Wyoming Hereford Ranch
Cheyenne, named for a nomadic plains Indian tribe, was established in 1867. As a result of railway access, cattle ranching on the high plains became profitable. Open grazing and abundant land brought investors, even from Europe. In 1880 the “Cheyenne Club” was built by affluent cattlemen. The era of cattle barons had arrived, and nobody exceeded the prominence of Alexander H. Swan.
Seven years before the territory would join the Union in statehood, Alexander Hamilton Swan had his eyes set on making his Wyoming range known for Hereford cattle.
Arriving in the 1870s and utilizing investment capital from Scotland, Swan created a literal empire, consisting of one million acres of land and over one hundred thousand head of cattle. However they were not the efficient kind, being slow to mature and gaunt of frame. To Swan’s benefit, an associate of his, british-born George Morgan, convinced him to experiment with native cattle of England, specifically Herefords.
Swan decided to establish a large registered Hereford herd, which he did in 1882 under the name of Wyoming Hereford Cattle and Land Association. Headquarters were set up on Crow Creek, east of Cheyenne, and George Morgan was appointed general manager, considered at the time one of the most prestigious positions in the entire western cattle industry. Morgan shortly was sent to England to buy foundation stock for the new herd. In 1883, by ship and rail, 146 head from eight of the leading English herds arrived, and the legacy of Wyoming Hereford Ranch was born.