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Today in Johnson City History: November 5

Rebecca Henderson and Johnson City Press • Nov 5, 2019 at 5:00 AM

Nov. 5, 1885: Postmaster W.R. Rhea had been joined at the Johnson City Post Office by his brother, James C. Rhea, who had recently moved here from Texas. The postmaster gave notice in The Comet that several letters and postal cards remaining in the office would be sent to the Dead Letter Office in Washington, D.C., if not claimed within 30 days. Letters were addressed to W. S. Beard, Bascome Cole, Susaney Denton, Elbert Edwards, J.C. Sepe, Miss Julia Smith, Will B.M. Johnson, E. Houck, N.Q. Fair and Albert Feathers.

Nov. 5, 1890: The Comet reported that its original editor, former Gov. Robert Love Taylor, had been signed by a company to star him through the South on a lecturing tour with his address, "The Fiddle and the Bow.” Taylor was to be paid $10,000 for the tour — roughly $282,000 in today’s money. Taylor opened his tour the following year at Jobe's Opera House in Johnson City.

Nov. 5, 1903: The East Tennessee, Schlitz, Budweiser and Chattanooga Brewing Companies had all bid for the contract to furnish beer at the Soldiers' Home at Johnson City with the contract going to the latter. Chattanooga’s Milton H. Rush had been been notified that his site at Bristol would furnish beer to the veterans.

Nov. 5, 1914: The Comet celebrated the election of Democratic nominee John Clarke Rye as governor of Tennessee. Clarke, a West Tennessee prohibitionist, served two terms, (1915-19) as governor.

Nov. 5, 1937: McKellar Tri-City Airport, now known as Tri-Cities Airport, was dedicated.

Nov. 5, 2006: Science Hill High School science teacher and future Johnson City Board of Education member Michelle Treece was among those “drumming for peace” at Sycamore Shoals State Park in Elizabethton.

Sources: The Comet; Greater Johnson City A Pictorial History