The Saratoga Sun -

Republican women disband

78-year-old group struggles to find members, dissolves


November 14, 2018

Photo courtesy Peggy Hiser

This 2008 photo shows the Platte Valley Republican Women and their "Avenue of Flags" used in parades or patriotic events.

On July 11, 1940, the organization of the Platte Valley Republican Women (PVRW) was announced in the Saratoga Sun.

The small article read, "A study club for the Republican women of the Platte Valley will be organized this coming Tuesday. The purpose of the club, Mrs. Howard Corpening stated, will be to familiarize and educate the Valley women in all affairs of the federal government and the state. State chairwoman Mrs. Kleber Hadsell, County Chairwoman, Mrs. Helen Johnson, and several other officials will be present to assist with the organization."

Now, just over 78 years later, the PVRW have officially closed the books with just four members present at their last meeting. The group, which at one time sported 31 members, has seen membership dwindle over the years as members have either passed away or moved from the Valley. Without any new membership, the group made the tough decision to disband.

"We're, I guess, not needed anymore," said PVRW member Peggy Hiser. "There's a lot of deceased people ... on this list. The young ones, they have children and they have school activities. You look at the roster and they're either working or they're too old to come or something. We closed the books with four members and you have to have 10 in order to belong to the state."

Over the years, the PVRW did their fair share of community service and outreach. On April 3, 1991 the group applied to the "Adopt-A-Highway" program for Wyoming Highway 130/230 from milepost 27 to 29 and have cleaned that section of highway since. Another project that the PVRW took on was the Avenue of Flags, a now common sight at parades throughout the area from Woodchoppers' Jamboree to Independence Day.

"The biggest project that we had was the Avenue of Flags. It took us quite a few months, and a couple of years, to get the flags all organized because we didn't have a lot of money, but we started out and did the flags," Hiser said.

The PVRW also welcomed Governor Jim Geringer and then candidates George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in 2000 and former GOP state chair Becky Costantino in 2001. Over the years, the organization also brought in a several Wyoming First Ladies and even had one of their members, the late Judy Saulcy, serve as president of the Wyoming Republican Women.

While the PVRW may have disbanded, Hiser has every intention of continuing to show the Avenue of Flags. One of the things she would like to see happen, again, is for the flags to be shown at the local schools. The flags are currently being stored at a barn owned by the Hiser family's, CHK Cattle Company and Hiser stated that she will continue to show them until she can't show them anymore.

According to Hiser, the last meeting of the PVRW was an emotional one as some of the remaining members had known the founders of the group.

"It started in 1940, we knew some of those ladies and then to come to this stage where, 2018, it's no more," Hiser said.


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