xt7w0v89h490 https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7w0v89h490/data/mets.xml Jett, Curtis, 1875- 1919  books b92-42-26783421 English Pentecostal Publishing Co., : Louisville, Ky. : This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed.  Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically.  Physical rights are retained by the owning repository.  Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. copyright laws.  For information about permissions to reproduce or publish, contact the Special Collections Research Center. Jett, Curtis, 1875- From prison to pulpit  : life of Curtis Jett. text From prison to pulpit  : life of Curtis Jett. 1919 2002 true xt7w0v89h490 section xt7w0v89h490 



















































gg
r,



(IUITIS JE'rT.

 



From Prison



to Pulpit.



LIFE OF CURTIS JETT.



PENTECOSTAL



PUBLISHING



LOUISVILLE, KY.



Co.

 





















          COPYRIGHT, 1919
THE PENTECOSTAL PUBLISHING COMPANY,
           LOUISVILLE, KY.

 



















           DEDICATION.
This book is lovingly dedicated to my
       niece, June Eloise Jett.

 







            CONTENTS.

            CHAPTER I.
Birth and Ancestry ............    ......  5
            CHAPTER II.
My Boyhood... ....................        8
           CHAPTER III.
My Roamingg ......................       13
            CHAPTER IV.
What Led to My Conversion ......     .... 17
            CHAPTER V.
In the Penitentiary . ..........  ....... 20
            CHAPTER VI.
Experiences After Conversion .....    ... 22
           CHAPTER VII.
A Few Statistics . . ..........   ....... 32
           CHAPTER VIII.
Letters Received From Prisoners ...... 37
           CHAPTER IX.
Commendation from Prison Evangelist.. 68
            CHAPTER X.
Poems Written by a Prisoner ......    ... 72
           CHAPTER XI.
My Parole . . . ..................... 77


 






FROM PRISON TO PULPIT.

              CHAPTER I.
          BIRTH AND ANCESTRY.
  I was born in Jackson, Breathitt county,
Kentucky, December 19, 1875. My ancestors
were Virginians. My grandmother, on fa-
ther's side was Bryant decent, and a relative
of Daniel Boone's wife. My father and mo-
ther were born near Jackson, Ky., in Breath-
itt county. They were members of the
Methodist Church, uniting with the church
rather late in life. As I now understand
what it means to be a Christian in reality,
I could not say that their experience of sal-
vation was what it should have been. Like
many other people in the world, they were
weak along spiritual lines.
  My father was a typical mountaineer,
quite disposed and well able to take care
of himself when he thought any one crossed
his path. Father died when I was quite
young, a mere lad. Late in life my mother
became a most consecrated Christian, and
died about three years ago, leaving a good
testimony, which is a pleasant memory.
  I am not disposed, nor do I charge my
parents with my downfall. When I was a
                   5

 




From Prison to Pulpit.



mere child a feud broke out in our commu-
nity, and one of my uncles was killed, and
my father was seriously wounded. His en-
emies were constantly waylaying him, and
when he was away from home they would
rock our house at night, no one being there
except mother and the little children.
  Acting on the advice of relatives my father
and mother moved to Doylesville, Madison
county, Ky. In those days there were no
railroads in Breathitt county. On a cold day
in January, about the year '77, my moth-
er and little ones behind her on horseback,
and one in her lap,-that being the writer-
rode out of Jackson over the lofty moun-
tains and crossing the streams to Beattyville,
thence to Richmond, and twelve miles to our
home. They had left their home to keep
from being murdered from ambush.
  Very early in my childhood I began to
take note from the conversations that my
parents would have around the fireside. I
would hear them talk about how they had
been mistreated and driven from home, and
how our home had been rocked. A spirit of
revenge took hold of my young heart, and I
naturally sympathized with my parents.
  Early in life I became addicted to the habit
of pistol toting, with no other thought than
if necessary, I would use it to the limit, re-



6

 



