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Stan Hathaway, 81; Wyoming Governor Put Levy on Mining

October 06, 2005|From Associated Press

Former Wyoming Gov. Stan Hathaway, who led the creation of a trust fund to harness the state's mineral wealth and established Wyoming's first environmental restraints on mineral development, died Tuesday. He was 81.

Hathaway died at home in Cheyenne, according to his law partner, Brent Kunz, who declined to provide details. Hathaway was hospitalized for several days last month for an undisclosed condition.

During two terms as Republican governor from 1967 to 1975, Hathaway enacted the state's first severance tax on minerals that were mined and pumped from Wyoming.

He also created a permanent trust fund in which severance tax money was invested, earning enough to run a major portion of the state's government operations today.

Hathaway was born in Osceola, Neb., on July 19, 1924. He interrupted his college education in 1943 to serve in the Army Air Forces in World War II, flying bomber missions over Europe.

After the war, Hathaway earned bachelor's and law degrees from the University of Nebraska, where he met and married his wife, Roberta "Bobby" Hathaway, who died last year.

Hathaway practiced law in Torrington, Wyo., until 1966, when he entered politics and was elected governor at the age of 42.

During his first term, the state approved the first environmental controls on its growing minerals industry. He signed the state air quality act in 1967 and the state water quality act in 1968.

After Hathaway won reelection in 1970, his administration supported creation of the Permanent Mineral Trust Fund with the taxes on extracted minerals.

The fund totals more than $2 billion and in 2004 it raised $98 million for the state.

Hathaway also approved creation of the state Department of Environmental Quality.

President Ford appointed Hathaway as secretary of the Interior in June 1975, but he resigned the next month because of ill health. He moved to Cheyenne and resumed his law practice.

Information on survivors and services was not immediately available.

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