Dave Walsh, 18 March ’16
It was a 2,000-mile postal service that provided the fastest delivery of the day. And it was a mail-line that was entirely horse-powered. It was the brainchild and business venture of the freighting firm of Russell, Majors, and Waddell. They were to improve mail service from St. Joseph, Missouri, to San Francisco, California. It was a 2,000-mile endeavor that would cover 8 states, including Wyoming. The southern plains of Wyoming proved valuable running-ground for the Pony Express.
Wyoming would provide more miles, 504, than any other state. So aptly named, the Pony Express, because it was on the backs of horses that riders would tote the mail, and it was the quickest form of delivery. Riders would cover the 1,966 miles in an astounding 10 days. From its first day of operation, April 3rd, 1860, the Pony Express would utilize 500 mustangs, 200 riders, and 190 relay stations. Here in Wyoming, the stations were spaced roughly 20 miles apart, from Fort Laramie to Fort Bridger.
The soon-to-become famous Wyomingite, Buffalo Bill Cody, began his legacy at the age of 15 as a Pony Express rider. Those fearless messengers, the riders, were provided with an inscribed bible, and took an oath not to drink, use profane language, or fight. The Pony Express lasted 18 months, plenty long enough to qualify as a Wonder of Wyoming.