Editor's Note: Readers of The Kentucky Explorer have been introduced to the Rev. John J. Dickey in past issues. Remember that he was a traveling preacher throughout the eastern part of the state during the years between 1880 and 1925. He helped to establish numerous churches and at least two colleges. He was also a teacher and a newspaper editor. However, his most enduring gift to us today may well be his diary that he kept faithfully during some 50 years of his later life beginning in the 1880s. In all, over 6,000 pages written in his own hand make up this interesting digest.
In this journal of his, Dickey often wrote down accounts of events daily. Much of the material concerns his day to day life. However, during the late 1890s he began to gather family history on various families he met in his travels. Beginning in this issue we are offering these interviews to our readers in the hope that they will be appreciated in the sense that Rev. Dickey intended. These interviews were written word for word as they were given to Rev. Dickey. Nothing has been changed.
November 29, 1897
Well, the dance Saturday night was a failure. Praise the Lord. Only four women were there: Miss Daisy Potter, Mattie Marion, Miss Joplin from Louisville, and another one. It was adjourned early. One of the converts were there. This is a victory as great boasts were made by the devotees of Terpischore that they would capture all the girls that were saved.
An amusing incident occurred Saturday. I was visiting the editor's family, Alabama people, but very poor. I asked Mrs. Horton what her relation to the Lord was. "I am an Episcopalian," she answered in a clear shrill voice.
Bro. May came in from Benge today. Two miles from town he met a young man and a young woman in the road. The man was Gabe Potter, a handsome boy about 20, drunk and down off his horse, holding the bridle of the young lady's horse with one hand, while he was trying to pull the girl off the horse with the other. As Bro. May approached he told him to go on, drew his revolver, and told him if he looked back he would shoot him. He did look back, and the girl says that Potter leveled his pistol at him and she knocked it down. The girl told Bro. May to tell Mr. Carnahan, who lived at the next house, to come to her relief. The girl was employed by Mr. Carnahan's family as cook and house girl, a very good-looking young woman. Mr. Carnahan, Bro. May, and another man, who chanced to be at Mr. Carnahan's house, came back. They hollered at the fellow when they got in sight and he mounted his horse and rode away. The girl was bent on coming on to town and having him arrested, but Mrs. Carnahan objected because the boy's mother was such a good woman. Such is the feebleness of public sentiment on the subject of enforcing the law. This occurred in the highway about noon. Shame on such civilization. It is said that the girl has been suspected of violating the laws of chastity, but in this case she was violently opposing the attacks of the drunken brute.
Today I have visited some, tried to rest from yesterday's labor, and have read some very strong articles in The Methodist Review. Especially was I interested in Archaeology in Bible Interpretation. It seems volumes of contemporaneous history has been unearthed in Egypt and the Euphrates Valley which confirm the Bible record. It is wonderful how God has hid away these records and preserved them through so many thousands of years and how they came forth to attest the truth of His word. The last decade has brought wonders in these fields. As the years advance the evidences of Christianity accumulate. I want to go to London today, to help finish up the $1,500 on the college, but the hack did not go, and it was raining, so I could not go horseback. I hope to go tomorrow.
Bro. May is rejoicing in conscious salvation, and so am I. "The best of all is the Lord is with us." We will praise, follow Him, love Him, serve Him, and worship His name.