Cheyenne - The RR Town

On the fourth of July in 1867, General Grenville Dodge set the spot for Wyoming’s first railroad terminal. Crow Creek was the spot. He named this spot Cheyenne after the Indian tribe in the area. It didn’t take long for a city to grow from the terminal.

Robert Strahorn, while preparing his Handbook, asked one of the first settlers of the city if he could point out the first house erected in Cheyenne. “The old settlers replied, “ well, one fine day, early in July, 1867, four or five hundred of us pitched our tents here, where there wasn’t a sign of civilization, and about half of us woke up at daylight the next morning to find that the other half were living in board shanties.” **
**From Velma Linford’s, Wyoming Frontier State.
1890 Train


Cheyenne, at the time, was constantly referred to as a creation of the Union Pacific Railroad. Within weeks a city blossomed. By the end of summer, more than 300 businesses were open in Cheyenne. By November when the first rails made it to town, 4,000 people were living there. A year later the population dropped to 1,500 but the town remained and grew, reaching a population 4,500 people by the early 1880s.


Fifty-nine railroads were incorporated in Wyoming between 1869 and 1900. Seems like we should have tracks running all over the state. Many of these railroads were only on paper and never able to raise the money to build any miles of track. But some track was getting built, a reported 290 miles in the first few years of twentieth century.
Train heading west
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