July 21, 1887: The Comet carried several interesting news accounts of various activities in Johnson City. “The new wash room at the Piedmont House is a model of neatness and is a marked improvement. Two new marble basins have been received and the water is supplied by the water works, it looks real citified.”

“The game of base ball (sic) between the Esters’ and the Highlanders last Saturday resulted in a victory for the home team by a score of 30 to 34. The game was played in four hours and thirty minutes.”

“The register at the Piedmont House shows that 618 persons have been accommodated at that hotel in the first 18 days of July. This list does not include about 50 that took supper there Saturday night and did not register. This is a remarkable showing and serves to show that a larger number of people pass through Johnson City than even the citizens have any idea of. This is only one hotel – the Hoss House has also had a good run – but we do not believe there is any two hotels in East Tennessee that can touch this record.”

July 21, 1892: According to The Comet, “P.G. Range, a scientific gardener, brought some very fine beans to The Comet yesterday. They are of the pole or climbing variety, and are from ten to twelve inches long and grow in bunches. Mrs. Sue Mathes brought the seed from Jonesboro.”

Jonesboro was spelled that way in 1892.

July 21, 1909: The Herald and Tribune reported on activity for the upcoming census, which would take place in 1910. “Definite information has reached here (meaning Johnson City) that prof. Samuel H. Thompson, of Chucky, has been appointed by the president to the position of supervisor of the census of the First Congressional district (sic) of Tennessee.”

“Congressman Brownlow selected Prof. Thompson as his choice from a number of candidates for the position. It is understood that the names of all applicants for the position of enumerator will be sent to Colonel Brownlow, and that Mr. Thompson will appoint only those who have Col. Brownlow’s endorsement.”

The Herald and Tribune was, and still is, a newspaper published in Jonesborough, which was spelled as Jonesboro in 1909.

July 21, 1918: The Johnson City Daily Staff published several bits of information about area residents. “John M. Massengill, of the women’s ready to wear store, left today for New York City to make additional purchases.”

“Mrs. Arthur McChesney and daughter, Miss Edith, of Bristol, are the guests of Mr. and Mrs. T. F. Beckner.”

“Friends of Mr. Byron Gervin will regret to learn that he is seriously ill with typhoid.”

“J. Smith Anderson, the enterprising owner of the City Shoe Store, has returned from a delightful visit to his old home in Lee County, Va.”

“Miss Alice Carr is in New York City.”

July 21, 1921: One hundred years ago today, The Tennessean reported, “The Johnson City Staff contains an advertisement for a lost dog ‘with end of tail cut off,’ but the description doesn’t say which end – so the Town Fool thinks the dog can’t be identified.”

The Tennessean was, and still is, a newspaper published in Nashville. We do not have access to any issues of The Johnson City Staff or any other newspapers that might have been published in Johnson City in 1921.

July 21, 1946: Seventy-five years ago today, the Johnson City Press-Chronicle reported a resident of Telford had received a black widow spider bite. “First reported incident of its kind this year – a victim of a black widow spider – was recorded yesterday at Appalachian Hospital, where Mrs. Lora Bricker of Telford, was treated for a bite from the poisonous insect, attendants said.”

“The black widow spider, so named from its shining black body and habit of devouring its mate is six times more poisonous than a rattlesnake and two times more poisonous than a cobra.”

“Mrs. Bricker, however, received competent medical attention soon enough after the bite and has already been dismissed to her home, the hospital office reported.”

The Appalachian Hospital was a forerunner of the Memorial Hospital, which was a forerunner of the Johnson City Medical Center.

July 21, 1948: A tragedy was avoided, according to the Johnson City Press-Chronicle. “A 14-year-old boy who is unable to swim was accidentally knocked into deep water at the municipal swimming pool about 3 p.m. yesterday, Carl Doss, manager of the pool, said.”

“The youth was pulled from the pool in about 15 seconds by swimmers and taken to a local hospital, Doss said. A hospital attendant said the youth required no treatment and was released immediately.”

July 21, 1961: The Johnson City Press-Chronicle reported, “Two elderly women have been admitted to Memorial Hospital following falls at their homes. Both are reported in satisfactory condition.”

“Mrs. Theodosia Copas, 75, Rt. 2, Jonesboro, injured her right hip when she fell while weeding flowers. Mrs. Ida Shanks, 84, Rt. 2, Limestone, suffered lacerations to her face when she fell.”

Memorial Hospital was the forerunner of the Johnson City Medical Center.

Jonesboro was spelled that way in 1961.

July 21, 1968: A new Miss Tennessee had been crowned! With a dateline from Jackson, the Johnson City Press-Chronicle reported that Brenda Joan Seal, Miss East Tennessee State University, was crowned Miss Tennessee last night before a crowd of about 5,000.”

“The brown-haired, brown-eyed beauty, daughter of Mrs. W.L. Seal of Kingsport, stood in tears as the gleaming crown was placed on her head.”

“Gowned in a blue dress, the 19-year-old ETSU freshman appeared completely thrilled and placed her hands over her eyes when they filled with tears.”

July 21, 1971: Polly’s Pointers was a popular column in the Johnson City Press-Chronicle. The column carried housekeeping hacks; readers would also ask Polly for a solution to a housekeeping dilemma. Polly published this pointer: “Dear Polly – This may sound silly, but I wonder how many people have thought of using a big toe to hold a string of twine in order to get a good knot tied when nobody is around to furnish an extra finger. Put the box on the floor to do this best.” The letter was signed “Shirley.”

July 21, 1996: Twenty-five years ago today, Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church was celebrating one 125 years in ministry, according to the Johnson City Press. A letter by Al Bowles, who was the Senior Pastor, said in part, “It is indeed a joy and privilege to welcome you to Munsey’s 1996 Homecoming which celebrates 125 years of ministry in this community and throughout the world. Many exciting festivities have been planned, not only to bring us together in meaningful fellowship, but also to help us thank God for the many ministry opportunities granted to the Munsey congregation across the years.”


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Rebecca Henderson is a contributing columnist for Johnson City Press.

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