Indian Creek Chapel Cemetery (Lost)

See the Digital Cemetery for more info.

Lost Cemetery

NE quarter of SW quarter of Section 7, Township 13S, Range 25E

Kansas Archealogical Site 14JO1403, registered 2006

The first patent to this land was issued to John W Boyle in 1857. Boyle was Shawnee Indian and a Methodist.

The Shawnee Mission (Kan.) Steward's Book, available microfilm from the Kansas State Historical Society, call number MS 1107, contains the minutes of the earliest Methodist Conferences held in Johnson County, Kansas, as well as a record of Shawnee marriages performed by the Methodists. This Steward's book provides some information about Boyle and the church that became known as Scarritt's Chapel.

Two marriage entries for John Boyle are listed in the Steward's Book. In the first entry, dated 7 Apr 1856, John is wed to Tilly Captain by Rev'd Charles Boles. The second entry is on 5 Jun 1856 to Caty Short, and the wedding was again performed by Rev. Charles Boles. Catherine (Caty) had a daughter from a previous marriage, Amanda Short, who also lived with the Boyle family, and her personal Shawnee land allotment was an adjoining part of this section of land.

On page 45 of the The Steward's Book, we find mention of this church as Indian Creek Chapel. This church played host to the quarterly conferenc held in June of 1859:

"The Third Quarterly Conference of the Shawnee Kansas Mission , Shawnee Mission, and Shawnee M. L. School met at the Indian Creek Chapell on Saturday the 17th of June 1859.

   "Members Present

   William Bradford, P. E.
   J Spencer, P. E., Shawnee Mission
   N. Scarritt, P. E., Shawnee Reserve
   ? Davidson, ?
   Saml M Cornatzer, Steward
   James Liggitt, C. Leader"

The minutes state that N. Scarritt was elected Secretary for the conference. During the course of the meeting Scarritt gave a report of the condition of the 4 Conference Sabbath Schools, the Shawnee M. L. School, the Shawnee S. School, the Monticello S. School, and the Indian Creek S. School. Indian Creek had the largest number of teachers and scholars, with a reported "1 Superindentent, 6 teachers, 27 scholars, and 100 volumes in the library."

Towards the end of this Conference meeting, "N. Scarrett then nominated the following brethern as Stewards for the Shawnee Reserve; Henry Wagoner, Alex. Smith, Thos. Hawkins, Alex. S. Johnson, and William Holmes, all of whom were elected."

The second entry in the tract book is dated 13 Oct 1859 and occurred approximately four months after the Conference meeting at Indian Creek Chapel. This entry formalizes a bond between John W Boyle and Rev. Thomas Johnson, Alex S Johnson, T A J Hawkins, Alex Smith, and John W Boyle for 2 acres of land for a church. At that time, Rev. Johnson, was the superintendent for the Shawnee Methodist Indian Mission, and later our county was named for Rev. Johnson. Alexander Soule Johnson, the eldest son of Rev. Thomas and Sarah, started the Shawnee Land Company with his brother-in-law, John Bristow Wornall around this same time.

In the Johnson County Marriage Records, 3 couples were listed that were married by Rev. Charles . Boles in Meadowbrook, with the location of the ceremony given as John W Boyle's. Rev. Boles was also owned the section of land immediately south of Boyle's farm, including where the present-day Johnson County Memorial Gardens cemetery is located.

John Boyle remained on this land until 1871, when he and his family relocated to Indian Territory (OK) with their fellow Shawnee. The church is last mentioned in deed 27 Apr 1871, John Boyle to Daniel Ensign, V-190 IDA (archives) as Methodist Church South.

Daniel Ensign and his new wife, Caroline Tharp, continued to farm the land surrounding the church and cemetery. Daniel and Caroline had only one living child, son Dewey. Dewey was born on this farm, and his birth location is listed as Meadowbrook, KS. This area was known as Meadowbrook on and off for about 15 years during Ensign's time and there was a Meadowbrook post office sporadically throughout this period.