          From Prison to Pulpit.       7

gardless of what the consequences might be.
The reader will understand that growing up
with these surroundings my young life was
naturally filled with strong resentment,
without any of those gracious influences of
the religion of Jesus, but all my surround-
ings had a tendency to draw me away from
the right. I was taught nothing of the Gos-
pel of forgiveness, but grew up entirely on
the basis of an eye for an eye, and a tooth
for a tooth, with the understanding that it
would be for the best, and also to my credit,
if I got the other fellow's eye and tooth and
saved my own.
  I well remember when a small boy my
father brought home a letter to my mother,
informing her that one of her brothers,
Willie Sewell, had been murdered while
making cane molasses. He was shot from
ambush one night by some unknown person.
I can see the troubled look on mother's fac.:
as she heard the news. He was a quiet,
peaceable citizen and his murderers went
free. He fell into one of the boiling vats of
syrup, was pulled out, and died soon after-
ward. You may be sure, that news coming
into our family aroused our indignation and
kindled in my young heart wrath and re-
venge against the enemies of my people.

 








CHAPTER IL.



               MY BOYHOOD.

  One of the most unfortunate incidents of
my boyhood days is the fact that we had a
neighbor who was a kind sort of man, with
a heart as tender as that of a child. He
loved children and children loved him, but
he was a drunkard. He took a great fancy
to me and would give me strong drink, not
realizing what great wrong he was doing
to God and myself. I was fond of him and
that made me easily influenced by him. Ow-
ing to these environments I became addict-
ed to strong drink early in life, and found
that booze is a dangerous thing to tamper
with. What the Old Book says about it is
true: "It biteth like a serpent and sting-
eth like an adder."
  I also fell into the miserable habit of cig-
arette smoking which affected my nerves
and mentality, causing me to become very
excitable and high tempered. Not having
the power to resist strong drink and cigar-
ette smoking I was led into many things
that I would not have done if these habits
                    8

 




From Prison to Pulpit.



had not fastened themselves upon me so
early in life.
  I have already mentioned the fact that I
fell into the habit of carrying arms while
quite young, and this habit grew upon me
as I grew older. I loved the woods and was
fond of hunting, consequently from my
early youth until my unfortunate career, I
hardly knew what it was to be separated
from shooting irons. I was quite a crack
shot at quail on the wing, and could bring a
squirrel out of the tops of the tallest trees.
  When very young I attended a revival
meeting at Union City, became impressed
by the Spirit of God, and united with the
church, but as I did not have that whole-
some influence to encourage me in the right
life the thorns sprang up and choked me to
death, spiritually. 0, the thorns in this un-
godly world! The tares of evil destroy the
good wheat. God says "His Spirit shall not
always strive with man." I could feel the
Holy Spirit in my life away back there in
my youth, but the enemy came and stole the
good seed away.
  When I was a lad my mother would take
frequent trips to Breathitt county from our
Madison county home, and I would often
attend her on these occasions. In this way
I became acquainted with my relatives in



9

 




From Prison to Pulpit.



those parts, and the mountain people as
well. It seemed that every one in that sec-
tion of the country had an axe to grind.
  I have attended many turkey matches and
always got my share of the birds. At one
match I killed eight with a Winchester rifle.
I would run my horse at full speed along a
post fence and put a bullet in each post.
Once when I was a lad, something had been
disturbing my mother's chickens at night,
and she asked me to take the old gun that
was about six feet long and go out to the
henhouse and see if I could find out what
was bothering her chickens. It was a bright
moonlight night. With gun on my should-
er I went in pursuit of the enemy. The moon
was almost bright as day. I opened the door,
took a peep at the roost, and stepped back
into the moonlight shade of a tree. I could
see through the door and on through the
cracks on the other side of the henhouse,
and the moonlight on the other side of the
henhouse. Presently I saw something about
the size of a rat bobbing up and down
through the crack of the house, and I said
to myself, "That must be a rat." I took
deliberate aim, pulled the trigger, the report
rang out on the night air, the gun went one
way and I went the other, and my mother's
big turkey gobbler fell dead with his head



10

 



From Prison to Pulpit.



