home | what's new? | research center | queries forum | contact


U.S. & Wyoming Timeline to 1930
reflecting some of its impact on Goshen County
United States Wyoming

Goshen County

  1742-43 Francois Louis Verendrye entered area of present Wyoming. 1742-43  
America declares its independence from Britain. 1776   1776  
American Revolution ends. 1783   1783  
Louisiana Purchase - almost doubles the size of the United States 1803 Most of current-day Wyoming part of the Louisiana Purchase 1803 The region that will be Goshen County is part of the Louisiana Purchase
  1807 John Colter stumbles upon the Yellowstone area, where "hot water shoots straight into the air, the earth bubbles as if it were boiling, and almost extinct geysers thunder as if possessed by angry spirits." He calls the area in his written reports Colters Hell. 1807  
  1811 Wilson Price Hunt party, the first organized expedition through Wyoming, crossed the state on the way to Astoria, in present day Oregon. 1811  
The United States and Britain fight the War of 1812 which will end in 1815. 1812 Eastern side of Wyoming part of Missouri Territory.

Robert Stuart and returning Astorians crossed the Continental Divide and discover the South Pass through the Rocky Mountains. He builds the first known cabin in Wyoming, on North Platte River near Bessemer Bend.

The region that will be Goshen County is part of the Missouri Territory.

Robert Stuart and the returning Astorians are the first recorded white men to pass by what will become Fort Laramie. While camped at the mouth of the Laramie River they leave the first recorded description of the area. They discover what will become the Oregon Trail

  1821   1821 Jacque Laramee is killed on the Laramie River somewhere near the present site of Fort Laramie. Several geographical landmarks later take his name.
  1822 William Ashley puts an ad in a St. Louis paper to recruit able-bodied men for his new enterprise. There is no shortage of willing young men. Ashley will not build a chain of forts to manage his fur trading operation. Instead, he sends his men out alone and makes arrangements to meet them all at a central place a year later. At the predetermined time, Ashley will load up his wagons with supplies and head off to meet his men. 1822  
  1824 William H. Ashley's men rediscovered South Pass.

The Rocky Mountain fur trappers and traders, including Indians and mountain men, begin holding most of their annual meetings along the Green River.

  1825 Beginning of fur trade rendezvous period. Ashley's yearly journey begins in St. Louis and takes him deep into the heart of the Rockies. His wagons are the first vehicles to penetrate the west, blazing a wagon road for the settlers who will follow a decade later. When Ashley finally reaches his men each year, it is cause for celebration--a wild party they call "the rendezvous." 1825  
  1826   1826  
  1827 Ashley's party took first wheeled vehicle, a four - pounder cannon, through South Pass. 1827  
  1830   1830 Smith, Jackson, and Sublette haul supplies to the annual rendezvous by wagon, thus becoming the first to pass the future site of Fort Laramie and the first on what will become the Oregon Trail.
  1831   1831  
  1832 Capt. B. L. E. Bonneville took first wagons through South Pass, built Fort Bonneville near present Daniel. 1832  
  1833 Bonneville discovers oil. 1833  
  1834   1834 First Permanent settlement in state of Wyoming & first business west of the Missouri River - William Sublette and Robert Campbell establish a log-stockaded fort at the confluence of the Laramie and North Platte rivers to trade with the Indians, and name it Fort William (later, Fort John then Fort Laramie).

Rev. Samuel Parker held first Protestant service in Wyoming near present Bondurant.

Rendezvous missionary Dr. Marcus Whitman removes, to the amusement and amazement of the assembled multitudes, a 2-inch arrow or spearhead that had been lodged in Jim Bridger's shoulder for the preceding 3 years.

1835 Fort William is sold to Jim Bridger, William Fitzpatrick, and Milton Sublette.
  1836   1836

Fort William is sold to the American Fur Company.

Elizabeth Spaulding and Narcissa Whitman, brides of missionaries, visit Fort Laramie, making them the first white women to pass over the Oregon Trail, and the first known white women in the future state of Wyoming.

