The Cheyenne Club

In 1879, writes Samuel Stanley, a magnificent new clubhouse was opened for the benefit of the gentlemanly young ranchers who had recently invaded Wyoming.

The bleak, wind-swept plains of Wyoming about a century ago, peopled mainly by Indians and roistering cowboys, would seem an unlikely setting for an elegant, rich man’s social club. One did exist, though, however briefly. Leagues distant from any outpost of civilized, urban life it stood out like an orchid on a sagebrush.

The Cheyenne Club was no speculative venture. It was set up to meet a deeply felt need. Young American and British entrepreneurs, scions of wealthy and distinguished families, were being lured to the country by the promise of quick profit in the cattle business. The era of the cattle baron was at the dawn.

Success would depend on ample capital, which these young blue-bloods were able to command, plus a will to face up to the rigours of life on these wild, trackless prairies. The challenge quickened their thirst for adventure. They bought up huge herds, hired foremen and crews, and braced themselves to endure - for as long as they had to - the crudeness of living on the open range.

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