How Hot Was it? Wyoming History

How hot was it? Or today, how hot is it?
On a cool day last fall - Guernsey State Park - Davis Bay


Well, it was too hot, after all, it is Wyoming in July. The Wyoming Climate Atlas says the hottest day in Wyoming was July 12, 1900, when it reached 116 in the Red Desert, other sources list the 115 degrees at Basin on August 8, 1983, as the warmest. Not sure why there is a discrepancy but would guess, records, along with measuring instruments from more than a century ago were not as accurate as today.
"Too Hot, Think I Will Go Back Down" - Laramie Range Prarie Dog


Why all the talk about the weather, other than that is what old guys like me do? Because it’s pretty warm right now. Up to 77 where I sit in the far corner of our air-conditioned house, the rest of the house is 74ish, and the deck, well it feels about 200 out there, think I will stay inside. Actually, it is 96 outside and our warmest day of the summer.

More than a hundred years ago, without air-conditioning, people used various methods of keeping cool. Sleeping outside, or on sheets wetted down were two ways that people tried to beat the oppressive heat of summer. Light colored, loose fitting dresses and shirts, were also the order of the day. Both men and women normally wore long sleeves when working outside to avoid sunburned arms. The famous farmer tan must not have come around until after the invention of tractors and tee-shirts.
Blooming Yucca - taken with flash at dusk

It has been a while since I have posted any Wyoming Trivia – so here it is, quiz your kids, the three questions are all with photos.
Name this Wyoming State Bird – no need to come up with its scientific name – Sturnella Neglecta

This became Wyoming’s state flower in 1917.

Name this Officer Quarters building that also once served as post Headquarters. Where was it and what was its name?

Have a terrific and warm weekend.

All books of my books are available in soft cover or as eBooks. 
In case anyone needs them, here are today's quiz answers.             
Western Meadowlark - Indian Paintbrush - Old Bedlum at Fort Laramie

Fort Laramie Commander W.R. Davis

I have been absent for quite a while on this site, and for that, I apologize. When I started this site, more than ten years ago, there were only a few blogs that talked about Wyoming history. I thought maybe there were plenty of Wyoming history sites by now.  But, after emails and tweets asking if I was alright, health-wise, I decided it might be time to make what I will call my, summer comeback.


I am spending much of my time researching people that served at Fort Laramie, for a book, my next nonfiction offering, coming out in early 2019, and have run across countless wonderful stories. Here is a bit about one of the Fort Commanders I found most interesting.



Of all the commanders at Fort Laramie, Werter Renick Davis would best fit the category of, most unlikely. Davis, a true renaissance man, was a Methodist Minister who before becoming an Army Chaplin in 1862, was the president of Baker University, the first four-year college in Kansas.

Davis, also a physician, and dentist, first served as a chaplain of the 12th Kansas before being commissioned as a Lieutenant Colonel to help raise and organize the new Kansas 16th Cavalry. Once the 16th was raised he was promoted to Colonel and served at that rank until he mustered out of the Army on December 6, 1865.

It may seem unprecedented for anyone to become a fort commander after only three years in the Army and with no real military training or background, but with Davis that was not the case. Before he commanded at Laramie he commanded at Fort Leavenworth from September 1864 until April 1865. Two commands, for a man who served less than four years in the Army, quite remarkable.


One last note, I have been working on this book for more than a year, but with some diligence, and luck, I should be finished in another half year. And as far as my health, other than my age, I'm doing fine. My last book, On Turing 70, is a fun, tongue in cheek, look at reaching my seventieth birthday earlier this year. 


The photos in today's post, except for the one of Commander Davis, are from my many trips to Fort Laramie.