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Guide to the Charles G. Coutant Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: H74-9

Scope and Content

Coutant probably compiled the biographies and assorted Wyoming history material in this collection for the unfinished volumes of his book. The topics covered in this collection include prominent citizens, Indian Wars, Army activity, early territorial settlement, ranching, farming, and correspondence to, from, and about Coutant. The majority of the collection dates to the turn of the century (late 1890s to early 1900s).

This collection, with its emphasis on specific people, provides genealogical and social history information. The biographies cover prominent citizens, primarily wealthy and influential men, from the territorial period to early statehood.

Because Coutant compiled his information at the turn of the century, he divided his biographies into the twelve counties created at statehood (Albany, Big Horn, Converse, Crook, Fremont, Johnson, Laramie, Natrona, Sheridan, Sweetwater, Uinta, and Weston).

Family members or the Historical Department added information to this collection after Coutant’s death in 1913.


  • circa 1867-1940
  • Majority of material found within 1867-1905


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of print materials allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Biographical Note

Charles Giffin Coutant was born on October 16, 1840 in Rosendale, New York to Gabriel and Mary Coutant. Orphaned at seven years old, he grew up with his uncle on a farm. He started his newspaper career at age fourteen in New York City. He worked as a roving reporter during the Civil War. Coutant married Mary Elizabeth Clark of Boston, Massachusetts on December 25, 1867. They had six children: George, Walter, Charles, Laura, Georgia, and May.

Before moving to Wyoming, Coutant lived in New Jersey, Massachusetts and Kansas. He originally came to Cheyenne in 1890. After moving around the state, he returned to Cheyenne in 1899. That same year, Coutant published the book, "History of Wyoming, Volume I." He did not complete the anticipated second and third volumes. Coutant worked for many years as the Wyoming State Librarian before moving to Sheridan in 1904 to edit the "Sheridan Enterprise" newspaper. After leaving Wyoming, he moved to Alaska before settling in Oregon. Coutant died of apoplexy (stroke) at his home in Grants Pass, Oregon on January 17, 1913. At the time of his death, Coutant edited the "Rogue River Courier."

For more information on Coutant and the Coutant Collection, see "Writing an "Authentic" History of Wyoming: Charles G. Coutant", Wyoming Postscripts, July 11, 2014.


4 cf (8 boxes)


The Charles G. Coutant Collection consists of biographies and assorted Wyoming history material that was probably intended for the unfinished "History of Wyoming volumes II and III" as planned by Coutant.


The material is organized generally by subject or format.

Acquisition Information

The Coutant Collection includes two different accessions put together in 1974: H69-5 and H74-9.

Related Material

P74-38, Charles G. Coutant Photograph Collection, Wyoming State Archives.

Charles Griffin Coutant Letters, Accession Number 10610, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Processing Information

Processed in 2004 by Holly Geist and original finding aid prepared at that time. The Coutant Collection includes two different accessions put together in 1974: H69-5 and H74-9. The photographs from this collection went into P74-38.

Guide to the Charles G. Coutant Collection, circa 1867-1940
Edited Full Draft
Suzi Taylor
© 2015
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Repository Details

Part of the Wyoming State Archives, Wyoming Cultural Resources Division, Wyoming Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources Repository

Barrett Building
2301 Central Avenue
Cheyenne Wyoming 82002 United States
(307) 777-7826