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Stockman Bar Sign, Wibaux, MT

The tiny town of Wibaux (wee-bow) is located on the eastern border of Montana. There are only about 500 people left in town. This neat old sign is located on main street. I'm pretty sure the Stockman bar is no longer open.

 

"The town originally had names such as Keith, Beaver, and Mingusville (named for Minnie and Gus Grisy, who ran the Post Office in the late 19th century). in 1895, the town was renamed for prominent local cattle rancher, Pierre Wibaux, who had immigrated to the area from France in 1883. Wibaux expanded his herds by buying stock from less fortunate ranchers.

 

After Wibaux's arrival, the town became a major cattle shipping center for the Northern Pacific Railroad, notably receiving some of the cattle from Theodore Roosevelt's Maltese Cross and Elkhorn ranches near Medora, North Dakota. The great cattle drives of the 1880s often passed by Wibaux on their way from Texas to the northern ranges.

 

According to legend, Theodore Roosevelt got his nickname "Old Four Eyes" in Wibaux, (Mingusville, at the time) shortly after moving to the badlands from New York City. A drunk sheep rancher in the bar said "four eyes is buying". At first Roosevelt ignored him, but the man wouldn't let up. Eventually he walked over to confront Roosevelt. Roosevelt stood up, accidentally tripping the drunk man, who fell and did not get up. Roosevelt was praised as a hero, but immediately went and hid in his room, in case the sheepherder woke up and wanted to cause trouble.

 

Lore has it that in the late 1970s oil boom, Wibaux had a brawl unlike any seen before, straight out of an Old West show. Hundreds of drunk participants fought for hours in the streets. It started from some minor dispute.

 

Arleigh "Bunny" Meek, Jr. was the sheriff in Wibaux, and Wibaux County from 1968-1998 (32 years). He served longer than any other sheriff in Montana's history. He succeeded his father, Arleigh Meek, Sr. as sheriff. The only uniform he wore was his badge. Neither "Bunny" or his father carried a gun when they were sheriff, although they walked in and apprehended some very large, very violent (or drunk) individuals in this modern day old west town.

 

The National Register of Historical Places has three entries in Wibaux: The Pierre Wibaux House, St. Peter's Catholic Church, and the Wibaux Historical District.

Wibaux operates a state travel center at the town's exit from Interstate 94, the Pierre Wibaux House Museum, and the Centennial Car Museum, which was sent to the New York World's Fair in 1964. At the western end of town, there is a statue of Pierre Wibaux that he commissioned in his will to look over the sloping landscape. Each year the town holds a summer festival, called the Ski Fest as homage to its predominantly Polish roots. The 2002 Vin Diesel movie, Knockaround Guys, was based (although not filmed) in Wibaux." -Wikipedia

 

For more information on the town of Wibaux, please visit this website:

 

www.travelmt.com/mt-cities-Wibaux.html

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Taken on June 6, 2010