Kids Timeline

  • 1742-43Francois Louis Verendrye and companions are first white men to sight the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming.

     
  • 1803 Louisiana Purchase (including present Wyoming) is completed.

     
  • 1805 General James Wilkinson is appointed governor of the region including Wyoming. Lewis and Clark employ Sacajawea as guide.

     
  • 1806 John Colter explores Rocky Mountains (credited with being first native-born American to enter what is now Wyoming). Nicknamed area “Colter's Hell.”

     
  • 1807 Ezekiel Williams heads trapping party into Wyoming. John Colter is first white man to enter Tog-Wo-Tee. Togwotee (pronounced Toe-gah-tee) Pass is not only one of the most mispronounced and misspelled locales in Wyoming, it is also a sight not to be missed in winter. The pass gets its name from Sheepeater Indian guide Tog-we-tee, a sub-chief under Washakie. Tog-we-tee means lance thrower or “exactly there” from an Indian game in which players threw lances to see how close they could come to the first one thrown. The winter of 2000/01 marked the 80-year anniversary of the official opening of a road over the pass in 1921.

     
  • 1809 Many trappers operate in what now is eastern Wyoming.

     
  • 1811 Wilson Price Hunt's party, employed by John Jacob Astor, crosses Wyoming; was the first organized expedition through Wyoming, on its way to Oregon (present-day Astoria).

     
  • 1812 Robert Stuart and companions returning from Astoria cross the Continental Divide and discover South Pass; build first-known cabin in Wyoming on the North Platte River near Bessemer Bend.

     
  • 1822 General William H. Ashley establishes trading post on the Yellowstone River. Jim Bridger arrives with Gen. Ashley.

     
  • 1824 Ashley party names Sweetwater River. South Pass is crossed by Ashley trappers, headed by Thomas Fitzpatrick and Jedediah Smith.

     
  • 1825 Ashley and his men descend Green River (first white men to navigate it). Beginning of fur trade/rendezvous period.
     
  • 1826 General Ashley sells his trapping interests in Wyoming.

     
  • 1827 First wheeled vehicle, a four-pounder cannon, crosses South Pass.

     
  • 1828 The first of Wyoming posts, known as “Portuguese Houses,” is established on Middle Fork of Powder River, 11 miles east of Kaycee.

     
  • 1829 Smith, Jackson, and Sublette bring supplies to the rendezvous near the mouth of Popo Agie in mule-drawn wagons (first wagons ever brought to Wyoming).

     
  • 1830 Kit Carson, noted scout, arrives.

     
  • 1832 Captain B. L. E. Bonneville, with 110 men, 20 wagon loads of provisions, goods and ammunition, headed for Pierre's Hole, takes first wagons through South Pass and establishes temporary fortification on tributary of Green River. Built Fort Bonneville. He records presence of oil in Popo Agie region of Wyoming.

     
  • 1834 Fort Laramie is established by William Sublette and Robert Campbell; was first permanent trading post in Wyoming (military post from 1849-1890).

     
  • 1835 Samuel Parker and Marcus Whitman are first missionaries to go across Wyoming. Rev. Parker held first protestant service in Wyoming near present Bondurant.

     
  • 1836 Mrs. H. H. Spalding and Mrs. Marcus Whitman are first white women to pass over Oregon Trail. They were accompanying their missionary husbands across Wyoming.

     
  • 1838 Jim Baker joins American Fur Company; becomes noted scout and guide.

     
  • 1840 Father Pierre J. DeSmet celebrates first Catholic mass in Wyoming on Green River, near the present-day town of Daniel.

     
  • 1842 Fort Bridger, second permanent settlement, established by Jim Bridger and Louis Vasquez. (Military post from 1858-1890) Capt. John C. Fremont leads expedition to select sites for a line of military posts to lead to territorial acquisitions in the Far West. Names Fremont Peak. Elijah White leads large party of missionaries and settlers across Wyoming to Oregon. Gold discovered near South Pass.

     
  • 1843 Fremont's 2nd expedition crosses Laramie Plains.

