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Today in Johnson City History: January 15

Rebecca Henderson and Johnson City Press • Jan 15, 2020 at 8:00 AM

Jan. 15, 1891: The Longfellow Literary Circle had recently met at Gen. John T. Wilder’s home, located on Spring Street. The Circle’s next meeting would be at the home of Mr. and Mrs. W.G. Mathes, which was located on Watauga Avenue.

Jan. 15, 1924: Former Mayor Vance W. Cheek Sr. was born. Cheek was mayor from 1971-73. As a City Commissioner, Cheek played an active part in Johnson City’s Centennial in 1969, and he was chairman of the board of Home Federal for many years prior to his retirement.

Jan. 15, 1945: The Hilltoppers lost to Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett 42-26 in boys basketball. The teams had been deadlocked at 20 at halftime, but the Indians rallied in to a lopsided win in the second half. Kingsport’s victory broke a tie between the teams for the Big 5 Conference lead.

Jan. 15, 1956: The Little Stores announced in the Press-Chronicle that it would close for three days to get moved from the corner of West Market and Commerce to a new location on Commerce, which would open Jan. 19. The new location later was a Giant grocery store location and eventually a U-Haul. Today, the site is King Commons Park. The big sign featured in the Little Store ad was recently refurbished to be the Johnson City sign towering over the park.

Jan. 15, 1975: The City Commission gave final approval to a flood prevention ordinance. Adoption of the measure paved the way for many Johnson City residents to be able to purchase federal flood insurance. The ordinance restricted building along streams in low-lying areas of the city and detailed what could and could not be done with property along the same streams.

Jan. 15, 2010: Science Hill got out to a blistering start from 3-point range and parlayed it into a 69-59 win over David Crockett at the ’Topper Palace.

Sources: The Comet; Carol Cheek Harmon; Johnson City Press-Chronicle; Ted Bowers/Johnson City, Tennessee, Memories; Johnson City Press