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.

"The Cattle War"
This was a war between "North Forkers" and "Middle Forkers." I am not certain of the date or the cause of the war. John Amis was the leader of the "Middle Forkers," ably supported by his brother-in-law, John Gilbert, both having married Bollings. John Gilbert was converted at 50 and became a famous Baptist preacher, a doctor in midwifery, and a wealthy land owner and cattle raiser in Clay County.
William Strong, later a Baptist preacher, was one of the "North Forkers," so were the Callahans of North Fork. William Strong's wife was a Callahan. Samuel Davidson married a Callahan, and he was in the war. Edward Callahan of Red Bird was the father of the Callahans. Isaac and William were the names of two of the North Fork Callahans. There was a third, E. C. Strong, of Breathitt County. He was a grandson of Rev. William Strong, and his father was named William. Capt. Bill Strong and Judge Alex were sons of Edward, another son of the preacher. Edward Cope's Grandmother Cope was a daughter of William Strong and sister of E. C. Strong. Old Cana Baker made rhymes on the "Cattle War."
Mrs. Sarah Campbell Baker, born in 1824, was the granddaughter of the original John Campbell, who came from New River, North Carolina. She was a daughter of William Campbell who said, "I have heard my mother and father say that a man named John Gilbert made up a company of men from the Middle Fork and Red Bird to take the cattle and stuff from the "North Forkers," and one of their members betrayed them and told the "North Forkers," so they gathered up a company and met them at Hanging Rock. John Gilbert's horse was shot under him." Gen. T. T. Garrard said the Battle of Hanging Rock, at the mouth of Lick Branch on the North Fork, was fought in 1806, and that he was personally acquainted with Richard Nicholson, whose horse was shot under him at the battle. Also, Joe Cox, whom he knew well, was wounded and his horse shot. They were Amis' men. Preston Campbell said, "I have heard Woolery Eversole say that the 'Middle Forkers' came out at the mouth of Lick Branch, because the cane was so thick at the edge of the water." William Callahan had polished his gun very bright. John Gilbert was at the head of the line and saw the glitter of a gun, hallooed, and cried out, "Look out boys, I see the December 22, 1835, Jane Stewart Payne.

Moses Peden was born November 20, 1835, in Barren County, Kentucky, and died April 1, 1901, in Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky. He married Mary Catherine Frances, daughter of Joel M. Frances, on November 17, 1816. Moses T. Penden's brothers and sisters were Benjamin, Lavina M. Scott, Jenimie, John, Harlan, Alonza, Malinda M. Estes, and George. His father was Elarzer Peden. He was born December 13, 1796, and married Sarah W. Harrison, January 20, 1820. She was born March 15, 1801, and died October 7, 1854. His brothers and sisters were Tomps, John, Benjamin, and Ann who married Mr. Wilkinson. Elarzer's father was Moses Peden.

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