Cheyenne Attorney James L. Applegate has devoted more than 50 years of his life volunteering in many areas of the community, but those who know him well say he has never once sough praise for himself.
Applegate graduated from Torrington High School in 1949, received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in political science from the University of Notre Dame in 1953 and graduated from the University of Wyoming’s College of Law in 1958. While at Notre Dame, Applegate served in the U.S. Marine Corps reserves. He was later commissioned as a first lieutenant and served in active duty from 1953-55.
He was Cheyenne’s assistant city attorney from 1959-62 and subsequently became involved in numerous local civic organizations. Applegate has been a member of the Rotary Club of Cheyenne since 1968 and served as president in 1981 and 1982.
He was on the State Board of Law Examiners from 1979-88 and served as president from 1983-88. Applegate served on the Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities from 1979-91, and was president from 1984-91.
He served as a board member for the Wyoming Community Development Authority from 1988-96 and is a past member of the Cheyenne Urban Renewal Advisory Committee, which sought federal funds to redevelop blighted commercial areas of the city.
Applegate is especially proud with his volunteer service as a trustee for St. Joseph’s Children’s Home in Torrington. He has a special affinity for the residential youth treatment center, since he grew up in Torrington and had friends and fellow Boy Scout troop members who lived at what was then St. Joseph’s Orphanage. Applegate attained the rank of Eagle Scout.
He served for 12 years on the Wyoming Retirement System Board and was chairman from 2005-06 and served as Senate minority floor leader in 1995-96 and also was on several legislative committees. He also served on the board for the Wyoming Transportation Museum Corporation for the building.
Applegate also has been very active in Cheyenne Frontier Days Contestants Committee for 33 years and was inducted into the CFD Heels in 1970. He also was involved with the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce was named the chamber’s Person of the Year in 1988.
Applegate was a director for the Cheyenne Symphony Foundation from 1992-2006. He also has served on the boards of Cheyenne LEADS and the CFD Old West Museum, among other organizations.
Applegate has enjoyed being a driver for Meals on Wheels since 2008. He has belonged to the Young Men’s Literary Club since 1989 and has served as a trustee for St. Mary’s Cathedral from 1969-2003 and has been active in the Catholic Church in many capacities.