Kemmerer is both the largest city and the county seat of Lincoln County, Wyoming, United States. The population was 2,656 at the 2010 census. As the county seat of Lincoln County, Kemmerer is the location of the Lincoln County Courthouse.
Explorer John C. Frémont discovered coal in the area during his second expedition in 1843. The Union Pacific Coal Company opened the first underground mine in 1881 after construction of the Oregon Short Line Railroad from Granger to Oregon.
Patrick J. Quealy (1857–1930) founded Kemmerer as an "independent town" in 1897 when he was vice-president of the Kemmerer Coal Company, located south of the original townsite. He named the company and town after his financial backer, Pennsylvania coal magnate Mahlon S. Kemmerer (1843–1925). In 1950, the operation converted to strip mining and became the world's largest open pit coal mine. In 1980 the Kemmerer Coal Co. was sold to the Pittsburg & Midway Coal Company, now a subsidiary of the Chevron Corporation. The pit remains in operation today with an annual output of about 5 million tons.
Quealy sold lots in the townsite rather than lease them, which permitted the establishment of independent businesses. The company's subsidiary, Frontier Supply Company, provided electricity by utilizing a used $1,150.00 generator acquired in Utah. Quealy was originally from Ireland. In Wyoming, he and his wife became active in Democratic Party politics and in St. Patrick's Church, for which the company donated land.
Quealy was the founding president of the First National Bank, established in 1900. Kemmerer Savings Bank was founded in 1909. Its president Asbury D. Hoskins was manager of the Blyth-Fargo-Hoskins Company, and was later elected Wyoming state treasurer in 1919.
The J. C. Penney company store was founded in Kemmerer in 1902.