Bob Taylor

Robert Love “Bob” Taylor, from Carter County, was Tennessee’s governor, a U.S. Senator and a U.S. Representative.

April 4, 1901: The Nashville American reported with a Johnson City dateline, and a date of April 3, “The committee from the Board of Managers of the Soldier’s Home is here inspecting grounds for the site to build a branch home to be provided here under the recent act of Congress. Unfavorable weather has prevented the committee from seeing much of the grounds offered. The committee will spend one more day inspecting, after which they will recommend the site to the whole board at New York about the 8th.”

The Soldier’s Home was the forerunner of what is now known as the James H. Quillen VA Medical Center.

There was not a daily newspaper published in Johnson City in 1901. The Comet was published on a weekly basis.

April 4, 1912: With a dateline of Washington, D.C., and a date of March 31, The Comet carried sad news. “‘Our Bob’ is dead. Upon every hearthstone in Tennessee this simple announcement will fall with the weight of a personal sorrow, and in thousands of homes within the borders of other states it will received spontaneous tribute of a tear.”

“Robert Love Taylor, senior United States senator (sic) from Tennessee, has passed from among men. His soul took its flight at 9:40 o’clock this morning at Providence hospital (sic), to which institution Senator Taylor was carried Wednesday night and where an operation for gallstones was performed Thursday evening. Death stilled his good and noble heart in a room which overlooked a little park whose reviving symbols of life and resurrection and message of gladness to mankind he was wont to interpret in eloquent tongue.”

April 4, 1918: The Johnson City Daily Staff reported, “The Wednesday Afternoon Bridge Club held its first meeting after Lent with Mrs. W.J. Miller, Jr., yesterday afternoon on King street (sic). Two tables of auction bridge were in play. Mrs. J.J. McLaughlin, holding highest score, was awarded the prize, a guest room water set.”

April 4, 1920: The Sunday Journal and Tribune alerted readers, “Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Gordon Gilbreath of Johnson City announce the engagement and approaching marriage of their daughter, Miss Mildred Brunner Gilbreath, and Mr. Frank Goodall Lee of Carthage, Tenn. Miss Gilbreath, the talented daughter of President Gilbreath of the East Tennessee State Normal and Mrs. Gilbreath, has had charge of the music department of the Carthage High (sic)school (sic) for the past year. The wedding will be solemnized on June 23rd.”

The Sunday Journal and Tribune was a newspaper published in Knoxville.

The East Tennessee State Normal was the forerunner of East Tennessee State University.

There were no newspapers published in Johnson City in 1920.

April 4, 1930: The Elizabethton Star carried an advertisement for The $5 Dress Shop in Johnson City. Dresses were priced from $1.98 to $8.90. There was not an address given in the advertisement for The $5 Dress Shop.

Five dollars in 1930 is now worth about $78.75, while $1.98 in the same year now has the purchasing power of approximately $31.18. Eight dollars and ninety cents in 1930 is now equivalent to about $140. (Source:

There were not any newspapers published in Johnson City in 1930.

April 4, 1940: “Bullet Code” was playing at the Liberty Theatre, according to the Johnson City Press. At the Majestic, moviegoers could see “Ninotchka”, while “She Married a Cop” was playing at the Sevier. The Tennessee Theatre was showing “Eternally Yours.”

April 4, 1952: Readers of the Johnson City Press-Chronicle learned that “Mr. and Mrs. William H. Dyer and children of Knoxville were week-end (sic) guests of Mrs. J.G. Parks, 1411 North Roan street (sic), and Mrs. Dyer’s brother-in-law and sister, the Rev. and Mrs. W.A. Mahlow, who recently returned to the United States from India, with their children, and guests of Dyer’s sisters, Misses Elisabeth and Effie May Dyer, North Roan street (sic).”

Readers also learned about a member of the military, who would soon transition back to civilian life. “Technical Sergeant York Trivett, who has been stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C. with the U.S. Marine Corps will be discharged from service this week-end (sic). Mrs. Trivett will meet Sgt. Trivett in Asheville on Monday.”

April 4, 1962: Reporting with a dateline of Bristol, the Johnson City Press-Chronicle informed readers, “Two former Johnson Citians will be honored here at the Spring Convocation of King College Saturday.”

“Parks Hall will be dedicated in memory of John G. Parks of Johnson City and C.E. Parks of Bristol.”

In was also noted that, “Dr. Raymond Coile Rankin, former pastor of Watauga Avenue Presbyterian Church of Johnson City, will receive the honor.”

King College is in Bristol, Tennessee, and is now known as King University. It has a Presbyterian affiliation.

April 4, 1972: The Johnson City Press-Chronicle reported on a recent program about the Passion Play in Germany. “Carver Senior Center, in observance of Good Friday, heard Mrs. Stanley Newton speak on the Passion Play presented in Oberammergau, South Germany. Mrs. Newton….explained how Good Friday was observed in Britain, and in New Zealand where Good Friday is a day of mourning – all businesses are closed, travel is curtailed – is customary for men to wear black ties and women dark clothes.”

“Mrs. Newton, who attended the Passion Play at Oberammergau a few years ago, told why the play has become world famous. In 1632, during the time of the plague in Europe, a native of the village returned from the war to visit his family. With him he brought the plague and, as a result, 84 people died. Later, the people of the village vowed to do something in honor of Christ if He would keep their village free of the plague. In 1634 the first performance was given, and has been repeated every ten years since then, except during wartime.”

Easter was on April 2, in 1972.

April 4, 1982: The Johnson City Press-Chronicle reported, “Nancy Ann Winfree and Michael Steven Miles were united in marriage Saturday in a candlelight ceremony in Bastrop, La. Dr. Thomas K. Reinowski performed the double-ring exchange of vows solemnized at 5:30 p.m.”

More details included, “The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E.S. Winfree, Bastrop. The bridegroom is the son of Mrs. Doris Miles, Johnson City, and the late Brownlow Miles.”

Mrs. Miles was East Tennessee Teacher of the Year in 2017; she taught at South Side Elementary School.

April 4, 1992: The Johnson City Press ran an advertisement for Altrusa International, as they celebrated their 75th birthday in Johnson City. The advertisement reported the organization was founded in Nashville in 1917. A picture of the Johnson City Charter Members included Mabel Speropulos, Janelle Bowman, and Clare Collier. An anniversary lunch was would beheld at the Johnson City Country Club on April 11, and former members were invited to attend.

April 4, 2000: In a bylined article in the Johnson City Press, Cindy Tipton wrote, “Parents now have one more vaccine to add to the list of immunizations recommended for their children.”

“The new drug, Prevnar, immunizes children against a bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae – the ‘most common cause of life-threatening death in infants and children,’ according to Johnson City pediatrician Thomas Gill.”

Dr. Gill went on to state, “’It’s the most common cause of meningitis, pneumonia and blood infection….Also, it’s the most common cause of ear infections and sinus infections.”

April 4, 2004: The Johnson City Press reported that in 1963, Dr. Ed Allen, other physicians, and leaders from ETSU started to discuss the need for a medical school for the area. At the time, the ratio of physicians to the population was less than half the national average.



Rebecca Henderson is a contributing columnist for Johnson City Press.

Recommended for you