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
March 7, 1898
I am a son of Hugh White. My father came to Kentucky before
Alex (1799), Margaret (1800), John (1802), and Susan (1804).
I have always understood that Bollings first made salt, at the
Upper Lick, in pots. My grandfather's name was William White.
He died on Yellow Creek. My grandfather was Irish. I had an Uncle
Washington who lived and died in Louisiana. Aunt Isabella married
first Benson, then Felix Gilbert, Sr. Nancy married a Baugh.
She died on Goose Creek; he went I know not where.
I have a sister, Sallie Russell, now living in Richmond, 84
years old. John Gilbert said he loaned my father $360 when he
was starting in business, not knowing whether or not he would
ever get it again.
Claiborne White was not related to our family. Uncle James White
sent him here to sell goods for him on the hill in Manchester.
He married my sister Susan. My Uncle James was a man of great
energy and sagacity. He was a good judge of men and said he was
rarely deceived. He used everybody to carry out his purpose.
He had ten children, and I think he left them about $100,000
My father was poor when he began life. My grandmother owned
some slaves, when I knew her in her old age, on Yellow Creek
in Bell County.
Dr. T. M. Hill, Sr.
I was born in Jefferson County, Kentucky, January 28, 1842.
My father was Carey A. Hill. He was born in Queenstown, Ireland,
I think. He died in October 1845. His father, Clement C. Hill;
and his uncles, Thomas and John Hill, came with him. Tom settled
in Perryville. Clement C. settled in Marion County now. They
came with him, his mother, Nancy Douglas Hill, and her brothers,
Samuel Mathews and William Douglas.
My father had a brother, George Duglas Hill, who settled in
Texas before Texas was a state. W. Duglas Hill of Williamsburg
may be my relative, I do not know. My mother's name was Sarah
Marshall. She was raised in Franklin County, Virginia, but came
to Kentucky the year before she was married, about 1829. She
lived and died in Jefferson County, as did my father.
I came to Clay County in 1869. I began my study of dentistry
with Dr. Rudd of Cincinnati in 1858. I practiced in Louisville
first until 1861, then at Lebanon until I came here. About 1878
or 1879, after Bob Potter had made an assignment, Robert Bradley
of Lancaster, father of Governor William O. Bradley, came to
the Clay Circuit Court. He had formerly visited this court but
had not been here for a long time. I got him a fee of $600 from
Robert Potter's mother. They had sold their interest in Barton
Potter's estate for $5,000 each and had never paid anything to
them. They were about to lose all they had. Mr. Bradley took
the case and made perhaps the speech of his life before the court,
Judge Randall. At that time he was old, his hair was white as
cotton and very long. He showed the court the law, and then to
win this community, he led out into a speech which was for pathos,
for eloquence, and for power, and was never overpassed at the
Bar of Clay County. It was published in the Mountain Echo. Judge
Robertson of Lexington defended Dr. Baker, who was hung here.
He made one of the greatest speeches of his life.
General Hugh White was very ill and had Dr. Letcher of Richmond
to see him. He could do nothing for him, could give no encouragement.
Dr. William Reid, who had been refused his daughter, Susan, by
the General, was sent for. He was playing cards with Col. John
Lucas when he received the message. "Let him die and go
to hell," exclaimed Dr. Reid. Colonel Lucas expostulated
and prevailed on him to go. He told Mrs. White to come to the
door at midnight and he would report. She did so and he said,
"He will recover." He did recover.
General White met Dr. Reid in Manchester and asked his bill.
"I will make it out promptly," responded the doctor.
He did so and presented it to him. "One visit $500,"
was the way it read. "Why is that too much?" said the
General. With an oath the doctor said, "If your life is
not worth $500 you ought to have died." General went to
Colonel Lucas and asked him to see if he could get the doctor
to relent. Colonel Lucas told him that he had gone at his ernest
solicitation and he did not feel at liberty to interfere now,
but for him to pay it, as that was the only way out. He did so.
I got a fee for $1,000 for Robert Bradley of Barbourville, after
the Potter fee, here.