Wyoming County Histories

The region had acquired the name Wyoming by 1865, when Representative J. M. Ashley of Ohio introduced a bill to Congress to provide a “temporary government for the territory of Wyoming”. The name Wyoming derives from the Munsee name xwé:wamənk, meaning “at the big river flat”, but it was also named after the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania, made famous by the 1809 poem Gertrude of Wyoming by Thomas Campbell.

Flag of WyomingWyoming had already been divided into four counties at the time of its organization as the Wyoming Territory, at which time a portion of Utah and Idaho, extending from Montana to the Wyoming-Utah boundary, was annexed and named Uinta County. As the territory, and later the state, became settled, additional counties were carved from the original five.

After the Union Pacific Railroad had reached the town of Cheyenne in 1867, the region’s population began to grow steadily, and the federal government established the Wyoming Territory on July 25, 1868.

Once government-sponsored expeditions to the Yellowstone country began, reports by Colter and Bridger, previously believed to be apocryphal, were found to be true. This led to the creation of Yellowstone National Park, which became the world’s first national park in 1872. Nearly all of Yellowstone National Park lies within the far northwestern borders of Wyoming.

On December 10, 1869, territorial Gov. John Allen Campbell extended the right to vote to women. In addition, Wyoming was also a pioneer in welcoming women into politics. Women first served on juries in Wyoming (Laramie in 1870); Wyoming had the first female court bailiff (Mary Atkinson, Laramie, in 1870); and the first female justice of the peace in the country (Esther Hobart Morris, South Pass City, in 1870).

Wyoming’s constitution included women’s suffrage making Wyoming the first U.S. state to grant suffrage to women. The United States admitted Wyoming into the Union as the 44th state on July 10, 1890.

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Collection Details

  1. BIG HORN COUNTY, WYOMING; THE GEM OF THE ROCKIES, A.S. MERCER, 1906
  2. ALFRED JAMES MOKLER, HISTORY OF NATRONA COUNTY, WYOMING, 1888-1922, CHICAGO : R.R. DONNELLEY & SONS CO., 1923
  3. I.S. BARTLETT, HISTORY OF WYOMING (3 VOLS.) (VOL. 1), THE S.J. CLARKE PUBLISHING COMPANY, 1918
  4. I.S. BARTLETT, HISTORY OF WYOMING (3 VOLS.) (VOL. 2), THE S.J. CLARKE PUBLISHING COMPANY, 1918
  5. I.S. BARTLETT, HISTORY OF WYOMING (3 VOLS.) (VOL. 3), THE S.J. CLARKE PUBLISHING COMPANY, 1918
  6. UINTA COUNTY, ITS PLACE IN HISTORY

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