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
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
June 16, 1898
My grandfather came from North Carolina in 1815 from Nollichucky
River. His name was Zadok. He came to Clay County and settled
on Sextons Creek at the mouth of Spivey Branch. His father's
name was David Spivey. He was ten years old when his father removed
to Kentucky. My grandfather was the first settler on Sextons
Creek. My great-grandfather was a bricklayer and came from Germany.
He died in North Carolina. He had but one child, Zadok, my grandfather.
June 17, 1898
My grandfather, James Wyatt, was born in Virginia as was my father,
Samuel Wyatt. My grandfather removed first to Missouri and from
there came to Laurel County and settled on the Rockcastle River
near Wyatts Chapel. He reared 14 children: James, John, George,
William, Samuel, Wade, Jane (Edwards), Elizabeth (Lucas), Martha
(Casey), Sarah, Nancy (Owens), and Lucy (Landrum). My father
was a religious man and a devout Methodist. He had letters from
attorneys in New York recently, stating that Sir Francis Wyatt
had lately died in England leaving an enormous estate. He had
gone to England from Virginia. The attorneys were seeking the
Wyatts. They wanted $250 from each heir, and as such schemes
had so often proven to be fake, we paid no attention to it. I
was born July 20, 1853, in Clay County. I am a local preacher
in the M. E. Church South. My grandfather, James Wyatt, reared
seven children. My father, Samuel, was the only son. The daughters
were Lucy (Colley); Lydia (Martin), mother of Joseph Young's
first wife; Rebecca (Robinson); Margaret (Stivers-Phillips),
one child by Stivers married Daniel Howse, mother of Reid and
Sam Phillips was her daughter Eliza (Vaughn); and Minerva (Vau-ghn).
Grandfather owned all the land from Joe Young's to the head of
this creek, 2,000 or 3,000 acres. My father owned 600 acres and
lived and died where Wade Wyatt now lives at Wyatts Chapel.
June 17, 1898
My grandfather, Richard Nicholson, emigrated from Wales to America.
He was a colonel in the Revolutionary Army. The brass mounted
powder horn which he carried in the army is yet in our family.
It holds exactly a pound of gunpowder. He came to Clay County
very early and settled on Goose Creek. He owned a great deal
of the land now owned by Judge B. P. White. He lived to be an
old man. My father still lives in Clay County.
June 23, 1898
My grandfather, Dillon Asher, came from Tennessee to Ford of
Cumberlands and in 1800 moved to Red Bird. His wife was Sally
Davis. Their children: Blevins, Robert, John, Ira (Roberts),
and "Pug" (Henry Sizemore). There were others, but
I do not remember them.
By Miss Davis, his wife's sister, he had children that took the
name of Asher as follows: Jackson, Wilkerson, and Josiah who
still lives, and, I think, Preston Asher was their brother. Bige,
Matt, Jackson, Hugh, Tom, and Dillon Asher are sons of Jackson.
These are the men that have become so wealthy. All are worth
more than Bige, and he is probably worth 25,000. Jack is said
to be worth $300,000; Matt $200,000; and Tom, who lives at Mas-iota,
is worth $300,000. Hugh lives at Pineville, also Jack, though
they have houses near Lexington. Matt, Jack, and Hugh were famous
lumbermen who started booming logs on the Kentucky River at Ford
of Cumber-lands and made big money. Their sisters are Mrs. Martha
Morgan, Charity Howard, Puss (Bige Morgan of Sexton), and Polly