Chief Washakie

Jackson Mayor Pete Muldoon replaced the portraits of President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at Town Hall with one of Chief Washakie, a renowned warrior and one of the most respected leaders in Native American history.

There’s a new chief watching over Jackson Town Hall.

Traditionally government buildings are adorned with pictures of the United States’ chief executives. Mayor Pete Muldoon, however, recently decided to break with the custom and replaced the pictures of President Trump and Vice President Pence near the entrance of Town Hall with one of former Shoshone Chief Washakie.

“Our town government takes a lot of pride in the details, in getting it right, in working together, in respecting all members of the community, in service to the public and in competence,” he said. “Our current president shows no interest in any of these things, and I think it sends the wrong message when we honor him.

“If I was the CEO of a trusted investment firm,” he said, “I wouldn’t have a portrait of Bernie Madoff hanging in the lobby, and having a portrait of Donald Trump hanging in Town Hall seems like the same thing to me.”

County Commissioner Paul Vogelheim, chairman of the Teton County Republicans, said Muldoon’s executive decision to remove the photos, made with little to no input from the public or his fellow councilors, made him chuckle at first.

“It’s ironic,” he said. “This type of brash action, taken without collaborating or involving the rest of the Town Council, made me say ‘Boy, that’s a kind of action similar to our president.’ ”

On a more serious note, Vogelheim said he was disappointed to see divisive politics rear their head in Jackson.

“Hanging pictures of the president has been a tradition in the community since at least the mid-’80s,” he said. “I find this totally disrespectful and dishonoring of the position of the president. Even more so, the concern is that it’s bringing ugly national partisan politics into our community.”

While Muldoon said he had talked about taking the photos down for a while, it was Councilman Jim Stanford’s idea to replace them with a photo of Chief Washakie, a personal hero of his.

“We’re not a federal building so we’re not required to hang pictures of the president and vice president,” Stanford said. “There’s been a lot of redecorating going on around Town Hall. The mayor and I talked about continuing that trend, and I didn’t particularly like those pictures. Chief Washakie is somebody we can all get behind. Town Hall should be a haven for people from all backgrounds.”

From his birth around 1800 until his death in 1900, Chief Washakie played a pivotal role in the region’s settlement, first as a warrior and later in life as peace broker as he become good friends with fur trapper Jim Bridger.

At the behest of Bridger, Washakie signed the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 in hopes of limiting conflicts between Native Americans and European settlers. It set forth traditional territorial claims recognized by the U.S. government of nine Indian tribes in the region, many of which still exist today.

In 1863, and again in 1868, he signed treaties with the U.S. at Fort Bridger, Utah, establishing boundaries for the Shoshone reservation and creating the Shoshone and Bannock Indian Agency.

For his efforts Washakie has become a hero, the only known Native American to be given a full military funeral.

In Wyoming his likeness can be seen all across the state — Washakie County was named after him, the state of Wyoming donated a bronze statue of Washakie to the National Statuary Hall Collection, and another statue created in his image is also located in downtown Casper. The dining hall at the University of Wyoming is also named after him.

Despite the sentiment behind Washakie’s photo in Town Hall, using it as a replacement for President Trump is seen by some people as disrespectful.

“I never had the pleasure of meeting Chief Washakie, nor President Trump,” Councilman Don Frank said, “but I will say the office of the president deserves our respect.”

Contact John Spina at 732-5911, town@jhnewsandguide.com or @JHNGtown.

Cody Cottier covers town and state government. He grew up with a view of the Olympic Mountains, and after graduating Washington State University he traded it for a view of the Tetons. Odds are the mountains are where you’ll find him when not on deadline.

(43) comments

Chad guenter

As the rhetoric increases in intensity and the country splits further we now have loons travelling to DC to stop the "destruction".

Bernie Sanders supporter picked up a pistol and an AR and tried to kill a bunch of republicans this AM in Virginia.

Is this the "alt-left" we should be worried about?


