Why Isn’t Laramie in Laramie County?
Have you ever wondered why Laramie isn't in Laramie County? The story dates back to the early 1800s, long before the railroad established Cheyenne, Laramie County or the city of Laramie.
Jacques La Ramee was a French born explorer who first settled the area now known as Wyoming in 1815. A hunter and fur trapper, La Ramee was credited as the first European to explore the river from the headwaters of the North Platte south to the Cache La Poudre in Colorado.
Known for his peaceful encounters with Native American tribes in the area, the stretch of river was named in La Ramee's honor.
Decades later, the Union Pacific railroad came to Cheyenne. By then, settlers had shortened the La Ramee River to "Laramie." In 1867, Laramie County was officially named for the river, which flows along the eastern side of the Medicine Bow Mountains.
The City of Laramie was founded less than a year later, in the spring of 1868, as the railroad worked its way west. Originally a part of Laramie County, it was declared the seat of Albany County in December of 1868 by the Dakota Territory.
Albany County was named by Dakota Territory Representative Charles Bradley, after the capital city of his home state, New York.
Perhaps the biggest reason for creating the new County was the lawlessness in Laramie. The first town Marshall, "Big" Steve Long, famously terrorized and intimidated early settlers. It wasn't until newly named County Sheriff N.K Boswell formed a vigilante posse to lynch Long and his associates that law and order was established in the rugged outpost.
The following year, in 1869, the Wyoming Territory was officially established and Cheyenne was named its capital.
In 1886, construction began on the Wyoming State Capitol. That same year, Territorial Governor F.E. Warren established the University of Wyoming in Laramie. Four years later, in 1890, Wyoming was granted statehood.