Wonders of Wyoming, St. Marks Church


image courtesy of panoramio.com

By Dave Walsh  10 Dec 15

This Wonder was the very first in Wyoming, and has served since before Statehood.  The Reverend Joseph Cook had seen enough, and he decided to do something about it.  He found the wickedness unimaginable and appalling in the wild and raucous town of Cheyenne in the 1860’s.

Reverend Cook organized his parish in January of 1868, and in August of that same year, construction began on the first church building erected and dedicated in Wyoming.  It took the same name as the parish, and immediately become the home church for many transplanted English and Scottish cattle barons.  It would take seven years to build, but the first official house of worship in Wyoming, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, was serving the Wyoming Territory’s biggest town.

The exterior is of red lava stones with traditional stained-glass windows, including one by Tiffany, and patterned after Stoke Pages Church in Buckinghamshire, England.  St. Mark’s rector, the Reverend George Rafter, was asked to pray over outlaw gunman Tom Horn in 1903.  In 1915, the wife and three daughters of General John J. Pershing were buried from this church, and in 1936, President and Mrs. Franklin Roosevelt worshipped here, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, an historic Wonder of Wyoming.


I’m Dave Walsh, proud to live in Wyoming, and proud to tell her fascinating story.