POCATELLO — "Oregon/California Trail Beginnings: The Father De Smet Connection," is a presentation by Don Wind from Rigby, formerly of Soda Springs. 

The presentation describes 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, 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 Bannock County Historical Museum's gallery at 3000 Ave. of the Chiefs in Pocatello on Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. 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.