Dinosaur fossils in the badlands, teepee rings on the prairie, scenes where the Sioux fought the US Army, buffalo hunters, the railroad, early ranchers, cowboys, a president, homesteaders who came for the free land and then stayed to weather the "dirty thirties". Get the idea of an area full of history? Well, I just happen to live there! Southwestern North Dakota and southeastern Montana is where we call home.
I love history and love to share what I know about this place. Chosing a subject for this week's Sunday Stills photo challenge was difficult with so much to choose from. I pondered all week and when we went to town for church this morning the decision was made.
Even though we ranch near Sentinel Butte, North Dakota, we go "over to Wibaux) to church. Wibaux (Wee-bow) is the first town in Montana on I-94. It's about a 35 mile trip each way. Wibaux was named after an early rancher, Pierre Wibaux, who came from France area in 1884 where he began ranching. Prior to having it's name changed, Wibaux was known as Beaver, Keith and finally Mingusville. After Pierre Wibaux became the prominent personality in the area he made sure the town and county were named after him. At one time he ran about 75,000 head of cattle on the ranges surrounding Wibaux. He was a friend of Theodore Roosevelt during Roosevelt's North Dakota ranching period. The Pierre Wibaux house pictured below was Mr. Wibaux's office in town. It is now a museum full of items of his and the era.
The "rock church", St. Peter's Catholic church was built by Pierre Wibaux or his father in 1895 and was used until a new church was built in the 1960's. It is made of different types of stone found in our area. Both the Pieree Wibaux House and St. Peter's Catholic Church are both on the National Register of Historic Places.