Most politicians show little compassion for their opponents. Often a debate gets ugly with harsh and sometimes angry words emitting from both sides of a debate with each trying to outdo the other. It is rare when two people can disagree on issues while showing respect for the other.
Such was the case in 1886 when Democrat Bob Taylor and Republican Alf Taylor stumped the State of Tennessee campaigning against each other as nominees of their respective party for governor. The fact that they were brothers did not prevent them from waging political warfare against each other throughout the Volunteer State in joint debate.
Prior to 1840, political campaign music was immensely in vogue with local voters because it added a new exciting facet to the gatherings. However, beginning that year, the music fell into disfavor until its use was revived for the campaign of 1860. Its newfound popularity was credited for sparking enthusiasm throughout the north to bring Abraham Lincoln to the presidency.
On July 11, 1910, every business in Johnson City respectfully closed its doors until after the funeral of one of the city’s most beloved citizens. Congressman Walter Preston Brownlow, a nephew of the controversial William Gunnaway “Parson” Brownlow, died two days earlier at the city’s National Soldiers' Home hospital after a lingering illness.
The bold headline of the July 27, 1925 Johnson City Staff-News proclaimed, “WM. J. Bryan Dies Suddenly.” The noted politician died the previous day in Dayton, Tennessee. He visited Johnson City on at least one occasion, lodging at the Windsor Hotel on Main Street. Within three days, Bryan’s body would make a final passage through East Tennessee by train en route to his final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery.
A 1902 edition of the Comet newspaper spoke of the upcoming election that year. The Democratic ticket consisted of James B. Frazier, Hamilton County, Governor; Cy H. Lyle, Washington County, Congress, First District; J.N. McKenzie, Wilson County, Railroad Commissioner; A. H. Tipton, Greene County, State Senator; J.L. Clark, Washington County, Representative; and R.M. Barry, Unicoi County, Floater. The Republican ticket was noticeably absent.