#lookback: Center County?

A series where we take a #lookback at the stories and history of our community, brought to you by Mick Pryor, Financial Advisor with Edward Jones.


Center County?

In the time that passed since Wyoming became a state in 1890, and the inauguration of Governor Joseph M. Carey in 1911, the fledgling state’s population nearly doubled. Despite this population growth, only one new county had been added. In 1909, Big Horn County was split to create Park County.

In his first State of the State speech, Governor Carey challenged the legislature create new counties in an effort to increase representation for Wyoming’s population that continued to grow into rural areas. The legislature responded and created seven new counties: Niobrara, Campbell, Goshen, Platte, Hot Springs, Washakie, and Lincoln.

Although the town was only six years old, Shoshoni’s leaders hoped to jump on the new county train. They had grown frustrated with the isolation created by the distance between their new town and Lander, and hoped that their new community would become the seat of the new Center County. Leaders advanced two versions of this proposal: One would include Riverton in Center County, and the other – the one drafted in this original map – would leave it in Fremont County. Both proposals failed, as did a 1913 attempt to create a similar county named Shoshone.

Additional attempts were made to split the county in 1917, 1919, and 1921. Similar to the Center County plan that included Riverton, the new Pilot County would have Riverton as the county seat. These attempts also failed. No new counties would be created until 1921, when the boundaries of Fremont and Lincoln counties were redrawn to create Teton County and Sublette County, making them the most recently created in the state.

Next up for the Fremont County Museums

May 30, 7 pm at the Pioneer Museum, “Dr. Sayman Aryana: The Oil Industry in Wyoming”

Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series

June 1, 4-6 pm at the Pioneer Museum, “Grand Opening of the Washakie Gallery”

June 1, 1 pm at the Pioneer Museum, “The Rawlins, Ft. Washakie Stage Lines/Ferris Mountains”

Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series

June 1, 9 am at the Riverton Museum, “Tie Treating Plant”

Wind River Visitors Council Discovery Speakers Series

June 5, 9 am at the Dubois Museum, “Kids Corner”

Bailey Tire/Pit Stop Children’s Exploration Series

June 8, 1 pm at the Pioneer Museum, “Gold Panning”

Bailey Tire/Pit Stop Children’s Exploration Series

The Dubois Museum, the Pioneer Museum in Lander and the Riverton Museum need your financial support. In the current economic environment the museums are more reliant than ever on donations from the private sector to continue to provide the quality programs, collections management, exhibits and services that have become their hallmark over the last four years. Please make your tax deductible contribution to be used specifically for the benefit of the museum of your choosing by sending a check to Fremont County Museums 450 N 2nd Rm 320 or taking it directly to the museum you choose to support.