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Five Thousand Miles Through Idaho and Wyoming


had the effect of paralyzing the work. I only wish it could be eliminated; it must be remembered that the people are largely without means, so that it is useless to hope for them to work it out themselves.

Idaho is a much larger state than most people realize. If the northern boundary were at Toronto, Canada, the southern border would reach to Raleigh, N. C. This means a great variety of climate and great complications in caring for, at small outlay, the widely separated communities. And yet I am more and more convinced of the importance on the part of the general Church of pursuing with vigor its work because of the possibilities that the situation presents and the readiness with which people welcome its efforts. Our school, St. Margaret's Hall, Boisé, is doing a great work among the young women of Idaho and Wyoming, and it ought to have a better equipment, especially as it helps to supplement our work at the various mission points and helps to develop local workers for the

Church. The same may be said about St. Luke's Hospital, which is rendering grand service along the lines of healing and brings us in touch with people who never could be reached except by its ministrations. I am particularly anxious this time to have several free beds endowed-one for the schoolgirls of St. Margaret's, another for old miners and others. working in mining communities, and still another for min-1 isters and their families.

Now come with me into Wyoming. I stopped at Green River and Rock Springs, but as I had recently visited these places for confirmation I merely paid a few visits to families and went on to Saratoga and Grand Encampment. At Grand Encampment, which is a mining town, the rector, with my approval, undertook about two months ago to put up a church, in which he has had the hearty sympathy of the people; but his funds were rather short, and as carpenters were scarce and hard to get he determined to do a large part of the work with his own hands. Finding that

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Five Thousand Miles Through Idaho and Wyoming



he needed timber that could not be secured in any other way, he hired a wagon, went into the mountains, prepared the timber, brought it down, and himself worked on the church. On one of these occasions, in the early part of the season, being in one of the mountains alone with a wagon, he was pursued by a small band of wolves, but succeeded in driving them off without hurt. On the occasion of my visit the church was sufficiently completed to admit of having a service, and it was one of the most delightful services in which I have ever taken part.

The church crowded, there was a good vested choir of about twenty people, and everybody seemed thoroughly interested

and happy.

The next morning I started off on a long drive over the mountains in a stage, stopping for dinner at a little mining camp deep down in the canyon; then starting out in a buckboard wagon for Dillon, another mining camp. A miner asked permjesion to ride behind on the rather uncomfortable floor of the vehicle. We were going along finely over the rough roads when suddenly we went down into a deep hole and the poor miner was thrown between the wheels and the body of the wagon. He came very near being killed. I had difficulty in pulling him out. I found that he was

very much bruised but not seriously injured. As we went on the roads became simply terrific. The pass over which we went was probably 10,000 feet high, but finally we got in safety to the mining camp, where there were only a few families, but a good many

After securing the hall I went around with the marshal to all the saloons in town, shook hands with the men, including the bartender, and invited them out to the hall for the night service. I thought it would not do me any harm and certainly it had the effect of securing a full attendance. After the sermon a good many of them came up and shook hands with and thanked me for the service, which, they

said, was the first they had attended for a long time.

My journey next morning took me out by stage to Battle Creek for a service in the schoolhouse, going on that night for service at Slater. This town is in Bishop Knight's district, but as I was preaching to a Wyoming congregation in a Colorado schoolhouse I felt he would not study the state lines too closely. Here we met a big-hearted, eccentric friend of the Church, "Old Mack," as he called himself, a man of seventy, with a good deal of genius, who loves to do a kind thing. He has a theory that the mountain cedar, of all the plants, takes in the most sunshine; so he gathers some branches, soaks them in water and bathes in it, hoping to absorb the sunshine and

renew his youth. He has built out of his own pocket a nice schoolhouse, does lots of kind things and makes everybody love him, even if he is not a church member. In getting back to the railroad I had to ride all night to Warmsutter, which, after two services that day made me sleep finely on the floor at the station. The distance

sixty-five miles through a barren, dusty country.

