Wyoming Genealogy Trails
Travel your Wyoming Trails through the Past with Genealogy Trails

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Events in Wyoming History
Chronology from Wyoming, A Guide to Its History, Highways, and People,
American Guide Series, Compiled by workers of the Writers' Program of the Work Projects
Administration in the State of Wyoming, Sponsored by Dr. Lester C. Hunt, Secretary of State,
Oxford University Press, New York, 1941.



1743
The Verendryes and companions are first white men to sight the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming.

1803
Louisiana Purchase (including present Wyoming) is completed.

1805
General James Wilkinson is appointed governor of region embracing Wyoming., Lewis and Clark employ Sacajawea as guide.

1806
John Colter comes to region (credited with being first nativeborn American to enter what is now Wyoming).

1807
Ezekiel Williams heads trapping party that enters Wyoming. John Colter is first white man to enter Tog-Wo-Tee.

I807-08
Edward Rose takes up permanent residence in Big Horn Basin (first American to do so).

1809
Many white trappers operate in what now is eastern Wyoming.

1811
Wilson Price Hunt's party, employed by John Jacob Astor, crosses Wyoming.

1812
Robert Stuart and companions returning from Astoria (it is believed) discover South Pass; build first cabin erected by whites in Wyoming.

1822
General William Ashley establishes trading post on the Yellowstone, Jim Bridger arrives with Ashley.

1824
Ashley party names Sweetwater River.
South Pass is crossed by Ashley trappers, headed by Thomas Fitzpatrick and Jedediah Smith.

1825
Ashley and his men descend Green River (first white men to. navigate that stream).

1826
General Ashley sells his trapping interests in Wyoming.

1827
First wheeled vehicle, a four-pounder cannon, crosses South Pass.

1828
The first of Wyoming posts, known as 'Portuguese Houses,' is established on Middle Fork of Powder River, 11 miles east of Kaycee.

1829
Smith, Jackson, and Sublette bring supplies to the rendezvous near the mouth of Popo Agie in wagons drawn by mules (first wagons ever brought to Wyoming).

1830
Kit Carson, noted scout, arrives.

1832
Captain B. L. E. Bonneville, with 110 men, 20 wagon loads of provisions, goods and ammunition, headed for Pierre's Hole, takes first wagons through South Pass and establishes temporary fortification on tributary of Green River.
Bonneville records presence of oil in Popo Agie region of Wyoming.

1834
Fort William, is established, first permanent trading post in Wyoming.

1835
Samuel Parker and Marcus Whitman are first missionaries to traverse Wyoming.

1836
Mrs. H. H. Spalding and Mrs. Marcus Whitman accompany their missionary husbands across Wyoming.

1838
Jim Baker joins American Fur Company; becomes noted scout and guide.

1840
Father P. J. De Smet celebrates first Mass in Wyoming on Green River.

1842
Fort Bridger established.
John C. Fremont leads an expedition to select sites for a line of military posts with a view to territorial acquisitions in the Far West.
Elijah White leads large party of missionaries and settlers across Wyoming to Oregon. Gold discovered near South Pass.

1843
Fort Bridger opened to trade. Fremont's second expedition crosses Laramie Plains.

1845
Federal troops under Colonel Stephen W. Kearny march from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Laramie.

1846
President Polk approves an act to establish military posts along the Oregon Trail.

1847
Brigham Young leads first group of Mormons across Wyoming. Mormons build a ferry across Platte River near Fort Caspar site.

1849
Fort Laramie is purchased by the United States for $4,000.

1851
Captain Howard Stansbury completes a reconnaissance for a railway route.
Steamboat 'El Paso' sails up the Platte River to Guernsey, first steamship on the Platte River in Wyoming.

1853
Party of Mormons form a settlement at old Fort Bridger.

1854
Grattan Massacre occurs near Fort Laramie.

1855
General W. S. Harney leads military expedition against the Sioux.

1856
Mormon 'hand-cart' exodus enters Wyoming' en route to Utah.

1857
Colonel A. S. Johnston's expedition marches across Wyoming against Mormons.
Mormons burn buildings at Fort Bridger and Fort Supply.
Camp Scott is established as winter quarters for Johnston's army,
Jim Bridger leases Fort Bridger to the Government.
Lieutenant G. K. Warren explores Wyoming from Fort Laramie to the western slope of the Black Hills:
Coloniel E. V. Sumner leads troops against the Cheyenne.

