Originally, Upton was established in 1889 as a railroad siding along the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad known as Merino. By 1902 there was confusion because of a town in Colorado of the same name, so Merino, Wyoming became Upton, Wyoming (named for one of the railroad's surveyors).

This is an area of Wyoming that was also seriously affected by the Wyoming Stockgrower's Association and the Johnson County War back in the early 1890's. And as much as all the dirty deeds committed in those days were by the cattle ranchers against small homesteaders and sheepherders, by the early 1900's the area was home to some of the largest sheep operations in America.

I came across a story from 1892 when John Nolan was the section foreman at Merino and his wife did all the cooking for the bridge and other train work gangs that came through. One night she took in a man who was very hungry and very tired, feeding him and giving him a bed. Later the same evening US Marshall Joe LaFors arrived at her door and she did the same for him: feeding him and then putting him in the same bed as the other man. The other man turned out to be the person the Marshall was looking for, but both didn't wan't to embarrass Mother Nolan so they made an agreement: Joe gave the man an hour's head start in the morning.

The railroad started to promote the area in 1905 and homesteaders arrived steadily for years after that. In 1909, Upton became incorporated and the first newspaper in town reported on the events. In 1909, Upton was home to the Upton State Bank, a dry goods store, a drug store, a cash store, a physician and surgeon, the Grand Central Hotel, a Justice of the Peace, a general blacksmith, the Midway Club Rooms, a livery stable, pool hall, lumber and hardware store and the Salisbury House.

In 1995, some local folks started to put together a project they call "Old Upton" about a mile north of Upton itself. It's a collection of old buildings from Upton and other local parts of Weston County, kind of like a Pioneer's Village.