Wyoming History - the history of Wyoming
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Wyoming   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Wyoming History

   
 

Wyoming History



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Wyoming's Historic Ranches (Images of America)

By Nancy Weidel

Arcadia Publishing
Released: 2014-10-20
Paperback (128 pages)

Wyoming s Historic Ranches (Images of America)
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Wyoming is so closely identified with ranching that it is often known as “the Cowboy State.” The prosperity associated with the cattle industry drew wealthy investors to Wyoming Territory in the 1870s and early 1880s. They stocked the range with thousands of cows and made considerable fortunes until the harsh winter of 1886–1887, when the cattle market collapsed. Many of those early ranchers left Wyoming, which opened the door for the establishment of what would become a huge sheep business. During the 1890s and the early decades of the 20th century, the various Homestead Acts drew others to Wyoming in search of a brighter future. As most of Wyoming’s land was suited for grazing, not farming, smaller ranches began to play a more important role in the state’s growth. Wyoming’s Historic Ranches provides a rare glimpse of the cattle baron ranches as well as the more modest operations that are tucked away along remote valleys and streams, not visible to the average visitor or resident of the state.

Wyoming Range War: The Infamous Invasion of Johnson County

By John W. Davis

Brand: University of Oklahoma Press
Paperback (376 pages)

Wyoming Range War: The Infamous Invasion of Johnson County
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Wyoming attorney John W. Davis retells the story of the West’s most notorious range war. Having delved more deeply than previous writers into land and census records, newspapers, and trial transcripts, Davis has produced an all-new interpretation. He looks at the conflict from the perspective of Johnson County residents—those whose home territory was invaded and many of whom the invaders targeted for murder—and finds that, contrary to the received explanation, these people were not thieves and rustlers but legitimate citizens.

The broad outlines of the conflict are familiar: some of Wyoming’s biggest cattlemen, under the guise of eliminating livestock rustling on the open range, hire two-dozen Texas cowboys and, with range detectives and prominent members of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, “invade” north-central Wyoming to clean out rustlers and other undesirables. While the invaders kill two suspected rustlers, citizens mobilize and eventually turn the tables, surrounding the intruders at a ranch where they intend to capture them by force. An appeal for help convinces President Benjamin Harrison to call out the army from nearby Fort McKinley, and after an all-night ride the soldiers arrive just in time to stave off the invaders’ annihilation. Though taken prisoner, they later avoid prosecution.

The cattle barons’ powers of persuasion in justifying their deeds have colored accounts of the war for more than a century. Wyoming Range War tells a compelling story that redraws the lines between heroes and villains.

History of Wyoming (Second Edition)

By T. A. Larson

Brand: University of Nebraska Press
Paperback (695 pages)

History of Wyoming (Second Edition)
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Reviewers hailed the original edition of T.A. Larson’s History of Wyoming (Winner of an Award of Merit of the American Association for State and Local History) as “a refreshing new look at the most western of the Western States,” “an excellent model of what a state history should be.” In that first comprehensive, critical history of Wyoming, the author was not concerned to recapitulate the familiar tales of fast guns and renegades associated with the pre-territorial years; his focus was on the men, women, and events which have shaped the state’s history since 18965, when the name Wyoming was first applied to the area.

Although dramatic incidents and changes occurred in Wyoming from time to time during its territorial and statehood years into the 1960’s, the state remained preeminently a cattlemen’s domain and tourist mecca. Then the world energy crisis greatly enhanced the value of these state’s vast reserves of oil, gas, uranium, and coal. Unprecedented growth resulted (the state was losing population in 1965, when the first edition of this book was published), bringing expanded payrolls and wealth on the one hand and serious problems on the other as developers and environmentalists competed for control of Wyoming’s future.

Incorporating new chapters on the state’s abrupt turnaround from “the lonesome land” to an important national center of energy development, this edition continues to emphasize political, economic, and social history and to offer new interpretations and information. Examining the great changes of the 1970’s, Larson concludes that trade-offs and compromises are inevitable, major decisions lie ahead, and it’s an exciting and challenging era for Wyoming citizens.

On This Day in Wyoming History

By Patrick T. Holscher

The History Press
Released: 2014-03-18
Paperback (544 pages)

On This Day in Wyoming History
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Wyoming might be known as the least populous state, but this land of mountains and prairies is home to enough history to provide an entertaining footnote for each day of the year. On September 6, 1870, Wyoming was the first state to give women the right to vote, and on March 1, 1872, Yellowstone became the world's first National Park. JCPenney opened its doors in Kemmerer on April 14, 1902, while May 1, 1883, marks Buffalo Bill Cody's very first Wild West Show. Join Pat Holscher on a day-by-day look at some of the Equality State's most fascinating factoids.

Roadside History of Wyoming (Paperback)

By Candy Moulton

Mountain Press Publishing Company
Released: 1995-09-01
Paperback (440 pages)

Roadside History of Wyoming  (Paperback)
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In Roadside History of Wyoming readers will learn about Native Americans who struggled to adapt to many sudden changes, mountain men who braved the wilderness, emigrants who suffered untold hardships, cattle and sheep drovers who took advantage of the open range, miners who sought wealth below the ground, and many others whose deeds help define the state's rich history.

The Greatest Cowboy Stories Ever Told: Enduring Tales Of The Western Frontier

Lyons Press
Paperback (352 pages)

The Greatest Cowboy Stories Ever Told: Enduring Tales Of The Western Frontier
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The Greatest Cowboy Stories Ever Told includes twenty-three exciting stories from a variety of contributors, such as Mark Twain, Karl May, Ned Buttline, O. Henry, Bret Harte, Stephan Krane, Frederic Remington, Zane Grey, Max Brand, and Owen Webster.

