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Gazette Staff

In August, Wibaux residents will entertain descendants of Pierre Wibaux, the town’s namesake.

Bernard Wibaux, of Eygalieres, France, is bringing his family to visit the home of his great-great-uncle, Pierre Wibaux. The visiting group includes Bernard Wibaux’s two brothers, their wives and their nine children.

Pierre Wibaux arrived in Eastern Montana in 1883. By 1889, he had accumulated more than 40,000 head of livestock and employed 25 to 30 cowboys. Pierre Wibaux may have played a role in getting the town, which had been known as Mingusville, renamed in his honor.

On Aug. 6, the French visitors will take a bus trip to the Pierre Wibaux ranch site, 12 miles north of Wibaux on the Beaver Creek. They will then tour the old St. Peters Catholic Church, built in 1895 with financial support from Pierre Wibaux.

The group will visit the Pierre Wibaux Museum and see the statue of Pierre Wibaux, which the Frenchman had made of himself before he died in 1913.

At 5 p.m., there will be a barbecue at the Wibaux Fairgrounds followed by a rodeo with local cowboys similar to the one Pierre Wibaux put on July 4, 1896, for his visiting French relatives. Wibaux offered a prize of $30 to the cowboy who would first rope, throw and tie a steer.

People who speak French or are French are especially encouraged to attend the event, which is open to the public. For information, call 796-2381 or 796-9969.

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