Uinta County, Wyoming Genealogy


At a first glance it might seem that the history of a tier of western counties in the mountain state of Wyoming could hold but little of interest for the general reader, and I must confess that when I began the collection of material for these pages I had but an imperfect idea of the importance of the original Uinta County. Its claims to attention as they have spread out before my view are so many and so varied that my own limitations have been keenly felt. Especially was this true of the badlands of the Bridger Basin, a section that has contributed more than any other to the science of paleontology in the United States.

Even before the days of the fur traders this vast domain was the scene of many important events. Then came Jim Bridger, who built his historic trading post within its confines. Two great trails crossed it, leaving many landmarks of that early day, among which are Fort Bonneville and the Prairie of the Mass.

We are building a peaceful and prosperous state
In what once was the wild, woolly west,
For the bad disappears, and the swift-changing years
Mean survival of all that is best.

- Elizabeth Arnold Stone.

The Territory of Wyoming was organized by Act of Congress in the year 1868, with the boundaries of the present state. As originally divided, its four counties, extending from Montana on the north to the Colorado and Utah lines on the south, were Laramie, Albany, Carbon and Carter. In its derivation Carter County stood alone among not only the counties of Wyoming but of the nation as well, for it was composed of portions of the three great western accessions of the United States. That part northeast of the Shoshone range came from the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. From these mountains to the 42nd parallel is a tract acquired from the Oregon Territory, to which the claim of the United States was definitely established in 1846. The land south of this came to us from the Mexican Cession of 1848. The territories of Utah, organized in 1850; Dakota, in 1861, and Idaho, in 1863, contributed to the formation of Carter County. From the time of the organization of the Territory of Utah in 1850 to the establishment of our territorial government, the southern part was known as Green River County, Utah.

At the meeting of the first territorial legislature in 1869 Carter County was divided into Sweetwater and Uinta Counties. The original Uinta County was about fifty by two hundred and eighty miles in size. Within it lay nearly all of the Yellowstone National Park. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county now has a total area of 5,407 km˛ (2,088 mi˛). 5,391 km˛ (2,082 mi˛) of it is land and 15 km˛ (6 mi˛) of it is water.

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