The Dickinson Family
of Glasgow, Kentucky

The History and Genealogy of
Lelia Rogers and Bartlett Graves Dickinson

Edited by LaVece Ganter Hughes


The Dickinson Family of Glasgow, Kentucky. Copyright © 2005 LaVece Ganter Hughes

International Standard Book Number 189323942X Library of Congress Control Number 2005927029

First edition This book is dedicated to my mother, Kate Trabue Dickinson Ganter, without whose love and diligence much of our family’s history would have been forgotten. I am not a historian or genealogist; this book consists primarily of selections from the archive of documents my mother lovingly maintained for her entire life. We have a record of our history, because she carried on the record-keeping of both her Grandmother Kate Rogers, and her mother, Lelia Dickinson. We know who we are because of their love and care, and we are grateful.

Presented here are our family stories and genealogy charts, sometimes anecdotal and hearsay, but true to the best of our knowledge, and written with love and a desire to preserve the heritage that was given to each of us.

These stories and charts are ours because of the loving care taken by ancestors and relatives such as my mother, Kate Dickinson Ganter, and Kate Trabue Rogers, Lelia Rogers Dickinson, Lewis Dickinson, Brents Dickinson III, Lelia Ann Dickinson Smith, Robert Worley Dickinson, Benjamin Lewis Dickinson, Pat Martin Dickinson, Jeanne Dickinson White, John White, and Fred Ganter.

If there is no acknowledgment given in a text, the family information came from Lelia Anderson, Kate Trabue, Lelia Dickinson, or Kate Ganter.

Also, we owe a debt of gratitude to Lelia Ganter Handy, who has kept all of the family papers, pictures and memorabilia together since the passing of our mother, Kate Ganter.

LaVece Ganter Hughes

A significant portion of what is contained in this book is based on undocumented family lore. From the viewpoint of genealogical research, the information is considered unproven. Primary sources, considered reliable, include court records, church and parish records, military records and census data. Original Bibles (with birth, marriage and death information) and original letters and memoirs are also primary sources. Secondary sources (such as published histories not containing references to primary information) and tertiary sources are unproven. Multiple, independent secondary sources are needed to establish proof approaching reliability of a primary source.

There are several major issues for our genealogical research, beyond the scope of this book. Current efforts continue with the significant collection of documents amassed by Kate Dickinson Ganter during her lifetime. The focus for research going forward is on accuracy and documentation. All who are interested are invited to “join the hunt.”

John Jones White

Pat Martin Dickinson

What it Means to be a Dickinson

—Lelia Ganter Tilton Thanksgiving 1987

We are here today because our name is Dickinson, our mother’s name was Dickinson, our grandmother’s name was Dickinson, or simply because we love someone whose name is Dickinson. Today we celebrate the fact that we are descendants of Lelia Rogers and Bartlett Graves Dickinson. We also would remember a rich ancestry, which includes the Rogers and Trabues, the Lewis and the Andersons, the Days, the Brents, and the Graves. But how many remember that four or five generations back, there are also the names Harris, Strange, Worley, McCreary, Shirley, Reed, Buford and Buckner?

From the time we are one or two, we struggle to exert our independence and express our individuality. Some of the first words we learn are “I,” “me” and “mine”. This attitude reaches its peak in our teens when we “do our own thing” and become more separated and alienated from our parents. By the time I was 20 years old, I was thoroughly convinced that the things that made me, me—the way I thought, the things I believed in, my personality, my “philosophy of life”—were all uniquely mine and had sprung forth from within me like spontaneous combustion.

Now, the older I get, the more I realize that this mosaic I call me is as much as 90-95% a result of my heritage and only about 5% or less new stuff. I could no more have escaped the affects of the strong, nurturing influences of my parents and grandparents, my aunts and uncles, than I could have grown wings and flown to Canada. In this same way our parents and grandparents were shaped by the generations that preceded them. And so, as we continue to pass on strong familial physical characteristics in our genes, may we also continue to pass on strong attitudes, beliefs and values.

Of the many things we have to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day, 1987, we need to take time to be thankful for our Dickinson heritage. From our parents, our grandparents and their parents before them, we have received many things. Foremost among them are a deep love of family, a strong moral conscience, a keen sense of religion and faith in God, a respect and concern for all men and women, an appreciation for the intellect and its education, the courage to stand up for our convictions, the strength to persevere during times of adversity, and last, a damn good recipe for pumpkin pie.

To know our heritage is to know ourselves. But in order for our grandchildren to know their heritage, it is important for all of us to begin recording our history now. Write it down, tape record it, video tape it, write letters, save letters, ask your grandparents about their younger days and their parents. Tell your grandchildren about your grandparents and write it down. Record your memories to leave a legacy for your grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

In this day of telephones and televisions, the written word has almost become obsolete. So much of my mother’s Dickinson family records are in the form of letters—simple, ordinary letters— communicating routine, everyday happenings, but revealing a wealth of precious history.

There are letters from Edmond Rogers; a letter Kate Trabue Rogers wrote after she was blind; letters written by John T. Rogers to his wife, Olivia Lewis, while he was on a large raft sailing down the Mississippi River to New Orleans to sell his tobacco; there are love letters from Lelia and Bartlett Graves, a letter written by Lelia shortly after her baby, Bartlett Graves, Jr., died; a beautiful letter from Sam to his mother, Lelia, while attending school in Texas telling her he was trying to be a good boy, and many others.

When I read these letters it’s as if they were written to me, and these ancestors, some who lived more than 100 years ago, touch me as if they were alive today.