Gretchen Deter

Eugene T. Westervelt
Eldest son of James H. & Lorena A. (Day) Westervelt

The Westervelt Family Story

The family history of the Westervelts started long before people began settling in the Scottsbluff and Gering valley area. Their story takes us back to 1614 and the “VanWestervelt’s” sailing “across the pond” with hopes of a new life in a new land. Sound familiar? It very well might for many people, but although this story begins much like some of our own, we are confident that you’ll be amazed at this family’s journey, business ventures, and their overall impact as they made their way across the country to Nebraska to ultimately help settle this region of the state.  This story and program will focus on the sons, grandsons and great-grandsons of James Henry Westervelt, a founding father of not only Scottsbluff and Gering, but who also left his mark in Custer County as well.  Interested? We hope so. Come join on Saturday, July 20th at 1:30pm to hear the rest of the Westervelt story. Several of the Westervelt descendants will be at the presentation to answer questions. The presenter is Gretchen Deter, a local historian and retired teacher of “Frontier History”. As always, the program is free and open to the public.



The Story of Pierre Jon Desmet

Many history lovers have been infatuated with the life and works of Pierre Jon Desmet, one of the American West’s greatest explorers, cartographers, Native American advocates, and missionary. He came from East Flanders in Belgium to America to dedicate is life to spreading Christianity to the western Native Americans and while doing so, he changed the West in a way that no other man ever did.
By horseback, canoe, and foot, he traveled over 130,000 miles across America spreading the word of Christ. As a Jesuit missionary, he dedicated his life to the American Indian, especially the Flathead Indians in the Northern Rocky Mountains.
Whether you are a history buff or someone just wishing to learn a fascinating story, this program will help you to understand the amazing life and accomplishments of this “Black Robe Priest”.
The program will be Saturday, November 18, 2017 at the West Nebraska Family Research & History Center at 1602 Ave A in Scottsbluff and begins at 1:30pm.

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