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Twelve Yesteryear reader responses

Bob Cox • Apr 14, 2019 at 12:00 PM

Today's column contains several slightly paraphrased correspondence notes extracted from my Yesteryear Columns. I plan to do this periodically in the future. Send them to my e-mail address below.

Please pardon my delay in getting some of them out as I receive quite a bit of correspondence, which I like:

Robert Ivens

I enjoy your "Yesteryear" articles. I want to suggest a topic of possible interest to you.

The Johnson City Livestock Market (shown in this column) was built in 1945 and opened for business in 1946 by Mr. R.M. Ivens. The Johnson City Press-Chronicle ran a story on the operation on October 30, 1963.

Mr. Clyde Carter started working with Mr. Ivens at the market in the late 1950s. The business was sold to Mr. Hunter Carmichael in 1968.

Mr. Ivens also started the Johnson City Truck and Implement Company in the late 1940s, and he and Mr. Frank Sanders started the International Tractor dealership in Johnson City.

Ivens further established a paving company and the "Land Development Company" in later years, developing subdivisions in Washington and Sullivan Counties. Additionally, he founded and operated Tri-City Cabinet Company, headquartered in Johnson City.

Mr. Clyde Carter still resides in the Boones Creek area of Johnson City. Mr. Ivens was my father. Others mentioned in my note are deceased. Thank You.

Mary Stauss

I understand the old farmhouse and barn at 2503 Browns Mill Road has recently been demolished. I was told by a native Johnson City resident that there was a feed store near what is now the intersection of N. Roan and Browns Mill Road. Browns Mill was operational then and supplied the store some 80 years or so ago. The Brown farm covered a large area along what is now Browns Mill Road and Peoples Street. I think it would make a good column for your Yesteryear column in the JC Press. Thank you.

Bob Wakely

I enjoyed your article on my grandfather, Jimmy Wakely, famed singing cowboy (my favorite). As luck would have it, I moved to Johnson City after the L.A. earthquake in 1994. It's nice to hear mentions of my grandfather here and there, even now. Feel free to contact me any time. I have a million stories. Take care.

Lynn Terry

I just read your article in the Johnson City Press about Junior High School. It became two distinct schools on March 12, 1961. I found it very interesting. I recently moved to Johnson City to attend graduate school at Binghamton University and I moved into the Campus Square apartments.

I was told that about 9-10 years ago, this building was a middle school, and I was wondering if this building was one of the two schools you were talking about in your article. I found online that the building used to be called the C. Fred Johnson Middle School or possibly "Junior High School," but I can't seem to find much history on the building online anywhere.

This research was all inspired by my drafty apartment windows and very poorly insulated walls, which prompted me to wonder when the building was constructed. I would appreciate any information you could give me on the topic or if you could direct me to a source with more information.

What became North Junior High was located on N. Roan Street opposite the St. John's Episcopal Church facing Myrtle Avenue. The old school was demolished years ago. I personally attended there. They split students between North Junior High and South Junior High.

South Junior High had been the old Science Hill High School. I also attended there. Neither school is still standing.

Dr. John Wakefield

I am a member of the Arts and Culture subcommittee for the Johnson City Sesquicentennial. I have been asked to research Jobe's Opera House, I suppose, with a view to writing an article about it. But then you've already done that. (You continue your research and keep me informed.)

I have already worked through articles you have written on the subject and have made notes from those articles. I don't know where to get additional information. I am hoping you can put me in touch with additional information or photos on the subject.

I would appreciate meeting you sometime soon to discuss this matter. I am retired from chairing the music department at Milligan, conducting the Milligan Concert Choir and the Chamber Choir (of former Madrigal Dinner "fame").

I read your columns regularly as I am actively interested in history and certainly in Johnson City history. I am also currently national Chaplain General for Sons of the American Revolution.

I also have served as president of the local Kings Mountain chapter of NSSAR. So, is that enough information for me to look "legitimate"? I hope so. I would appreciate meeting you and gathering information. Thanks.

Jennifer Clark

I am emailing you on behalf of my dad, Doug Phillips. He saw your article in yesterday's Johnson City and knew all about that game. He was the quarterback for Johnson County that night. He recalled several details regarding a couple of punt returns and other game-related memories.

He believes the final score was 38-6 Science Hill. He remembered that Steve Spurrier also played that night, but didn't see Steve's name on the roster in the paper.

James Ellis

I am looking for any information on what happened to the miniature train that ran at Legion Street and then Kiwanis Park. Any help would be appreciated. Maybe somebody will know. Thanks.

Betsy Shaw

Hi Bob: I guess I recall how very prompt you were in getting back to me regarding the wonderful article you wrote for Mother. Bess is in failing health, but wants to live another 103 years. I am writing this as I sit with her in the hospital. All the best to you.

Rodney Belcher

I thought you'd like to see an old Silk Mill photo from around 1930. My grandmother Roberta Hughes Belcher worked there. My grandfather Maynard Belcher worked at Tennessee Motor Company. Thanks, Rodney.

Betsy Carrier

I liked your article on the Daniel Boone tree and Mrs. Andrew Johnson. Regarding the Daniel Boone tree, my grandfather was Edward Hughes and I have further information and a gavel made from the tree. And for Mrs. Johnson, my home, Long Shadows, is a repository for the Stover Johnson artifacts and I would be able to share the history with you. Thank you. Betsy Carrier.

Allen Brinegar

Bob, Your articles bring back a lot of memories from my childhood. I grew up in Ashe County, North Carolina, but remember many of the programs you mentioned. I recall the "Breakfast Club" that marched around the breakfast table? "Lum and Abner answered the phone in their "Jot 'em Down Store," based on the number of rings. Sky King's plane was named "Songbird." Sgt. Preston and his dog, "Shadow."

I turned nine years old in 1954, but I still remember those wonderful programs. Thanks for bringing back memories of times long gone by.

David Miller

That was a great article about Sergeant York in the Johnson City Press. Are there any pictures available on that event? If so, I hope you can print those. I read your stories all the time. I like the ones on local broadcasting.

I have been on the air at WBEJ radio in Elizabethton for 30 years doing the morning show and before that at WETB in Johnson City. I know you printed several things from the late Professor Williams who worked for both stations. He was fantastic.

I had a website devoted to WBTV in Charlotte. When I was a kid in Trade, Tennessee, WBTV was the only channel we could pick up. Remember those antennas? I was a huge fan of Tommy Faile and Fred Kirby and all the personalities on that station. I knew more about Mecklenburg County, N.C., than I did Johnson County, Tennessee. Thank You for the fine work you do.

Thank for the nice comments you send me about my Yesteryear Columns.

Reach Bob Cox at [email protected] or go to www.bcyesteryear.com.

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