1858-59

Russell, Majors, and Waddell transport more than 16,000,000 pounds of freight to Utah, passing through Wyoming on Oregon Trail.

1859

Central, Overland, California and Pike's Peak Express Company is established by Russell, Majors, and Waddell.
Fort Bridger becomes a Government military reservation.

1860

Pony Express riders cross Wyoming.

1861

Creighton completes transcontinental telegraph line across Wyoming.

1862

March. Ben Holladay takes over equipment of Russell, Majors, and Waddell.
Indians raid stage line and steal equipment.
July. Government mail route is changed from central Wyoming to southern part of State because of Indian depredations.

1863

Bozeman Road through Wyoming established.
A Mormon freights a cargo of soda to Salt Lake, the first known export of mineral from the territory.
Troops under General P. E. Connor sent to Wyoming to suppress Indians.
De Lacy prospecting expedition discovers Shoshone Lake.

1864

Indians wage war along Platte in Wyoming as a result of Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado.

1865

January 5. First proposal for temporary government for Territory of Wyoming is made by James M. Ashley, later governor of Montana Territory.
July. Platte Bridge Fight.

1866

Forts Reno and Phil Kearny are built along the Bozeman Trail. Fetterman Massacre occurs.
Fort Sanders is built on Laramie Plains.

1867

January 9. Laramie County is created by Dakota Legislature, and on December 27, Carter County.
Union Pacific builds into Wyoming.
Fort Fetterman is established.
Town of Cheyenne is founded.
Wagon Box Fight takes place in the Big Horns.
Fort D. A. Russell (now Fort F. E. Warren) is established.
Carissa lode is discovered at South Pass.

1868

Peace Commission signs treaties with Sioux, Crow, and Arapaho at Fort Laramie; with Bannock and Eastern Shoshone at Fort Bridger.
Shoshone Reservation established.
July 25. Territory of Wyoming is created by Congress.
Camp Augur is established (later called Camp Brown, then changed in 1878 to Fort Washakie).
Fort Fred Steele is established.
Albany and Carter Counties are organized.
Episcopal church builds first church building in Wyoming at Cheyenne.

1869

April 15. J. A. Campbell inaugurated as first governor of Wyoming.
Cheyenne designated as territorial capital.
October 12. First territorial legislature convenes.
December 10 Act granting suffrage to women is approved (the first in United States).
Union Pacific Railway is completed across territory.
Act is passed prohibiting intermarriage of whites and Negroes.
Carter County is changed to Sweetwater County.
Uinta County is organized.

1870

Population (U. S. Census), 9, 118.
First homestead entry is perfected in the territory.
Women serve on grand and petit juries at Laramie.
Mrs. Esther M. Morris, of South Pass, is appointed first woman justice of the peace.
Washburn and Doane Expedition explores Yellowstone National Park region.

1871

Legislature passes Militia Act; three militia districts created.

1872

'Yellowstone Wonderland' is established as first national park.
State Penitentiary is built at Laramie; destroyed by fire soon after; partially rebuilt in 1873.

1873

Wyoming Stock Growers Association organizes.

1876

Cheyenne and Black Hills stage line is launched.
Custer leads expedition in northern Wyoming.
Custer Massacre occurs in Montana.

1877

Arapaho are moved to Shoshone Reservation for temporary quarters (have remained there ever since).

1879

Lotteries and games of chance are outlawed by legislation.

1880

Population, 20,789.

1883

Cheyenne completes incandescent lighting system.

1884

Fremont County is organized.

1885

Anti-Chinese 'Riot' in Rock Springs.

1886

Governor Warren approves act providing for capitol building.
Commission is appointed to build capitol and State university.
Legislature provides for construction of Institution for Deaf, Dumb and Blind at Cheyenne. Severe winter kills thousands of cattle.
Fremont and Elkhorn Valley Railroad builds branch to Douglas called Wyoming and Central.

1887

Corner stone of capitol building is laid at Cheyenne.

1888

September 6. University of Wyoming opens at Laramie.
Crook and Pease (Johnson) Counties are organized.
400 Mormon families move into Big Horn Basin.
Wyoming National Guard is established.
Legislature appropriates funds for penitentiary at Rawlins.
Converse, Natrona, and Sheridan Counties are created.

1889

November. Wyoming adopts State constitution.

