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24 Wm. D. Fenton Wilbur devoted himself to the Indian service for about 20 years, and as it seems to me, made a sacrifice which not only did him an injustice, but deprived the commonwealth of a larger service which he might have rendered if he had con- tinued in his work as a great preacher and constructive builder of Christian civilization among his own people. At this dis- tance, and from this point of view, missionary efforts of the early churches, both Protestant and Catholic, seem to have been devoid of permanent results. Jason Lee and his associates, as early as 1834, were inspired with the purpose to convert to Christianity the Indians in this great, unsettled and undevel- oped region. The Methodist Church for a generation devoted its great energy to this work. A like ambition inspired the mission of Dr. Whitman, Father DeSmet, Archbishop Blanchet and other devoted men, both Protestant and Catholic. It may be that their work in some measure acted as a bridge over which the early pioneers could pass to a riper and better civili- zation. These missionaries to the Indians, in anticipation of the probable failure of their work in that direction, turned their energies toward the establishment of educational institu- tions and of local churches for the development of our own people, and in this work Wilbur was a pioneer builder of strength and character. The foundations laid by him in this city in the building of Taylor Street Church were broad and deep, and the influence of what he did in the early '50s, in the work of his hands here, far outreaches any work that he did or could have done in his self-immolation in the service of a passing and perishing race. The American Indian, while un- civilized, was not entirely without religion. While it is true that he had no special knowledge of religion as we understand it, and especially of the Christian religion, he was not barren of all religious instincts and traditions, and was not entirely without guidance. The work done in his behalf has been tran- sitory and without permanent efifect. This, perhaps, could not be foreseen, and yet, as civilization has extended its influence

over that vast Indian territory which at one time embraced the----