Almost Pioneers—Celebration of Professor’s Book Release

Dr. John Fry, professor of history The Trinity community recently celebrated the launch of Almost Pioneers, the memoir of Laura Gibson Smith, discovered and edited by Dr. John Fry, professor of history.

Fry discovered Smith’s manuscript at the Iowa Women’s Archives in Iowa City while writing his book, The Farm Press, Reform, and Rural Change, 1895-1920. The manuscript tells the story of Smith and her husband Earle’s experiences homesteading near Chugwater, Wyoming.

At a reception and book signing held on September 10, Fry read from the memoir and from the afterword he wrote for the book.

“Were the Smiths quintessential Americans, launching out into the unknown to better their position financially, willing to go backwards…in order to make a better future…and helping to build the prosperous and free nation that we enjoy today?

“Or were the Smith quintessential Americans, only looking out for their own interests without regard for those who had come before them, or the needs of their local community?”

Readers can draw their own conclusions as well as enjoy a real-life adventure of the American West and the thoughts of a true “professor” of history.

More about Fry’s work on Almost Pioneers