There Comes a Reckoning
Charismatic and ernest. Strong of faith and constitution
The first church services held in Deadwood were performed by Reverend Henry Weston Smith, a well liked man in his late forties or early fifties.
Preacher Smith was usually found outside Nye’s Opera House, where he delivered sermons standing atop a crate. Before his death, Smith had stated plans to minister to the local Indians, though many thought this was a bad idea.
Preacher Smith was the first Christian minister to enter the Deadwood area. Himself a Methodist, Preacher Smith briefly served in a Massachusetts 52nd Infantry at the height of the Civil War, after which he studied as a doctor. Preacher Smith was later ordained and walked from Wyoming to the Black Hills to minister to the miners. On Sundays he acted as Chaplain for the camp and held services at Nye’s Opera House, and on other days of the week prospected for gold or performed other odd jobs.
Smith was killed this year, while on his way to hold services at the Iron hill mine. No one is certain how he died, but most of those in Deadwood blame the Sioux. His mangled remains were buried along with his bible on Mt. Moriah.