St. Peter's Catholic Church

Dismayed that his son’s adoptive home had no Catholic Church, Frenchman Achille Wibaux instructed Pierre to build one here. The rancher contributed $2,000 for the construction of this wood-frame, vernacular Gothic Revival structure. It was built in 1895 by R. R. Cummings and Eugene Blias of Glendive. The Wibaux congregation being at that time as a mission of Miles City, and Father Van der Broeck of Miles City superintended the church’s construction. In 1938, the church was enlarged and its exterior walls covered with scoria, a lava rock common to the badlands of the area. Father Leahy, pastor of the church beginning in 1931, conceived the idea of a scoria facing, and volunteers from the congregation went rock-picking in wagons and pickup trucks. Father Leahy recorded that “patient men did a beautiful job of laying the rock up to and on the steeple.” The building served as Wibaux’s Catholic Church until 1965, when a new church was built and this building was converted to a catechism school.

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West Orgain Avenue, Wibaux, Montana ~ Private