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Letter to the editor: Goshen County’s 100-year birthday

Posted: Wednesday, Nov 21st, 2012




“A Century of Tradition 1913-2013” has been chosen by the Goshen County Fairboard as the theme for next year’s Fair. I was excited to learn that our county is to be 100 years old next year.

Goshen County was part of Laramie County when the State of Wyoming was formed in 1890. Through the efforts of S.G. Hopkins, state land commissioner, and State Sen. John L. Sawyer, Senate Bill No. 8, Chapter 10 was approved on Feb. 9, 1911 and signed by Gov. J. M. Carey.

An organizing board was created and approved by Carey consisting of J. T. Snow, chairman, Benjamin F. Yoder and E. B. Hudson, members. On Jan. 6, 1913, the first elected board of County Commissioners took over. They were Jess Yoder, chairman, W.G. Vance and E. B. Hudson. These three served from 1913 until 1917.

Other early Goshen County officials were Thomas G. Powers, deputy assessor; Martin L. Snyder, treasurer; William C. Mentzer, judge of the First Wyoming Judicial District; J. E. Yoder, assessor; Charles O. Downing, superintendent of schools; George (Harry) Little, county clerk and clerk of the court; M. A. Hayes, sheriff; Charles A. Elquest, coroner; and William J. Knowlton, surveyor.

Early last spring, I decided that I would try to organize a birthday party for next year. Meetings were called, and several people responded. As we continued to meet, I tried to interest others by having notices placed in the Torrington Telegram and publicized on KGOS-KERM.

After the summer was over, it was time to reorganize, and I again publicized another meeting. When only the same five people showed up, we decided to cancel any further plans.

Even if people aren’t interested in history, I would think that there would be some interest in honoring those people who distinguished themselves with a vision for a new government and started Goshen County. I am very disappointed we decided to ask if each community would have its own event(s) and invite each other. Will we have a “party” for our 100th birthday? I am still willing to help, but someone else needs to take up the reins.

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