First known as Cantonment Reno, For McKinney was established in 1876 on the Powder River near present-day Jaycee. In 1877, the Fort was renamed for Lieutenant John McKinney, who died during the Dull Knife Battle in 1876.
The Fort's presence directly violated the 1851 and 1866 Fort Laramie Treaties. The Army determined the original site to be unsanitary and moved the Fort 45 miles north, to its current location south of here along Clear Creek in 1878. From here, the Army monitored the Sioux and Cheyenne activities, kept the peace between the Arapaho, Shoshone, and Crow, and protected the settlers moving into the Powder River Basin.
Here, Fort McKinney had 14 officer's quarters, known as "The Line." barracks for up to seven companies (approximately 1,400 men), laundresses' quarters, offices, a hospital, a bakery, storehouses, stables, and auxiliary buildings. Of the original fort buildings, only the hospital remains.
During the Johnson County War of 1892, President Benjamin Harrison ordered Fort McKinney troops to end the fighting between cattle barons and small landowners. Troops escorted the cattlemen and their hired Texas gunmen to the Fort for their own safety. Until it closed in 1894, Fort McKinney supplied the dominant economic stimulus for the nearby town of Buffalo. The Army deeded the land to the State of Wyoming in 1894, and in 1903, it became the Wyoming Soldiers' and Sailors' Home. Today it serves as the Veterans' Home of Wyoming.