John Peter Vardiman (1869-1945)       

Shelby County, Kentucky & Saline County, Missouri





Age: 75

Occupation: Farmer - Sorghum Mill

State: Kentucky & Missouri

# of Children: 3


"Spelling for Vardiman (my family) is with an “i” except for Eddie who changed his to an “e” when he was in high school.  Various documents for my grandparents (John Peter and Luella Mae) have it both ways."

Shirley Anderson, daughter of Charles Henry and Emma Henrietta (Jensen) Vardiman.


~ 1911
Vardiman Side

Miles, John Peter, Richard Henry, Lizzie & Fannie were 5 of 11 Vardiman siblings

Luella Mae & Callie Smith were sisters who married Vardiman brothers, John Peter and Richard Henry

John Peter & Luella Mae's Farm Home
721 N. Jefferson Marshall, MO

John Peter - Sorghum Mill

John Peter & Luella Mae Vardiman
Their sons Left to Right:
Charlie, Johnny and Eddie

Maybe 1939 Vardiman Family Reunion

Left to Right:
Miles, Grace, Bonnie, Maggie, Lizzie, Frances, John Peter

1939 Vardiman Family Reunion

11 Adult Children of
John Thomas

1939 Vardiman Family Reunion

John Peter's Family

Click photo for names


John Peter & Luella Mae Vardiman

John Peter's Farm

Luella Mae &
John Peter Vardiman

John William "Bill" Vardiman
born 3 November 1943
with Grandparents
John Peter & Luella Mae Vardiman

3 Generations
John Peter, Johnny and Bill


Granddaughter, Shirley on pony "Hazel" at Grandparent's farm

Black Aunty holding Shirley with Bud on Model T

Bud and Shirley on the farm

John Peter & Luella Mae

Golden Wedding Anniversary
Married 50 years on Dec. 25, 1944

Death Certificate
26 June 1945

1946 Sons of John Peter:

Charles and Emma, Gladys and Edman, Luetta and John (Bill sitting on ground in front) This picture was taken in November, 1946 - probably at Thanksgiving - they rotated dinners.

Grandparents in Marshall - trips to the farm

"My Dad’s parents (John Peter Vardiman and Luella Mae Smith Vardiman) lived on a farm in Marshall, Missouri (about 100 miles from Kansas City) and we frequently would drive there for a Sunday dinner. Also, during the school vacations I would spend a good portion of the summer with them - those were special times. I was allowed much more freedom than I had at home.

I had a pony named Hazel and there were frequent rides, there were chickens to feed and eggs to gather, kittens to play with, wheat to harvest, workers to feed.  There was no electricity and no inside bathroom. 

There was a root cellar to keep the vegetables cool in the summertime. My Grandmother cooked on a coal stove and she had an ice box for the milk, butter and eggs. We had our big meal at noon and when we were done we put a cloth over the food and ate the leftovers for supper. The beds had feather mattresses and what fun that was. My grandmother was a wonderful cook and there was always lots of fried chicken (grandpa would always slip me an extra piece).

Their means of transportation was a horse and buggy that would take us to town on Saturday. We always stopped at the ice house to get ice for the icebox and I also got a strawberry pop. My Dad’s Aunt Lizzie worked at the J. C. Penney store in town and we always visited her. I was so fascinated by the way they handled the money - it was put in a small container on a rope that would go to the office upstairs where they would handle the sale and return the change to the clerk on the same rope and container.

There was a colored family who lived in a one room shack (three or four generations) just down the road from my grandparents. The grandmother worked for my grandmother and my brother and I named her “Black Aunty”. She didn’t seem to mind and she was a dear soul. One time my Dad brought her to our home to stay for a few days. There was still segregation in those days and I remember my brother bringing his friends to the house and peaking around the corner to see this black person.   My Dad wanted her to see downtown Kansas City, but we had to wait until after dark to take her. I remember going down 12th Street and showing her all the lights (lots of nightclubs, etc.) She was very awed by all of this. She slept on a cot in our basement. She had a granddaughter named Lillian. I don’t remember ever seeing a husband but she kept having babies. They were so cute - we called them “pickininnies” and I loved to play with them.

I remember one time when we drove to Marshall that our Model T Ford got stuck in the mud. My grandparents’ farm was about seven miles from town and there were dirt roads. We had to sit there (no cell phones in those days) until someone came by, drove to town, called my grandpa and he came with horses and a buggy and pulled us out."

Written in February, 2006 (As I approach my 80th birthday)

"The folks in the photo are my Grandfather and Grandmother Vardiman holding me. They lived on N. Jefferson street, I believe the address was 721, in Marshall Mo at the time. John Peter Vardiman and Luella Mae Smith Vardiman, I went to Dad's Bible where Mom had recorded several dates and names. Date of Photo would be late 1943 or early 1944."

Email from Bill Vardiman 7/7/10

Copyright 2012