|Birth: ||Oct. 13, 1915|
|Death: ||May 25, 1975|
Mable Louise Sizemore Barker was born 13 Oct. 1915, the ninth of thirteen children born to Hillery Walter and Ida Carter Sizemore of Pumpkin Valley, near Eidson, Hawkins County, TN. Because of the sheer number of children born to her parents, some of them didn't have middle names, especially the latter ones. Mable was one of those and chose Louise as her middle name and it stuck. She and her sister Elva were especially involved in raising younger brother Avery who was the twelfth child and his younger brother Earl who was the thirteenth and final child of Hillery and Ida Sizemore.
She married John D. Barker who was originally from Scott County, VA but raised in the Pressmen's Home area of Hawkins County, TN. They married on 15 Dec. 1938 in Reno, NV. After WWII with her husband returning from the U.S. Navy's Seabees Construction Battalion, the couple moved to Kingsport, TN, which was booming after Tennessee Eastman was continously expanding and drawing workers from far and wide. In Kingsport the couple opened a gift shop and cabinet shop and also sold concrete statury which was somewhat of a novelty in the area. Known as "Honest John's Trading Post", it was on what was US Hwy 11-W, the main North-South highway and now known as Memorial Boulevard (TN Hwy 126) and was located in the Hillcrest section going up Chestnut Ridge. It was here that John conceived the building of the 32 ft. "Big Indian" he named "Kaw-Liga" (after the Hank Williams song) to increase the tourist trade on this busy two-lane highway. Times were hard early on but after the Big Indian made his debut, it was an attraction that the area had never known before and business thrived. Word came in the late 1950s that a major new modern highway was being planned for the area and Mable and John did their homework.
After about ten years at that location, Mable and John bought property on the new US-11W/East Stone Drive "Super Highway" that was being constructed and they built a new "Honest John's" that was much larger and included a modern restaurant, relocating the Big Indian on a flatbed trailer of his own design. Mable was the brains and John was the brawn behind the business and it became very popular with locals and travelers alike boasting a restaurant, conference room, gift shop, concrete statuary, custom cabinet shop and sold gasoline. They sold a lot of postcards showing Kaw-Liga that were a popular tourist souvenir. The new long building also contained their spacious apartment where they lived and raised their daughter Montie. On the land behind it they built a large horse barn, riding ring and a nice stocked fish pond. The business was a success for many years and Mable and John finally decided to retire and sold the business to the Pratt family in 1971, where the location still operates today as Pratt's Barbecue.
Mable and John built a fine large brick home several miles east of their former business on US 11-W and briefly got to enjoy their retirement years together. Unfortunately, Mable became sick with double pneumonia and during a short hospitalization, she unexpectedly died of an aortic aneurysm on 25 May 1975. She was fortunate enough to see her daughter Montie married and adored her first grandchild Mimi. She was a fine person, good-humored with an infectious laugh and was nice to everyone she met and is still missed by her family and friends.
Hillery Walter Sizemore (1879 - 1973)
Minnie Ida Carter Sizemore (1880 - 1937)
John Dan Barker (1909 - 1991)*
Henry Jason Sizemore (1900 - 1917)*
Kern Jackson Sizemore (1902 - 1999)*
Callie Ruth Sizemore Price (1903 - 1944)*
Charlie Rollin Sizemore (1906 - 2002)*
Lizzie Barbara Sizemore Dean (1907 - 1927)*
Lydia Mae Sizemore Scott (1909 - 1937)*
Vicie Sophia Sizemore Price (1911 - 2003)*
Ballard Dillon Sizemore (1913 - 1994)*
Mable Louise Sizemore Barker (1915 - 1975)
Amanda Madge Sizemore Manis (1917 - 1994)*
Elva Blanche Sizemore Roberts (1919 - 2000)*
Avery Sizemore (1922 - 1996)*
Earl Lester Sizemore (1923 - 1925)*
East Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery
Plot: Garden of the Good Shepherd 93-A-2
Created by: David Sizemore
Record added: Aug 21, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 57443693
Added: Dec. 17, 2010