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Gilbert, Martha Jane

Posted by MarthaCrossSargent 
Gilbert, Martha Jane
March 16, 2007 01:47PM
Dr. John J. Dickey Diary, Fleming County, Ky. Recorded in the 1870's and
beyond. Reprinted in Kentucky Explorer, Volume 10, No 8 February, 1996,
pp. 81-82. By permission. Clay County.


I was born in Lee Co., Virginia, Feb., 1818. My father was Robert
Gibson. My mother was a daughter of Gen. James Renfro who lived and died
at Cumberland Ford. He came from Virginia to Kentucky at an early date.
He owned a great deal of land. He reared a large family - 9 daughters and
2 sons. One son, James, was killed by a falling limb. The other son,
William, lived and died in Missouri. Father Gilbert was the most saintly
man I ever knew. God seemed to bless his ministry to the salvation of
Incidents. He was preaching. At the close of the service he was
impressed that there was someone present who would never have another
opportunity to be prayed for. He gave an invitation and a man from the
rear of the house came forward. He prayed earnestly for him. Before
morning he was sent for, to visit him; when he reached the house he was
drawing his last breath.
Another. He said to Mrs. Ambrose, "Have you ever had any thought of
your eternal happiness?" She abruptly left the room without making a
reply. A few months later her husband, who was a minister, wrote to him
to come and baptize her. She told him that she had no peace after that
till she found the Savior.
Another. He had an appointment in Harlan County. The man left his
own house where the appointment was. He preached he determined never to
go back to that county again. [sic]. He stayed all night in the
neighborhood. At the house where he stayed he asked the lady of the house
if she had ever thought of her eternal happiness. She treated him just as
the other woman did, with great coldness. He was deeply impressed to
return to Harlan when he broke his vow and went back. Just before he had
reached the house where he had stayed all night, he was taken with great
hunger. He went and asked the woman for something to eat. She burst into
tears and said, "I want to tell you what great things the Lord has done
for my soul." She said after his visit there and her cold treatment of
him she became deeply convicted and had no peace till she obtained a hope.
He went to the same place he had preached before and preached again.
The man remained at his home and apologized for his treatment at the
former visit. A revival broke out and a large church was established at
that place. Among the converts God raised up a minister to watch over the
flock. A favorite remark of his was, "We are blessed in duty." He went a
great deal over the country, many of the sick called on him for medicine.
His medicine was greatly blessed. A man named Hawks visited his family to
visit his daughter. The old gentleman entertained him with religious
conversation. He asked him to go to church but he did not go. He rode
with him some distance and when they parted he said to Mr. Hawks, "If the
Lord be God follow him, if ("Baal? RBC) then follow him." Mr. Hawks, a
horse driver, later stayed with us with a drove of horses. The above
incident I received from his own lips. He was greatly impressed with
Father Gilber's piety.
Abijah Gilbert. When my father came to Clay County there was plenty
of buffalo, elk and deer. He went to Richmond to get his license to
marry. His wife was Mary Bolling. She had brothers: Eli, John, William,
Levi; sister Nancy (John Sizemore). Her son, William Sizemore, lived with
my father. He gave him a farm on Middle Fork on Rockhouse Creek. His
brother, John Sizemore, assessed Clay County many times.
Martha Gilbert. Father Gilbert was visiting our house here where we
now live. A man living at our place was at the house. Father Gilbert
said to him, "Did you ever pray?" The man said, "No." That question was
used of the Lord to the man's salvation. He became deeply convicted and
professed a hope in Christ and died in triumph.
Abijah Gilbert. My father had 11 children, only five reached
majority. My oldest sister ---- [blank] married Andrew McRoberts, a
farmer of Knox Co., but born and raised in Lincoln. She had one child, a
daughter who married Silas Woodson, his first wife. She had one chld, a
son, who died when a young man. I was elected to the Senate in 1860 to
fill the unexpired term of --- [blank]. I voted against Kentucky seceding
and for this my house was burned during the war. I removed then to Clay's
Ferry, in Fayette County. I rented the ferry. The rebels burnt my boat
and it cost me $300 to build a new one. I tried to get Congress to pay me
for my boat but could not. A Union officer stationed at Richmond ordered
me to build a new boat and he pressed one above me at Comb's Ferry till I
got one built. The Union authorities refused to pay regular rates for
ferriage which reduced my bill $4800. I ferried all night once, putting a
regiment of Union soldiers over. I could carry 25 men and horses at once.
The river was out of the banks, drift running. I paid $1205 a year for
the ferry part of the time and $1600 part of the time. The Union soldiers
killed a desperate Negro on the ferry boat. He had robbed and stolen,
searched women, etc.
A man called from the Madison side one day, it was raining. I told
the ferrymen to wait till the shower was over. The man swam the river
though it was very high. He said the Rebels were coming, that he had
dispatches, that six men had drowned and he would report me for refusing
to carry him over. I was alarmed. Dough White of Clay County came over
the next day. He said no Rebels were coming, that doubtless the fellow
had stolen something and was escaping justice and the story of drowned men
was a fabrication. I have never heard of him anymore. I served two terms
as door keeper of the Senate, one term while I lived in Fayette County. I
afterwards (later) served a term in the Lower House from Clay, Owsley and
Estill. Brashears of Perry opposed me in my race for the Senate. My
cousin, Asa Gilbert, Democrat, opposed me in the last race. Red Bird was
killed by some hunters below the mouth of Big Creek and thrown into a hole
of water. I do not know whether my father helped bury him or not. I have
heard my father talk about Red Bird but I do not remember anything
definitely now. There was no justification for the murder of Red Bird.
The hunters quarreled with him about furs and killed him out of greed. He
had an Indian with him, called Jack, who escaped.

Gilbert Renfro Ambrose Hawks Bolling Sizemore McRoberts Woodson White
Lee-VA MO Knox-KY Lincoln-KY Fayette-KY Owsley-KY Estill-KY Perry-KY

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