Volume 2: Midwest United States
Missouri: MO-2

Benedictines. Conception Abbey
P.O. Box 501 
Conception, MO 64433

Phone 660-944-2821


Hours: By appointment only

Access: Some restrictions apply

Copying facilities: Yes


History: St. Benedict founded the Benedictines (a.k.a. Order of St. Benedict), ca. 529, who have self-identified with the post-nominal initials, “O.S.B.” They are comprised of autonomous monastic houses or abbeys loosely governed by confederations known as “congregations.” Benedictine monks (Engelberg, Switzerland) founded Conception Abbey, 1873, and is a member of the Swiss-American Congregation. Conception Abbey monks administered the following missions and parishes among the Hunkpapa Indians on the Standing Rock Reservation,

1879-2010s St. Peter Church, Fort Yates, North Dakota
1880-1971 (closed) Assumption/ St. Benedict Church, Kenel, South Dakota
1887-1990s (transferred to Rapid City Diocese) St. Bede Mission, Wakpala, South Dakota
1890-1990s (transferred to Rapid City Diocese) St. Aloysius Mission, Bullhead, South Dakota
1897-2010s St. Elizabeth Mission, Cannon Ball, North Dakota
1896-1950 (closed) St. Edward Mission, Mad Bear's Camp, South Dakota
1897-2010s St. James Mission, Porcupine, North Dakota
1913-1970 (closed) St. Ambrose Mission, Black Horse, South Dakota
1916-1971 (closed) Sacred Heart Mission, Little Eagle, South Dakota
1920-1937 (closed) St. Bernard Mission, Red Cedar, North Dakota
1920-1950 (closed) Our Lady of Perpetual Help Mission, La Compte, South Dakota


Holdings of Catholic records about Native Americans:

Inclusive dates: 1873-2010s, undated

Volume: At least 2.3 cubic feet and 3 reels microfilm

Description: 4 series include Native Catholic records, which excluding photographs and publications, were microfilmed in 1982 by Marquette University.


/1 "B-Journals"

Inclusive dates: 1873-1966, undated

Volume: .8 cubic foot and part of 1 reel of microfilm (only Rev. Buerkler Diary microfilmed)


A. Abbot Frowin Conrad, O.S.B., "Diary," 1873-1920, 4 volumes: Include occasional references to Indian mission and school activities

B. Reverend Othmar Buerkler, "Diary," 1920-1966, 4 notebooks: Include occasional references to Indian mission activities

C. Samples of Indian students' work, e.g., artwork, essays, maps, math, sewing, and penmanship, 1893-1894, 1896, undated, 9 volumes

D. Photograph album, undated (bulk ca. 1890-1910), 126 prints: primarily Indian children at Standing Rock Reservation mission schools


/2 "C-Pictures"

Inclusive dates: 1885-1965 (bulk 1885-1920)

Volume: 328 photographs

Description: Primarily people and buildings on the Standing Rock Reservation, which include portraits of Native Americans by commercial photographers, e.g. S.J. Fansler, Frank B. Fiske, D.E. Miller.


/3 "D-II-Parishes, Missions, and Chaplaincies"

Inclusive dates: 1876-1980, undated

Volume: .9 cubic foot

Description: Correspondence arranged alphabetically by location of the mission or parish.

A. "Cannonball, St. Elizabeth’s," 1907, 1 folder

B. "Elbowoods, Sacred Heart," 1910, undated, 1 folder

C. "Fort Yates, St. Peter’s," 1876-1878, 1881-1957, 1962, 1973, undated, .4 cubic foot: bulk 1881-1929; contains incoming and outgoing correspondence; major correspondents include Father Martin Marty, O.S.B. and Father Bernard Strassmaier, O.S.B., Abbot Frowin Conrad, O.S.B., Sister M. Gertrude, O.S.B. [Benedictine Sisters] and Sister M. Mathilda, O.S.B., and the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions

D. "Kenel, St. Benedict's," 1882-1912, 1919, 1924, 1928, 1937, 1940-1941, 1961, undated, .3 cubic foot: majority of correspondence is from the years 1881-1912; contains incoming and outgoing correspondence; major correspondents include Father Martin Kenel, O.S.B., Abbot Frowin Conrad, O.S.B., Sister M. Mathilda, O.S.B., and the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions

E. "McLauahlin, St. Bernard's," 1918-1921, 1923, 1937, 1940, 1972, 1 folder

F. "Selfridge, St. Philomena," 1924, 1932, 1937, 1940-1943, 1947, 1948, 1950-1951, 1 folder: includes correspondence re: St. James Mission, Porcupine

G. "Shields, St. James," 1911-1912, 1 folder

H. "Stephan, Immaculate Conception," 1897, 1916, 1 folder: includes drawings by Indian students

I. "Wakpala, St. Bede's," 1933, 1935-1937, 1940, undated, 1 folder

J. "Yankton, Sacred Heart Convent (O.S.B.)," 1880-1897, 1902-1904, 1906-1909, 1911-1912, 1914, .2 cubic foot: bulk 1880-1897; primarily incoming correspondence; major correspondents include Sister M. Gertrude, O.S.B., Sister M. Hildegarde, O.S.B., and Sister M. Xaveria, O.S.B., Father Martin Marty, O.S.B., and Abbot Frowin Conrad, O.S.B.

K. "Standing Rock Reservation Missions, Historical Notes and Publications," 1909-1980, undated, 1 folder


/4 "G-Publications"

Inclusive dates: 1905-present

Volume: .1 cubic foot

Description: 3 publications of Conception Abbey with occasional articles on or references to Native Americans and Catholic evangelization.

A. The Morning Star, 1905-1926, and intermittently to 1952

B. Tower Topics, 1954-present

C. Inter Nos, 1959-1976


Unless otherwise noted, the repository on this page holds (or held) the records described here and they are not held at the Marquette University Archives.