110 Years Ago: United States Supreme Court Keeps The University of Wyoming in Laramie
This week marks the 110th anniversary of a landmark ruling by the United States Supreme Court that kept the University of Wyoming in Laramie.
In the early 1900s, Lander was one of the fastest growing towns in the Cowboy State. Located at the western end of the Chicago and Northwestern Railway and the beginning of a proposed line to Oregon, it was also the home of Lander Agricultural College.
Citing an 1892 state vote that earmarked federal funding for the "Agricultural College of Wyoming", leaders in Lander filed a lawsuit arguing that, as an "agricultural college", they should receive federal funding instead of the University of Wyoming.
The case eventually made it all the way to the United States Supreme Court. On May 13, 1907, Justice William Henry Moody wrote on behalf the majority, ruling that government grants belong to the state instead of individual institutions.
The verdict paved the way for state officials to allocate the bulk of federal funding for higher education to the University of Wyoming. Had the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Lander Agricultural College, it would have likely become the location of the state's only public university.