Genealogy From Dr. John J. Dickey's Diary

(Number 68 In A Series:)

Editor's Note: We continue our series of interviews taken from Dr. John J. Dickey's famous diary. Dr. Dickey of Fleming County, founder of several schools and churches, traveled throughout Eastern and Central Kentucky some 100 years ago, interviewing older residents. In most cases, he wrote down their very words while compiling a diary of several thousand pages. Each month we include a few lines from this remarkable man's diary, which he kept faithfully for over 50 years.

Manchester, Kentucky

December 9, 1897

We had a small audience, but a good meeting this morning; 15 to 20 present. Tonight there were 75. Bro. Pickett preached on, "If ye being evil, etc." One third of the audience came and shook hands with us as a pledge that they would pray for the salvation of sinners. The call for those who wanted prayer to come and shake hands was not responded to, but the audience was serious.

December 11, 1897

Last night, Robert Lucas, 20 years old, the eldest son of Mrs. Amanda Lucas, proprietress of our hotel, was drunk, yelling like an Indian; cursing the "sanctified preachers." This morning he was up and out early doing the same thing throughout the forenoon. Abe Pace, recently pardoned out of the penitentiary, where he was serving a life sentence for killing Allen Lewis, hotel keeper in Hyden, was here and raising a disturbance this morning. Sam Kash, his attorney, lives here, and he told me that Pace ate some sort of soap that made him spit blood and made the physician believe he had consumption and was about to die. On the certificate of the physician, Gov. Bradley pardoned him. Now he is here ready to kill somebody and put the state to a vast expense.

We held a strict meeting this morning, after the second bell rang, and invited the crowd on the street to come to church, but they did not come. We had 25 or 30 women and half a dozen men. Bro. Pickett preached, "And ye shall receive power after the Holy Ghost has come upon you." Most of the congregation came forward to pray for power. Bro. Pickett told the audience that they ought to take the preachers out of the hotel, that they could not pay their bills and were unwilling to leave till their bills were paid. He said when he was put at a hotel he felt that he was an intruder in the community. He has been with us at the Lucas Hotel since he came.

At the close of the service, Mrs. Dr. Burchell invited two of us to stay at her house, so did Mrs. Dr. Manning; the latter only for lodging, but she would see that our meals were paid for at the hotel. Mrs. Burchell lives a mile in the country, Mrs. Manning in town. I hope to get a room at Mrs. Jefferies in town, as soon as she and her son get fixed up in their house. I am sure God will take care of us. It is commonly remarked that Manchester is more wicked than ever before. Another saloon was opened in town this week, making five in all. The devil is loose, but God is mightier than the devil and will give us the victory. Glory be to His name! Bro. May is having some success in selling Bibles. He went to Benge this morning to fill my appointment for tomorrow. We are expecting victory in our meeting. Bro. Pickett is in fair working order; is full of faith, hope, and love. We are claiming the victory faith, though the devil is raging around. This is a noisy day in town; drinking, carousing, cursing, laughing, shooting firecrackers, and other pyrotechnics. But glory to God for peace within.

Manchester, Kentucky

December 13, 1897

The meeting continues. One soul saved tonight, the first one, Miss Cora Samples. The Christians are not earnest. The truth is I have not been filled with the spirit myself till tonight. Bro. Pickett is a marvelous preacher. Although, I have heard him for ten weeks, his sermons are as fresh and interesting to me as the first week I heard him preach at Jackson three years ago. He is not only a great preacher, but one of the most consecrated Godly men I ever knew. He is planning and praying for a mission temple in Louisville for the promotion of holiness. I believe the Lord will give it to him. There is a vacated Presbyterian Church on the corner of Fourth and Fifth that he can rent. All he needs is the money. He would get holiness men and women to come there and hold meetings. I pray for God to give him the money.

He keeps a stock of books in Louisville worth $8,000 to $10,000 and a bookkeeper there to fill orders. His songbook, Tears and Triumphs, has had a wonderful sale; 120,000 copies. Tears and Triumphs number two is going fast; 30,000 already sold only four months after it appeared. He is full of good works of charity, of sympathy, and of helpfulness. May his kind increase. Carlo Lyttle, the leading lawyer of the town, was in church last night. His daughter, 13 years old, told me that she had never seen him in church before in her life. A saloon keeper, Auce Baker, is attending and is greatly interested.

Light is breaking on the saloon question. Sam Kash, police judge-elect of the town, told me today that when he takes his seat on January 1, 1898, he will have the town corporation made legal; and then the saloon keeper will have to get a town license, which now they have not. The thing to do is to get the new Board of Trustees to refuse a license, then the saloons will have to close, though they have state and government licenses. Ance Baker is one of the trustees. His conversation would settle the whole question if Mr. Kash is right about the power of the new corporation. I pray God to convert him, and for this I will labor day and night. I believe God will give us a majority of the trustees against licenses, and on March 18th, we will have an election which will forever prohibit it. Glory be to God.

Bro. May returned from Benge this morning. He had a great time yesterday, where he had so signally failed two weeks ago. He had victory yesterday; large audience, attention excellent, feeling splendid, and testimonies ringing. Last night, he preached at the Brigman Schoolhouse, and Miss Laura Brigman and Pleas McDaniel professed conversion. They have been courting for nine years and are to be married soon. Praise God for victory. Bro. Pickett is staying at Dr. Burchell's house. A man named Bowling came to town to mill Saturday and stayed yesterday in town.

Manchester, Kentucky

December 16, 1897

Bro. Pickett is preaching some wonderful sermons. Monday night he preached on "Influence," and Tuesday night he preached on "Indifference." "Woe to them that are at ease on Zion." I have never heard him or any other man surpass them for pungency, cogency, power of illustration, lucidly, and gospel truth. He is a mighty man. He hailed fire and brimstone on dancing. To effect this, I suppose the dancers met en masse at James Reed's house, three miles from town, at the old Judge Reed place last night. As we came from Dr. Burchell's house to church, we met buggies, equestrians, and a two-horse wagonload going. Praise God, Misses Lucretia and Gertrude Reed, who live with their mother in a house in the yard of the old place, were at church testifying and praying. A few weeks ago, they were leaders in the dance.

Tuesday night, the 14th, Miss Evans, the teacher at Dr. Burchell's schoolhouse, professed sanctification at church. She is a Presbyterian from Kingston, Green County, Indiana; a most elegant young lady, very devout, and consistent. She has been very greatly exercised about sanctification ever since we began our meetings here, and after a long struggle, she has come out into the light. It is my honest opinion that she only got regeneration, and when she is convinced of that, as she will be by her experience, she will be anxious to go on to sanctification. Bro. Pickett's sermons will tell on this community. He is breaking up the fallow ground from which will come a great harvest.

I received a letter last night from Bro. B. S. Taylor, pastor of our church at Jackson, urging me to join Bro. Harvey and himself at that place January 15th in a meeting. I am anxious to go. I think I will write to Bro. Harvey inviting him to go to Hyden from Jackson, and offering to help him there if he will help me in Hyden. My work is so great that I must get all the help that I can. Bro. May could take care of things here while I am at Jackson, so that both of us need not be absent, but a short time during the Hyden meeting.

Manchester, Kentucky

December 17, 1897

The dancers are raging over Bro. Pickett's terrible onslaught. He read his attack Tuesday night, and Wednesday night they had a dance. They are muttering over it still. The surgeon evidently pressed the place where the splinter had struck. Oh, that they may be led to repentance.

(Continued Next Month)