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Today in Johnson City History: March 1

Rebecca Henderson and Johnson City Press • Mar 1, 2020 at 12:00 AM

On March 1, 1872: William Peyton Crouch was born in a house on the corner of Main Street and Fountain Square in Johnson City. After graduating from Milligan College, he taught school in Johnson City and eventually became principal of Columbus Powell. Crouch was also a minister, preaching for First Christian’s evening services in 1895 and 1896.

March 1, 1888: Morristown would have electric lights in approximately three weeks, while Johnson City will soon “get there.” In nearby Unicoi County, a marble quarry had recently been discovered; the marble was said to be of good quality and suitable for monuments and other purposes.

March 1, 1894: Jake Bewley, the superintendent of the bovine morgue of the East Tennessee Railroad, had been in the city a few days that week.

March 1, 1915: Dr. Louis Riddell began his ministry at First Christian Church. He continued in that position until March 1, 1920.

March 1, 1930: The Johnson City Chronicle reported that Beeler and Company, contractors in Johnson City, had been awarded a construction contract for a new addition for South Side School at a cost of $18,600. Elsewhere in the paper, readers learned that Mrs. Joe Miller was recovering at home “following a tonsil operation performed at Campbell’s Hospital earlier in the month.” Mrs. Robert Miller was recovering from a “successful tonsil operation at Jones’ Hospital.” Finally, Mrs. H.L. Sloop was “improving following a nervous breakdown.”

March 1, 1938: “Thank you, Mr. Moto” was playing at the Liberty, “Love and Hisses” was at the Majestic, “Mr. Boggs Steps Out” was at the Sevier, “Sky Devils” was at the State, and “Wee Willie Winkle” was at the Tennessee.

March 1, 1945: The “Tweetsie” railroad would begin to operate two round-trips daily between Port Rayon in Elizabethton and Elk Park, North Carolina. This was a reduction from the three trips “Tweetsie” had been making, and was in response to orders from the Office of Defense Transportation in Washington, D.C.

March 1, 1979: Following the establishment of formal relations between the United States and China, Phil Pastoret quipped in the Johnson City Press-Chronicle, “An ultra-conservative is a fellow who, in the light of recent political rapprochements has thrown out his Chinese checkers board.”

March 1, 2007: The Tennessee Department of Transportation announced that Interstate 26 would encompass Interstate 181 beginning the following Monday and all the exit signs and mile markers along that stretch of road in Tennessee would be changed to comply with federal mandates. This meant what had been north and south would be west and east and that exit numbering would be reversed between state lines.

Sources: First Christian Church; The Comet; Johnson City Chronicle; Johnson City Press-Chronicle; Johnson City Press

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