Wyoming the Leftover State

I remember reading once about Wyoming being a pass-through state. No one stopped, they just passed through. It might also have been the last of the west, everything left over from western expansion and settlement.

Wyoming was not only part of the Louisiana Purchase, a portion was part of Texas at one time and the south west a part of the Mexican Cession. Parts of Wyoming were in Oregon, Washington, Nebraska and Dakota at one time or another. It became so confusing that the famous camp at Fort Laramie was Fort Laramie, Nebraska, Idaho, and Dakota before it was Fort Laramie, Wyoming.

The east was settled, the west was settled, and the south and the upper Midwest settled long before there was a Wyoming. In 1854, travel on the Oregon Trail was heavy but travelers just kept passing through. Much of Wyoming is high desert climate, not suitable for agriculture and people wanting a new life, more often than not, were dependent on agriculture.

It took quite a while but here is how Wyoming became Wyoming.

Ø 1854- Northeast Wyoming belonged to Washington and eastern Wyoming was part of Nebraska

Ø 1861- Colorado territory was formed ending with its northern boundary, it would become Wyoming’s southern boundary

Ø 1861- Nebraska territory was divided and Dakota Territory was formed separated by the continental divide from Washington territory.

Ø 1863- Idaho Territory

Ø 1863- Wyoming Eastern boundary established

Ø Idaho Territory at this time would have been all of the present states of Idaho, Montana and a large part of Wyoming

Ø 1864- Montana Territory created

Ø 1865- Congress sets up a temporary government for the Territory of Wyoming-even though the territory had not yet been created

Ø 1867- Wyoming’s first county was created, Laramie (county seat Fort Sanders) later another county, Carter, was created – all would have been part of Dakota Territory at the time

Ø 1868- Government set up for Lincoln, later changed to Wyoming, this bill also added southwest Wyoming giving the state its four perfect corners.

Ø 1869- Finally – The Territory of Wyoming

Ø 1890- Statehood



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