The State of Wyoming was admitted into the Union as the 44th state. Throughout the Wyoming Timeline, the area saw its share of pioneers, Indian Wars, famous gunslingers, and breathtaking beauty.
The state is still one of the most rural states in the union with only a population of 578,000 is one of the smallest states in terms of population.
1743: The Verendrye brothers visit Wyoming and become the first white men to set foot on Wyoming soil.
1803: President Thomas Jefferson completes the Louisiana Purchase which would include Wyoming. He would organize the famous Lewis and Clark expedition to explore the territory.
1807 - 1808: John Colter becomes the first non-native to see the geyser basins of what became Yellowstone National Park. He calls the place "Colter's Hell."
1811: Wilson Price Hunt's crossed through Wyoming on a trail that would later become the Oregon Trail.
1811 - 1812: Robert Stuart builds the first known cabin in Wyoming. The War of 1812 begins in the Eastern United States, but Wyoming is not affected by the conflict.
1822: A trading post is established on the Yellowstone River by General William H. Ashley.
1824: Trappers led by Thomas Fitzpatrick and Jedidiah Smith cross the South Pass. General Ashley names the Sweetwater River.
1825: General William Ashley and his men become the first white men to navigate the Green River. This would also mark the beginning of the fur trade in Wyoming.
1826: General Ashley decides to sell his trapping interests in Wyoming.
1827: A four-pounder cannon becomes the first wheeled vehicle to cross the South Pass.
1828: Portuguese Houses are established throughout Wyoming. These houses were the first of many Wyoming posts that would be established on the Middle Fork of Powder River.
1829: The first-ever wagon is brought to Wyoming near the mouth of Popo Agie.
1830: Kit Carson arrives in Wyoming.
1832: Captain B. L. E. Bonneville establishes temporary fortifications on a tributary of the Green River. He also records the presence of oil in the Popo Agie region of Wyoming.
1834: Fort Laramie is established by William Sublette and Robert Campbell. This would become the first permanent trading post in Wyoming and would become an important fort on the Frontier that would eventually be used by many that were traveling the Oregon Trail.
1835 - 1836: The first missionaries cross Wyoming. Samuel Parker would hold the first protestant service in Wyoming. Marcus Whitman was another missionary that passed through Wyoming on his way to Oregon. Whitman would be joined by his wife a year later.
1838: Famous frontiersman Jim Baker joins the American Fur Company. Baker would go on to lead a successful life as a fur trader.
1840: Father Pierre J. DeSmet leads the first Catholic mass in Wyoming on the Green River.
1842: Fort Bridger is established and becomes the second permanent settlement in Wyoming. the fort was established by Jim Bridger and Louis Vasquez. Well-known abolitionist Captain John C. Fremont leads an expedition across the eventual state to select sites for a line of military posts that would allow for territorial acquisitions. Elijah White leads a large party of missionaries through Wyoming on his way to Oregon. Gold is also discovered in Wyoming.
1843: John C. Fremont leads another expedition across Wyoming. He would cross the Laramie Plains.
1845: Colonel Stephen W. Kearny leads federal troops from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Laramie.
1846: President James K. Polk gives approval to an act that would allow for the building of military posts along the Oregon Trail.
1849: The United States purchases Fort Laramie for $4,000.
1851: Captain Howard Stansbury surveys for a railway route. Steamboat ‘El Paso’ sails up the Platte River to Guernsey, a first steamship on the Platte River in Wyoming.
1852: William Vaux, post chaplain, opened the first school in Wyoming at Fort Laramie, assisted by his daughter Victoria. 1852 would be the peak year for emigration on Oregon Trail.
1853: Fort Supply, the first agricultural settlement, established by a party of Mormons near Fort Bridger.
August 19, 1854: Grattan Massacre occurs near Fort Laramie. This would be the first act during the First Sioux War.
