Dickey's Diary


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.

December 25, 1897
Dr. Burchell's, Clay County

I came here yesterday afternoon. Have had a delightful day with this delightful family. Dr. Burchell is a native of Jessamine County, Kentucky, and is 47 years old. His wife is a daughter of T. T. Garrard and great-granddaughter of Governor Garrard. They are excellent people. Mrs. Burchell was converted in our last meeting. Her daughters, May, Jose, and Lucy, were converted in our first meeting. They are Presbyterians. Dr. Burchell is not yet converted. They have 11 children and a bright home of immortals. Miss Hannah H. Evans is here. She is the district schoolteacher from Greensburg, Indiana. She was converted in our meeting, is a Presbyterian, and is also an extremely modest young woman of good mind. She is refined and fairly well-educated. She is anxious to be used of the Lord, and I believe she will prove a faithful and efficient worker. How this region needs such women.
Last night the children of the district had Christmas entertainment at the schoolhouse, under the management of Miss Evans, which was very creditable to all concerned. In the festivities of the day we have kept Jesus before us. I am trusting Him every hour I am in his hands. All is well.

December 26, 1897, Sunday
Preached this morning to 30, mostly children. Had 36 at Sunday School at 2:00 p.m. Preached tonight to perhaps 20. In the morning preached on "Jesus" a Christmas sermon. Tonight preached on Matthew 25, parable of the ten virgins. Went to the Baptist church this morning for Sunday School, but both stove pipes were down, so we had no school. There were three men killed in the county yesterday, at least this is the report; two at a saloon, five-and-one-half miles from town on Horse Creek and one on Red Bird. The saloons are doing their legitimate work. Bro. Hiram Farmer, a member of the Campbellite Church, who was converted during our recent meeting, went into the country yesterday and attended a Campbellite meeting today on Martin's Creek. He told me after church tonight of what happened. There were four preachers at the service. Three preached, or attempted to, but not a prayer was offered. He was shocked. They said a sinner had no right to pray, nor had anyone a right to pray for a sinner. Referring to us, one said, "Are them fellers doing any good at Manchester?" "They have just about made a Methodist of me," was his reply. His eyes are open. God's spirit has done it.

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