MRS. MARY F. ALSOP
One of the pioneer women of Wyoming, whose late husband, Thomas Alsop, was one of the leading frontiersmen and pathfinders of the western plains and also one of its leading and prosperous stockgrowers. Mrs. Mary F. Alsop, whose postoffice is Laramie, Albany county, by her courage, devotion and her earnest and practical sympathy was a very great sustainer and assistant to her husband who always took a very prominent part in the early settlement of Wyoming and was one of the earliest pioneers in the cattle industry on the Laramie plains. He was a native of England born in 1836.
His parents emigrated from their native country when he was five years old, settling in the state of New York, where his father William Alsop was a prosperous farmer. He grew to manhood in the Empire State and there acquired his education and remained with his parents, occupied in farming operations on the home farm. In 1860 he determined to seek his fortune in the far West, and came to the territory of Wyoming, then on the extreme western frontier and hundreds of miles farther west than railroads had been constructed.
From Wyoming he went to Salt Lake City, Utah, remained for a short time, and then returned to New York. But his spirit of adventure and enterprise was too strong to permit him to remain contented in New York and in 1864 he again came west, at Omaha accepting a position with a large outfit, engaged in transporting freight overland from Omaha to Salt Lake. He remained in this occupation for some time, his business leading him frequently over the section of Wyoming which afterwards became the scene of his stock growing industry, and he was the first person to note the superior advantages of the country in the vicinity of Laramie as a cattle raising locality. Leaving the employ of the freighting company he settled on the Big Laramie River, about eight miles from Laramie City, and entered upon the business of raising cattle and horses. He met with conspicuous success in his undertakings and soon engaged extensively in raising horses, cattle and sheep, and for many years was one of the largest operators in that section of the western country. He continued to reside at his original settlement on the Big Laramie until 1882, when he removed to the Little Laramie River, where the present ranch property of Mrs. Alsop is situated, and remained there until his death which occurred in 1889.
He was truly one of the leading stockmen of Wyoming, being the owner of thousands of cattle, horses and sheep, and he made a specialty of raising the finest grades of Shorthorn and Durham cattle. Politically, he was a stalwart Democrat, and ever took an active and foremost part in public affairs, although he never sought or desired public office. He consented to serve the people for a number of years on the board of county commissioners, but he steadfastly refused to accept any other political office, preferring to devote his entire time and attention to the care and management of his extensive business interests. During the early days of Wyoming he was ever at the front in the advocacy of every measure for the benefit of the community or the state.
He was a great hunter and plainsman, and his experiences during the frontier days being of a varied and interesting character. His father resided in New York up to the time of his death in 1895, when he was eighty-three years old. In 1871, Thomas Alsop was united in marriage in Des Moines, Iowa, to Miss Mary F. Bringolf, who was born in Missouri in 1848, the daughter of Jacob and Mary (Hopkins) Bringolf, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Indiana. Her father removed his residence in early life from his native state to Missouri and later to Iowa, where he engaged in farming in which he also continued until his death which occurred in 1889. He was the son of Melcher Bringolf, a native of Holland. The mother of Mrs. Alsop passed away on April 5, 1865. at the age of forty years, being the daughter of Daniel and Hester (Duncan) Hopkins.
The Hopkins family were allied to the Polk family, of which President James K. Polk was perhaps the most distinguished member. To Mr. and Mrs. Alsop four children were born, John D., Marie L.. William J. and Thomas J., all now living and the country home of the family, situated about fifteen miles west of the city of Laramie, is widely noted for its hospitality, as well as its picturesque surroundings and its many evidences of comfort and refinement.
["Progressive Men of the state of Wyoming", by A.W. Bowen & Co, 1901 - Submitted by a Friend of Free Genealogy]