“ He took him [Abraham] outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
~ Genesis 15:5 ~ ~ ~
“And so from this one man, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.” ~ Hebrews 11:12
Dr. Johnston Lykins (1800-1876) = Medical Missionary. Kansas City’s First Mayor
(1853-1854). Born in Virginia on August 15. Dr. Lykins received his medical education at Transylvania College (f. 1780), in Lexington, Kentucky.
Dr. Lykins came west in 1831, settling in the Kansas City area as a medical missionary. He is said to have accompanied the Shawnee Indians on their long trek from Michigan to the territory of Kansas. The Federal government began setting aside reservations as early as 1786, but on May 28, 1829, Congress gave President Jackson permission to move various Indian tribes such as the Shawnee and the Delaware to the new Kansas territory.
Dr. Lykins compiled a Shawnee-English dictionary and written alphabet to enable the Shawnees to read his translation of the Bible. He also vaccinated his flock against smallpox.
He was instrumental in organizing First Baptist Church, formerly at 5th and West Streets, which is presently located at Red Bridge and Wornall roads in south Kansas City. Charter members were: Robert and Mary A. Holmes, T.M. and Sarah J. James, A.L. and Elizabeth M. Martin, D.L.Mimms, Dr. Johnston, Martha, and Julia Lykins, Rev. R.S.and Elvira Thomas.
Johnston’s first wife was Delilah McCoy, the daughter of Baptist missionary Elder Isaac McCoy. She died of tuberculosis at the Pottawatomie Indian Reservation in 1844.
He had one son and daughter, Julia, who married
Dr. T.S. Case. He married his second wife, Martha A. “Mattie” Livingston in 1851. He built a two story, 14 room, red brick mansion which was completed in 1857 at 12th and Broadway. He had invested in land, but lost his wealth in the economic collapse during the 1870s and died while still in bankruptcy. Afterwards, Mattie converted the house into a boarding school for girls. It was sold and moved two years before her death in 1889.
More to Read:
1. Blue River Baptist
Association Missouri. By Marshall Louis Mertens and O.P. Joyce.
Brown-White-Lowell Press, Kansas City, MO. 1947.