1890

Population, 62,553.
July 10, Wyoming is admitted into the Union as the forty-fourth State.
October 14. Francis E. Warren (last territorial governor) is in augurated as governor of State.
First Wyoming congressmen are elected: Joseph M. Carey (last delegate) and Francis E. Warren, U. S. senators; Clarence D. Clark, representative-at-large.
Big Horn and Weston Counties are created.
First oil well is brought in by Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Company in the Shannon field of the Salt Creek district.

1891

President Harrison establishes Yellowstone Timber Land Reserve, first in the United States.

1892

Johnson County Cattle War.

1895

Oil refinery is built at Casper.
Dupont Powder Company begins development of soda deposits in Wyoming.

1896

Hot Springs is purchased from Shoshone Indians.

1897

First Cheyenne Frontier Day is celebrated.

1898

New penitentiary is completed at Rawlins.
Legislature enacts law taxing migratory stock from adjoining States.

1899

U.P. mail train is robbed of $60,000 in unsigned bank notes at Wilcox.

1900

Population, 92,531.

1901

Stinking Water River is renamed Shoshone by the legislature.

1903

Tom Horn is hanged in Cheyenne.

1905

Governor's Mansion is ready for occupancy.
State Fair is established at Douglas.

1906

Riverton townsite is thrown open to settlers.
First auto accident in Wyoming occurs.
Devil's Tower National Monument is established.

1909

Pathfinder Dam is completed.
Park County is organized.

1910

Population, 145,965.
Willis Van Devanter of Wyoming is appointed associate justice of the U. S. Supreme Court.
Colonel Theodore Roosevelt visits Cheyenne Frontier Days Celebration.

1911

Campbell, Goshen, Hot Springs, Lincoln, Niobrara, Platte, and Washakie Counties are organized.

1913

First automobile license in Wyoming is issued to J. M. Schwoob.
A wolf is trained to carry mail over deep snows.

1915

Workmen's Compensation Law is enacted.

1916

Non-partisan judiciary Law is passed.
'Bill' Carlisle robs U.P. train.
Sunrise is made model town by Colorado Fuel & Iron Company.
Homestead tax exemption is increased to $2,500.

1917

Buffalo Bill dies in Denver.
State Flower and State Flag are adopted by legislature.
The State highway department is created.
Jim Baker's cabin is moved to Cheyenne.
Wyoming male citizens register for World War draft.

1918

Wyoming purchases $10,000,000 worth of Liberty bonds.
State votes for prohibition three to one.

1919

All Wyoming breweries suspend operations during national emergency.
President Wilson makes several stops in Wyoming.
'Bill' Carlisle, train bandit, escapes from penitentiary.

1920

Population, 194,531.
Transcontinental air mail planes are launched.
Night air mail flying is inaugurated across Wyoming.

1921

Great oil well roars in at the Teapot Dome.
Prize fighting is legalized in Wyoming.
Teton and Sublette Counties are organized.

1922

Union Pacific stores six months' supply of coal along tracks as a precautionary measure in strike situation.

1923

Governor William B. Ross dies in office.
Frances Warren Pershing Memorial Hospital is dedicated in Cheyenne.
99 coal miners die in explosion at Kemmerer mine.

1924

Senator Francis E. Warren obtains $3,000,000 appropriation for aid in night flying service.
State receives $1,700,000 from oil royalties, for schools.
Nellie Tayloe Ross made governor, first woman to hold such office in the United States. (In 1933 she is appointed Director of the United States Mint, first woman to hold that office.)

1925

Teapot Dome oil case is tried before judge Kennedy at Cheyenne; decision upholds Sinclair lease.
3,500,000 pounds of honey are produced in Wyoming.
New Douglas airplane makes first flight across the State.
Gros Ventre River is dammed by huge slide.
State legislature votes ratification of the Colorado River Compact.

1926

John E. Higgins wills entire estate of $500,000 to Wyoming.
Queen Marie of Roumania visits Wyoming.

1927

Wyoming aeronautics law is passed.
Gros Ventre dam breaks and wipes out town of Kelley.
Senator Francis E. Warren dies; served as U. S. senator 1890-93;

1929

Honorable Patrick J. Sullivan is appointed to fill unexpired term as U. S. Senator, on December 5.
Grand Teton National Park is established.

1930

Population, 225,565.

1931

Fort D. A. Russell is officially renamed Fort Francis E. Warren.
6,000 people stage outdoor celebration at Independence Rock.
Governor Frank Emerson dies in office.
Wyoming Air Service officials fly to Sheridan from Casper with passengers and mail.

