Manderson began its existence with the name "Alamo" but was renamed in 1889 in honor of the chief counsel of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, Charles Manderson. The railroad is what made the settlement of Manderson possible: it was the railroad's subsidiary Lincoln Land Company that surveyed and platted the town, then started selling lots. One thing the Lincoln Land Company did to improve the sale of lots in Manderson was to build a highway bridge over the Bighorn River at Manderson. The bridges at Manderson and Greybull are what made it practicable for people to drive to either Worland or Sheridan on shopping expeditions (even though the road wasn't paved until after 1936 when the Sheridan Highway was designated as an extension of US Highway 14).