     
  • 1845 Federal troops under Colonel Stephen W. Kearny march from Ft. Leavenworth to Ft. Laramie.

     
  • 1846 President Polk approves act establishing military posts along Oregon Trail.

     
  • 1849 Fort Laramie is purchased by the United States for $4,000.

     
  • 1851 Captain Howard Stansbury surveys for a railway route. Steamboat ‘El Paso' sails up the Platte River to Guernsey, first steamship on the Platte River in Wyoming.

     
  • 1852 William Vaux, post chaplain, opened first school in Wyoming at Fort Laramie, assisted by his daughter Victoria. Peak year for emigration on Oregon Trail.

     
  • 1853 Fort Supply, first agricultural settlement, established by party of Mormons near Fort Bridger.

     
  • 1854 Grattan Massacre occurs near Fort Laramie.

     
  • 1855 General W. S. Harney leads military expedition against the Sioux.

     
  • 1856 Mormon ‘hand-cart' exodus enters Wyoming en route to Utah.

     
  • 1857 Colonel A. S. Johnston's expedition marches across Wyoming against Mormons. Mormons burn buildings at Fort Bridger and Fort Supply. Camp Scott is established as winter quarters for Johnston's army; Jim Bridger leases Fort Bridger to the government. Lieutenant G. K. Warren explores Wyoming from Fort Laramie to the western slope of the Black Hills: Colonel E. V. Sumner leads troops against the Cheyenne Indians.

     
  • 1858-59 Russell, Majors, and Waddell transport more than 16,000,000 pounds of freight to Utah, passing through Wyoming on Oregon Trail.

     
  • 1859 Central, Overland, California and Pike's Peak Express Company is established by Russell, Majors, and Waddell. Fort Bridger becomes a government military reservation.

     
  • 1860 Pony Express riders cross Wyoming. Second school in Wyoming established at Fort Bridger by Judge William Carter and Miss Fannie Foot is the teacher.

     
  • 1861 Creighton completes transcontinental telegraph line across Wyoming. Pony Express discontinued.

     
  • 1862 March: Ben Holladay takes over equipment of Russell, Majors, and Waddell. Indians raid stage line and steal equipment. July: Government mail route is changed from central Wyoming-Oregon Trail, to Overland (Cherokee) Trail because of Indian raids. Fort Halleck (1862-1866) established on Overland Trail.

     
  • 1863 Bozeman Trail, through Wyoming, established. A Mormon freights a cargo of soda to Salt Lake, the first known export of mineral from the territory. Troops under General P. E. Connor sent to Wyoming to suppress Indians. De Lacy prospecting expedition discovers Shoshone Lake. First newspaper in Wyoming, The Daily Telegraph, begins at Ft. Bridger.

     
  • 1864 Indians wage war along Platte in Wyoming as a result of Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado.

     
  • 1865 January 5: First proposal for temporary government for Territory of Wyoming is made by James M. Ashley, later governor of Montana Territory. Fort Reno (1865-1868) built. Battle of Platte Bridge, Lt. Caspar Collins killed. Platte Bridge station renamed Fort Caspar. Powder River Indian Expedition under General Patrick Connor. The “Bloody Year on the Plains.”

     
  • 1866 Fort Phil Kearny (1866-1868) built along the Bozeman Trail. Fetterman Massacre occurs. Nelson Story drove first herd of cattle through Wyoming, north to Montana. Fort Sanders (1866-1882) is built on Laramie Plains.

     
  • 1867 Laramie and Carter Counties are created by Dakota Legislature. Union Pacific builds into Wyoming. Fort D.A. Russell, Camp Carlin, and Fort Fetterman (1867-1sh882) established. Town of Cheyenne is founded. Wagon Box Fight takes place in the Big Horns. Fort D. A. Russell (now Francis E. Warren Air Force Base) is established. Carissa lode (gold) is discovered at South Pass.

