John Mills Kendrick 1864-1867

John Mills Kendrick – Missionary at Put-In-Bay 1864-1867 and friend of Jay Cooke. He later became Bishop of Arizona 1889-1911.

The Rt Rev John Mills Kendrick was born at Gambier, Ohio on May 14, 1836, son of John and Julia (Guitteau) Kendrick. Growing up in Ohio, his father was professor at Kenyon and Marietta Colleges and he graduated from Marietta College in 1856. Initially he studied law and was admitted to the NY bar but returned to Ohio to enter the Theological School at Marietta, Ohio.

At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, he left the seminary for two years, serving in the Federal Army where he was quickly promoted from private to Captain. He served as an assistant adjutant-general. Returning to Ohio he graduated in the seminary class of 1864, he was ordained to the diaconate in the seminary chapel, May 31, 1864, by Bishop Mcllvaine, who ordained him to the priesthood in the same chapel in June 28, 1865. He initially served as assistant minister of Trinity Church, Columbus, after his ordination in to the diaconate in 1864. He was briefly sent to do missionary work in Put-in Bay. in the fall of 1864. St Paul’s parish was organized in October of 1864 and the congregation began meeting in the schoolhouse. Jay Cooke’s journal reports there were 75 children attending the church school. Mr Kendrick remained there until 1866 when he was appointed rector of St. Andrews’ Church, Fort Scott, Kansas.

Nov. 7,1864 – Bishop McIlvane’s record for Nov 4th in the convention Journal says, “Received the canonical notice of the formation of a parish at Putin-Bay, Lake Erie, under the care of Rev. J. M. Kendrick, Deacon and Missionary, with the title as above. This missionary enterprise has been greatly fostered by Mr. Jay Cooke, of Philadelphia ; and a Church is now being built on the island.

  • Sept 23 1865. — Rev and Mrs Kendrick dined with the Cookes on Gibraltar on Saturday,
  • Sept 24th 1865 — Jay Cooke attends church in the morning and evening. Rev Kendrick preached “Pray without Ceasing.” His sermon was described as “a faithful and practical exposition of the text.”
  • Oct 1st 1865 — J Cooke attends the first service , including a baptism, in St. Paul’s.
  • Oct 8th 1865 J Cooke attends the 10:30am and 5pm services at St. Paul’s. “Large congregations & good sermons.” Bible classes growing to 80-90 on this Sunday.(Pollard 123)
  • June 10th 1866 — J Cooke attended St Paul’s 10:30am and 6pm services. Rev Meade, a candidare for orders, read the services but fainted during the evening service. (Pollard 129)
  • June 17th 1866 — J Cooke went to St Paul’s. In the morning he heard Mr Kendrick preach on Luke 18:37 and in the evening, Mr Clamore preached on Luke 10:32.(a Presbyterian) (Pollard p 131)
  • June 25th 1866 — J Cooke went to church at 10am and heard Mr Kendrick preach on Mark 8:36.
  • Sept 21 – Sept 24th, The Rt Rev C. P. McIlvaine, Bishop of Ohio stayed at Gibraltar with the Cookes.  The Bishop led the Saturday prayers at Gibraltar and “preached a plain forcible evangelical sermon at St Paul’s on Sunday. Bishop Charles Pettit McIlvaine, D. D., D. C. L. departed the 24th. Bp McIlvaine was a prominent figure in US History as well as the Episcopal Church. Pres A Lincoln sent him to London in hopes of keeping the British from supporting the South. McIlvaine, along with many Evangelicals hoped the kingdom might begin. This optimism would have come to St Paul’s with him. but the year passed without Christ’s return. (see Standing Against the Whirlwind : Evangelical Episcopalians in Nineteenth-Century America by Diana Butler for an review of Bp McIlvane’s work at this time.
  • Sept 23rd 1866 — J Cooke attended the confirmation service at St Paul’s, noting Mr Kendrick received a call to Kansas. Jay Cooke wrote in his Journal “God will send another & a suitable & useful man — let us not doubt — but it is a sore trial to lose Kendrick — He is in all respects a perfect minister & never was one more conscientious or energetic in the discharge of every duty.
  • Sept 30th 1866 – Jay Cooke’s Journal reports Mr Kendrick was sick with carbuncles so Jay Cooke led services on Gibraltar for those resident there.

