Women Pioneer Postmasters and their Post Offices

By Guest Author Bruce McGirr

In celebrating Women’s History Month we’d like to explore an overlooked area of Wyoming history—the establishment by women of post offices throughout the state. This list only presents place names and postmaster names, but it shows how these women had the foresight and conviction to proceed forward in building important community institutions. Not all of the post offices survived but those that did would become thriving locations for conversations and interactions with neighbors and friends. Many sites were in very sparsely-settled areas and were often combined with other operations such as general stores, but they were always vitally important to communication.  On a county-by-county basis here is the story of these first women postmasters of post offices that are still in operation today. This list is only part of the over 260 post office locations in Wyoming started by women. Post office names are in Bold Letters

Big Horn County

Manderson (aka Alamo) Named after CB&Q Railroad Chief Manderson with Postmaster Gertrude Quiner

Campbell County

Gillette Named after B&M Railroad surveyor/engineer Gillette with Postmaster Margaret J. Livingston

Rozet Probably named for wild roses with Postmaster Katherine Shaughnessy, also owner of a mercantile

Carbon County

Baggs (aka Baggs Crossing) Name changed from Bagg’s to reflect new Postmaster Margaret Baggs

Crook County

Devils Tower With Postmaster Elizabeth Grenier

Tower Post Office With Postmaster Lillie L. Marshall

Devil’s Tower Post Office- Photo Courtesy of Post Office Pics.

Fremont County 

Crowheart Named for Crowheart Butte, with Postmaster Nellie I. Heenan

Goshen County

Huntley May be associated with Old English hunta +leah meaning hunter woodland clearing, with Postmaster Hazel Holcomb

Jay Em Associated with James Moore’s JM Ranch with Postmaster Elizabeth Thorton

Veteran Originally built up by World War I veterans with Postmaster Effie Mahoney

Yoder Probably named after Jess Yoder with Postmaster Alma N. Johnson

Hot Springs County

Grass Creek (aka Midwest) Large oil field community with Postmaster Flora Thomas

Johnson County

Linch Was the homestead of the Linch family with Postmaster Leola R. Crawford

Wilson Hotel, the site of the first post office, see entry further down list- Photo courtesy of Bruce McGirr.

Laramie County

Carpenter Rail stop on CB&Q railroad line with Postmaster Bessie E. Fell

Lincoln County

La Barge (2) Named after mountain man Joseph Marie La Barge with Postmaster Lillian Roberts

Thayne Named for Henry Thayne with Postmaster Laura Thayne

Niobrara County

Lance Creek The namesake of the Lance Formation and fossils found there with Postmaster Frances J. Ragen

Park County

Meeteetse Means “meeting place” in Shoshone language with Postmaster Margaret B. Wilson

Platte County

Glendo (aka Bellewood) From Gaelic word for valley (glean) with Postmaster Bridgett McDermott for both post offices Bellewood and Glendo

Sheridan County

Ranchester Named by S. H. Hardin, English native and rancher, with Postmaster Helga M. Davis

Sublette County

Bondurant Named after AC Bondurant and laid out by Chicago NW Railroad with Postmaster Ellie Bondurant

Cora The name came from James Noble’s general store at his Cora ranch with Postmaster Minerva Westfall, who is said to deliver mail on a gray stallion to Big Piney, a 70-mile round trip

Cora, Wyoming Post Office- Photo Courtesy of Bruce McGirr.

Pinedale (aka Fremont) Named for a creek by Charles Peterson, with Postmaster Cecilie Peterson

Teton County

Jackson Named for Davey Jackson, fur trader, with Postmaster Maggie Simpson

Moran Named after Mount Moran by the Allens who built the Elkhorn Hotel, which housed the post office and store, with Postmaster Maria Allen

Wilson Founded by Nick Wilson, one of Wyoming’s first pony express couriers, with Postmaster Matilda R. Wilson

Uinta County

Robertson Named for John (Jack) Robertson, fur trader and first settler, with Postmaster Helen N. Miller

Bruce McGirr has authored a book about forgotten post offices in Wyoming. You can purchase the book here. The Alliance would like to thank Mr. McGirr for his research and writing of this article.