Today in Johnson City History: June 16

June 17, 1874: The Daily Times, a newspaper in Chattanooga, reported, “The Knoxville Chronicle, has sold its old press to Mr. J.W. Peltier, who proposes to establish a paper at Johnson City, Washington Co., to be called the People’s Friend.”

June 17, 1882: The Daily Times reported, “The dwelling house of Capt. S.T. Harris, at Johnson City, was destroyed by fire Tuesday night. We understand that the only things saved from the burning house were a couple of beds. It is thought to have the work of incendiaries.”

June 17, 1892: Charles Oliver was fined $1.00 for interfering with an officer.

June 17, 1897: The Comet reported, “Gov. Taylor is at his pleasant home in this city taking a resting spell from the cares and worries of his office. He is in poor health and says he will resign if he don’t get better – but he is pourin’ the medicine into himself and it is sincerely hoped by his friends that it will have the desired effect.”

June 17, 1920: Miss Mary Nell Philips was spending the month with her aunt, Mrs. John Hambrick, in Forest City, North Carolina.

June 17, 1930: Dr. Charles C. Sherrod, president of State Teachers College, Johnson City, since 1925, was interviewed as one of four finalists for the position of superintendent of Nashville City Schools. Sherrod continued to lead the Johnson City institution now known as East Tennessee State University until 1949.

June 17, 1940: Pitcher Alphonse Bielan blew into Gastonia, North Carolina, to join the Gastonia Cardinals after 2+ seasons with the Card in Johnson City, where he won 12 and lost 10 in 1939.

June 17, 1944: Marine Corp. John William Wheelock, 24, Fall Branch, was killed in the Saipan invasion in World War II.

June 17, 1951: Wisconsin State Journal reported that The Very Rev. Leo L. Farrell, O.P., of Johnson City, Tennessee, has officiated the at the wedding of Miss Rosemary Jean Heronemus and C. William Pech in Madison, Wisconsin. Farrell had been pastor at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Madison.

June 17, 1961: The Kingsport News reported that George Foster had died age 100 in Johnson City. He left behind a widow after 73 years of marriage. Foster had been a farmer, a blacksmith and a gunsmith. His father had been killed in the Battle of Murfreesboro in the Civil War.

June 17, 1965: “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” was showing at the Family Drive-In Theatre on the New Jonesboro Highway.

Sources: The Daily Times; Johnson City Court Records; The Comet; Forest City Courier; Kingsport Times; Gastonia Daily Gazette; Johnson City Press-Chronicle; Ted Bowers/Johnson City, Tennessee, Memories; Wisconsin State Journal; Kingsport News

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