Going on to central Wyoming I visited Lander and Fort Washakie. The latter place, as will be remembered, is on the Wind River Reservation, where Mr. Roberts and Mr. Coolidge are doing excellent work among the Shoshones and the Arapahoes. What a change I noted here from the conditions that existed when I first drove 150 miles across the plains to visit this place, nine years ago! Everywhere one sees evidences of the civilization of the Indian. More and more he is adopting the white man's methods and taking up the white man's burden of work. On this occasion I noticed that numbers of them were working on the government irrigation ditch. I could not see much of the Indian work in a religious way as I should have liked, because they were scattered and it was haying time; but we had interesting services at the





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church of the agency and I felt the general outlook was good. Since the coming of the railroad to the town of Lander a great impulse has been given to the community, and I was glad to find the people thoroughly interested in the matter of getting a rectory. Mr. Roberts still ministers to this place, driving sixteen miles, but the time has come for a resident rector.

I enjoyed my drive to Milford, a little ranching community, and the service which we had in the church erected there a few years ago. Under the leadership of Mr. Roberts good buildings have been erected in the new towns of Riverton and Hudson. He is now directing the building of a small log church away up on the Wind River near Yellowstone Park at a place called Du Bois.

Leaving Lander and passing on through Shoshone, where a very nice church has been erected, under the guidance of the Rev. Sherman Coolidge, we took a stage and drove over the dreary, sterile plains across No Wood and No Water Creeks, up Hoodoo Canyon, to Thermopolis in the Big Horn Basin. There is quite a community here, and we secured some well located lots where we hope some day to put up a church. I visited the people and that night had service in the Baptist church,

which was loaned to us for the purpose, but on account of the mosquitoes, which were very numerous, it was not a restful religious exercise. Next morning we

arose early and drove on the stage many miles down the Big Horn River, and taking the train went on to Cody, a typical western town. Some years ago I was able to build a church here, to which the people give most liberally and which is located in the best part of the town of some two or three thousand inhabitants. For a year or more we have had a student of theology here who has done splendid work, and now that he is going to leave for the seminary we hope to have a resident clergyman. Cody is a good instance of what may be done in a western town, and I know of no place where the influence of the Church has counted for more real good in every way.

Passing on from Cody we went to Fort Yellowstone, where I had service Sunday morning and evening, preaching to large congregations in the assembly hall. The attendance was made up principally of visitors to the Park and officers' families. The Government has appropriated $20,000 for the erection of a chapel, or, as they call it, assembly hall, at this point. For eight or nine years I have had this matter at heart, for I felt it was a shame that at

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Five Thousand Miles Through Idaho and Wyoming



the gateway of the great national park there should be nothing that would indicate any interest on the part of the nation in any form of religion. Of ·course the chapel will be undenominational, but it will serve us for as many services as we shall be able to give them.

South of Yellowstone Park is the Jackson Hole country, which I visited some years ago. Only recently we have been able to put a student there who has done excellent work among the ranchers of that country. It is a favorite comment on the part of newspapers that every man who has done any criminal act of a dramatic character in this part of the world has gone into Jackson's Hole. As a matter of fact it is a community of ranchers, separate from all religious influences. Many of these people, however, are good, responsible citizens. They are exceedingly anxious to have a church and are willing to give very liberally toward it. The services that I held there some years ago were the first ever held in this community, and the student who has come in is the first missionary of any kind who has located there. The Mormons compose a third of the population; the rest are strongly anti-Mormon.

My journey of 5,000 miles in Idaho and Wyoming was completed. I had

visited thirty-five or forty towns in the two months of the trip. I had journeyed sometimes all night long in the stage through lonely mountain passes, Indian reservations, in lands which a few years ago were sterile and desolate, but which now have been transformed into fertility and beauty. I had seen the developing life of two great states. In fact, in accomplishing this journey alone I had been compelled to pass through parts of nine different states. It is only a small part of the work I have to accomplish in the course of the year, only one missionary journey-a little longer perhaps than others, but still of the same type. With it all I felt refreshed and encouraged, and the conviction grew stronger than ever of the importance of the home missionary work and of the danger growing out of neglect on the part of the Church to bring her influence to bear upon the homes and hearts of the thousands of people who cast in their destiny with the great West, for civilization that develops apart from Christianity can never really be permanent in its temporal or spiritual blessings. If we want America to be Christian and not practically pagan, the Church must give herself in earnest to the service of the people of the Far West.




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