Shortly after Congress gave him the power to do so, President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 created the nation’s first national monument at Devils Tower. Wyoming’s lone congressman, Frank Mondell, fearing federal overreach and always in favor of developing, not protecting, public land was distinctly unenthusiastic about the move.
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One summer morning in 1908, Sam Gibson rode horseback along Little Piney Creek near Sheridan County’s southern border. His companion, Charles Bezold, rode alongside, eager to hear the older man’s stories of an Indian Wars battle 40 years before. They knew they were near the site of the Wagon Box Fight ...
Chicago native Florence Blake risked her life in a bull pasture; traveled to Devil’s Tower and Yellowstone Park; and attended many all-night dances—all part of her life as a single woman homesteader in Campbell County, Wyoming in the early 1920s. She lived in Wyoming seven months each year.
Longtime University of Wyoming archaeologist George Frison’s thinking about ancient bison kill sites was deeply informed by his early life as a hunter and rancher. Over a long career Frison won the affection and respect of students and colleagues; his many awards included election to the National Academy of Sciences.
When Noah Richardson brought his gal to a gathering of cowboys in 1905, he expected her to leave with him. The charm of Allie Means that day won him the girl but lost him his life. Read more about the desperate crimes of Noah Richardson and the chain of events spurred on by the murder of Allie Means.
Contrary to legend, the sole purpose of the Pony Express was to secure a $1 million U.S. Mail subsidy by showing mail could be delivered on time between Missouri and California—even through winter. But in the contest between the Pony Express and Wyoming winter, winter won.
In 1859-1860 Capt. William Raynolds led scientists, artists and soldiers who mapped much of present Wyoming and Montana. Their maps show a West frozen in time, home to Native people. But the maps were tools too of the nation’s sense of itself and its Manifest Destiny—to dispossess people who already lived here.
After World War I, people in America’s fast-growing, car-purchasing middle class could afford pleasure trips and began sending home picture postcards. The cards reveal a great deal about the attitudes, class and prejudices of their senders and vendors, and hint at what Wyoming people wanted the world to see.
Fearless, determined Lizabeth Wiley served three terms in the 1920s as Greybull mayor. During her first, she opposed the Ku Klux Klan so successfully that by the term’s second half, she wrote, her job had become “tame.” Later, she weathered a bootlegging scandal and led relief efforts after a devastating flood.
Connecticut-born Edward Gillette came west 1878, eager for excitement. His expertise as a surveyor led eventually to his leading the party that located the Burlington Railroad route through northeast Wyoming. Though Gillette, Wyo., was named for him, he finally settled in Sheridan to a life of successful business and public service.