Thursday, November 13, 2008

John Blackburn & Dorothy Elizabeth Wolfe Southard

John & Dorothy

John B. Southard Sr grew up on a farm in Luzerne, KY. Luzerne is a rural community in Muhlenberg County. He was born May 30, 1915 to Volna B. Southard & Belle Luckett (Southard). He had two sisters: Mary Catherine (died at age 4) and Ruby Nell. His father ran the general store for the Duncan Coal Company in Luzerne. John's father, Volna, died when he was a boy of 7 years.

Dorothy Elizabeth Wolfe (Southard) grew up in Hopkinsville, KY. Hopkinsville is a small town in Christian County. Dorothy was born May 11, 1916 to James Alvin Wolfe & Bess Lander Hopson (Wolfe). She was an only child. Her father ran the Standard Oil Distribution Plant in the Christian County area.

John & Dorothy both graduated from the University of Kentucky, but didn't meet till a few years after graduating. John earned a B.S. degree from the College of Agriculture. Dorothy earned a B.S. degree from the College of Commerce plus an additional B.A. from the College of Education.

After graduation, John and Dorothy both went to work in Bedford, Kentucky. Dorothy was teaching and John was working for the Department of Agriculture Farm Security Program. He helped farmers secure government loans. John asked J. C. Cantrell (the local high school basketball coach) to introduce him to Dorothy. They double dated with J. C. and the rest is history. John & Dorothy dated for about a year when he was drafted into the Army. He wrote her constantly during the war.

June 1946, as soon as John could get discharged from Army service in World War II, John & Dorothy married. They had two children, John B. Southard Jr (8/19/47) and Elizabeth Ann Southard (1950). Due to the war effort, John had to give up his job with the Department of Agriculture. Upon exiting the Army, he went to work with Pillsbury as an Agriculture Agent to local farmers. Dorothy taught business subjects in the old Louisville City Public Schools. Career moves took John into the field of education. Teaching the GED program at LaGrange Reformatory and managing the prison library, he retired from civic service.

Wedding, June 20, 1946

"It was a very hot sultry June day (no air conditioning). John bought a suit at Rodes Department Store. The only thing they had in his size was a grey wool plaid. There was still a shortage of everything following World War II. The wedding ceremony took place at the First Baptist Church in Hopkinsville. The attendants were Ray Drane Greenwell and her husband, Tilford Greenwell. Dorothy's parents hosted a reception in their home. The honeymoon was three days in Nashville, Tennessee. Later they took a longer trip to Cincinnati, Ohio." Dorothy Wolfe Southard

World War II
The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941. The war in Europe ended in 1944. Fighting in the Pacific ended in 1945 when American pilots dropped the atomic bomb.