After the sale of land from Boyle to Ensign in 1871, only the cemetery is mentioned in the tract book and the deeds. The cemetery is specifically noted and execpted from all sales through 1967. The next sale of this land, in 1968, does not mention a cemetery.

When Methodism Reached Kansas, by S. T. Seaton, was the title of an article published in the Kansas City Star, 26 May 1907. Seaton, who found the Methodist Conference Steward's Book and later donated it to the Kansas State Historical Society, noted the following about this church in his article:

"It is noteworthy that at this conference of 1849, the name of Nathan Scarritt appears for the first time, he signing the nimutes as secretary. Nathan Scarritt was closely identified with the Shawnees from 1848 to 1861. Among his labors, and not chronicled elsewhere, was the erection of a chapel on Indian creek, which in this record is refered to Scarritt Chapel. To this day it stands on what is known as the Daniel Ensign farm and is used as a barn or stable."

In Ed Blair's >1915 History of Johnson County, on page 52, J.W. Parker notes, "Nathan Scaritt is first mentioned in 1848 when he was the secretary of the quarterly conference. He was connected with this Shawnee work until 1860. Among other notable Christian work which he did, we find the building of what was known as Scaritts chapel, on the south bank of Indian creek in Section 13, Township 13, Range 24, or in section 18, township 13, range 25. The site of it is well known."

Historic Overland Park: An Illustrated History, mentions this church on page 18 as follows:
"School district 1 grew from Scarritt's Chapel established in 1857 as a church and school south of 103rd Street, approximately at Metcalf. As farm boundaries and regular roads became more prevalent, children could no longer ride across the open land and distances became too great, according to 'Linwood School: A Century of Spirit.' As a result, Scarritt School split in 1868."

A passage from Elizabeth Barnes' Historic Johnson County column from September 8, 1960 informs us that "Scarritt's Chapel was the name of the school, which served also as a church and social center...Scarritt's Chapel continued for a number of years, the school being later on moved over to Mission Road." Mrs. James remembers the location of the school as "immediately west of what is now 69 Highway at 103rd Street." (Note: 69H = present day Metcalf Ave.)

I visited this area 4 Nov 2006 and observed the very old cedar trees and the presence of Black Locust trees, uncommon to business landscaping. There is a USCE Survey Mark placed ner to the area in question. The site appears to be at is at original height and appears undisturbed. The City of Overland Park has no record of moving this cemetery and cannot locate 1974 zoning files for that area.

Evidence

13 Oct 1859 Bond between John W Boyle, patent pending, and Rev. Thomas Johnson, son Alex Johnson, T A J Hawkins, Alex Smith, and John W Boyle for 2 acres of land for Methodist Church South

    Beginning at a point on the quarter section line forty-eight (48) poles due north of the southeast corner of the southwest quarter of Section Seven (7), Township Thirteen (13), Range Twenty Five (25); running thence twelve (12) poles due west, thence twenty six and two thirds (26 2/3) due North, thence twelve (12) poles due east to the aforeseaid quarter section thence twenty six and two thirds (26 2/3) poles due south to the place of beginning;

1870s-1966 Cemetery mentioned and excepted from all land sales

    N 210.7 ft of S 1042.1 ft of the E 206.7 ft of the of the SE 1/4 of the SW 1/4 of Section 7, Township 13S, Range 25E

1874 Atlas, Johnson County, KS, Oxford Township, pg. 88 ( D Ensign )

Indian Creek Chapel and Cemetery marked on 1874 Oxford Twp Atlas

1886 Atlas, Johnson County, KS, Oxford Township ( Daniel Ensign )

Indian Creek Chapel and Cemetery marked on 1886 Oxford Twp Atlas

1940 Atlas, Johnson County, KS, Oxford Township ( George Gagel )

Image  not available.

1956 Map, Johnson County, KS, Oxford Township George Gagel )
 

Indian Creek Chapel Cemetery marked on 1956 Oxford Twp Atlas

 

1959 USDA Aerial Map, Johnson County, KS, Oxford Township, Section 7

1959 USDA Aerial Photo of Section 7

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