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The town is named after General William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, who founded the nearby town of Cody in 1900. Worland was originally called Buffalo, and under the latter name was platted in 1892 when a railroad station on the Burlington Railroad (later part of BNSF Railway) was built there. The present name honors James H. Worland, a local cattleman and landowner who had been instrumental in bringing about establishment of Washakie County as well as its seat at Worland; he also served two terms as Wyoming's governor from 1909 to 1913 during which time he signed into law legislation creating Big Horn National Forest (now Shoshone National Forest). A post office called Buffalo opened here in 1890; it closed for several years starting around 1902 but reopened later that year under its current name with James H. Worlton serving as first postmaster until his death on October 12, 1912 while still holding that position..