Goshen County, Wyoming

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Goshen County, Wyoming
Map of Wyoming highlighting Goshen County
Location in the state of Wyoming
Map of the United States highlighting Wyoming
Wyoming's location in the U.S.
Founded 1911
Seat Torrington
Largest city Torrington
Area
 • Total 2,232 sq mi (5,781 km2)
 • Land 2,225 sq mi (5,763 km2)
 • Water 7 sq mi (18 km2), 0.3%
Population
 • (2010) 13,249
 • Density 6.0/sq mi (2/km²)
Congressional district At-large
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6
Website goshencounty.org
Ruts made by early pioneer's wagons
on the historic Oregon Trail in the 1850s
in Eastern Wyoming. (2007 photo)

Goshen County is a county located in the U.S. state of Wyoming. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,249.[1] Its county seat is Torrington.[2] The eastern boundary of the County borders the Nebraska state line.

Goshen County produces more cattle annually than any other Wyoming county. In 1997, the County had 688 farms and ranches averaging 1,840 acres. By 2007, there were 665 farms and ranches in the county.[3]

History[edit]

Goshen County was created on February 21, 1911 with land given up by Laramie County.[4] Long before it was settled, or became Goshen County, the area had been part of territories, at one time or another, claimed by: Spain, France, Great Britain, Mexico, and the Republic of Texas. The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 permanently established the claim of the United States to the area.[3]

By the 1820s, a route along the North Platte River had become a route for fur traders and trappers bound for the Rocky Mountains. And, in the 1840s and 1850s, the same route functioned as part of the route for early pioneers following the historic Oregon Trail or Mormon Trail westward to Oregon, California or Utah. By the late 1850s, it was the route for regularly scheduled east-west stagecoaches carrying passengers and the U.S. mail, and for the short-lived Pony Express carrying mail from Missouri to California from April 1860 to November 1861. By October 1861, transcontinental telegraph lines had been completed along the route. From September 1876 to February 1887, a north-south, Cheyenne-Deadwood stage coach line ran through the County from Cheyenne to the gold fields of the Dakota Territory.[3]

The county was apparently named for Goshen Hole, a valley in the southwest part of the county. John C. Frémont camped in that area on July 14, 1843, and recorded that name in his journal, during his exploring expedition on the Oregon Trail.[5] At least four conflicting stories are available for the origin of the name "Goshen Hole". The Land of Goshen in Egypt, mentioned in the 45th chapter of the Genesis in the Bible, has been suggested as the most likely. And, John Hunton, who was ranching in the area by the 1870s, was told by Seth Ward, the post sutler at Fort Laramie, that the area was named for the Biblical land. The name of Goshen Hole first appeared on a map years later, in 1888.[3]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,232 square miles (5,780 km2), of which 2,225 square miles (5,760 km2) is land and 7 square miles (18 km2) (0.3%) is water.[6]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 8,064
1930 11,754 45.8%
1940 12,207 3.9%
1950 12,634 3.5%
1960 11,941 −5.5%
1970 10,885 −8.8%
1980 12,040 10.6%
1990 12,373 2.8%
2000 12,538 1.3%
2010 13,249 5.7%
Est. 2014 13,514 2.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1870-2000[8] 2010-2012[1]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 12,538 people, 5,061 households, and 3,426 families residing in the county. The population density was 6 people per square mile (2/km²). There were 5,881 housing units at an average density of 3 per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 93.83% White, 0.20% Black or African American, 0.86% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 3.65% from other races, and 1.14% from two or more races. 8.83% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 38.2% were of German, 10.4% English, 8.0% American and 8.0% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 5,061 households out of which 28.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.70% were married couples living together, 7.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.30% were non-families. 27.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.20% under the age of 18, 9.40% from 18 to 24, 24.30% from 25 to 44, 24.80% from 45 to 64, and 17.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 98.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,228, and the median income for a family was $40,297. Males had a median income of $27,713 versus $17,584 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,965. About 9.70% of families and 13.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.30% of those under age 18 and 12.50% of those age 65 or over.

Climate[edit]

Dry stream channel on the North Platte River in Goshen County during May 2002 drought conditions.

Situated on the North Platte River, Goshen County has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk.)