     
  • 1868 Peace Commission signs treaties with Sioux, Crow, and Arapaho at Fort Laramie; with Bannock and Eastern Shoshone at Fort Bridger. Shoshone Reservation established. July 25: Territory of Wyoming is created by Congress. Fort Fred Steele (1868-1886). Albany and Carter Counties are organized. Episcopal church is first church built in Wyoming (in Cheyenne).

     
  • 1869 April 15. J. A. Campbell inaugurated as first governor of Wyoming. Cheyenne designated as territorial capitol. First territorial legislature convenes. Act granting suffrage to women is approved (the first in U.S.). Union Pacific Railway is completed across territory. Carter County is changed to Sweetwater County. Uinta County is organized. Camp Augur (later Camp Brown, then Fort Washakie) established.

     
  • 1870 Population (U. S. Census), 9,118. First homestead entry is perfected in the territory. Women serve on grand and petit juries at Laramie. Mrs. Esther H. Morris, of South Pass City, is appointed first woman justice of the peace. Louisa Swain, of Laramie, cast first equal suffrage vote. Washburn and Doane Expedition explores Yellowstone National Park region. Fort Stambaugh (1870-1878).

     
  • 1871 Legislature passes Militia Act; three militia districts are created.

     
  • 1872 “Yellowstone Wonderland” is established as world's first national park. State Penitentiary is built at Laramie; destroyed by fire soon after; partially rebuilt in 1873.

     
  • 1873 Wyoming Stock Growers Association organizes.

     
  • 1876 Cheyenne-Black Hills stage line launched. Custer leads expedition in northern Wyoming. Custer killed in Battle of Little Big Horn in Montana.

     
  • 1877 Arapaho are moved to Shoshone (Wind River) Reservation for temporary quarters (have remained there ever since).

     
  • 1879 Lotteries and games of chance are outlawed by legislation.

     
  • 1880 Population: 20,789. Cheyenne Club built by wealthy cattlemen.

     
  • 1883 Cheyenne completes incandescent lighting system.

     
  • 1884 Fremont County is organized.

     
  • 1885 Chinese massacre in Rock Springs.

     
  • 1886 Governor Warren approves act providing for capitol building. Commission is appointed to build capitol and state university. Legislature provides for construction of Institution for Deaf, Dumb and Blind at Cheyenne. First county library established in Cheyenne. First county fair - Johnson County. Severe winter kills thousands of cattle. Fremont and Elkhorn Valley Railroad builds branch to Douglas called Wyoming and Central.

     
  • 1887 Cornerstone of capitol building is laid at Cheyenne.

     
  • 1888 September 6: University of Wyoming opens at Laramie. Crook and Pease (Johnson) Counties are organized. 400 Mormon families move into Big Horn Basin. Wyoming National Guard is established. Legislature appropriates funds for penitentiary at Rawlins. Converse, Natrona, and Sheridan Counties are created.

     
  • 1889 November: Wyoming adopts state constitution.

     
  • 1890 Population, 62,553. July 10: Wyoming is admitted into Union as the 44th state. October 14: Francis E. Warren (last territorial governor) is inaugurated as governor of state. First Wyoming congressmen are elected: Joseph M. Carey (last delegate) and Francis E. Warren, U. S. senators; Clarence D. Clark, representative-at-large. Big Horn and Weston Counties are created. First oil well is brought in by Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Company in the Shannon field of the Salt Creek district.

     
  • 1891 President Harrison establishes Yellowstone Timber Land Reserve, first in the U.S.

     
  • 1892 Johnson County Cattle War.

     
  • 1895 Oil refinery is built at Casper. Dupont Powder Company begins development of soda deposits in Wyoming.

     
  • 1896 Hot Springs is purchased from Shoshone Indians.

     
  • 1897 First Cheyenne Frontier Day is celebrated.

     
  • 1898 New penitentiary is completed at Rawlins. Legislature enacts law taxing migratory stock from adjoining states.

     
  • 1899 U.P. mail train is robbed of $60,000 in unsigned bank notes at Wilcox.

     
  • 1900 Population, 92,531. Chief Washakie buried will full military honors in post cemetery at Fort Washakie.

