Fry’s Almost Pioneers Receives First Place for Non-Fiction

Fry and HouzeDr. John Fry, professor of history, has received the First Place Award for Non-Fiction about Wyoming history published during 2013 from the Wyoming State Historical Society.The book, Almost Pioneers, is the memoir of Laura Gibson Smith and was edited by Fry.

Fry discovered Smith’s manuscript at the Iowa Women’s Archives in Iowa City while writing another 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.

The book includes Fry’s footnotes and an afterword. The footnotes provide background on places and events mentioned in the text. The afterword explains what Smith’s story tells readers about the history of Wyoming, the American West, women writers, and the American experience.

The award was presented at the society’s annual meeting on September 6 in Gillette, Wyoming.