July 23, 1874: The Herald and Tribune extended a sad invitation: “The funeral services of Mrs. McNeal will be conducted by Rev. J.L. Mann at Johnson City, August 9th. The friends of deceased are invited to be present.”

The Herald and Tribune was, and still is, a newspaper published in Jonesborough, which was also spelled as Jonesboro within the pages of the newspaper.

July 23, 1891: The Comet quipped, “A party of young men went out picnicking yesterday in the direction of Buffalo mountain (sic). It was their purpose to spend the day on the mountain, and they did.”

July 23, 1896: One hundred and twenty-five years ago today, according to The Comet, “The concert at Jobe’s Opera House last Tuesday evening, given by the young people of Jonesboro, was a grand treat to the music-loving people of Johnson City. The company was composed of the very best talent of Jonesboro, and each member deserves to class higher than the average amateur. They were repeatedly called back, and responded cheerfully to each encore. The opera house was filled with a most appreciative audience.”

Jonesboro was spelled that way in 1896.

July 23, 1903: With a dateline from Bristol, and a date of July 17, The Comet reported an exciting discovery in a near-by county. “Gold has been discovered in Johnson county (sic), but in what quantity is not known. W.L. Cress, having found a vein of what he believed to be valuable mineral, sent a sample of it to a chemist in Philadelphia for analysis. The chemist has just replied saying that the example of ore assayed 195 ounces to the ton. The chemist’s report has caused considerable excitement and there are those in the community who think it possible that Johnson county (sic) will turn out to be another Klondike.”

July 23, 1918: The Johnson City Daily Staff reported several items of interest to Johnson City residents. “Miss Obra Plemmons is spending several days in the city as relief operator at the Southern railway station.”

“Miss Madeline Russell has resumed her duties at Dosser Bros., after a pleasant two weeks’ vacation.”

“Going to Bristol tomorrow for the Golf Tournament at the Bristol Country Club are Mesdames Will Gildersleeve, Hugh White, Hackett, of Embreeville, Geo. D. Sells, Bruce Tyler, Misses Edith McQuilkin, Mary and Mable Gildersleeve.”

“Miss Cora Mae Crockett will entertain the Y.W.A., with a ‘Hoover lawn party’ on Thursday evening, at her home on 112 East Unaka Ave.”

Readers learned that Albert Miller had met with a mishap regarding his automobile. “While cranking his car near Jonesboro yesterday, it kicked and broke his right arm. Dr. Stuart set the broken arm and Mr. Miller returned to Johnson City in the belief that that particular crank should be put against the Germans.”

Jonesboro was spelled that way in 1918.

July 23, 1921: A century ago today, The Journal and Tribune, with a dateline from Johnson City, reported, “Six runs in the fourth frame of the second game between the State Liners and Soldiers were enough to take the pop out of the locals, who after listlessly booting the ball around the field gave up trying to do anything whatever off Williams, the visiting slabman (sic), and Bristol defeated Johnson City 10-0.”

The Journal and Tribune was a newspaper published in Knoxville. It ceased publication in 1924. We do not have access to any newspapers that were published in Johnson City in 1921.

July 23, 1930: The Johnson City Chronicle printed an obituary more sad than most. “Funeral services for Mrs. Nora Cain, 27, who died from three bullet wounds alleged to have been fired from a pistol in the hands of her husband, Calvin Cain, will be held at the chapel of the Appalachian Funeral Home this morning at ten o’clock. The services will be in charge of Rev. Warner DuBose, pastor of the First Presbyterian church (sic).”

“Immediately after the services the remains will be placed on Southern train No. 26 for Long Branch, N.J., for interment.”

July 23, 1946: The Johnson City Press-Chronicle carried a front-page article that could have ended much worse than it did. “A game of ‘cowboys and Indians’ was blamed for the non-fatal shooting of Susie Meeks, 9, daughter of Mrs. Lillie Ketchum of 109 West Chilhowie avenue (sic), by her four-year-old brother, Jimmie, yesterday.”

“’The children were playing in the house with some of the neighbor children,’ the mother said, when Jimmie grabbed a .22 caliber rifle which was habitually ‘unloaded’ and shouted that he would shoot them all. Susie screamed and grabbed at the gun as it went off.’ The bullet entered her arm and came out on the other side finally lodging in the ceiling of the house, the mother related.”

“’If she hadn’t grabbed the gun, one of the children would probably have been killed,’ Mrs. Ketchum pointed out.”

“’I never keep the gun loaded and have hidden all the ammunition for it from the children,’ the mother explained, ‘but Jimmie must have found a shell somewhere and loaded the rifle, because I’m sure it has been unloaded for weeks.’”

July 23, 1958: The Johnson City Press-Chronicle, with the byline of Sue Thomas, reported, “The curtain dropped last night on the final chapter of the 1957 community development program in Washington County with presentation of awards.”

“The awards were presented by Carl A. Jones, Press-Chronicle publisher, contest sponsor, at a meeting and supper of Washington County Council of Community Clubs. The meeting was held at Greenwood Clubhouse with Greenwood Community Club servicing as host.”

“Top award of $100 was presented to Cherokee community with Robert Hodges, Jr., accepting the award. Although Cherokee was first prize winner among the organized communities eligible to compete for the $100 award, the community was nosed out by Hales in the sweepstake division to represent the county in the district contest.”

One hundred dollars in 1958 is now worth approximately $940, according to www.in2013dollars.com.

July 23, 1971: Fifty years ago today, Johnson Citians were stunned to read about a drag racing death. According to the Johnson City Press-Chronicle, “Buddy Whistine, 21, 905 Henry St., was discharged Wednesday from Memorial Hospital. He had been treated for shoulder and facial injuries after a wreck in a drag race down Lafe Cox Drive, in which Jay Duff Martin was killed last Saturday.”

Memorial Hospital was the forerunner of Johnson City Medical Center.

July 23, 1996: Tom Hodge confessed his weakness for reading The Guinness Book of Records in his column in the Johnson City Press. Mr. Hodge went on to recount several of the facts he found most interesting and fascinating.

Recommended Videos

Sources: 

Rebecca Henderson is a contributing columnist for Johnson City Press.

Recommended for you