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Today in Johnson City History: October 22

Rebecca Henderson and Johnson City Press • Oct 22, 2019 at 5:00 AM

Oct 22, 1896: News reached Johnson City of a fatal shootout between a killer and the Sheriff’s Office a few miles away in Unicoi County. “Old man Tolley,” who fled the county after killing a man several years earlier, had returned. The sheriff heard of it, and he and two deputies went to arrest the killer. Tolley opened fire on the officers. In the melee, old man Tolley was killed, one of his children was shot and both the sheriff and a deputy were wounded.

Oct. 22, 1937: The right of Johnson City’s representative, James A. Vines, to sit in the Tennessee General Assembly was challenged in court. As Vines was a member of the Washington County Election Commission, the suit alleged he and three other lawmakers were in violation of the Tennessee Constitution as holders of other “lucrative” political positions.

Oct. 22, 1961: “Johnson City Blues” singer Clarence Greene died. He participated in the Johnson City Sessions, the 1928 and 1929 Columbia Records' field recordings in Johnson City. In 1928, Greene adapted Ida Cox's tune "Chattanooga Blues" to fit Johnson City.

Oct. 22, 1975: Black Oak Arkansas played to more than 4,000 fans at Freedom Hall Civic Center.

Oct. 22, 2009: Earning their 17th straight win over the Hilltoppers, Kingsport’s Dobyns-Bennett Indians racked up a 49-6 decision and clinched the Big Eight Conference championship. The 43-point margin was the biggest in the rivalry since 1949, when the Indians won 54-0.

Sources: The Comet; Johnson City Chronicle; Remembering Johnson City; Archives of Appalachia, Mary Hardin McCown Collection; Bobbie H. Shirley, Freedom Hall; Johnson City Press.

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