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Dubois hits 100

May 15, 2014 - By Steven R. Peck

And the community newspaper there marks the occasion well

Thursday is the 100th anniversary of the third-largest of Fremont County's six municipalities. Happy centennial, Dubois.

Before it was called Dubois, the community called itself Never Sweat. The decision to incorporate as an official Wyoming municipality was made by popular referendum. The polling place in 1914 was the post office.

We learned these facts of Dubois history -- and many more -- by leafing through a special edition of the Dubois Frontier, the excellent weekly newspaper there.

Editor/publisher Christine Smith and reporter Vic Augustine crafted an outstanding special for the centennial, covering the historical, the significant, the timely, the obscure and the entertaining across 64 tabloid-sized pages.

We recommend the edition to anyone and everyone in Fremont County if you can find it. A significant quantity of extra copies was produced (the Frontier is printed at The Ranger), and the edition is intended to have a far longer shelf life than the normal weekly edition of the Frontier.

With a news staff of two and a total staff of five, the Frontier really doesn't have the personnel to produce a 64-page special edition.

But they did it anyway. Relying largely on their own reporting, Christine Smith and Vic Augustine also tapped community resources not affiliated normally with the newspaper. Inside the big edition are stories written by numerous other contributors, along with summaries of earlier historical narratives of Dubois, and a few reprints from local-interest publications that have blurred in memory through the years. This was a community effort.

Included as well are dozens of historic photographs covering 10 decades of Dubois lore, many of them provided by "civilian" contributors recruited by the Frontier staff.

The Dubois centennial edition of the Dubois Frontier took weeks to produce, a job which followed months of planning. It took substantial advertiser support to pull it off as well, and the community's businesses came through handsomely. The Frontier made money on this edition, and it deserved to. Meanwhile, the advertisements are as much a part of the landmark publication as the news stories and pictures.

The Ranger has an ownership interest in the Dubois Frontier, but the paper publishes its first-rate weekly on its own, with its own staff, in its own office, under the auspices of its own corporation. We lend help if requested, but the Frontier operation is their baby, not ours.

Perhaps that adds to the great sense of pride we feel today in our sister newspaper as this great community milestone is marked and commemorated permanently by the production of the special newspaper, which was intended to stand the test of time. It surely will be collected, kept and treasured as the old town of Never Sweat marches into its second century.

One more thing. We say here and now that the community newspaper is particularly, probably uniquely, suited to this sort of community chronicling and commemoration. It is more than a town meeting or a statue, and more than a website. For the 100th birthday of Dubois, a unique and remarkable object was manufactured. It bestows the due sense of moment and history on the centennial in a way nothing else can.

Set aside some copies for posterity, Dubois. You'll want to refer to it forever.

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