Open main menu

Page:Quarterlyoforego10oreg 1.djvu/139

This page needs to be proofread.


Father Wilbur and His Work. 25 entire United States, it will be seen that the Indian race itself has vanished, and that but a fragment here and there now re- mains. Wilbur, when he retired from work among his own people and devoted himself exclusively to the Indian service, was in the prime of a vigorous manhood, and had not yet reached the age of 50 years. If he had remained in the work of Christian education and in the work of the ministry among his own people, it is impossible now to say what might have been the record of his successful life. There are men and women still living, here and elsewhere, who were co-workers with him, and who testify to the sterling qualities with which he was endowed. He was a type of man devoted to the min- istry of the church, that has in large measure passed away. In his day he had much tO' do of detail, of preparation, of con- trol, that could not now and ought not to be done by his suc- cessors. These men were forerunners of a different era, and did the work which times and conditions required them to do. They were all men of strong natures, vigorous in thought, forceful in debate, aggressive along all lines, and unused to the gentler methods and diplomacy of the modern pulpit. The work which was here to be done required such men, it was foundation work, under trying and unfavorable conditions, and they had the time and opportunity which does not come to men of the present day. But few of their illustrious num- ber survive the cares and marks of time. Among that num- ber are Thomas F. Royal and John Flinn, and there may be others. Father Flinn — hale and hearty at the age of more than 90 years — still goes in and out among us in mental and physical vigor. You will recall that the Taylor Street Church was organized in 1848, and the building was constructed in 1850. Father Flinn delivered the second discourse in the old church building. He came from the Maine Conference, and as early as September 3, 185 1, became a member of the Oregon and California Mission Conference. Among the contemporaries of Father Wilbur and Father

Flinn in these earlier days were T. H. Pearne, Isaac Dillon,----