Today in Johnson City History: January 30 | Life

January 30, 1897: 125 years ago today, The Salt Lake Tribune reported: “The Wautaga (sic) Bank (sic) in Johnson City, Tennessee closed yesterday. Liabilities are $28,000 and assets are nearly $94,000.

$28,000 in 1897 is now worth about $937,655. Ninety-four thousand dollars in the same year currently has a purchasing power of approximately $3,148,000. This information comes from

The Salt Lake Tribune was and is a newspaper published in Salt Lake City, Utah.

January 30, 1898: dr Edward Thurston Brading was born in Johnson City. He was a World War I veteran and practiced medicine in Johnson City for over three decades. dr Brading has served on the Johnson City School Board, First Presbyterian Church, and the Rotary Club. (Source: Personal communication between Anne Spurrell Darden and Rebecca Henderson.)

January 30, 1915: The Chattanooga Daily Times, with a date line in Johnson City, reported news of events soon to take place at Jonesboro County Court. “The Jonesboro District Court will meet Monday. This will be a very important concept. The list includes 72 criminal and 12 civil cases. Among them are twenty cases of bootlegging (sic). The state’s case against Tom Bitner, charged with the murder of Ben Broyles in Limestone more than a year ago, and Deadrick Seguine, charged with the murder of Johnson City Police Chief George T. Campbell last September.”

Jonesboro was spelled that way in 1915.

January 30, 1919: Readers of The Johnson City Daily Staff continued to learn from Johnson Citians with various illnesses and ailments. “Miss Margaret McCown’s many friends regret to hear of his (sic) illness at their home on Unaka Avenue.”

“Friends will regret learning that Mrs. C. Hodge Mathes is quite ill.”

“Friends will be pleased to know that Mrs. Culver, who is at Providence Hospital in Washington, is doing well.”

“Juliet, the baby daughter of Mr. and Mrs. MS Weaver, is having a good rest this afternoon after Dr. NE Hartsook removed her tonsils and adenoids this morning.”

“Gene. JB Cox received a letter today from his son, Sergeant Maj. Chas. B. Cox. He states that he is in a French port and expects transport home at any time. He was wounded near the knee in the fight but otherwise escaped with a few scratches.”

“Attorney J. Stanley Barlow returned yesterday afternoon from Knoxville where he was visiting Mrs. Barlow and her children at Riverside Hospital.”

“Friends of Messrs. Walter and Frank Miller will be pleased to learn that they are making a speedy recovery at Riverside Hospital in Knoxville. They are expected to be allowed to return home in the next few days.”

“George Tunnell, who is seriously ill with diphtheria (sic), is doing very well.”

“Friends will regret hearing about Capt. Ed. G. Bartlett, former Mountain Branch company commander, now resident of Dayton, Ohio. You (sic) not bedridden, the captain has been ill since August.”

Diphtheria is now rare in the United States because it is vaccine-preventable.

January 30, 1922: A century ago today, The Journal and Tribune reported with a date line from Johnson City and January 29 Evans, voice, and Mrs. JM Barton, expression, at their East Market Street (sic) studios. The guests, who were mothers of the young artists, enjoyed the varied program of the miniature concert, which showed the excellent training of distinct talents. It is planned to have these studio concerts on a monthly basis in the future.”

The Journal and Tribune was a newspaper published in Knoxville. We do not have access to newspapers published in Johnson City on January 30, 1922.

January 30, 1927: With a dateline from Johnson City and a date of Jan. 29, The Nashville Tennessean reported on a nasty fight at a basketball game. “One player was injured and a number of people were injured in an all-out fight that ended the basketball game between Kingsport and Johnson City high school boys last night. The diggers of both teams were outraged because the referee allegedly allowed rough play and eventually the father of a game intervened in the (sic) game to protect his son from alleged hitting. A riot ensued, and at one time at least 150 men and boys were beating each other. A Johnson City player was knocked unconscious before the riot ended. Since the referee was gone, the game was abandoned by mutual agreement of the coaches.”

The Nashville Tennessean is still appearing.

January 30, 1929: The Bristol Herald Courier, with a date from Johnson City, reported that George Washington’s birthday in February “would be celebrated with an inter-city luncheon at the Hotel John Sevier of the Johnson City Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, according to plans perfected by the relevant Committee of Representatives at a meeting last week.”

Mrs. Allen Harris chaired the event, while Mrs. Paul H. Wofford and Mrs. Walter J. Miller served on the organizing committee.

Further details revealed: “Judge Samuel C. Williams, best known as a public speaker and author of books dealing with early Tennessee history, will be the speaker at the event. Each chapter will have the privilege of providing a brief synopsis of its most important work of the year. Local musicians will contribute to the program.”

The Bristol Herald Courier is still published.

January 30, 1948: The Johnson City Press-Chronicle reported that several students at Science Hill High School were recently suspended. “No decision has yet been made to lift the suspension of about 20 students from Science Hill High School who staged a ‘walkout’ at the school Monday,” Principal C. Howard McCorkle said this morning, adding that the matter was not the parents of one of the students concerned had been discussed.”

Mr McCorkle suspended students indefinitely “after they left classes on Monday to protest the school being closed over weather conditions”.

The story continued: “Student spokesmen said they left because the ‘bus students’ were released early in the afternoon to go home. They accused the bus students of not going home but ‘just playing in the snow’.”

Finally, readers learned, “Monday’s ‘strike’ was preceded by a meeting of students in the school’s gymnasium, where between 100 and 200 students reportedly gathered.”

January 30, 1950: With a Johnson City dateline, the Bristol Herald Courier reported a robbery. “A messenger from Powell’s department store in Johnson City, Tennessee, told police last night that he was stopped and robbed of approximately $3,000 while on his way to use the money to make an overnight deposit.”

The article continued: “Karl Good, assistant manager at Powell’s, said he was walking to a bank at around 6:45 p.m. when a man carrying what appeared to be a gun in his pocket walked him down a darkened hallway of Market Street. ”

Finally, readers learned, “Most of the contents of the bail were cash, said RE Howell, company president.”

Campbell’s Morrell Music is located on the former site of Powell’s Department Store.

Three thousand dollars in 1950 is worth about $34,600 today. (Source:

As mentioned earlier in this column, the Bristol Herald Courier is still being published.

January 30, 1960: The Bristol Herald Courier, with a Johnson City dateline, reported: “Langston High built an early lead and clinched a 75-49 win over Slater here tonight.”

Other details included, “Oather Hice pumped through 34 points and Ken Hamilton contributed 18 to lead the Langston attack.”

As mentioned above, the Bristol Herald Courier is still being published.

January 30, 1971: Readers of the Johnson City Press-Chronicle read last night’s high school basketball results. The scores were printed on the title page. Science Hill defeated Tennessee High 46 to 45.

Cloudland defeated University High 52 points to 48.

Happy Valley won against Elizabethton, 67 to 58.

Jonesboro defeated Johnson County 40 points to 38.

Hampton easily defeated East 97 to 80.

Boones Creek scored a 74-68 win over Washington College.

Sulfur Springs defeated Lamar 56 to 53.

Oak Ridge defeated Dobyns-Bennett 56 to 52.

Jonesboro was spelled that way in 1971.


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