On April 30, 1875, when Laramie was a part of the Dakota Territory, Jackson K. Brown obtained a portion of the land which in now Undine Park by patent from the United States. The year before his death, Mr. Brown sold a twenty-acre tract to the City of Laramie for $100. Since Spring Creek flowed through the length of Brown's homestead, the swamp ground was considered worthless.
Jackson Brown's wife, Diana Brown, inherited the land from her husband and dedicated the land to the public on May 10, 1887. Jason Sherod, for whom Sherod's Addition is named, dedicated additional property to the public in 1879. The Union Pacific Railroad Company turned over another tract in 1883. A plat dated November 4, 1883, shows the park in its present dimensions. Laramie's first park was named Undine honoring a Union Pacific official.
In 1889, Mrs. Brown sold the remaining sixty acres of her farm, reserving one full block for her own use. Using bricks from one of the Laramie yards, Diana built an eight-room house at the corner of Eighth and Steele Streets. The brick is now covered with stucco and a ghost is said to walk in the house.
Lots were quickly sold around the park and many of the existing homes were built between 1880 and 1920. Apparently many lots were divided in half, creating deep narrow lots.
We would appreciate further information about the history of Undine Park and the families who lived in the neighborhood in the early days. Please send notes to Leslie Irving (819 South 7th St., 82070; firstname.lastname@example.org).
Undine Park Home Histories
Joan Grant, from
Colorado Springs wrote:
....Mortimer Norton Grant, Sr. lived close to
Undine Park, at 603 South 7th Street. Mortimer N. Grant, Sr., my
great grandfather, was a sheriff for Laramie, served as state auditor for
Wyoming and was also a member of the Wyoming Constitutional Convention.
He was a surveyor and worked as one of the city surveyors of Laramie, the
county and the US. He was married to Helen Bianca Janes. He had
two sons, Mortimer N. Grant, Jr and Ulysses Sumner Grant.
“GRANT, MORTIMER. Born on March 2, 1851,
in Lexington, Missouri, Grant came to Laramie in the spring of 1870 and
accepted employment with a surveying party. In the fall of 1870 he began
contracting and continued this profession until 1876, when he began
mining. He ran the mill in the Centennial mine and developed the
property of the Keystone mine of Douglas Creek. He was one of the
original and largest owners of the Douglas Consolidated Placer Mines,
which was sold in January 1897. He was appointed auditor of the
territory, serving from April 2, 1886, until November 8, 1890. In 1889
he was a Republican delegate to the Consitutional Convention, and in
1894 he was elected sheriff of Albany County, he died on April 1, 1917.
(Blue Bk I)”
Woods, L. Milton (Lawrence Milton),
High Plains Pub. Co.,
Leslie Irving found information about her home, 819 S
7th St. at the local library:
In 1892, this was the home of John Osborne, printer
and Wm. Birnie, stone mason. In 1923, this was the home of Thomas
Gilman. His obituary in the Dec 27, 1923 issue of the
Republican/Boomerang says " Thomas Gilman, one of the pioneer residents
of this city and a gardener and lawn decorator of considerable note,
died this morning at his home, 819 S 7th St.... Mr. Gilman came to this
country many years ago from Derbyshire England where he was born Dec 23,
1846. He had just celebrated his seventy-seventh birthday.
He leaves a widow but no children, member of St. Matthew's, but belonged
to no secret societies. He has been identified with much of the
work done to beautify the streets and lawns and care for flower beds in
the city, and was a tree culturist of known and recognized ability,
having his own methods, which nearly always proved successful. His
death followed an operation on Monday.
Mrs. Jennie Gilman, 1929-30:
Paul and Marie Challman, owners in 1937. He was a crusherman at
Monolith P-M Company (cement plant)