By:  Jack Swift

Johnson County Historia

The year 1836 is of particular interest to me because it was the year Johnson County was carved out of Carter County to become the most northeastern county in Tennessee. Citizens of the area that became Johnson County had been plagued for years by the difficulty of traveling to Elizabethton, the county seat of Carter County, to conduct necessary business. In those days, travel was grueling and time consuming. There were rivers to cross and ridges to traverse. Johnson County was named for Thomas Johnson, a very respected and influential man of the area.

The county seat of Johnson County was laid out and lots were sold. Originally named Taylorsville to honor Carter County’s James P. Taylor. The name was changed from Taylorsville to Mountain City in 1885. Since the town was surrounded by beautiful mountains, it was a very appropriate name.
As I was thinking about 1836, I decided to try to find some other happenings in that year. It was in that year that the Battle of the Alamo in what is now San Antonio Texas was fought. After 13 days of fighting the Texas defenders were overwhelmed and the entire garrison was killed. Two hundred fifty seven Texans were killed including Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett. Crocket, a Tennessee Congressman, had left for Texas following a disappointing loss in his final bid for Congress.

Andrew Jackson was president in 1836. He had been a popular and successful general prior to becoming a U.S. president. He served as president from 1829 to 1837. Englishman Charles Dickens, the famous author of the Victorian Era, was born February 7, 1812. Following his marriage in 1836, he became a prolific writer with such works as David Copperfield, Great Expectations and other novels. He was also the author of a number of short stories. One famous person who married in 1836 was famous writer Harriet Beecher to Calvin Stowe in Cincinnati, Ohio on January 6. On May 16 Edgar Allan Poe married his cousin Virginia Clemm. English novelist William Makepeace Thackeray married Isabella Gethin Shawe.
Among the deaths in 1836 were Betsy Ross (1752 – 1836), Aaron Burr (1756 – 1836 and as mentioned earlier Davy Crockett (1786 – 1836). James Madison, who died in 1836, served as U. S. President from 1809 to1817. The Texas Capital City, Austin, is named for Stephen F. Austin who passed away in 1836. I found a birthday that was quiet interesting. Winslow Homer, a famous American Painter was born February 24, 1836 in Boston, Massachusetts. He died September 29, 1910 at the age of 74. Homer is one of the most famous American painters. His maritime paintings are superb.
So, a lot was going on in the United States in 1836. I suppose that in what would become Mountain City there was a lot going on also. It was truly the Horse and Buggy days.