shot off. Of all the flopping you ever heard
it was then. My mother came to the door
and asked, "Did you kill it" I said, "Yes,"
Then she asked, "What was it" I said, "Your
big gobbler." And reader, you can guess
the rest.
  In those days in mountain regions there
was hardly a cabin which did not have a
rifle, and most of the men went arnmed.
Those were the days of feuds between the
Eversoles and Franks, the Strongs and
Ameys, Strongs and Callahans, Callahans
and Deatons. During these feuds, which
amounted sometimes to almost a civil war
many men were killed. The usual method
was to waylay and shoot one's enemies from
buildings or woods. Not that they were
afraid to fight in the open, but as General
Washington suggested to General Braddock
of the British Army, "To fight the Indians
in their own way." It was the plan of the
mountaineer to get their man and take no
chances.
  Many of the leaders of the feuds were men
of good circumstances and of fine intelli-
gence. They were kind and courteous to
their friends, but they came from a race of
people beyond the sea who, for centuries,
had not looked to the courts for protection,
but had taken their affairs into their own



11

 




From Prison to Pulpit.



hands. With them it was perfectly honor-
able to defend themselves and take the life
of any they suspected of having ill will to-
ward them.
  The leaders of the mountain feuds were
something like the old Scottish Chieftains
who gathered their class about them and
fought their misunderstandings to a finish.
Many of us boys who grew up in this atmos-
phere admired the leaders of the feuds, as
they were men of good circumstances, and
were well liked by their friends. They were
stalwart mountain men, crack shots, with
intense love for their friends and bitter
hatred for their enemies. We boys were am-
bitious when we became men to become lead-
ers of such a click, to take our chance in the
mountain battles and some day to carry re-
volvers and Winchesters with notches cut
to indicate the number of enemies we had
outwitted and gotten the drop on.



12

 





CHAPTER III.



              MY ROAMINGS.
  During my teens my father moved to
Winchester, Ky. While living at this place
my father died and was buried in Richmond
Cemetery by a Masonic lodge in Richmond.
While living in Winchester I had a round
with a colored gentleman whom they called
"John the Baptist." It was on this wise:
Baptist and a white boy by the name of Fra-
zier got into difficulty and I butted in and
took the white boy's part. The Baptist hit
me in the head with a stone and ran. I pull-
ed my gun and just as I fired Baptist fell
into barbed-wire fence and hung by his hide.
Many thought he was killed, but he was not
hit, which was all for my good.
  When father died mother moved back to
Madison county and bought a farm of one
hundred acres on the banks of the Kentucky
River. While living there I drifted away
from my mother's care and became quite a
rover. I made several trips to Illinois, and
traveled as far west as Texas. In all of
these states I drank extensively, carried
weapons, and had frequent brawls, and some
fist fights. By and by, I got so homesick
that I would have walked all the way from
                   13

 




From Prison to Pulpit.



Texas if I could not have caught a train for
my "Old Kentucky Home."
  When the Spanish-American war broke
out I joined the Sixth Cavalry of the regular
army and our regiment started to Cuba. To
my great disappointment the war closed
after our regiment got to Tampa, Florida.
I was discharged and returned to the moun-
tains of Eastern Kentucky to visit relatives
in that section. All the years of this period
of my life I was gambling, drinking, and
dissipating, generally. There was a time I
lived without thought or fear of God or man,
not having a serious thought. The fact that
there was either heaven or hell awaiting me
in the future, for the time escaped my mind.
As I look back to the years of my life it
seems a strange bad dream. I remember it
with profound regret and I hardly see how
those years could have been spent more
wickedly and aimless. I make these state-
ments with the hope that this booklet may
fall into the hands of someone who, having
drifted as far into the region of sin as I did,
may receive hope and encouragement to come
back to the Christ who has been so gracious
and merciful to me.
  From the time I was discharged from the
army until my arrest, I had no fixed home,
but roamed about from one place to another.



