Country State County Government • City Manager Area • City • Land • Water • Metro Elevation
United States Wyoming Natrona John C. Patterson 27.24 sq mi (70.55 km2) 26.90 sq mi (69.67 km2) 0.34 sq mi (0.88 km2) 5,376 sq mi sq mi (13,923 km² km2) 5,150 ft (1,560 m)
• City • Estimate (2012) • Density • Metro Time zone • Summer (DST) ZIP codes Area code(s) Website
Population (2010) 55,316 57,813 2,056.4/sq mi (794.0/km2) 75,450 MST (UTC-7) MDT (UTC-6) 82601, 82602, 82604, 82605, 82609, 82615, 82630, 82638, 82646 307 www.casperwy.gov
Casper is the county seat of Natrona County, Wyoming. Casper is the second-largest city in Wyoming, according to the 2010 census, with a population of 55,316. Only Cheyenne, the state capital, is larger. Casper is nicknamed "The Oil City" and has a long history of oil boomtown and cowboy culture, dating back to development of the nearby Salt Creek Oil Field. Casper is located in east-central Wyoming at the foot of Casper Mountain, the north end of the Laramie Mountain Range, along the North Platte River. The city was established east of the former site of Fort Caspar, which was built during the mid19th century mass migration of land seekers along the Oregon, California and Mormon trails. . The area was the location of several ferries that offered passage across the North Platte River in the early 1840s. In 1859, Louis Guinard built a bridge and trading post near the original ferry locations. The government soon posted a military garrison nearby to protect telegraph and mail service. It was under the command of Lieutenant Colonel William O. Collins. American Indian attacks increased after the Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado in 1864, bringing more troops to the post, which was by now called Platte Bridge Station. In July 1865, Lieutenant Caspar Collins (the son of Colonel Collins) was killed near the post by a group of Indian warriors. Three months later the garrison was renamed Fort Caspar after Lieutenant Collins. In 1867, the troops were ordered to abandon Fort Caspar in favor of Fort Fetterman downstream on the North Platte along the Bozeman Trail. The town of Casper itself was founded well after the fort had been closed. The city was founded by developers as an anticipated stopping point during the expansion of the Wyoming Central Railway; it was an early commercial rival to Bessemer and Douglas, Wyoming. The lack of a railhead doomed Bessemer in favor of Casper. Douglas, also a railhead, survives to the present day. The presence of a railhead made Casper the starting off point for the "invaders" in the Johnson County War. The special chartered train carrying the men up from Texas stopped at Casper. The reason why the town is named Casper, instead of Caspar honoring the memory of Fort Caspar and Lt. Caspar Collins, is due to a typo that occurred when the town's name was officially registered.
Geography and climate Fort Caspar Historic Site
Interstate 25, which approaches Casper from the north and east, is the main avenue of transportation to and from the city. The towns immediately adjacent to Casper are Mills, Evansville, Bar Nunn, and Mountain View. Unincorporated areas include Allendale, Dempsey Acres, Red Buttes, Indian Springs, and several others. Casper is located at 42°50′5″N 106°19′30″W (42.834665, −106.325062). It sits at an average elevation of about 5,200 feet (1,600 m) (just slightly lower than Denver).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 27.24 square miles (70.55 km2), of which, 26.90 square miles (69.67 km2) is land and 0.34 square miles (0.88 km2) is water. Casper, as with most of the rest of Wyoming, has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk), with long, cold, but dry winters, hot but generally dry summers, mild springs, and short and crisp autumns. Highs range from 32 °F (0 °C) in January to 88 °F (31.1 °C) in July and August. Temperatures typically plummet during summer nights, with an average diurnal temperature range approaching 35 °F (19.4 °C). Snow can fall heavily during the winter months, being the greatest in April, and usually falls in May and October, but rarely September. Precipitation is greatest in spring and early summer, but even then it is not high. Highs reach 90 °F (32.2 °C) on 31 days per year and fail to surpass freezing on 46. Lows drop to 0 °F (−17.8 °C) on 18 nights per winter. Climate data for Casper, Wyoming (1981–2010 normals) Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Month Record high 60 68 77 84 95 102 104 102 97 87 72 65 104 °F (°C) (16) (20) (25) (29) (35) (39) (40) (39) (36) (31) (22) (18) (40) Average high 35.2 37.8 47.9 56.8 67.1 78.8 88.1 86.4 74.3 59.4 44.7 34.2 59.22 °F (°C) (1.8) (3.2) (8.8) (13.8) (19.5) (26) (31.2) (30.2) (23.5) (15.2) (7.1) (1.2) (15.12) Average low 14.3 15.7 22.4 28.6 37.2 45.7 53.0 51.5 41.4 31.0 21.6 13.5 31.33 °F (°C) (−9.8) (−9.1) (−5.3) (−1.9) (2.9) (7.6) (11.7) (10.8) (5.2) (−0.6) (−5.8) (−10.3) (−0.38) Record low °F −40 −32 −21 −6 16 28 30 33 15 −3 −21 −41 −41 (°C) (−40) (−36) (−29) (−21) (−9) (−2) (−1) (1) (−9) (−19) (−29) (−41) (−41) Precipitation 0.49 0.56 0.82 1.29 2.01 1.60 1.40 0.85 1.08 1.11 0.76 0.61 12.59 inches (mm) (12.4) (14.2) (20.8) (32.8) (51.1) (40.6) (35.6) (21.6) (27.4) (28.2) (19.3) (15.5) (319.8) Snowfall 9.2 10.3 10.9 11.5 2.9 0.1 0 0 1.8 7.6 10.3 11.2 76.0 inches (cm) (23.4) (26.2) (27.7) (29.2) (7.4) (0.3) (0) (0) (4.6) (19.3) (26.2) (28.4) (193) Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)
Although relatively small by national standards, Casper is a regional center of banking and commerce. Since the discovery of crude oil in the region during the 1890s, Casper became the regional petroleum industry center. Oil has figured prominently in its history from nearly the onset. Oil was first discovered in the famous Salt Creek Oil Field in 1889, approximately 40 miles (64 km) north of Casper; the first refinery in Casper was built in 1895. The city has featured a refinery ever since, although various refineries have been built and closed over the years. As recently as the early 1980s, the city was near or home to three refineries. The surviving one, operated by Sinclair Oil Corporation, is located nearby in Evansville, Wyoming. Development of Wyoming coal and uranium fields in recent decades has helped Casper continue its role as a center in the energy industry.
