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Sanders, John B.

Posted by MarthaCrossSargent 
Sanders, John B.
March 12, 2007 10:17PM
Souvenir Edition, The Williamstown Courier, Williamstown, Ky, May 30, 1901,
reprinted September 19, 1981 by the Grant County KY Historical Society.

JOHN B. SANDERS. About the best known mercantile institution in Grant
county is the general country store of J. Be. Sanders & Company, located at
Dry Ridge, this county. It is a mammoth affair, big in general
proportions, big in the stock carried, the business done and the annual
sales which amount to more than $60,000.00 every year. All the Sanders
family are interested in this store. John B. is the active head of the
firm and the business runs in his name; his father, Peter Sanders, is a
partner, and both Mrs. Pete Sanders and the wife of John B. are interested
in the business. The business, however, is the outgrowth of the incessant
toil, business acumen and good common sense of the head of the firm, John
B. Sanders. For a man who began life at the very foot of the ladder he has
accomplished wonders, and is every day doing more and better for himself
and the community in which he has pitched his tent.
Mr. Sanders was born in Pendleton county, Kentucky, October 16, 1860,
his parents were in humble circumstances in life and he was brought up to
the labor and hardships of the farm with little chance for an education or
a start in life. Early in life his parents moved to Kenton county and
there he grew to manhood, or at least he reached the time in life when he
started out for himself, determined to make something in the world and
win by his labor and persistency a competency. His first business venture
was in the huckster or peddling business. When he was sixteen years old he
bought a wagon and two horses and started out to buy produce and sell such
goods as the country people would buy. He ran his wagon in the counties of
Boone, Pendleton, Grant and Kenton. He continued in this business for four
years, or until he was twenty years old, and in the meantime he had
accumulated and laid away $1,200.
In the spring of 1880 he bought a store-house at Dividing Ridge, in
Pendleton county, and the next season bought a small stock of goods from
Commodore Price, at Doudton, and moved them to Dividing Ridge, and set up
as a store-keeper for himself. He continued his huckster wagons and
conducted the store for seven years on the push and go ahead plan which
has won for him his enviable position in the business world. In 1887 he
sold out his Dividing Ridge store, real estate and all to W. J. Stephens,
R. J. Hill and A. Sanders for $14,500 cash and moved to a farm near
California in Kenton county. For a time he looked around for a good
location, and finally about three months later bought the store at Dry
Ridge, including the real estate, from Lemmon & Northcutt for $8,500, and
there he has been to this day. It is a familiar story to all Grant county
people how the small country store with one floor and cramped quarters at
Dry Ridge has grown into the present mammoth enterprise. J.B. Sanders &
Co. are now carrying a stock valued at $30,000 and insured for nearly that
amount. They received goods every day in the year and keep no old goods on
hand. The annual sales has exceeded $60,000 for the past half a dozen
years and this year promises to break all records.
On each side of the main store building, and in an elegant lot and not
many feet away from the building, is the residences of the two heads of
this firm, and two more sightly residences cannot be found in Dry Ridge.
The residence on the right of the store is occupied by Peter Sanders and
his wife, and the residence on the left is occupied by J. B. Sanders and
his wife and two lovely daughters. In addition to these two residences and
the real estate used for store purposes, J. B. Sanders and other member of
the firm own quite a number of nice residences and other real estate in Dry
Ridge, and all told the real estate belonging to the firm and the various
members of the family is worth well on to $20,000. J. B. Sanders & Co. do
a strictly cash business. They buy for cash and discount all of their
bills and sell for cash as far as it is possible to do in a country store.
They are surrounded, however, on every side with rich farmers and a fine
country and very little credit is asked for, and this they always extend.
John B. Sanders was united in marriage to Miss Laura Gray, June 10,
1882, and to this union two children have been born, Miss Maud and Miss
Nina, both at the present time being students at the Millersburg Female
Seminary, a school of the Methodist church. They are lovely young ladies,
just blooming into perfect womanhood, and are the charm and delight of the
life of their parents.
All of the Sanders family, from the oldest to the youngest, are active
members of the Methodist Church South, and have been and are very active
in the work for the Master. It was mainly through the liberality of the
Sanders family and John B. in particular that the beautiful new Methodist
church structure was erected. It was built a half dozen years ago and is
a beauty, costing about $2,500, the Sanders family bearing half of the
expense. John B. Sanders is a steward in the church and one of its best
and most active members. He is also the class leader.
Two years ago Mr. Sanders purchased a large tract of land in Pulaski
county, Kentucky. He is now actively engaged in developing it. This land
lays on the Rockcastle River, is nearly level and substantially all of it
is in timer, in which the woodman's axe has never yet been heard. He has
erected a fine saw mill on this premises and is cutting hundreds of
thousands of feet of fine lumber for the market. This land is fine for
farming, and already several Grant county people have located on it. Mr.
Sanders spends a part of his time each month in the woods of his mountain
land. While it is called mountain land it is practically level.

Sanders Gray Stephens Hill Lemmon Northcutt Price
Pendleton-KY Pulaski-KY Kenton-KY

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