The first district school taught in the county was at Kepferle, in the northeastern part of the county. The term ended March 13, 1882, A. M. Brenaman, Deputy County Superintendent and Deputy Clerk of the District Court, was the teacher. He had ten pupils. A Sunday-school was organized on Sunday, April 3, 1882, L. R. Heaton officiating as Superintendent; there were twenty persons in attendance upon this first Sunday-school in Cheyenne County. Mr. Brenaman has a drug store at Wano, the centrally located town of the county, which is on a mail route to Wallace, on the Kansas division of the Union Pacific, and to Collinsville, which is on the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad in Nebraska, Kepferle being on this route.
Mr. Ehorst was the first man to introduce fine-blooded sheep in the county. Fine specimens of coal have been found on Cherry Creek, west of Wano. In July, 1880, there were eleven actual tillers of the soil in the count, and three cattle ranches. Mr. Bingleman had 5,000 head of cattle and twenty hands; Mr. Davenport, 2,500, and six hands; Mr. Buck, 2,000, five hands.
In 1880 Cheyenne County had two postoffices, one post road and one store; in 1881 it had two more post roads, and the weekly was changed to a semi-weekly mail. Two fields of corn were raised, which produced 1,000 bushels; 2,000 acres were fenced, 100 acres tilled, and 100 acres broken.
Sheep husbandry has been started by M. Buck, on the South Fork of the Republican, near Wano. His wife and stepdaughter were the first women to settle in the county, in July, 1880. The original discoverer of the county may be said to be Mr. A. M. Brenaman, who took to himself a wife in the autumn of 1882. The settled points, beside Kepferle and Wano, are Batino, Big Timber, Davenport, South Beaver and T-Wrench.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,644 km² (1,021 mi²), of which 2,641 km² (1,020 mi²) is land and 2 km² (1 mi²), or 0.09%, is water.
Cheyenne County's population was estimated to be 2,911 in the year 2006, a decrease of 247, or -7.8%, over the previous six years.
As of the U.S. Census in 2000, there were 3,165 people, 1,360 households, and 919 families residing in the county. The population density was 1/km² (3/mi²). There were 1,636 housing units at an average density of 1/km² (2/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.91% White, 0.13% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.98% from other races, and 0.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.59% of the population.
There were 1,360 households out of which 27.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.10% were married couples living together, 5.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.40% were non-families. 30.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.85.
In the county the population was spread out with 23.80% under the age of 18, 5.10% from 18 to 24, 22.70% from 25 to 44, 21.80% from 45 to 64, and 26.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 97.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.40 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $30,599, and the median income for a family was $34,816. Males had a median income of $24,976 versus $19,569 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,862. About 7.40% of families and 9.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.80% of those under age 18 and 6.70% of those age 65 or over.
Cities and towns
Name and population (2004 estimate):
St. Francis, 1,395 (county seat)
Bird City, 444
Unified school districts
Cheylin USD 103
St. Francis Schools USD 297