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Archives On The Air 254: Ivinson Family History – Mrs. Neal MacNeal’s reminiscence

The Union Pacific transcontinental railroad tracks didn’t even make it as far as Laramie when Edward Ivinson first came to Wyoming.

It was 1867 and Ivinson owned a large dry goods store in Memphis, Tennessee. Eager to capitalize on business opportunities in the West, he loaded two flat rail cars full of merchandise and set out.

When he arrived at present day Tie Siding, the tracks stopped. According to Ivinson family lore, a barrel of molasses rolled off one of the rail cars and broke a nearby laborer’s leg. A lawsuit ensued and Ivinson had to linger in the area awaiting the circuit judge to settle the case.

While waiting, he decided that Laramie was the Great Plains metropolis of the future. He opened a store selling dry goods, provisions and groceries in the fledgling town.

Listen to Mrs. Neal MacNeal’s reminiscence about the Ivinson family’s early days in Laramie at UW’s American Heritage Center.