14

 




           From Prison to Pulpit.     15

These were dark days in my history. There
are a few bright spots that I recall with a de-
gree of pride and consolation. One of my
associates once threatened to shoot a preach-
er for whom I had taken a liking, and I suc-
ceeded in convincing my companion that if
he dared do such a thing there would be two
funerals, so the man, after the preacher with
his gun, changed his mind. I also recall that
on two occasions that I helped rescue drown-
ing men from the Kentucky River, one in
Madison county and one in Breathitt county,
who would have perished without assistance.
  About this time the feud with which I
became connected had reached its climax.
I loved my people and would have cheerfully
died for them any day; and I hated their
enemies. There was much animosity and ill
feeling which culminated in several deaths
on both sides of the feud. So far as any part
I may have had in these unfortunate affairs
is concerned that has been thoroughly thresh-
ed out in the civil and criminal courts of the
State, and I could not add anything which
would involve anyone who has not already
been involved in the courts. I did not par-
ticipate in these for any price or cause ex-
cept for the love of my people and the un-
fortunate spirit of revenge in my own heart.
A merciful God has granted my forgiveness

 




From Prison to Pulpit.



which I feel toward all men and believe it
would be unwise for me to enter into any
further discussion of the matters. I have
now entered upon a new life with peace with
my fellowbeings and desire to do all in my
power to amend the past, and try to prevent
any young man from following in the path-
way, and falling into the habits which
brought such wickedness and sorrow to my
life. God knows that in my heart I fully
forgive anyone who may have been my en-
emies, and have nothing but the kindliest
feelings toward everyone. It might be inter-
esting to enter upon the details of the long,
hard battle which was waged in the courts
which cost my friends and the State many
thousands of dollars, but I think it best to
leave this matter, only to say that a strong
array of legal talent represented both prose-
cution and defense.
  I will say, however, that I first entered the
penitentiary with life and death sentence, re-
ceived a new trial and was returned to the
penitentiary with two life sentences; was in
five different jails-Winchester, Jackson,
Beattyville, Lexington, and Louisville. I
spent over one year in jail, was tried by
three circuit judges, and all three died while
I was in prison, as they were much older
than I.



16

 







CHAPTER IV.



       WHAT LED TO MY CONVERSION.

  "To a woman now dead, who was an in-
valid for most of her life and whom I never
saw, is due the credit of converting me," is
the manner in which the Rev. Curtis Jett,
one time feudist, explained how he became a
Christian in a sermon preached at the Peo-
ple's Mission Tabernacle at the corner of
Third and Ohio streets last night.
  "When the crowds and newspapers cried
'hang him,' it was letters from this woman
written in a motherly fashion pleading with
me to reform that finally converted me,"
continued Rev. Jett.
  "Nearly five hundred people gathered to
hear the Rev. Jett last night packing the
building to its capacity. Many were refused
entrance owing to the size of the crowd. This
is the first sermon preached in this city by
the Rev. Jett, since his release from State
penitentiary in Frankfort, where he had
served eleven years of a life sentence for the
alleged murder of J. B. Marcum in a noted
Eastern Kentucky feud.
  "Rev. Jett, during his sermon, told of his
                   17

 




18        From Prison to Pulpit.

fight for religious principles while in the
penitentiary following his conversion. He
told of conditions when he first arrived and
how they have been improved during the
years that he spent there.
   "Continuing about his conversion, Rev.
Jett said, 'It was the letters from this invalid
woman which I read as I sat in my cell on
felon's row that finally convinced me that my
ways were wrong and that I should become a
Christian. The woman of whom I tell you
died before I was released and I have never
seen her, but some day I am going to the
cemetery where she is buried and there pay
her tribute for what I owe.'
  "The audience was an unusually large one,
arriving early and practically filling the tab-
ernacle long before time to start the ser-
vices. A special musical program was pro-
vided during the evening.
  "The Rev. Jett throughout his sermon
urged the audience to take advantage of the
example he formed and be converted before
they permitted their present ways to get
them into trouble. He talked for a little
over an hour.
  "Rev. Jett, during his sermon last night,
paid a high tribute to Asbury College, in Jes.
samine county, where he is now going to
school studying for the ministry,



Il

 




          From Prison to Pulpit.       19

  "This morning at 11 o'clock, Rev. Jett will
preach the morning sermon at the Nazarene
Chapel on Shropshire Avenue. Rev. Jett will
preach at the People's Mission Sunday after-
noon at 2:45 o'clock, and Sunday night at
7:30 o'clock. Everyone is invited."
  I am now in school at Wilmore, Ky., As-
bury College, studying for the ministry. This
is a great school, with Dr. H. C. Morrison as
its president. He and his good wife are do-
ing a great work here. It is a wonderful
place for young people to be trained in the
service of the Lord.

