8. The Original Courthouse
The Original Courthouse: Law, Order and some Old-Fashioned Justice.
In the 1870’s, the town of Laramie boasted more lawlessness than law. The existing Courthouse was constructed in 1933, after the original was demolished. Pan the 1872 Courthouse as it once stood.
Melville C. Brown History Lawyer, Mayor
In his long career, however, M.C. Brown defended anyone who needed legal assistance. In keeping with his legal philosophy, he did not limit himself to high profile cases. Be they murderers, thieves, prostitutes or cattle barons, he represented them with equal vigor, teaming at various times with such prominent attorneys as C.P. Arnold, J.P. Brockway and John Blake.
Decades apart, Brown served two terms as mayor of Laramie. He was the city’s first mayor in 1868, serving for only a short six weeks. He served a full term at the end of the century.
In 1889 his legal prowess and Republican backing suited him well as a delegate to, and president of, the Wyoming Constitutional Convention. Brown was most prominent in the deliberations for his support of language ensuring that all water sources in the state be put to their best use. He was also a vocal supporter of the new constitution’s guarantee of the right of women to vote. His efforts to tax coal as a source of government revenue, however, failed. They were doomed by arguments that such a tax singled out the Union Pacific Railroad—the railroad at the time controlled nearly all the coal mined in Wyoming—and that the influx of funds would lead to a bloated government.