wars World War II
Awards French Croix de Guerre

U.S. Presidential Unit Citations
Five Air Medals

Stanley Knapp Hathaway, known as Stan Hathaway (July 19, 1924 – October 4, 2005), was from 1967 to 1975 the 27th governor of Wyoming. Thereafter, he served nearly four months as the United States Secretary of the Interior under appointment of his fellow Republican, U.S. President Gerald R. Ford, Jr.


Hathaway was the fifth of six children born in Osceola in Polk County in east central Nebraska, to Robert C. Knapp and the former Lily Koehler.[1] After the death of his mother when Stanley was only two years of age, he was adopted by a cousin, Velma, and her husband, Franklin Earl Hathaway. The couple homesteaded near Huntley in Goshen County in southeastern Wyoming, where he was the only graduating senior in the 1941 class at Huntley High School.[2][3]

After enrolling briefly at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, the state's only four-year university, Hathaway enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941, which brought the United States into World War II. Hathaway was trained as a radio operator and gunner, he flew B-17 bombers from England and flew thirty-five combat missions over France and Germany.[3][4]

On one mission under General James Doolittle over Leipzig, Germany, Hathaway's plane and crew took heavy enemy fire while attacking an oil refinery. During the Leipzig mission, a total of fifty-six aircraft and more than five hundred American troops were lost. Hathaway's unit had a 50 percent casualty rate.[2] Hathaway was shot down in the fall of 1944 while on a mission to Frankfurt, Germany. They lost three engines before crash-landing in a field in France, where they were eventually rescued by the French Resistance.[2] Hathaway received the French Croix de Guerre, U.S. Presidential Unit Citations, and five Air Medals.[4]

After his discharge from the Air Corps, Hathaway enrolled at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, from which he earned a bachelor's degree. In 1950, he graduated from the UN College of Law. At the university, he met Roberta Louise "Bobby" Harley (1924–2004); they wed in 1948 and moved to Torrington in Goshen County, Wyoming, where he set up his law practice, and his wife taught English language at Torrington Junior High School. They had two daughters, Susan H. Garrett and Sandra H. D'Amico.

Political career

Hathaway served from 1954 to 1962 as a Goshen County prosecuting attorney.In 1962, he was elected the Goshen County Republican chairman and the secretary of the Republican State Central Committee. In 1963, he was elected chairman of the Wyoming Republican State Central Committee and served for two years on the Republican National Committee.

In 1966, Hathaway was elected governor of Wyoming, a Republican-leaning year. He defeated the Democrat Ernest Wilkerson, 54.3 to 45.7 percent, an attorney from Casper who proposed a state severance tax.[5] In 1970, Hathaway defeated the Democrat John J. Rooney (1915–1998), 62.8 to 37.2 percent and bucked the nation Democratic tide that year. He declined to run for a third term in 1974 and was succeeded by the Democrat, Edgar Jacob Herschler (1918–1990), who defeated the Republican state Senator Richard R. "Dick" Jones (1910–2008), 55.9 to 44.1 percent.[4]

Governor Hathaway worked to reorganize state government and to enact new environmental laws on air and water quality, surface mining regulations, and the establishment of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. Other new departments created during the Hathaway administration were a Department of Recreation to oversee and improve care of state parks and to provide support for Wyoming's tourism industry, and a Department of Economic Planning and Development to promote economic growth.[6] The state economy was sluggish when Hathaway was elected governor, but he set in motion initiatives which brought a booming economy by the time he left office. Wilkerson lost the 1966 election, but winner Hathaway also pushed for the enactment of Wyoming's first mineral severance tax in 1969, and the establishment of a Permanent Mineral Trust Fund, financed by a 1.5 percent tax on the extraction of minerals. The trust fund reached $2.25 billion by the time of Hathaway's death. The taxes go into the state's general fund.

During his tenure as governor, Hathaway was the chairman of the Western Governor's Conference,[7] of which Ronald Reagan was a member. Hathaway was the chairman of the Interstate Oil Compact Commission, the National Governor's Conference Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Management, and the Federation of Rocky Mountain States. Among his last appointments in office was that of Richard Van Thomas (1932–2010) to the Wyoming Supreme Court, a position that Thomas held from December 1974 until February 2001.

As her state's First Lady, Bobby Hathaway worked for the establishment of an Arts Council supported entirely by donated funds. She also pushed for an Indian Council to improve the welfare of Native Americans living on reservations, including the expansion of government mental health programs.[8][9]

With a large majority of U.S. senators being Democrat at the time, Hathaway's confirmation for Secretary of the Interior was contentious.[10] During his brief tenure at Interior, he pushed for the federal coal leasing program. However, declining health resulted in his resignation. President Ford then nominated U.S. Representative Thomas S. Kleppe of North Dakota to fill the Cabinet position.

Upon returning to Wyoming in October 1975, Hathaway co-founded Hathaway, Speight and Kunz law firm in the capital city of Cheyenne. He was named an emeritus member of the University of Wyoming's Ruckelshaus Institute for Environment and Natural Resources, named for William Doyle Ruckelshaus (1932–2019), the first and fifth director of the Environmental Protection Agency, who came to Wyoming at the urging of then U.S. Senator Alan Simpson, another Moderate Republican.[11]

In 2009, Democratic Governor David D. Freudenthal awarded the "Governor's Art Award for Excellence in the Arts" to Stanley and Bobby Hathaway.[12] In 2005, the Wyoming legislature funded $400 million for a "Hathaway Student Scholarship" program under which Wyoming high school graduates who qualify can receive a Hathaway scholarship for the full cost of tuition and fees at the University of Wyoming, or for attendance at any of the state's community colleges.[4]

Hathaway died in Cheyenne at the age of eighty-one. His wife predeceased him a year earlier. The Hathaways are interred in Valley View Cemetery in Torrington.[3]

Following his death, the legislature unanimously passed a joint resolution memorializing Governor Hathaway as "one of Wyoming's greatest natural resources."[13]


  1. Bits and Pieces (1966).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Sally Vanderpoel, "Stan Hathaway: A Biography" ISBN 0-9742860-1-X, January 2003.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Stanley Knapp Hathaway (1924-2005) - Find A Grave Memorial, accessed July 22, 2021.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Stanley K. Hathaway - Wyoming's Leader, Lawyer and Friend", Journal of the Wyoming State Bar, October 2005 Issue. Wyoming State Bar Template:Webarchive
  5. Taxing Wyoming Minerals: Severance Taxes and Permanent Funds |, accessed July 22, 2021.
  6. Sally Vanderpoel, "Stan Hathaway: A Biography", ISBN 9742860-1-X, January 2003, pp. 159-160.
  7. Stanley K. Hathaway - National Governors Association (, accessed July 22, 2021.
  8. Sally Vanderpoel, "Stan Hathaway: A Biography", ISBN 0-9742860-1-X, January 2003, pp. 172-174.
  9. Former first lady was force all her own | Wyoming News |, accessed July 22, 2021}}
  10. Jessie Stearns, "Defending Stan," Star-Tribune Capital Bureau, The Casper Star-Tribune, June 3, 1975.
  11. Renowned GOP enviro figure had outsize impact on Wyoming | WyoFile, accessed July 22, 2021.
  12. Robin Beaver (2010). Stan Hathaway - Wyoming's Favorite Son. Made in Wyoming Profiles.
  13. 58th Wyoming legislature resolution, March 6, 2006.