BROTHER VAN by Alson Jesse Smith


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No literary masterpiece, this is nevertheless a thoroughly enjoyable and interesting book. It is the life-story of one of the pioneer missionaries of the West, a man whose colorful personality and courageous exploits have made of his a legendary figure in the history of the frontier days in Montana. Rev. William Wesley Van Orsdel was the name of this Pennsylvania Dutchman, but that was too much of a name for the miners and ranchers of Montana and he was immediately dubbed ""Brother Van"" and by that name became known throughout the territory. The story of his first sermon preached in a saloon, the tales of his handling of drunkards and gamblers, and of his experiences during the battles with the Indians, the description of his Methodist associates in the early days of Montana,- all of this adds up to a most readable book. It is suitable both for those interested in American church history, and for students of the great Northwest. Especial interest should be manifested in Montana, for the story of Brother Van is a part of the rich tradition of that state.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1948
Publisher: Abingdon-Cokesbury