David Lykins

Pottawatomie Baptist Manual Labor School, 1847-1859
Kansas History Center near Topeka

David Lykins came to Kansas in 1844 from Vigo County, Indiana where his family had been among the first white settlers in 1817. [Beckwith, History of Vigo, 490] He was educated as a physician and, following his family's Baptist tradition, went to Kansas as a missionary to the Confederated Tribes. He opened the Wea Mission about one mile east of the future Paola in 1844 and continued there until 1857. [Barry, Annals, 532] The mission was very successful and in 1852 the Baptist Conference gave him an additional duty, placing him in charge of the Pottawatomie Baptist Manual Labor School, near the future Topeka, when the conference discharged the missionary Johnston Lykins for mishandling church funds. In 1856 an assistant was sent to help and David Lykins was made "General Superintendent of all the Baptist Missions in the Kansas Territory." [Barr, Pottawatomie Baptist, 416ff]

Lykins was clearly a southern sympathizer. For example, he made a speech advocating Cuba be annexed to the Union as a slave state. [Wilder, Annals, 67] He stuck to his missionary work, however, and did not join in the military or political efforts of his fellow legislators. After the Free-State victory, he gave up on Kansas, left the territory and died in Colorado in 1861. [Blackmar, Kansas, 291ff.]

Charles Clark