History of St. Matthew's Cathedral

Our History

In 1887, the Reverend Ethelbert Talbot of Missouri was elected Bishop of the newly-created Missionary District of Wyoming and Idaho. He chose Laramie as his see city, and it was under his leadership that St. Matthew's Cathedral was built between 1892 and 1896. The towers were added in 1916, givin by Edward Ivinson in memory of his wife Jane, a founder of St. Matthew's Parish in 1868.

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The Cathedral pipe organ was built in 1926 by the E.M. Skinner Organ Co. of Boston. It contains four manuals, 51 ranks, and 3,111 pipes, and is one of the finest Skinner organs in the country, containing both romantic and classical stops.

The chime of 11 bells, located in the front tower, was made by Meneely & Co., of Watervliet, N.Y. The tower clock was made by the E. Howard Clock Co. of Boston, and strikes the Westminster quarter hours and the hours of the day.

St. Matthew's Cathedral is one of the four historic structures in the city block known historically as St. Matthew's Cathedral Close. The others are the two-story stone and stucco Deanery; Hunter Hall (formerly known as Sherwood Hall); the First World War Memorial Cross, located at the center of the complex. Cathedral Square was named by the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. The plaque is #13 on the plan.

​Built of native sandstone quarried about nine miles northeast of Laramie, the Cathedral was designed by William Halsey Wood of New York City. The general plan of the building is cruciform with the bell tower and spire above the main entrance on the south. The cross at the top of the spire is 118 feet above the sidewalk and 7,276 feet above sea level, making this the highest Cathedral in the nation.

The stain glass windows were made by Heaton Butler and Bayne of London and New York City, Connick of Boston, and Rowan and Irene LeCompte of New York and Washington, D.C.

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Today, in this post-pandemic world, as we express our gratitude for the ministry of our departing dean, the Very Reverend Brian Gross, St. Matthew’s Cathedral boasts renewed energy for ministry and mission under a new dean for years to come.  Our bishop, The Right Reverend Paul-Gordon Chandler, has brought fresh commitment, creativity, and insightful leadership to the Diocese of Wyoming, and we are excited about joining with our bishop and our larger diocesan family in life-giving ministries of faith, hope, and love for the 21st century. 

Read More About the History of St. Matthew's Cathedral

Established in 1868, the history St. Matthew's Cathedral is the history of Laramie itself. We are proud to honor the long-standing legacy of Christ-like service and welcome to the Laramie community. We invite you to read more about this history in the articles listed below. 

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“The Pearl of Great Price” stained glass at St. Matthew’s Cathedral. Photo courtesy of Krist Jessup