WyoHistory.org

The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History

Lori Van Pelt

Lori Van Pelt

Lori Van Pelt is the assistant editor of WyoHistory.org. She is an award-winning poet, fiction and nonfiction writer who has written books and numerous articles on Wyoming and the West. Her nonfiction books include Dreamers and Schemers: Profiles from Carbon County, Wyoming’s Past (Glendo, Wyo., High Plains Press, 1999); Capital Characters of Old Cheyenne (Glendo, Wyo.: High Plains Press, 2006) and Amelia Earhart: The Sky’s No Limit (New York: Forge Books, American Heroes series, 2006).

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Encyclopedia | In 1919, Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower and an Army truck convoy crossed Wyoming and the nation to determine the condition of the nation’s roads—which were terrible. In the 1950s, with memories of that trip vivid in his mind, President Eisenhower successfully pushed Congress to back a system of interstate highways.
Encyclopedia | Union Pacific locomotives still rumble through Cheyenne, as they first did 150 years ago. But after the railroad arrived in November 1867, skeptics questioned whether the town would last, as so many other end-of-tracks communities had died once the graders and tracklayers moved on.
Encyclopedia | Thirty or more people were killed Sept. 27, 1923, when a Chicago, Burlington & Quincy passenger train nose-dived into Cole Creek from a washed-out bridge 16 miles east of Casper, Wyo. It was the worst train wreck in the state’s history. Some of the bodies were never recovered.
Encyclopedia | The mining town of Kirwin, Wyo., once a thriving concern, held promise of gold and other riches during its heyday in the late 1800s, but went into decline in the early 1900s. The scenic beauty of the area drew aviatrix Amelia Earhart to the Double Dee Ranch nearby in the 1930s, but her dreams of a vacation cabin there were never realized.
Encyclopedia | When famed aviatrix Amelia Earhart piloted an autogiro coast to coast in 1931, she drew big crowds at stops in Cheyenne, Laramie, Parco, Rock Springs and Le Roy. Earhart and her husband, publisher George Putnam, were having a vacation cabin built near Meeteetse, Wyo., when she disappeared in 1937.
Encyclopedia | In December 1892, newly elected Gov. John E. Osborne, a Democrat, took office a month early in a storm of controversy. State politics were still reeling from the Johnson County War and the 1893 Legislature, in an uproar, failed to elect a U.S. senator.
Encyclopedia | From the high-wheel bicycles of the 1880s through the one-gear racers of the 1890s and tandems of the nineteen-aughts, bicycling grew increasingly popular in Wyoming, with active clubs, long-distance races, bicycle socials and even a Cowboy Bicycle Race at Cheyenne Frontier Days.
Encyclopedia | Sisters Gertrude and Laura Huntington, the first women newspaper owners in Wyoming, bought the Platte Valley Lyre in Saratoga, Wyo., in 1890 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.

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