Wyoming Genealogy

Bonanza Cemetery, Big Horn County, Wyoming

Bonanza Cemetery, Big Horn County, Wyoming

Bonanza was named because oil was discovered seeping from a spring here in 1887. Oil was so good it could be burned in lamps without refining. Promoters thought they had found a “bonanza,” but it did not prove so and rigs pulled out in 1890. Deeper drilling has now brought back the Bonanza oil field, but the town remains a ghosttown. If you visit the cemetery, you’ve seen everything. The Bonanza Cemetery is located about 8 miles west of Hyattville at the junction of Hwy 31 and Road 31 1/2. Turn left or south on the dirt Road 31 1/2 …

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Forts in Wyoming

Wyoming Forts

In the states adjoining Wyoming were a number of forts that played a part in the military history of the state. Among these may be named Fort Hall, Idaho, Uinta and Thornburg, Utah; Sedgwick (first known as Fort Rankin), Colorado; C. F. Smith and Custer, Montana and Robinson and Sidney in Nebraska. Camp Auger Fort Bridger Camp Carlin Fort Casper Fort Connor Fort Fetterman Fort Halleck Fort Philip Kearny Fort Laramie Fort Mackenzie Fort McKinney Fort Reno Fort D. A. Russell Fort Sanders Fort Stambaugh Fort Fred Steele Fort Walbach Fort Washakie

Fort Mackenzie 1903

History of Fort Mackenzie

On January 13, 1899, Francis E. Warren, United States Senator from Wyoming introduced a bill for the creation of a Government military post near the City of Sheridan. The necessity for such a post had been brought to the attention of President McKinley the year before and an executive order had been issued for the establishment of temporary barracks under the supervision of Gen. E.V. Summer. In the debate on the Warren bill the fact was brought out that there were over twenty-three thousand Indians upon the various reservations tributary to the proposed fort. These included the Fort Benton, Standing …

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Fort McKinney

History of Fort McKinney

On October 12, 1876, Fort McKinney was established on the northwest bank of Powder River, three miles above and south of the site of old Fort Reno. It was first called “Cantonment Reno” On July 18, 1877; the location was changed to the north bank of Clear Creek, a short distance west of the present City of Buffalo and about two miles above the crossing of the old Bozeman Road. The old site was then used as a depot. The mane of Fort McKinney was given to the post on August 30, 1877, after the removal. The first substantial buildings …

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Fort Stambaugh, Wyoming near Sweetwater River, 1870; Shoshoni Chief Washakie's camp

History of Fort Stambaugh

Soon after the discovery of gold in the South Pass region in 1867, a request was made for troops to protect the miners from Indian depredations. The request was ignored for a time, but in June 1870 a small military station was established in Smith’s Gulch, near Atlantic City and given the name of Camp Stambaugh. Two years later it was garrisoned by two companies, which were quartered in four large log buildings. The presence of these troops kept the Shoshone and Bannock Indians from a possible outbreak. On January 27, 1878, Gen. Philip H. Sheridan recommended the removal of …

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Fort Washakie in 1883

History of Fort Washakie

The Shoshone or Wind River Reservation was established by the treaty concluded at Fort Bridger on July 3, 1868, and on June 28, 1869, an order was issued for the establishment of a garrison at some point upon the reservation. A site was selected near the junction of Trouth Creek and the Little Wind River and a post was established under the name of Camp Augur, in honor of Gen C. C. Augur, one of the officers who had negotiated the treaty the year before. On March 28, 1870, the name was changed to Camp Brown and on December 30, …

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Fort Fred Steele in 1868

History of Fort Fred Steele

This fort was located at the point where the Union Pacific Railroad crosses the North Platte River, in Carbon County, and was established by Col. Richard I. Dodge on June 30, 1868, as a protection to the builders of the railroad. It was named in honor of Maj. Gen. Frederick Steele of Civil war fame. Withinforty-eight hours after the completion of the fort, camp followers to the number of five hundred or more had established the town of “Brownsville” nearby. Five days later the population of the town was estimated at fifteen hundred. On June 28, 1869, the Government established …

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General Crook's Headquarters, Fort Fetterman - Etching from Harper's Weekly, December 16, 1876

History of Fort Fetterman

On July 19, 1867, Fort Fetterman was established at the mouth of the La Prele Creek and was named in honor of brevet Lieut. Col. W. J. Fetterman, captain in the Twenty-fourth Regular Infantry, who was killed near Fort Phil Kearny on December 21, 1866. By 1872 it had been enlarged to a post of four companies and was one of the best equipped military establishments in the state. At that time the nearest Indians were the Ogallala Sioux, 385 lodges; the Cheyenne, 300 lodges; the Arapaho, 150 lodges; and a few straggling bands of other tribes. A small garrison …

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Plan of Fort Kearney from Indian Fights and Fighters (1904)

History of Fort Philip Kearny

This is one of two forts established by order of Maj. Gen. John Pope on the Bozeman Road in 1866. Col. H. B. Carrington was commissioned to select the sites and build Forts Phil Kearny and C. F. Smith. The former was staked off on July 15, 1866, and the latter, ninety miles northwest, in Montana, early in August. Fort Phil Kearny was completed on the 21st of October and for several months the posts and the country immediately surrounding it were the scene of several conflicts with the hostile Indians. An account of the massacre of Capt. W. J. …

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Buffalo, elk, pronghorn, deer, mountain sheep and wolf skulls and bones at Fort Sanders, 1870

History of Fort Sanders

By orders from the war department, Fort Sanders was established on July 10, 1866, three miles south of Laramie City, and was at first known as “Fort John Buford.” On September 5, 1866, the name was changed to Fort Sanders, in honor of W. P. Sanders, captain in the Second United States Cavalry and later a brigadier-general of volunteers. It was established as a protection for the Denver & Salt Lake stage line and the emigrant trains passing over the Oregon Trail. The Union Pacific Railroad was completed to this point late in the spring of 1868, and on June …

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