Oct. 13, 1871: The Daily Press and Herald reported “Jno. F. Gifford, died at the residence of his father, Lawrence Gifford, Johnson’s city (sic), on Sabbath morning, at 7:30 o’clock, a.m., October 8th, 1871.”

The Daily Press and Herald was a newspaper published in Knoxville. Johnson City did not have any newspapers in 1871.

Oct. 13, 1905: The Lenoir Weekly News, a newspaper in Lenoir, North Carolina, reported, “Dr. L.E. Clark, of Hartland, has bought a farm at Johnson City, Tenn. The Dr. with his family will leave at an early date. We regret very much to lose the good people, but hope for them much success in their new field.”

The Lenoir Weekly News was a newspaper in Lenoir, North Carolina. It was published from 1900 until 1905. Lenoir is approximately 78 miles from Johnson City.

Oct. 13, 1916: The Dickson County Herald reported sad news. With a dateline of Johnson City, readers learned, “Will G. Long, one of the most prominent and progressive farmers in East Tennessee, owning a handsome river-bottom farm in the Austin Springs section, took his life Sunday morning in the wood shed at his home. He arose early, as was his custom. Appearing morose while Mrs. Long was preparing breakfast, she asked if he was not going to Sunday School. He reported that he did not know. He then went to the wood shed and with his razor cut his throat from ear to ear. He fell face downwards, death being almost instantaneous.”

Austin Springs is a community in Johnson City.

The Dickson County Herald was a newspaper in Dickson, Tennessee; it is now published as the Dickson Herald. It is located about 325 miles from Johnson City.

Oct. 13, 1918: According to The Johnson City Daily Staff, “Walter G. Smith, proprietor of the Smith Shoe and Clothing Co., is confined to his room with the Spanish American Flu.”

Oct. 13, 1921: A century ago today, The Hagerstown Exponent reported news about someone who had returned from the battlefield in Europe. “Oscar Fox, who experienced three or four gas attacks on the battlefield in France, and is in a precarious condition, went from Cincinnati, O., today to the Rock Hill Indian View military sanatorium. Mr. Fox was recently transferred from the military sanatorium at Johnson City, Tenn., to Cincinnati. His left lung is gone, due to chlorine gas and he has been told that the lung has grown fast to the ribs. An X-ray picture will be taken and if advisable he will be operated on. T.B. germs have developed in the right lung, but not to the extent that a climate change may not correct. Mr. Fox is cheerful and hopeful. His many friends wish for him speedy recovery to good health.”

The military sanatorium referred to is now known as the James H. Quillen VA Medical Center.

The Hagerstown Exponent, a newspaper based in Hagerstown, Indiana, was published from 1876 until 2004.

Oct. 13, 1929: The Bristol Herald Courier reported about the recent unveiling of a marker to Robert Young. “Mrs. J.M. Dickenson and granddaughter Gene Dickenson, were the guests of Mr. and Mrs. S.R. Jennings of Johnson City, Tenn., over the week-end (sic). Monday morning they attended the unveiling of a marker to Robert Young, a great, great grandfather of Mrs. Dickenson. The marker is in memory of Young’s heroism in the Battle of Kings Mountain. Judge Williams, speaker of the occasion and an authority on Tennessee history, gives Robert Young credit for having killed the British leader, Ferguson, and played a very spectacular part in winning the battle that was a turning point in the Revolutionary War. The gun he carried, which he called, “Sweet Lips,” is in a Washington museum. The grave is located on what was originally known as the Young plantation, but is now a part of the Soldiers Home.”

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

The Bristol Herald Courier is still in publication.

Oct. 13, 1930: The Johnson City Staff-News reported, “Mr. and Mrs. Harry Faw have returned from Bristol, where they attended the Holston Conference; Mr. Faw being a delegate from the Munsey Memorial M.E. Church, South.”

Oct. 13, 1938: The Johnson City Chronicle reported Mrs. Raymond Rosson of Jonesboro, had recently entertained members of the Schubert Club in her home. Mrs. L.W. McCown of Johnson City gave a talk on “Old Homes in Upper East Tennessee.” Among others present were Mesdames A.J. Range, W.P. Diehl, Paul Fink, W.E. May, C.E. Slonaker, E.H. Yankee and Milton Sutton. Misses Catherine Cooper, Mary Gresham, Alexandra Hoss, Ethel Smith and Sara Thomas were also in attendance.

Jonesboro was spelled that way in 1938.

Oct. 13, 1948: The Johnson City Press-Chronicle reported on a recent birth. “Mr. and Mrs. Allen Fillers announce the birth of a son, October 8, at Appalachian Hospital. The infant has been named Roger Lee Fillers. Prior to her marriage, Mrs. Fillers was Miss Clara Renfro.”

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

Oct. 13, 1956: Readers of the Johnson City Press-Chronicle read an interesting story with a dateline of Erwin. “Thursday night an Erwin man walked up Main Street, picked a door, and knocked on it.”

When the homeowner answered, “the one who knocked asked if he would give him some money and something to eat.”

The homeowner told his guest, “’Why, fellow, you’re drunk.’”

The man then said, “’Are you gonna stand there and argue with me or are you gonna give me something to eat or money?’”

Further details revealed that the homeowner, Highway Trooper George Logan, invited the man inside, where he was then arrested and charged with public drunkenness and vagrancy.

Oct. 13, 1969: The Johnson City Press-Chronicle advertised on that the Four Seasons would be in concert at East Tennessee State University for their Homecoming on October 25. General admission tickets were $2.00.

Oct. 13, 1970: The Johnson City Press-Chronicle ran an interesting advertisement for Cole’s, a drug store. The ad stated, “Don’t Shop at Cole’s just for low prescription prices. Join our prescription club, then shop for lowest prices.”

Oct. 13, 1972: In an editorial the Johnson City Press-Chronicle congratulated First Christian Church regarding their move into their new building, as they moved into their new building on Sherwood Drive on the following Sunday. The church currently occupies the block between Sherwood Drive and Mountcastle Drive; initially the address was Sherwood, but it now receives mail on Mountcastle Drive.

On the same date, the same newspaper reported, “An open house was held … to celebrate the 90th birthday of Mrs. O.A. Dulaney … Sixty or 70 people attended the open house ….Mrs. Dulaney is the former Ida F. Hartsell.” She was born in Washington County, and was the oldest active member of Grandview Christian Church.


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Rebecca Henderson is a contributing columnist for Johnson City Press.

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