Oregon/California Trail Beginnings: The Father De Smet Connection, by Don Wind, Rigby, Idaho, formerly of Soda Springs. Photo credit - Library of Congress taken circa 1860-65 by photographer Mathew Brady.

Presentation describing the history and exploits of Father Pierre-Jean De Smet, a frontier missionary, peacemaker, world traveler and author. Pierre-Jean De Smet (1801-1873) traveled to America as a young man in 1821, from what is today Belgium, to join the Society of Jesus (S.J.), a Catholic religious order commonly called Jesuits. Once he was ordained a priest, Father De Smet committed himself to establishing permanent Indian missions in the Missouri River Valley, the Rockies and the Pacific Northwest.

Father De Smet’s story is fascinating, having a positive, far-reaching impact on the peoples of America and Europe in the 1800s. Important historical figures such as President Andrew Johnson, Brigham Young, kings of Europe and popes sought out De Smet for advice, and he crossed paths with some of the most famous people of his day. Of significance to the Idaho portion of the Oregon/California Trail, Father De Smet traveled through Soda Springs and Fort Hall in 1841 and played a significant role in the success of the first emigrant wagon train to pass through Idaho on the Oregon/California Trail.

To learn more please come to this free and informative presentation by Don Wind in the Museum's gallery at 3000 Ave. of the Chiefs, Pocatello, on November 19th at 7 PM. There will be a brief meeting of the Bannock County Historical Society just prior to the presentation. Light refreshments will be served. Call 208-233-0434, or e-mail bancohismus@gmail.com for more information.


  • Occurred Tuesday, November 19th, 2019 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm


Bannock County Historical Museum

3000 Ave. of the Chiefs
Pocatello, ID 83204

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