Memorial Biographies of General Baptist Ministers
of the
Union Association


John Vance Poole was born near Robards, in Henderson county, Kentucky. The son of W. W. Poole and Eliza Poole. His parents soon moved to a farm near Poole, Kentucky, which was first called "Poole's Mill." The father was a strict Presbyterian and the mother a Methodist after the old school of discipline, and they forbade fishing on Sundays, drinking liquor, playing cards and gambling, and other forms of immorality. This philosophy had a great effect on his early and formative years and served as a commandments to him through later years.

After receiving the schooling which the local community afforded, then high school at Corydon, Kentucky, the second oldest high school in the state, he went to Valporaiso, Indiana, where he studied liberal arts and civil engineering. Later in life he obtained an M.A. and P.H.D. Degree. His life was one of work and study. He prepared and trained himself for teaching, civil engineering and for farming, in all of which he was engaged many years. It could be said he was a son of the soil of which he was a part, because he loved the soil and farming.

Some thirty years of his busy life were spent at teaching first, at Columbia and Cairo District Schools in Henderson county, Kentucky; later with the help of friends, he built and headed a private institution of his own, "Poole's Academy," at Poole, Kentucky. there he spent many years of service to the boys and girls striving to obtain an education. The pay was small, but the joy of service was the main reward. After a number of years of teaching in various high schools, he was elected Dean of Mathematics at Oakland city College, Oakland City, Indiana, and after some two years of service there, he returned to Poole's Academy. From there he retired to the farm and practice of civil engineering. It was during retirement that Webster and Henderson counties elected him to a four year term in the Kentucky State Senate, which he served from 1928 to 1932.

Religious Life: His home teaching and environment had its effect, and he professed religion under the revival effort of Elder M. B. Covington, and after a complete study of church doctrines of various churches, he chose and joined Shady Grove General Baptist church, of Poole, Kentucky, in 1881, and later was ordained deacon of that church. He also served the church as Clerk.

He gave of his time and means of which God had blessed him, to the church and to Oakland City College; serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of the College for some twenty years. I was in this capacity that he was selected to head the campaign to raise the $200,00. endowment fund for Oakland City College, under the Presidency of Dr. W. P. Dearing. The effort was successful. It was his belief that you should not ask others to give until you had given, so he headed the list with a $2,000 gift.

God blessed him with a long and busy life, as he would have desired and spared his years to the ripe old age of four score and six. As he remarked when nearing the end, "Most of my ancestors lived to be 87, God has promised three score and ten, and maybe a little more, and taking also the Mortality Tables into consideration, my time is but a little while. God has been good to me, and I wish I could have served him longer. I am old, tired and happy here, but ready to go, if its His will "It is beautiful to die in arms' as Virgil said, and "I am glad I lived in my time,' as Chauser said."
His life has been an example and inspiration to me and the family. We loved his companionship, advice, council, wisdom, enthusiasm and his pleasant good humor. He was a loving, faithful and devoted father. He loved his family, his church and his friends, and his God.

* - Source - History of Union Association of General Baptist 1840 - 1953
M.D. Mc Donald

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