East Tennessee in the Revolutionary War

By Jack Swift

By September 1780, American loyalists had fought a number of battles against British troops, as well as some colonists who were loyal to the British Crown. The colonies were edging ever closer to independence from King George’s heavy hand as he had more and more through taxation, and other harsh treatment showed his disdain for Britain’s far-flung colonies. Two of the most distasteful items enforced by the King were taxation without representation and quartering soldiers in the homes of the Colonists without their consent.
While it was illegal to do so, some colonists had traveled west of the Eastern Continental Divide and away from the original 13 colonies and began to settle in what is now East Tennessee. It was a difficult life, but the idea of freedom was stronger to them than an easy life. The men of East Tennessee had already taken part in the capture of Cedar Spring and Musgrove’s Mill before the historic Battle of King’s Mountain that is so often cited as a turning point in the Revolutionary War.
More than 1000 men were mustered at Sycamore Shoals in what is now Elizabethton in preparation for the fateful battle of King’s Mountain. On September 26, 1780, prior to their departure, Rev. Samuel Doak sent them off with a sermon and a prayer.
I am including in this column the words of that prayer.
“Almighty and gracious God! Thou hast been the refuge and strength of Thy people in all ages. In time of sorest need we have learned to come to Thee-our Rock and our Fortress. Thou knowest the dangers and snares that surround us on march and in battle.
Thou knowest the dangers that constantly threaten the humble, but well-beloved, which thy servants have left behind them.
Oh, in Thine infinite mercy, save us from the cruel hand of the savage, and of tyrant. Save the unprotected homes while fathers and husbands and sons are far away fighting for freedom and helping the oppressed.
“Thou, who promised to protect the sparrow in its flight, keep ceaseless watch, by day and by night, over our loved ones. The helpless woman and little children, we commit to Thy care. Thou wilt not leave them or forsake them in times of loneliness and anxiety and terror.
“Oh, God of Battle, arise in Thy might. Avenge the slaughter of Thy people. Confound those who plot for our destruction. Crown this mighty effort with victory, and smite those who exalt themselves against liberty and justice and truth.
“Help us as good soldiers to wield the Sword of the Lord.” “Amen.”
Following Rev. Doak’s prayer, the men moved out and advanced up Gap Creek crossed the Doe River and spent the night at Shelving Rock. The following night they camped on top of the Roan Mountain. Two of their number were British spies who left the camp and warned British Colonel Pat-rick Ferguson of the impending attack. The Over Mountain Men surrounded King’s Mountain and started to climb the mountain, holding fire until the order was given.
The battle lasted hardly more than an hour. By the time the last volley was fired, Colonel Ferguson lay dead. He had threatened the settlements with a most heinous message. His message was if they did not “desist from their opposition to the British army, and take protection under his standard, he would march his army over the mountains, hang their leaders, and lay their county waste with fire and sword.”
The young and able-bodied men of the settlements didn’t wait for that to happen but took the battle to Ferguson’s men and won the victory.

Stores of Yesteryear in Johnson Co.

By Jack Swift

I remember the old general stores that were in existence in my younger days, and I believe some of my readers do too. In fact, a few years ago, I wrote a series of columns on them and asked folks to send me some names of stores that they remember, along with information about them.
I remembered several of the stores, but the stores I remember best were the stores that were close to my home. Two stores stand out in my memory. They were located in and around the Dewey Community, which was about three miles from Mountain City on Highway 67.
The store I remember most was the S. L. Harbin Store that was located at the junction of Highway 67 and Harbin Hill Road near the Dewey Christian Church. Mr. Stacy Harbin and his wife operated it for many years. Their home was adjacent to the store. Following his death, others I remember as proprietors of the store were Worth Wilson and his wife and Glenn Ward and his wife. I remember Mr. Harbin stocked several items that were needed in that farming community. In the back of the grocery section in another room were some hardware items such as stovepipe etc. Light items I remember, such as cereal, were on high shelves on the wall behind the counter. Harbin had a long wooden stick with a hook on one end, and when a customer asked for one of those items, he would use the stick to let it fall into his hands. He sold gasoline, and the price was about 30 cents per gallon. Candy and some other items were also loose and sold by the pound.
The other store I remember was the Dayton Fenner Store, just a short distance on Highway 67 west of the S. L. Harbin Store. It was owned and operated by Dayton Fenner and his wife. Besides groceries, the Fenners stocked some animal feed and also sold gasoline. Both the Harbin and the Fenner stores served at various times as stops for school children to change busses. Unlike the trip to the supermarket with the use of shopping carts and going up the aisle and choosing each item, in the country stores of yesteryear, the customer would ask for the product, and the clerk would get it and put it on the counter. In that day, saltine crackers were in a barrel and were sold by the pound. Candy and some other items were also sold by the pound.
So, there was a vast difference in the way things were done then than now. Who knows what changes will take place in the future to make it easier to shop for products?

You’ve got this!

