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Dates Events
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 native born American to enter what is now Wyoming).
1807 Ezekiel Williams heads trapping party that enters Wyoming.

Fresh from the Lewis and Clark expedition, mountain man, fur trapper, and explorer John Colter is first white man to enter Tog-Wo-Tee (pronounced Toe-ga-TEE) Pass.  He stumbles upon a land where hot water shoots straight into the air, the earth bubbles as if it were boiling, and almost extinct geysers thunder as if possessed by angry spirits. He calls the area in his written reports "Colter's Hell."

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, the first organized expedition through Wyoming, crossed the state on the way to Astoria, in present day Oregon.
1812 Robert Stuart and companions returning from Astoria (it is believed) discover South Pass; builds 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 rediscovered and crossed by Ashley trappers, headed by Thomas Fitzpatrick and Jedediah Smith.
1825 Beginning of fur trade rendezvous period. Ashley's yearly journey begins in St. Louis and takes him deep into the heart of the Rockies. His wagons are the first vehicles to penetrate the west, blazing a wagon road for the settlers who will follow a decade later. When Ashley finally reaches his men each year, it is cause for celebration--a wild party they call "the rendezvous."
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 Fort Bonneville Green River near present-day Daniel.
1833 Bonneville records presence of oil in Popo Agie region of Wyoming.
1834 Ft. Laramie, first permanent trading post in Wyoming, established by William Sublette and Robert Campbell. Military post 1849 - 1890. Most of the great Indian treaties will be signed there
1835 Rev. Samuel Parker held first Protestant service in Wyoming near present Bondurant.

Rendezvous missionary Dr. Marcus Whitman removes, to the amusement and amazement of the assembled multitudes, a 2-inch arrow or spearhead that had been lodged in Jim Bridger's shoulder for the preceding 3 years.

1836 Narcissa Whitmarrand Eliza Spalding, brides of the missionaries, first White women to pass over the Oregon Trail to the Far West.
1837 Rendezvous is attended by more than 2,000 trappers, traders and Indians. Styles have already begun to change and top money is not received for the furs
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 near present-day Daniel.
1842 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.

The great migration begins on the Oregon Trail. Elijah White leads large party of missionaries and settlers across Wyoming to Oregon.

Gold is discovered in the South Pass district, but the major gold rush will be delayed by the coming Civil War and will start late in the 1860s.

1843 Ft. Bridger, second permanent settlement, established by Jim Bridger and Louis Vasquez. Military post 1858 - 1890.

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 Casper 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.
1852 William Vaux, post chaplain, opened first school in Wyoming at Ft. Laramie, assisted by his daughter, Victoria.

Peak year for emigration on Oregon Trail.

1853 Ft. Supply, first agricultural settlement, established by Mormons near Ft. Bridger. Deserted and burned in 1857.
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 started and crosses Wyoming.

Second school in Wyoming established at Ft. Bridger by Judge William A. Carter, with Miss Fannie Foot as teacher.

1861 Creighton completes transcontinental telegraph line across Wyoming.

Pony Express discontinued.

1862 March. Ben Holladay takes over equipment of Russell, Majors, and Waddell.

Indians raid stage line and steal equipment.

Ft. Halleck (1862 - 1866) established on Overland Trail.

Overland stage line changed route from Oregon Trail to Overland (Cherokee) Trail.

July. Government mail route is changed from central Wyoming to southern part of State because of Indian depredations.

1863 Bozeman Road through Wyoming established.

First newspaper in Wyoming, The Daily Telegraph, established at Ft. Bridger.

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.

Fort Reno (1865-1868) established.

July. Battle of Platte Bridge. Lt. Caspar Collins killed.

Powder River Indian Expedition under Gen. Patrick E. Connor.

The "Bloody Year on the Plains."

1866 Ft. Phil Kearny (1866 - 1868) established on Bozeman Trail.

Fetterman Massacre occurs. John "Portugee" Phillips' rides to carry news to Ft. Laramie.

Nelson Story drove first herd of cattle through Wyoming, going north to Montana.

Ft. Sanders (1866 - 1882) established on the Laramie plains' Overland Trail.

1867 January 9. Laramie County is created by Dakota Legislature, and on December 27, Carter County.

Union Pacific builds into Wyoming.

Fort Fetterman (1867-1882) 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) and Camp Carlin 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.

Wind River Reservation for Shoshone Indians created by treaty.

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 (1868 - 1886) established.

Albany and Carter Counties are organized.

Episcopal church builds first church building in Wyoming at Cheyenne.

1869 Wyoming Territory organized.

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 9, 118.

First homestead entry is perfected in the territory.

Women serve on grand and petit juries at Laramie.

February 17. Mrs. Esther M. Morris, of South Pass, is appointed first woman justice of the peace.

