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 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.
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
- Hart, Herbert M., Tour Guide to Old Western Forts, Pruett Publishing Co., Boulder CO, 1980, ISBN 0-87108-568-2, page 201
- Frazer, Robert W., Forts of the West, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman OK, 1965, ISBN 0-8061-1250-6, page 182
- Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 860
- Barnes, Jeff, Forts of the Northern Plains - Guide to Historic Military Posts of the Plains Indian Wars, Copyright 2008, Stackpole Books, ISBN-13: 978-0-8117-3496-7, ISBN-10: 0-8117-3496-X, page 197-200
Visited: 31 May 2010
Click on the picture to see a larger version. Contribute additional pictures - the more the better!