Valerie Music

Used to be proud to call Jackson home. Now it is embarassing to have a 22 plate if you travel in the rest of the state. Our motto was welcome to Wyoming where men are men, and so are the women. now the men demand paved pathways and latte stands on demand.

Valerie Music

It is the alt left we should worry about. Hollywood, liberal media, including this paper should stop encouraging and adding fuel to the fire, just for the sake of news. This is not good for the country. Give this president a chance to do his job. He just got a prisoner released from N.K., something the last president could not do. There are some positive things happening no one wants to discuss.

Chad guenter

Ms. Music: Go through the last couple decades of mass shooters. There is a common thread. nearly all are liberal/democrat.

If the shooter from yesterday had been a republican shooting democrats, the term "Domestic Terrorist" would saturate the MSM. It hasn't been used ONCE for this case.

Donald Fernau

What in the World have happened to Jackson Hole Wyoming? The Wyoming hospitality and way of life is no more? It is obvious the town is full of non native Wyoming folks. I am embarrassed to call Jackson part of Wyoming. What a shame the direction the town has taken.

Chad guenter

Mr Fernau: There is a reason Teton County is the only one in the state of Wyoming to vote for Obama twice and Clinton. It is not remotely in tune with the rest of the state.

Donald Fernau

Can you please explain to me just why Teton County and Jackson Hole have deviated from the rest of Wyoming? I will bet there are not to many native Wyoming folks that still remain. If there were, Jackson Hole would not allow the snowflake Mayor to to what he has done with the photo. Our President IS our leader, no matter if you voted for him or not. Show some respect for the office. By removing the photo and replacing it does nothing but prove the leaders of Teton County are fit throwing liberals that didn't get their way. Wyoming as a whole is very embarrassed.

Tee Sering

I am happy that the Mayor choose to put up a picture of a real American who land white European stole. All you European that don't like this can go back to your native countries.

Chad guenter

I'm thinking "Tee Money" isn't your real NAME.

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Tee Sering

Chad, who cares what my name is, my comment is still posted isn't it. Why are you so butt hurt about Trump's picture being removed, move on.

Valerie Music

"Who land" Tee. Europeans can go back to their home country if they don't like it. You can stay out of Wyoming politics if you don't like it. Probably don't even live in this state.

Valerie Music

Looks like you are the one who can't seem to move on. You and your Bernie boys need to stop the whinning.

bob culver

The N&G has the name as "Tee Sering"
Bob Culver

Valerie Music

Take it your a Native American Tee. You the only one who gets to stay?

Tee Sering

Valerie who says only Native American can stay, even if we are the only one who gets to stay whats your problem in that. This is our land not yours, we were here well before your white ancestors came invading.

Shirley Jensen

By the way my husband and I were planning a trip to Jackson Hole...not anymore. If this mayor wants to disrepect our President and give a middle finger to those who voted for him, then his town doesn't need our money

Valerie Music

Our electeds forget Trump got more than 3,000 votes in our county. That includes women, democrats, conservatives and first time voters! Tired of politics as usual. Sorry to say even our s-called republican party denounced Trump.
Sad the message they are sending to our children.

Tee Sering

We don't need your money, please don't come down here. We have enough tourist here already.

Valerie Music

Show a little grace and respect for our tourist. They are the only thing keeping Wyoming alive right now. If you don't like our tourist then leave Mr. Money.
We will get our oil, gas and coal plants fired up again! Would that please you?

Tee Sering

Valerie get off your high horse, stop getting butt hurt because the elected mayor removed your childs picture from the office.

Peter Wypyszinski

Lots of snowflakes in Wyoming, even this time of year.

Shirley Jensen

A 5 year old child is more mature and shows more respect then liberal degenerates like this butt hurt mayor. These people do not represent anything other than hate, division and racism. The liberal degenerate Party, brings itself lower by the day.

Valerie Music

Not missing anything by not visiting Jackson. Totally destroying our lovely town with wall art, pathways rule, and massive transit START bus right in the middle of a wildlife refuge. Roads are full of potholes, but will spend millions on pathways that can only be used a few months out of the year. We look like any other city USA.

