Nov. 13, 1890: The Comet reported on recent paving work in Johnson City. “Always progressive. The latest move in the right direction is in the matter of pavements. The property holders on the west side of Main street and down Public Square to Market have decided to have a decent sidewalk and have contracted with C.E. Osborne to make it. He is now at work and has already laid several thousand feet. The new walk is 12 feet wide and is made of ironlithic. The body is made of Cranberry iron ore and is as solid as the ‘rock of ages.’ A coating of cement and sand is put over it and the walk is as smooth as a piece of glass. In pavements, as in all things else, Johnson City leads.”

Nov. 13, 1891: Readers of The Comet learned of a very intelligent dog. “George O’Brien has a little yellow fice that’s sharp as a tack. Yesterday morning when No. 4 came up to the depot, Mr. O’Brien went into one of the cars with a friend and the dog followed. He got off without the dog seeing him and the little fellow remained on, went to Bristol, and came back on No. 5. How is that for dog sense?” A fice is a small dog.

Nov. 13, 1899: The Knoxville Sentinel, with a dateline of Johnson City, announced candidates for aldermen in Johnson City in an election that would be held Thursday, Nov. 23. For the First Ward, W.L. Taylor was running, for the Second Ward, Sam Simcox and W.I Hart were running. J.D. Crowell and John A. Hatcher were running in the Third Ward, as well as C.M. Chapale and Thomas Sizemore. Paul Wolff was running in the Fourth Ward.

Nov. 13, 1918: The Johnson City Daily Staff informed readers, “Master Francis Sells, small son of Congressman and Mrs. Sam R. Sells, entertained a number of his little friends in celebration of his eighth birthday yesterday afternoon. After playing games the boys were served refreshments by Mrs. Sells. Those present were Billy Watkins, Billy Beckner, Allan Wofford, Tomboy Hargin, Willis Fisher and Leland Turner.”

Nov. 13, 1934: The Johnson City Chronicle reported, “Banks in Johnson City were observing a holiday Monday, as announced last week. It was a ‘carry over’ from Armistice Day, occurring this week on Sunday.” The article continued to say, “Other businesses in Johnson City did not close. The post office was open as was the sub station, and mail delivery was made as usual. Report that the city offices would close was erroneous and business proceeded as usual. The extension on water bills due and payable up to November 10 with the discount provisions, was effective through Monday, due to the half-holiday of Saturday.”

Nov. 13, 1938: With a dateline of Johnson City, The Chattanooga Times reported the First Lady would speak in Johnson City in the Spring of 1939. “Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt will speak in Johnson City late in March or early in April, 1939, officials of the Optimist club said today.” The article continued to say, “She will speak on ‘problems of Youth,’ a one-hour address to be given in the State Teachers’ auditorium.” Readers also learned that “During her visit here, Mrs. Roosevelt will inspect the Optimist boys camp near Unicoi.” The State Teachers’ (College) is known known as East Tennessee State University.

Nov. 13, 1945: The Johnson City Press-Chronicle’s Carl A. Jones, along with six incorporators of Memorial Hospital, became the first directors of the hospital.

Nov. 13, 1956: Readers of the Press-Chronicle learned former Johnson City Mayor William Bascom Ellison had died in Knoxville, where he was living at that time. Mr. Ellison, an attorney, was Mayor of Johnson City from June, 1919 until June, 1927, and again from June, 1929 until June, 1931. “Under a previous form of government here (meaning in Johnson City), Ellison devoted full time to the mayor’s post. Associates who described him as ‘far-sighted’ and ‘a different kind of politician,’ recalled he was responsible for wide-scale improvements here in city administration.”

Nov. 13, 1969: The Press-Chronicle reported, “Mrs. Helen Blocker, … W. Locust St., told police officers yesterday the front door glass on her automobile was broken by an object thrown at the vehicle as she drove down East Pine St. at 11:30 p.m. Officer Richard Matherly investigated.”

Sources: The Comet; Knoxville Sentinel; Johnson City Daily Staff; Johnson City Chronicle; Chattanooga Times; “A Beacon to Heath Care” by Ray Stahl; Johnson City Press-Chronicle.

Sources: The Comet;  Knoxville Sentinel; Johnson City Daily Staff; Johnson City Chronicle; Chattanooga Times; "A Beacon to Heath Care" by Ray Stahl; Johnson City Press-Chronicle

Rebecca Henderson is a contributing columnist for Johnson City Press.

Recommended for you