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Goshen County, Wyoming facts for kids

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Goshen County
United States Post Office (Torrington, Wyoming)
United States Post Office (Torrington, Wyoming)
Flag of Goshen County
Flag
Map of Wyoming highlighting Goshen County
Location within the U.S. state of Wyoming
Map of the United States highlighting Wyoming
Wyoming's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Wyoming
Founded February 21, 1911 (authorized)
1913 (organized)
Seat Torrington
Largest city Torrington
Area
 • Total 2,232 sq mi (5,780 km2)
 • Land 2,225 sq mi (5,760 km2)
 • Water 6.8 sq mi (18 km2)  0.3%%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 13,249
 • Estimate 
(2019)
13,211
 • Density 5.9359/sq mi (2.2919/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
Congressional district At-large

Goshen County is a county in the U.S. state of Wyoming. As of the 2020 United States Census, the population was 12,498. Its county seat is Torrington. The eastern boundary of the County borders the Nebraska state line.

Goshen County produces more cattle than any other Wyoming county. In 1997, the County had 688 farms and ranches averaging 1,840 acres. By 2007, there were 665 farms and ranches in the county.

History

Goshen County was created on February 21, 1911 with land given up by Laramie County. It was organized in 1913. Long before it was settled, or became Goshen County, the area had been part of territories, at one time or another, claimed by: Spain, France, Great Britain, Mexico, and the Republic of Texas. The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 permanently established the claim of the United States to the area.

By the 1820s, a route along the North Platte River had become a route for fur traders and trappers bound for the Rocky Mountains. And, in the 1840s and 1850s, the same route functioned as part of the route for early pioneers following the historic Oregon Trail or Mormon Trail westward to Oregon, California or Utah. By the late 1850s, it was the route for regularly scheduled east-west stagecoaches carrying passengers and the U.S. mail, and for the short-lived Pony Express carrying mail from Missouri to California from April 1860 to November 1861. By October 1861, transcontinental telegraph lines had been completed along the route. From September 1876 to February 1887, a north-south, Cheyenne-Deadwood stage coach line ran through the County from Cheyenne to the gold fields of the Dakota Territory.

The county was apparently named for Goshen Hole, a valley in the southwest part of the county. John C. Frémont camped in that area on July 14, 1843, and recorded that name in his journal, during his exploring expedition on the Oregon Trail. At least four conflicting stories are available for the origin of the name "Goshen Hole". The Land of Goshen in Egypt, mentioned in the 45th chapter of the Genesis in the Bible, has been suggested as the most likely. And, John Hunton, who was ranching in the area by the 1870s, was told by Seth Ward, the post sutler at Fort Laramie, that the area was named for the Biblical land. The name of Goshen Hole first appeared on a map years later, in 1888.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,232 square miles (5,780 km2), of which 2,225 square miles (5,760 km2) is land and 6.8 square miles (18 km2) (0.3%) is water. The County is situated in the High Plains east of the Rocky Mountains.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 8,064
1930 11,754 45.8%
1940 12,207 3.9%
1950 12,634 3.5%
1960 11,941 −5.5%
1970 10,885 −8.8%
1980 12,040 10.6%
1990 12,373 2.8%
2000 12,538 1.3%
2010 13,249 5.7%
2020 (est.) 13,235 −0.1%
US Decennial Census
1870–2000 2010–2016

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 13,249 people, 5,311 households, and 3,466 families in the county. The population density was 6.0 inhabitants per square mile (2.3/km2). There were 5,972 housing units at an average density of 2.7 per square mile (1.0/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 94.5% white, 0.8% American Indian, 0.6% black or African American, 0.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 2.4% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 9.7% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 38.3% were German, 15.5% were Irish, 15.3% were English, and 5.1% were American.

Of the 5,311 households, 26.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.1% were married couples living together, 7.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 34.7% were non-families, and 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.82. The median age was 43.6 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $42,590 and the median income for a family was $51,978. Males had a median income of $38,247 versus $25,277 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,753. About 7.2% of families and 13.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.3% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.

Climate

NorthPlatteRiverMay2002
Dry stream channel on the North Platte River in Goshen County during May 2002 drought conditions.

Situated on the North Platte River, Goshen County has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk.)

Climate data for Torrington, Wyoming
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 70
(21.1)
75
(23.9)
85
(29.4)
91
(32.8)
100
(37.8)
105
(40.6)
111
(43.9)
105
(40.6)
101
(38.3)
92
(33.3)
83
(28.3)
77
(25)
111
(43.9)
Average high °F (°C) 39.5
(4.17)
45.0
(7.22)
52.0
(11.11)
61.2
(16.22)
71.0
(21.67)
82.4
(28)
89.1
(31.72)
87.3
(30.72)
77.7
(25.39)
65.4
(18.56)
49.2
(9.56)
41.0
(5)
63.4
(17.444)
Daily mean °F (°C) 24.9
(-3.94)
30.0
(-1.11)
37.5
(3.06)
46.0
(7.78)
56.2
(13.44)
66.3
(19.06)
72.3
(22.39)
70.2
(21.22)
59.8
(15.44)
47.6
(8.67)
34.0
(1.11)
26.2
(-3.22)
47.58
(8.657)
Average low °F (°C) 10.3
(-12.06)
14.9
(-9.5)
23.0
(-5)
30.7
(-0.72)
41.3
(5.17)
50.2
(10.11)
55.5
(13.06)
53.1
(11.72)
41.9
(5.5)
29.7
(-1.28)
18.8
(-7.33)
11.3
(-11.5)
31.73
(-0.153)
Record low °F (°C) −39
(-39.4)
−33
(-36.1)
−26
(-32.2)
−17
(-27.2)
11
(-11.7)
29
(-1.7)
39
(3.9)
32
(0)
14
(-10)
−9
(-22.8)
−23
(-30.6)
−43
(-41.7)
−43
(-41.7)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.31
(7.9)
0.40
(10.2)
0.70
(17.8)
1.68
(42.7)
2.54
(64.5)
2.09
(53.1)
1.78
(45.2)
1.19
(30.2)
1.27
(32.3)
0.95
(24.1)
0.57
(14.5)
4.00
(101.6)
17.48
(444)
Source #1: NOAA (normals, 1971–2000)
Source #2: The Weather Channel (Records)

In the late spring of 2009, a weather research team known as VORTEX2 observed the full life cycle of a tornado near the border with Nebraska in eastern Goshen County.

Transportation

Highways

U.S. Highways

  • US 26
  • US 85

State Routes

Airport

  • Torrington Municipal Airport (TOR) – Torrington

Communities

City

Towns

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Images for kids

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