Big Piney Congregational Community Church, approx. 1915.
The church was organized in 1907 with 15 members. Previously, the closest church was about 75 miles miles away. The church shared
a pastor, the Reverend Daniel D. Reese, with a church formed about the same time in Pinedale. The result was that the
Reverend Reese had responsibily for a parish larger in area than the state of Massachusetts. He thus travelled on horse back
from ranch to ranch over roads that were abysmal via horseback.
The Reverend D. D. Reese, 1915.
In 1912, plans for the construction of a church building got under way with the church being legally incorporated. At about the same
time the Reverend Reese permanently divided the parish with a different minister replacing him
in Pinedale. The new church building was dedicated on August 29, 1915, with an average congregation of about thirty-seven and a
Sunday-school of sixty.
Marbleton, located about one mile north of Big Piney, was founded by Charles P. Budd (1873-1949), the eldest son of Dan Budd.
Big Piney had difficulties because when water was high, the soil became soggy. It was therefore hoped that
Marbleton would make a better location. Marbleton obtained its own post office in 1911 with the town being named after
Arthur H. Marble (1870-1945), President of the Stockgrowers National Bank of Cheyenne. In 1912,
the Bank of Marbleton was formed. In addition to the bank, Charles Budd constructed a store and
hotel. In 1914, The town was incorporated as a municipality.
In the aove-photo, the bank is the one-story building on the left of the two-story store building with the hotel to
its right. The store building had a hall on the second story with hardwood floor suitable for dancing and roller
skating. The hotel had a dining room, lobby, and living quarters for the manager downstairs. Upstairs, the
rooms were equipped with basins and chamber pots. Later a bathroom was added.
During his lifetime, Charles Budd's dream of his town exceeding in population that of Big Piney faded.
While the town started out with a population in 1920 of 89. Budd hoped that with oil exploration in 1917, the
town would see growth. The initial oil boom failed. In the late 1930's more oil exploration brought hope to the
Big Piney area. By 1948, Marbleton's population reached its nadir with a total population of 15. In the 1950 census,
Big Piney had a population of 206 in contrast to Marbleton's population of 20. During the late 1950's, however, a
new oil and gas boom came. By 1960, Big Piney achieved a total population of 663 and Marbleton began to show
some growth. Since then Marbleton has shown continued growth while its rival, Big Piney has slowly declined in
population. The 2000 census reflects that Marbleton now has outstripped Big Piney 720 to 408.
Big Piney, 1970.
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