 







CHAPTER V.



          IN THE PENITENTIARY.

  This old penitentiary was completed in the
year 1800. The first inmate was John Tur-
ner, of Madison county, for two years under
conviction for horse stealing.
  On entering the prison as a prisoner, you
are taken to the bath-house, given a hair cut,
shave and bath. Then you put on new, clean
clothes, and are assigned to your cell. The
next day you are assigned to work in some
department of the prison. There are many
rules and regulations that govern this prison
as well as all other prisons. All kinds of
people are to be found in prison; some as
low-down men as breathe, and some good
men, but the latter are very scarce.
  There are three classes of prisoners, ac-
cording to the grading system and uniform:
First, second, and third. There is the church
of all denominations, the Christian Endeavor
Society, of which Miss Georgia Dunn is su-
perintendent, and who has done a great work
in the prison for the unfortunate men and
women confined therein. She is dearly be-
loved by all the prisoners. There are two
                   20

 



          From Prison to Pulpit.     21

large Bible classes conducted for the white
and colored respectively.
  On May 4, 1904, when I entered the prison
I found it a living, grinding hell on earth,
full of gambling and pool tables. Most of the
prisoners spent their time away from church
on Sunday playing pool and gambling, and
I was one of the number. I cared nothing
for the church or God or man. I was as vile
a sinner as ever came down the pike.

 







CHAPTER VI.



    EXPERIENCES AFTER MY CONVERSION.

  The prison, all these years of my confine-
ment, has been getting better; that is the
treatment of prisoners and respect for relig-
ion. Many dark hours of persecution have
I suffered because I was a Christian, and
had been born again. At the time of my con-
version a Christian had but little protection
in prison. On the right hand and on the left
it was said the fellow who joined the church
was playing the hypocrite and trying to get
out of prison on his religion.
  After my conversion I never let up on pool
tables until they were all removed, which was
several years ago. I preached against them,
prayed against them, and God removed them,
I hope and trust, forever. I helped to win
multiplied prisoners to Christ, numbers be-
ing converted under my preaching. I have
persuaded hundreds to join the Christian
Endeavor and Bible Class.
  After my conversion I became a student of
the Bible and secured a diploma from the
Ohio Sunday School Association upon the
completion of the First Standard Teacher
                   22

 




From Prison to Pulpit.



Training Course for service. I received this
diploma February 12, 1910, being examined
by Rev. Joseph Severance, then Chaplain of
the prison. He gave me 100 on the examina-
tion. I also had to send off a written exami-
nation.
  During all these years of confinement my
dear mother never went back on her wander-
ing boy, but visited him frequently, until the
day of her death. Mother's death cast a
gloom over my life, but Jesus doeth all things
well. At night all the prisoners are locked
in their cells, except those who are trusties.
As I was a trusty I had the privilege and
pleasure of going from cell to cell and talk
to the prisoners, and have been the means of
comforting many aching hearts who poured
out their troubles to me. Many times the
prisoners would send for me in the night and
I would find them in tears. Perhaps one
had just received a letter that his wife, moth-
er, child, or brother had died. He can never
see them again on earth, cannot go to the
funeral, and his heart is breaking; and may-
be his conscience is hurting, and he feels
the Spirit of God striving with him, and
wants advice. It was my duty as one of the
heads of the large Bible classes, to get their
names, ask the warden to have them turned
out of their cells at night, for the class was



23

 




From Prison to Pulpit.



