WyoHistory.org

The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History
Encyclopedia | Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin was still largely unsettled in 1900 when irrigation-minded Mormon colonizers from Utah established the towns of Byron and Cowley, expanded Lovell and began digging the Sidon Canal on the Shoshone River. Their influence settled and stabilized a previously lawless part of the state.  Read More
Encyclopedia | Sisters Gertrude and Laura Huntington, the first women newspaper owners in Wyoming, bought the Platte Valley Lyre in Saratoga, Wyo., in1890 and ran it for 12 years, competing all the while with the Saratoga Sun to inform and entertain their readers. Both women later led long professional careers in Carbon County. Read More
Encyclopedia | Weather conditions and a “let-burn” natural fire policy in Yellowstone National Park resulted in the massive 1988 fires that blackened 683,000 acres of land. Recovery has been quicker and better than many expected, however, and lessons from the conflagration help guide the park’s fire policy today.  Read More
Essays | The 1911 murder of newlyweds Edna and Thomas Jenkins remains unsolved. But the crime on a ranch south of Tensleep still fascinates because of senselessness, the lack of hard evidence pointing at any single suspect—though three were considered—and the social prominence of the victims. Read More
Encyclopedia | Cheyenne schoolteacher Harriett Elizabeth “Liz” Byrd, Wyoming’s first black woman legislator, served in the Wyoming House and Senate from 1981-92. She concentrated on social justice issues, and nine times sponsored a bill to make Martin Luther King day a state holiday before it was finally adopted in 1990. Read More
Essays | In 1913, members of the Wyoming House of Representatives—almost equally split between Democrats and Republicans—came to blows during a 45-minute fracas on the House floor over who should serve as speaker. Read More
Encyclopedia | Wyoming’s mineral taxes make a story of personalities. Democrat Ernest Wilkerson reintroduced mineral severance taxes to Wyoming politics when he ran for governor in 1966. Republican Stan Hathaway defeated Wilkerson, but eventually presided over enactment of a severance tax and a permanent minerals fund, vastly stabilizing Wyoming’s financial future. Read More
Encyclopedia | Mixed-race families in early Wyoming appear to have sold oil skimmed from seeps to travelers on the emigrant trails, who used the oil to lubricate their wagon axles. It was a small start for what has become the huge petroleum business, so important to Wyoming today. Read More

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Visit our new Education Section

Explore the ​Oregon Trail and the Indian Wars, the first two of an upcoming series of education packages on WyoHistory.org. These packages include articles, detailed maps, lesson plans for field trips to the historic sites, videos and interactive quizzes about the Oregon, California, Mormon and Pony Express trails and about the Indian Wars of the turbulent 1860s and 1870s.
​Read more about the Oregon Trail | ​Read more about the Indian Wars | Visit the Education Page

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