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Cokeville, Wyoming

Cokeville, Wyoming

August 3, 2021

The librarian joked (I think) that winter lasts for nine months here. There’s snow and there is cold, cold, cold. The hood news is there is a ski mountain ten miles from town. Jackson Hole is two hours north.

Cokeville is a town in Lincoln County, Wyoming, United States. The population was 535 at the 2010 census, while the town is probably best known for the Cokeville Elementary School hostage crisis, which led to a movie. It’s motto is

"Welcome to the Open Range!"


The Shoshone Indians were the first inhabitants of the area. The first Euro-American settler, Tilford Kutch, arrived in 1869. In 1873, he opened a trading post and ran a ferry across Smiths Fork. After the arrival of the railroad in 1882, the town grew, and was incorporated in 1910.

The town was named for the coal found in the area. Following the railroad, sheep ranching became more popular, reaching its peak in 1918, when Cokeville was informally called the "Sheep Capital of the World".

On May 16, 1986, former town marshal David Young and his wife Doris Young took 167 children and adults hostage at Cokeville Elementary School. During the Cokeville Elementary School hostage crisis. The children and adults escaped after the bomb exploded. Both hostage takers died, while 79 hostages were wounded.


2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 535 people, 166 households, and 127 families residing in the town. The population densitywas 453.4 inhabitants per square mile (175.1/km2). There were 200 housing units at an average density of 169.5 per square mile (65.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.7% White, 0.4% Native American, 0.6% from other races, and 0.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.5% of the population.

There were 166 households, of which 45.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.3% were married couples living together, 6.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 1.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 23.5% were non-families. 21.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.22 and the average family size was 3.87.

The median age in the town was 29.6 years. 41.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 4.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.1% were from 25 to 44; 21.7% were from 45 to 64; and 11% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 51.4% male and 48.6% female.


Public education in the town of Cokeville is provided by Lincoln County School District #2. Zoned campuses include Cokeville Elementary School (grades K-6) and Cokeville High School(grades 7–12).

Cokeville has a public library, a branch of the Lincoln County Library System.[12]


Transportation by air

Cokeville Municipal Airport (U06) is an operational municipal airport serving the Town of Cokeville and surrounding areas. It is 3 nautical miles (6 km) south of Cokeville. The airport is located on CR 207, and can be accessible by WYO 231, and from east of Laketown, Utah, by Manhead Road. The airport is 6,270 feet (1,911 m) above sea level, and 320 acres (1.3 km2) big. It is owned by the town hallof Cokeville.

Transportation by road

  • WYO 231 is a spur of US 30, and is the "main street" of Cokeville.

  • US 30 is the only thoroughfare of the town, and provides access to Interstate 80and nearby Idaho.

  • WYO 232 branches off US 30 that serves a rural area northeast of Cokeville. If you went straight after US 30, you'll be on WYO 231.

Notable person

  • Minerva Teichert – Western and LDS artist.

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