Laramie County, Wyoming is a noteworthy historical location in the western United States. Here are seven interesting facts about the history of Laramie County:
1. Cheyenne is the capital of Wyoming: Cheyenne serves as the capital of Wyoming and the most populous city in Laramie County. It played an essential role in the history of the state as the central hub for mines, railroads, and agriculture.
2. Military History: Fort D.A. Russell, now known as the F.E. Warren Air Force Base, was established in 1867 to protect pioneers traveling west and to provide aid for the Transcontinental Railroad. The fort influenced the city of Cheyenne, creating a boom in its economic growth.
3. Union Pacific Railroad: Started in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1862, the Union Pacific Railroad reached Cheyenne by 1867. This greatly influenced Cheyenne's growth, making it the center of commerce in the region.
4. Wyoming's Universal Suffrage: Wyoming became the first state to grant women the right to vote in 1869, allowing them to participate in local and state elections. It was not until 51 years later that the 19th Amendment granted women's suffrage throughout the United States.
5. Significant clashes with the Native Americans: Laramie County played a crucial role in the Indian Wars, as it was the territorial capital at the time. The Battle of Rosebud, fought between the Sioux and a combined force of the US Army, Cheyenne, and Arapahoe warriors, was the precursor to the Battle of Little Bighorn.
6. World famous Wyoming frontier Prison: The Wyoming Frontier Prison was constructed in 1888, and it was modeled after the Philadelphia Prison System. It operated until 1981 and today is a museum. The facility held infamous female convicts like Big Nose Kate, the wife and accomplice to Doc Holliday and Ma Barker, the mother of the notorious Barker Gang.
7. The Tie Hack Industry: The railroad requires a significant amount of wood for their construction and maintenance. The railroad's need led to the formation of the Tie Hack industry, where loggers would hack ties out of the timber and float them down the streams to their destination. Tie Hacks worked for months in isolation with their horses and logging camps, only interacting with the outside world for a few days when they drove their logs down to the railroad. Tie Hacks remained an important part of Wyoming's lumber industry until the early 20th century.
Laramie County has a rich history that helped shape the western United States. From women's suffrage to the expansion of the railroad, the county played a crucial role in the development of the nation. It is essential to learn about the history of Laramie County to better appreciate the present-day.
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