Torrington, Wyoming

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Torrington, Wyoming
City
Sign welcoming visitors to Torrington (2006)
Sign welcoming visitors to Torrington (2006)
Location in Goshen County and Wyoming
Location in Goshen County and Wyoming
Coordinates: 42°04′00″N 104°10′57″W / 42.06667°N 104.18250°W / 42.06667; -104.18250Coordinates: 42°04′00″N 104°10′57″W / 42.06667°N 104.18250°W / 42.06667; -104.18250
Country United States
State Wyoming
County Goshen
Government
 • Mayor Mike Varney
Area[1]
 • Total 4.62 sq mi (11.97 km2)
 • Land 4.62 sq mi (11.97 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 4,104 ft (1,251 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 6,501
 • Estimate (2012)[3] 6,757
 • Density 1,400/sq mi (540/km2)
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code 82240
Area code 307
FIPS code[4] 56-77530
GNIS ID[5] 1595642
Website City Website

Torrington is a city in, and the county seat, of Goshen County, Wyoming in the United States.[6] The population was 6,501 at the 2010 census.

It is the home of Eastern Wyoming College, and is the surrounding region's center of commercial activity. Within this primarily agricultural community, there are several fertilizer plants, a sugar factory, and numerous tourist facilities and retail businesses that serve the local and nearby rural populations.[7]

History[edit]

Ruts made by early pioneer's wagons on the historic Oregon Trail in the late 19th Century in Eastern Wyoming (2007 photo)
Vintage photo of early 20th Century resident of the West using horses to pull his "horseless carriage" while "fording" a river

Situated on the historic Oregon Trail along the banks of the North Platte River, Torrington was founded in 1889 by W.G. Curtis (1857-1913), and named by him for his home town of Torrington, Connecticut. Originally a watering and coaling station for the CB&Q Railroad, which began passenger service in 1900, the growing city soon became the main source of civilization for nearby farmers and ranchers. In 1905, the first bridge was constructed over the North Platte River, which it had previously been necessary to ford.[8]

With a post office (established in 1889, Curtis serving as Postmaster), by 1908 the town had a bank, three general stores, a pharmacy with a soda fountain, a land office, and two hotels (for one of which the building, although modified, still exists at 1841 Main Street.)[9] It soon became a central place of trade for Goshen County, and for surrounding areas in eastern Wyoming and western Nebraska.[8]

Situated on the North Platte River in eastern Wyoming near the Nebraska border, the town site was surveyed in April 1900, by Ashland B. Smith of the Lincoln Land Company of Nebraska, and in June 1900, individual plots of the land were sold to residents for one dollar each by CB&Q. Torrington was incorporated in 1908, and by 1910, it had achieved a population of 155. A newspaper, The Torrington Telegraph (which was still published in 2015) was established in 1911.[8]

Also in 1911, Goshen County was officially organized.[8] The County was created from what had previously been a portion of the northern end of Laramie County. The towns of Torrington and nearby Lingle -- some 10 miles away -- both competed for designation as the county seat. Torrington ultimately prevailed, and was selected, after Torrington residents were able to raise sufficient funds for a construction of a courthouse. The cornerstone for the courthouse was set in 1913, during a ceremony where a band played, conducted by Hi Yoder -- from whose family the nearby town of Yoder, Wyoming, takes its name.[8]

Also by that time, early motor cars started showing up in town, the Goshen County Fair Association had been established, and in 1915 Torrington had a population of 443. In 1919, the Trail Hotel building, which still exists at 2001 Main Street, was constructed. In 1925, the Union Pacific Railroad based in Omaha constructed a spur line from Cheyenne to South Torrington, to serve the proposed Holly Sugar Corporation plant which began operations in 1926.[8]

Fort Laramie as it looked prior to 1840. Painting by Alfred Jacob Miller

The large, 24-hour Holly Sugar factory was still operating in 2015 as a major employer for the Torrington area, and the preserved historic Union Pacific Depot building now houses the Goshen County Homesteaders Museum.[9]

The Torrington Livestock Commission, established in 1934, still held twice-weekly livestock auctions in 2015. It is the largest livestock auction operation and barn in Wyoming, and ranks as the third to fifth largest livestock auction in the United States. Drawing cattle from a nine-state region (Nebraska, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, South Dakota, Montana and the bulk of Wyoming) the Torrington livestock auction barn attracts buyers from all over the nation. And, as of 2011, Goshen County ranked number one in Wyoming for its cattle inventory.[10][11]

Today, when traveling between Torrington and Guernsey, Wyoming, motorists will be following the path of the historic Oregon and Mormon Trail as they make their way along the banks of the North Platte River passed the site of the 1854 Grattan Massacre near Lingle, and passed the historic western 19th-Century U.S. Army Cavalry outpost, Fort Laramie National Historic Site.[7]

Geography[edit]

Torrington is located at 42°4′0″N 104°10′57″W / 42.06667°N 104.18250°W / 42.06667; -104.18250 (42.066542, -104.182471).[12] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.62 square miles (11.97 km2), all of it land.[1] Its elevation is 4104 feet, 1251 meters.

