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
I enlisted in the 6th Kentucky Cavalry October 11, 1861. After
14 months of service as a private in that regiment, I was promoted
to captain of Company L 14th Cavalry. My brother, Anderson, got
up the regiment. I was made captain by the votes of the company.
Thomas F. Johnson, my brother-in-law, was first lieutenant; my
brother, Abner, was second lieutenant; my uncle, John, was a
major; and H. C. Lilly was a colonel. I was offered a place on
General Spears' staff, but I preferred to be a private with my
own people. I was married to Mary Lewis on December 25, 1857.
After Mary's death, I married Alice Nanz on March 6, 1880. She
died on June 11, 1892. I married Susan Begley. I was elected
county judge of Leslie County in 1890 and served out my term
of four years. I was police judge of Hyden previous to my election
to county judge.
Joseph Eversole, my father, represented Clay, Perry, and Letcher
counties in the Lower House in 1848. He defeated Jeremiah Combs,
Democrat, and Dr. William Reid of Clay, Independent Whig. He
was magistrate previous to that. Afterwards, he refused office.
Abner Eversole, my brother, represented Clay and Rockcastle counties
in the Lower House.
Joseph Eversole, son of Major John, who had the feudal war with
the French, was the county attorney of Perry, trustee of the
jury fund, and deputy collector of Internal Revenue.
February 7, 1898
I was born in Clay County, Kentucky, February 20, 1837. My father
was Robert Baker. He was born in Lee County, Virginia, April
27, 1800. He was a son of "Julius" Robert Baker born
in Lee County, Virginia, March 1, 1779. He was a soldier of 1812
under General Harrison. He removed with his family to the mouth
of Bull Skin, now in Clay County, in the spring of 1801.
February 8, 1898
I was born in Harlan County in 1816. My father was James Napier.
He was born in Lee County, Virginia. He removed to Harlan County
about 1820. He was a soldier of the War of 1812. He was a son
of Patrick Napier who moved from Lee County, Virginia, a few
years after my father. Patrick Napier had children as follows:
James, my father; Edmund; Patrick Cager; William; Renny; Thomas;
Judy Howard; Betsy Howard; and Fannie Gwin. Thomas remained in
Virginia. The Howards who married the girls were the sons of
Sammie Howard of Harlan. My father married his daughter, Elizabeth.
My grandfather, Patrick Napier, lived and died in Harlan. Old
Gen. George Brittain lived on a mound four miles above Harlan