Wyoming Counties

Wyoming has 23 counties. Few know, however, why they were named as they were.

Albany County was named by Charles Bradley, of the Dakota legislature, for Albany, New York, where he had formerly lived. Albany County was organized in January, 1869.

Big Horn County was named for the hundreds of brown and grayish-brown big horn sheep which, at one time, climbed the nearby Big Horn mountains. Big Horn County was organized June 4, 1897.

Campbell County was named for two men : John A. Campbell, Wyoming’s first territorial governor, and for Robert Campbell, a member of the William Ashley expedition of the 1820s which was among the first to explore the region. Campbell County was organized May 23, 1911.

Carbon County was named for the many rich coal deposits found there. The county was organized in January, 1869.

Converse County was named for Amasa R. Converse, a Cheyenne banker and stockman who served as Wyoming’s territorial treasurer from 1877 to 1879. The county was organized May 21, 1888.

Crook County was named for General George Crook. The county was organized January 2, 1885.

Fremont County was named for Captain John C. Fremont, who explored much of Wyoming in the mid-19th century. The county was organized May 6, 1884.

Goshen County, depending on who you ask, was named either for an otherwise-anonymous French trapper named Gosche, who trapped beaver in the area, or for the fertile land in Egypt mentioned in the Bible as the “land of Goshen.” Whichever explanation you believe, the county was organized January 6, 1913.

Hot Springs County was named for the now-famous mineral hot springs found throughout the area. The county was organized January 6, 1913. Johnson County was originally named Pease County, but was changed by the Legislature in 1879 to honor E.P. Johnson, the territorial librarian from 1871-1873. The county was organized May 10, 1881.

Laramie County was named for famous French-Canadian hunter/trapper Jacques La Ramie. According to one early historian, C.G. Coutant, LaRamie was killed along the banks of the river now bearing his name. This county, when organized in January, 1867, was originally in Dakota Territory.

Lincoln County was named for President Abraham Lincoln. The county was organized January 6, 1913.

Natrona County was named for the soda deposits which are found throughout central Wyoming. The county was organized April 12, 1890, by cutting Carbon County in half.

Niobrara County was named for the Native Americans who frequented the area. “Niobrara” is said to come from the Omaha word for “flat or broad river.” The county was organized January 8, 1913.

Park County was named for Yellowstone, the first national park. The county was organized January 9, 1911.

Platte County was named for the river that runs through it. Platte is a French word for “shallow” or “dull.” The county was organized January 6, 1913.

Sheridan County was named for Civil War hero General Philip Sheridan. The county was organized May 11, 1888.

Sublette County was named for fur trader Captain William Sublette. The county was organized on January 2, 1923.

Sweetwater County was named for the river whose headwaters are in the Wind River Mountains. Created on December 27, 1867 by Dakota laws, the county was originally known as Carter County — named for Judge W.A. Carter, an early settler of the area. The name was changed to Sweetwater by the territorial legislature in 1867.

Teton County was named for the majestic mountain range within its boundaries, originally known to French trappers as “Trois Tetons,” meaning three pinnacles. The county was organized December 2, 1922.

Uinta County was named for the Uintas, who were native to the area. The county was organized April 7, 1870.

Washakie County was named for Chief Washakie, the Shoshone tribal leader for more than 50 years. The county was organized January 6, 1913.

Weston County was named for Dr. Jefferson B. Weston, the geologist-engineer who was influential in the building of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad in Wyoming. The county was organized May 16, 1890.

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