On a remote sagebrush flat in the Red Desert in northern Sweetwater County, Wyo., four flagpoles and a stone monument mark the intersection of what once were the Louisiana Purchase, the Oregon Country and Mexico. Nothing much ever happened there—but the site remains a linchpin of the American West.
Dick Blust, Jr.
Dick Blust, Jr.
On the evening of January 11, 1907, Eastern Shoshone Tribal Councilman George Terry was murdered after leaving a council meeting. Was it a crime of passion, perhaps revenge for mistreating his wife Kate Enos? Or was it an assassination, retribution for backing the selloff of half the reservation’s tribal lands?
A ford, ferry and stage station made up bustling little Green River Station, where the Oregon/California/Mormon Trail crossed the Green River—part of Green River County, Utah until Wyoming became a territory. Serving emigrants, passengers, freighters and the Pony Express, the station died after the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869.
It began with a bowl of mush and ended in the murders of two men—one shot through the heart, the other dragged from the jail and lynched by a vicious mob of 300 to 400 people. Afterward, no one would testify to who was in the mob.
In 1919, when 17-year-old Austrian-born Joseph Omeyc shot Game Warden John Buxton with a revolver near Rock Springs after the officer confiscated his rifle, the crime appeared related to poaching. But Wyoming at the time required non-citizens to license guns, Omeyc didn’t have a gun license—and anti-immigrant feeling was running high.
Guided by a pair of Kentuckians, four blindfolded investors rode south from Rawlins toward the Colorado border in June 1872. Their objective, they thought, was a vast, secret field of diamonds, but they lost nearly all the money they’d put in and the swindlers got away—for a time.
Chester A. Arthur, the first president to visit Yellowstone, traveled there in 1883 by stage and horseback from the railroad at Green River through the Shoshone Reservation and Jackson Hole. The trip generated political pressure to preserve the park in its natural state—and to stave off commercial development.