J. Tom Davis

Historian J. Tom Davis grew up on a farm west of Greybull and now makes his home in Cody. Some years ago he began researching the history of stage lines that ran from railroads to Lander and points in the Big Horn Basin. His book, Glimpses of Greybull’s Past: A History of a Wyoming Railroad Town from 1887 to 1967, won an award in 2004 from the Wyoming State Historical Society.

Freight, mail and stagecoach passengers endured the rough, dangerous road from Rawlins on the Union Pacific through Lander to the Shoshone reservation for 27 years. “God bless the old stage line; she is doomed,” one postmaster wrote in 1906, when a railroad first reached Lander, “but it beat walking.”

In 1901, a Casper newspaper ran this account of a 140-mile stagecoach trip from Casper to Thermopolis. The journey lasts a night, a day and another night. Rough roads make sleep impossible. But the food is pretty good and the service friendly at the ranches along the way.