How did Wyoming become a state?

Wyoming had been part of the Oregon Territory (1848), the Washington Territory (1853), the Dakota Territory (1861), the Idaho Territory (1863), the Montana Territory (1864), and again the Dakota Territory (1864). With the arrival of the Union Pacific Railroad and the development of the cattle industry, people began to think about the establishment of a separate Wyoming territory.

Cheyenne, Wyoming's first railroad town, became the seat of Laramie County, created in 1867 by the Dakota territorial legislature. Cheyenne's citizens, however, claimed that it was too hard to govern the Wyoming region from the Dakota territory.

General Greenville M. Dodge lobbied the Congress of the United States on behalf of a Wyoming Territory and on July 25, 1868, President Andrew Johnson signed a bill creating the Wyoming Territory out of parts of the Dakota, Utah, and Idaho territories.

Although the president appointed territorial officers immediately, the Congress did not confirm the appointments. Hence, Dakota laws were enforced in Wyoming Territory until the following year when President Ulysses S. Grant took office and the Congress approved his territorial appointments. John A. Campbell was named the first territorial governor, and Cheyenne became Wyoming Territory's temporary capital.

In 1888, the Wyoming Territorial Assembly petitioned Congress for admission into the Union. Although bills were submitted to Congress, none passed. However, Governor Francis E. Warren and others continued as if an "enabling act" had been passed and assembled a Constitutional Convention in September of 1889. The voters approved the constitution on November 5, 1889.

Bills for Wyoming's statehood were submitted to both houses of Congress in December of 1889 and, on March 27, 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed the bill making Wyoming the 44th US state.