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Converse County, Wyoming

The Converse County Courthouse is located at 107 North 5th Street, Douglas, WY 82633; phone: 307-358-2741.

Mortom Mansion

Photo: Higgins Hotel, circa 1916, located at 416 West Birch, Glenrock. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. Photographed by User:Andrew Farkas (own work), 2012, [cc-3.0] via Wikimedia Commons, accessed August, 2022.


Converse County [1] is located in the central eastern portion of Wyoming and contains over 2.7 million acres. The County is bounded on the north by Campbell County, on the northeast by Weston County, on the east by Niobrara County, on the southeast by Platte County, on the south by Albany County, on the southwest by Carbon County, on the west by Natrona County, and on the northwest by Johnson County. The southern part of the County contains portions of the Medicine Bow National Forest. The northeastern part of the County contains portions of the Thunder Basin National Grassland.

Converse County was created on March 9, 1888 by the legislature of the Wyoming Territory. It was formed from land ceded by Albany County and Laramie County. Converse County was named for Amasa R. Converse, a banker and rancher from Cheyenne, WY. Mr. Converse was a partner with Francis E. Warren in a large ranch in the eastern part of Converse County. On May 18, 1888, Douglas was voted as the County seat. In 1911, Niobrara County was created from the eastern portion of Converse County. The southern boundary of Converse County was slightly modified by special election in 1955 and land from Albany County was added.


Beginnings [2]

In 1888 when Converse County was created from parts of Albany and Laramie Counties there were only twenty-seven rural households who were attempting to "prove up" and acquire land under the Homestead Act. Included in this figure were those people who were homesteading in a large area that was eventually to split off and become Niobrara County. This was shortly to change as homesteading and sheep ranching began to assume importance for the growth of Douglas. Sheep began to be introduced in significant numbers in 1889. The expansion of the sheep business brought more people into the area to take advantage of economic opportunities. Between 1890 and 1900 the population of Douglas doubled. Part of this growth can also be attributed to the increase in homesteading in the area making Douglas the hub of an area with a radius of twenty to fifty miles.

  1. † Comvers County Wyoming Land Use Plan, 2015, www.conversecountywy.gov, accessed September, 2022
  2. Sandra Shelley, State Historic Preservation Office, Douglas City Hall, Converse County, Wyoming, nomination document, 1993, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.