Jailer "Big" John Bowling
Term: 1978-1988

"Big" John Bowling served as Laurel County Jailer from January 1978 to September 1988. Those who knew Mr. Bowling would say he was unique in connecting with everyone and that he had his own way of making you feel like you were his best friend.

Mr. Bowling would often care for the inmates while his wife Imogene would cook for them. His staff was known to be loyal, efficient, and worked good together to make the facility highly regarded throughout the state. As a result, Mr. Bowling was recognized as having the best jail in Kentucky during his tenure in office. He was also named "Jailer of the Year" for two straight years in 1978 and 1979.

Lawyers and others from the community would often come to the jail to eat the "good cooking" from the kitchen by his wife Imogene. "Big" John would also, often, feed the Grand Jury on Grand Jury days. "There wasn't a hungry belly in the facility" they would often say.

At Christmas time, Mr. Bowling transformed the outside of the jail into a celebration of the season. Most Londoners and Laurel Countians fondly remember Christmas lights to this day. People would drive to the jail to see the Christmas lights and traffic would be lined up just to take a look at them.

John Bowling was highly respected in the community and was known to be humble and a very lively person. Former inmates remember him as being concerned, caring, and compassionate. "Big" John's dream and vision is still being carried out to this day by the Mosley Administration.