While the city of Columbus celebrates one of it’s own this month, I would like to take a moment to highlight one of Josh Meador’s paintings of a local home, the Stockard House, which has been on permanant display at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library for over twenty years.
The painting was donated by Elizabeth “Libby” Alston Meador, Josh Meador’s wife, in 1987 to the library. In an article in the Commercial Dispatch from February of that year, then library director Chebie Bateman said, “When Libby Meador was here for an exhibit of her husband’s works in 1984 she promised she would search for a painting of an old Columbus home. Years later, she found this one. She had it cleaned and framed and shipped it to us this month.” The painting was in the property of an estate when Mrs. Meador purchased it for the library.
It is reported that Meador painted ‘The Stockard House’ in August 1950.
The Stockard House was built buy Captain Atwell Johnston on the corner of Third Avenue and South Third Street. The house had marble facings around the doors and windows, and its fireplaces were constructed of marble. All of the exterior work was brick and the house had fifteen rooms.
In 1890, the home was sold to a Dr. Rupert Stockard. In 1918, the house was sold to Carey H. Cocke, and John A. Lloyd bought the property in 1928. Alfred B. Downs obtained the property in 1940 with the intention of using the house as a family home. However, his family decided against moving into the house, and in later years, it was turned into an apartment building.
Downs sold the property to the city, which decided to destroy the structure and use the area as a parking facility in 1963.
Josh Meador (1911-1965), animator for Walt Disney Studios from 1936 to 1965, was born in Greenwood in 1911. His family soon moved to Columbus, however, where he attended Stephen D. Lee High School. He went on to graduate with honors from the Art Institute of Chicago and eventually became director of the animation effects department with Walt Disney Studios.
Meador is credited with originating many of the mechanical processes of animation, some of which are still being used today.