John F. Jordin was born in Daviess county, September 8, 1851, and is a son of Franklin and Nancy J. Jordin. His father migrated to Daviess county from Virginia in the early days, and was among the first settlers of this county; his mother came from Kentucky with her father, Jennings Ballinger, to this county in 1848 and was married to Franklin Jordin in 1850. The subject of this sketch was one of three children, having two sisters, one of whom died in infancy, and the other, Angeline, married John W. Pinkerton, and is living at present in Ray county, Missouri. His father, who died when he was about four years old, was known as an honorable, upright man, kind, hospitable and generous to a fault. After his father’s death, in company with his mother and sister, he went to Illinois and there lived with his grandfather, Jennings Ballinger, for five years. Here, on a beautiful farm on the banks of the Mississippi River, he spent the happiest period of his life. In October, 1862, the family returned to their home in Missouri; and it was then that the battle of life began in earnest.
The Civil War was in full blast and nearly all the able bodied men in the country were either in one army or the other, and the women and children were left to till the soil and eke out a living as best they could. Young Jordin’s means of obtaining an education at this period was confined to what little learning he could pick up during a three month’s winter term of school, taught generally by some old pedagogue who was remarkable for nothing so much as his brilliant stupidity and surprising incompetency, but fortunately for him, his mother had a fair education, and with her assistance he succeeded in obtaining a limited knowledge of the text books. His mother died in February, 1875, after a lingering illness of eight years, and in her he lost his truest, best, and most unselfish friend. It is to the ennobling influence of his mother’s love, her deep devotion and her watchful care that Mr. Jordin says he owes whatever of good and all the success he has or may ever achieve in life. In 1878 he left the farm and came to Jamesport, where he worked in a store for a while and then began the study of law, and was admitted to the bar in 1880. Mr. Jordin was united in marriage to Miss Sallie E. Chenoweth on the 30th of October, 1881.