Fort McKinney

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Fort McKinney (1878-1894) - Fort McKinney was established in 1878 and named after Lieutenant John McKinney (Cullum 2390), 4th U.S. Cavalry, killed in the nearby Dull Knife battle of 1876. The fort was first established south of fort Reno and later moved to a site west of Buffalo, Johnson County, Wyoming. The fort's primary purpose was to see that the recently hostile Sioux and Cheyenne tribes did not go back on the warpath and to keep the Crow, Arapahoe, and Shoshoni tribes and the settlers at peace with each other.

Fort McKinney Barracks
Fort McKinney Original Hospital Building
Fort McKinney Grounds Marker
Fort McKinney Restored Hospital Building

Fort McKinney History

During the Johnson County War of 1892, troops at the fort received orders from President Benjamin Harrison to stop the fighting and escort big cattlemen and their hired Texas gunslingers safely out of the area before the irate citizens of Buffalo could lynch them. By 1894, the fort was no longer needed and it was closed.

Current Status

Following its abandonment, some buildings of the post were disposed of by the federal government, and the remainder turned over along with a considerable tract of land to the State of Wyoming in 1903. Subsequent to that change of ownership, most of the rest of the buildings were removed or dismantled. Today, it is the site of the Wyoming Soldiers and Sailors Home. The old fort hospital, moved from its original location, is today the visitors' house of the home. All that otherwise remains of the post are old mule and cavalry stables, the latter now used as a garage, as well as some cellar ruins of other buildings.


Location: 2 miles west of Buffalo, Johnson County, Wyoming, on U.S. 16

Maps & Images

Lat: 44.332659 Long: -106.740975

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Visited: 31 May 2010

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