Jeffrey City, Wyoming

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Jeffrey City, Wyoming
CDP
Location of Jeffrey City, Wyoming
Location of Jeffrey City, Wyoming
Coordinates: 42°29′26″N 107°49′42″W / 42.49056°N 107.82833°W / 42.49056; -107.82833Coordinates: 42°29′26″N 107°49′42″W / 42.49056°N 107.82833°W / 42.49056; -107.82833
Country United States
State Wyoming
County Fremont
Area
 • Total 28.6 sq mi (74.2 km2)
 • Land 28.5 sq mi (73.7 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (0.4 km2)
Elevation 6,335 ft (1,931 m)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 58
 • Density 2.0/sq mi (0.78/km2)
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code 82310
Area code(s) 307
FIPS code 56-40555[2]
GNIS feature ID 1590071[3]

Jeffrey City is a census-designated place (CDP) and former uranium mining boomtown located in Fremont County, in the central part of the U.S. state of Wyoming. The town is famous in Wyoming and the American West as symbol of a boomtown that went “bust” very quickly, as the mine was shut down in 1982 and over 95% of the inhabitants left the town within 3 years.[4] The population was 58 at the 2010 census, far lower than its onetime population of several thousand people.

History[edit]

Jeffrey City began in 1931 as "Home On the Range, Wyoming," the 640-acre (2.6 km2) homestead of a Nebraska couple named the Petersons, who relocated because Mr. Peterson was sick after having been gassed in World War I. Mrs. Peterson opened two gas pumps when the highway came through, and began cooking for those who stopped. The Post Office at Split Rock, 14 miles (23 km) away, closed in 1943, and Mrs. Peterson took up the task of handling the ranchers' mail. She canceled the letters with "Home on the Range." She retired her post office cancellation stamp in 1957 when Home on the Range became Jeffrey City. Her family members are currently restoring the old Home on the Range post office site.

Home On the Range became Jeffrey City when those who came to mine uranium sought to honor Dr. C. W. Jeffrey, a wealthy doctor from Rawlins, Wyoming, who initially financed the costs for prospector and businessman Bob Adams to start the Western Nuclear Corporation mining firm and open a Uranium mine near the area in 1957, during the cold war and the height of uranium demand.[4]

Thousands of people looking for high-paying mining jobs streamed into Jeffrey City, and Western Nuclear designed and financed a company town for the workers and their families. At the height of the boom town optimism, an extremely large high school was built that included an Olympic-sized swimming pool. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the uranium market collapsed and the mine was forced to close. As was typical of many boom towns, Jeffrey City was singularly dependent on the local mine, and after it closed there was no reason for residents to remain. What was once a thriving local community with shops, schools, library, sheriff, youth hostel, churches, medical clinics and more, became a ghost town as 95% of the residents left the town by 1986.[4] Today, the only businesses that remain are the First (Southern) Baptist Church (which is still doing well thanks to the area ranchers who attend),[5] a restaurant and bar called the Split Rock Café that caters to the few local residents and those passing through on the highway, and Monkingbird Pottery, a pottery studio.[6]

Geography and climate[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 28.6 square miles (7,400 ha), of which, 28.5 square miles (7,400 ha) of it is land and .2 square miles (52 ha) of it (0.59%) is water.

Climate data for Jeffrey City, Wyoming (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 31.8
(−0.1)
34.4
(1.3)
44.5
(6.9)
54.6
(12.6)
64.8
(18.2)
75.5
(24.2)
84.9
(29.4)
83.3
(28.5)
72.4
(22.4)
58.5
(14.7)
42.1
(5.6)
31.2
(−0.4)
56.5
(13.6)
Average low °F (°C) 8.5
(−13.1)
10.2
(−12.1)
19.1
(−7.2)
26.0
(−3.3)
34.5
(1.4)
42.9
(6.1)
49.5
(9.7)
48.0
(8.9)
38.2
(3.4)
28.0
(−2.2)
17.5
(−8.1)
8.6
(−13)
27.6
(−2.4)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.3
(8)
0.43
(10.9)
0.84
(21.3)
1.25
(31.8)
1.88
(47.8)
1.17
(29.7)
0.91
(23.1)
0.59
(15)
0.84
(21.3)
0.93
(23.6)
0.59
(15)
0.42
(10.7)
10.19
(258.8)
Snowfall inches (cm) 4.3
(10.9)
6.8
(17.3)
8.9
(22.6)
10.1
(25.7)
4.5
(11.4)
0.4
(1)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
1.3
(3.3)
6.6
(16.8)
7.8
(19.8)
5.8
(14.7)
56.5
(143.5)
Source: NOAA[7]

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 106 people, 45 households, and 32 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 3.7 inhabitants per square mile (1.4/km2). There were 112 housing units at an average density of 3.9 per square mile (1.5/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 98.11% White or 104 people, 0.94% or one Indigenous American, and 0.94% or one person from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.89% of the population, or two people.

There were 45 households out of which 15.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.7% were married couples living together, 2.2% or one household had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.7% were non-families. 17.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.61.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 14.2% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 41.5% from 45 to 64, and 9.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females there were 152.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 127.5 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $42,857, and the median income for a family was $42,679. Males had a median income of $65,156 versus $23,750 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $20,061. There were no families and 8.2% of the population living below the poverty line, including no under eighteens and none of those over 64.

Education[edit]

Public education in the community of Jeffrey City is provided by Fremont County School District #1.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]