Biographical Sketches from, "Kentucky, History of the State"
Main Author; William Henry Perrin 1887
Submitted by: Vera Burnham September 9, 2002
John L. Powell was
born July 7,1832, in Shelby County, Ky. His parents John and Dorcas (Marshall)
Powell, were natives of Kentucky and followed the pursuits of agriculture.
John L. was thus reared under the influence of farm life, meantime receiving
a common English education. When eighteen years old he found that his health
disqualified him for farm life, and set about obtaining a more complete
and practical education; he therefore took an academic course, making a
speciality of book-keeping. After teaching school a short time, he became
a salesman in a merchantile house in his native county, and thus laid the
foundation of his business career. He stepped from the position of salesman
in a Louisville queensware house to the proprietorship of a small buisness
in Henry County, Ky., doing a fair amount
of business for two years; but desiring a location for a more extensive trade, he removed to Smithland, Ky., about 1857. He remained in the latter place until 1864, when he located in Paducah. He there engaged in the dry goods trade for two years; dealing also in cotton, and in 1869 established his present business. He does a wholesale and retail business in books and stationary and musical instruments, and has the most extensive house of the kind in the city. Mr. Powell is a member of the Methodist Church, a member of the K. of H. being past Grand Dictator of the State of Kentucky, and has done valuable service in his part of the State as an instituting officer. He is also a member of the order of the United Order Golden Cross and I.O.O.F. Mr. Powell was married in 1852 in Shelby County, Ky., to Miss Naomi N. daughter of Felding Neal. They have two daughters: Mattie E. and Mamie A. Powell.