A Cow Cancelled Cheyenne’s First Automobile Race 109 Years Ago Today
Today marks the 109th anniversary of the first "Wyoming traffic jam" when a cow in the road spoiled the debut of Cheyenne's new race track.
Led by local car dealer W.E. Dineen, the Cheyenne Motor Club had just completed the four-mile track north of the city limits. Hailed as the largest and fastest race track in the country, it ran from Frontier Park south to present-day Pershing Boulevard and east to present-day Logan Avenue.
August 15, 1909, drivers from around the country came to Cheyenne for the first race. Unfortunately, the event ended in tragedy when one of the drivers collided with a cow who had wandered onto the course. The crash killed the driver and injured two others, forcing organizers to cancel the race.
The Cheyenne Motor Club continued to promote racing after the accident, but the damage had been done. When the track went out of business several years later, the land was sold, developed and eventually became the More-Haven Heights Neighborhood.
Two weeks after Cheyenne's first race ended abruptly, another highly publicized race was held in the midwest. It is now known as the Indianapolis 500.