Congress To Consider Naming Shoshoni Post Office For Dessie Bebout

Former Wyoming Senate President Eli Bebout said he’s thrilled that Congress is considering naming the Shoshoni Post Office after his mother, Dessie Bebout.

LW
Leo Wolfson

August 01, 20234 min read

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Former Wyoming Senate President Eli Bebout hopes that if Congress passes legislation naming the Shoshoni Post Office after his mother Dessie Bebout, it might serve a lesson for future generations about “a true patriot” and Wyoming pioneer.

“It shows what you can do with your life,” Eli Bebout said.

Dessie died in May at the age of 102.

In July, Wyoming’s U.S. Sens. John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis introduced federal legislation that, if passed, would name the Shoshoni Post Office in her honor. It’s fitting as Dessie served as the Shoshoni postmaster for 13 years. 

Who Is Dessie Bebout?

As the postmaster, Dessie earned the Order of the Vest in 1975, the highest award given to postmasters. She also was named the Wyoming postmaster of the year in 1983.

Her daughter, Ruby Calvert, said her mother was highly dedicated to her job and always looked out for the residents of Shoshoni.

Around Christmastime, she would call people who had packages waiting for them at the post office to make sure they came to pick them up in time for the holiday, Calvert said. She also was a designated postmaster trainer.

“She just worked so hard at everything she did,” Calvert said. “She had such a high work of integrity, hard work, such a work ethic with everything she did.”

Dessie also served in the U.S. Naval reserves during World War II, one of the first women to do so from Wyoming.

“Dessie Bebout dedicated her life to serving this country and helping others,” Lummis told the Senate in July. “From enlisting in the military following Pearl Harbor to serving as the postmaster of the Shoshoni Post Office, I can't think of a more fitting person to name the Shoshoni Post Office after.”

Lasting Legacy

As a result of her military and civic service, Dessie was awarded the Wyoming Women of Distinction award from the Wyoming Council for Women’s Issues. She also received the Medal of Honor from the Daughters of the American Revolution, a highly prestigious designation. In 2022, the town of Hudson, where Dessie grew up, declared May 30 as Dessie Bebout Day.

The Bebout family has a significant impact on Fremont County. Dessie’s father founded a power company that was sold off to Pacific Power in 1988. Her mother would send Dessie and her sister out to deliver food to those who needed it around the holidays. 

Dessie wholeheartedly carried on that legacy.

“You see the type of values that people in that generation espoused,” Calvert said. “They’re not just going to work and getting a paycheck. They worked hard and took work to heart.”

Eli Bebout said the legislation to honor his mother originated from a pledge Barrasso made at her funeral in May. Calvert considers it one of the greatest honors she’s received.

“It’s just such an honor for her and an honor for all of us and the town of Shoshoni,” Calvert said.

The Legislation

The legislation known as S.2274 would rename the post office at 112 Wyoming St. in Shoshoni as the "Dessie A. Bebout Post Office.”

The bill was read twice before the Senate with testimony from Barrasso, Lummis and Delaware Democrat Tom Carper, a co-sponsor.

“Dessie dedicated her life to service as one of the first enlisted women in the military after the attack on Pearl Harbor," Carper said. “As a fellow Navy veteran, I want to honor the sacrifice she made for our country, and I’m proud to co-sponsor this bill in her memory.”

The bill has been referred to the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Helping Others

Eli Bebout said Carper is familiar with Dessie because of a close relationship he shared with the late Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi and the effort he took to name the Thermopolis post office after Barrasso’s father-in-law. 

Eli Bebout said he has his mother to thank for his political career, helping him organize a write-in campaign of six votes to win the Democratic primary in 1987. He went on to win the general election and then serve in the Wyoming Legislature for 28 years.

“The rest is history,” Eli Bebout said.

Eli and Ruby believe today’s generation doesn’t seem to share the same sense of patriotism as the ones that came before it.

“It shows what this country stands for,” Eli said. “I miss her, I can tell you that. There’s not many like her.”

Leo Wolfson can be reached at Leo@CowboyStateDaily.com.

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LW

Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter