The story of the formative period of Cheyenne is, to a remarkable degree, the story of America's last West. Founded as a railroad boomtown, Cheyenne was a raucous and violent Hell on Wheels. Rising as if by magic from an empty prairie, Cheyenne was known the "Magic City" of the Plains. The cast of this great Western saga was colorful and imposing. Cattle barons and merchant kings. Cowboys and soldiers. Vigilantes and lawmen. Gamblers and gunfighters. The railroad brought to Cheyenne a parade of celebrities, from President Grant to Teddy Roosevelt, Wild Bill Hickok to Calamity Jane, Sarah Bernhardt to Buffalo Bill Cody. And Cheyenne was built and nurtured by such powerhouse urban pioneers as F.E. Warren and Joseph W. Carey. The Magic City was a classic product of the urban frontier.
The Magic City soon became the "Holy City of the Cow," a wealthy center of the cattle frontier. Fortunes were made and lost, along with dreams that were realized and destroyed. Cheyenne was the scene of two of the West's landmark legal dramas, involving the Johnson County Wars and the notorious assassin, Tom Horn. Cheyenne also became known for one of America's premier rodeos, "The Daddy of 'em All," the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo