J.D. McAlpin 1929-1969 was a super-energized individual with an overload of charisma. A Native of Somerset he started out in business, moving his wife and daughter to Lexington, selling Fuller brushes door to door in Lexington KY in 1949; and, still holds the record for the number of brushes sold in one day for Fuller. From there he went to selling vacuum cleaners door- to- door and also excelled in that company as well. With his proven track record in sales, Ralph Shearer of Southern Belle Dairy in 1952 asked J. D. to move from Lexington KY to Somerset KY to join the company as the vice president of the company and as a major stockholder to secure Southern Belle's future in selling milk in stores over the region of Somerset Ky well into the state Tennessee. J. D. McAlpin's powerful personality was the key element in getting the sales up for Southern Belle Dairy to become successful. From there in 1965 J. D. McAlpin started a used car lot, with one car on Highway #27 in Somerset, KY which became in 1968 McAlpin Chrysler Products Inc. J.D. borrowed the money from First and Farmer’s National Bank in Somerset with no collateral and the loan papers states very clear that the bank loaned him the money based solely on his ability and an achiever. J.T. Wilson of the bank, the president, recommended the loan. J. D. had so much political influence with Louie B. Nunn, Governor, at the time McAlpin Chrysler had their opening day in August 1969, the State Hwy #27 south was closed off three times that day for drag races in front of the dealership. Because of his generous spirit, J. D. gave his brother Earl, Richard Price and Harold Massey stock in the company to lend them a helping hand to his brother and friends. Mr. McAlpin also owned an airplane sales business and was one of the first twin-engine aircraft owners in the state of Kentucky at the time in 1969. J.D. had lined up and was in the process of taking 50 Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises with John Y. Brown JR during this time. Abruptly on September 20, 1969, Mr. McAlpin was killed in his 1969 Piper Aztec twin airplane in the mountains of West Virginia while coming home from Boston to secure a part for Southern Belle's homogenizer machine which had malfunctioned. J. D. who although had his own business enterprises at that time, took that flight to risk his life because he knew his friend Ralph Shearer was in trouble and it was J. D.'s nature to be loyal to his friends and took no thought for his life while in bad weather making the flight to help Ralph. J.D. used to say that if he " listened to people saying how a person can't do this or can't do that he would still be selling Fuller brushes." J. D. would walk through fire to please a customer or help a friend. Gene Robinson of Somerset used to say that ..." I always wanted to drive a Lincoln Continental but I drove Chrysler's because J. D. sold them." J. D. helped and encouraged many small business friends to expand and to take charge of their future. J. D. was the epitome of success and a perfect image of how persistence and tenacity pay off for success. Many people enjoyed success because of J.D.'s friendship.
That’s my daddy in a white shirt building the Burnside Bridge. JD McAlpin. He went from the highway department to selling Fuller Brushes in Lexington. Then he built Southern Belle Dairy. Then McAlpin Chrysler. He was one of the first private owners of a twin-engine airplane in Kentucky. He gave his brother Earl, Harold Massey, and Richard Price an opportunity in his car dealership. He had a big heart and loved people. One of my favorite stories of him was once a poor man came on the car lot looking at a used car. He had five or six kids hanging out of his window and the guys in the showroom all made fun of him saying they wouldn't waste their time going out to wait on him because they knew he'd never be able to afford that old used car. My Daddy heard the men talking like this from his office and came out and went out to help the man himself. After a while, daddy and the man walked in, and daddy took him into the business office to get the transfer made. When the man left with his new car they all wanted to know how on earth that man could afford that car and asked my dad about it. I remember I was about nine years old and daddy turned around and told the guys, " you're right he couldn't afford the car, so I gave it to him." That's how my dad did everybody who needed a leg up. He was the quintessential entrepreneur and loved people more than anyone I ever knew.---Tim McAlpin
JD McAlpin had a very plesant attitude and disposition. He was a wonderfully creative and intuitive guy, who could make things happen! He was in a class of his own! A class Act. ---Frank H. Ikerd lll.
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