Boston Union Church
Transcribed with permission from "The
First 200 Years of Pendleton County"
Compiled and written by Millie Bowen Belew, thanks Millie!
This small Methodist Church was located at the end of Ball Road, about 1/4 mile
west of U. S. 27 at Boston Station. It was built shortly after Boston Station,
near the Covington and Lexington Railroad, became a town in 1855. The building
was officially dedicated in 1859. It enjoyed a prominent location and for many
years Orvid E. Cowles sought to have a road established via the "Union
Meeting House" that would have connected present day Highway 17 with U. S.
27. Mr. Cowles met much resistance to his proposal and never succeeded with his
The old church flourished in
the 1870's along with the Boston Sawmill and the railroad. Serious flooding
eventually caused the sawmill to be moved to Butler and this marked the
beginning of the end for this once vibrant area. Its use declined rapidly after
the turn of the century; however, the cemetery received burials as late as 1955
and 1961. In September of 1949 the Boston Settlers Association held a reunion on
the church grounds. Among the descendants who attended were the Duckers,
Bradfords, Mullins, Ellis', McClanhans, Lovelaces, Campbells, Burlews, Newkirks,
Kirbys, Blasingames and Skinners. Effort to revive the church was made through
the financing of a permanent committee to keep the church and cemetery.
Initially, much was done to preserve the church but time has taken its toll on
this noble effort and presently the church and cemetery are in serious need of
This small rural church was a
part of the Methodist Conference from the early 1900's until the late 1920's.
The building, which still stands, was meant to serve as an interdenominational
church. It also served as a community building and a school.
With Mr. O. P. Yelton as the
chief carpenter, the men of the community donated work to erect the building.
Nellie (Yelton) Mann, one of Mr. Yelton's daughters, took subscriptions to raise
money to finance the project. The building was erected on land provided by Mr.
One of the first Methodist ministers to serve the church was Rev. W. L. Clark,
who performed the marriage of Mary (Mammie) Campbell and Gano Beckett on
Christmas Eve, December 24, 1900. Other Methodist ministers continued to hold
meetings once a month, with services on Saturday night, Sunday morning and
Sunday nights. These services were well attended with the church filled to
capacity and an overflow crowd outside.
The Burlews who lived on the east side of the Licking River, across from Boston
Station, came to church by crossing the river boat and walking about a half mile
from the river to the church. They included the families of A. Douglas Burlew,
Marion Burlew and Polk Burlew. Marion served as Sunday school superintendent for
a number of years. Also crossing the river to attend church were Mr. and Mrs.
Milton Mulloy. Other members were O. P. Yelton and daughters, Nellie and Cora,
Mrs. Mollie Edwards and daughters, Aleene and Ada (Mrs. John M. Kirby), John
Beckett and family, Mabel, Jewel, Ray and Bland, Jeff Bradford, Hannah and Flora
Bradford, Aunt Lit Gosney, Anna and Lillian Sine, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Gosney, Mr.
and Mrs. Frank Wright, the Parsons and the Arnold, Katie and Raymond were the
last to leave.
During the late 1920's the attendance began to decline, with a number of people
moving their membership to Butler Methodist Church or other churches in the
area. The Methodist Conference no longer provided a regular minister.