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Today in Johnson City History: March 2

Rebecca Henderson and Johnson City Press • Mar 2, 2020 at 3:45 AM

March 2, 1899: S.B. White, a Johnson City stove and tin dealer, was roofing and guttering a new school building in Burnsville, North Carolina. The company still operates today as a mechanical contractor, making it one of Johnson City’s oldest businesses. It was founded in 1881.

March 2, 1937: W.F. Jones, the former sheriff of Washington County and former police chief of Johnson City, recently had died in the Appalachian Hospital. Jones succumbed to injuries he suffered when two cars collided. The impact of the cars hurled one of the cars against Jones, who was standing on the sidewalk.

March 2, 1943: The Johnson City Chronicle carried the news that Dr. J.H. Preas, a physician in Johnson City, had been sentenced to three years in the penitentiary. Dr. Preas entered a guilty plea of a narcotics law violation. In addition to being a physician, Dr. Preas was also a former member of the City Commission of Johnson City.

March 2, 1944: “Revenge of the Zombies" with John Carradine was showing at the Sevier Theatre on Spring Street in downtown Johnson City.

March 2, 1955: Readers of the Johnson City Press-Chronicle learned that Ted Thomas announced his candidacy for City Commission in the upcoming May election. Thomas was secretary-treasurer of Sells Lumber and Manufacturing Company, as well as of King’s, Inc. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church and the Kiwanis Club. Elsewhere in the same issue, readers learned S.G. Gilbreath and J.E. Brading had recently been honored by the Johnson City Rotary Club. They were the only remaining charter members of that organization.

March 2, 1956: "Guys and Dolls" starring Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Jean Simmons and Vivian Blaine was showing at the Sevier Theatre on Spring Street in downtown Johnson City.

March 2, 1958: Johnson City firefighters battled a fire at the Volunteer Building on Spring Street. Where the Volunteer Building stood is now a parking lot. A fire set by an arsonist completely destroyed the building in 1966.

March 2, 1965: Johnson City Press-Chronicle reported that the fire that destroyed the Walker Furniture Company earlier in the week was “definitely due to an explosion,” according to Fire Chief Ed Seaton. David Walker, owner of Walker Furniture, said, “My plans for the future are pending, but I do hope to be able to continue business in Johnson City.” In the meantime, Mr. Walker “set up an office next door in Ben’s Sport Shop and business transactions will be handled from there.”

March 2, 1976: Science Hill’s Hilltoppers defeated Daniel Boone 56-43 in the opening round of the Triple A Region One basketball tournament.

March 2, 2010: The city of Johnson City, Johnson City Power Board and others teamed up to work on a “Request for Information” showing Google why it should select Johnson City for a “beta test” of its entry into the “fiber-to-the-home” internet service market. Google wanted to build a superhighway to every home in some American community, and local leaders thought Johnson City was as good a choice as any.

Sources: The Comet; Johnson City Chronicle; Johnson City Press-Chronicle; Ted Bowers/Johnson City, Tennessee, Memories; Johnson City Press

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