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Population of one

5:44 PM, Dec 22, 2010   |    comments
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"Town meetings are always fun," Sammons said with a laugh.

Buford sits just off Interstate 80 between Laramie and Cheyenne. It consists of six buildings. Sammons owns all of them.

One is his house. Another is his business, the Buford Trading Post, which is a gas station/convenience store.

"The first question visitors have is, 'Am I the one?'" Sammons said as he sat behind the counter.

Sammons tells them he is the one and only, but is quick to add that Buford wasn't always this tiny.

Founded in 1866, it's actually one of the oldest towns in all of Wyoming. The railroad kept its population healthy for years. But like so many railroad towns, Buford nearly withered away.

Sammons moved there from California in 1980 with his wife and son making Buford a town of three.

"Then about 15 years ago, the wife passed away," Sammons said.

That left father and son.

"My son said it was a dictatorship while he lived here, but I told him when he turned 18, he would have the right to vote," Sammons said.

That right wasn't enough to keep his son around.

"About three years ago, he grew up and moved away," Sammons said.

His departure made Buford the smallest town in the country. Sammons says there are other towns with one resident, but he doesn't know another one with its own zip code.

"Buford is unique, so I'd like people to know that," he said.

In his store, you can find a host of souvenirs from hats to mugs. The post card is his best seller.

"I always wanted Buford to be one of the nice places that people would come and want to come back," he said.

All those visitors keep boredom at bay.

"I get so many people by the end of the day, it's nice to just have some quiet time when I get home," he said. "For a population of one, there's a lot going on."

(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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