Ancient Wyoming: A Dozen Lost Worlds Based on the Geology of the Bighorn Basin

By Kirk Johnson

Fulcrum Publishing
Paperback (64 pages)

Ancient Wyoming: A Dozen Lost Worlds Based on the Geology of the Bighorn Basin
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Sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation to the Denver Museum of Natural History. Ever wondered what the ground below you was like millions of years ago? Merging paleontology, geology, and artistry, Ancient Wyoming illustrates scenes from the distant past and provides fascinating details on the flora and fauna of the past 300 million years. The book provides a unique look at Wyoming, both as it is today and as it was throughout ancient history—at times a vast ocean, a lush rain forest, and a mountain prairie.

Goodbye, Judge Lynch: The End of the Lawless Era in Wyoming’s Big Horn Basin

By John W. Davis

Brand: University of Oklahoma Press
Released: 2005-06-20
Paperback (284 pages)

Goodbye, Judge Lynch: The End of the Lawless Era in Wyoming’s Big Horn Basin
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The big Horn Basin of northern Wyoming was one of the last frontiers in the continental United States. With settlers did not arrive until 1879, when cattlemen poured into the Basin to capture empty grasslands. In their haste to seize opportunity, the new residents did not establish an effective criminal justice system, and the consequence was rampant violence. In Goodbye, Judge Lynch, John W. Davis tells the fascinating story of how lawlessness finally came to an end in this remote corner of the West.

The cattlemen who arrived in the Big Horn Basin in the 1880s were almost all young men, hardworking but impulsive. Without a legal system to control them, extralegal practices, such as lynching and sheep raids, grew at an alarming rate.

Davis examines murders, assaults, and thefts in the region over the course of three decades, when the problems of prosecution were overwhelming. He highlights the infamous 1902 case of State v. Jim Gormon, in which Gormon, infatuated with his sister-in-law, killed his brother. Although Gormon received a first-degree murder conviction, a shocking breakdown of order ensued, when a mob attacked the Big Horn County jail and killed Gormon, another prisoner, and a deputy sheriff. Six years later, in another infamous case, raiders murdered three sheepherders. Impunity was the immediate result, and the defeat of law and order in the region seemed complete. But authorities fought the odds and finally gained guilty verdicts, the first convictions of sheep raiders in Wyoming. This legal victory marked the end of a brief but powerful vigilante tradition.

The first in-depth assessment of vigilantism and justice in the region, Goodbye, Judge Lynch reveals the unique challenges faced by a western society attempting to build a social system from scratch.

Wyoming: A History (States and the Nation)

By Taft Alfred Larson

W. W. Norton & Company
Paperback (228 pages)

Wyoming: A History (States and the Nation)
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  • ISBN13: 9780393301830
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Product Description:

For centuries Wyoming was a land no one wanted--high, dry, and remote--more often a thoroughfare on the way to some place else than a final destination. Many of the sweeping developments that overtook the rest of the nation simply passed it by, leaving Wyoming to sit in lonely grandeur behind its granite walls and silent snows. The problem, explains T.A. Larson in this history, was people--and how to get them there.

The settlers who came to Wyoming stayed to build a special way of life. It is with them that important choices now rest. "The country where the wind blew in primeval purity will now breathe new odors," says author Larson, unless short-term profits can be balanced by long-term gains. If the right decisions are made, he concludes, it should be possible for Wyoming to "emerge from its primitive isolation in such a way that its greatest values are preserved and its old way of life left for those who choose to follow it." 

Diary of a 1908 Wagon Journey to Yellowstone: And Life in Rural Wyoming

By Charles S. Hoff

Independently published
Paperback (90 pages)

Diary of a 1908 Wagon Journey to Yellowstone: And Life in Rural Wyoming
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This diary was written in two equally important and interesting parts. The diarist is Charles Hoff, a veteran of the American Civil War who is in his mid-60s at the time of the diary.

Part 1: Life in Rural Wyoming in the Summer of 1907

The first part of this diary takes place in 1907 and details the diarist’s life near Boulder, Wyoming. It is a largely rural area and the diarist’s activities reflect that. The diarist shares plenty of opinions on the sometimes strange happening in the town, as well as describing his daily life and activities.

There is some modern excitement to be had. On July 29, the first automobile ever to show up in town arrives. Then, on August 9, another. On August 11, our diarist writes “Another automobile came in today. Getting to be a common thing.” Soon after: “He took the citizens of the place for a ride, four at a time. I was included. It was a grand day for the people.” 

Part 2: Wagon Journey to Yellowstone National Park in the Summer of 1908

In the second part of the diary, the diarist embarks on a wagon journey to Yellowstone National Park with some friends. On the way, they see amazing animals and scenery and natural phenomena, have a few crazy experiences, meet a cowboy, and deal with the logistical problems of a road trip. The diarist tells us all about road food. Who knew you can cook gooseberries and black currants on the road?

Upon arriving in Yellowstone, it is quickly apparent that a tour of 1908 Yellowstone was different than it is today. On the way in, they had to register with the soldiers and get their guns plugged so they couldn’t hunt (and get their guns unplugged by soldiers on the way out).

The diarist vividly documents the extensive tour of Yellowstone Park. You can look at a Yellowstone map from today while reading this diary and follow their progress. He mentions every river, every place of note, and every attraction - giving detailed accounts of the entire adventurous tour.


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