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.

Lital Hughes
Sexton's Creek
March 19, 1898
I was born in Lee County, Virginia, March 26, 1827. My father was William Hughes. He was born in Washington County, Virginia. Bounteville in about 1794. He was a soldier in the War of 1812. He enlisted when he was 18 years old. He was in Col. Sharp's regiment. Col. Sharp lived and died near Jonesville, Virginia. Andrew Bailey of Lee County, Virginia, was a soldier in the same war. Andrew Bailey came to Harlan County, and his descendents are scattered through the mountains of Kentucky. One of the early settlers of Lee County, Virginia, was Joseph Coger. He is the grandfather of Fayette Rawlings wife. He was a doctor. He was a strong man. Jack Coger, his son, was a good man. He was the father of the Rawlings and lived on Wallen's Creek, Lee County, Virginia. He removed to Sexton's Creek, Clay County, before the war about 1854. Winston Huff, my wife's father, was born in Lee County, also. His father, James Huff, was born in Ireland. He was one of the first settlers in Lee County. There were Indians then. James Huff was active as a leader in defending the settlers. He was sheriff, a member of the Legislature, and a member of Congress. Winston Huff was named for William Winston who was the friend of James Huff when either in Congress or the Legislature. My grandfather was Isaac Hughes. He was born in Ireland. He married Alcey White, sister of General Hugh White. My father-in-law gave his wife a Negro man. She gave him for 10,000 acres of land on the waters of the North Fork of Powell's River, nine miles from Jonesville. It extended to Yokum's Station. James Huff was in the company that killed Benge. He lived to be 102 years old. My grandfather lived and died on ________ land. It was valuable land. He gave each of his children a farm. His descendants lived in Tennessee and Missouri. His son, Eli Hughes, circuit clerk of St. Louis, was a very wealthy man. I left Virginia soon after I married. My wife lived in Harlan. My father-in-law, Winston Huff, bought a farm on Sexton's Creek and gave it to us, and we located on it December 27, 1857. Millard Hughes, our son, was born September 18, 1858. He is now evangelizing in the Southern Methodist Church.

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