Memorial Record of Western Kentucky, Lewis Publishing Company, 1904, pp 704-707 [Carlisle]
JOHN MAHLON NICHOLS is a prominent practicing attorney of
Carlisle county, living in Bardwell. He has made his home here for eleven years, and he now occupies a prominent position as a representative of the legal fraternity. In this calling, where success is won through individual merit and where wealth and influence avail little or naught, he has steadily advanced, his success being due to his comprehensive understanding of the principles of jurisprudence, his careful preparation of cases and
his clear presentation of his case before court or jury.
Mr. Nichols was born upon a farm in Caldwell county, Kentucky, on Christmas day of 1846, and is a son of Jesse and Elizabeth (Wadlington) Nichols. His father was born in North Carolina and when a young man came to Kentucky. Here he married, and took up his abode in Caldwell county, where he lived for several years, removing thence in 1849 to Missouri. After a few months spent in that state, however, he returned to Kentucky, and took up his abode in what was
then Ballard county, in the town of Milburn. There he resided for about four years. On the expiration of that period he removed to a farm about eight miles south of Paducah in McCracken county, Kentucky, continuing the cultivation of his land for a number of years, until the death of his wife. He then took up his abode in Ballard county, living with a married daughter until his own demise,
which occurred about 1880, when he was eighty years of age.
Throughout his business career he had carried on general farming, and in all his business life so capably managed his affairs as to win prosperity, and was ever reliable, upright and energetic. His political support was given to the Democracy, and both he and his wife were devoted members of the Missionary Baptist church, doing all in their power to promote the growth and insure the success of
that religious organization. To this worthy couple were born the following children: William Presley, who was a public official in McCracken county and died when about sixty years of age; Robartus, who was killed while fighting for the southland in the Confederate army; Caroline, who died in early womanhood; Sallie, who is the wife of J. O. Harkless, of Ballard county, at whose home her father died;
James W., who is engaged in farming in Ballard county; Mary, or Mollie, as she was usually called, who died in early womanhood; Andrew, who died when about forty-seven years of age in Texas, where he was engaged in merchandising; and John Mahlon. In taking up the personal history of John M. Nichols we present to our readers the record of one of the most prominent and influential citizens of Carlisle county. Upon the home farm he was
reared and in the district schools of the neighborhood acquired his literary education. Determining to make the practice of law his life work, he began the preparation for the bar when about twenty years of age in the office and under the direction of Z. W. Bugg, at Blandville, and in January, 1870, he was admitted to the bar. He began practice in Blandville and later was located at Wickliffe,
while since March, 1892, he has resided in Bardwell, and has here followed his chosen profession with success. He is a strong advocate with the jury and concise in his appeals before the court. In no profession is there a career more open to talent than is that of the law, and in no field of endeavor is here demand for more careful preparation, for more thorough appreciation of the absolute
ethics of the law or of the underlying principles which form the basis of all human rights and privileges. Unflagging application and intuitive wisdom, together with the determination to ever utilize the means at hand, are the concomitants which insure success and prestige in this great profession. Possessing all the requisite qualities of the able lawyer, Mr. Nichols has advanced to a prominent place at the Carlisle county bar, and this is indicated by
the large and representative clientage [sic] which is now his. In 1871 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Nichols and Miss Joseph Foree, who was born and reared in Ballard county, Kentucky. To them have been born seven children; Jesse F., the eldest, was born in Blandville, Ballard county, November 16, 1872, pursued his preliminary education there and afterward attended the Kentucky
University; he studied law under the direction of his father, was admitted to the bar in 1893 and is now associated with his father in practice; in 1899 he married Miss Cora Washburn. Nora, the second member of the family, is now the wife of V. J. Law. Willie died at the age of three years. Agnes is the wife of Bert Weis. Andrew,
Sallie and Joseph, the last one being named for her mother, are still under the parental roof. Mr. Nichols gives his political support to the Democracy, and while he keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day he has never been an active politician in the sense of office-seeking. However, his fellow townsmen chose him to represent the district composed of Ballard and Carlisle counties in the state legislature. He was elected in 1887 and proved a capable member of the house, but outside of this he has held no political offices, preferring to devote his time and attention to his chosen profession. He has won for himself very favorable criticism for the
careful and systematic methods which he has followed. He has excellent powers of concentration and application, and his retentive mind has often excited the surprise of his professional colleagues. As an orator he stands high, especially in the discussion of legal matters before the court, where his comprehensive knowledge of the law is manifest, and his application of legal principles
demonstrates the wide range of his professional requirements.