Empire's history showcases the importance of African American homesteaders in Wyoming. It was small and the founders of Empire faced many hurdles from limited resources to racism. Through all this, the town still persevered for more than two decades.
This long-abandoned municipality is just eight miles from Torrington; this long-abandoned municipality offers a glimpse into Wyoming’s first racially self-sufficient and politically autonomous African American community. Founded in 1908, Empire was a byproduct of the upheaval of the Civil War and the Homestead Act of 1862. Lasting for nearly two decades, Empire, at its peak, played host to nearly 50 free African Americans and boasted its own school, post office, church, and farming community.
Now, people interested in exploring Empire’s history can do so through the Sheep Creek Presbyterian Church cemetery, where you can visit the graves of former residents and pay respects.
Stop by the Homesteaders Museum to read more about Empire, Wyoming.