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American Heritage Center
University of Wyoming

Mailing Address:
Dept. 3924
1000 E. University Avenue
Laramie, WY 82071

Wyoming Citizen of the Century Religion Finalists 

John Roberts - was the winner in the Religion Category. Assigned to minister to the Shoshone and Arapahos on the Wind River Reservation, he set about his work by learning all he could about Native American customs and beliefs, believing that by knowing the people he hoped to minister to he would be more effective. He also learned the native languages, eventually translating the gospel for his Native American congregates.

Roberts often said the object of his work among the Indians was to make them self supporting. With this in mind he established two schools, the Indian Boarding School at Ft. Washakie and the Shoshone Indian Mission Boarding School. Roberts cultivated friendships with tribal leaders, including Chief Black Coal and Chief Washakie, whom he later baptized. He earned the trust of the tribal leadership and was often involved in their negotiations with the agents of the federal government. The Indians rewarded Roberts for his fairness in dealing with them by giving him the name "Elder Brother."

Roberts also ministered to the non-natives of the state, establishing Episcopal churches in towns across Wyoming. Roberts retired from active missionary work in 1921 but continued to live on the reservation until his death in 1949 at the age of ninety-seven.

Yellow Calf - was also selected as finalist in the Religion Category because of his work both with the Episcopal Church and as a promoter of Native American religious beliefs.

Sister Clementina - for more than half a century, she taught three generations of students at St. Stephens Indian Mission.

O.R. Delmar - he was instrumental in the creation of the Wyoming Southern Baptist Convention, the largest evangelical group in the state.

James Hartmann - served as the Rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish in Cheyenne for forty-four years.

Pius Moss - a member of the Arapahoe Tribe, he has worked to preserve his tribal culture as a teacher at St. Stephens Indian Mission. 

Hubert Newell - As Bishop of the Diocese of Cheyenne, he oversaw the Catholic Church in Wyoming during the last half of the century.

John Pattison - served as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Cheyenne for almost thirty years.

Maragert Prine - as a lay member of the American Baptist Church she has volunteered her time to numerous boards and governing organizations.

Jerome Zummach - spent twenty-seven years of his priesthood at St. Stephens Mission and was known as a devoted teacher and promoter of athletic teams.


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