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Subject: THARP 1528 Hawes Waggoner Tanner MetCalfe, Ballard Co.
Author: Sandi Gorin
Date: Sunday, August 09, 1998
Memorial Record of Western Kentucky, Volume I and Volume II, Lewis Publishing Company, 1904, pp. 166-168. Ballard Co. JAMES H. THARP
Judge James Howard Tharp, who served for two terms as county judge of Ballard county, and is now practicing law in Wickliffe, was born on a farm in this county on the 17th day of May, 1846. Hie parents were Frelin and Nancy (Hawes) Tharp, the former a native of North Carolina, while the latter was born near Hawesville, Kentucky. The paternal grandfather of our subject was Esais Tharp, who with his family left North Carolina and took up his abode in Ballard county, Kentucky, but only made a temporary
location here. Soon he continued on his way to Missouri, and died after a brief residence in that state. Frelin Tharp was about sixteen years of age when his father's death
occurred, and was the eldest of several sons, whom the mother bound out to learn trades. Not liking the idea of being bound to a master, Frelin objected, and then ran away from home. Soon afterward, however, he returned to Kentucky, and for some time worked on keel boats on the
Tennessee river, while later he was employed on steamboats making trips to New Orleans. He ran on the river for some ten or eleven years, and in this way managed to acquire some capital. In 1833, having secured a quarter-section of land in what is now Carlisle county, Kentucky, he located thereon, but soon traded it for a tract in the northern part of Ballard county, along the Ohio river. He was married in Ballard county, in 1835, and took his bride to his farm. Later he exchanged his second place for a farm just west of Barlow City, upon which he spent his remaining
days. This farm is now the property of Judge Tharp. Frelin Tharp was a prosperous agriculturist, and in connection with farming also acted as pilot on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers to a greater or less extent,
making many trips to New Orleans after locating in Ballard county. He also raised considerable stock and developed good farming property, which increased greatly in value, owning to the many improvements he made upon it. In his political views he was a stalwart Democrat. His death occurred in 1867, when he was sixty-three years of age, and his wife passed away the previous year, when fifty-one years of age. They were the parents of seven children: Miletus II and Minus A., both deceased; James H.; Oscar T., also deceased; Sarah E., who resides in Barlow City, Kentucky; and two who died in infancy. James H. Tharp was reared and educated in Ballard county, spending his
boyhood days upon the home farm, where he remained until after the death of his parents. When they had passed away he took charge of the old homestead and continued to make his home thereon until he was elected county judge of
Ballard county, in 1890. He filled the position acceptably for a term of four years and was then re-elected, so that he continued in the office for two terms. After his retirement from the county bench he served as city judge of Wickliffe for two years. In the meantime he had taken up the study of law, and in 1901 was admitted to the bar. He then opened an office in Wickliffe, where he has since engaged in practice and is now enjoying a good clientage. He was elected to his different positions on the Democratic ticket. In connection with his law practice he still
engaged in farming, owning the old homestead, to the operation of which he gives his personal supervision. In 1868 Mr. Tharp was united in marriage to Miss Joan Waggoner, who died in 1886, leaving him ten children, of whom nine are now living. In 1890 he was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Matie (or Matilda) Tanner, nee Metcalfe, by whom he has three living children. The
Judge is a Royal Arch Mason and a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and throughout the years of his residence in Ballard county he has so lived as to win the regard of his fellow-men, gaining high reputaton by reason of his public-spirited citizenship, his fidelity and promptness in office and his faithfulness in friendship.