1801 Father Pierre Jean De Smet was born in Termonde, Belgium, January 31, 1801, and came to the United States in his youth. In July, 1840, he performed Wyoming’s first Catholic Mass at the Green River Rendezvous on Horse Creek, in present Sublette County. It is known as the La Messe de la Prairie. Lake De Smet in northeast Wyoming is named in his honor. Read more at Father De Smet in Wyoming.
1883 The blizzard of 1883 continued through parts of Wyoming.
January 31st has been a hard day for Wyoming Post Offices. At least 20 have been discontinued through the years including Cooke (1882), Pearl (1903), Cedar (1909), Cellers (1911), Trelona (1912), Silver Crown (1914), Belle (1918), Bertralda (1919), Peckville (1922), Dietz (1930), LaBonte (1931), Nowood (1931), Dad (1940), Hampshire (1940), Aspentunnel (1950), Teckla (1952), Dines (1955), Winton (1955), Lucerne (1956), Winchester (1956).
1909 On January 31, 1909 in a ceremony attended by "the most impressive gathering of Catholic ecclesiastics held in Wyoming," St. Mary's Cathedral in Cheyenne was dedicated.
1917 The Indian paintbrush, common name for any of a genus of annual, biennial, and perennial herbs, was adopted as the State Flower on January 31, 1917. Paintbrush Canyon and Divide in Teton County.
2014 Chinese New Year - the year of the horse
1883 On January 30, 1883 snow began to fall and temperatures plummeted across the state. The storm lasted 3 days and newspapers reported 12 inches of snow at Rawlins, 2 feet of snow at Fort Laramie and in Southwest and Central Wyoming, and 10 foot drifts near Point of Rocks. Trains were snowbound and livestock isolated. According to a report issued by the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security "Old timers claim the blizzard of 1883 was the worst they ever had."
1883 Lewiston Post Office was established on January 29, 1883 in
Sweetwater County prior to the formation of Fremont County. Lewiston was
named for a man by the name of Lewis who erected a stamp mill and
hoisting works on gold properties discovered by Captain H. G. Nickerson
in 1882. Lewiston had a newspaper titled Lewiston Gold Miner.
1884 Phillips Post Office was established on January 29, 1884 with John H. Phillips as postmaster.
1914 Big Creek Post Office was established on January 29, 1914 with Harry A. Hunter as its postmaster. Big Creek was originally located on Big Creek at the Big Creek Ranch.
1964 Sheridan Inn was designated a national historic landmark.
1868 On January 27, 1868, Congressman James M. Ashley of Ohio
introduced a bill, H.R. 540 for a "temporary government for the
Territory of Wyoming" before the Fortieth Congress, second session. The
bill was read a first and second time and referred to the Committee on
Territories but was not reported out of the committee.
1887 On January 27, 1887, Peru, a railway town, 8 miles west of Green River, Wyoming, was destroyed by fire.
1914 The Wyoming Semi-Weekly Tribune of January 27, 1914 published an article announcing the opening of Hotel LaBonte in Douglas.
1920 Wyoming ratified the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote on January 27,1920 during a special session of the Legislature.
1890 Another article about place names in Wyoming was published by the
"Cheyenne Daily Sun" on January 26, 1890. Titled "County Cognomens," it
expanded on the "Too Many Laramies" article in the Daily Boomerang of a
few days earlier.
1914 The Hotel LaBonte in Douglas was opened for business on January 26, 1914. The name refers to the LaBonte pony express and stage station on the Overland Trail, which was located southeast of Douglas. LaBonte was named after a hunter whose father was French. He was raised in Mississippi.
1917 In 1917, a bill was introduced in the Wyoming Legislature to divide Fremont County. Pilot County was a proposed county made up of portions of northern Fremont County.
1888 The Saint Mary Post Office was established on January 25,
1888. It was located near the historic Saint Mary's Stage and Pony
1890 A number of newspapers published a column about "newsy items ... from our exchanges." Their exchanges were other newspapers around Wyoming. Sadly, many of the newspapers from which these items were "plucked" no longer exist. To get a list of the titles in the Wyoming Newspaper digital collection, go to Wyoming Newspapers "Browse All Newspaper Titles" at http://newspapers.wyo.gov
1967 Wyoming's State Gemstone is of the nephrite variety and was adopted on January 25, 1967. Upper and Lower Jade Lake.