March.  Women first empaneled for jury service, Laramie.

September 6. First equal suffrage vote cast by Mrs. Louisa Swain of Laramie.

F t. Stambaugh (1870 - 1878) founded .

Washburn and Doane Expedition explores Yellowstone National Park region.

1871 Legislature passes Militia Act; three militia districts created.

First Wyoming high school opens in Cheyenne.

William "Buffalo Bill" Cody begins guiding hunting parties, including a Yale paleontologist through the Yellowstone and Big Horn Basin area.

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.

Ft. McKinney (1877 - 1894) established.

Custer leads expedition in northern Wyoming.

Battle of Little Big Horn in Montana.

1877 Agreement made with Shoshone Indians to allow Arapahoes to move onto Wind River Reservation for temporary quarters (have remained there ever since).

Cantonment Reno is redesignated Fort McKinney.

Chief Joseph leads his Nez Perce people through the "Devil's Doorway" in the Yellowstone area during their attempted escape to Canada.

1879 Lotteries and games of chance are outlawed by legislation.
1880 Cheyenne Club built by wealthy cattlemen.

Population, 20,789.

1881 Jim Bridger, famous scout and guide, died in Missouri, July 17. Buried at Westport, Missouri.
1883 Cheyenne completes incandescent lighting system.
1884 Fremont County is organized.
1885 Anti-Chinese Massacre in Rock Springs.
1886 Northwestern Railroad reached eastern boundary of Wyoming.

Cheyenne and Northern Railroad reached Douglas.

First county library law in U.S. enacted by Wyoming Territorial Legislative Assembly.

First county library established in Cheyenne .

First county fair in state, Johnson County.

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.

Capitol building completed.

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 44th State.

October 14. Francis E. Warren (last territorial governor) is inaugurated 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.
1894 Mrs. Cort F. Meyer (Estelle Reel) elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction, one of the first women in the U.S. elected to a state office.
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.

After using a couple of other names for their town, Buffalo Bill's company picks Cody in the hopes that his reputation will bring in settlers. It works.

1897 September 23. First Cheyenne Frontier Day is celebrated.
1898 New penitentiary is completed at Rawlins.

Legislature enacts law taxing migratory stock from adjoining States.

Jim Baker, scout and mountain man, died May 15.

1899 U.P. mail train is robbed of $60,000 in unsigned bank notes at Wilcox.
1900 Population, 92,531.

Chief Washakie buried with full military honors in post cemetery at Ft. Washakie.

1901 Wyoming Frontier Prison in Rawlins opens for prisoners.
1902 J.C. Penney opens his first store in Kemmerer on April 13th.

Yellowstone Forest Reserve (Shoshone National Forest) is the first national forest in the country.

1903 November 20. Tom Horn is hanged in Cheyenne; buried in Boulder, Colorado.
1904 Brothers Howard, Alden, and Willis Eaton establish the West's first dude ranch near Sheridan.
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.

September 24. Devil's Tower National Monument, first in U.S., is established.

1909 Park County is organized.
1910 Population, 145,965.

Willis Van Devanter, Wyoming lawyer, named to U.S. Supreme Court.

Mrs. Mary G. Bellamy of Laramie first woman elected to Wyoming legislature.

First amendment to Wyoming Constitution ratified.

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.

1916 'Bill' Carlisle robs Union Pacific train.

Sunrise is named model town by Colorado Fuel & Iron Company.

1917 Buffalo Bill dies in Denver.

State Flower and State Flag are adopted by legislature.

Jim Baker's cabin is moved to Cheyenne.

Wyoming male citizens register for World War draft.

1918 State votes for prohibition three to one.

Uranium discovered in Wyoming, near Lusk.

1919 All Wyoming breweries suspend operations during national emergency.

'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.

Teton and Sublette Counties are organized.

1923 Governor William B. Ross dies in office.

99 coal miners die in explosion at Kemmerer mine.
1924 Nellie Tayloe Ross elected governor, first woman to hold such office in the United States. (In 1933 she will be appointed Director of the U.S. Mint, first woman to hold that office.)
1925 Teapot Dome oil case is tried before judge Kennedy at Cheyenne; decision upholds Sinclair lease.

New Douglas airplane makes first flight across the State.

Gros Ventre River is dammed by huge slide.

1927 Gros Ventre dam breaks and wipes out town of Kelley.
1930 Population, 225,565.
1931 Fort D. A. Russell is officially renamed Fort Francis E. Warren in honor of Senator Warren of Wyoming..

Governor Frank Emerson dies in office.
1935 December 10 designated Wyoming Day, commemorating Governor John A. Campbell's signing of the act granting women in Wyoming Territory the right of suffrage.
1937 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.

Source: 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.

 

 

           

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