Harrison Gregory Arnett
(1848 - 1934)
John Wendell Arnett
The Magoffin County Historical Society
October 8, 1998,
150th anniversary of H.G.A.'s birth
To the memory of
Walter Wendell Arnett
(May 5, 1912 - July 10, 1998)
who preserved H.G.'s Journal
and always enjoyed sharing the
"well remembered" tales of his
Magoffin County childhood.
As children we heard our dad, W.W.Arnett, share many a tale of his childhood days growing up in Salyersville, Magoffin Co, KY, especially that of his winning the pony at age twelve, and we took many a long trip to visit his mother and the old home place in Salyersville before the days of the Mountain Parkway. Eugene Arnett, our grandfather, died in 1950, and none of us had much of a personal memory of him. However, we knew our grandmother, Lucy Jones Arnett, very well and knew that in some way she was related to the family of Johnny Gruelle.
It never dawned on us, though, that there may have been generations before Eugene and Lucy. That was until, one day in the late 1960's, my father happened to show me a journal that he'd saved among some papers in our basement. The journal, which I've reproduced here, introduced me for the first time to my great grandfather, Harrison Gregory Arnett. I was very impressed with the calligraphy, prose and poetry of this man who at age 80 had taken the time to write with such clarity.
This journal also awakened my interest in genealogy and history which continues to this day. I accompanied my father back to Salyersville in 1983 for the "Arnetts Are Coming" celebration at that year's Founder's Day festivities, and the study of H.G.'s journal and associated history have given us all a sense of pride to say "Our roots are in Magoffin County." Like others I'm thankful for the active work of the Magoffin County Historical Society and the many family albums they have produced, including the Arnett, Howard, Patrick and May albums.
Though we'll never have the vivid memories of the folk of Salyersville that dad had, we at least had the good fortune of getting to know many of his family who also shared their memories: Oaks, Gracie, Ruth Schoppe, Paul & Ruth (Gillum) and Helen. Now nearly all of dad's generation have gone to the mountains beyond, but I've enjoyed getting to know many of the cousins, some of whom still live there. And I've particularly appreciated information shared by Fritz's grandchildren, Carolyn Minix, Michael & Fritz Arnett, and Loulie's granddaughter, Barbara Berryman. Fritz' s daughter, Erin Arnett, and Loulie Sublett's son, Edward Sublett, are the only two of H.G.'s grandchildren known to be alive.
This annotation is a work in progress, and I'm hopeful that additional information and corrections about H.G.'s life and times will lead to an additional supplement some year. In the meantime, as we look forward to a new century, we do well to recall those such as H.G. Arnett whose "well spent life" brought us to the "threshold" of our own present and future days. Perhaps, H.G. will inspire us to write our own journals.
John W. Arnett (great grandson of H.G.A.)
copyright 1998 . . John W. Arnett
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