Things sure have changed since John Cash Penney opened a dry goods store in Kemmerer, Wyoming 90 years ago. Back in 1902, America was a country of small towns, Kemmerer being one of them with a population of 900. Penney, a 26-year-old entrepreneur, figured they could support a dry goods store. His first day sales came to $466.59, an astonishing amount considering the most expensive item in the store was a $9.95 suit. More typical were the 35-cent overalls and 49-cent ladies shoes.
In 1948, a popular CBS radio show was titled, "The Life of Riley," starring William Bendix in the popular role of Chester A. Riley. The show's title depicts someone who has it made or lives "the life of Riley." His oft-repeated familiar idiom on the show was, "What a revoltin' development this is." Riley could easily be described as the "Archie Bunker" of the 1940s.
This column is the third of three dealing with a few early 1900 city enterprises. I have attempted to identify the location of each, plus (in parenthesis) some later businesses that occupied that same site. Slightly paraphrased comments are in the present tense.
I recently came across an April 1985 newspaper clipping written by former Press-Chronicle business editor, Mary Alice Basconi. It concerned an early business in Johnson City - Leach Motor Co.
Today's column is the second of three that deals with some early 1900 Johnson City enterprises. I have attempted to identify the location of each, plus (in parenthesis) include some later businesses that occupied that same site. Slightly paraphrased comments are in present tense.
Today's column is the first of three dealing with early 1900 Johnson City enterprises; others will appear on the history page over the next few months. I attempted to identify the location of each one, plus provide (in parenthesis) some later recognizable businesses that occupied that identical site.
The annual Spring Style Revue of the Hart and Houston Store, located at 315-17 E. Main (future site of F.W. Woolworth and Hands On Regional Museum) displayed their colorful models for the spring of 1925.
In 1896, the area where Oak Hill Cemetery would later be built was a wilderness of unkempt weeds and briers. A number of small animal pens were located there, along with barbwire that served as a perimeter fence.
I appreciate Harold "Hal" J. Hunter's Jan. 14 letter to the editor titled, "Preserving History Should Be a Priority of the City." I wholeheartedly agree. Today's column contains the first of several articles I will feature over time involving a landmark that is no longer a part of the East Tennessee scene. There have been so many in recent years.