Wyoming Genealogy

The First Settlers of Uinta County, Wyoming

Who were the first settlers in Uinta County? Where did they come from and when did they get here, the real old timers? It is not easy to answer these questions. Many a late arrival indulges the pardonable illusion that he is one of the original pioneers because this region was never inhabited in any practical, efficient way until he rose above our horizon. But the early history of Uinta County goes much farther back than that. Fortunately that early history has been written in the rocks, principally in those of the Bridger formation. Beside this story has a human …

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Evanston, Uinta County, Wyoming History

Soon after the completion of the railroad it was decided to make Evanston the end of the division, and work was begun on a substantial roundhouse and machine shops made of stone. Bishop Sharp of the Mormon Church had the contract and employed about one hundred fifty men in the construction. It was completed the Fourth of July, 1871, and engines and men moved in from Wasatch to the accompaniment of shrieking whistles and cheers from the assembled crowd. A town picnic was held across the river, in which all of the community joined. The speech of the day was …

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Early Settler of Evanston, Wyoming

A firm by the name of Ellis and Fairbanks had the contract to supply ties for the railroad company. A large force of men was employed to cut down and trim trees in the mountains, some forty miles above Evanston, place them on the bosom of Bear River and direct their course down to the dam opposite the mill. In 1870 Jesse L. Atkinson, who had been engaged in getting out poles for the railroad company at Piedmont, bought out Fairbanks and the Evanston Lumber Company was formed. There were changes in the personnel of his partners, but from the …

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Early Transportation and Mail Service

In 1848 a young Missourian by the name of Alexander Majors, who had been hauling freight on the Santa I* a trail, became so impressed with the future of the industry that he determined to go into it on a larger scale. W. H. Russell and Thomas Waddell, men who had also had some experience on the southern route, became his partners, and the company began business under the firm name of Russell, Majors & Waddell. The result was the organization of the biggest freighting company that the world has ever seen. In the zenith of its prosperity it employed …

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Early Discoveries in Uinta County, Wyoming

There is some reason to believe that the Spaniards were the first white men to enter Wyoming. Traces of ditches and relics of early mining implements have been found on the Big Horn and Yellowstone Rivers and there is a tradition that they penetrated what is now the confines of Yellowstone Park, but definite proof is lacking.1 Coming nearer to recorded history are stories of French and Canadian trappers having visited the streams of southern Uinta County in the days of the early fur trade, and it is highly probable that this was the case. Nothing definite, however, is known …

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Early Days in Evanston

Soon after the completion of the railroad it was decided to make Evanston the end of the division, and work was begun on a substantial roundhouse and machine shops made of stone. Bishop Sharp of the Mormon Church had the contract and employed about one hundred fifty men in the construction. It was completed the Fourth of July, 1871, and engines and men moved in from Wasatch to the accompaniment of shrieking whistles and cheers from the assembled crowd. A town picnic was held across the river, in which all of the community joined. The speech of the day was …

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Chinatown, Evanston Wyoming

To the north of the railroad tracks lay “Chinatown,” a huddled group of shanties built on railroad land. All kinds of material were used in the construction and the houses resembled the work of half-grown boys more than that of men. When lumber gave out, packing boxes and building paper were substituted, and many of the roofs were made of tin oil cans flattened out. Here lived a few merchants, half a dozen laundry men, and vegetable peddlers who cultivated truck gardens near the river. They irrigated them by means of water wheels patterned after those of their native land. …

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Almy Wyomong

During the years when Evanston was developing from a railroad grading camp into one of the permanent towns of the new Territory of Wyoming, there was springing up at her very gates a busy mining town the influence of which was destined to endure long after its decline. It was the coal camp called Almy. There are in the west few prettier sites than this once thriving camp on Bear River, and few that present such easy access to the hidden wealth. The engineer pierced the hillside with gently sloping tracks that led to veins averaging twenty feet in width. …

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Bridger Valley, Uinta County, Wyoming History

The settlement of the Bridger Valley has gone steadily forward, and it is today one of the most important agricultural districts in the state. Soon after the military reservation of Fort Bridger was thrown open three men named King Durant, Joshua Stewart and S. R. Brough took up land about five miles west of Fort Bridger. In 1891 a canal was taken out of Black’s Fork under the direction of a Mormon bishop named Ferrin, and homesteads were located by F. L. Diffendaffer, William Snodgrass and Samuel Gross. Soon after there moved in a colony from Utah bringing cattle and …

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