Education Casper is home to Casper College, a community college that offers bachelors degrees in sixteen areas of study from the University of Wyoming through their UW/CC Center. Public education in the city of Casper is provided by Natrona County School District #1. The district operates sixteen elementary schools, five middle schools, and three high schools in Casper. The high schools include Kelly Walsh, Natrona County, and Roosevelt High Schools, There is also a program being added to Natrona County School District called CAPS, it will serve as more space and classrooms for juniors and seniors at any of the 3 Highschools.
Highways Interstate Highways: I-25 •
North-South Interstate running from New Mexico to Wyoming.
US Routes: US 20 •
East-West route through Casper that runs concurrent with I-25 through Casper. At exit 189 the highway continues west out of Casper, and no longer runs concurrent with the interstate. The Business Route of US 20 follows N. Beverly St. and Yellowstone Hwy. going EastWest from I-25/US 87 (Exit 186) to U.S. 20-26 west of Casper in Mills.
East-West route through Casper that runs concurrent with I-25 through Casper. At exit 189 the highway continues west out of Casper, and no longer runs concurrent with the interstate. The Business Route of US 26 follows N. McKinley St. and Yellowstone Hwy. going East-West from I-25/US 87 (Exit 187) to U.S. 20-26 west of Casper in Mills.
US 87 •
North-South through Casper that runs concurrent with I-25 through Casper.
Wyoming State Highways: WYO 220 (N. Poplar St., CY Avenue) •
East-West route from I-25/US 87 (Exit 188B) west out of Casper towards Alcova.
WYO 251 (Wolcott St., Casper Mountain Rd.) •
North-South route that continues south out of Casper and up Casper Mountain, eventually ending at WYO 487.
WYO 252 (S. Poplar St.) •
North-South route from the intersection of Poplar Street and CY avenue to Casper Mountain Road.
WYO 254 (Salt Creek Hwy.) •
North-South route from I-25/US 87 south to US 20-26 (Yellowstone Hwy.) in Mills.
WYO 255 (Center St., 9th St., CY Avenue) •
North-South route from I-25 exit 188A to the intersection of S. Poplar and CY Avenue, where CY Avenue continues as WY 220.
WYO 258 (Wyoming Blvd.) •
East-West loop route from I-25/US 87 to US 20-26 west of Casper in Mills; the majority of the highway runs along the southern borders of Casper.
The city has scheduled air service at Casper/Natrona County International Airport, a former army air base built during World War II. The current airport, having been built for bombers, has large runways and replaced a prior regional airport north of Casper which later became Bar Nunn. The airport is located west of the city just off of US highway 20/26. In July 2004, the airport facilities were renovated. Passenger service at the airport is offered by United Express (SkyWest Airlines), Delta Connection (SkyWest Airlines), and Allegiant Airlines.
Public transit Public transit in the Casper area is provided by the Casper Area Transportation Coalition. They offer fixed route service called The Bus and an on request service called CATC.
Scheduled bus service Scheduled bus service once offered by Power River Bus Lines is now offered by Black Hills Stage Lines.
Notable people • • • •
• • • • • • • •
John Barrasso, Republican U.S. Senator from Wyoming Zane Beadles, former Utah Ute offensive lineman and current member of the Denver Broncos Tom Browning, former major league pitcher, threw perfect game and while with the Cincinnati Reds, won a World Series. Dick Cheney, Vice President of United States under George W. Bush, Secretary of Defense under George H.W. Bush, former CEO of Haliburton Company. Cheney grew up in Casper, having moved there from his birthplace in Nebraska. Lynne Cheney, wife of former Vice President Dick Cheney under President George W. Bush Tom Coburn, U.S. senator from Oklahoma Mike Devereaux, professional baseball player with World Series rings with Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves Warren A. Morton (1924–2002), former Speaker of the Wyoming House of Representatives; Casper oilman and engineer Guy Padgett, politician, first openly gay elected official in WyomingJames Reeb, civil rights activist, murdered in Selma, Alabama, 1965. Matthew Scully, author and speechwriter Patrick Joseph Sullivan, mayor of Casper, Wyoming from 1897 to 1898 and United States Senate from Wyoming from 1929 to 1930 Matthew Shepard, gay male murder victim for whom the Matthew Shepard Hate Crime Act is named