A summary of major (and interesting) events in the history of Cheyenne and Laramie County, Wyoming.
1833 Fort William, later Ft John/Ft Laramie, established by trapper William Sublette at the confluence of the Laramie and North Platte rivers.
1849 US Army purchases Ft Laramie from American Fur Company.
1850 US Army engineers survey guided by Jim Bridger up Lodgepole Creek.
1855 Overland Trail / Emigrant Trail established by Congress. Lodgepole route via Pine Bluffs & Cheyenne Pass cut off 100 miles between Julesburg & “Ham’s Creek” (Ft Sanders/Ft John Buford at Laramie City)
1867 January 9 Laramie County organized by Dakota Territorial Legislature w/County seat at Ft Sanders.
1867 June, Fort D.A. Russell established (predecessor to F.E. Warren AFB).
1867 July, City of Cheyenne & Camp Carlin established. Union Pacific railroad arrives November 13.
1867 John Wesley Illif establishes cattle camp south of Cheyenne to supply beef to UPRR.
1867 September Cheyenne Daily Leader newspaper founded.
1867 October Cheyenne wins election for County Seat.
1868 January 3 Laramie County borders reconstituted smaller, County seat changed to Cheyenne
1868 February 9 First Public school in Wyoming opens in Cheyenne
1868 Wyoming Territory organized from Dakota Terr., Laramie County population 2,665.
1868 City of Cheyenne buys hospital tent from UPRR
1869 May 10 UP completed at Promontory Point
1860s-1897 Texas Trail cattle drives– in Nebraska to PB, under RR at Lodgepole Creek, nw to Valley View School site to Texas Gate Hill/State Line Rd north of PB.
1869 Pine Bluffs P.O. established.
1871 First Cheyenne Central School opens, 20th & Capitol, additions in 1876 & 1879
1872 Granite Canyon P.O. first established. (Was in operation as of 1986)
1872 Iron Mtn P.O. first established (Was in operation 1986)
1872 Cheyenne Library Association organized.
1872 Wyomng Stock Growers Association founded.
1874 Warren Livestock Company established SW of Cheyenne (Belvoir Ranch site)
1874 Old County Courthouse erected.
1875 First high school in Wyoming established in Cheyenne
1875 Horse Creek P.O. established.
1875-1966 Egbert P.O.
1876 Cheyenne & Black Hills Stage established – Nine Mile Sta on Davis Ranch, Lodgepole Cr Sta 18 miles up (Schwartz), Horse Cr Sta 29 miles up, Little Bear Sta 32 miles up (Bard road ranch 1875, PO 1877), Chugwater Sta 53 miles up (Kelly ranch), on towards Ft Laramie. Deadwood added 1877.
1879 LC School Distrct 3 organized at Egbert, 27 miles north of state line & 27 miles east-west
1876 March 4 marriage of James Butler Hickok & Mrs Agnes Lake Thatcher.
1880s First wave of homesteaders, esp. along Nebraska State Line north of PB.
1880 Cheyenne Club established with 50 invitations; brick building erected in 1881 at 17th & Warren.
1881 Hillsdale P.O. established.
1883 County Hospital opens at 300 E 23rd St
1884 St John the Baptist school opens in Cheyenne with Sisters of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus
1884 Legislature grants Wyoming Stock Growers Assoc exclusive cattle roundups (“Maverick Law”)
1886 Cheyenne Deadwood Stage ceases operations.
1886 Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railway Co survey
1886 Laramie County Free Public Library established.
1886 Academy of the Holy Child Jesus opens, on block west of Capitol.
1886 Drought on Great Plains, beef prices collapse
1886-1887 Winter “Death knell of the open range”
1887 Wyoming Capitol building dedicated.
1887 Cheyenne Union Depot completed.
1887 Swedish settlers founded Salem, later Lindbergh, north of PB.
1888 Salem Cemetary est. S32T16R60
1888 Arcola section house est. with large stockyard, on Burlington RR.
1890 July 10 Wyoming statehood
1890-91 Cheyenne High School erected, 22nd & Central Ave.
1894 Sen Joseph Carey starts Wyoming Tribune newspaper
1895 Cheyenne Daily Sun-Leader newspaper merger
1899-1941 Arcola P.O.
