Cheyenne, Wyoming

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Cheyenne, Wyoming
Flag of Cheyenne, Wyoming
Seal of Cheyenne, Wyoming
Location of Cheyenne,  Wyoming
County Laramie County
Mayor Jack R. Spiker
 - Total
 - Water

57.9 km² (21.2 mi²)
0.2 km² (0.1 mi²) 0.38% 
 - City (2000)
 - Density
 - Metropolitan

Time zone Mountain (UTC –7)
WGS-84 (GPS)
 41.1455° N 104.8020° W
Official Website
Wyoming State Capitol in Cheyenne

Cheyenne is the capital of Wyoming, a state of the United States of America. As of September 2005, it had an estimated population of 55,362. It is the county seat of Laramie County and the largest city in Wyoming.



Cheyenne, Wyoming, 1876. General view of this town on the Oregon Trail.
Cheyenne, Wyoming, 1876. General view of this town on the Oregon Trail.

On July 4, 1867 the first tents were pitched on the site now known as Cheyenne, to house the gangs who were constructing the Union Pacific Railroad. Most of the crew moved on when the right-of-way was completed in November that year. The remnant who stayed were joined by others including transient railroad gangs, soldiers from Fort D.A. Russell (now F.E. Warren Air Force Base), and men from Camp Carlin, a supply camp for all the northern army posts on the frontier.

The city was named by Grenville Dodge for the Native American Cheyenne nation, one of the most famous and prominent Great Plains tribes, closely allied with the Arapaho. The Cheyenne were among the fiercest fighters on the plains. Not pleased with the changes brought about by the railroad, they had harassed both railroad surveyors and construction crews that year.

As the capital of the Wyoming Territory and the only city of any consequence, as well as being the seat of the stockyards where cattle were loaded on the Union Pacific Railroad, the city's Cheyenne Club was the natural meeting place for the organization of the large well-capitalized ranches, the Wyoming Stock Growers Association. (See Johnson County War of 1892, the largest of the "range wars" of early Wyoming history). The newspaper offices of Asa Shinn Mercer's Northwestern Livestock Journal were burned down when the paper, which was founded as a public relations vehicle for the moneyed cattle interests, began to write scathing accounts of the events that were unfolding on the open range. His account is told in his book The Banditti of the Plains, still unavailable in Wyoming.

As a town created by the railroad, Cheyenne fittingly preserves one of the eight surviving Union Pacific Big Boy locomotives, some of the largest steam locomotives ever built, designed for hauling freight over the Rocky Mountains.


Cheyenne is located at 41°8'44" North, 104°48'7" West (41.145548, -104.802042)1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 54.9 km² (21.2 mi²). 54.7 km² (21.1 mi²) of it is land and 0.2 km² (0.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.38% water.

At Cheyenne, the north-south Interstate 25 intersects with the east-west Interstate 80. Great Lakes Airlines is based at Cheyenne.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 53,011 people, 22,324 households, and 14,175 families residing in the city. The population density is 969.6/km² (2,511.4/mi²). There are 23,782 housing units at an average density of 435.0/km² (1,126.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 88.11% White, 2.78% Black or African American, 0.81% Native American, 1.06% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 4.44% from other races, and 2.69% from two or more races. 12.54% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Population Trend

Sources: State of Wyoming,
U.S. Census Bureau

There are 22,324 households out of which 30.4% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.2% are married couples living together, 10.6% have a female householder with no husband present, and 36.5% are non-families. 31.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.6% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.33 and the average family size is 2.93.

In the city the population is spread out with 24.9% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 37 years. For every 100 females there are 95.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 92.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $38,856, and the median income for a family is $46,771. Males have a median income of $32,286 versus $24,529 for females. The per capita income for the city is $19,809. 8.8% of the population and 6.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 11.1% of those under the age of 18 and 5.8% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Other information

In Wyoming's ground-breaking woman's suffrage legislation, Esther Hobart Morris was a leader.

Alferd Packer the only American ever convicted of cannibalism (though the official charge was murder, since cannibalism is not a crime in the United States) was apprehended at Cheyenne, March 11, 1883. Tom Horn, the notorious Pinkerton's agent who had been operating as a hit man for the Wyoming Stock Growers Association was hanged for a murder that he probably didn't commit, at Cheyenne, November 20, 1903.

Downtown Cheyenne
Downtown Cheyenne

Cheyenne's "Frontier Days" are a major event on the professional rodeo circuit. At the 1953 Frontier Days the US Air Force's precision flying squadron, the Thunderbirds, made their public debut. Seven-year old Jessica Dubroff, attempting the stunt of becoming the youngest child ever to pilot a plane across the United States, crashed shortly after takeoff from Cheyenne, April 11, 1996.

Cheyenne is the headquarters of the United States Kick-Boxing Association a sanctioning body for sport karate and kickboxing. Cheyenne is also home to the "Hobby Lobby Ninjas", a troupe of martial artists that apply their abilities toward the ancient fighting styles and comedy.

Cheyenne is the home of F.E. Warren Air Force base. One of the base's primary missions is to maintain an extensive network of nuclear missile silos throughout southeastern Wyoming and western Nebraska.

In Philip K. Dick's alternative history novel The Man in the High Castle, Cheyenne is where Hawthorne Abendsen lives in his "High Castle".

The 8 acre (32,000 m²) Cheyenne Botanic Gardens are located in Lions Park.

Several ships of the United States Navy have been named USS Cheyenne in honor of this landlocked high plains city.

External links

Cheyenne, Wyoming Flag of Wyoming

Warren Air Force Base | South Greeley | Fox Farm | Ranchettes

Laramie County

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