The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History

A Wyoming “Tarzan” and two new digital toolkits of Wyoming history

A Wyoming “Tarzan” and two new digital toolkits of Wyoming history

January 2018

A cunning outlaw of the outdoors, a civil-rights conflict and the end of a cattle boom top our offerings for WyoHistory.org this month.

We also continue our book segment, with a note on a new book about a treacherous stretch of Interstate 80.  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 very best in 2018.

Rough-hewn outlaw called “Tarzan of the Tetons”

For nine days in March 1939, the nation was spellbound by news of a skilled Park County woodsman leading lawmen on a lengthy manhunt. The “huge, shaggy, young Earl Durand,” as Time magazine described him, finally died of his own hand after a failed bank robbery and shootout in downtown Powell, Wyo. Read more about Durand in Lillian Turner’s article, “The Legend of Earl Durand,” at https://www.wyohistory.org/encyclopedia/last-days-earl-durand.

Digital Toolkits

The Cattle Business in the Gilded Age
Grass was free and profits were enormous in the cattle business in Wyoming Territory—for a while. The business dates to the 1850s, when a few entrepreneurs paid westbound emigrants for worn-out cattle, and then fattened them for resale. But the boom came in the decades after the Union Pacific Railroad connected Wyoming ranges to eastern markets.
Learn more in the “Industrialization and Progressivism” section by accessing the digital toolkit “The Cattle Business in the Gilded Age” at

The Black 14
In October 1969, the University of Wyoming Cowboys football team, ranked 12th in the nation, seemed headed for another championship season. But events just before Wyoming’s game against Brigham Young University brought bitter controversy that swung the national news spotlight onto the university and divided the state.
Learn more in “The U.S. During the Struggle for Civil Rights,” in the digital toolkit “The Black 14” at https://www.wyohistory.org/education/toolkit/black-14.

Digital Toolkits, designed to help teachers and students, are aimed at secondary levels and above and connect topics in Wyoming history with one of 12 overarching areas of U.S. history, from the Constitution through the Cold War to coal-rich Wyoming’s role in the nation’s future.

Each toolkit meets Wyoming State Social Studies Standards and contains exercises, links to primary-source material and to more detailed WyoHistory.org articles on the topic. For more information, visit WyoHistory.org’s Education page at https://www.wyohistory.org/education.

A new book

Snow Chi Minh Trail: The History of Interstate 80 between Laramie and Walcott Junction, by John Richard Waggener. Wyoming State Historical Society, 2017, 363 pages. $24.95 paperback. This book chronicles the construction of I-80 between Laramie and Walcott Junction and covers in depth the political brouhaha over the decision to locate the highway there, instead of following U.S. 30 through Medicine Bow. The author includes numerous photographs and maps that vividly illustrate the story. The book is available at bookstores and museums throughout the state and via online sources. It may also be ordered directly from the Wyoming State Historical Society. For more information, e-mail Executive Secretary Linda Fabian at linda@wyshs.org or phone (307) 322-3014.