1901 Hospital reorganized as charitable St John’s Hospital.
1902 Carnegie library building opens at 22nd & Capitol. Demolished 1971 🙁
1903 November 20 Tom Horn hanged
1904-08 Second wave of settlement Burns/Luther & PB-Salem/Lindburgh-Albin area
1905 Albin P.O. est, moved to J.A. Anderson farm in 1907.
1906 Federal Land & Securities Co establishes townsite of Luther at Burns siding. Attracts many immigrants of German heritage.
1907 JR Carpenter, Federal Land Co, est townsite of Carpenter
1907 Industrial Club (Chamber of Commerce) buys Cheyenne Club building.
1907 First Laramie County Fair at Wheatland.
1908-1916 Golden Prairie P.O.
1908-1919 First brick Pine Bluffs school
1909 City of Cheyenne takes over fire protection from volunteer companies.
1909 newspaper changes name to Cheyenne State Leader
1910 Luther name changed to Burns
1911 Goshen County & Platte County organized from northern Laramie County.
1911 Plains Hotel built just north of the Cheyenne railroad depots.
1913 Lincoln Highway established.
1913 Laramie County Fair at Burns. At Pine Bluffs in 1920s until WWII, when fairgrounds were used as German POW camp. Moved to Cheyenne after the war.
1914 School District 3 split three-ways: Burns new No. 3, Carpenter new No. 8, (Pine Bluffs No 7, Egbert No. 9)
1915 tornado hits Arcola
1916 first Laramie County Extension Agent
1916 Cheyenne’s Inter Ocean Hotel burns.
1917-1919 City-County Building erected.
1919 Laramie County incorporates Memorial Hospital.
1920 Wyoming Tribune acquires Cheyenne State Leader.
1920 Industrial Club of Cheyenne changes name to Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce
1920 First air mail service at Cheyenne airport
1921 Brick Hillsdale School built, 1929 gym + addition (elem as of 1986)
1922 Cheyenne Central HS opens 28th & House.
1922 Harry P Hynds constructs Hynds Building on site of Inter Ocean Hotel.
1922 Harry P Hynds builds Lodge for Boy Scouts of America, located on land west of town off Happy Jack Rd now in Curt Gowdy State Park.
1923 Old Johnson Jr High at 8th & Hose erected as elementary school
1923 Eastern Laramie County Library branch established at Pine Bluffs.
1925 The Wyoming Eagle started as morning newspaper
1926 Yoder-Meriden railroad spur built.
1928 UP spur completed to Egbert, railroad renamed Salem as Lindbergh & platted townsite.
1928 Brick Egbert School built.
1928 Albin Land Co. est Albin townsite on 40 acres purchased from Soderquist & Nelson.
1929-1950 Lindbergh P.O.
1929 McCormick Jr High built at 20th & Capitol (old Central school site).
1929 Lincoln Theater built by Sen F.E. Warren.
1929 Cheyenne airport terminal built for Boeing Air Transport Company.
1930 Brick Albin School built.
1930 Wyoming State Tribune name change
1930 October Town of Albin incorporated.
1933 Catholic school becomes St. Mary’s Academy
1936 Chamber of Commerce demolishes Cheyenne Club building, replaces with new office bldg.
1937 The Wyoming Eagle (morning paper) buys Wyoming Sate Tribune (evening paper), publishes separate editions into 1980s.
1938 St. Mary’s High School opens.
1941 “In Old Cheyenne” motion picture starring Roy Rogers released.
1947 World premier of motion picture “Cheyenne” at Lincoln, Paramount & Princess theaters.
1952 “New” St. Mary’s elementary school opens.
1952 DePaul Hospital opened by Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas.
1952 Cheyenne Storey Gymnasium opens.
1954 Carey Jr High opens on E Pershing
1959 Rural school redistricting closes Egbert & Golden Prairie schools.
1961 Cheyenne East High School opens
1961 New Cheyenne Airport terminal built.
1964 Old Cheyenne Central HS bldg demolished.
1964 World premier of motion picture “Cheyenne Autumn” at Lincoln Theater with movie star Jimmy Stuart and others in attendance.
1968 Voters approve creation of Laramie County Community College.
1969 Two LC School Districts reorganized, Hillsdale HS consolidated.
1969 “New” County Library opens at 2800 Central.
1969 November LCCC opens new campus on land donated by Arp & Hammond Hardware Co (Lummis) and Herbert Reed on Orchard Valley Road.
1971 Amtrak takes over passenger train service, routed from Denver to a point west of Cheyenne, re routed thru Colorado Rockies in 1980s.
