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Roberts, John E.

Posted by MarthaCrossSargent 
Roberts, John E.
March 16, 2007 01:53PM
Dr. John J. Dickey Diary, Fleming County, Ky. Recorded in the 1870's and
beyond. Reprinted in Kentucky Explorer, Vol 11, Number 8, February, 1997.
p. 91. By permission. Clay County.

John E Roberts
November 10, 1898
Manchester, Kentucky

My grandfather, Joseph Roberts, came to Clay County from Powell's Valley,
Virginia. My father said that when my grandfather came to Clay County,
there were only three families on Red Bird, viz, Dillon Asher, John
Gilbert, and Edward Callahan. Mr. Roberts settled near the mouth of Big
Creek on main Red Bird. He had children as follows: Farris (probably
named for John Farris of Laurel who settled first on Red Bird); Jesse;
Thomas; George Washington (father of deponent), born about the time of the
Battle of New Orleans and was named in honor of that victory; Betsey
(Begley); Rachel Wilson (Sturgeon people); Sookey (Bowling), mother of
Elisha and Delaney Bowling of Laurel and Jackson Counties; Chana (Hacker),
wife of Samuel Hacker, the largest man ever in Clay County, being a great
bully; Action (Hacker), wife of Claiborne Hacker, mother of Ulus and Logan
Hacker of Terrill's Creek, Jackson County, also "Long" John Hacker.
Mr. Roberts says further: "Eli Vanover and his wife, Nancy Bailey, of
Harlan live now on Buffalo Creek, Owsley County. He is 95, and his wife is
about 85, both active. He visited my house last spring. She told me that
James Burkhart, the man who lived in the sycamore tree in Harlan, lived to
be 130 years old. When he was over 80 or 90 he planted a walnut tree and
said he wanted his coffin made from the wood of that tree, and it was done.
The body of the tree was split and hewed into boards from which the coffin
was made. When he was about 110 years old his gray hairs came out like one
who was afflicted with fever and there came in its stead a growth of black
hair just like that of a child. About the same time he cut a full set of
teeth which were very white and strong and continued so to the day of his
death. After this he would dance like a youth and claimed he was a boy
again. Mrs. Vanover was a girl at that time and saw this with her own
eyes. She was raised near Burkhart. Ad. White, son of James White,
married Davis Irvine's daughter. He lived at Richmond, Kentucky. He
represented his district in Congress. His brother was mayor of Huntsville,
Alabama, died about eight or ten years ago.

Roberts Powell Asher Gilbert Callahan Ferris Begley Wilson Sturgeon Bowling
Hacker Vanover Bailey Burkhart White Irvine
VA Laurel-KY Jackson-KY Owsley-KY AL

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