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.

Robert Lincks/Lynx
Laurel County, Kentucky
June 28, 1898

My father was Frederick Lincks. He was born in Germany. Before he reached his majority, he ran away from home and joined the Army of Napoleon Bonaparte. He was a wild boy. I have seen his body, and it was all covered with scars, showing that he had many conflicts in his young days. His father was a great friend of Napoleon, and through this intimacy he got his son released. He then sent him to Amsterdam to school. After the close of the term, $80 was necessary to pay the board and tuition. His father sent him the money to pay the bill, but he took the money and paid his passage to America. Eighty other students did the same. The ship was anchored about a mile from shore. The boys were taken out in a schooner, several trips being necessary. The ship lost her course, and many died of over eating when a friendly ship found them. They lost many by sickness. (His time with Napoleon was seven to nine months.) When they landed in America, the ship's captain sold them for their passage, denying they had paid him. James Garrard, Governor of Kentucky, bought my father. For a year he did not know he was sold. He could not talk English. He learned somehow that he was a slave, and he made his case known to a lawyer who could talk German. He looked into his trunk and found his free papers. He was about to leave the Governor, but the Governor hired him for a year, and Daniel Garrard brought him to Clay County to oversee Negroes at the saltworks. He promised the Governor to return, but he never did. He worked for the Garrards whom he greatly loved. He married first Nancy Hays and had two children, Eliza Parker and Nancy Benge, Smily Davis' wife. He then married Polly Cornett, daughter of old Robin Cornett of Benge. They had children: John Lynx; Susan Stivers; Margaret Parker; Lottie Lynx, married Phil Wilson; Lucinda, married Lee Chestnut; Patsey, married preacher Hiram Johnson; Zilpha, married Charles Parsley; Robert Lynx, married Eliza Chestnut; and James, married 1st Jane Bailey, second Louisa Robinson and had three children: Susan, Hiram, and Thomas, and third Widow Black nee Patsy Young to these were born: Frederick, Henry, and Germany, the last a daughter. Henry married Molly Houston of Benge where he died about 1890. He was 100 years old and had 113 descendants. They are very numerous now. My father was soon lost from his countrymen who came over with bad fever. He never wrote back to his father nor did his father ever know anything about him.

Evans Jones, Sr.
Laurel County, Kentucky
June 30, 1898

I was born in Laurel County, Kentucky, in 1833. My father was Evan Jones. He was born and reared near Wilmington, North Carolina. His father was Robert Jones. He was born and reared in South Carolina. He was one of the first settlers of Laurel County and settled on the headwaters of Laurel River. His youngest brother, Darling Jones, came with him. Darling was 13 years old when the Revolutionary War closed or began. I do not remember which. He settled on the headwaters of Laurel County on Johns Creek. He died at 100 years of age. He said he would have been in the Revolution had he been old enough. I do not know whether my grandfather, Robert Jones, was in the war or not, but I suppose from the above remark of my uncle, Darling, he was in the war. The Jones are a Welsh family. I cannot tell when the first of my ancestors came to America. Darling Jones talked a great deal about Charleston, South Carolina. There was another brother, Isom Jones, who located in Whitley County. There is numerous posterity there. Robert Jones had the following children: William; Ephriam; Darling; Evan; Elizabeth, married C. Norvell; Nancy, married William Trespers; and Lievis, married John Ridgell. She was the oldest. The Ridgells and Norvells went west, and the Trespers are dead. My father, Evan, had 11 children and lived to the majority, 8 yet lived. Most of the children of the others are dead or have emigrated. The descendants of Robert Jones are not numerous. He was a splendid man. My mother was Mary Weaver, daughter of Samuel Weaver who settled on Laurel River in the early history of this county. He drew a pension until his death, though he obtained it only a few years before he died. He lived to an old age. He had children: Hezekiah; Peter; Jones; Joseph; David, the preacher; Sallie, married Samuel Box; Elizabeth, married Jesse Cain; Barbara, married John Williams; and my mother, Mary, married Evan Jones. John and Peter, Elizabeth's children, are in the West. There are not many of the stock now in this county. Peter became County Judge of Shannon County, Missouri, a good man. David Weaver was perhaps the most influential Baptist preacher in this county. He was very pious and very popular, a man of force. Samuel Weaver, my grandfather, was so nearly starved in his return from the Army that his aunt fed him first on soup, and it was several days before she could give him a full meal. He would cry and so would she. His wife was a Bollinger, Black Dutch. I do not know the nationality of the Weavers.

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