Meeting House and Cemetery, Cynthiana, Kentucky

by Cindy Endicott Levingston June 6, 2004

JEFA Newsletter 2008 Vol 4 #1

“Strong valiant John Wilt thou march on and take up station first Christ cal’d not hath thee his soldier be and faile not of this trust” Edward Johnson 1654 [4] Ralph Gray, the architect who designed this statute, was awarded the Harleston Parker Medal in 1936 for his part in the creation of the Endecott Memorial

What a rich and honorable history this one little acre of land can lay claim to!

The Endecott Meeting House is known as the “Oldest church building in continuous use west of the Allegheny Mountains”, which all began when Thomas Endicott, his wife Sarah Welch, and their eight children, along with other family members, made the trek from North Carolina along the Wilderness Trail and the Cumberland Gap to the new lands of Kentucky. Their eldest son, Moses, and his wife Martha Hill, came to what is presently known as Harrison County and purchased 160 acres of land. Within a year of arriving here, Moses donated 1-acre land for the construction of a log meeting house. It is said that the ground was one of great oaks not far from the small creek that meandered through his land. Construction of the log meeting house was completed and 1790 were holding meetings.[1][2][3]

Originally, this land was within the Great Commonwealth of Virginia, but that all changed when Kentucky entered the Union in 1792. Just as this land has history in both Virginia and Kentucky, our little acre has history in three counties. First residing in Fayette County (formed by Virginia), and then in Bourbon County, when Bourbon was formed from Fayette 1786, then Harrison was formed from Bourbon in 1793.[1][4]

The Great Revival, or Second Great Awakening, began in 1799 and lasted several years, peaking in 1801 with the well-attended Cane Ridge Revival in Kentucky. [5] [6] Attendance of these camp meetings swelled to as many as 20,000. Two meetings in this Revival series were held at the Endecott Meeting House at Indian Creek in July 1801. [1] What a wonderful and exciting time it must have been!

Known ministers, in the early years, to have graced the pulpit of the Endecott Meeting House include Charles Webb, Isaac Monson (who performed many Endecott marriage ceremonies) [3], J. W. McGarvey, 1878, (respected Bible scholar), James Walter Harding, 1882, Eli Vaughn Zollars, followed Harding, (future president of both Hiram College and Texas Christian University), George T Walden, 1887, (went on as a great missionary to Australia), and many more. [1] Pastors Webb and Monson were brothers in law and both are resting at the Endecott Meeting House Cemetery. [3]

The Cemetery at the Endecott Meeting House, is the final resting place for just under 100 souls, To quote Dr Tom Lawson, “People walk past the graves of some who were born before the United States was a nation.” One of these is our very own Moses Endecott.

There are four (4) Revolutionary War Patriots resting here.

1. Moses Endecott 31-Oct-1759 to 8-May-1834

2. Henry Talbott 1745 - 1819

3. Edward McShane b. 1751 in Hunterdon Co, NJ, d. 1796 Harrison Co, KY

4. Hugh Wilson d. 9-Jan-1819

We also know of seven (7) Endecotts, other than Moses to be resting here.

1. Mary Endecott, widow of William Endecott, 24-July-1853 to 7-July-1903, aged 71y, 9m, 3d

2. Huldah J Endicott, wife of T. J. Endicott, 20-April-1842 to 23-Feb-1873

3. Thomas J Endicott, husband of Huldah, 24-Dec-1838 to 23-July-1865

4. James Endecott, 1866

5. Martha Endecott, 1892

6. Jo Ann Endecott, daughter of W.H. & M.S. Endecott, 08-Oct-1855 to 25-Dec-1859

7. T.A. Endicott, 22-Feb-1865 to 28-Nov-1888

Knowing the depth of faith experienced in this little Church, is it any wonder that the Meeting House is still a living Church?!!

From Newsletter 2008 Vol 4 #1

1 Lawson, Dr Tom. Indian Creek Christian Church 200th Anniversary. (Privately Printed: Cynthiana, KY, 2003).

2 Harmon, Gordon S. Endecott-Endicott Family History with Harmon Lineage’s – 22 Generations, from 1327 to present. Nine Generations in England (1327-1627) and Beyond in America (1628-2001). (GSH Visions: Springfield, MO, 2002).

3 McCloskey, Mabel McFatridge. Some Descendants of John Endecott, Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony. (Camden, Indiana, 1943).

4 University of Alabama, Formation of Kentucky Counties

5 Vance-Granville Community College, P.O. Box 917, Henderson, NC 27536

6 Biggs, Charles R. American Church History of the 17th and 18th Centuries, An Overview.

Photo Courtesy of Robert Poindexter – Cynthiana, KY