Family Stories

Rev. John Gano and Wife Sarah – First Revolutionary Soldier Re-Interred in D.A.R. Lot in Frankfort Cemetery – Franklin County

New gravestone for John and Sarah Gano by Franklin County D.A.R.

The Lexington Herald, Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Monday, June 19, 1916

Rev. John Gano’s Body is Re-Interred

First Revolutionary Soldier to be Buried in the D.A.R. Lot

The first Revolutionary soldier to be buried in the D.A.R. lot in the Frankfort Cemetery was the Rev. John Gano, whose remains, with those of his wife, were removed from the old Forks of Elkhorn burial ground, which is now a part of an open field on Sam Mason’s farm, and re-interred on Friday, June 9, 1916, in a beautiful spot not far from Daniel Boone and other Kentucky heroes, by the Frankfort Chapter, with the op-operation and assistance of L. Frank Johnson and members of the Gano family.

On the old gravestones of Kentucky River marble, where were also removed, and now mark the spot, in quaint old lettering, are the following inscriptions:

“Sacred to the Memory of The Rev. John Gano, who departed this life the tenth day of August, A. D., 1804, in the 78th year of his age.”

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all – Amen.”

“Sacred to the Memory of Sarah Gano, wife of the Rev. John Gano, who departed this life April 22, A. D., 1792, in the 57th year of her age.”

The Rev. John Gano was born in Hopewell, New Jersey, July 22, 1727.  He was educated at Princeton College, and became one of the eminent divines of his day.  In 1762, he organized and was pastor of the First Baptist Church in New York City and for a number of years was also pastor of the church in Philadelphia.  At the beginning of the Revolution, he entered the army as chaplain and continued in the service until the close of the war.  He was a personal friend of George Washington, and there is a tradition in the family that General Washington was baptized by him.

At the close of the war the Rev. Mr. Gano went back to his church in New York City, and there remained until 1786, when he came to Kentucky and was at once recognized as being the most learned and eloquent preacher in the western country.  He is said to have preached the first sermon ever given in Frankfort and was the first chaplain of the Kentucky Legislature.

In the near future the remains of the Rev. William Hickman and Colonel Anthony Crockett are to be placed by the side of the Ganos, and there will be a formal dedication of the D.A.R. lot in the cemetery.  This lot, through the efforts of the Frankfort Chapter and L. Frank Johnson, was obtained from the Board of Trustees of the Frankfort Cemetery and has been marked by the Frankfort Chapter with granite blocks inscribed “D.A.R.”  It is open to all chapters of the organization.

In this work of removing from every section of the State the Revolutionary soldiers, whose graves are now unmarked or neglected and in ultimately erecting a beautiful monument to their memory, the local Daughters of the American Revolution hope to interest not only all the other Daughters of the State, but every loyal and patriotic citizen of Kentucky. – State Journal (Frankfort)

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