1975 New McCormick Jr High opens on north side of Cheyenne.
1975 State of Wyoming purchases McCormick school & renames Emerson Bldg.
1976 New Cheyenne Central opens near new McCormick.
1979 City Hall opens.
1981 Cheyenne Civic Center opens.
1981-1991 Seton Catholic High School replaces St Mary’s.
1982 Chamber of Commerce relocates to historic Tivoli Building.
1992 Laramie County Memorial Hospital buys DePaul Hospital.
The End of the Open Range
Laramie County has a rich heritage in agriculture. A few of the prominent early ranching families:
1872 PO Ranch Morton Everel Post & Caleb Perry Organ north of Cheyenne, cattle & horses. Organ left & ranched mile south of Cheyenne (Lummis place). Post & Brown 45,000 fenced acres controlled 100,000 acres. Main ranch “3 miles up Lodge Pole Creek” another L-5 west of Meriden on Horse Creek. Main ranch south boundary 6 miles north of Cheyenne. Oct 1887 ME Post Banking Co failed. 1888-1901 Ariosa Post Office. By 1890 controlled by John & Charles Arbuckle.
1874 Martin, Alonzo Ranch on Muddy Creek. Martin dug Beaver Dam Ditch Co off Crow Creek (1865?).
1875 Dolan, William homesteaded on Muddy Creek. Born Co. Kildare, emig 1851, Civil War, UP construction foreman. One of first members Wyoming Stock Growers, brand “WD” 2nd registered.
1877 Gilland, George hired on Martin Ranch. 1885 married Martin daughter Cora Belle, bought ranch 1890, eventually expanded to 100 sections/64,000 acres centered on Muddy Creek. Sold 35k acres Nov 1906 to JR Carpenter & CL Beatty of Federal Land & Securities Co of Iowa.
1878 Gilland, John, brother of George, lived north of UP near Egbert. Gillands were New England Irish. In 1986, oldest occupied house in County, built by a Mr Rose with a cattle gate. Sold in 1908 to Federal Land & moved to Denver.
1880 Thomas, Charles (Welsh) homesteaded near Cheyenne, ranch near Egbert 1886. After 1886, partner w/bro John, north of UP from Egbert to Archer Hill along Pole Creek. Built shelters into rock cliffs at Bull Canyon & Windmill Hollow. Sold 1906 to Federal Land 32,000 acres.
1891 Wilkinson, Anthony (son of Anthony, from Yorkshire, England) purchased property on Muddy Creek, expanding to 16,500 ac on Muddy & 16,000 on Big Horse Creek.
1897 Wilkinson, John (brother) turned Spring Creek ranch north of Egbert to his son James & moved to ranch at PB, eventually acquired 60,000 acres. Also bros Thomas, Frank & Felix. Sisters married into Sedgewick & Laycock families.
Ammon, Richard T. Downtown Cheyenne Historic Walking Tour. Cheyenne DDA, 2011 http://www.cheyenne.org/includes/media/docs/OnlineBooklet2.pdf
Bastian, Jean, Ed. History of Laramie County. Dallas, TX: Curtis Media Corp, 1987
Field, Sharon Lass, Ed. History of Cheyenne, Wyoming (Laramie County Volume 2). Dallas, TX: Curtis Media Corp, 1989
Wyoming Historical Society, http://www.wyohistory.org/essays/wyoming-cattle-boom
Wyoming State Archives, http://wyoarchives.state.wy.us
Wyoming Tails and Trails, http://www.wyomingtalesandtrails.com/cheyenne4a.html
Excellent historical review – wondering where Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church, Cheyenne, is on the list. St. Mark’s, I believe is the oldest church in Wyoming [known as the pioneer church of Wyoming- 1868] and has quite a colorful history as written in Joseph Cook’s journal. It also has the history of Roosevelt attending services. My father and I were there when we put in the centennial cornerstone; 1988. My family attended this church for over 100 years [Nottages] and should indeed be on this remarkable list
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Cheyenne is celebrating their 150th birthday in 2017. Josh Rhoten worked up a graphical timeline with some cool pictures at the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.
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Although I’m not a fan of living in Cheyenne, the history is fascinating. Thank you for putting this together. I had no idea of a tornado that hit Arcola in 1915. Nor did I realize how many times the old Cheyenne High School/Central HS had been demolished and rebuilt. I also didn’t know that the old Johnson Jr. High School was as old as it is. Very cool information. Thanks again.
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