Three Forks of the Kentucky River Historical Association

Excerpts from the John Jay Dickey Diaries

John J. Dickey

Photo courtesy of Harley T. Bowling

    John Jay Dickey (1842-1934), Methodist minister and educator, was born in Fleming County, Kentucky. As an educator, Dickey wanted to establish schools in every county in Eastern Kentucky. In 1883, he helped found Jackson Academy, an elementary and high school, in Jackson, Breathitt County, Kentucky, and served as its principal until 1891. At that time he became the editor of the Jackson Hustler and provided a newspaper column for the academy. Additionally, in 1891 the academy was taken over by Central University of Richmond, Kentucky. In 1888 Dickey was elected president of the Breathitt County Teachers Association. Dickey stayed in Jackson until 1895 when he left to help establish the Sue Bennett Memorial School in London, Laurel County, Kentucky.


    The Reverend John Jay Dickey papers consists of diaries, teaching materials, a songbook, and a notebook, which document Dickey's career as a minister and educator in Eastern Kentucky. Dickey's diaries (November 5, 1887 - April 25, 1888, and 1894-1895) describe life in Appalachia at the end of the 19th century. The subjects handled in the journals include religion, education, politics, Jackson Academy, the Sue Bennett Memorial School, and the construction of the Breathitt County Court House in Jackson. In addition, the collection contains Dickey's manuscript Historical Recollections of Breathitt County and a notebook detailing Dickey's trip to Houston for a meeting of the board of the Women's Home Missionary society. The collection contains numerous items relating to Jackson Academy including a list of subscribers, a speech entitled The New Era, teacher's registers, rolls of classes from 1883 to 1890, a song book and program, and the constitution and by-laws of the Jackson Academy Richard Menifee Literary Society. - These papers are housed at the University of Kentucky Special Collections.


Bolling, Jason Campbell, James Campbell, Phoebe
Campbell, Sarah Combs, Napolean Couch, Ira
Duff, Matilda Eversole, John Garrard, T. T.
Gilbert, Abijah McCollum, Robert Riggs, Joseph Stephen
Treadway, Joseph





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