Transportation

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Title Article Type Author
Ada Magill Grave Encyclopedia WyoHistory.org
Airmail, U.S. in Wyoming Encyclopedia Steve Wolff
Annie, sailboat on Yellowstone Lake Encyclopedia Jett B. Conner
Arthur, Chester A. and 1883 trip to Yellowstone Encyclopedia Dick Blust, Jr.
Automobile, Wyoming’s first Encyclopedia Phil Roberts
Ayres Natural Bridge, Oregon Trail site Encyclopedia WyoHistory.org

Rough Riders are usually associated with Theodore Roosevelt, but his was not the only cowboy regiment organized to fight in the Spanish American War of 1898. Wyoming had its rough riders, too, but due to a train mishap and the shortness of the war, they never saw combat.

Wyoming’s coal mining industry was secure until the early 1950s, when the Union Pacific switched to diesel-powered locomotives. Laid-off miners and their families struggled; little company towns disappeared. Eventually, trona mining expanded and replaced many of the coal jobs—and in the 1970s, coal came roaring back.

From April to November 1868, two ex-Confederate brothers, Legh and Fred Freeman, published the strident, anti-Reconstruction Frontier Index, moving their offices ahead of the still-building Union Pacific Railroad. Rioters finally destroyed the newspaper’s office and presses in Bear River City, putting the paper out of business.

During the Civil War, varying companies of soldiers from five states served at Fort Halleck on the Overland Trail in what’s now south-central Wyoming. They defended stagecoach stations, passengers, freighters and emigrant trains. Some died in blizzards, some witnessed a legal hanging and some lynched an African-American ambulance driver.

When German-born August and Charles Trabing came to Laramie in 1868, they began selling goods and hauling supplies to settlers, mining camps and especially Army forts around Wyoming Territory. Their operations expanded for 15 years, with annual revenues sometimes topping $1 million in today’s dollars.

In the cold winter of 1831-32, 21 fur trappers survived—in fact thrived—on the Laramie Plains, but it was another matter for their horses. One of the men was 22-year-old Zenas Leonard. He had left the family farm in Pennsylvania after announcing “I can make my living without picking stones.” 

Boeing Air Transport, a precursor of United Air Lines, trained the world’s first stewardesses in Cheyenne beginning in 1930. This and other aviation-related industries boosted Cheyenne’s economy through the end of World War II and beyond; the stewardess school finally closed in 1961.

Chester A. Arthur, the first president to visit Yellowstone, traveled there in 1883 by stage and horseback from the railroad at Green River through the Shoshone Reservation and Jackson Hole. The trip generated political pressure to preserve the park in its natural state—and to stave off commercial development. ​​

Alfred Corum, bound for California in 1849 with two dozen other Missouri men, died on July 4 on the Sublette Cutoff in present western Wyoming. His brother and five other men stayed behind to bury him, deeply saddened on what otherwise would have been a day of celebration. 

On the Oregon-California Trail in western Wyoming lies the grave of 20-year-old Nancy Hill, who died of cholera while bound for California in 1852. The gravestone, though old, is not original and part of the inscription—“Killed by Indians—” for many years misled locals about the cause of her death.