A Man Of Valor

Published in The Kentucky Explorer November 2001, Page 83

by Freda Bernice Tussey

Sheridan Goble

As I sit here recalling my childhood days I remember a man who stood tall in my eyes; a man of valor and kindness with a warm heart to share with all he met.

Sheridan Goble, my father, was born in Johnson County, Kentucky, in September 1897. He was the son of George W. Goble and Clarinda Music Goble. George W. Goble was the son of John and Mary Jane Goble. There were seven children born to George and Clarinda Goble by 1900 and several others after this time.

Sheridan was born in the small coal-mining town of Van Lear, Kentucky. The place of his birth was Butcher Holler. Here he lived until about nine years of age. His parents moved the family to Floyd County to an area known now as Dewey Lake or Jenny Wiley State Park. Dad's home place is where the first picnic shelter now stands.

My memories of this giant of a man go way back to the farming we did in the Dewey Lake area. Dad married a wonderful woman, Mary Josephine Harless on December 24, 1920. She was born March 23 1902 to George Washington and Eda Harless of Martin County, Kentucky. Mary was a beautiful woman with many talents and hobbies. She loved to race horses as a young girl but most of all she loved this man Sheridan with all her heart. They were together for 58 years.

Farming in this area during the era of WWII was not bringing in much money so mining coal became the life most of the men knew. Dad took his first coal-mining job at the coalmine in Van Lear, Kentucky. This mine was in Johnson County, Kentucky. This was around the early 1940s when mining became so popular.

I can still hear the stories that were told each night sitting on the front porch of our beautiful country home on Goble's Branch. It was named this because of all the Gobles who lived th4ere. Grandfather George Goble gave each one of his sons a little farm, so they could stay nearby. In return they had to pay for the farm by raising corn for him. They were to give 60 bushels of corn each year as payment for the land. This way he did not have to farm so hard in his older days.

I can still hear the sounds of this man as he walked home each night from the mines. The swish of the frozen pant legs in the wintertime told me it was Dad. Dad never had a car to transport him to work, but sometimes Mother would meet him on her horse. This would be very rare since she had duties as a wife and mother.

Mining became unsure for a living and most of the miners were laid off at least three months out of each year. They had to find other work during these times to survive. Dad took a job during the summer of 1946 working on the Dewey Dam. I can still remember his clinging on to the side of the spillway as they made the foundation to pour the concrete. This was a very dangerous job, but it was work.

Dad and Mother were wonderful parents and reared four girls. They had a great respect for God and their country. Never were times so hard that they could not give thanks for all that was given. Dad and Mother were Christians of the Church of Christ for many many years. He served as an elder for the congregation he attended and became a role model in our community.

I am so proud to call him my Dad. He will always stand tall and straight in my eyes, although he has been gone many years now. He passed from this life December 24, 1978 on my parents' 58th wedding anniversary. I will close with memories of him playing the piano while signing, What A Friend We Have In Jesus and closing my eyes I can smell the fresh farm land as it was being plowed.

Freda Bernice Tussey
3410 18th Avenue West
Brandenton, FL 34205

Re-published with permission of the author May 29, 2002