Do you enjoy reading about the history of Northeast Tennessee and surrounding area? If so, welcome to "Bob Cox's Yesteryear" website (aka "Archives of Yesteryear"), containing my local history columns and features, most of which have appeared on Monday's History/Heritage page of the Johnson City (Tennessee) Press newspaper: www.johnsoncitypress.com.
Since new articles are being added weekly, check back frequently. Also, use the "Search this site" button at the left or click on "article catagories" to find subjects of interest. Use quotation marks to narrow your search. Click on the photos along the right side and the corresponding article will be shown.
Subjects deal with the glorious beginnings of this beautiful Appalachian mountainous region. My primary focus lies mainly within Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and Western North Carolina, with particular emphasis on Johnson City, Tennessee. Click on any photo along the right side and you will be directed to the corresponding article. I am currently in the process of adding many new photos to my articles.
Click on "Photo Galleries" at the top left to preview all the photos contained in my articles. The rotating questions at the top can be answered by clicking on them, which takes you to the article that contains the answer. So now ... sit back, relax and return with us to those glorious carefree days of yesteryear. I can be reached at email@example.com.
Another great fully developed history website to explore is Henry's website: www.johnsonsdepot.com.
On 04-05-1871, the "impromptu stump speaker," a political fixture, was intellectually known as a "human nondescript." He was likened to a kind of terribly crushed meat, specially salted, saged and peppered, which became known as "souce" (from the Latin word "salsas," (which is always ready for use).
A stump speech is "a standard campaign vocalization used by someone running for public office." The term is derived from the early American custom in which candidates campaigned from town-to-town and stood upon a sawed off tree stump to deliver their discourse."
The word "impromptu" fit him well because of his busy pace of campaigning, which often included addressing folks several times a day. The candidate usually penned a single speech to be delivered at most, if not all, public gatherings.
Over the years, fires have struck downtown Johnson City, leveling some buildings and causing minor damage to others. Perhaps the biggest one occurred in May 1905 and destroyed almost everything within the boundaries of E. Main, S. Roan, Jobe (replaced by State of Franklin Road) and Spring streets. One notable structure, Johnson City's First Baptist Church, known as "The Little White Church," completely escaped the carnage in spite of the fact that it was wooden.
The welcomed announcement came from C. Howard McCorkle, superintendent of schools and directed to several hundred parents at a special meeting the previous night. The two schools were to be independent of the other, plus have separate athletic programs that would be in competition with one another.
On February 26, 1903, a local Johnson City newspaper posted a bold headline that read: "The Legalized Saloon Must Go Hence From Johnson City." It was followed by a four-line poem: "Down with the toddy, Up with a ham, Shoes for the baby, A dress for mam."
One of the pleasures of writing this column is meeting so many nice folks who interface with me about a subject near and dear to their heart. Such was the case of Kristi Bolding Seal, daughter of the late Wallace Clark Bolding, who passed away on Feb. 18, 2016, just one week prior to his 88th birthday. He once resided at 800 Wilson Avenue (at Frances Street) in Johnson City.
On Wednesday evening, November 29, 1905, Martha Wilder Elementary School announced one of its upcoming "treats" of the school year. Teachers and students jointly arranged for an evening of entertainment that proved very pleasurable and "made everyone happier for awhile."
While no admittance to the event was charged, the school conducted a fundraiser that was aimed at buying a much-needed piano. It was suggested that parents bring family and friends to assist in the effort.
In May 1933, Tennessee was set to activate the plan of President Roosevelt. Folks along the banks of the Tennessee River were preparing for the "New Deal." One unidentified southern resident offered this delightful description of the situation:
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 East Tennessee and acquired a solid reputation for his enjoyment of storytelling, hunting and fishing.
In 1927, Miss Lucy Schaeffer, a former teacher at the Dorland Bell School in Hot Springs, NC addressed two missionary societies, asserting the position that no mentally dull or stupid person inhabited the mountainous districts of the Carolinas and Tennessee. Her talk, "The Land of Not Enough," put a positive spin on mountain folks.