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December 10, 1844: Clergyman William "Uncle" Dyke Garrett Born

 SharePrint Uncle Dyke Garrett
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online & Lillian Porter Smith
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Clergyman William Dyke Garrett was born on December 10, 1844. Known affectionately as “Uncle Dyke,” Garrett was a legendary figure in Logan County history. At the beginning of the Civil War, he enlisted in the Confederate Logan Wildcats regiment. Being deaf in one ear, he wasn’t forced to fight. Instead, he was named chaplain of the unit.

He deplored the war, denouncing it as against God’s will, having evidently come to that conclusion after witnessing the execution of Southern deserters. Previously unordained, Garrett began thinking seriously about Christianity after the war and was converted by Alexander M. Lunsford, who preached in Mingo and Logan counties. Garrett became a circuit rider, preaching throughout Logan County the rest of his life. He was the inspiration for the construction of the Crooked Creek Church of Christ and helped establish a sister church in Logan Courthouse, now Logan.

Garrett married Sallie Smith in 1867, and he and ‘‘Aunt Sallie’’ remained married for 71 years. He was a friend of feudist Anderson ‘‘Devil Anse’’ Hatfield from at least the late 1860s onward, and his greatest fame was for converting Hatfield and baptizing him in Main Island Creek in October 1911. Devil Anse and Dyke Garrett were members of Camp Straton United Confederate Veterans, the social organization that controlled Logan County politics between 1870 and 1915, with Garrett serving as the group’s spiritual leader. Beloved as the ‘‘Good Shepherd of the Hills,’’ Garrett was a fiddler who danced to his own music, and he had a fine tenor voice.

 


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