  1837 Rendezvous is attended by more than 2,000 trappers, traders and Indians. Styles have already begun to change and top money is not received for the furs 1837  
  1840 First Catholic Mass celebrated in Wyoming, Father Pierre DeSmet officiating, near present Daniel. 1840  
  1841 A rival fort, adobe-walled Fort Platte is built on the Platte River within a mile of Fort William. 1841

The American Fur Company replaces deteriorating log Fort William with a new adobe fort, Fort John (later, Fort Laramie).

The Bidwell-Bartelson party passes Fort Laramie enroute to California, the first true wagon train bound for California.

First Drunk Driving Fatality in Wyoming - the Sioux chief Susu-ceicha fell off his horse and broke his neck after riding back and forth between Fort John and Fort Platte, "receiving strongly drugged liquor."


Capt. John C. Fremont's first expedition to Wyoming. He explored the central portion of the state, discovered the South Pass, named Fremont Peak, and established the Overland Trail.

Gold is discovered in the South Pass district, but the major gold rush will be delayed by the coming Civil War and will start late in the 1860s.


Lieutenant John C. Fremont passes Fort Laramie on his first exploratory trip to the Rockies.

The great migration begins on the Oregon Trail.

  1843 Fort Bridger, second permanent settlement, established by Jim Bridger and Louis Vasquez. Military post 1858 - 1890. 1843

The Cow Column passes Fort Laramie. This train represented the first of the wagon trains to Oregon.

  1844   1844  
  1845 Fort Platte is abandoned.

Eastern Wyoming part of Nebraska Territory.


The region that will be Goshen County is part of the Nebraska Territory.

Colonel Stephen W. Kearny councils with the Indians at Fort Laramie to insure safe passage for the growing tide of emigrants traveling along the trail. This is the first peace council at Fort Laramie.

  1846   1846

The Donner Party passes through Fort Laramie on their fateful trip to the west.

  1847   1847

 Brigham Young leads the first of the Mormon emigrants through Fort Laramie in search of their Zion, the valley of the Great Salt Lake. Mormon ferry established on North Platte River.

  1848   1848  
  1849   1849 First Military Post in State of Wyoming - with the purchase of fur-trade post Fort John by the Army for $4,000 on June 26th, becoming Fort Laramie, a military installation. Most of the great Indian treaties will be signed here The first garrison is comprised of two companies of Mounted Riflemen and one company of the 6th Infantry.
  1850   1850 First Post Office in the State of Wyoming - established at Fort Laramie on March 14, 1850; the oldest continuously operating post office in Wyoming.

The high tide of emigration passes Fort Laramie, nearly 50,000 people.

  1851   1851

Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 (Horse Creek Treaty) is signed.

  1852   1852 William Vaux, post chaplain, opened the first school in Wyoming at Fort Laramie, assisted by his daughter, Victoria.
  1853 Fort Supply, first agricultural settlement, established by Mormons near Fort Bridger. Deserted and burned in 1857. 1853 The Platte Ferry, just north of Fort Laramie, is seized by the Sioux. A skirmish results between Fort Laramie soldiers and the Sioux with the result of three Indians killed, three wounded, and two taken prisoner.
  1854   1854 First Major Indian Battle of the Northem Plains Indian Wars - The Grattan Fight takes place on August 19th, after Brevet Second Lieutenant Grattan tries to arrest a Miniconjou brave for the killing of an emigrant's cow, eight miles east of Fort Laramie. All whites at the fight died. This is the first major battle of the Northern Plains Indian Wars.
  1855   1855  
  1856   1856 First School in the State of Wyoming - formal classes taught at Fort Laramie - the first recorded teacher was Post Chaplain Reverend Vaux.

Mormon emigrants pass Fort Laramie using "handcarts," the first of many handcart pioneers.

  1857 Col. Albert S. Johnston Army reached site of Fort Bridger and established temporary Camp Scott. 1857 A large column of troops move through Fort Laramie enroute to Utah to suppress the rebellious Mormons.
  1858   1858  

Pony Express started.

Second school in Wyoming established at Fort Bridger by Judge William A. Carter, with Miss Fannie Foot as teacher.

1860 April 6th, the Pony Express starts its express mail delivery through Fort Laramie.
American Civil War, 1861-1865. 1861 Most of current-day Wyoming part of Dakota Territory

Transcontinental telegraph completed and Pony Express discontinued.

