Feb. 19, 1898: The Chattanooga Daily Times, with a dateline of Johnson City, reported on a fire at Buffalo Mountain. “The Buffalo mountains (sic) near this place have been on fire for two days and the citizens along the foot of the range have been exposed to damage by the fire raining down on them and consuming fencing and whatever else may be on the outskirts of their farms.”

Feb. 19, 1914: Readers of the Nashville Banner read of infrastructure improvements taking place in Johnson City. With a dateline from Johnson City, readers learned, “The Trinidad Paving Company of Cleveland, O., is busy installing the plant here, preparatory to beginning work on a $50,000 contract of paving in Johnson City. The work is being done entirely at the expense of the property owners and includes a large number of the streets in the southwest (sic) addition of the city.”

More details included, “The work will probably be started next week, the weather being favorable.”

Finally, “This paving contract will require several months to complete and will mean much to Johnson City, as a large number of men will be employed.”

Fifty thousand dollars in 1914 is now worth about $1,302,370. (Source: www.in2013dollars.com)

Johnson City did not have a newspaper printed in February 1914.

Feb. 19, 1927: The Knoxville News-Sentinel reported, with a Johnson City dateline, “Investigation of escapees from the city jail will be made by Councilmen Hart, Harr and Miller. The council also designated Hart and Carr as a committee to ascertain requirements for making the jail more secure.”

The article further stated, “The council authorized steps towards paving Peachtree street (sic) to connect Cherokee Heights and North Roane (sic), thru arrangement with property owners.”Feb. 19, 1934: The Bristol News Bulletin, with a dateline of Johnson City, informed readers of a new highway between Johnson City and Jonesboro. “The new highway link between Johnson City and Jonesboro is now open to traffic the concrete having cured sufficiently to be used safely.”

More details revealed, “Plans are now under way locally for a formal opening of the important link, with dedication to be observed at an early date.”

Finally, “Those who have traveled the distance along the new route have found it an excellent thoroughfare, free of dangerous curves, and of smooth surface. It shortens the highway distance between the two cities by more than a mile.”

Jonesboro was spelled that way in 1934.

Johnson City did not have a newspaper published on February 19, 1934, because it was a Monday.

Feb 19, 1936: The Johnson City Chronicle reported on the theft of some food. “S.M. Robertson, from whose garage thieves took two hams, four ‘middlings’ and two ‘shoulders’, isn’t as downcast as one might be under the circumstances. He is wondering how the thieves will feel when they discover the meat was covered with red pepper and borax.”

Feb. 19, 1943: The FBI was looking for several former area men, according to the Johnson City Chronicle. “The Federal Bureau of Investigation is seeking information concerning the whereabouts of nine former Johnson City men, declared delinquent under the Selective Service Act by Draft Board No. 1, it was revealed yesterday by W.A. Murphy, special agent in charge.”

The article gave these names and addresses: “Charles Ralph Johnson, 1430 South Myrtle avenue (sic); Walter Williams, 224 Fall street (sic); Wallace Press Hayes, 248 Hamilton street (sic); Thomas Fletcher Lee, 920 Hillcrest Drive; Glenn Roberts, Jonesboro, route (sic) 3; Carl Widener, general delivery; Stokley James Rogers, No. 10 Deleacon apartments (sic); Ray Olson, general delivery; and Fred Thomas Maupett, general delivery.”

Finally, the article requested the public’s help in locating the men. “Anyone having information on either (sic) of the above listed men are requested to contact W.A. Murphy, special agent in charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 407 Hamilton National Bank Building, Knoxville, Tenn.”

Jonesboro was spelled that way in 1943.

Feb. 19, 1948: Two area men were burned while working on two different cars, according to the Johnson City Press-Chronicle. “Howard W. Saylor, 22, route (sic) 4, Jonesboro received treatment for burns yesterday. Saylor was under a car working at a garage when the radiator of another car blew up throwing hot water over him, hospital records showed.” Mr. Saylor was treated at the Appalachian Hospital.

“William L. Green, 25, of 604 East Watauga avenue (sic), received treatment after burning his left arm while changing a car battery at a service station yesterday.” Mr. Green was also treated at Appalachian Hospital.

Jonesboro was spelled that way in 1948.

Feb. 19, 1954: The Johnson City Press-Chronicle reported, “Four area men, two from Carter county (sic) and two from Washington, are currently undergoing marine boot camp training at Parris Island, S.C.”

“They are: Elmer Ray Stanley, son of Mr. and Mrs. Melvin F. Stanley of Watauga; Garfield Sams, son of Mr. and Mrs. Carl R. Sams of Watauga, route (sic) 1; Joseph Thomas Orten, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph M. Orten of Johnson City, route 2, and Harmon Edward Bowers, son of Mr. and Mrs. R.L. Bowers of 918 East Watauga avenue (sic).”

Feb. 19, 1964: The Johnson City Press-Chronicle reported on a charge of felonious assault and grand larceny. “Edna Bristol Adams, about 20, Rt. 5, Hilltop section, was held to grand jury investigation today on charges of felonious assault and grand larceny by City Judge Stewart Cannon, Jr. She allegedly beat and robbed an elderly man listed as Otto Ball, 72, Fountain Square, of his billfold, containing $345, and wrist watch.”

Three hundred, forty-five dollars in 1964 is now worth nearly $2900. (Source: www.in2013dollars.com)

Feb. 19, 1974: Many Johnson Citians were very disappointed with a vote in Nashville. With a dateline of Nashville, and with Henry Samples’ byline, the Johnson City Press-Chronicle reported, “Gov. Winfield Dunn scored a major legislative victory here yesterday, as his aides and commissioners swayed five votes in one hour to deal Johnson City’s hopes for an independent medical school a severe blow.”

Mr. Samples further explained: “The governor’s victory was realized when the State House voted 48 – 35 to enact legislative designed to establish a medical school at East Tennessee State University with federal support from the Teague-Cranston Act.”



Rebecca Henderson is a contributing columnist for Johnson City Press.

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