A Sweetwater County merchant pioneer

Inset top left: A black and white portrait of a Louise Wire Field in a dress with her hair in a bun. Main photo a black and white photo of S.I. Field's outfitting store along the Green River. A nursery now sits on the site.

Louise Wire Field - Photo #1 - Louise Wire Field and the Field Store in Green River, 1871


(Sweetwater County, Wyo. - March 2, 2024)    March is Women’s History Month, and the Sweetwater County Historical Museum is recounting the little-known story of a Green River pioneer woman.

The book Sweetwater Women, by Christine Alethea Williams and Brigida R. Blasi, covers the lives of over 100 women who figure prominently in Sweetwater County history. Among those profiled is Louise Wire Field. Her story from Sweetwater Women is reproduced here:

Louise Wire Field

“Louise Wire Field and her husband Sam were some of the first entrepreneurs to homestead and start businesses in anticipation of the coming transcontinental railroad in what is today the city of Green River. Sam ran one of the earliest mail services in the area, the Jackass Express. They also battled the Union Pacific over land ownership when the tracks reached the area in 1868, one of the reasons the U.P. abandoned plans for Green River and moved operations to Bryan. When a drought dried up the Blacks Fork River, the U.P. moved back to the Fields’ land, some of which the company was obliged to purchase.

“The Fields ran a general store that outfitted both of John Wesley Powell’s expeditions of discovery down the Green and Colorado Rivers in 1869 and 1871. They renamed the store the U.P. Eating House following the return of the railroad. Louise was in charge of the cooking. A quilt Louise made while living in Green River in the 1860s or ‘70s is the oldest quilt in the collections of the Sweetwater County Museum.

“When she and her husband decided to move to California in 1877, they deeded a large portion of the original town plat of Green River to Sweetwater County for $1.00 ‘to be used as public streets and highways forever. Because of this, the Fields are often regarded as the founders of Green River.”