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. 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.

William Eversole
Army Record

I enlisted in the 6th Kentucky Cavalry October 11, 1861. After 14 months of service as a private in that regiment, I was promoted to captain of Company L 14th Cavalry. My brother, Anderson, got up the regiment. I was made captain by the votes of the company. Thomas F. Johnson, my brother-in-law, was first lieutenant; my brother, Abner, was second lieutenant; my uncle, John, was a major; and H. C. Lilly was a colonel. I was offered a place on General Spears' staff, but I preferred to be a private with my own people. I was married to Mary Lewis on December 25, 1857.
After Mary's death, I married Alice Nanz on March 6, 1880. She died on June 11, 1892. I married Susan Begley. I was elected county judge of Leslie County in 1890 and served out my term of four years. I was police judge of Hyden previous to my election to county judge.
Joseph Eversole, my father, represented Clay, Perry, and Letcher counties in the Lower House in 1848. He defeated Jeremiah Combs, Democrat, and Dr. William Reid of Clay, Independent Whig. He was magistrate previous to that. Afterwards, he refused office. Abner Eversole, my brother, represented Clay and Rockcastle counties in the Lower House.
Joseph Eversole, son of Major John, who had the feudal war with the French, was the county attorney of Perry, trustee of the jury fund, and deputy collector of Internal Revenue.

George Baker
Manchester, Kentucky
February 7, 1898

I was born in Clay County, Kentucky, February 20, 1837. My father was Robert Baker. He was born in Lee County, Virginia, April 27, 1800. He was a son of "Julius" Robert Baker born in Lee County, Virginia, March 1, 1779. He was a soldier of 1812 under General Harrison. He removed with his family to the mouth of Bull Skin, now in Clay County, in the spring of 1801.

Patrick R. Napier
Burning Springs
February 8, 1898

I was born in Harlan County in 1816. My father was James Napier. He was born in Lee County, Virginia. He removed to Harlan County about 1820. He was a soldier of the War of 1812. He was a son of Patrick Napier who moved from Lee County, Virginia, a few years after my father. Patrick Napier had children as follows: James, my father; Edmund; Patrick Cager; William; Renny; Thomas; Judy Howard; Betsy Howard; and Fannie Gwin. Thomas remained in Virginia. The Howards who married the girls were the sons of Sammie Howard of Harlan. My father married his daughter, Elizabeth. My grandfather, Patrick Napier, lived and died in Harlan. Old Gen. George Brittain lived on a mound four miles above Harlan courthouse.

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