Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Isaac McCoy

Rev. Isaac McCoy (1784-1846) = Baptist Missionary. Surveyor. US Commissioner Indian Agent. Ferry operator. Born in Pennsylvania and reared in the frontier settlements of Indiana and Kentucky.
Isaac brought his family of six west in 1830. His son, John Calvin, born in Indiana in 1811, his daughter, Delilah, and his son-in-law, Dr. Johnston Lykins. When the Rev. McCoy arrived, he knelt, offered prayer and dedicated the land.
Isaac built a log cabin high on a hill (northeast corner of Main and Linwood Blvd.) overlooking what was to become Westport.
In August of 1830, Isaac McCoy addressed a council of Shawnees on the subject of establishing a Baptist mission. He wrote in his diary: "The Methodists have been talking of forming an establishment among them. Today more than twenty Shawanoes assembled in obedience to a call of Major John Campbell, [sub-agent] to whom I made a pretty lengthy address on the subject of a mission being established among them. The celebrated Shawnaoe prophet, who was so often heard of in the last war, and brother to Tecumseh, replied briefly to me. An answer will be deferred, until I return from my tour in the wilderness."
Isaac McCoy surveyed the Indian reservation land in Kansas. Mrs. Eliza McCoy, a niece, worked at the Wea Baptist Mission near Paola in 1848.  
On July 13, 1835, Isaac purchased a female slave named Chiney for $15 to prevent her from being torn from her husband and family. He was against slavery, but promised to provide her freedom when Chiney had paid him back.. He left Chiney to his wife in his will and Jotham Meeker, another Baptist missionary, witnessed it.
A marker was placed at McCoy’s  home, near what became St. Luke’s Hospital on Wornall Road, in 1961 by the Jackson County Historical Society.

Historical Note: Isaac's brother-in-law, Judge William Polke of Rochester, was the conductor of the Pottawatomi Indians during the Trail of Death from Indiana to the Indian territory in Kansas in 1838. If you wish to know if a Pottawatomi ancestor traveled on the Trail of Death, see the Tribal Rolls here. 

 More to Read:
1. McCoy Papers, Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, KS www.KSHS.org
2. The Annual Register of Indian Affairs within the Western (or Indian) Territory. By Isaac McCoy, 1837-1838. KSHS.org
3. History of the Baptist Indian Missions. by Isaac McCoy. 1840.
4. The Memoir of Mrs. Eliza McCoy. Calvin McCormick, Dallas, Texas, 1892.
5. Jackson County Pioneers. By Pearl Wilcox. 1975
6. A Historic Outline of Grinter Place from 1825 to 1878. Compiled by Harry E. Hanson. c. 1970.
7. “The Trail of Death” by Marilyn Mullins, Osawatomie and Its People. Osawatomie Historic Society, 1995
8. Annals of Shawnee Methodist Mission. Compiled by Martha B. Caldwell. Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, KS. 1977.
9. John Brown and the Legend of Fifty-Six. By James Claude Malin. 1942.
10. Missouri: Day by Day. By Floyd C. Shoemaker, Editor. Mo State Historical Society, 1942.
11. The History of the Jackson County Historical Society: 1909 to 1996. By Wilda Sandy. 1996. and  Here Lies Kansas City: A Collection of Our City’s Notables and Their Final Resting Places. Wilda Sandy. 1984.
12. History of Kansas. By Noble L. Prentis. E.P.Greer, Winfield, KS; 1899.
13. Memoir of Jason Mason Peck. Rufus Babcock. 1864.
15. Baptists in Illinois
16. John Calvin McCoy on Pearl Street, Kansas City, MO. And "Paving the Way to South Kansas City." 

Places to see in Mo and KS.
1. Westport Landing, Missouri River and Grand Ave, Kansas City
2. Residence Marker, near St. Luke’s Hospital on Wornall. Kansas City, MO. Jackson County Historical Society. 1961.
3. John Calvin McCoy’s former home, 711 Olive Street, Kansas City, MO.
4. John built a two story log cabin in 1833 at 444 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO.
5. Look up! The Westport Historical marker is attached to a brick building on the corner of Pennysylvania and Westport Roads, Kansas City, MO.
6. Westport Historical Society/Harris-Kearney Home, 4000 Baltimore Ave, Kansas City
7. Mary Ann Isaacs Dagenette Peoria's home, 708 E. Kaskaskia St., Paola (Private home).
8. Wea Baptist Mission History, Miami County Historical Museum, Paola, KS.
9. Red Bridge, spans Red Bridge Road between Blue River Parkway and Holmes Road, Kansas City, MO
10. Trail of Death Marker at Minor Park (between the old Red Bridge and the first park shelter on east side of Blue River), off Red Bridge Road, Kansas City, MO. (The west side of Blue river is where the Pottawatomi's camped in Nov. 1838 before reaching their reservation in Miami County, Kansas two days later).
11. Union Cemetery, 227 East 28th Terr. Kansas City, MO. (Note: According to John Mark Lambertson, a former member of the Union Cemetery board, Rev. Isaac McCoy passed away in the city of Louisville, Kentucky and was buried there. However, his son, John Calvin McCoy, was buried in the Union Cemetery).  


  1. Just starting to learn about Isaac and his wife. Isaac would be my third great grand uncle. The McCoys, all that I have learned about so far, were surely remarkable people!

    1. Yes, they were! Glad you stopped by and left me a comment! Made my day! :)


Ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. ~ Ephesians 1:15-17.