Today in Johnson City History: April 19

April 19, 1884: The Comet reported that Engine No. 1, the Watauga, of the Narrow Gauge Railroad (ET&WNC), had been overhauled and repainted. The work was done in the machine shop in Johnson City. “Mr. Ed. Tally did the painting and the engine now looks as bright and fresh as when new.”

April 19, 1894: Rev. J.C. Cowan was expected to resign from the Southern Presbyterian Church in Johnson City. The Comet noted that the congregation had asked the Presbytery to dissolve the pastorate. “Brother Cowan has been occupying the pulpit for several years with much power and ability. He is an everyday Christian with a charming optimistical tendency which is so consoling to the heavy hearts of the world.”

April 19, 1939: J.D. Hensley of Kingsport was fined $50 for driving drunk and without a driver’s license in Johnson City. The fine was to be paid in $10 installments on each payday, which was the 20th of every month.

April 19, 1968: A $1.885 million Economic Development Administration grant paved the way for the Piney Flats Industrial Park, a partnership between the City of Johnson City, Sullivan County, Carter County and the City of Elizabethton. The four governments had banded together in December, devoting a half million dollars to purchase 435 acres of land for the park.

Sources: The Comet; Johnson City Court Records, 1939; Johnson City Press-Chronicle.

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