Wyoming State Facts - Wyoming History Firsts

Catch up on your state trivia with these Wyoming history firsts and interesting fun facts about the state.

Official Name Wyoming
Capital Cheyenne
41.14545 N, 104.79234 W
Rocky Mountains
Constitution Ratified 1890
Statehood July 10, 1890
44th state
Number of Counties 23 Counties in Wyoming
Largest County
(by population)
Laramie County
2,686 sq. mi.

Wyoming History Firsts & State Facts

  • 1803 - Wyoming was acquired as part of the Louisiana Purchase.
  • 1834 - First Business West of the Missouri River, a rambling log stockade called Fort William was erected at the confluence of the Laramie and North Platte Rivers by the veteran fur traders, William Sublette and Robert Campbell. By 1836, it had become an important resting place and haven for the trail-weary Oregon-bound travelers. The gold-rush to California in 1849-50 brought 50,000 emigrants by the old fort. In 1849, the US Army purchased Fort William and turned it into the military post known as Fort Laramie.
  • 1867 - The first coal mine in Wyoming was in Carbon.
  • 1869 - First Women to Vote John A. Campbell, Wyoming's first Territorial Governor, signed a bill December 10, 1869, making Wyoming the first state to grant women the right to vote.
  • 1870 - First Woman Justice of the Peace - Esther Hobart Morris was appointed February 17, 1870 in South Pass City.
  • 1870 - First All Woman Jury - The first all woman jury was sworn in March 7, 1870 in Laramie.
  • 1870 - First Woman Bailiff - Mary Atkinson of Albany County was appointed the first woman bailiff in the world.
  • 1872 - First National Park: In 1872, congress named Yellowstone National Park in northwestern Wyoming as the first national park in the world.
  • 1878 - One of the first cities in the US to be lighted with incandescent street lights. Authorities claim that Thomas A. Edison conceived of the idea which led to this great invention while camping at Battle Lake, near Saratoga, Wyoming.
  • 1882 - Cheyenne had its street brightened by these incandescent street lights.
  • 1886 - First State to Have a County Public Library System: The Laramie County Public Library System was organized in August of 1886.
  • 1891 - First National Forest: By an Act signed by President Benjamin Harrison in 1891, Shoshone National Forest became the first national forest. Wyoming now has nine national forests.
  • 1891 - First Ranger Station: Wapiti Ranger Station was established in the Shoshone National Forest in 1891.
  • 1893 - Find out more. about the Wyoming State Great seal
  • 1894 - First Woman Statewide Elected Official - Mrs. Estelle Reel was elected to Superintendent of Public Instruction.
  • 1906 - First National Monument: Devils Tower in northeastern Wyoming was designated the first national monument by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906.
  • 1917 -
  • 1925 - First Woman Governor in US - Mrs. Nellie Tayloe Ross was elected to complete the term of her husband who died in office. She served from 1925 to 1927. In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed her the first woman to head the US Mint, a position she held until 1953.
  • 1925 - First Evening Football Game - The first interscholastic football game to be played by artificial light took place in Midwest.
  • 1927 - The Meadowlark (Sturnella Neglecta) is designated as Wyoming State Bird
  • 1941 - After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, people of Japanese descent living on the Pacific Coast were relocated to the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming.
  • 1947 - The Plains cottonwood (Populus sargentii) becomes Wyoming State Tree
  • 1955 - "Wyoming," lyric by C.E. Winter, music by G.E. Knapp becomes Wyoming State Song
  • 1967 - Jade (Nephrite) is adopted as Wyoming State Gemstone
  • 1985 - Bison (Bison bison) is designated as the Wyoming State Mammal
  • 1987 -
  • 1993 - The Horned Toad (Phrynosoma douglasi brevirostre) is designated as Wyoming State Reptile
  • 1994 -
  • 1996 - English is Wyoming State Language
  • 2003 - Rodeo become Wyoming State Sport
  • 2004 - The Sacajawea golden dollar coin is designated as Wyoming State Coin
  • 2007 - Western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii (Rydb.) A. Löve) is adopted as Wyoming State Grass
  • 2009 - The Sheridan's green hairstreak butterfly (Callophrys sheridani W.H. Edwards, 1877) is designated the Wyoming State Butterfly

More Wyoming History Firsts & State Facts

  • The Dome of the capitol is real gold leaf. The 24-carat gold leaf dome is visible from all roads entering the city. it has been gilded six times, the first in 1900 and the last in 1988. A highly skilled person is needed to put this leaf in place because, if touched by fingers in handling, it will disintegrate. The peak of the dome is 146 feet high, and the base is 50 feet in diameter.
  • Wyoming's license plates feature a man on a bucking bronco.
  • The restored Wyoming Territorial Prison in Laramie is a popular attraction for visitors with an interest in the Old West.
  • Wyoming ranks second in wool production, and has over 810,000 sheep.
  • First American Legion Post The first American Legion Post in the United States was established in Van Tassell.
  • Wyoming is the 9th largest state, but has the fewest people (475,000).
  • JCPenney stores were started in Kemmerer.
  • Cody Wyoming is named after William "Buffalo Bill" Cody.
  • The largest coal mine in the USA is Black Thunder located near Wright.
  • City of Gillette has the largest High School in the state (Campbell County High School)
  • The largest coal mine in the USA is Black Thunder located near Wright.
  • First Dude Ranch in Wyoming was the Eaton Ranch, near Wolf. The Eaton's also came up with the term "dude" .
  • Horse on the Wyoming license plate has a name, "Old Steamboat". It is named after a bronc that could not be ridden back in the oughts or the teens.
  • Wyoming has the lowest population of all 50 United States.
  • Cody Wyoming is named after William "Buffalo Bill" Cody.
  • The majority of Yellowstone Park lies within the boundaries of Wyoming.
  • Red Desert in south central Wyoming drains neither to the east nor to the west. The continental divide splits and goes around the desert on all sides leaving the basin without normal drainage.
  • Wind River actually changes its name in the middle of the stream becoming the Big Horn River at a site at the north end of the Wind River Canyon, where each year the Native Americans hold a ceremony depicting the "Wedding of the Waters."
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