Laumann: Many People Helped Build Sheridan

Helen Laumann talks about the men who helped build Sheridan. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Helen Laumann talks about the men who helped build Sheridan. (Photo by Pat Blair)

Some may think that Sheridan was a barren frontier before John D. Loucks arrived to establish the town, but Helen Laumann says that isn't true.

Laumann said two settlements already existed in the area – Big Horn, established in 1882 by O.P. Hanna, and Beckton, established by George Beck.

In addition, there were others who joined Loucks in developing Sheridan in those early days, and “The Men Who Helped Build Sheridan” was the focus of Laumann's Conversations in History talk at The Hub Wednesday.

She said Loucks had a lot of help from other people, among them Henry Held, J. Dudley Thurmond and George Brundage. She said Held, who was a blacksmith, brought electricity to Sheridan and in 1893 donated land for Sheridan's cemetery.

Laumann said all of those early settlers had streets named for them, and Sheridan's NB Avenue was named for Held's wife, Nettie.

Brundage, who homesteaded 1,000 acres on Little Goose Creek, was the first county commissioner when Sheridan County was formed from Johnson County in 1888.

Laumann said other early-day settlers who helped build Sheridan included C.H. Grinnell, who developed the whole north end of Sheridan from Grinnell Avenue, and Henry A. Coffeen, who originally opened his store in Big Horn then moved it to Sheridan after he learned that the railroad was coming here.

Laumann said the railroad, which arrived in 1892, brought prosperity to Sheridan. After the arrival of the railroad, she said, 75 new homes were built here.

Laumann also discussed some of Sheridan's more recent contributors, including saddlemaker Otto Ernst and the late Don King, saddlemaker and founder of King's Saddlery and Ropes.

Laumann's presentation included slides of some of the early-day Sheridan builders.
Laumann's presentation included slides of some of the early-day Sheridan builders.
A slide of Henry Held's blacksmith shop here.
A slide of Henry Held's blacksmith shop here.
SheridanWyoming.com

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