The state of Wyoming has several nicknames, one of which is “The Cowboy State.” The state earned this name due to the many ranches in its borders. Another reason behind the nickname is the adoption of the image of a cowboy perched on a bucking horse as the state symbol. The history behind the proliferation of cattle and, consequently, cowboys is an interesting one. The early emigrants and settlers in the states of Oregon, Utah and California often traveled with all of their possessions and livestock with which they hoped to make a new life for themselves in the new states.
Not only were the herds of animals intended to help them start a new herd once they reached their destination and settled down, they also provided milk to the weary travelers. The route they had to travel took them past what would someday become the state of Wyoming, "The Cowboy State." These travelers often had a tight schedule, which meant they had to reach where they were going before winter set in and the snows came. The cattle and sheep slowed them down and soon had to be left behind as the emigrants increased their pace. The assumption was that the cattle and sheep would not make it past the harsh winter, which proved to be false since the animals not only lived but thrived and soon grew abundant in the whole area.
It turned out that the grasses growing on the high planes were ideal for the grazing animals, while the sagebrush range was suitable for the sheep. This led settlers to the area, which eventually became known as Wyoming. Numerous ranches sprang up all across the state and attracted their fair share of the cowboys who worked on the ranches herding sheep and cattle. This association of cowboys managing herds on ranches and the history of the state with cattle and sheep established a relationship with the nickname “The Cowboy State.”
Aside from "The Cowboy State," Wyoming is also known as “The Equality State.” This particular nickname stems from the fact that the state of Wyoming was the very first state among the United States to grant women the right to vote. This happened in 1869 and led to the endowment of the nickname “The Suffrage State,” which was eventually changed to “The Equality State.” The term “Equality” was also adopted by the state as its state motto.