In 1898, Wyoming State Auditor Billy Owen and friends climbed the Grand Teton and claimed they were first to do so. Counterclaims quickly surfaced, dating back to 1872. In 1929, Owen persuaded the Wyoming Legislature to name him the first and had a plaque made to make it official. But the controversy continues.
Billy Owen never saw a railroad until he was eight years old. His mother had told him about railroads. But in his mind as he traveled east by wagon train across Wyoming in the spring of 1868, he had imagined railroad wheels that looked something like wagon wheels. They rolled in grooves. Each groove was made by two rails. That meant it took four rails, as he imagined it, to make a track.