In the Bishop Biddel’s report to the Diocese of Ohio in November 1866 we read, “The next few days were spent at the hospitable home of Jay Cooke, Esq., at Gibraltar, the island at the mouth of Putin-Bay, in Lake Erie. I had the opportunity of appreciating the large openings for usefulness which are placed before our devoted missionary, Rev. J. M. Kendrick, who, by the liberality of Mr. Cooke, is in charge of the whole field of Put-in-Bay island. Mr. Cooke has enabled the islanders to build a neat and commodious church, and has erected a parsonage. Mr. Kendrick, being the only clergyman on the island, and exercising his ministry with tact, prudence and zeal, is securing a position of eminent influence. During the last winter he opened a parish school, which, as I understand, is still continued under a very capable layman. This must contribute largely to the means of healthful religious influence at his disposal. The school is of a higher order than usual; consequently increases the attractiveness of the island as a place of summer resort, especially to Episcopal families. On Sunday, July 30, [1865] I visited this church—St. Paul’s, Putin-Bay. It being the day when Mr. Kendrick was accustomed to visit a missionary station on the main land, I made no formal visitation ; but after Morning Prayer and a short address at home on Gibraltar, arrived at the school-house at Putin-Bay, in time to take part in the closing exercises of the Sunday School, and I addressed the children. In the evening, I returned to Put-in-Bay, read prayers and preached in the schoolhouse, the church not being then completed. This is a very encouraging missionary enterprise. For the support of it we are entirely indebted to Mr. Jay Cooke.

The Rev. J. Mills Kendrick, left St Paul’s for Fort Scott Kansas in 1866. Next he was elected to the rectorship to St. Paul’s Church, Leavenworth, Kansas on October 1, 1868. During his rectorship the nave of the church was extended and completed. Mr. Kendrick resigned the rectorship July 1, 1874. In 1875 he returned to Ohio to accept the charge of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Columbus.

From 1878 until his 1889 consecration as the third Bishop of New Mexico and Arizona, he served as a diocesan general missionary in Ohio. During that period he also served five years as superintendent of city missions in Cincinnati. In 1888 he received his doctorate in divinity from Gambier University. He was consecrated as Bishop in Trinity Church, Columbus, Ohio, on January 18, 1889. Kendrick’s assignment was the large district of New Mexico, Arizona and a portion of Texas, covering about 236,313 square miles. It was seen as one of the most difficult districts for any Bishop of the Episcopal Church. Bishop Miles Kendrick was consecrated in 1889 to serve a Missionary District that encompassed NM, AZ, SW TX and Mexico, a district one-third the size of the United States. Kendrick initially settled in Las Vegas, New Mexico, then he moved his office to Albuquerque. He later moved his offices to El Paso, Texas.

“Recognized as a good, simple-minded, earnest spirited clergyman of powerful physique and self-denying spirit, he was chosen for the work of a”missionary bishop.” He administered the diocese, despite great obstacles. He was married June 28, 1864, to Sarah H. Allen at Walnut Hills, Cincinnati. He maintained a winter residence in Phoenix and a summer home in Oceanside, California, where he died on December 16, 1911, after twenty-three years of service in the Southwest.

He is mentioned in “The Clergy and the Myth of the American West” by Ferenc M. Szasz in Church History, Vol. 59, No. 4 (Dec., 1990), pp. 497-506 Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of the American Society of Church History Ref:

See: The records of the Episcopal Church, The Clergy Annual and the records of the dioceses he served for additional information.

The military service of Capt. J. Mills Kendrick, U. S. Volunteers, assistant adjutant-general in the 4th Division of the Army of Ohio is well documented. Ref: