White Earth Reservation

Enmegahbowh was born the son of an Ojibwa Chief about a day's journey north of Toronto ca. 1820.  He was trained by his grandfather in Midewiwin practices and was a member of the Grand Medicine Lodge.  But in 1832 he followed Methodist missionary John Clark to Sault Ste. Marie.  Enmegahbowh attended school on the Keweenaw Peninsula from 1833-1835.  For two years he served as an interpreter at Methodist Episcopal missions along southern Lake Superior and in Wisconsin.  In 1837 he traveled to Jacksonville, IL to attend the Ebenezer Manual Labor Training School and in 1839 Enmegahbowh began his life work as Asst. Methodist Episcopal missionary just above Little Falls, Minnesota. In 1840 he co-founded Rabbit River Mission and in 1841 he married Biwabiko-geshig-equay, Iron Sky Woman (niece of Bugonaygeshig (Hole in the Day the Elder)).  Between 1841 and 1845 he was associated with missions at Whitefish Lake, Sandy Lake, Leech, Cass and Red Lakes.  In 1845 he met Episcopal Priest Ezekiel Gear at Ft. Snelling and switched from Methodism to Episcopalianism. 

Rev. Frederick (Fred) W. Smith

Episcopal lay minister Frederick W. Smith was educated in Faribault under the tutelage of Bishop Whipple.  Following this training he was in charge of the parish at the White Earth Reservation, where Archdeacon Gilfillan resided and Enmegahbowh was the rector-emeritus.

Sophia Smith

Bandolier bag maker Sophia Smith and her husband, Episcopal lay minister Frederick W. Smith, spent most of their married years on the White Earth and Red Lake reservations. In 1877 they moved to Red Lake to establish an Episcopal mission there. The church at Red Lake was built in 1880 with $1,200 provided by Henry Whipple. The Smiths served at Red Lake until 1888, when Fred's illness compelled them to leave.

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