1855: Col. William S. Harney was recalled from Paris in April 1855 and sent to Fort Kearny, where he assembled a command of 600 troops, consisting of men from the 6th Infantry, 10th Infantry, 4th Artillery, and his own 2nd US Dragoons. In all he had four mounted companies led by Lt. Col. Philip St. George Cooke and five companies of infantry under Major Albemarle Cady. They set out on August 24, 1855, to find the Sioux and exact retribution. Harney was quoted as saying, "By God, I'm for battle—no peace." Harney met them at the Battle of Ash Hollow and killed 86 Sioux which included women and children and captured 70 others.
1856: Mormon's travel through Wyoming on their way to Utah.
1857 Colonel A. S. Johnston’s expedition marches across Wyoming against Mormons. Mormons burn buildings at Fort Bridger and Fort Supply. Camp Scott is established as winter quarters for Johnston’s army; Jim Bridger leases Fort Bridger to the government. Lieutenant G. K. Warren explores Wyoming from Fort Laramie to the western slope of the Black Hills: Colonel E. V. Sumner leads troops against the Cheyenne Indians.
1858-59 Russell, Majors, and Waddell transport more than 16,000,000 pounds of freight to Utah, passing through Wyoming on Oregon Trail.
1859: Fort Bridger is established as a military reservation.
1860: The Pony Express crosses Wyoming. Judge William Carter and Fannie Foot help establish the second school in Wyoming at Fort Bridger.
1861: The transcontinental telegraph line is completed across Wyoming. The telegraph would end the need for the Pony Express. The Civil War begins in America and will affect every part of the country by its end.
1862 March: Ben Holladay takes over the equipment of Russell, Majors, and Waddell. Indians raid the stage line and steal equipment.
July 1862: Government mail route is changed from the central Wyoming-Oregon Trail to the Overland (Cherokee) Trail because of Indian raids. Fort Halleck (1862-1866) was established on Overland Trail.
1863: Bozeman Trail, through Wyoming, established. A Mormon freights a cargo of soda to Salt Lake, the first known export of mineral from the territory. Troops under General P. E. Connor were sent to Wyoming to suppress Indians. De Lacy's prospecting expedition discovers Shoshone Lake. The first newspaper in Wyoming, The Daily Telegraph, begins at Ft. Bridger.
November 29, 1864: The Sand Creek Massacre occurs killing an estimated 70 - 500 Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians. In response, the Indians begin to wage war along Platte in Wyoming.
January 5, 1865: The first proposal for a temporary government for Wyoming territory is made by James Ashley.
July 26, 1865: The Battle of Platte Bridge, also called the Battle of Platte Bridge Station, on July 26, 1865, was the culmination of a summer offensive by the Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne Indians against the United States army. In May and June, the Indians raided army outposts and stagecoach stations over a wide swath of Wyoming and Montana. In July, they assembled a large army, estimated by Cheyenne warrior George Bent to number 3,000 warriors, and descended upon Platte Bridge. The bridge, across the North Platte River near present-day Casper, Wyoming, was guarded by 120 soldiers. In an engagement near the bridge, and another against a wagon train guarded by 28 soldiers a few miles away, the Indians killed 29 soldiers while suffering at least eight dead.
July 1 - October 4, 1865: The Powder River Expedition of 1865 also known as the Powder River War or Powder River Invasion, was a large and far-flung military operation of the United States Army against the Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Indians in Montana Territory and Dakota Territory. Although soldiers destroyed one Arapaho village and established Fort Connor to protect travelers on the Bozeman Trail, the expedition is considered a failure because it failed to defeat the Indians and secure peace in the region.
1865: Fort Reno is built
1866: Nelson Story drove the first herd of cattle through Wyoming.
December 21, 1866: Fetterman's Massacre was a battle during Red Cloud's War on December 21, 1866, between a confederation of the Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes and a detachment of the United States Army, based at Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming. The U.S. military mission was intended to protect travelers on the Bozeman Trail.
A group of ten warriors, including Crazy Horse, acted to lure a detachment of U.S. soldiers into an ambush. All 81 men under the command of Captain William J. Fetterman were then killed by the Native American warriors. At the time, it was the worst military disaster ever suffered by the United States Army on the Great Plains.
