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ABOUT THE SOCIETY
 

In the basement of the Wyoming State Library, there was a section divided by shelves which held the genealogy books.  This book assortment of State and County records from across the United States was started by Mrs. Beard.  


Early in the 1950's there were several ladies who had become interested in genealogical research.  Each of the ladies searched for their families, all became friends by helping each other, and so a small group was formed.  They had tea at each other's homes and on January 25, 1952, at a member's home, they decided to organize and called themselves "The Cheyenne Genealogy Society".  They would meet monthly at various homes assisting each other with their research.  The dues were $2.00 a year and were used to purchase needed supplies and books.  This first group consisted of about twenty members.  With growth in the membership, the meeting times were changed to the evenings and meetings were held at different locations in the community.


Over the years the Society has grown and the members serve as useful resources to the community, the local libraries and fellow researchers.   


The Society's resources have provided Laramie County Library with over 3,000 research books for  public use, and members of Cheyenne Genealogical & Historical Society annually provide approximately 3000 volunteer hours to the library.   In addition, members of the Society are available for educational presentations throughout the area.


In 2007 the Society changed its name to "The Cheyenne Genealogical & Historical Society".  This change emphasized the members' interest in the historical aspects of genealogical research.


The Society maintains an information booth at the county fair and members of the Society become characters in the Annual Lakeview Cemetery Living History Walk each July.  The Living History Walk allows walkers to relive the lives of notable Wyoming people as the volunteers, dressed in period costumes, portray their character in a dialogue with the narrator.


Regular meetings of the Society are held on the second Tuesday of the month, September through April, with the Society's Annual Meeting and Dinner held in May.  The summer months are devoted primarily to special classes and workshops conducted for beginning researchers, and individual research.  


The Society's mission is to stimulate and encourage family history research through a variety of endeavors and to provide members and the genealogic public with a diversity of resources in the furtherance of their personal research.  


Genealogical research is supported by the Society's acquisition of genealogical research tools and reference materials, including books, films, fiche, CD ROMs, and/or historical records, as well as the preservation of donated historic collections and historic genealogical books and records.


In order to raise the standards of genealogical research and the proficiency levels of researchers, education is provided through periodic problem-solving workshops, seminars, monthly speaker programs, the Society's Computer Interest Group, and the Society's newsletter Cheyenne Genealogy Journal.


The Society further encourages and supports cooperative programs with the Genealogy Department of the Laramie County Central Library, the Cheyenne LDS Family History Center, and other state and local entities, to promote both the Society and the scholarly reputation of genealogy.  


Membership outreach is maintained through an open invitation to the public to attend its programs, seminars and workshops, and to join with others in the Society in membership in support of the long-term objectives of the organization. 

LOCAL HISTORY

Long before Wyoming was a territory or a state, Indians, trappers and explorers had discovered the wonders of the area which would  be known as Wyoming.


One of the earliest explorers of Wyoming was John Colter in 1807.  While exploring the Rocky Mountains, he discovered a region of steaming geysers and towering waterfalls so unusual that his written records nicknamed the area Colter's Hell.  On March 1, 1872 President Ulysses Grant designated that area the world's first national park, Yellowstone National Park.


The lure of the west brought increasing numbers of pioneer wagon trains rolling over the many trails that traversed territory.  Pony soldiers came to protect the wagon trains from hostile Indians, and the soldiers established forts along the trails.


In 1834 William Sublette and Robert Campbell established Ft. Laramie in the eastern portion of what would become Wyoming.  The Fort became a Military post in 1849.  It was a haven for gold seekers and weary emigrants.  It was also an important station for the Pony Express and Overland stagecoaches, and it served as a vital military post in the wars with the Plains Indians.


The greater portion of Wyoming formerly belonged to the Territory of Dakota.  On the 25th of July, 1868 the Wyoming Territory was created and on October 12, 1869 the first legislative assembly of Wyoming convened in Cheyenne.   The Wyoming Territory was admitted to the Union on July 10th, 1890 as the 44th state.


In 1867 and 1868, Dakota created four counties - Laramie, Carter (now Sweetwater), Carbon, and Albany - which became the first counties of Wyoming Territory.   Laramie County, now located in the southeastern corner of the state, once encompassed the eastern portion of the Wyoming.  Later the state was reapportioned into the 23 counties as we know them today.


On July 1, 1862, President Lincoln approved a bill creating the Union Pacific Railroad Company.  By November 13, 1867 the railroad tracks had been completed to the Dakota Territory and the first passenger train arrived the following day at what would become Cheyenne, "The Magic City of the Plains".


In 1872, the Library Association was formed.  A pay library was opened in 1886.  About 1897, the Wyoming Legislature passed a law providing for county libraries, and the first to be established in the United States was located in Cheyenne.

  

With statehood on July 10, 1890, Cheyenne became the Capital of Wyoming.  When the Territory of Wyoming, which allowed women to vote, was admitted as a state, Wyoming became the first state with women suffrage.   


Through the years the railroad industry has remained a part of Cheyenne's industry.   In 1920 Cheyenne was designated one of the 14 terminal cities for the Transcontinental Air Mail Service.  The Lincoln highway, which was begun in 1913 to link the United States from coast to coast, went through Cheyenne.  Now the city is located on two major highways: Interstate 80 and Interstate 25.


Much of the industry base in Laramie County is ranching and farming.  Many families now producing crops or livestock in the county are living off the acreages their grandfathers and great grandfathers homesteaded in the early days of the county.

There has always been a military influence Cheyenne.  On July 4, 1867, the same day that the site of the city of Cheyenne was designated by General Grenville M. Dodge, the site of Fort D. A. Russell was selected to the north west of the city.  Construction of Fort Russell began in September 1867 and its presence would prove invaluable with the growth of the city.


In August 1867 a site was selected between Fort Russell and Cheyenne for Camp Carlin, supply depot.  In its time, Camp Carlin was the second largest quarter-master depot in the United States.  In May 1890 Camp Carlin was abandoned.  The buildings were sold and some that were moved to Cheyenne are still in use.


Fort D. A. Russell has changed through the times and so has its name. In 1930 the post was renamed Fort Francis E. Warren, honoring Senator Warren of Wyoming who served in the United States Senate for 37 years.  In 1947 the facility was renamed F. E. Warren Air Force Base and on February 1, 1958,  F. E. Warren A.F.B was transferred to the Strategic Air Command; the first Atlas ICBM base in the world.