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.

Owens Crawford
July 16, 1898

I was born in Lee County, Kentucky, on October 16, 1816. My father was Archibald Crawford. He came to Lee County from Clark County, Kentucky, in 1812. He came to Kentucky from Virginia. He was a friend and companion of Daniel Boone. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He would not apply for a pension. Said he could get it. He was a boy when he volunteered. His father would not agree for him to go until some neighbor men agreed to look after him in the Army. He said they were out of meat, out of everything to eat. He was nine days without food. They lived on sweet mice, birch sap, etc.
My father rode a fine filly. They fattened her and were about to kill her but they did not. He said he was going to kill the man that shot her. He was in the fort with Daniel Boone at Boones-boro. He had brothers: William, Austin, Gideon, Oliver, and Valney. William was drowned at the mouth of Miller Creek, drinking; Austin was killed by a limb in Lee County; and Valney died on Miller's Creek, Estill County; he had a large family; Gideon and Oliver died on Holly Creek. Hay is a son of Gideon. Oliver's only son died. William had only two sons, Jeptha and Merriweather, and they went to Texas. Archibald first lived at Maloney Bend a year or two, then came to Tallega Station. He died during the Civil War, aged about 96. He came up the Kentucky River hunting before he moved here. He and his party named the creeks on the Middle Fork: Turkey Creek, Cutshin, Bee Creek, etc. My mother was Margaret Brown. My parents had 12 children, seven boys: Claiborne, Valentine, Oliver, Owen, William (called Harry), Simpson, and Al (the two latter live in Texas, Oliver still lives in Breathitt); and five daughters: Elizabeth Cope (the oldest), Louvina (married John Cope, brother of James), Ora (married Jake Bowman), Cythia (married Joe Bowman), and Margaret (the youngest).

Jackson, Kentucky
July 16, 1898

I have just, 9:00 p.m., arrived at the hospitable home of A. H. Hargis. I have not been here since I left with my effects, November 16, 1895. It will be three years 5th proximo since I sold The Jackson Hustler and thereby severed my connection with the town. I left to help build and establish the Sue Bennett Memorial Sch-ool. That work has been accomplished. Praise the Lord. Since leaving here my health has greatly improved. Thank God for that.
I came in under cover of darkness. I stopped at Judge Lin-den's about 3:00 p.m. Had supper and a most delightful visit with the Judge and his wife and stayed a little too long. It will be 16 years the 21st of next November since I first saw this town and this county. May the Lord make this visit a blessing to this people is my earnest prayer. Now Lord, give me sweet sleep and may I rise to praise thee.

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