March 27, 1844: The Jonesborough Whig and Independent Journal reported news of a recent wedding. “On Tuesday the 19th inst., by W.G. Brownlow, Mr. William R. Neilson, to Miss Sarah S. Gillespie – all of Greene county (sic).”

“Inst” was an abbreviation meaning in the same month, so therefore the wedding took place on March 19, 1844.

Jonesborough was spelled that way at the time.

Mar. 27, 1890: The Comet alerted readers, “Owing to the delay of the W.U. Telegraph Co. in making arrangements to handle the Associated Press report it is very likely that The Daily Comet will not be issued on next Tuesday, but will be just as soon as the necessary arrangements can be made.”

The Comet was published weekly, not daily. It was published on Thursday, not Tuesday. The Daily Comet referred to, therefore, may have been an entirely different publication in a different city

March 27, 1900: The Knoxville Sentinel, reporting with a Johnson City dateline, informed readers of a tragic accidental death. “A fatal accident occurred at the Carnegie furnace here. Matthew Hardin, son of George Hardin, was killed by the falling of the elevator upon which he was at work. A physician was called, but nothing could be done, as the neck of the man was broken.”

The article continued, “The cable, which hoisted the heavy elevator, snapped in twain, thereby causing the fatal accident. Hardin was making the trip up the shaft for another employee.”

There was not a daily newspaper published in Johnson City in 1900. The Comet was published every week.

March 27, 1918: the Johnson City Daily Staff reported several interesting things going on about town. “You are requested to attend the Easter Fair at Munsey Memorial Church tomorrow afternoon and evening — Replenish your pantry with the home canned fruit on sale. See the war bread and get ideas for the conservation of food.”

“Last evening the younger society set entertained with a Suffragist Dance at the Colonial Hotel. About twenty-five couples were dancing and a most delightful evening was reported. Music was furnished by Frick and Brown.”

“Mr. C.F. Kayle of Abingdon, Va., was the honoree at a small dinner party given at the Avalon last evening. Among those present at the party were Miss Helen Davenport, Miss Eula Pace, Mill Olive Harris, Miss Marion Johnson and Miss Grace McGhee. Mr. Kayle, Mr. Milligan, Mr. Astor, Mr. Brabson and Mr. Hancock.”

War bread was sometimes called liberty bread. Flour was in short supply because of World War I, so items such as corn meal and/or potatoes were substituted for flour.

March 27, 1928: The Johnson City Staff-News told readers of a fire in Erwin. With an Erwin dateline, readers learned, “Fire completely destroyed the building and contents of the general store of M.L. Bailey, on the Johnson City pike (sic), about half a mile from the center of Erwin, about four o’clock this morning. The building was in flames when the fire was discovered, and it was impossible for firemen to save it.”

The story continued, “It is thought that the fire originated from defective electric wiring.”

“The loss, partially covered by insurance, is estimated at about $10,000. Mr. Bailey was owner of the building and stock.”

Ten thousand dollars in 1928 is now worth about $153,000. (Source: www.in2013dollars.)

March 27, 1935: With a Johnson City dateline, The Bristol News Bulletin reported, “Dr. W.M. Bevis of the medical staff of the Veterans’ Home here, was promoted yesterday to clinical director, Col. Lee B. Harr, governor, announced.”

The Veterans’ Home is now known as the James H. Quillen VA Medical Center.

March 27, 1949: “Mr. and Mrs. C.A. Armstrong of Limestone announce the engagement of their daughter, Fannye Kate Armstrong to Thomas Richard Chase, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred B. Chase of Jonesboro. A spring wedding is being planned by the couple.” according to the Johnson City Press-Chronicle.

Jonesboro was spelled that was in 1949.

March 27, 1953: The Johnson City Press-Chronicle reported on happenings within the Junior Auxiliary. “Mrs. S.R. Jennings, Jr., was named president of the (organization).”

Other officers included “Mrs. Wesley Gover, vice-president; Mrs. Tommy Miller, recording secretary; Miss Jane Bowman, corresponding secretary; Mrs. Hugh F. Swingle, Jr., treasurer, and Mrs. Hanes Lancaster, Jr., welfare chairman.”

“A letter of appreciation from Miss Glenda Pipkin, hospital teacher, was read, thanking the group for a record player given to the pediatric ward at Memorial Hospital.”

Finally, readers learned, “… the Auxiliary board voted to send $15 monthly to the (juvenile home) board for clothing.”

The Junior Auxiliary was the forerunner of the Junior League of Johnson City.

Fifteen dollars in 1953 is now worth about $147.00. (Source:

March 27, 1962: In a bylined article in the Johnson City Press-Chronicle, David McClellan wrote regarding the Johnson City Preaching Mission session held the night before. “A star athlete revealed his religious experiences and a Christian Church minister discussed the easiness of being a Christian last night at the Johnson City Preaching Mission.”

The article continued to say, “It was annual mission Youth Night and a large crowd of area young people helped swell the attendance to near-capacity proportions.”

“Speakers were Bill Wade, quarterback for the Chicago Bears professional football team and leader of the National Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Dr. Ting R. Champie, pastor of First Christian Church, Tampa, Florida.”


Rebecca Henderson is a contributing columnist for Johnson City Press.

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