John was Volna & Belle's third child. He was born May 11, 1915.
John and his big sister, Ruby Nell
John had two sisters. Mary Catherine was the first child. Before John was born, she died at the age of 4. Ruby Nell was the second born. John was the baby of the family.
Volna Blackman Southard
John's father died when he was a boy of 7 years in 1922. This is how he remembered his father. John told of his father trying to take him hunting when he was 7 years old. Volna was suddenly very ill and in pain. They had to return to the farmhouse. Volna died that month of colon cancer.
My daddy, the year his daddy died!
John B. Southard was 7 yrs in 1922.
As a boy, John had numerous friends. Marbles were an inexpensive game to play with the guys. The boys drew a circle in the dirt, then arranged a handful of small marbles in the center of the circle. Standing outside the circle, each boy took a turn trying to shoot the small marbles out with a large agate marble. Betty has John's agate marble.
rules for marbles
1. Draw a three foot circle in the dirt 2. Each player chooses one large marble (an agate or shooter marble). The rest of the marbles are tossed into the circle. 3. Turns rotate. Each player puts his agate marble on the circle's edge. Using the thumb, flicks it towards the smaller marbles in the circle. 4. Any marbles moved out of the circle are collected by the player. If the agate marble stays in the circle, the player gets another turn. If the agate leaves the circle, the turn is passed to the next player. 5. The game is over when all the small marbles have been removed from the circle. The player with the most marbles wins.
Daddy is seated in row 3 (far right).
John's agate marble
Belle Luckett Southard & her two children
This photo was taken a few years after John's father died.
Surviving the Great Depression
Seven years after Volna died, the nation found itself in the Great Depression. Belle, John & Ruby Nell survived with help from family. Volna's sister, Susan Southard Chapman (Aunt Susan), and her husband Uncle John made sure that Belle and the children had food. Belle's brother Hub (Uncle Hub) moved onto the farm and helped with labor. Belle deeded the farm to John & Ruby Nell. With the farm titled to the children, creators couldn't take the homestead.
John worked several jobs and was happy if he earned $1 a day. He told the story of wanting a sled of his own and not borrowing a sleigh ride from one of the guys. The family couldn't spare the money for a sled. John managed to get an extra job from a neighboring farmer. He finally saved enough money to buy a sled. When he hiked to the general store in Greenville to make his purchase, they had sold out of sleds for the winter.
Greenville was established in 1799. Greenville's first school was built in 1810.
Greenville Grade School, 6th Grade
John is 3rd from left on the back row.
During the Great Depression, many things could be purchased with a nickel. A nickel would buy a candy bar, a soda, an ice cream cone, or a package of cheese bits. A movie ticket cost a nickel. A beautiful, silver, buffalo nickel could buy much happiness.
"Paradise" by John Prine
"When I was a child, my family would travel down to Western Kentucky where my parents were born. And there's a backwards old town that's often remembered so many times that my memories are worn.
And Daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County, down by the Green River where paradise lay? Well, I'm sorry my child, but you're too late in asking. Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away."
The Green River runs . . .
. . . through Muhlenberg, Ohio, and Henderson Counties traveling northward to the south bank of the Ohio River. Most of its banks are steep as the river runs through rolling hills.It is the largest, longest, and most navigable river in the state. When Muhlenberg County was the largest coal producing area in the country, the Green River was the chief route to transport the coal. Numerous Revolutionary War veterans took their land grant along or near the Green River.
The Green River . . .
. . was also a great source for fishing and swimming.
1933 Graduating Class, Greenville High School
John is on the top row, far right!
English, Latin, American History, World History, Algebra, Manual Training, Biology, Geometry, Chemistry, Civics, Physics, Solid Geometry, Mechanical Drawing, and Agriculture.
Greenville High School (built 1924 - torn down in 1976)
College Street, Greenville, KY
"GHS Fight Song"
Here's to dear Greenville High the black and gold. The glories she gives us are never left untold. So love her and honor her and as the years go by, you'll find there's not a greater school than Greenville High.
Senior Year of High School
John graduated with the Class of 1933 from Greenville High School. There were 44 students in his graduating class. John was on GHS' football tea,.
High School Senior Picture
Following high school, John went on to the University of Kentucky. He earned a B.S. degree from the College of Agriculture. He paid his tuition by waiting tables. For room & board, he bartered repairs & yard work with a Lexington widow. His textbooks were checked out of the King Library.
College of Agriculture, class of 1937
John is on the far right in the 5th row.
Greenville, Main Street, 1940
Following U of K graduation, John started teaching agriculture at a high school in White Mills, KY
John and Guy Jones
John met his favorite friend of all time at White Mills.
Trip to Arizona & California
As soon as school was out, John & Guy took off to explore the west.
This is how John looked when he started dating Dorothy
Grandmother Southard, Aunt Ruby Nell & Uncle Red visit John.
Ruby Nell and . . . .
her new husband, Red Darr (John's sister and brother-in-law)
World War II
John served in the U.S. Army. He was stationed at Panama Canal
John is on the far right.
In the barracks
When the bugle blows, you get up!
Gas Mask at Camp Hahn
John shows his sense of humor.
John took this photo out the window of his plane headed to Panama.
John standing by village huts.
John in Panama
John's Panama Handbook
World War II, Panama Canal
After the Pearl Harbor attack, the United States was afraid Japan might attack the canal.
Children in Panama, 1942
Just give the guy a book!
John & Dorothy
John & Dorothy were both working in Bedford, KY. He was working for the Department of Agriculture and she was teaching at the local high school. John had noticed Dorothy around town. He arranged for J. C. Cantrell, the high school basketball coach, to plan a blind date with her. They were dating when the war started. They corresponded throughout the war and married soon after armistice.
