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

Bear River City

 
 
Bear River City Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 10, 2015
1. Bear River City Marker
Inscription. Nothing remains today as a reminder that Bear River City was one of the notorious "end-of-track" towns along the original Union Pacific transcontinental railroad line. Initially called Gilmer, the town was first settled by lumberjacks who arrived in 1867 and supplied ties to the approaching railroad. The population of the settlement swelled to nearly 2,000 as construction of the Echo Tunnel in Utah and the onset of winter held up tracklaying.
This railroad boomtown, its name changed to Bear River City, developed a reputation for unparalleled rowdiness. The town consisted of a few stores and boarding houses standing alongside numerous saloons and gambling parlors. These liquor and gaming establishments catered to a nefarious crowd, causing the Frontier Index to report Bear River City was "the liveliest city, if not the wickedest in America."
The Frontier Index , a traveling newspaper printed at various points along the Union Pacific route, outraged Bear River City's lawless element by endorsing vigilante activity as a means of eliminating undesirables. Whipped to a frenzy, on November 20, 1868 an unruly mob burned down the Index office. The town's law-abiding citizens retaliated against the mob and the ensuing battle lasted well into the night. Order had been restored by the time troops arrived from Fort
Bear River City Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 10, 2015
2. Bear River City Marker
Bridger the next morning.
The railroad, not riotous mobs, caused the town's demise when the Union Pacific refused to construct a siding connecting Bear River City to the mainline. The populace hurriedly packed their belongings and moved on to Evanston, a town which offered better prospects. The hoopla which marked the short history of Bear River City became only a memory.
 
Erected by Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Transcontinental Railroad marker series.
 
Location. 41° 9.468′ N, 110° 51.042′ W. Marker is near Evanston, Wyoming, in Uinta County. Marker is on State Highway 150 near County Route 75, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 9998 Wyoming 150, Evanston WY 82930, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Aspen Tunnel (here, next to this marker); Transcontinental Railroad (a few steps from this marker); Native Americans (a few steps from this marker); Meyers Crossing (a few steps from this marker); Historic Trails (within shouting
Bear River City, Wyoming image. Click for full size.
By A.J. Russell, circa 1868
3. Bear River City, Wyoming
distance of this marker); Mormon Trail (approx. 1.1 miles away); Hilliard City and Piedmont (approx. 1.3 miles away); Hilliard, Wyoming (approx. 1.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Evanston.
 
Also see . . .
1. Hell on Wheels - Wyoming Tale and Trails. The Bear River City Riot cost sixteen lives, including that of one citizen. The mob first attacked and burned the jail, taking thence one of their kind who was confined there. They next sacked the office and destroyed the material of the Frontier Index. Elated with their success, the mob, numbering about 300 well-armed desperados, marched up the main street and made an attack on a store, belonging to one of the leading merchants. (Submitted on October 30, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 

2. The Frontier Index: The Case of the Vagabond Newspaper - History Reference. (Legh) Freeman created the unusual concept of the same newspaper and staff serving all thirteen terminal towns along the Union Pacific right-of-way. These towns were: Fort Kearney and North Platte, Nebraska, Julesburg, Colorado, Cheyenne, Fort Sanders, Laramie and Green River, Wyoming, Ogden and Bear
The Residence of Ben Hampton, Bear River Stage Station. Utah (sic) image. Click for full size.
By Savage & Ottinger, circa 1867
4. The Residence of Ben Hampton, Bear River Stage Station. Utah (sic)
River City, Utah, Butte and Thompson Falls, Montana, and Yakima and Gibraltar, Washington. Publication dates were erratic -- a morning edition in North Platte, and an evening edition the same day in Julesburg.
(Submitted on October 30, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
 
Additional keywords. Riots
 
Categories. CommunicationsSettlements & Settlers
 
Legh R. Freeman image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, July 18, 2010
5. Legh R. Freeman
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 30, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 220 times since then and 52 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 30, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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