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A Good Friday Tribute to One of Cheyenne’s First Ministers, Dr. John Cowhick

Reverend John Young Cowhick is one of many family members laid to rest at Lakeview Cemetery in Cheyenne. Rick Roddam, Townsquare Media
Reverend John Young Cowhick is one of many family members laid to rest at Lakeview Cemetery in Cheyenne. Rick Roddam, Townsquare Media

In 1876, less than a decade after Cheyenne was founded and four years before Wyoming would officially become a state, the Cowhick family arrived in the bustling boom town. Over 140 years later, their impact is still felt here in the Capital City.

Reverend Dr. John Young Cowhick helped establish the First Presbyterian Church of Cheyenne. When Cowhick came to town, the church had eight members. By 1881, they had erected a new church building large enough to accommodate weekly crowds of nearly 300.

After stepping down from the church, John Cowhick served as the Vice President of Cheyenne National Bank. He was also among the first to serve on the University of Wyoming’s Board or Trustees.

Meanwhile, his brothers Oscar and Dallas Cowhick opened a dry goods store. Cowhick Dry Goods was so popular that Dallas Cowhick eventually went into business for himself, establishing a general store called The Fair and later became the Laramie County Clerk.

Although descendants of the family have spread all over the country, there are still a few Cowhicks in Cheyenne. And, thanks in part to Reverend J.Y. Cowhick, First Presbyterian Church remains one of the largest congregations in the Capital City to this day.

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