Today in Johnson City History: Jan. 20-21

Jan. 20, 1904: The Comet reported that T.A. Gillespie had sold his interest in the Appalachian Sanitarium and would soon move his family to California. The newspaper described him as a “born hustler.”

Jan. 20, 1947: Johnson City’s state senator, Hubert Brooks, introduced a bill in the state legislature that would ban a very wide variety of things.

Jan. 20, 2006: Science Hill High School graduate and former teacher Fred Humphreys died. Fred was in the Hilltopper Band class of 1948 and graduated ETSC with a master’s degree in music education. He was recruited to establish the Washington County unified band program in 1953. After moving to Florida in 1957, he began a lengthy tenure leading bands recognized throughout the Americas and Europe.

Jan. 21, 1890: Judge Robert Burrow transferred property on the corner of Millard and Welbourne Streets to the St. Paul Church; this was in exchange for property at Piney Knob, which was the hill behind the present-day Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church. The St. Paul Church is now known as the St. Paul A.M.E. Zion Church.

Jan. 21, 1891: “A young man tough giving his name as Henry Carroll” was returned to Johnson City on a horse theft charge after his capture in Sullivan County by a posse of men. “Although he is but 18 years old, he offered stubborn resistance and held on to his nag with the pluck of a hardened desperado,” The Comet reported the following day.

Jan. 21, 1965: The Chamber of Commerce held its 50th Annual Membership dinner meeting. Dr. Carl Byers from the General Motors Corporation was the speaker. G. Bruce Kidd was Chamber President.

Jan. 21, 1999: East Tennessee President Paul Stanton announced that threats to dismantle the Quillen College of Medicine in a report from Gov. Don Sundquist’s “Blue-ribbon panel” on higher education had been thwarted.

Sources: The Comet, Every Day in Tennessee History, Johnson City Press, “In the Footsteps of Faith: A Tour of 14 of Johnson City’s Century-Old Churches, Johnson City Press-Chronicle.

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