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.

R. S. Woton
Hyden, Kentucky

May 26, 1898
Charles Wooton, the ancestor of the Wootons in this part of Kentucky, came from North Carolina in the early settlement of Leslie County. He settled at the mouth of the creek that bears his name, a tributary of Cutshin. He had children as follows: Hiram, Hardin, Emmanuel, Davis, and Charles William, my grandfather. Hiram lived and died on Cutshin; he left three sons and two daughters. His sons are John Hyden Wooton; Charles, a lawyer in Hazard; and Wilson, who lives on Cutshin. Hardin and Emmanuel emigrated to Davies County, Indiana. Washington is the county seat. They are farmers. Prof. Bailey P. Wooton of Hazard is descended from one of them. His father lives in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. Davis died at the mouth of Wootons Creek. He was peculiar. He left a large family who are still in this county. Ellison Wooton, my son, Malcomb B. is now in the regular Army; U. S. is his son, and Charles died in Perry County, aged 88 years. He had two sons in the U. S. Army, Elias and Irving. Elias died soon after the war. Irving died on Bull Skin, Clay County, with small pox contracted on a trip. Dr. Lane accidentally shot his son. Charley Wooton, shot in the Howard-Baker feud, was his son, also. William had but one son, Irving, my father. He had four sons: Adam; William, called "Bangor;" Jackson; and myself. He had two daughters, Jennie and Elizabeth. The young Wooten, now in the U. S. Army in Cuba, is a grandson of one of these. His father was Sam Begley, ex-county judge of Leslie County. William had three sisters: Polly, deaf mute; Nancy, who married Rev. Daniel Lewis, lives a widow at Campton. I am the present circuit clerk of Leslie County.

James Madison
Walton, Hyden, Kentucky

May 27, 1898
I was born in Knox County, Kentucky, July 7, 1864. My father is William Isaac Walton. He was born in Washington County, Tennessee. He was a son of George Walton who came from Rockbridge County, Virginia, to Washington County, Tennessee, thence to Union County, Tennessee. His father came from Warwickshire, England, to Virginia. My father had brothers and sisters as follows: Henry Coleman, lives in Union County, Tennessee; Maverick; Effie, died young; Harriett, (Samuel Hudson); Calvin, a Methodist minister lived in Rockcastle County, Kentucky, but his present residence is unknown, his children are at Cole Creek, Tennessee; James Jackson, killed in the Battle of Mur-freesboro; and U. S., married Rhoda Hudson and lived in Knox County, died June 10, 1896. My brothers are John Harris Walton, who lives in Livingstone; Thomas Franklin, a minister of the Presbyterian church, present pastor at Columbia, Kentucky, and a graduate of Centre College and Danville Seminary, married Miss Ada Frank-lin of Barbourville, Kentucky. I graduated from Centre College and Dan-ville Seminary in 1888 and 1891, respectively. I was pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Greensburg, Kentucky, for five-and-one-half years; then at Livingston for 18 months. I came to Hyden from there January 1897, as principal of Hyden Academy and pastor of the Presbyterian church. My maternal grandmother was Elizabeth (Hopper) Hudson. Her father, William Hudson, was a Baptist minister. He came to Knox County, Kentucky, either from Virginia or North Carolina at an early date, and was one of the pioneers. He was active as a minister and founded many of the Cumberland Valley Baptist churches. He died at an advanced age. Two of my cousins, sons of my mother's brother, Harris Hudson, are ministers in the Presbyterian church. Their names are Edward and Leslie Hudson. Edward is pastor at Wichita Falls, Texas, and Leslie is living at Danville, Kentucky, without a charge but expects soon to be at work. They both graduated from Centre College and Danville Seminary. "Uncle" Joe Hopper of Perryville, well-known as an evangelist in Kentucky, is the son of Blackgrene Hopper and a nephew of Rev. William Hopper, above noted. Rev. James Walton of Hurricane Branch, Tennessee, is my first cousin, and son of Henry Coleman Walton; himself an exhorter in the Methodist church. James is a Baptist minister. He has charge of the Baptist church at that place.

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