WyoHistory.org

The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History

People & Peoples

Big Sandy Crossing

The main branch of the Oregon Trail crossed the Big Sandy River at present Farson, Wyo. State Highway 28 running southwest from Farson continues to parallel the route. Swales are often visible alongside the highway, sometimes to the right, sometimes to the left.

Rocky Ridge

Their wagons lurching over sharp boulders up a steep grade, westbound emigrants found a particularly difficult stretch of trail about 40 miles east of South Pass. The late-starting Willie Company of Mormons pulling handcarts suffered terribly here in 1856. For many, the end of the journey was a grave.

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Encyclopedia | Recent, surprising discoveries including a prehistoric village in the Wind River Range above Dubois, Wyo., suggest humans—most likely ancestors of today’s Shoshone people—lived high-mountain lives as long as 10,000 years ago. 
Encyclopedia | Batiste Gamara, 19, emigrated from the Italian Piedmont to New York in 1907. He mined copper and coal in Pennsylvania, Michigan and, finally, near Kemmerer, Wyo. There, tragically, he was killed by falling coal in 1915. His great nephew tells his story. 
Encyclopedia | In 1876, Dom Pedro II, emperor of Brazil, traveled the United States in advance of the celebration in Philadelphia that year of the nation’s centennial. A Cheyenne Leader reporter managed to get a story—even though the emperor’s train stopped in the Magic City in the middle of the night. 
Encyclopedia | Scientist, scholar and poet June Etta Downey, an internationally recognized expert in personality testing, was longtime head of the University of Wyoming psychology department. She published seven books and scores of articles, and served on the UW faculty for 34 years before her death in 1932. 
Encyclopedia | Carrie Burton Overton, the first female African-American student at the University of Wyoming, triumphed over poverty and race prejudice in the course of her long life. After training as a stenographer at UW, she earned music diplomas from Howard University and the Juilliard School and, later, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Columbia University. 
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 | 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.
Encyclopedia | In 1913, Buffalo Bill joined Prince Albert I of Monaco—the first reigning monarch ever to visit the United States—on a big-game hunt east of Yellowstone National Park. Both were at points in their lives where they badly needed good publicity—and they got it.

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