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.

Michael G. Horton
April 21, 1898

I was born in Scott County, Virginia, near Clinch River, May 24, 1819. My father was Robert Horton. He was born in Culpepper County, Virginia. He was a soldier in the War of 1812. My grandfather was Elijah Horton. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He died at my father's house in Scott County, when I was about ten years old. My mother was Ann Robnett, born in Wythe County, Virginia. There were Hortons in Tazwell County, but I do not know that they are relatives. I had seven brothers and two sisters. There are scattered. I have a brother, John, in Lincoln County, Kentucky. He married a brother of Ben Clark, a prominent man. He first came to London. During the war, he bought horses in Laurel and adjoining counties and took them to Camp Nelson and sold them to the government. He made Ben Clark's place headquarters for collecting and feeding, and he made an alliance with the family by marrying a daughter. Isaac went West, I think to Missouri. I came to Owsley County, Kentucky, in October 1846. I went into the mercantile business. I was twice the sheriff of Owsley County, once appointed, afterward elected. I married, in September 1850, Catherine Frances Garrard, sister of Gen. T. T. Garrard, daughter of Col. James Garrard. I removed to Clay County in 1852. I was twice elected sheriff of Clay County when Dr. Manning came here to teach. I kept a saloon in Booneville. A man named Reese killed two brothers named Moore at the door of my saloon. Reese got a change of venue to Breathitt. Old Billy Strong, a Baptist peacher, used to stay a good deal at my saloon. He was a great blackguard. When he was drinking his theme was the gospel. Another Baptist preacher whose name I cannot recall used to meet him there, and they would drink together. There was some controversy between them, and when in their cups it would become very heated. Strong, a small man with a badly crippled leg, used a walking stick. Strong lives about Traveler's Rest. He was a son of Billy Strong, mentioned above. He had another son, Pike, who was a wild and reckless man. Alex was a sensible man but has since run in a bad channel. He was sneaky and would strike a man in the back. There were many Wilsons about Traveler's Rest.

Only $2.50 per issue!
Purchase your copy today at your favorite newsstand, grocer, or book store. Subscribe Online and save 70-cents per issue (excluding postage).
This Entire Site Is Under Copyright Protection - © 2005

Home | Back Issues Available

Links | Visit Message Board | Subscribe | E-Mail Us | KyReader.com | Kentucky Explorer On CD

2000 Issues | 2001 Issues | 2002 Issues| 2003 Issues| 2004 Issues | 2005 Issues