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History & News

Green River Man Served in Spanish-American War "Rough Rider" Regiment

A Green River man served as a top non-commissioned officer in one of the three horse cavalry “Rough Rider” units created for the Spanish-American War in 1898.
 
Frank Kidd was First Sergeant of Company F, 2nd Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, commanded by Colonel Jay F. Torrey of the Embar Ranch west of Thermopolis, known as “Torrey’s Rough Riders.” 
 
Congress authorized formation of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Volunteer Cavalry regiments for the war against Spain and called for outdoorsmen from the west to man them, including cowboys, blacksmiths, lawmen, miners, hunters, and Native Americans. The 1st Volunteer Cavalry, commanded by Colonel Leonard Wood and Lt. Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, was dubbed the “Rough Riders” by the press, and the nickname carried over to the other regiments as well.
 
Of the 842 troopers in “Torrey’s Rough Riders,” nearly 600 were from Wyoming. Most of the men in Company E were from Weston, Sheridan, or Crook counties, Albany County provided men for G Company, and Company F was made up primarily by men from Sweetwater and Laramie Counties. Troopers from Nevada, Colorado, Idaho, and Utah also served in the regiment.
 
The regiment was officially formed at Fort D. A. Russell (now Warren Air Force Base) in Cheyenne in May, 1898. After a period of intensive training, the 2nd was ordered to Jacksonville, Florida, a staging area for troops enroute to Cuba. On June 26, however, the two trains carrying the troopers and their horses were involved in a major crash near Tupelo, Mississippi. Five men were killed and 15 were injured. After several days’ delay, the regiment finally arrived at Jacksonville, but the war ended before it could be deployed to Cuba.
 
Though it saw no combat, the regiment lost over 30 men to Typhoid fever in Jacksonville. With the war over, it returned to Fort D.A. Russell, were it was mustered out in October, 1898. 
 
In 1900, Kidd married Maria “Mayme” Viox, whose father owned a meat market on Railroad Avenue in Green River. Over the years, he served as town marshal, undersheriff of Sweetwater County, worked as a carpenter, and was also employed at the Post Office, now the home of the Sweetwater County Historical Museum.
 
Frank Kidd died in 1954. Mayme lived to be 101, passing away in 1981. 

For more pictures, and fascinating history, follow the museum on Facebook.

 

A WARSHIP NAMED FOR THE GREEN RIVER SERVED IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR

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October 23, 2019
A navy warship named the USS Green River was built and saw service during World War II, the Sweetwater County Historical Museum said in an article circulated on Wednesday.
The Green River (LSM(R)-506) was classified as a “Landing Ship Medium (Rocket),” an amphibious assault ship designed to support troops during landing operations. Commissioned in May of 1945, she was 203 feet long and displaced about 1,200 tons. LSM(R)s of her class were crewed by six officers and 137 enlisted men, and armed with a 5"/38-caliber gun, four 40mm and eight 20mm guns, four 4.2" mortars, and 20 continuous-loading 130mm rocket launchers. 
Ships of the Green River’s class were named after rivers in Illinois, Kentucky, Washington, Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command.
The Green River was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater, but the war ended before she saw any action. She was decommissioned in 1946, and stricken from the naval register in 1958.
For more pictures, and fascinating history, follow the museum on Facebook.

SWEETWATER COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM; RELIANCE TIPPLE INTERIOR IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS

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October 15, 2019

The Sweetwater County Historical Museum is once again issuing a warning about the dangers of going inside the Reliance Tipple, north of Rock Springs.

The Tipple is a familiar Sweetwater County landmark. Built in 1910 and used until 1936, it was used to sort coal mined in the Reliance area for shipment.

The Tipple is on county property and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is fenced and posted and the museum maintains a video surveillance system inside the structure. The presence of several trespassers inside the Tipple recently activated the surveillance system and their images were recorded and turned over to the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office for follow-up investigation.

The Tipple’s exterior may be toured, but structural conditions inside it are highly unsafe.

The museum stressed that while visitors to the Tipple are welcome - as described on the the “Tour Wyoming” website at

www.tourwyoming.com/…/sightseeing-and-…/reliance-tipple.html , no one should go inside the structure. A 3d digital scan can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFuriKDeSoE.

HISTORIC ROCK SPRINGS BUSINESS CELEBRATES A CENTURY-LONG LEGACY

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October 12, 2019

A special ribbon-cutting ceremony by the Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce at an iconic Rock Springs business was celebrated on Friday.

The New Studio is the oldest still-operating photographic studio in Rock Springs. It opened its doors in 1919 under the ownership of Charles August, a Greek immigrant, and Frank Nakako, who came to the United States from Japan at the age of 24.

Nakako left the business in the early 1920s and August continued to operate it until his retirement in 1945, when his sons Mike and Anthony took over. In 1976 the Augusts sold the Studio to long-time employee Oliver “Bud” Tebedo, who in turn sold it to Diane Butler, a Studio employee for 16 years, in 1994. After a total of 42 years with the business, Butler sold it to Rj Pieper and Angela Thatcher this year, on its 100th anniversary.

In 2015 the Sweetwater County Historical Museum acquired the New Studio’s extensive collection of photographs and negatives, ensuring that a century of priceless photographic records will be safely preserved for future generations.

For more pictures, and fascinating history, follow the museum on Facebook.