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A Short History of Sheridan, Wyoming

Notes: In the summer of 1998, a Xeroxed copy of an 1894 Sheridan City Directory was found at the State Archives in Cheyenne. No one knows where it came from, what happened to the original, how long it had been there or how it came to be there. The title page has a signature, W.G. Griffen, and that's the only clue.

Most of the pages are very legible, but a few letters are cut off the edge of a couple of pages. I have used question marks where letters were unreadable.

The names are in the original order, grouped by letter, but not alphabetical, and the original spelling has been used.


City Directory
Sheridan, Wyoming

Containing a Complete Directory of its Population
and Business Houses, as well as a Short
History of its Inception and Growth


by Dismore & Wilson
Press of the Post, Sheridan, WYo.

Sheridan, WYo.

Situated in the Center of one of the Best Sections of the Northwest -- its History
and Business Interests

A thriving, progressive city

A Short History of its Inception, Progress and
Prospects, -- A Full and Complete Directory
of its Inhabitants and Business Houses.

The city of Sheridan was fist organized in 1882, and from that time up to the present its growth has been steady and substantial. Men of means who were looking for business openings found them here; parents came here to give their children the benefit of the moral and educational advantages Sheridan afforded, and the stockman, the miner, and the farmer came hundreds of miles to trade here. Its population has always been a moral, law abiding people, in consequence of which the Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists and Congregationalists all have pleasant, commodious places of worship, and this year will see a fine Catholic cathedral, they having bought a site for it. Other denominations have no edifices at present, but will probably erect churches in the near future.

Sheridan has the best public school system in the State. We now have three commodious school buildings, one of which is a large two story brick. Even these do not afford accommodations for all the school children, and another large building will be erected this year - a $7000, two story, brick building.

Work will be commenced in the latter part of July, or not later than August, on a $75,000 system of waterworks, which will be complete in every detail.

As to Sheridan’s location, it is nearly the geographical center of Sheridan County, in the most beautiful, as well as fertile, valley in the world. It is the most healthy, moral, enterprising, prettily located city in the northwest. In fact, Sheridan is the "Denver of the Northwest."

Look either to the north, south, east, or west, and you will see stately mountains rearing their snow-capped crests to the sky, ranging in altitude from the smaller foothills to the majestic, awe-inspiring Cloud Peak, 13,500 feet above sea level. From the melted snow and ever-running springs come the Big and Little Goose Creeks, which, while swiftly running and gently murmuring over their rocky beds, meet right in the heart of our city, forming Goose Creek proper, a clear, cool, limpid stream of health-giving waters, amid whose billows and waves live countless mountain trout and game fish of other kinds. There are several neat, substantial bridges over these waters in the city limits. The Big Goose is from two to six feet in depth and sixty to one hundred feet wide. It could easily be dammed, thus furnishing motive power for mills and factories, and this will soon be accomplished. Numerous lesser streams traverse the county, making it a bountifully watered section, and one of the easiest irrigated in the world. Some 300,000 acres are now under irrigation, and upon these artificially watered lands are produced the largest crops of grains or vegetables in the world.

The Big Horn Basin country, only forty miles west, is tributary to Sheridan, most of the people now coming here for supplies. It will be irrigated in a short time, and when it is, Sheridan buyers and mills will handle millions of bushels of grain annually, for this is their only shipping point, situated as it is on the B & M railroad, with an almost air line to the great markets of the east.

Game is abundant in the foothills and mountains - elk, deer, antelope, mountain sheep, silver-tip, grizzly and cinnamon bears, while the numerous mountain streams abound in game fish of all kinds.

We now have an elegant city hall, brick and two stories.

An extensive electric lighting plant, with brick power house.

Four large and first class hotels.

The Sheridan Post, a weekly, seven column, eight paged Republican newspaper, edited by Mr. J.W. Newell.

A planing mill of large capacity.

Two flouring mills - one brick and one frame.

Three banks - the Bank of Commerce, the First National Bank and the Sheridan Banking Co.

The Sheridan Enterprise, a seven column, four paged, Democratic weekly, Mr. Joe DeBarthe is editor.

A large brick brewery.

Two extensive brick yards.

A soda water manufactory and bottling works.

Negotiations are now pending for the erection of large packing houses. As there is almost an unlimited amount of grazing country tributary to Sheridan - in this State, Montana, Idaho, and Washington - the business of these packing houses will be enormous from their inception.

