AN ANCIENT CHURCH
A History of the Oldest Church in Hopkins County
CANE RUN CHURCH, NEAR ST. CHARLES
How the Pioneers Dressed for Church and the Part Cupid Played
St. Charles, Ky., June 23.--(Special.)--It may be of interest to the many readers of The Bee to learn that about two and a half miles north-west of this place is the site of the oldest house of worship within the lines of what is now Hopkins county. It was established about the year 1818, and was known as the Cane Run Church, taking the name from a small branch running near by, which still bears the name of Cane Run. It was located within a few yards of the present Cane Run School house, and was built of hewn logs, with a stick and mud chimney in the east end. The building had one door, but no windows, and was occupied by the Iron Side Baptists, who held services once a month. The membership was large, and included people for many miles in every direction. About an acre of ground was set apart, in the immediate vicinity of the church, for the burial of the dead. The undergrowth was removed, but the large timber was left standing as a protection against the heat of summer and the cold blasts of winter. Elders Timothy SISK, EARL, McMANN and EZELL were some of the ministers who presented the gospel claims at these old-time meetings, which were held on Saturdays and Sundays of each month. The services were nearly always well attended and looked forward to with great interest. It was in fact the great meeting place for the people of this entire section of the country. Young and old, weak and strong would never forget the appointed day and would rarely fail to be in attendance. Some would go in wagons, others on horseback, but a still larger number would walk. In those days a young man was up to date if he possessed a suit of home-made jeans, and frequently went to church wearing a bran new pair of buckskin breeches. The young ladies often carried their shoes in their hands until near the church, when they would stop and complete their toilet. They wore very fine home-made cotton dresses, and were delighted to have a bright stripe of either blue or turkey red.
Our informer, who has seen more than eighty summers, had a merry twinkle in his eye and smiled when asked how the young ladies and men enjoyed themselves at those long-time-ago-meetings, but refused to give us further information on that line. But it is safe to say that Cupid then, as before and since, was not idle during those large gatherings under the towering oaks, and that many were the happy greetings, and pleasant hours passed by the younger people under their shadowy branches, in a devotion otherwise than that contemplated by either the pastor or older members. The building has long since disappeared and nothing now remains, save a mound formed by the fallen chimney, to mark the exact spot upon which long years ago stood the first church in the section of the country.
The burying ground, too, has been badly neglected, and it is only by a close examination that one can find the many graves which have for so many years held within their cold embrace those who were accustomed to worship at the old church. It would be a noble and a meritorious work for some one to take up, and have the grounds cleared off again, the graves mounded up, and the whole premises put under fence. It is sad to see that neglected, which years ago was so sacred to those who were accustomed to worship at the old church. It would be a noble and a meritorious work for some one to take up, and the whole premises put under fence. It is sad to see that neglected, which years ago was so sacred to those grand old mothers and fathers of this section of the country. (Source: Earlington Bee, Thur., June 24, 1897)