1861 The region that will be Goshen County is part of the Dakota Territory.

The continental telegraph line is completed. The telegraph runs through Fort Laramie. The Pony Express ceases operations.

Fort Halleck (1862 - 1866) established on Overland Trail.

Overland stage line changed route from Oregon Trail to Overland (Cherokee) Trail.


Bozeman Trail established.

First newspaper in Wyoming, The Daily Telegraph, established at Fort Bridger.

  1864   1864 The only recorded attack on Fort Laramie. A scout detachment unsaddled their mounts on the Parade ground and approximately 30 warriors dashed through the fort, stealing the command's horses. No injuries or loss of life were reported.

Fort Reno (1865 - 1868) established.

Battle of Platte Bridge, Lt. Caspar Collins killed.

Platte Bridge station renamed Fort Caspar.

Powder River Indian Expedition under Gen. Patrick E. Connor.

The "Bloody Year on the Plains."

1865 Powder River Expedition is organized at Fort Laramie under General Patrick E. Connor to punish Indians in the region.

Fort Phil Kearny (1866 - 1868) established on Bozeman Trail.

Fetterman Fight takes place on December 21, and 81 soldiers die at the battle. John "Portugee" Phillips and Daniel Dixon start their ride to Deer Creek Station. 

Nelson Story drove first herd of cattle through Wyoming, going north to Montana.

Fort Sanders (1 866 - 1882) established on Overland Trail.


Peace Council is held at Fort Laramie to secure the right to use the Bozeman Trail. The peace council fails after Colonel Henry B. Carrington arrives with troops to establish Bozeman Trail forts. Start of Red Cloud's War.

Fetterman Fight takes place. John "Portugee" Phillips rides to Fort Laramie, arriving (so goes the legend) during a Christmas Night party at Old Bedlam.


Fort D.A. Russell and Camp Carlin established.

Union Pacific Railroad enters Wyoming.

Cheyenne founded.

Gold discovered near South Pass, causing a population growth to more than 2,000 seemingly overnight.

Wagon Box Fight.

Fort Fetterman (1867 - 1882) established.

1867 Laramie County created by Dakota Legislature.

25 July:  Wyoming Territory created.

Wind River Reservation for Shoshone Indians created by treaty.

Fort Fred Steele (1868 - 1886) established.


Red Cloud wins his war with the government and a peace council is held at Fort Laramie, resulting in the signing of the Treaty of 1868, which sets aside the Great Sioux Reservation.


Wyoming Territory organized.

10 Dec:  John A. Campbell, first territorial governor, signs the "Female Suffrage" bill giving Wyoming women the right to vote.

Camp Augur (later Camp Brown and then Fort Washakie) established.

  1870 17 Feb:  Esther Hobart Morris of South Pass City first woman ever to be appointed Justice of the Peace.

March: Women first empaneled for jury service (Laramie).

06 Sep: First equal suffrage vote cast in the nation by Mrs. Louisa Swain of Laramie.

Fort Stambaugh founded (1870 - 1878).

Wyoming's population is 9,118


William "Buffalo Bill" Cody begins guiding hunting parties and even a Yale paleontologist through the Yellowstone and Big Horn Basin area.

First Wyoming high school opens in Cheyenne.

  1872 Yellowstone Park, first national park, created. 1872  
  1873 State prison is established in Laramie.

The Wyoming Stock Growers Association is formed.

  1874 Gold is discovered in the Black Hills 1874 A rush of miners headed for the Black Hills travels through Fort Laramie up the Cheyenne-Deadwood Trail.
  1875   1875

First bridge in state of Wyoming - Army constructs an iron bridge over the North Platte River near Fort Laramie.


Black Hills stage line launched (Cheyenne)..

Fort McKinney (1877 - 1894) established.

Second Powder River Expedition.

Battle of Little Big Horn in Montana.


The campaign of 1876 begins, involving troops from Fort Laramie under the command of General George Crook. Fort Laramie troops fight in the Reynolds Fight of March 17th, and the Battle of the Rosebud on June 17th.


Agreement made with Shoshone Indians to allow Arapahoes to move onto Wind River Reservation.

Cantonment Reno is redesignated Fort McKinney.

