Jan. 13, 1887: The Comet lamented to readers, “Several weeks ago we employed a Mr. John R. McClure to canvass the county and solicit subscriptions for The Comet. We have not heard from him since the ‘big snow,’ and fear he is snowed under. If you know where he is you will oblige us by advising at once.”

Jan. 13, 1897: One hundred and twenty-five years ago today, the Herald and Tribune opined, “The resumption of work at the cotton mill and the building of a first class flouring mill would be a good starter in the way of business prosperity. With a dozen other industrial plants, which Jonesboro has no excuse for not having, the old town might yet be saved and become in time a city of note and commercial importance. Natural advantages bring such a possibility within easy reach, and even home capital is not lacking for the grand enterprise. Our citizens are called upon to settle the question of their own advancement.”

The Herald and Tribune was, and still is, a newspaper published in Jonesboro, which was spelled that way in 1897. Johnson City did not have a daily newspaper in 1897; The Comet was published every week.

Jan. 13, 1909: The Herald and Tribune reported two articles of interest to Johnson Citians. Both of the articles had datelines from Johnson City. “The lioness in the National Soldiers’ home (sic) at Johnson City, Tenn., is dead, having died of grief. Her mate died two years ago, and for several months she cried out for him almost constantly. Ceasing her moaning, she lingered along dejected for several months, then died.”

“Hotel Carnegie, which was closed recently, is being reopened for the accommodation of a number of prominent officers and business men. Miss Jessie Snapp, of Greeneville, who has successfully conducted Graystone Inn, a popular mountain resort, for several seasons, will be the landlady. The enterprise is being financed by General Traffic Manager Champton, of the C. C. & O. road (sic); Mr. Steffins, head draftsman of the company; Dr. Charles Aldrich and M. L. Fox.”

The National Soldiers Home is now known as the James H. Quillen VA Medical Center.

As mentioned elsewhere in today’s column, the Herald and Tribune was published in Jonesboro, as it is today. The town was spelled that way in 1909.

Jan. 13, 1922: A century ago today, the Nashville Banner reported news of interest to Johnson Citians. The dateline was Bristol, Tennessee. “Although the Republican primary is several months away in the First Tennessee district, three candidates are now in the field for the nomination for congress (sic). The candidates are Maj. Frank P. Robinson of Greeneville; E. E. Cresswell of Sevier county (sic), and Representative B. Carroll Reece, who is a candidate to succeed himself. According to an announcement reaching here from Johnson City, Mayor W. B. Wilson of that city is expected to announce his candidacy for the congressional (sic) nomination. Although he has not made public announcement of his candidacy, it is understood that he has taken steps to perfect an organization in the district.”

“Among others who are being mentioned rather frequently as likely to enter the race are former Congressman Sam R. Sells of Johnson City and Judge D. A. Vines.”

“The Republican committee of the First district (sic) has not yet called a primary.”

The Nashville Banner ceased publication in 1998. We do not have access to most of the newspapers that were published in Johnson City in January of 1922.

Jan. 13, 1947: Seventy-five years ago today, the Elizabethton Star reported tragic news about a major fire. With the byline of Margaret Thompson, readers learned, “Fire destroyed a great part of Builder’s Supply Co. this morning at approximately 2 o’clock.”

“The hardware and paint room, lumber shed, cement house and 3 trucks, one of them brand new, were listed as being completely destroyed. The fire started behind the paint shop and quickly spread to the adjoining building company officials reported.”

“Fortunately, the major part of the office itself was saved. All the important records of the company were stored in the office.”

“Cause of the fire is not known, nor has the exact amount of damage been determined but Elizabethton Fire Chief John L. Wilson estimated damages as being between 75 and 100 thousand dollars. He said, ‘We were handicapped by lack of equipment. We only use the old Model T for hauling extra hose, but had we had another regulation size truck, there at the time of the alarm, we’d have saved so much more than we did and could have brought the fire under control a great deal sooner. As it was, the Johnson City fire trucks arrived within ten minutes, but those were 10 valuable minutes. By the time the Bristol truck arrived, the fire was well under control.’”

“He also said that all volunteers were called out and many passers-by aided in fighting the blaze.”

Seventy-five thousand dollars in 1947 now has the purchasing power of about $934, 800, making a hundred thousand dollars from 1947 now worth approximately $1,246,000. These current values of the 1947 dollars are from www.2013dollars.com.

The Elizabethton Star is still in publication. The Johnson City Press-Chronicle was not published on Monday in January of 1947. Jan. 13, 1947 fell on a Monday.

Jan. 13, 1972: Fifty years ago today, readers of the Johnson City Press-Chronicle learned about the weather forecast. “After many false spring days, snow should return to the area’s weather scene sometime within the next 24 hours.”

“Today will be cloudy and colder with temperatures beginning to fall during the afternoon hours. Temperatures will continue dropping tonight, giving rise to predicted flurries in the early evening hours. No accumulations were predicted.”

“High temperature today will be in the high 60s before rapidly slipping to a mid-20 low tonight. Yesterday’s high was 63 while the Wednesday morning low was 32.”

“Yesterday’s high topped a 12-year record established in 1960 by one degree.”

“At 10 p.m. yesterday, temperature was 52, relative humidity 56 per cent, winds south-southeast at six miles per hour and barometric pressure was rising from 29.90 inches.”

Finally, readers were advised to “Have a good day.”

Jan. 13, 1997: Twenty-five years ago today, the Johnson City Press carried an article with the byline of Michael Joslin and a dateline of Old Fort, N. C. Readers learned that “From the times of the American Indians to the present, the agricultural abundance of the Southern Appalachians has blessed the lives of the people.”

“The Gateway to the Mountains Museum here has assembled a display to celebrate the diversity of mountain agriculture. With a model of a Western North Carolina Indian settlement of the 1400s and a fascinating array of implements and storage vessels of the white farmers, the museum captures God’s plenty of mountain farming.”

“‘You know the plant diversity that is characteristic of the Southern Appalachians,’ Sam Grey, museum curator, says as he leans over to show the detail in the model Indian village.”

“’Well, the agricultural diversity is just as unusual and is dependent on the same combination of fertile soil and diverse climate.”

Old Fort, North Carolina, is about 84 miles from Johnson City. The Gateway to the Mountains Museum is now called the Mountain Gateway Museum.

Recommended Videos


Rebecca Henderson is a contributing columnist for Johnson City Press.

Recommended for you