In my study of Baptist history last night I discovered an unsung Baptist preacher whose brother is well known to every American and many in foreign countries. The following is a summary of what I have found so far.
SQUIRE BOONE (1744-1815), an early explorer of what are now the states of Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia, was born on October 5, 1744. He was the tenth of eleven children and the brother of the famous explorer and frontiersman, Daniel Boone. He was born near Reading, Pennsylvania, and received little formal education.
His family moved to North Carolina when he was four, and at the age of sixteen he was sent back to Pennsylvania to apprentice under his cousin, Samuel Boone to learn gunsmithing. Most of his life, however, was spent investigating unexplored territory with his more famous brother, Daniel.
He was an ordained Baptist preacher and the record shows that with all his pioneering work he did not fail to preach and teach people God’s way. Also church records show that his brother Daniel was an active church worker.
In 1776 he moved with his family from North Carolina down the Kentucky and Ohio Rivers to what is now Louisville. Ordained as a Separate Baptist minister, Boone started a church there. He performed the first recorded marriage in the Kentucky territory on August 7, 1776 between Samuel Henderson and Elizabeth Callaway.
He discovered a cave near Buck Creek in Heth Township. At a later time he escaped from some hostile Indians by hiding in this cave. It became one of his favorite resorts and many figures of birds, beasts, Bible quotations, etc., are found on the rocks of its walls where they were engraved by his hand. Two of the lines carved in the face of a large stone are as follows:
“Here I sit and sing my soul’s salvation,
And bless the God of my creation.”
Boone died at the age of seventy-one in 1815. Here is the inscription on his burial stone which you can see in the picture above:
SQUIRE BOONE BURIAL CAVE
SQUIRE BOONE Jr. 1744-1815
INTO THIS CAVE OPENING QUIRE BOONE ESCAPED FROM PURSUING INDIANS ABOUT 1790. THEREAFTER HE CONSIDERED THE CAVE HOLY GROUND. AT HIS REQUEST, WE WAS BURIED IN THIS CAVE IN A WALNUT COFFIN HEWN FROM NATIVE TIMBER BY HIS OWN HANDS. AT THE TIME OF HIS BURIAL, THIS ENTRANCE WAS SEALED BY HIS FOUR SONS, MOSES, ISAIAH, JONATHAN, AND ENOCH.
DEVOUTLY RELIGIOUS AND AN ORDAINED BAPTIST MINISTER, HE PERFORMED THE FIRST WHITE MARRIAGE IN KENTUCKY AND PREACHED THE FIRST SERMON AT LOUISVILLE. HE BUILT OLD GOSHEN CHURCH IN 1807, THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH IN INDIANA.
Since the parents of Squire Boone were Quakers until they moved to North Carolina and most of their children became Baptists, I would assume that they came under the influence of the movement started by Shubal Stearns. The center of Stearns’ Separate Baptist movement was not far from where the Boone family settled in North Carolina.
The more I study Baptist history, the more interesting it gets.
Copyright 2017 Pierre Coovert, All rights reserved