Each month, The Kentucky
Explorer magazine receives literally scores of letters from
our faithful readers. Whenever possible, we try to publish as
many of them as possible in the 12 pages we have set aside for
"Letters to the Editor."
Here are actual letters from November
Franklins Of Eastern Kentucky
My grandfather, John Franklin, was born in Prestonsburg, Floyd
County, Kentucky, on January 26, 1835. He married Pauline Jones,
my grandmother, in 1867. They had nine kids together, my father
being one of them, and multiple grandchildren.
Grandfather proudly served our country in the Civil War. Due
to being wounded while in battle, he was able to apply for retirement
at the age of 62. On his application he had to list all of his
assets, which consisted of two cows, one mule, and the previous
year's earnings which were only $100. During this time he also
was grante from the Federal Government a 600-acre land grant
in Magoffin County, on which he lived.
Sometime in the mid-1800s, a family by the name of Elliott hired
Grandfather to teach their son, because at that time there weren't
many schools around. Grandfather lived with that family and taught
their son, John Elliott, who later went on to become a lawyer
and then a district judge in Catlettsburg, Boyd County, Kentucky.
John Elliott was also on the Kentucky Court of Appeals. Today
there is a statue of him in front of the Catlettsburg Courthouse.
Grandfather once traded a cow for a small black boy and reared
him as part of his family. This boy was the tenth child of the
family. When he was 25 years old, he left Magoffin County, moved
to Boyd County, and took the name of Franklin. He started a shoe
shop which he ran for years in Ashland. Some of his family still
live in the Ashland and Catlettsburg areas.
John Franklin died when he was 87 years old on August 28, 1922.
Pauline died six years later at the age of 79.
My father, Alex Franklin, was born in Johnson County, Kentucky,
on October 5, 1879. He married Corn Williams in 1903. They had
five children. Corn died in 1920 and Alex then married my mother,
Stella Prater, in 1922. They had four children of their own,
totaling nine all together. Dad was 58 years old when I was born.
Dad used to enjoy telling me stories. He told me that when he
was 19 years he would go rafting on logs down the Big Sandy River
to the Ohio River, and then make a bigger raft and travel down
the river to New Richmond, Ohio. One time he stayed all night
in Hanging Rock, Ohio, where he was fed breakfast and supper
and was provided a bed for only 25 cents a night.
Dad later moved to Magoffin County. Dad lived on Grandfather
John's farm, which he inherited. Dad ran a post office named
Gray Fox for 25 years, until he retired. Mother was then the
postmaster. She ran the post office for 19 years until she retired.
Dad died on March 23, 1978, at the age of 98, and Mother died
June 6th of the same year.
Henry C. Franklin
523 Pine Hill Drive
Ashland, KY 41102
John J. Dickey/Frank Dickey
I would like to get in touch with the person who visited the
Breathitt County Public Library in Jackson, Kentucky, searching
for information on Frank Dickey. Frank was a relative of John
J. Dickey, author of the famed Dickey's Diary.
Kaye Dickey Fletcher
660 Baptist Fork Road
Campton, KY 41301
Gourd Seeds Wanted
I would like to know of any Kentucky Explorer readers have any
seeds of the short handle dipper gourd, the birdhouse gourd,
and the nest egg gourd, that they would share.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.
5845 Furnace Junction Road
Ravenna, KY 40472
just samples of the many letters in each issue of The Explorer.