This list is as remembered by the oldest citizens, and one T.J. “Uncle” Jeff Sizemore, 94 years old Civil War Veteran and citizen of Prestonsburg, Kentucky, dictated then to the writer in just this order.
The List of People who owned Slaves in Floyd County include:
- Sophia Lane, Lanesville.
- Jim Lane, Lanesville
- Gilbert Higgins, Wilson’s Creek
- George May, Maytown
- Hi Morgan, Prestonsburg
- Penny J. Sizemore, Prestonsburg
- Samuel P. Davidson, Prestonsburg
- I. Richmond, Prestonsburg
- Valentine Mayo, Prestonsburg
- —- Lanes, Prestonsburg
- Kennie Hatcher, Lanesville
- Morgan Clark, John’s Creek
- Daniel Hager, Hager Shoals near what is Auxier, Ky.
- Adam Gayheart, Prestonsburg
- John P. Martin, Prestonsburg
- Jacob Mayo, Sr., Prestonsburg
- Wm. Mayo, Jr., Prestonsburg
- Johnny Martin, Wayland, Kentucky
- Thomas Johns, Dwale, Ky.
- Isom Slone, Beaver Creek
- John Bud Harris, Emma, Kentucky
- Billy Slone, Caney Fork, Right Beaver, Kentucky.
Description by T.J. “Uncle” Jeff Sizemore:
The nearest auction blocks were Mt. Sterling, Kentucky and Gladdville, Virginia. Most slaves from the present Floyd County Territory were bought and sold through auction in southwest Virginia. Other auction blocks were at Abington and Bristol, Virginia.
The negro dialect of this county is a combination of the dialect white folk use plus that of the negro of the South. The colored population is continually moving back and forth from Alabama, Georgia and North and South Carolinas. They visit a lot. Colored teachers so far have all been from Ohio. Most visiting colored preachers come from Alabama and the Carolinas. The negroes leave out their R’s use an’t han’t gwin, su’ for sir, yea for yes, dah for there and such expressions as, “I’s Ye?”
The wealthiest families o’ white folk still retain colored servants. In Prestonsburg, Kentucky one may see on the streets neat looking colored gals leading or wheeling young white children along. Folk say this is why so many southerners leave out their R’s and hold on to the old superstitions, they’ve had a colored mama for a nurse-maid.
Adam Gearheart was a sportsman and used negro Jockeys. His best jockey, Dennis, was sold to Morg. Clark, John’s Creek. The old race track took in part of the east end of the present Prestonsburg-from Gearheart’s home East in Mayo’s bottom one mile to Kelse Hollow-Jimmie Davidson now lives at the beginning of the old track, near Maple Street. Mike Tarter of Tennessee, Gearheart’s son-in-law brought horses from Tennessee and ran them here. Tarter was a promoter and book-maker also. Penny J. Sizemore and Morg. Clark were other sportsmen. This was as early as 1840 up to the Civil War.
Slaves ware traded, bought and sold between owners just as domestic animals are today. Where one owned only a few servants with no families they lived in the big house-otherwise in Slave quarters, little cabins nearby.
Billy Slone just had two female servants, he bought them in Virginia 15 years old, for $1,000.00 sound.
Many folk went over to Mt. Sterling or Lexington to auctions for trading servants. (The same manner is used trading stock today).
Slave traders came into the county to buy up slaves for the Southern plantations, and cotton or sugar fields-Slave families were very frequently separated, some members mean, theiving, or running away niggers were sold (first) down the river. Sometimes good servants were sold for the price, the master being in a financial strait or dire need of money. Traders handcuffed their servants purchased, and took them by boat or horse-back down the river or over in Virginia and Carolina tobacco fields.
Good servants were usually well treated and not over-worked. Mean or contrary servants were whipped, or punished in other ways. Run-aways were hunted-dogs being used to track them at times.