Carbon County, Wyoming

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Carbon County, Wyoming
Carbon County Courthouse Wyoming 5-3-2014.jpg
Carbon County Courthouse in Rawlins
Map of Wyoming highlighting Carbon County
Location in the state of Wyoming
Map of the United States highlighting Wyoming
Wyoming's location in the U.S.
Founded 1868
Named for Coal deposits
Seat Rawlins
Largest city Rawlins
 • Total 7,964 sq mi (20,627 km2)
 • Land 7,898 sq mi (20,456 km2)
 • Water 66 sq mi (171 km2), 0.8%
 • (2010) 15,885
 • Density 2.0/sq mi (1/km²)
Congressional district At-large
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6
Pick Bridge over the North Platte River, near Saratoga. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Canoers on the North Platte River, Northgate Canyon

Carbon County is a county located in the U.S. state of Wyoming. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,885.[1] Its county seat is Rawlins.[2] It is north from the Colorado state line.


Carbon County was organized in 1868.

Originally about 3,400 square miles (8,800 km2) in the center of Carbon County were once part of the Spanish Empire, then part of the Republic of Texas (1835-1845) and part of the State of Texas until 1852 when the northernmost part of that state was ceded to the U.S. government. This area is defined by the 42nd parallel on the north, and straight lines south from there to the headwaters of the Arkansas river on the east and the headwaters of the Rio Grande on the west. The documents defining that area include the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819, the 1824 Constitution of Mexico, and the 1845 "Joint Resolution for the Admission of the State of Texas into the Union".

Carbon County was organized December 16, 1868, from Laramie County in Dakota Territory, which at the time had jurisdiction over part of modern-day Wyoming.[3] It became a county in Wyoming Territory when that territory's government was formally organized on May 19, 1869.[4][5]

In 1868, the Union Pacific Railroad opened the first coal mine in Carbon County, and the county was named for its extensive coal deposits.[6] In 1875, Carbon County lost territory when Johnson County was created by the legislature of the Wyoming Territory. Natrona County was created with land ceded by Carbon County in 1888. The boundaries of the county were final at that time except for minor adjustments in 1911.

From 1978-1982, Carbon County was represented in the Wyoming House of Representatives by Democrat Thomas E. Trowbridge (1930-2009) of Saratoga, a Nebraska native. From 1982-1986, Trowbridge was a member of the Wyoming State Senate. He was later appointed by Governor Mike Sullivan to the Wyoming State Board of Equalization. Trowbridge's father, Elton Trowbridge, held the state House seat from Carbon County from 1961 until his death in office in 1974.

George R. Salisbury, Jr., a rancher from Savery, represented Carbon County in the Wyoming House from 1975-1986. He was succeeded in office by his son-in-law and fellow Democrat, Patrick F. O'Toole, also a Savery rancher.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 7,964 square miles (20,630 km2), of which 7,898 square miles (20,460 km2) is land and 66 square miles (170 km2) (2.0%) is water.[7] It is the third-largest county in Wyoming by area.

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 1,368
1880 3,438 151.3%
1890 6,857 99.4%
1900 9,589 39.8%
1910 11,282 17.7%
1920 9,525 −15.6%
1930 11,391 19.6%
1940 12,644 11.0%
1950 15,742 24.5%
1960 14,937 −5.1%
1970 13,354 −10.6%
1980 21,896 64.0%
1990 16,659 −23.9%
2000 15,639 −6.1%
2010 15,885 1.6%
Est. 2014 15,854 [8] −0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1870–2000[10] 2010–2014[1]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 15,639 people, 6,129 households, and 4,130 families residing in the county. The population density was 2 people per square mile (1/km²). There were 8,307 housing units at an average density of 1 per square mile (0/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.11% White, 0.67% African-American or Black, 1.27% Indigenous American, 0.67% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 5.17% from other races, and 2.05% from two or more races. 13.83% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 20.1% were of German, 11.8% English, 10.0% Irish and 8.9% American ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 6,129 households out of which 31.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.10% were married couples living together, 8.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.60% were non-families. Of 6,129 households, 364 were unmarried partner households: 318 heterosexual, 41 same-sex male, and 5 same-sex female.

27.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.10% under the age of 18, 8.60% from 18 to 24, 28.40% from 25 to 44, 26.70% from 45 to 64, and 12.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 115.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 118.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,060, and the median income for a family was $41,991. Males had a median income of $31,603 versus $21,451 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,375. About 9.80% of families and 12.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.60% of those under age 18 and 14.80% of those age 65 or over.

Government and infrastructure[edit]

The Wyoming State Penitentiary, operated by the Wyoming Department of Corrections, is located in Rawlins.[12] The facility was operated by the Wyoming Board of Charities and Reform until that agency was dissolved as a result of a state constitutional amendment passed in November 1990.[13]




Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 25, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ General Laws and Memorials and Resolutions of the Territory of Dakota, 1869 at Google Books
  4. ^ Long, John H. (2006). "Wyoming: Individual County Chronologies". Wyoming Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ Long, John H. (2006). "Dakota Territory, South Dakota, and North Dakota: Individual County Chronologies". Dakota Territory Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ Urbanek, Mae (1988). Wyoming Place Names. Missoula, MT: Mountain Press Publishing Company. ISBN 0-87842-204-8. 
  7. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 5, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Historical Decennial Census Population for Wyoming Counties, Cities, and Towns". Wyoming Department of Administration & Information, Division of Economic Analysis. Retrieved January 25, 2014. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  12. ^ "Contact Institutions." Wyoming Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 22, 2010.
  13. ^ "About the Department of Corrections." Wyoming Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 22, 2010.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bartos, T.T. et al. (2006). Water resources of Carbon County, Wyoming [Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5027]. Reston, VA: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.
  • Hettinger, R.D. and J.G. Honey. (2006). Geologic map and coal stratigraphy of the Doty Mountain quadrangle, eastern Washakie Basin, Carbon County, Wyoming [Scientific Investigations Map 2925]. Reston, VA: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.

Coordinates: 41°41′N 106°56′W / 41.69°N 106.93°W / 41.69; -106.93