Many saw mills are now in operation near Sheridan.

The B & M company has invested largely in property here and will erect extensive shops, which will add materially to our wealth and population. Sheridan is now a division station of this road, and will be the junction point for the Puget Sound branch and the Cheyenne branch, the former now in course of construction, the latter in contemplation.

The city of Sheridan is even now known as the "Denver of the northwest," and is destined to be a city of 10,000 by January of 1897. While its growth heretofore has been rapid, it has not been of the "boom" order, nor do its citizens strive for a "boom" - instead, they want a steady, healthy growth. Every reasonable inducement is offered to the better class of immigration, but we do not want, and will not have, any drones or "black sheep."

Sheridan is located 300 miles north of Cheyenne, 300 miles southeast of Helena and 750 miles west of Omaha. Its altitude is 3750 feet above the level of the sea.

The climate is the most salubrious and charming in the world, being specially kindly to persons affected with pulmonary troubles. Dry, pure air, not a germ of malaria, or other common diseases, a confirmed invalid is known. In summer a refreshing breeze is usually gently blowing, invigorating everything and causing those happy, energetic people who form Sheridan’s population, while in winter the friendly "Chinook" wind mitigates the cold, killing winters of the Dakotas.

A new coal mine of almost unlimited resources, and fine coal it is, has recently been put in operation five miles north of Sheridan, on the main line of the B & M, which will be the source of thousands of dollars addition to our wealth annually, as well as many hundred of people.

We take especial pride in the agricultural resources of Sheridan County. In 1890 Mr. Wm. J. Sturgis, living a few miles south of Sheridan, raised 974 bushels of potatoes to the acre, as attested by sworn statements of himself and neighbors.

The Committee on Awards of the World’s Fair gave first premium for the best wheat to Mr. A.A. Lambrigger, who lives ten miles south of Sheridan.

From sixty five to one hundred bushels of wheat per acre is an average crop on irrigated land in Sheridan County.

One of the most important and lucrative interests of the county is stock raising. Last year $275,000 worth of cattle were shipped from this county, principally from the city itself. Very few of this immense number of cattle were given any attention whatever in the way of feed, merely being allowed to run upon the the rich and nutritious grasses which clothe our land so bountifully, and as a rule our range cattle bring about the same price as corn-fed cattle of Texas and the Southwest, while our few corn-fed cattle are always "prime." There are several extensive cattle men in the county, and hundreds of thousands head of cattle are now tranquilly feeding upon the range.

Irrigation to a limited extent is in operation now, and more ditches are being constructed continuously. At the present time there are 750 miles of main ditches in the county and 7500 miles of laterals. The average cost of water rights is $3.62 per acre, thus making the first cost of land, preparation for crops and water rights, only about $9.48 per acre. Irrigated land is worth from $32 to $50 per acre and upwards. When this county is under a general state of irrigation (as it will be in a few years) it will be the richest, most lavishly productive section of country in the world--a garden spot, overflowing with milk, honey and all the enjoyable accessories of life.

Gold, silver, copper, iron and coal is now being mined in the mountains of Sheridan county. These mines are all paying properties, and help very materially in building up the city. They all come here for supplies, as well as to ship the product from here. The Fortunatus Gold Mining company clean up over $1000 per day.

The best of timber abounds near here, pine, spruce, cedar, cottonwood, ash, box alder, ironwood, etc. All the streams are heavily wooded.

The labor market is not overrun here, as it is in the east, and the wages paid are good, common laborers getting from $1.50 to $2.50 per day, and skilled mechanics from $3 to $5. The cost of living is not at all expensive; house rent is cheap. An honest, industrious workingman can get a lot to build on by paying a small portion of the purchase price, the balance on long time, and thus, in a few months, own a home. In fact, but very few of our citizens rent, and the laborer, as well as the merchant, is generally comfortably situated, with money laid up for a rainy day. Work has been plenty for all, as building is going forward at all times.

It is with pride the publishers of this Directory call attention to the advertising pages. As everyone knows, a liberal advertiser is the man who makes the firm, solid, substantial and lasting foundation upon which a city is built, and in looking over the twenty-nine pages of advertising matter in this book, it will easily be seen that Sheridan is upon as firm a foundation, and backed by as enterprising, go-ahead set of men as ever built a Denver or a San Francisco, and so long as such men hold the reins of government, Sheridan will be a progressive city - a city of 10,000 three years from now.

To the 1894 Directory >>