conducted on Sunday nights in the corridor
of the cell-house. On my recommendation
the warden would let these men out to the
class. When they would not behave I would
not let them out any more for awhile, as it
was dangerous. Here is a short note one
wrote me after I had him locked up for bad
conduct:
  "July 7, 1918, 159-5 B. Curt, if you will
let me come out again I will sit on the front
seat so you can watch me. I am sorry for
what I did, and ask your pardon.-H."
  All during this period my relatives, broth-
ers and sisters were trying to get me released
from prison on pardon or parole. Thousands
of names were written on the petition, and
scores of letters asking for my release. Pray-
ers were offered all over the State asking
God to liberate me from bondage. During all
these years a girl was visiting me and bring-
ing me good things to eat. "A friend in
need is a friend indeed."
  During my imprisonment I became the
prison florist and cared for the flowers and
lawn and greenhouses. The following is a
clipping from one of the local papers:
  "Bringing pleasure to his fellowmen is the
life-work of Curt Jett, serving a life sen-
tence in the State Reformatory as the result
of feud troubles in Breathitt county. Jett



24

 



From Prison to Pulpit.



has charge of the flower gardens at the Re-
formatory and the only growing flowers that
most of the prisoners ever see during their
confinement in the Reformatory are the re-
sult of Jett's work.
   "The half-tone picture of Curt Jett's gar-
den at the State Reformatory is reproduced
with the permission, and by the courtesy of
the State Journal, Frankfort, Ky., which
published the picture and the following ar-
ticle in its issue of Sunday, October 1:
  "For five years he has had charge of the
work of looking after the lawns and flowers
in the Reformatory, and in that time a won-
derful transformation has taken place. Be-
fore he took charge of the work no flowers
were grown in the Reformatory, and the
men behind the walls never had the oppor-
tunity to see the botanical side while in the
institution. Now, however, the walk from
the cell-house to the dining-room, over which
all the prisoners pass each day, is lined with
beautiful hedges and blooming flowers.
  "Few are the gardens in Frankfort that
compare favorably with those of the Re-
formatory. They show the result of patient
care and untiring efforts. When Jett enter-
ed the Reformatory he knew nothing about
flowers. All that he now knows he learned
by working with them behind the prison



25

 




From Prison to Pulpit.



walls. He takes an interest in the work; he
loves flowers, and endeavors to acquaint
himself with the best methods for their
growth and cultivation.
  "On entering the front gate of the Re-
formatory there is a large plat of ground in
the center of which is the musicians' stand.
In this space Jett has planted beds of can-
nas, caladiums and geraniums. On the stand
are balloon vines and other creeping plants.
In various parts of the yard are scarlet sage,
colias, roses, dahlias, castor oil plants, etc.
In one corner is a bed of caladiums in which
stand plants fully seven feet high. They
have been admired, Jett says, by many visi-
forts in the Reformatory greenhouse which
is nothing really remarkable about their
growth. They require plenty of water and
a rich soil and when given these they cer-
tainly grow.'
  "The Christian Endeavor Society is repre-
sented in Jett's garden by the letters 'C. E.,'
about twelve feet in height formed by a small
hedge. A large cross formed of the same
plant is close to the 'C. E.' monogram.
  "Jack Frost is about ready to nip the flow-
ers planted in the yard, but when the cold
weather arrives Jett will continue his ef-
forts in the Reformatory greenhouse which
has only recently been remodeled. Here are



26

 




From Prison to Pulpit.



kept dozens of ferns which are placed about
the yard in warm weather and here also are
hundreds of seedlings which are later trans-
planted in the yard. Jett is now preparing
to plant some flowers in the greenhouse so
that they will be in bloom by Easter. Next
year, he says will be the banner year in the
Reformatory flower gardens and he believes
in making preparations now."
  There was a sparrow roosted in the venti-
lation window over my head which suggest-
ed the following poem which I composed:
As I sit in the greenhouse thinking today,
Of the wrongs I have done and how best to
       repay,
There flies in the window a sparrow so gay,
Whose sweet, happy song seems to drive
      grief away.
It's a drear day in winter, with its cold and
      its gray,
With its mood of depression for the sinner
      today,
And the song of the sparrow perched over
      my head,
Seems to say, "Now be joyful; all hope is not
      fled."
Little sparrow, you're welcome, more than
      you can know;



27

 





From Presn to Pulpit.



