Agnes Wright Spring
Agnes Wright Spring
Date of Birth
Born 1894 Died 1988
Agnes Wright Spring’s work in the fields of applied history and history of the American West through research, literature, historical exhibitions, and advocacy led her to hold the positions of journalist, editor, State Historian of Wyoming, President of the Colorado Historical Society, and State Historian of Colorado throughout her career. Spring authored twenty-two books and hundreds of articles on topics relating to the American West. As a woman writing about Western history in the first half of the twentieth century, Spring challenged the boundaries of traditional historical practices, forged a path for other women in the field, and shaped the public’s perception of western history for years to come.
Spring graduated from the University of Wyoming, where she was the first female editor of the Wyoming Student. After a brief sojourn to New York, she returned to Wyoming to serve as the State Librarian of Wyoming. When this position added the role of State Historian of Wyoming, she became the first person to serve in that role.
After moving to Colorado, Spring worked as a librarian and research aid at the Denver Public Library while also authoring several books and articles. During the Great Depression, she was appointed as the Director of the Federal Writers Project for the state of Wyoming by the Works Progress Administration. Following this position, Spring turned her focus to her own passion for research and writing and moved back to Colorado. Most of her twenty-two books and nearly all of her articles related to life in and history of the American West. Spring’s book, The Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage and Express Routes (1948), was especially successful. When she served as interim Colorado State Historian in 1950, she became the first female State Historian of Colorado. She was later appointed to the position on a permanent basis in 1954. In that position, she advocated for the expansion of history curriculum in Colorado schools, managed the Colorado Magazine, oversaw the Junior Historian program and publication, and incorporated new technologies into her strategy for expanding history education including televised programs, films, lesson plan mailers, and radio talk shows.