|Father Buechel entered the Society of Jesus in Blyenback, Holland, in 1897 and came to the United States in 1900 to finish his Jesuit training. He first arrived on the Rosebud Reservation as a young Jesuit teacher at St. Francis Mission in 1902. After his teaching assignment, he undertook theology studies in St. Louis and was ordained to the Jesuit priesthood in 1906. Father Buechel's first assignment after ordination was to Holy Rosary Mission on the Pine Ridge Reservation, where he served as superior until 1916.
Fr. Buechel returned to St. Francis and Rosebud country in 1916, and was superior of the Mission until 1923. It was at this time that his most ambitious, photographic work began. His pastoral duties absorbed most of his time and interest. His free time was also given to study of the Lakota Sioux language in which he was proficient. His 30,000 vocabulary cards were the first written documents of the Lakota language and provide the definitive reference even today for study of Lakota. He also carefully preserved specimens of the flora of the upper plains in all four seasons with identification in English, Latin and Lakota. In addition, Fr. Buechel was given a large collection of native Sioux artifacts. <p>On his 50th anniversary as a Jesuit in 1947, a museum was constructed in St. Francis to display Father Buechel's precious collection of native Sioux culture. His photographic negatives, prints and diaries were added to the archives of the Buechel Memorial Lakota Museum in 1972.
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