1933

Allocation of $22,700,000 is made for Casper-Alcova Reclamation Project.
New Federal Building is completed in Cheyenne.
Senator John B. Kendrick dies in office.
Hon. Joseph C. O'Mahoney, assistant U. S. postmaster general, is designated U. S. senator on December 18 for remainder of term; elected 1934 for full term ending 1941.

1934

Wyoming Air Service begins air mail route between Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Billings, Montana.
Democrats win every State elective office and majority of seats of State legislature.

1935

Lethal gas made official method of capital punishment.
A 2 per cent sales tax is put in effect.
Wyoming Democratic regime takes over entire State government for first time.
State liquor commission created; State becomes a wholesaler of intoxicating liquors, not including beer.
Holiday divorce law is enacted.
December 10 is designated as Wyoming Day, commemorating Governor John A. Campbell's signing of the act granting women in Wyoming Territory the right of suffrage.

1936

Aeronautical Commission is created.
Terms of county elective officers are lengthened to 4 years.
Columbus Day, October 12, is made a public holiday by legislature.
Wyoming home for dependent children completed in Casper.
General John Pershing visits Cheyenne.
Old Cheyenne Club, landmark, is demolished.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt visits Wyoming three times during the summer.
Dr. Grace Raymond Hebard, eminent historian, dies.
Harry H. Schwartz is elected U. S. senator for term ending 1943.

1937

New Supreme Court and Library Building are dedicated.
Justice Willis Van Devanter resigns from the United States Supreme Court.
Ex-Senator Robert D. Carey dies.
Social Security and Unemployment Insurance laws are enacted.
Old Fort Laramie is purchased by Wyoming Landmark Commission.
University of Wyoming holds Semi-Centennial Celebration.
A United Airlines passenger plane crashes in Wasatch Mountains with 19 aboard.

1938

Fort Laramie is taken over by Federal Government and made 74th National Monument.
Alcova Dam is completed.
Republicans gain political control of State government by electing three out of five State officials and a majority of legislators.
Final judgment of $6,364,677, less costs of suit and all of the Government's non-treaty expenditures for the Shoshone since 1868 is granted to Shoshone Tribe in' satisfaction of claims brought against Federal Government for the value of land in the Shoshone Reservation occupied by the Arapahoe for 60 years. This decision clears title to 2,343,540 acres of Wyoming land;gives legal status to homes of more than 1,000 Arapaho; and brings to the Shoshone about $4,000,000.

1939 - Trona discovered in Sweetwater County.

1942 - Heart Mountain Relocation Center established in Park County.

1945 - Junior College enabling legislation passed.

1947 - Ft. F.E. Warren became F.E. Warren Air Force Base.

1949 - Severe blizzard paralyzed entire state.

1950 - First woman jury since 1870.

1954 - Wyoming's first TV station opened, Cheyenne.

1958 - Warren A.F.B. transferred to Strategic Air Command; first Atlas I.C.B.M. base in the world (Feb. 1).

1965 - 75th Anniversary of Statehood observed statewide.

1972 - Yellowstone National Park Centennial.

1974
- Mineral severance tax legislation approved.

1978
- Largest radio telescope in the world built on Jelm Mountain. Operated by University of Wyoming.

1979 - July 16, Cheyenne hit by tornado.

1979 - 1980
- Cheyenne received record snowfall amount 121 1/2".

1981
- Johnson County Centennial, organized 1881.

1982
- University of Wyoming Arena-Auditorium completed.

1984 - Fremont County Centennial, organized 1884.

1985 - Freak rainstorm hits Cheyenne, 12 persons killed.

1987 - Cutthroat Trout adopted as Wyoming State Fish; Knightia adopted as Wyoming State Fossil.

1988 - Drinking age raised to 21 years. More than one million acres burned during Yellowstone Park Fires.

1989 - Richard (Dick) Cheney appointed as U.S. Secretary of Defense. Reorganization of State Government Act passed by Wyoming legislature.

1990 - Wyoming Celebrates Centennial. Legislature designates Martin Luther King, Jr./Wyoming Equality Day as a legal holiday (3rd Monday in January)

1992
- Voters approve term limitation initiative.

1995
- Wolves reintroduced in Yellowstone.

1998 - Former Wyoming Governor Mike Sullivan appointed Ambassador to Ireland.





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