The Search for Thomas Ivinson: Plantation Manager in Danish West Indies

(Contributed by SJHS Member Kim Viner in the city of Laramie)

On the high plains of southeastern Wyoming stands a wonderful 1892 mansion built by Edward Ivinson. Edward was one of the most prominent men in the community for many years and a noted philanthropist later in his life. The fully restored house is now the home of the Laramie Plains Museum (LPM).

Despite being a fourth generation son of Laramie, I had little awareness of the LPM, the house, or Edward Ivinson. I knew the local hospital, one of the principal city streets and a “Home for Aged Ladies” were named after him, but that was about it. All that changed about a year ago. Looking for another volunteer opportunity in town, I approached the LPM and they asked if I would consider becoming a docent.

As a docent, I became engrossed in the story of the Ivinsons, where they came from and their role in the city. Much of the extant information came from oral histories given by a great granddaughter that were quite fascinating and full of colorful stories. However, based on other information I learned since volunteering, I found there was a contradiction in the story of how Edward came to settle in Laramie. My background in Naval Intelligence told me that where there was one inconsistency, there were likely to be more. So, I began to track down the family history based on information that was, to the extent possible, based on documentary evidence.

Please click here to continue reading Seach for Ivison January 2012

Kim Viner

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