History of J. D. Elder House:
This four-room frame house was bought in 1910 by J. D. and Juriah Elder. They moved with their five children from nearby Shady Grove where J. D. owned a drug store. J. D.‘s great-grandfather, Revolutionary War veteran William Elder, had settled in the area in 1797. The house on Cedar Street was within walking distance to
J. D. ’s new drugstore at the southeast corner of Main and Broadway - a building registered as a Kentucky Historic Structure. The area’s bustling coal industry was evidenced until the 1940’s by two “company stores” across the street from the drugstore.
Called “Papa” by his family and known to associates as J. D. or Jeff, he was born Jefferson Davis Elder on February 2, 1863 while Jefferson Davis was President of the Confederate States of America.
In 1923 J. D. enlarged the four-room house by expanding to the rear. Indoor plumbing and electricity were added. The remaining three elevations and landscaping remain as they were a century ago. The lot is the largest in the neighborhood, and J. D. and Juriah fed their growing family from a large garden and assortment of fruit trees.
Following J. D. ‘s death in 1940 Juriah stayed in the house and operated the drugstore another two decades. After Juriah’s death in 1961 her daughter Mary lived in the house until her death in 1987. Her two sons, who once lived in the house, own the house now and are maintaining the house and grounds in memory of the pioneer druggist Jefferson Davis Elder and Patriot William Elder.
Mrs. Juriah Simpson Elder is shown on the steps of the house in an early photograph.
The color photos shows the house today.