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. Beginning in this issue 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.
Dr. Burchell's, Clay County
I came here
yesterday afternoon. Have had a delightful day with this delightful
family. Dr. Burchell is a native of Jessamine County, Kentucky,
and is 47 years old. His wife is a daughter of T. T. Garrard
and great-granddaughter of Governor Garrard. They are excellent
people. Mrs. Burchell was converted in our last meeting. Her
daughters, May, Jose, and Lucy, were converted in our first meeting.
They are Presbyterians. Dr. Burchell is not yet converted. They
have 11 children and a bright home of immortals. Miss Hannah
H. Evans is here. She is the district schoolteacher from Greensburg,
Indiana. She was converted in our meeting, is a Presbyterian,
and is also an extremely modest young woman of good mind. She
is refined and fairly well-educated. She is anxious to be used
of the Lord, and I believe she will prove a faithful and efficient
worker. How this region needs such women.
Last night the children of the district had Christmas entertainment
at the schoolhouse, under the management of Miss Evans, which
was very creditable to all concerned. In the festivities of the
day we have kept Jesus before us. I am trusting Him every hour
I am in his hands. All is well.
Preached this morning to 30, mostly children. Had 36 at Sunday
School at 2:00 p.m. Preached tonight to perhaps 20. In the morning
preached on "Jesus" a Christmas sermon. Tonight preached
on Matthew 25, parable of the ten virgins. Went to the Baptist
church this morning for Sunday School, but both stove pipes were
down, so we had no school. There were three men killed in the
county yesterday, at least this is the report; two at a saloon,
five-and-one-half miles from town on Horse Creek and one on Red
Bird. The saloons are doing their legitimate work. Bro. Hiram
Farmer, a member of the Campbellite Church, who was converted
during our recent meeting, went into the country yesterday and
attended a Campbellite meeting today on Martin's Creek. He told
me after church tonight of what happened. There were four preachers
at the service. Three preached, or attempted to, but not a prayer
was offered. He was shocked. They said a sinner had no right
to pray, nor had anyone a right to pray for a sinner. Referring
to us, one said, "Are them fellers doing any good at Manchester?"
"They have just about made a Methodist of me," was
his reply. His eyes are open. God's spirit has done it.