This information was gathered by Historian, the late Dr. J.E. Beal.  It was printed in the 1976 Convention Booklet of the Wyoming Dental Association and you should find it most interesting.

1876 – The first dentist to practice in Wyoming was Dr. A.F. Thode, born in 1858 in Germany, where he served his apprenticeship under his uncle.  He came to the U.S. in 1876 and settled in Carbon, the town formed by the opening of the first coal mine by the Union Pacific Railroad.  He traveled by stage, horseback or wagon to surrounding communities.  In 1881 he moved to Rawlins, but continued to ride the circuit.

1893 – The first legislation pertaining to dentistry in Wyoming was passed, requiring all dentists to file an affidavit of their qualifications.  Forty-five dentists filed during the period from 1893-1905.

1893 – Dr. William Frackleton, age 23, arrived in Sundance, but within three weeks ran out of patients so moved on to Sheridan.  He served as the first President of the Board of Dental Examiners and received license number 2 in 1905.  Side lights to this colorful dentist were his friendships with Buffalo Bill, Calamity Jane, Butch Cassidy and Poker Nell (with the diamond tooth).

1900 – Receiving license number 3 was Dr. W.C. Cunningham who arrived in Evanston and like several dentists of this period, became a “circuit rider” practicing in Pinedale, Cokeville, Kemmerer and others.  He had the misfortune of losing an eye due to an infection and was fitted with a glass eye.  While in a serious poker game, a patient arrived for an extraction.  All the players agreed to hold their cards until he returned, but to keep them honest, he laid down his poker hand, took out his glass eye placing it on the cards, “to watch these so and so’s until I return.”  He also carried a bear tooth in his pocket and when he made a difficult extraction, led the patient to believe the huge tooth caused the difficulty.

1902 – Dr. Peter J. Appel recorded his diploma in Cheyenne.  Born in 1880 in Green River, he received license number 1 in 1905 when the Board of Dental Examiners was created and licensing began.



Members of 1st Annual Meeting of Wyoming State Dental Association Casper June 19, 1916