January 9, 1867: Laramie County is created by the Dakota legislature. Cheyenne is founded.
August 2, 1867: The Wagon Box Fight was an engagement in the vicinity of Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming, during Red Cloud's War. A party of 26 US Army soldiers and 6 civilians were attacked by several hundred Lakota Sioux warriors. Although outnumbered, the soldiers were armed with newly supplied breech-loading Springfield Model 1866 rifles and Lever Action Henry rifles and had a defensive wall of wagon boxes to protect them. They held off the attackers for hours with few casualties, although they lost a large number of horses and mules driven off by the raiders.
1867: Union Pacific builds into Wyoming. Fort D.A. Russell, Camp Carlin, and Fort Fetterman are established. Gold is discovered at South Pass.
July 25, 1868: The territory of Wyoming is created by Congress
April 15, 1869: J. A. Campbell is inaugurated as the first governor of Wyoming. Cheyenne would be designated as its capital.
December 1869: Women's suffrage is passed making Wyoming the first territory in the United States to allow women the right to vote and hold office.
1870: Population (U. S. Census), 9,118. The first homestead entry is perfected in the territory. Women serve on grand and petit juries at Laramie. Mrs. Esther H. Morris, of South Pass City, is appointed the first woman justice of the peace. Louisa Swain, of Laramie, cast the first equal suffrage vote. Washburn and Doane Expedition explores the Yellowstone National Park region. Fort Stambaugh (1870-1878).
March 1, 1872: Yellowstone becomes the world's first national park.
1873: Wyoming Stock Growers Association organizes.
June 25 - 26, 1876: General George Custer is killed during his defeat at the Battle of Little Big Horn.
1878: The Northern Arapaho Tribe was moved to the Wind River Indian Reservation where they were favorably received by the Eastern Shoshone that had been moved to the reservation 10 years prior.
1883: Cheyenne is introduced to electrical lighting and uses it throughout the city.
September 2, 1885: The Rock Springs massacre, also known as the Rock Springs Riot, occurs in the present-day United States city of Rock Springs in Sweetwater County, Wyoming. The riot, and resulting massacre of immigrant Chinese miners by other miners, was the result of racial prejudice toward the Chinese miners, who were perceived to be taking jobs from other miners. The Union Pacific Coal Department found it economically beneficial to give preference in hiring to Chinese miners, who were willing to work for lower wages. When the rioting ended, at least 28 Chinese miners were dead and 15 were injured.
Winter 1886 - 1887: A harsh winter destroys the Wyoming cattle industry. The time becomes known as "The Great Die-Up".
July 10, 1890: Wyoming becomes the 44th state in the Union.
1889 - 1893: The Johnson County War, also known as the War on Powder River and the Wyoming Range War, was a range conflict that took place in Johnson County, Wyoming. The conflict began when cattle companies started ruthlessly persecuting alleged rustlers in the area, many of whom were settlers who competed with them for land, livestock, and water rights. As violence swelled between the large established ranchers and the smaller settlers in the state, it finally culminated in the Powder River Country when the ranchers hired gunmen to invade the county. The gunmen's initial incursion in the territory aroused the small farmers and ranchers, as well as the state lawmen, and they formed a posse of 200 men that led to a grueling stand-off. The siege ended when the United States Cavalry on the orders of President Benjamin Harrison relieved the two forces, although further fighting persisted in the following months.
1896: After using a couple of other names for their town, Buffalo Bill’s company picks Cody in the hopes that his reputation will bring in settlers. It works.
February 22, 1897: Bighorn National Forest is established.
September 23, 1897: First Cheyenne Frontier Days are celebrated
1902: James Cash Penney opens his first store in Kemmerer, Wyoming.
November 20, 1903: Tom Horn is hanged in Cheyenne
1904: Howard, Alden, and Willis Eaton establish the West's first dude ranch.
September 24, 1906: President Theodore Roosevelt names Devils Tower the first national monument.