“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cokeville in Lincoln County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)


Cokeville Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 11, 2015
1. Cokeville Marker
Inscription. Cokeville is situated at the confluence of the Bear River and Smiths Fork valleys. Between 1812 ad 1865, these valleys were the domain of American Indians, fur trappers and traders; during the 1830s and 1840s, they became a well traveled pathway of emigrant trains traveling to Oregon and California. Known as "Smiths Fork on the Bear River" to fur trappers and pioneers, Cokeville acquired its permanent name after the discovery of near-by coal deposits that produced coke, an intense burning virtually smokeless product.
The Mormon Church sent the first permanent settlers to the area in 1874 to found a community. Sylvanus Collett and Robert Gee arrived with their families at the Smiths Fork River, soon to be followed by the John Bourne family. The men trapped, hunted, and traded hides, fur, and extra meat for supplies in Evanston, Wyoming about 70 miles south. The trip to Evanston was arduous; winter journeys were sometimes made on the frozen Bear River. The launching of the Oregon Shoreline in 1881 made travel easier. The railroad stimulated trade, changing the center of the main settlement to the vicinity of the tracks.
Prior to 1908, Cokeville consisted of two saloons, a hotel, a general store, and boarding houses. In the next nine years it incorporated and added a state bank, a newspaper, a water system, and electric lighting.
Cokeville Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 11, 2015
2. Cokeville Marker
In 1922, Cokeville made national headlines when Ethel Stoner became mayor and two other females won seats on the town council. The women ran on a law enforcement ticket, although once in office, they found local police disinclined to enforce Prohibition laws then in force. After U.S. Highway 30 was commissioned through the town in 1926 then surfaced with oil in 1935, Cokeville found itself itself on a major cross-country route. The highway continues to play an important role in the town's economy.
Erected by Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department.
Location. 42° 5.394′ N, 110° 56.976′ W. Marker is in Cokeville, Wyoming, in Lincoln County. Marker is on U.S. 30 at milepost 11 near East Main Street (Wyoming Route 232), on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cokeville WY 83114, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Old Oregon Trail (approx. 0.3 miles away); State Boundary Monument (approx. 0.6 miles away); Oregon Trail 1847 (approx. 9.9 miles away); Golden Anniversary 1940 (approx. 9.9 miles away); Thomas Fork (approx. 10.5 miles away in Idaho).
Categories. Settlements & Settlers
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 124 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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