Bessemer (1888-1892) was one of many small towns that grew quickly in late nineteenth century Wyoming. Early explorers and traders had discovered crude oil seeping to the surface of the ground in this area. One nearby oil spring drew the attention of investors. The Wyoming Improvement Company, a Nebraska corporation, funded a bridge across the North Platte at this location to serve the needs of settlers, and sought the extension of the Fremont, Elkhorn, and Missouri Valley railroad to this point from Casper. Two oil wells were drilled near Bessemer town, which was promoted by its developers as the "Queen City of the West."
As Wyoming grew toward statehood, the seat of government in Natrona County became an election contest between Casper, twelve miles east, and Bessemer, whose platted site was less than one mile west of this location. When the ballots were counted on April 8, 1890, each town had cast more votes than there were citizens in either community. To resolve the issue, the newly appointed county commissioners, under Chairman Bryant Brooks, voted to hold their meetings in Casper, thereby giving it the title of County seat.
Bessemer's founders went on to positions of distinction in government, ranching, and the petroleum industry. Today the only enduring feature of the town is its name, borrowed from Sir Henry Bessemer (1813-1898), the British creator of a process that rendered steel from pig iron. His ingenuity inspired Americans who were sustaining their own industrial revolution. A handful of such men and women planted their dreams for a while near this bend in the river, and helped raise Wyoming in the bargain.