Climate data for Torrington, Wyoming
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 70
(21)
75
(24)
85
(29)
91
(33)
100
(38)
105
(41)
111
(44)
105
(41)
101
(38)
92
(33)
83
(28)
77
(25)
111
(44)
Average high °F (°C) 39.5
(4.2)
45.0
(7.2)
52.0
(11.1)
61.2
(16.2)
71.0
(21.7)
82.4
(28)
89.1
(31.7)
87.3
(30.7)
77.7
(25.4)
65.4
(18.6)
49.2
(9.6)
41.0
(5)
63.4
(17.45)
Daily mean °F (°C) 24.9
(−3.9)
30.0
(−1.1)
37.5
(3.1)
46.0
(7.8)
56.2
(13.4)
66.3
(19.1)
72.3
(22.4)
70.2
(21.2)
59.8
(15.4)
47.6
(8.7)
34.0
(1.1)
26.2
(−3.2)
47.58
(8.67)
Average low °F (°C) 10.3
(−12.1)
14.9
(−9.5)
23.0
(−5)
30.7
(−0.7)
41.3
(5.2)
50.2
(10.1)
55.5
(13.1)
53.1
(11.7)
41.9
(5.5)
29.7
(−1.3)
18.8
(−7.3)
11.3
(−11.5)
31.73
(−0.15)
Record low °F (°C) −39
(−39)
−33
(−36)
−26
(−32)
−17
(−27)
11
(−12)
29
(−2)
39
(4)
32
(0)
14
(−10)
−9
(−23)
−23
(−31)
−43
(−42)
−43
(−42)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.31
(7.9)
0.40
(10.2)
0.70
(17.8)
1.68
(42.7)
2.54
(64.5)
2.09
(53.1)
1.78
(45.2)
1.19
(30.2)
1.27
(32.3)
0.95
(24.1)
0.57
(14.5)
4.00
(101.6)
17.48
(444.1)
Source #1: NOAA (normals, 1971–2000) [10]
Source #2: The Weather Channel (Records) [11]

In the late spring of 2009, a weather research team known as VORTEX2 observed the full life cycle of a tornado near the border with Nebraska in eastern Goshen County.

Communities[edit]

City[edit]

Towns[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Other communities[edit]

Transportation infrastructure[edit]

Highways[edit]

U.S. Highways[edit]

State Routes[edit]

Airport[edit]

Government facilities[edit]

The Goshen County Fairgrounds are just west of Torrington on U.S. Hwy 26/85. The fairground facilities host many events throughout the year, inlcluding an annual Goshen County Fair and numerous rodeo events.[13]

The Wyoming Department of Corrections Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution (WMCI) is located just east of Torrington on County Road 72 (Sheep Creek Rd.)[14][15][16] The WMCI, a facility of the Wyoming Department of Corrections, serves as an intake center for men not serving death sentences. The grand opening occurred on January 6, 2010.[17]

See also[edit]

References[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. ^ a b c d Zimmer, Vickie - "Goshen County, Wyoming", WyoHistory.org: The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History, Wyoming State Historical Society.[1] Retrieved 2015-06-30
  4. ^ Long, John H. (2006). "Wyoming: Individual County Chronologies". Wyoming Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  5. ^ Urbanek, Mae (1988). Wyoming Place Names. Missoula, MT: Mountain Press Publishing Company. ISBN 0-87842-204-8. 
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 25, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Historical Decennial Census Population for Wyoming Counties, Cities, and Towns". Wyoming Department of Administration & Information, Division of Economic Analysis. Retrieved January 25, 2014. 
  9. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  10. ^ "Climatography of the United States NO.81" (PDF). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 13, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Monthly Averages for Torrington, WY". The Weather Channel. Retrieved January 13, 2011. 
  12. ^ Goshen County Public and Private Airports, Wyoming
  13. ^ Goshen County Fairgrounds — Event Venue[2] Retrieved 2015-06-30
  14. ^ "Torrington city, Wyoming." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on December 12, 2010.
  15. ^ "Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution (WMCI)." Goshen County GIS Department. 2009. Retrieved on December 12, 2010.
  16. ^ "Contact Institutions." Wyoming Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 22, 2010. "7076 Road 55F Torrington, WY 82240"
  17. ^ "Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution." Wyoming Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 22, 2010.

Coordinates: 42°05′N 104°22′W / 42.09°N 104.36°W / 42.09; -104.36