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Teton County, Wyoming is named for the Teton Range - the most prominent feature of the area.

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History of Teton County, Wyoming

Current population is 18,251 as of 2000

Teton County, Wyoming is named for the Teton Range, the most prominent feature of the area. In 1921 it was part of Lincoln County, whose county seat was Kemmerer, which was too far away. In 1923, Teton County was created despite the fact that it did not meet the population and property valuations requirements. Instead, it was created by a special act. It's county seat is Jackson.

Indians called the Teton's "Tee-win-ot" or three pinnacles. Wilson Price Hunt called them "Pilot Knobs" when he used them for orientation while crossing Union Pass in 1811. French fur trappers named the mountains "Les Trois Teton," meaning the "three breasts," which is the name that finally "stuck."

Teton County sits in an area commonly referred to as "Jackson Hole." "Hole" is a term used by early explorers to describe a high elevation valley nearly surrounded by mountains. Although many Indian tribes migrated in and out of the valley to hunt buffalo, fish, and gather camas bulbs, no Indian tribes stayed in the valley on a permanent basis. Tribes who came to the valley included Gros Ventre, Flathead, Blackfoot, and Shoshone.

Fur trappers, explorers, and outlaws also came into the valley. John Coulter was possibly the first white man to come into the valley after he had left the Lewis and Clark expedition.

The first settlers in the valley were John and Millie Carnes and John Holland. They came into the valley on horseback following an established fur trapping route up the Green River. They homesteaded 160 acres each and filed the claims in 1883. The claims were granted in 1886 and 1887.


Towns in Teton County, Wyoming

Jackson Kelly Moose
Moran Wilson  


The town of Jackson is the county seat of Teton County, WY and named for David E. Jackson who was a trapper in the area in the 1800's. It was laid out by Robert E. Miller's wife, Grace Green Miller in 1900. The town became nationally known in 1920 when all of the elected city officials were women. They included:

  • Grace Miller, Mayor;
  • Councilwomen -
    • Genevieve VanVleck,
    • Rose Crabtree,
    • Mae Deloney, and
    • Faustina Haight
  • Edna Huff, Health Officer;
  • Marta Winger, Clerk;
  • Viola Lunbeck, Treasurer; and
  • Pearl Williams, Town Marshall

The first post office was at the ranch of Fred and Mary White and was called the Marysvale. In 1894, Maggie Simpson became the postmaster and the post office was moved to their homestead. Because the area was commonly known as "Jackson's Hole," she changed the post office's name to Jackson.


Kelly is a unincorporated community in Teton County in the U.S. state of Wyoming. The community is located along the Gros Ventre river on the eastern side of the Jackson Hole valley. The settlement formed in the late 1890s as Grovont, but was renamed Kelly in 1909 to avoid confusion with a similarly named settlement nearby. On May 18, 1927 the town was destroyed when a natural dam formed by the Gros Ventre landslide two years earlier collapsed and completely flooded the town. Today, the population of the community is 242.

The Kelly Flood - The Gros Ventre Slide On June 23, 1925 following weeks of heavy rain, approximately 50,000,000 cubic yards (38,000,000 m3) of rock slid off the north face of Sheep Mountain, and into a valley formed by the Gros Ventre River. The rock formed a large natural dam, backing up the water and forming Lower Slide Lake. The lake and dam eventually stabilized, and engineers determined there was no danger of collapse. There were heavy snows in the winter of 1926-1927, and the higher than normal snow melt was accompanied by more weeks of heavy rain in May 1927. On May 18th, residents started to notice debris from the flooding of the upper valley floating downstream in the river. Alarmed, several residents went to the dam to discover that the lake had overflowed the top of the dam and was beginning to erode it. The warning was given, and the residents of the town evacuated. The ensuing flood was 6 feet (2 m) deep for at least 25 miles (60 km) downstream. The flood destroyed most of the town, leaving only the church and the schoolhouse standing. Thanks to the prior warning, only six people perished in the flood. The deluge also damaged ranches and part of the community of Wilson, 14 miles (22 km) downstream on the Snake River.


Moose is an unincorporated community in Teton County, Wyoming, United States, in the Jackson Hole valley. It has a US Post Office, with the zip code of 83012. The town is located within Grand Teton National Park along the banks of the Snake River. It is populated mostly by families with inholdings within the borders of the park. The name Moose can also refer to the small community of Park Service houses located immediately behind the Administration offices. These houses are exclusively inhabited by Park Service employees and their families. The National Park Service maintains the Grand Teton National Park headquarters in Moose, as well as the park visitor center and the Grand Teton Natural History Association. Margaret Murie lived in Moose for most of her adult life, and today her family ranch is part of the Teton Science School.

The residents in Moose are counted as part of the Moose-Wilson Road census-designated place, but most of the residents live on the east side of the Snake River stretching as far south as Jackson Hole Airport, and as far north as Shadow Mountain. Most of the ranches and residences along the Moose-Wilson Road have been turned over to to the national park, including John D. Rockefeller, Jr.'s JY Ranch and the Murie Ranch, though a number of residents still live at the National Park housing area near the national park headquarters at the north end of the Moose-Wilson Road. The commercial area in the community is centered mainly around the shops and restaurants of the Dornan family ranch.

Given its central location in the Jackson Hole valley, Moose has been the setting for several motion pictures, including The Far Horizons in 1955.


Moran (also Moran Junction) is an unincorporated community in south central Teton County, Wyoming, which serves as one of the principal fee collection entrances to Grand Teton National Park. It lies in Grand Teton National Park northeast of the city of Jackson, the county seat of Teton County, at the intersection of U.S. Routes 26, 89, 191, and 287. Its elevation is 6,749 feet (2,057 m), and it is located at 43°50′30″N 110°30′28″W / 43.84167°N 110.50778°W / 43.84167; -110.50778 (43.8416088, -110.5077057). As the community has had two different names, the Board on Geographic Names officially ruled in favor of "Moran" in 1970. Although Moran is unincorporated, it has a post office, with the ZIP code of 83013.


Wilson was pioneered in 1889 by the author and former Pony Express rider Elijah Nicholas Wilson, and was later named in his honor.


Additional Township Information

Name of Location Near the following map area:
Alta Population 400 Clawson
Beaver Creek Moose
Colter Bay Village Colter Bay
Elk Moran
Grovont.......The community name derives from tribe, Gros Ventres Moose
Hoback Munger Mountain
Hoback Junction Camp Davis
Jack Pine Granite Falls
Lake Lake
Moose Wilson Road Teton Village
Rafter J Ranch Jackson
South Park Jackson
Teton Village Teton Village
Three River Junction Trischman Knob
West Thumb West Thumb

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