John Francis Lockett

by Edmund Starling, 1886


The young gentleman and official, whose name heads this article, was born in Henderson County on the fifth day of December, 1856. He is the eldest son of Rev. P. H. Lockett, who was born in this county June 21st, 1832. His mother is Ella Eakins, daughter of John Eakins, an early comer to Henderson County. She was born May 5th, 1834.

The father of our subject studied law when quite young, and, upon being licensed to practice, was regarded by those who knew him best among the most brilliant young attorneys of his day. He was a Whig in politics and followed the changes of that great old party up to the war, when he cast anchor with the Democratic party and has remained faithful ever since. In the exciting political days, a few years prior to the war, he took an active interest, and, upon more than one occasion, met, upon the rostrum, the great speakers of the opposing party. Met them, yea, more, successfully, and to the great cheer. In the year 1866 he was elected Judge of his county, and this office he held for three successive terms, up to and including a part of the year 1882. During the latter years of official life, he devoted a great part of his leisure time to the study of theology and frequently preached. He was always a pleasing speaker, an intelligent thinker and reasoner, and, in all, a most lovable man. Upon his defeat for a re-election in 1882, he went to the pulpit, and it was not long before he was called to the pastorate of the Baptist Church at Trenton, Ky., where he yet resides with a loving family and is beloved by all Christian people.

The paternal grandfather of our subject was Captain Francis Lockett, one of the noted men of this part of Kentucky. Captain Lockett was a native of Mecklinburg County, Virginia, and, at one time, wrote a popular treatise on the Culture of Tobacco. He immigrated to Henderson County when this was scarcely more than a howling wilderness. Once here, he soon became a leader of men, and his counsel and good advice most frequently sought by his neighbors and those who knew him only by reputation. He was a Captain of militia in Virginia; a Captain of men in social and business life in Kentucky. He represented, during the years 1815, '16 and '17, the Counties of Henderson, Hopkins and McLean, in the Lower House of the Legislature. He was then elected State Senator and served till 1819, and was succeeded by the late Governor Archibald Dixon. The maternal grandfather was John Eakins, whose biography will be found elsewhere in this history.

John Francis Lockett, the subject of this sketch, was a pupil of the Henderson Public and High Schools during the superintendency of that finished teacher and disciplinarian, Prof. Maurice Kirby. To know that the young man was a persevering student, guided by a master mind, is to know that he gained an education worthy of himself. This is all true; few young men have started upon life's journey better equipped fundamentally At an early age he determine to make law a study and then to make his living practicing it. To this end, therefore, he assiduously applied himself, and, in the due course of time, was licensed to practice. Like his father, he proved a graceful, pleasing speaker. He, too, has fought and won political battles on and off of the rostrum. His voice has been often heard not alone in the prosecution of or the defense of his client's rights', but oftentimes in behalf of the Christian religion and its blessed ally, temperance. In every field he has proven his metal, tempered with that of his opponent. For three years up to the including August, 1886, he served his city as prosecuting Attorney. In August, he was elected County Judge and has entered upon the discharge of his official duties. That he will prove himself a most excellent official the writer has no doubt.

On the fourteenth day of April, 1881, in the City of Henderson, Judge Lockett married Miss Minnie Jones, a highly accomplished lady, one, in every way, deserving her husband's love. Three children have resulted from this union--John, Alvin and Hickman. The eldest, John, a bright, promising child, was stricken with diptheria and died at the age of three years. The maternal great-grandfather of Mrs. Lockett was Augustine Eastin, a Baptist preacher, who came from Virginia to Kentucky at the time Boonesborough and Bryant's Station were established by the very early pioneers At one time he was arrested and confined in the Richmond, Virginia, Jail for preaching to the British Soldiers, and, for persisting in speaking the word of God to those men, was threatened to be shot. Her maternal grandfather was General Zachariah Eastin, who was born in Virginia January 11th, 1777. General Eastin enlisted as a Colonel in the War of 1812, and fought at Tippecanoe and River Rasin, in fact, was throughout the campaign with Generals Shelby, Medcalf and Desha and Colonel Richard M. Johnson, of Tecumseh fame. While engaged in this campaign, he was commissioned Brigadier General, which position he held up to 1824, when he resigned on account of some misunderstanding between himself and General Dasha. General Eastin came to Henderson in 1843, settled and died here some years afterwards.

John Francis Lockett, the subject of this sketch, in politics has always been recognized as a warm, unflinching Democrat. In religion a firm, consistent Baptist from his thirteenth year, at which time he was baptized and recieved into the church. He is a member of Ivy Lodge, Knights of Pythias, made one in 1885.

The History of Henderson County, Kentucky by Starling 1887 page 685-87;

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