     
  • 1901 Stinking Water River is renamed Shoshone by the legislature.

     
  • 1903 Tom Horn is hanged in Cheyenne, November 20. Buried in Boulder, Colorado.

     
  • 1905 Governor's Mansion is ready for occupancy. State Fair is established at Douglas.

     
  • 1906 Riverton town site is thrown open to settlers. First auto accident in Wyoming occurs. Devils Tower National Monument is established.

     
  • 1909 Pathfinder Dam is completed. Park County is organized.

     
  • 1910 Population, 145,965. Willis Van Devanter, Wyoming lawyer, is appointed to U.S. Supreme Court. Colonel Theodore Roosevelt visits Cheyenne Frontier Days Celebration.

     
  • 1911 Campbell, Goshen, Hot Springs, Lincoln, Niobrara, Platte, Washakie Counties are organized.

     
  • 1913 First automobile license in Wyoming is issued to J. M. Schwoob. A wolf is trained to carry mail over deep snows.

     
  • 1915 Workmen's Compensation Law is enacted.

     
  • 1916 Non-partisan judiciary law is passed. ‘Bill' Carlisle robs Union Pacific train. Sunrise is made model town by Colorado Fuel & Iron Company. Homestead tax exemption is increased to $2,500.

     
  • 1917 Buffalo Bill dies in Denver. State Flower and State Flag are adopted by legislature. The state highway department is created. Jim Baker's cabin is moved to Cheyenne. Wyoming male citizens register for World War draft.

     
  • 1918 Wyoming purchases $10,000,000 worth of Liberty bonds. State votes for prohibition three to one. Uranium discovered near Lusk, Wyoming.

     
  • 1919 All Wyoming breweries suspend operations during national emergency. President Wilson makes several stops in Wyoming. “Bill” Carlisle, train bandit, escapes from penitentiary.

     
  • 1920 Population 194,531.Transcontinental airmail planes are launched. Night airmail flying is inaugurated across Wyoming.

     
  • 1921 Great oil well roars in at the Teapot Dome. Prize fighting is legalized in Wyoming. Teton and Sublette Counties are organized.

     
  • 1922 Union Pacific stores six months' supply of coal along tracks as a precautionary measure in strike situation. Salt Creek oil field opened.

     
  • 1923 Governor William B. Ross dies in office. Frances Warren Pershing Memorial Hospital is dedicated in Cheyenne. Ninety-nine coal miners die in explosion at Kemmerer mine.

     
  • 1924 Senator Francis E. Warren obtains $3,000,000 appropriation for aid in night flying service. State receives $1,700,000 from oil royalties for schools. Nellie Tayloe Ross made governor, first woman to hold such office in the United States. (In 1933, she is appointed Director of the United States Mint, first woman to hold that office.)

     
  • 1925 Teapot Dome oil case is tried before Judge Kennedy at Cheyenne; decision upholds Sinclair lease. 3,500,000 pounds of honey are produced in Wyoming. New Douglas airplane makes first flight across the state. Gros Ventre River is dammed by huge slide. State legislature votes ratification of the Colorado River Compact.

     
  • 1926 John Higgins wills entire estate ($500,000) to Wyoming. Queen Marie of Romania visits state.

     
  • 1927 Wyoming aeronautics law is passed. Gros Ventre dam breaks and wipes out town of Kelly. Senator Francis E. Warren dies; served as U.S. Senator 1890-93. Frank Emerson is inaugurated as governor in 1927.

     
  • 1929 Honorable Patrick J. Sullivan is appointed to fill unexpired term as U.S. Senator. Grand Teton National Park is established.

     
  • 1931 Fort D. A. Russell is officially renamed Fort Francis E. Warren. 6,000 people stage outdoor celebration at Independence Rock. Governor Frank Emerson dies in office. Wyoming Air Service officials fly to Sheridan from Casper with passengers and mail.

     
  • 1933 Allocation of $22,700,000 is made for Casper-Alcova Reclamation Project. New Federal Building is completed in Cheyenne.

