The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History

A judge, a long winter march and new Wyoming history books

A judge, a long winter march and new Wyoming history books

December 2017

A life in the law and a little-known military campaign top our WyoHistory.org articles this month. The prosecution of killers involved in the Spring Creek Raid helped make a young attorney’s career in northern Wyoming, and an 1850s march across Wyoming by U.S. infantry and dragoons made certain the newly appointed governor of Utah Territory could reestablish federal power there.

We’re also pleased to begin a new book segment in our newsletters. This month we feature two books about lively Wyoming towns—one large, one small—that are celebrating sesquicentennials. If you know of new books about Wyoming’s history, we’d love to hear from you. Please email us at editor@wyohistory.org.

All of us at WyoHistory.org wish you the happiest of holidays and a wonderful 2018.

Percy Metz for the prosecution

In 1909, Percy Metz, 23 years old and recently elected Big Horn County attorney, helped prosecute five men for their murderous roles in the Spring Creek Raid. The case made his reputation; he became a district judge at 29 and spent a long and successful life in the law. To learn more, read historian John Davis’s article “Percy Metz: Prosecutor and Judge” at https://www.wyohistory.org/encyclopedia/percy-metz-prosecutor-and-judge.

The Army’s march to Utah

Crossing what’s now Wyoming in sub-zero cold, Elizabeth Cumming suffered a badly frostbitten foot in November 1857. She and her husband Alfred—the new governor of Utah Territory—and about 2,000 U.S. troops were unsure if they’d be welcomed in Salt Lake City—or faced with armed resistance. Read more in writer Rebecca Hein’s article “The Utah War in Wyoming” at https://www.wyohistory.org/encyclopedia/utah-war-wyoming

Two new histories of sesquicentennial towns

Atlantic City, Wyoming: Voices from a Powerful Place, published by the Atlantic City Historical Society, Inc., 275 pages. $35.00 paperback; $50.00 hardcover. 
Containing an introduction by U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson and packed with a variety of articles written by and about residents of the town in honor of its sesquicentennial in 2018, the reminiscences include tales of mining, ranching, merchandisers, ministers, musicians and artisans. The book is well illustrated with historic and contemporary photographs and even includes a poem or two. To order, contact the Atlantic City Historical Society, Inc. by calling (307) 332-9402 (leave message) or by email at ACWYHistoricalSociety@gmail.com. The society’s mailing address is 15 South Dexter, Atlantic City, WY 82520.

Cheyenne: A Sesquicentennial History, by Rick Ewig, published by HPNBooks, 168 pages. $34.95 hardcover.
This book chronicles the 150-year history of the Magic City of the Plains from its end-of-tracks railroad days through contemporary times exploring in depth the city’s growth as a governmental, military and aviation center. The significant contributions of women to the city’s history, including the recent election of the first female mayor of Cheyenne, are also covered. A variety of photographs help tell the story. The city of Cheyenne sponsored this publication; profiles of numerous businesses are also included. The book is available for purchase directly from HPNBooks at http://hpnbooks.com/wordpress/ or by calling 800-749-0464, or contact the city of Cheyenne at (307) 637-6200 or visit https://www.cheyennecity.org. The book is also available online at amazon.com.

More Oregon Trail Sites

Watch for more articles soon about Wyoming’s historic trails, part of a collaboration with the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office and TravelStorysGPS™ of Wilson, Wyo., to transfer to WyoHistory.org the information on many dozens of trails spots from a historic-trails website SHPO developed a dozen years ago, and to make GPS-triggered audio information about the sites available to smartphone-using travelers.