John Appleyard

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John Appleyard
Born November 14, 1922
Chicago, Illinois
Occupation advertising executive, author
Religion Presbyterian
Spouse Eleanor Appleyard
Children Diane Appleyard, Dick Appleyard

John H. Appleyard (b. 1922) is an advertising executive, author and civic leader who founded the Appleyard Agency in 1959 and whose prolific writings focus on Pensacola's history.

Early life[edit]

Appleyard circa World War II

Born on November 14, 1922 in Chicago, Illinois, Appleyard attended the Northwestern University School of Journalism before joining the Army during World War II, working across Europe as hospital registrar from 1943-1946.

Following hostilities, he attended Oxford University-Shrivenham and the University of Delaware, where he earned a Bachelor's degree with honors in 1947. He joined Armstrong Cork Company in Beaver Falls that year and was transferred by the company to Pensacola in 1950. He settled in the North Hill neighborhood with his wife Eleanor and daughter Diane.

Advertising career[edit]

John and Eleanor outside the Appleyard Agency's early office on Moreno Street

Appleyard went to work with local advertising firm Justin Weddell & Associates in 1957. He founded his own firm, the John Appleyard Agency, on February 2, 1959. The agency started with only three clients: the Port of Pensacola, Baptist Hospital and Cary & Company. By being the first to offer an in-house recording studio and film production for television, it quickly grew into one of the area's foremost marketing firms.

Appleyard also became more heavily involved with Pensacola's growing health care industry and became chief executive officer the Healthcare Research & Development Institute (HRDI) in 1967.

Dick Appleyard became president of the agency in 1987, and John stepped down from active work in 1992. He maintains an office in the agency's Cordova Square building for his writing and community work.

Author & historian[edit]

Appleyard at his manual typewriter
Pensacola at the turn of the century was a very different city from most Southern cities at the time. We had the lumber industry, fishing, the Navy yard. Pensacola was growing like a weed. And you can transpose hardly anything from the past onto [modern times]. So my determination on doing mysteries is that I want people to remember what it was like. That's why in these short stories, I like to sneak history lessons into each one. So they have a dual purpose — history and mystery.

An avid historian, Appleyard has penned dozens of books about Pensacola's past. Many of his works are fictional dramatizations of historical individuals and events.

He was named director of the Florida Quadricentennial Celebration in 1958 and has been involved with a number of preservation efforts.

Despite the advent of personal computers, Appleyard still does most of his writing on a 1954 Royal typewriter. "I gave the computer an honest try," he told the Pensacola News Journal in 2001, "but it and I were not compatible."


Family & Individual Histories[edit]

Business & Organization Histories[edit]

Historical books & novels[edit]

  • 1887: The Lumbering Era
  • The 14th Colony
  • Across Northwest Florida in 80 Years
  • Antique Buildings of Pensacola
  • The Civil War in Pensacola
  • Civil War in Pensacola: Letters from Soldiers
  • Civil War in Pensacola in Pictures
  • DeLuna: A Novel
  • An Economic History of Escambia County
  • The Emergence of the Automobile in Escambia County
  • A History of Escambia County Schools: Volumes I & II
  • The History of Local Government: Volumes I & II
  • Industrial History of Pensacola
  • Management Tier Systems (with learning guide)
  • The Navy Yard: 1825 to 1913
  • Pensacola – A City Under 6 Flags: A Novel
  • Pensacola: Civil War Years
  • Pensacola: How Its Streets Got Their Names
  • Pensacola In Pictures
  • Poppa Golf
  • The Spanish-French Confrontation
  • A Short History of Pensacola: Volumes I & II
  • The Story of Justice in Escambia County
  • A Summary of Pensacola and the Arts
  • World War II and Pensacola's People
  • You Can Get There From Here: Going Places in Northwest Florida (written with Braden Ball)

Mysteries & children's books[edit]

  • Fifteen Mysteries in Pensacola (Vols. I , II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII)
  • Mysteries of Pensacola 100 Years Ago: 6 each – 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
  • Pensacola's Street Names: How & Where They Came From (reader/coloring book)
  • The Policeman Is Your Friend (reader/coloring book)
  • The Firefighter Is Your Friend (reader/coloring book)
  • Living Healthy, Feeling Good (reader/coloring book)
  • The United States Constitution (reader/coloring book)
  • Electricity: Your Servant & Your Friend (reader/coloring book)
  • Learning to Read the Newspaper (reader/coloring book)

Community service[edit]

Awards & recognition[edit]