Which Came First? Laramie County or the City of Laramie, Wyoming?
Growing up in Cheyenne, I wondered why Laramie was...well, not in Laramie County. Logically, it only makes sense that Laramie should be the seat of Laramie County. After all, both were named for the French-Canadian frontiersman and explorer Jaques La Ramée. Both were once part of the Dakota Territory before we obtained statehood.
Through a strange dance of politics, Laramie ended up not being part of Laramie County. But, what you might not know is that it used to.
Why Laramie Isn't in Laramie County, Wyoming:
It seemed odd that the seat of Laramie County was Cheyenne, and Laramie resided in Albany County. Once upon a time, Laramie was part of Laramie County. The legislature of the Dakota Territory established the county on January 8, 1867.
By 1868, the Dakota Territory Legislature was changing the Wyoming map again. In early 1868, they created Carter County (later named Sweetwater County.) On December 16, 1868, the legislature divided portions of Laramie County and the Western part of the territory into Albany and Carbon County.
By the time the dust settled on this new Wyoming map, Laramie was no longer part of the county that shared its name.
Which Came First? The City of Laramie or Laramie County?
Laramie County was the first organized county in Wyoming. Albany County followed a year later. But did the city of Laramie exist before the county?
Shortly after the founding of Laramie County, on August 8, 1867, the city of Cheyenne was founded. Shortly after that, the town of Laramie was founded in 1868. Technically, then, Laramie County came before the City of Laramie.
Laramie Was Never the Seat of Laramie County.
It may come as a surprise to find out that though Laramie was part of Laramie County for a short while, it was never the seat of government for it. In 1867, the seat of Laramie County was Fort Sanders - a military base established near Laramie, the ruins of which you can still find off U.S. 287, south of Laramie.
Fort Sanders lost the title of county seat in 1868 when the seat moved to Cheyenne. Laramie, not Fort Sanders, became the seat of Albany County that same year.