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What’s In A Name? Dubois – Our Wyoming

– I’m a Wyoming native, but I have never
been in a community that has the close-knit, I would call it brotherly love for one another that this
little community has. (upbeat western music) (soft guitar music) Dubois is a very
interesting place. This was the heart of the
Rocky Mountain fur trade because of the crossroads here. You have a major trail
going from the forks at Riverton of the Papaja and
Wind River over Togwotee Pass to Jackson Pole. And the north south is
from upper Green River down in the Pinedale area, across Union Pass and across Shoshone Pass
up here on the Absaroka’s. And those were
major paleo trails. Back to the time of
the Sheepeater Indians, a branch of the Shoshone, who lived in these mountains
from the early 1700’s. The Shoshone were here
quite a bit before that, but so were the Crow. We had Jim Bridger, we had Jedediah Smith,
we had John Colter, we had the Sublette brothers, who were key to the
Rocky Mountain fur trade, the Rendezvous, this
was where it happened. Those histories
are just incredible about how this country developed
and how well known it was by early White people in the expansion of the West. In 1879, one of my heroes, the quintessential cowboy, by the name of Andy Manso
came here as a young man about 22 years of age. And he settled on what
we now know as East Fork, tributary to the Wind River and he built the
first Circle Ranch. But Andy Manso was the
man who pretty much started what went on here. He wanted to be a cowboy, he was a son of an old
French-Canadian fur trapper out of Quebec. He started raising horses
for the carriage trade in the East. So he started
using this country, it was open range, free
range they called it, and he started raising
horses up here. And a lot of folks from
the Fort Washakie area took up cattle ranching and used this area as
a summer grazing area. And things just started
growing from there. Probably the next biggest
industry would’ve been the tie industry, and
that started in 1915. Rails have to float so to speak, and railroad ties were the
crossties underneath the rails that floated on a bed of rock. Those ties didn’t
last real long, even though they were creosoted, they still had to be
replaced on a regular basis. The last real tie
drive of the cut, hand-hewn ties to Riverton
were they were processed, was in 1945. The railroads needed railroad
ties all over the country. In those days all of those
ties were cut by hand, they were peeled, cut to length, the ties were collected
during the winter and spring and summer, and decked, that means they were
stacked along the banks of the Wind River so that in the spring of the
year after the river crested, the ties were all
kicked into the river and floated to Riverton, approximately 100 miles. That took some doing. There was a lot of man power. One of the things that really
supported in the later years of the tie drive
during World War II, there was an established
prisoner of war
camp built there. These were German prisoners
who had been captured and brought to the United States and were sent out here
to work the tie industry from 1944 to about 1946. Right now, our primary source
of business is a little bit from the forest service,
telephone company, the school district,
the power company. There’s still a fair
amount of cattle ranching, dude ranching. Out of the dude ranches
of course there was also the guided hunting trips
and recreation trips. There’s a lot of
different kinds of legends about how the name
Dubois came about. 1899 I believe it was, folks that lived here
wanted a post office. So they applied to
the federal government to get a post office. The government sent
out a man, senator, who name was Dubois, that was how you pronounced
the last name, D-U-B-O-I-S. And when he came
here to do the work of setting up the post office, he asked what people wanted
the name of the town to be, and they said, Tibo. Tibo is a Shoshone
word, So the people here thought
that would be an adequate name. I don’t know if he had
a prejudice against
Native Americans or what it was, but he says, “You can’t have a name
like that for this town.” So in his infinite wisdom, he decided the name should
be his name, Dubois. Well that really
agitated the people here. And from the time he left, the name became Dubois. And if you look at the
stickers that we have and the window stickers that
has the DB written on it, underneath that DB you’ll see
the little printed section, spelled out, D-U hyphen, B-O-Y-Z, that’s how you pronounce it. So that was our retaliation about not getting the
name that we wanted. And that’s how
Dubois got it’s name. The irony to the whole thing
is just 200 miles straight west of us in Idaho, is another town called Dubois. Dubois, and it has a great
big billboard with a picture of the senator and all of that
sort of thing glorifying him because he was an Idaho
representative to Congress. And they pronounce, Dubois. So that’s the history
of how our town became known as Dubois Duboise. There actually was
a little place, a little gathering
of the tie hacks, and they called it Never Sweat. It was up towards Togwotee Pass. Nobody had any problem
with calling it Never Sweat and there was a post
office there for about, on and off for
about three years. So there were two
distinctive post offices. I’m a Wyoming native who was
born and raised in Rawlins. And I lived in Laramie
for a long time, but I have never
been in a community that has the close-knit, I would call it brotherly
love for one another that this little community has. So we’re struggling
in some ways, but in other ways
we’re blossoming and I think we will
continue to do so. And our history is
really the history and the comradery
in this community is
what attracts people. I’ve yet to run into anybody
who visits this community that doesn’t go away
with a feeling of, boy I felt comfortable here. This was really a
neat place to come. And we’d like to keep that.

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4 thoughts on “What’s In A Name? Dubois – Our Wyoming

  1. Be careful how many people you tell about Wyoming everyone will come flooding in to live here and it won't be our little secret anymore.

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