Railroad town in Wyoming Territory.
Named after French fur-trapper Jacques LaRamie, who disappeared in the Laramie Mountains in the early 1820s.
As the Union Pacific Railroad approached the region in 1866 (then still the Dakota Territory), Congress selected the future site of Laramie along the Overland Stage route to build a fort to protect the railroad workers. A tent city sprang up in anticipation of the coming business and settlers usually following the rails.
Trail West to Fury: As far away as Little Bend, Texas, the Denver-Cheyenne and Laramie Line was advertised as an important travel corridor. Jessie Hayden hung a poster for the new stage line in his general store in early August of 1867.
Lawlessness was rampant in the summer of 1868, even forcing the newly elected mayor to resign. That fall, a vigilante committee was formed, and after a few hangings, order was established.
After the Wyoming Territory was organized in 1868, a bill was passed by its first legislature granting equal political rights to the women of the territory. On September 6, 1870, Laramie was the first town in the territory to hold a municipal election under the new law, so it was that a Laramie resident became the first woman to legally cast a vote in a United States general election since 1807.
In November of 1873, the Laramie County Stock Association was formed to organize roundups, schedule cattle shipments, track cattle brands and prevent cattle rustling. Philadelphia entrepreneur John Haskell moved himself and his wife, Daisy, to Laramie to join the association and take advantage of the Wyoming cattle boom.
ABOVE: The windmill at Laramie.
The Jeweled Gun: In April of 1876, John Haskell traveled with his wife, Daisy, from Laramie to Santa Fe to meet Henrique Fillipe to discuss breeding cattle. During the Haskell's stay at the Fillipe Ranch, Daisy and Fillipe began a clandestine romance that led to a confrontation between Fillipe and Haskell. It escalated into a duel, resulting in Fillipe killing Haskell. To cover up the incident, Fillipe threw Haskell's body into a mine on his property and plotted with Daisy to recruit a stranger to pose as her late husband. Daisy hired Bart Maverick to play the part of John Haskell and escort her back to Laramie, but intended to kill him herself along the way to make it appear John Haskell was killed far from Santa Fe and remove suspicion from Fillipe. After Bart uncovered her plan, she and Fillipe were arrested by the sheriff in La Mesa and returned to Santa Fe for trial. Bart decided to continue on to Laramie and found Brother Bret already riding the Laramie stage out of Clayton.
01. Jacques La Ramée (March 22, 2012), Geni.com
02. History of the City of Laramie, Laramie Museum (retrieved April 13, 2014)
03. Maverick, Trail West to Fury (1958), Dell Publishing Company, Inc.
04. The Conjectural Maverick, Maverick Trails
05. The Mississippi Valley Historical Journal (March 1947); W. Turrentine Jackson
06. The Pacific Tourist (1876)
07. Maverick, The Jeweled Gun (1957), Dell Publishing Company, Inc.
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