Recent Posts

The Life and Death of Tennessee’s Own Admiral David Glasco Farragut March 20, 2017 Pioneers - With the death of Admiral Farragut, which took place at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on Aug. 15, 1870, after a protracted illness, the country lost the officer who stood at the head of the Navy, not only in official rank but in universal estimation of merit based upon the severest tests most gloriously sustained. David Glasco… Continue Reading
Mountaineers Lived In the “Land of Do Without” in 1933 January 9, 2017 Pioneers - In 1933, a Mrs. Pouch and a Mrs. Frost, both members of the New York Daughters of the American Revolution, gave speeches at their annual meeting concerning mountain people of the South in 1905. Participants were encouraged to adorn sunbonnets, shawls and other homespun mountain dress. A few members provided musical numbers that were consistent… Continue Reading
An Anecdote from Davy Crockett’s Journal: The Pioneer’s First Train Ride April 4, 2016 Pioneers - Davy Crockett (1786–1836), frontiersman, congressman and defender of the Alamo, was born to a pioneer family living on the Nolichucky River near Limestone in East Tennessee. The rugged outdoorsman is referred to by many as the ‘King of the Wild Frontier," as in the chorus of the famous Walt Disney song. He was raised in… Continue Reading
1936 Obituary Notice Reveals Life of Industrialist, George Carter March 7, 2016 Pioneers - Obituary notices can be an excellent source of information, especially if your name was George L. Carter. A December 31, 1936 newspaper clipping offered a depiction of the man who was responsible for the early growth of Johnson City and, for half a century, was a leader in the industrial expansion of Tennessee, Virginia and… Continue Reading
Johnson City Was Named After Henry Johnson, Not Andrew Johnson December 28, 2015 Pioneers - On April 18, 1889, a newspaper writer for the Nashville Herald expressed his blatant opinion that his generation was certainly living in a mercenary age because everything appeared to have had a commercial value placed upon it. The choicest products of the human mind were said to be "laid upon the alter of Mammon, along… Continue Reading
Henry Johnson, City Founder, Had Impressive Obituary Notice in 1874 August 10, 2015 Pioneers - Henry Johnson, Johnson City founder, passed from this life on February 25, 1874. His obituary notice was posted in the Jonesboro Herald and Tribune on March 26, 1874. Except for paragraph breaks, it is listed below just as it appeared in the newspaper: "O, when affliction's friendly screen, Shuts out life's elusive scene, When thus… Continue Reading
Examining Five Additional Daniel Boone Tree News Items Between 1897-16 April 27, 2015 Pioneers - Today's feature is a continuation of my mid-march Daniel Boone tree column, which contained paraphrased news briefs taken from a variety of newspapers. Today's feature is a continuation of that theme spanning 1897-16.  09-11-1897 News from Bristol, TN indicated that a farmer found an old battered brass kettle, which was removed from the ground on… Continue Reading
Catherine Sherrill Stands Tall in T.C. Karns’ Tennessee History Stories April 20, 2015 Pioneers - According to the late T.C. Karns, University of Tennessee professor and a turn of the century writer of Tennessee history, had this to say about Catherine Sherrill (1755-1836) in 1904. "She, a daughter of one of the first settlers on the Watauga, was tall and slender with dark eyes and hair, clear skin and a… Continue Reading
Examining Five Daniel Boone Tree News Accounts between 1874-97 April 6, 2015 Pioneers - Listed below are five Daniel Boone tree paraphrased news briefs taken from a variety of newspapers between 1874-97. The famous tree was popular with area history buffs throughout the years. It all started when the rugged pioneer paused at a beech tree in Boon's (Boones) Creek, likely rested his rifle against a tree and carved… Continue Reading
Edison, Ford, Firestone, Burroughs Visited Johnson City in 1918 November 24, 2014 Pioneers - Dr. Ted Thomas, Milligan College Professor of Humanities, History, and German, sent me an interesting clipping from an August 27, 1918 Johnson City Daily Staff that dealt with a visit of four distinguished visitors to the city: Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone and John Burroughs. Thomas Edison (L) and Henry Ford Harvey Firestone (L)… Continue Reading