John Franklin Dollins (1854 - 1934)
John Franklin Dollins, my grandfather, born June 9th 1854 in Stanford, Lincoln County Kentucky. Died June 17th, 1934 in Ft. Worth, Tarrant County, Texas.
In the book, HISTORY OF THE HARBOR DISTRICT OF LOS ANGELES by
Ella A. Ludwig, this biography of John Franklin Dollins is found on page 409-11.
! A scion of old and prominent families of the Blue Grass state, John F. Dollins lived for many years in the south, witnessing its devastation and reconstruction. He contributed his quota toward the upbuilding and progress of that region and now exerts a strong and beneficial influence
in business circles of San Pedro through his activities as a restaurateur.
! He was born June 9, l854, in Stanford, Lincoln county, Kentucky, and
is the oldest son and child of Benjamin Franklin and Sarah F. (Marshall) Dollins, both of whom were born in that state. The Dollins family is of Welsh origin, and in the maternal line he is descended from illustrious Virginians. His mother was a niece of General Humphrey Marshall, who achieved distinction in the Mexican war, and she was also closely
related to the eminent jurist, John Marshall, who served as Chief Justice
of the Supreme Court of the United States from 180l until 1835.
Benjamin F. Dollins developed two large, productive farms and aided in raising the standards of fruit growing in Kentucky, which numbered him among its pioneer ochardists. He was a man of varied interests and the first registered distiller in the mountain district of Pulaski county. Endowed with exeptional business acumen and foresight, he prospered in
all of his undertakings, and his integrity was above question. He was a stanch supporter of the Union cause and greatly admired Abraham
Lincoln. He attained the ripe age of eighty-five, and his wife reached the ninety-first milestone on life's journey. To their union were born three children: John F.; Charles Marshall, who was a prominent merchant of Greenville, Texas and there passed away in l927, when sixty-seven years of age; and Mollie, a resident of Somerset, Kentucky and the widow of Dr. Huddle, who practiced for a number of years at Paris, Texas.
! John F. Dollins was reared on the homestead and had limited educational advantages, attending the district school only three months
of the year. This was during the winter season, and in the meantime he assisted his father in tilling the soil and caring for the crops. The farm was located near the scene of a bitter contest between the Federal and Confederate troops, and on the morning after the contest he visited the Mills Spring battlefield, which was strewn with many dead bodies,
including those of General Zollikoffer and Lieutenant Peyton. Mr. Dollins was then a boy of ten, and the tragic event left an ineffaceable impression upon his mind.
! When a young man of twenty-one Mr. Dollins started out in life for himself. After his first marriage he took his bride to Somerset,
Kentucky. The line of the Cincinnati Southern, now known as the Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railroad, was then being extended through that section, and he aided in grading the road bed, later working in the railroad shops. Subsequently he was a locomotive
fireman on that line and for three years his run was from Somerset to Cincinnati and Chattanooga. In l888 he went to Wichita Falls, Texas and
in l889 moved to Fort Worth, that state, where he made him home for thirty-five years. During seven years of that period he was a member of the police force and afterward engaged in teaming and hauling on a large scale and also becoming a cotton buyer for the Planters Compress Company. Mr. Dollins witnessed the growth of Fort Worth from forty thousand to a population of one hundred and forty thousand, and his progress paralleled that of the city. In l923 he came to California,
bringing with him considerable means accumulated by years of hard work and good management, and in l927 opened "Dad's Place," situated at No. 909 South Seaside Avenue on Terminal Island in East San Pedro. This is one of the most attractive and inviting cafes in the Harbor District and draws its patrons from all walks of life. The place is scrupulously
clean, and the food is tempting and appetizing. The coffee is
particularly good, and the service is first class in every particular.
! In Richmond, Kentucky, Mr. Dollins was married July 30, l875 to Miss Sarah F. Vaught, who was a native of Somerset, Kentucky, and of German lineage. Mrs. Dollins died at Fort Worth in l893, [Sarah's true date of death is Jan. 24, l923, this stated date of l893 is incorrect-per Carol D. Crabtree Peacock, her great grandaughter] leaving a family of four children: Charles Carl, who is a deputy sheriff of Los Angeles county and proprietor of the Radio Restaurant at East San Pedro; Birdie, who is the wife of Earl Robertson, of Kansas City, Missouri; Ben Logan,(note: Carol D. Crabtree Peacock's grandfather) the proprietor of a bakery in Fort Worth, Texas and Edward, who for ten years has been connected with the fire department of that city.
At Clayton, Missouri, Mr. Dollins was married in l924 to Mrs. Charles Parker, a widow, who bore the maiden name of Katherine Hargis and was born in Somerset, Kentucky. By her first union she became the mother of a daughter, who is now Mrs. Sophia Evans and resides in Somerset. Mrs. Dollins assists her husband in the cafe and works untiringly for the success of the business. She adheres to the Presbyterian faith and
closely follows the teachings of the church.
! Mr. Dollins casts his ballot for the candidates of the republican
party, and his fraternal connections are with the Eagles, the Knights of Pythias and the Woodmen of the World. He is well informed regarding all matters of public moment and heartily cooperates in movements for the general good. He has wisely conserved his powers, and at the age of seventy-three is vigorous in mind and body. He possesses a retentive memory and keen powers of observation, and his conversation spans the past in interesting reminiscences. The Golden Rule has constituted his guide throughtout life, and a frank, sympathetic and genial nature has drawn to him a host of steadfast friends.
John F. Dollins is buried in Ft. Worth, Texas in Greenwood Cemetery in Section 3 E Space 3.
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