     
  • 1934 Wyoming Air Service begins airmail route between Cheyenne and Billings, Montana. Democrats win every state elective office and majority of seats of state legislature.

     
  • 1935 Lethal gas made official method of capital punishment. A two per cent sales tax is adopted. State Liquor Commission created; Wyoming becomes a wholesaler of intoxicating liquors, not including beer.
    December 10, 1935 designated as first Wyoming Day.

     
  • 1936 Aeronautical Commission is created. Old Cheyenne Club, landmark, is demolished.

     
  • 1936 Columbus Day, October 12, is made a public holiday by legislature. Wyoming Home for Dependent Children completed in Casper.

     
  • 1936 General John Pershing visits Cheyenne. President Franklin D. Roosevelt visits Wyoming three times during the summer.

     
  • 1937 New Supreme Court and Library Building are dedicated. Justice Willis Van Devanter resigns from the United States Supreme Court. Ex-Senator Robert D. Carey dies.

     
  • 1937 Social Security and Unemployment Insurance laws are enacted. Wyoming Landmark Commission purchases old Fort Laramie. University holds Semi-Centennial Celebration starting. A United Airlines passenger plane crashes in Wasatch Mountains with nineteen aboard.

     
  • 1938 Fort Laramie is taken over by federal government and made 74th National Historic Site. Alcova Dam is completed. Republicans gain political control of state government by electing three out of five state officials and a majority of legislators.
  • 1938 The final judgment of $6,364,677, less costs of suit and all of the Government's non-treaty expenditures for the Shoshone since 1868, is granted to Shoshone Tribe in satisfaction of claims brought against federal government for the value of land in the Shoshone Reservation occupied by the Arapahoe for 60 years. This decision clears title to 2,343,540 acres of Wyoming land; gives legal status to homes of more than 1,000 Arapaho; and brings to the Shoshone about $4,000,000.

     
  • 1939 Trona discovered in Sweetwater County.

     
  • 1942 Heart Mountain Relocation Center established in Park County.

     
  • 1947 Fort F.E. Warren becomes Francis E. Warren Air Force Base.

     
  • 1949 Severe blizzard paralyzes entire state.

     
  • 1950 First woman jury since 1870.

     
  • 1954 Wyoming's first television station is opened in Cheyenne.

     
  • 1978 Largest radio telescope in the world built on Jelm Mountain.

     
  • 1979 July 16: Cheyenne hit by devastating tornado.

     
  • 1979-80 Cheyenne receives record snowfall amount – 121 inches.

     
  • 1987 Cutthroat Trout adopted as Wyoming State Fish; Knightia adopted as Wyoming State Fossil.

     
  • 1988 More than one million acres burn during Yellowstone National Park fires. Drinking age raised to 21 years.

     
  • 1989 Richard (Dick) Cheney appointed as U.S. Secretary of Defense. Reorganization of State Government Act passed by Wyoming legislature.

     
  • 1990 Wyoming celebrates Centennial. Legislature designates Martin Luther King, Jr./Wyoming Equality Day as a legal holiday.

     
  • 1992 Voters approve term limitation initiative.

     
  • 1995 Wolves reintroduced in Yellowstone.

     
  • 1998 former Wyoming Governor Mike Sullivan appointed Ambassador to Ireland.

     
  • 2001 Richard (Dick) Cheney sworn in as Vice President of the United States.

     
  • 2002 Wyoming is named the 8th most livable state in the country. Median cost of a home in the Jackson area is $625,000. More than 6 million people visited Wyoming's national parks, monuments

     
  • 2004 Dick Cheney re-elected Vice President of U.S.

     
  • 2008 Wyoming rated Best State nationally for statewide litter eradication from public properties by the American State Litter Scorecord; Wyoming ranked most "business friendly" tax climate of all 50 states by the Tax Foundation

     
  • 2005 Scientists announced that tracks of a previously unknown swimming dinosaur have been found along the shores of an ancient sea in Wyoming.

     
  • 2008 Gray wolves in the northern US Rocky Mountains returned to the endangered species list, thanks to a court victory by environmental groups over the US government.