Black History Month: Doctor had prominent role in establishing education for African Americans in Johnson City

By Sue Guinn Legg The establishment of Johnson City’s first school for African American children is attributed to one of the most revered figures in the city’s early history.  Born a slave in 1825, Dr. Hezekiah Hankal went on to become one of the city’s founding fathers, a preacher, a teacher and a skilled physician […]

Downtowner Gas Station: Sam and Jeweldine Kinley

By Amy Kinley These are pictures of my parents, Sam and Jeweldine Kinley, and their children. My dad Sam, managed the Downtowner gas station in Johnson City for Rex Debord and they are pictured together. My sister Susan and I are pictured with dad’s Broncho with the Downtowner advertisement on it. My mom worked in […]

A poem for the Sesquicentennial Kick-Off

Poem Read at Sesquicentennial Kick-Off, January 5, 2019 Several people have asked me for a copy of the poem that I read at the Sesquicentennial Kick-Off on Saturday, January 5. I read a poem that I found in the Archives of Appalachia in October. If my memory is correct, Mary Hardin McCown, Johnson City’s first […]

Today in Johnson City History: February 11

REBECCA HENDERSON AND JOHNSON CITY PRESS Feb. 11, 1886: The Comet reported on the Coasting Club’s big snow of the day; many sledders had a grand time sliding down the big hill that is behind Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church. Feb. 11, 1951: Charles Hodge Mathes passed away. He was one of the original faculty […]

From a reader: Father and son plumbers

By Ron Jennings My Grandfather, Thomas William Light who was once the Johnson City Plumbing inspector when he was in his 80’s, started helping his father plumb buildings in Johnson City around 1910. Papaw was born in 1895. He served a stent in the army, F Company, 45th Infantry, 9th division. Around 1918 his Infantry […]

Roe honors Johnson City’s 150th birthday in Congress

U.S. Rep. Phil honored Johnson City’s Sesquicentennial on the floor of the House on Tuesday. Roe made the following remarks on the House floor to recognize the city’s 150th anniversary: Today, I rise to celebrate and pay tribute to my hometown of Johnson City, Tennessee for its sesquicentennial. In 1856, entrepreneur Henry Johnson opened a […]

Prominent people in Johnson City history

The contributions of hundreds, if not thousands, of citizens, city leaders and entrepreneurs gradually shaped and molded Johnson City into what it is today, but few have matched the influence of Henry Johnson, George L. Carter and Walter Brownlow. 

Sesquicentennial Celebration: Capt. John D. Exum

As Johnson City prepares to celebrate its Sesquicentennial, or 150th birthday, the Johnson City Press is off to a roaring start with articles that remind us of the vital place of Mountain Home, and the railroads in the town’s history. An intriguing aspect of the Sesquicentennial Celebration is the reason behind the name of one of Johnson City’s most heavily trafficked highways, namely the John Exum Parkway that connects North Roan Street to West Market Street. Formerly called the Parkway Bypass, the highway was renamed in May 1962 the “John Exum Parkway” because of his ship’s rescue of astronaut John Glenn’s after his historic three orbit flight around the Earth.