You have come and have cheered me, dull
      care now will go.
You came to be warmed, for you're chilled
      through and through,
You are warming and cheering, so we're
      both pleased, I know.

Come again, little sparrow, come again and
      again,
I'll feed you and warm you, and sure be your
      friend.
When spring comes, and sunshine, you can
      sing where you will,
So mate and be happy; please visit me still.

For you're the first creature I've seen in
      some years,
Who seems to be willing to bring me such
      cheer.
To be sure, you've me bested, you can leave
      when you will,
But please, little sparrow, please visit me
      still.

  Before my conversion I did not care for
flowers, but after my sins were forgiven I
loved them with all my heart.
  There have been the following wardens
at the head of the prison since my incarcer-
ation: E. T. Lillard, W. S. Hawkins, George
Chism, E. E. Mudd, Sam Lykins, A. J. G.



28

 




From Prison to Pulpit.



Wills, T. M. Phythian. Two of the above
gentlemen have been special friends of mine.
Col. T. M. Phythian is a great prison work-
er; that is, he has had many years of expe-
rience with prisoners and is a judge of hu-
man character. He is a man full of compas-
sion and tender mercy; hates to say no when
approached for a favor by anyone. His
heart is as big as the world.
  It was under Col. Phythian's administra-
tion as warden that it came into his heart
to put me on the outside of the prison as a
trusty. He put great confidence in me, and
I am glad to state that I never betrayed his
confidence. My job on the outside as trusty
was to open and shut the two large gates
that let the prison traffic in and out.
  The following is a poem written by one of
the prisoners:
Arriving at this prison, of course no friends
      you find,
And if you chance to meet one, his hands are
      tied behind.
So while serving out your sentence, which
      the judge imposed on you,
With a daily load upon your mind, you know
      not what to do.

So, on coming to this prison with loved ones
      left behind,



29

 




From Prison to Pulpit.



Curt Jett will take you by the hand, and a
      Savior for you he'll find.
Then his Bible Class is handy, and God's
      Word is spoken true,
And to reap the spiritual harvest, it is simp-
      ly up to you.
I know that in a prison, you will very sel-
      dom find
Many of God's own people, especially Curt
      Jett's kind.
Each day he faithfully serves the State,
By opening and closing the large, back gate.
And   when  evening is come, he is not
      through;
He is teaching the Word of God to you.
From early morning until close of day,
I earnestly believe Curt Jett does pray.
You can meet him in the chapel, you can
      meet him in the yard,
And every place you meet him, he is always
      praising the Lord.
He works very early, and he works very late,
And God is always with him at the old prison
      gate.
The prisoners need religion, but a Chaplain
      with them you find,
While people of the outside world, need just
      Curt Jett's kind.



30

 



From Prison to Pulpit.



He can tell you from experience, what God
      has done for him,
And keeping him a prisoner is a most dis-
      graceful sin.
He is a persecuted prisoner, and beyond a
      reasonable doubt,
Most of Kentucky's people want to see him
      out.
Now if you will free poor Curtis Jett, and
      secure his quick release,
God will reward you later, with a blessing
      and eternal peace.
The people of Kentucky, for liberty and de-
      mocracy cry,
God has forgiven Curt Jett's sins, why not
      you and I
Consider this for a moment, and take it home
      with you,
Read the Word of God tonight and know
      what is required of you.
  "Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother
trespass against thee, rebuke him, and if he
repent, forgive him. And if he trespass
against thee seven times in a day, and seven
times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I
repent; thou shalt forgive him." Luke
17:3, 4.
  "This is my commandment, that ye love
one another as I have loved you." Jno. 15:12.



31

 







CHAPTER VII.



           A FEW STATISTICS.

  The population of the penitentiary at
Frankfort on November 30, 1910, was 599
white men, and 687 colored men. White wo-
men 6, and colored women 42. The number
of inmates who had been married were 449,
number of unmarried were 885. The num-
ber of inmates having a good education were
36, those having a fair education 834, those
having no educatio