Climate[edit]

Torrington, situated on the North Platte River, 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)[13]
Source #2: The Weather Channel (Records)[14]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 155
1920 1,301 739.4%
1930 1,811 39.2%
1940 2,344 29.4%
1950 3,247 38.5%
1960 4,188 29.0%
1970 4,237 1.2%
1980 5,441 28.4%
1990 5,651 3.9%
2000 5,776 2.2%
2010 6,501 12.6%
Est. 2014 6,736 [15] 3.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
The historic California, Mormon, Oregon & Bozeman Trails headed to Fort Laramie and further on into The American West, all passed through Torrington along the banks of the North Platte River

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 6,501 people, 2,527 households, and 1,506 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,407.1 inhabitants per square mile (543.3/km2). There were 2,717 housing units at an average density of 588.1 per square mile (227.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.2% White, 1.0% African American, 0.9% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 3.0% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.3% of the population.

There were 2,527 households of which 26.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.8% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.4% were non-families. 34.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.83.

Torrington and Goshen County are home to a large population of Ringneck Pheasants

The median age in the city was 41.4 years. 19.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 11.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.2% were from 25 to 44; 26.8% were from 45 to 64; and 19.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 52.5% male and 47.5% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there had been a fewer number of only 5,776 people, 2,436 households, and 1,522 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,617.4 people per square mile (624.7/km²). There were 2,644 housing units at an average density of 740.4 per square mile (286.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.49% White, 0.31% African American, 0.90% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 3.65% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.47% of the population.

There were 2,436 households out of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.9% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.5% were non-families. 32.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 23.1% from 25 to 44, 22.9% from 45 to 64, and 21.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 93.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,136, and the median income for a family was $40,750. Males had a median income of $31,058 versus $20,101 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,026. About 9.3% of families and 13.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.0% of those under age 18 and 11.3% of those age 65 or over.

Government[edit]

The United States Postal Service operates the Torrington Post Office.[16]

The Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution (WMCI) is located in Torrington.[17][18][19] WMCI, a facility of the Wyoming Department of Corrections, serves as an intake center for male inmates not sentenced to death. It was opened on January 6, 2010, and the first 75 inmates to be housed there arrived on January 13, 2010. By 2015, it housed over 300 inmates.[20]

Education[edit]

Prize sheep lined up for judging at a County Fair

Public education in Torrington is provided by Goshen County School District #1. Zoned campuses include Lincoln Elementary School (grades K-2), Trail Elementary School (grades 3-5), Torrington Middle School (grades 6-8), and Torrington High School (grades 9-12) -- home of the Torrington Trailblazers.

Other towns and communities included in the consolidated Goshen County School District include Lingle, LaGrange, Huntley, and Yoder, among others.

Eastern Wyoming College, located in Torrington, is a two-year community college serving the area, with outreach centers serving Platte, Niobrara, Converse, Weston and Crook counties.[21]

Infrastructure[edit]

Highways[edit]

U.S. Highways[edit]

State Routes[edit]

Airport[edit]

Torrington Municipal Airport is a city owned, public use airport located two nautical miles (4 km) east of the central business district of Torrington.[22]

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  3. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  7. ^ a b Goshen County Chamber of Commerce Hompage
  8. ^ a b c d e f Wyoming Tales & Trails
  9. ^ a b Gingles, John - "Lucky Roots: My Good Fortune to Grow Up in Wyoming", from A Personal Memoir, Washington, D.C., 2007.
  10. ^ Zimmer, Vickie - "Goshen County, Wyoming", WyoHistory.org: The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History, Wyoming State Historical Society.[1] Retrieved 2015-06-30
  11. ^ Torrington Livestock Commission Retrieved 2015-06-30
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  13. ^ "Climatography of the United States NO.81" (PDF). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 13, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Monthly Averages for Torrington, WY". The Weather Channel. Retrieved January 13, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Post Office Location - TORRINGTON." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on December 12, 2010.
  17. ^ "Torrington city, Wyoming." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on December 12, 2010.
  18. ^ "Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution (WMCI)." Goshen County GIS Department. 2009. Retrieved on December 12, 2010.
  19. ^ "Contact Institutions." Wyoming Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 22, 2010. "7076 Road 55F Torrington, WY 82240"
  20. ^ "Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution." Wyoming Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 22, 2010.
  21. ^ "Outreach", Retrieved on 2011-08-19.
  22. ^ FAA Airport Master Record for TOR (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective November 15, 2012.

External links[edit]