Wedding Reception June 19, 1946
Jim & Bess Wolfe hosted a reception in their home at 303 Bryan Street, Hopkinsville, KY.
Dorothy bought a wash stand that was covered with green enamel paint. The doors were falling off. John repaired and refinished the piece.
John's first job after World War II
He worked for Ballard Feed Company. He was given a brand new company car, got to travel, and help farmers.
Summer Vacation . . .
. . . to Wisconsin to see Ruby Nell
Uncle Red pushed . . .
. . . Grandmother Southard around in a wheelchair.
Ruby Nell & Red adopted Sandy from one his nieces.
Cave Hill Cemetery's pond
A favorite place for Louisvillians to take their children and feed the ducks.
Pillsbury Feed Company bought out Ballard
When John was discharged from the Army, he got a job with Ballard helping local farmers. Several years later, Ballard was bought out by Pillsbury. John is back row, far right.
Uncle John & Aunt Susan
Whenever we went down to western Kentucky, Daddy always stopped to see Aunt Susan. He continued these visits after Grandmother Southard died. He loved Aunt Susan and knew how much she had done for him, Ruby Nell & his mother during the Depression.
My Daddy, age 35
John B. Southard Sr - father of Elizabeth "Betty" Ann Southard Stokes.
Having grown up on a farm, Daddy preferred being outside. He always had such a beautiful garden, our neighbors were in awe. He relished camping and fishing. He had some hunting buddies. Daddy thrived outdoors.
Big & Small
John and his babies
John B. Southard Jr & Elizabeth "Betty" Ann Southard
John is in Muhlenberg County . . .
visiting with his cousins & Uncle John.
Aunt Susan & Grandmother Southard
John was 14 years old when the Stock Market crashed in 1929. Aunt Susan & Uncle John took food to Belle's family.
This is the first house John & Dorothy owned.
1954, Kratz Lane backyard
Betty, Sport, and John
Helping Betty with the Easter Egg Hunt
The other children were so much taller than Betty. They moved faster than she could.
"When Dad lifts me to his shoulders, I have no fear at all. Because he holds me with stong hands, I know that I won't fall." Betty Southard Stokes wrote this poem in 3rd grade
John is hanging a bird feeder he made for Dorothy.
Betty is standing on stilts that John made for her. You can see a bird house to the right that he made. The slide and sandbox he built are also in this photo. Back left, you can see a bit of a fence he built.
Helping in the Garden
Daddy must not have heard about the Child Labor laws.
John riding at the Gracey Farm.
John craved the pumpkins, hid the Easter eggs, and always had a nice garden.
Daddy enjoyed the holidays with his family. He bought a variety of egg types every Easter and hid the dyed eggs over and over again. He helped carve the pumpkins. One Halloween, our pumpkins were smashed by some older kids. It disappointed Daddy more than us. He made egg nog every Christmas. Daddy & I were the ones that decorated the tree every year. I realize now, as an adult, that he had so much patience and loved doing these things with us & for us because the Great Depression and his father's death robbed him of the simple childhood joys.
Daddy taught us how to ice skate, sled, and fish. He took us camping every summer.
John & Dorothy, 1955
John loved his wife and his family.
Easter Sunday, 1955
John was a Deacon at Middletown Baptist Church and Woodlawn Baptist.
1958, John purchased this duplex on Willow in the Cherokee Triangle neighborhood..
He used his inheritance from the sell of the family farm. He enjoyed doing the needed maintenance and tending to the lawn. It stayed rented. He usually had two elderly women that just thought he was wonderful. He enjoyed that the most!
Daddy's Laundry Mat on Baxter Avenue
Daddy bought this building in 1958 and ran a little neighborhood laundry mat service. Mother made him sell after four years. She was afraid someone would rob and hurt him when he emptied the coin boxes. He sold it in 1962. It's probably worth 10X what he got for it because it's right next to Lynn's Paradise Cafe. CLICK
Uncle John & Aunt Susan (Southard) Chapman
Here they are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.
John's first cousins with his Aunt Susan & Uncle John Chapman.
R1: Mary Willis, Uncle John, Aunt Susan, and Walter. R2: Everett, Eva, Ruth, Bell, and Herman.
Betty and her daddy, John B. Southard. CLICK
50 years old
John proudly stands in ....
his yard that he's loveling landscaped himself.
John is widening the opening on the front door.
Ruby Nell Southard (Darr) & Red Darr
John's sister, Ruby Nell, was 4 years older than him.
John is outside the church with Les Stokes
John adopted this black dog. He loved the dog and named it "Fella".
John & his grandbaby
Leslie was born June 1977. This is John's 63rd birthday, May 1978.
Granddaddy Southard, 1979
John was thrilled with his first grandchild. He marked items in the newspaper & catalogs he wanted to buy "his grandbaby". He couldn't always remember Leslie's name. When Amy & Will came along in 1980, he knew he had more grandchildren, but couldn't remember if they were boys or girls. John B. Southard died in 1984 from complications created by Alzheimer's.
Granddaddy helps Leslie with . .
. . her candles on her 3rd birthday.
Leslie came to show . . .
. . .Granddaddy her hobo costume for Halloween.
John Southard, direct descendant of Plymouth pilgrims
We learned this in our genealogical research. Daddy had no idea. We felt he should have a visit to Plymouth Village, so we had a photo enlarged into a life-size stand-up and took Daddy back to his roots.
Walking through the woods on a peaceful day.
Daddy was the happiest when he was outdoors, either working with the earth or enjoying what nature offered. I like to remember him, young & healthy, working in his garden. He always had a project going. Betty