Chief Joseph leads his Nez Perce people through the "Devil's Doorway" in the Yellowstone area during their attempted escape to Canada.


Cheyenne Club built by wealthy cattlemen.

Wyoming's population is 20,789

  1881 17 July: Jim Bridger, famous scout and guide, dies in Missouri. Buried at Westport, Missouri 1881  
  1883 Electric lights introduced in Cheyenne. 1883 Last cavalry company leaves Fort Laramie, only infantry troops remain.
  1884 Fremont County is organized. 1884  
  1885 Chinese Massacre at Rock Springs. 1885  

Northwestern Railroad reached eastern boundary of Wyoming.

Cheyenne and Northern Railroad reached Douglas.

First county library law in U.S. enacted by Wyoming Territorial Legislative Assembly.

First county library established in Cheyenne .

First county fair in state, Johnson County.

  1887 University of Wyoming opened. 1887  
  1888 Capitol building completed. 1888  
  1889 Wyoming Constitutional Convention. 1889 Order to abandon Fort Laramie is issued August 31.

10 July: Wyoming Territory admitted into Union as 44th state. One-fourth of Wyoming's population is foreign born -  originating from England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Sweden, Canada, Russia, Denmark, Wales, China, Norway, Italy, Austria, and France.

1890 Last garrison of Fort Laramie marches away on March 2nd. A public auction is held on April 9th to sell the remaining property and buildings. On April 20th the fort is officially abandoned.
  1892 Johnson County Cattle War 1892  
  1894 Mrs. Cort F. Meyer (Estelle Reel) elected State Supertintendent of Public Instruction, one of the first women in the U.S. elected to a state office. 1894  

After using a couple of other names for their town, Buffalo Bill's company picks Cody in the hopes that his reputation will bring in settlers. It works.


Bighorn National Forest is established.

First Cheyenne Frontier Days are celebrated, beginning on September 23rd.

  1898 15 May: Jim Baker, scout and mountain man, dies 1898  

Chief Washakie buried with full military honors in post cemetery at Fort Washakie.

Bloody skirmishes occur between cattle ranchers and sheep raisers, 1900-1910.

Population of Wyoming is 92,531


Cody charms the Burlington Railroad into building a 70-mile-long spur to his town.

Wyoming Frontier Prison in Rawlins opens for prisoners.


J.C. Penney opens his first store in Kemmerer on April 13th.

Yellowstone Forest Reserve (Shoshone National Forest) is the first national forest in the country.


Tom Horn hanged in Cheyenne, November 20; buried in Boulder, Colorado.

  1904 Brothers Howard, Alden, and Willis Eaton establish the West's first dude ranch near Sheridan. 1904  
  1906 24 Sep:  Devils Tower National Monument, first in U.S., created 1906  
  1907   1907  
  1908   1908  
  1909 First Homestead Act provided free land for development 1909  

Willis Van Devanter, Wyoming lawyer, named to U.S. Supreme Court.

Mrs. Mary G. Bellamy of Laramie first woman elected to Wyoming legislature.

First amendment to Wyoming Constitution ratified.

Buffalo Bill Dam on the Shoshone is completed.

  1911   1911  
  1912 Oil discovered at Salt Creek Field near Casper.

Second Homestead Act provided free land for development


Pathfinder Dam on the North Platte River is completed.

  1914   1914  
  1915   1915  
  1916 Third Homestead Act provided free land for development 1916  
World War I, 1917-1918 1917   1917  
  1918 Uranium discovered in Wyoming, near Lusk. 1918  
  1919   1919  

Transcontinental air mail planes crossed Wyoming.

Population of Wyoming is 194,402


Salt Creek oil field opened.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior leases Teapot Dome naval oil reserves in Wyoming.


Mrs. Nellie Tayloe Ross (1876 - 1977), first woman governor in U.S.

Teapot Dome scandal.

  1926   1926  
  1927 Guernsey Dam is completed. 1927  
  1928   1928  
Stock market crashes, plunging the United States into the Great Depression 1929 Grand Teton National Park is established. 1929  
  1930 Fort D.A. Russell renamed Fort Francis E. Warren in honor of Senator Warren of Wyoming. 1930