David Gant

I get the mayor's message loud and clear. Conservatives/non-liberals are NOT welcome in Jackson Hole.
I had a trip scheduled for this summer to spend several weeks and a couple of thousand dollars in the Jackson Hole - Yellowstone area. I am now cancelling that trip. I'll go where the town leaders appreciate American citizens of all religions and political backgrounds. See Jackson Hole ... congratulations on your identity politics. [sad]

Tee Sering

"Couple of thousand dollars" you are such a joke. Like you not spending money and not visiting Jackson, is going to hurt our economy. Take your dollars somewhere else. We have enough tourist to cover your loss. And don't let the door hit you on your way out.

Valerie Music

Tee Money or whatever his true name is is a whinney little snowflake that has to hide. Just can't handle the facts, we won, he is a looser!

Mary Jones

I get the message loud and clear: "Republicans/conservatives, stay out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming." If you have a vacation planned or a national conference to coordinate, select a location other than Jackson. The Mayor may as well put up a big sign: "Only liberals welcome here." The action of the Mayor has made the national news, and this can't be good for the tourist trade. I wish politicians would think twice before taking actions that affect other people's income. What a disappointment he has turned out to be.

Nicole Gee

I have been to Mammoth, WY think its about time I go down to Jackson Hole.

Valerie Music

All are welcome Niclole. Enjoy your stay.

Loale Sale

MJ don't forget the Mayor's cabin boy, Jim Stanford, hates overweight visitors, second home owners, and senor visitors as wells. So as long as you are liberally orientated, thin, and not over the hill, you are welcomed by the Mayor and his posse.

Valerie Music

Yep, the mayors little cabin boy. Bernie boys are setting up house. Maybe they should pay the taxson their new abode.

Interesting they would call President Trump a dictator. Stanford and his Bernie boys dictate where you should live, take their beloved START bus, ride your bike on our million dollar pathways, (under water or snow most of the year) Obey signs and stupid road markings while our major roads are in need of repair. Hope these boys are setting an example and have been riding their little bikes the past few weeks. Want to see how the mayor hauls his band equipment on that bike.

Chad guenter

The Dog and Pony show distractions come to Jackson Hole!

What a completely anemic act of symbolism. Who's picture would the mayor replaced Obama's picture with?

AmeriKa deserves this President, just as the previous puppets. Citizens like the mayor who feign outrage at one and not all presidents for the last 50 years are almost amusing in their naiveté. [rolleyes]

Tee Sering

Learn to spell, how is Trump supposed to make America great again, when his supporters can't even spell the name of the country.

Chad guenter

I'm not a trump supporter, and if you don't get the spelling of AmeriKa, how about U.S.S.A.?

Do you get the point I'm making?

Earl Smoot

Chad, Great post. The dog and pony shows have even come to the little towns who undoubtably depend on tourist dollars for their very survival. The mayor has singlehandedlly alienated half his tourist base.

Valerie Music

They don't care, subsidized housing for all and the rich and what's left of the middle class are going to pay for it. Think what frightens them the most about Trump is he wants to create jobs.

Shane Rothman

I doubt Trump's pic will ever be in the White House after he's gone soon

Chad guenter

Mr. Rothman: You're assuming that there will still be a White House to display his portrait.[wink]

sean henry

no two snowflakes are alike,until these two

Tee Sering

Stop calling people snowflakes when you are acting like one, what name should I give you.?

Valerie Music

ok Bernie boys then. Your hatred and anger should be directed at your own party. The democrats threw Bernie under the bus, not TRUMP or his supporters. Happy Hillery dominated your party. Bernie would have been much harder to beat. You put a failed candidate out there, just as the republican party did with McCain. Live with it and stop the whinning. We need real men running this country not pajama boys.

Tee Sering

Valerie Music, no Bernie boys here, MOVE ALONG. Go back to your cult leader.

Valerie Music

Tourist leave, Europens leave, eveybody move along so snowflake can have his little safe space. Whatever.

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