By Tracy Becker

Licensed Counselor

Tamara wrote in about feeling intimidated by others boldness and options and writes back to tell us of her success.

Tamara said that a lot of her intimidation came from her work setting, as she works in an industry that is dominated by males. She said that she often let their demands influence her, thus causing her to feel as if she didn’t know what to do to make the customer happy.
In addition, she was relying on her boss more than necessary. She also was in a bad habit of answering her work cell phone after hours and while she was on vacation. This was causing a build up of resentment and exhaustion.
Happily, Tamara reports that she got busy right away changing herself. She kept affirming to herself that she had been successful in this industry for over 20 years. She knew how to do her job, and this was evident in her bonuses and in her reviews. She also realized that she knew exactly how to solve the customers problems and just because it was an angry or frustrated male customer calling, she didn’t have to react with fear and self-doubt.
One of the most important things she did was let most of the customer calls go to her voice mail. This way she could listen to the complaint and not the anger, frustration or tone of voice. This made it easier for her to solve the problem before she ever talked to the customer. She said this has been a life saver. As in the past, when she would pick up on every call, she was often angry too and prepared to be intimidated by their demands. Thus, these conversations left both parties not feeling satisfied.
Tamara also said that she hasn’t become perfect in this yet, and sometimes she answers the phone and has the old reaction, but for the most part these times are fewer and fewer. She also wants us all to know that without some help and direction she would still be feeling a lack of success no matter what her paycheck and reviews said.
Now she is having greater ease in accepting that she is good, and maybe even great at her job.
Way to go, Tamara.

Remembering how it was in winters long ago

By Jack Swift

As fall turns to winter and colder weather, I start thinking about how I’m going to stay warm when the thermometer registers below zero and the wind is howling around the corners of the house. I’m stocked up on Propane, and as far as I know, the heat pump is humming along quite well. As I grow older, I dread winter more each year. It doesn’t take much for my old bones to feel the pain. And there is the added danger of falling on ice for us older folks. Having fallen a few times two or three years ago, I’m as careful as I can be. One of the falls resulted in a broken back, and another resulted in a broken left arm. Moreover, there is always the possibility that something could go wrong with our heating system. It could be that deliveries of propane or heating oil could be late due to bad roads or an ice storm could affect the electrical system.
In this column, I decided to go back in time and write about how my family dealt with cold weather in my early days. Some of my memories of the winter months (perhaps yours too) were vastly different then than now. Today, turning a knob or pushing a lever turns on and regulates the heat in many homes. When I was a youngster, it took much more work. We heated with wood or coal: sometimes both. In the early days, our heat came from a fireplace in the living room of our simple abode. If you have ever tried to get warm by a fireplace, you know it only heats one side of you at a time.
Of course, there are many fireplaces in homes nowadays, but they are much more efficient than they used to be. I think coal was sold by the ton but you could buy by a sack full. Of course, as my mother cooked on the kitchen stove, some of that heat would be felt in the living room as well. People cut wood in the summer, and many do now to prepare for the cold weather ahead. It was a good feeling to know that a good supply of wood was on hand when cold weather set in.
My room was a long way from the heat, and consequently, to combat the cold, it took at least a couple of quilts and a blanket or two to get warm. Anyway, I’m glad dealing with cold weather is better now than it was in my younger days. I think it’s good to travel back in time and remember how it was several years ago. Perhaps it will cause us to appreciate the blessings we have today.

Relativity and the Quantum Theory By Jack Swift

Almost everyone has a hobby. Reading is mine. I read about many things, but science, biography and history are the subjects I prefer. Over the last several years, I have accumulated a great many books. Of course I haven’t read them all but I have read a lot of them. Occasionally I find one that is difficult for me to put down because the more I read it, the more interesting it becomes.
I found just such a book as I was browsing through my books the other day. The book’s title was Men Who Made A New Physics. The author, Barbara Lovett Cline, did an outstanding job of pointing out the great discoveries in science through the years and the scientists who made them. She wrote that the renouned physicist Albert Einstein and his contemporary Niels Bohr were a number of years at odds about the basic structure of matter but both contributed greatly to the field of science.
Einstein of course discovered both the special and general Theories of Relativity while Bohr delved into the subatomic structure of the atom. Much of their work took place during the first 30 years of the 1900s.
Einstein’s general theory says that energy equals mass times the speed of light squared. Light travels at 186,000 per second. Bohr, on the other hand, delved into the structure of the atom and came up with the Quantum Theory.
At one time the atom was thought to be the smallest particle but Bohr’s work indicates that there are particles much smaller. Large cyclotrons are now being used to find various particles.
There was some controversy about whether matter consisted as a wave or in a particle state. Now it is thought to depend on the circumstances as to which one more accurately describes it. Of course, there were many other great men who contributed to the advance of science.
The new physics contrasts somewhat with Isaac Newton’s work, especially on large-scale applications.
The book, Men Who Made A New Physics, was truly and interesting read.

You’ve got this! Licensed counselor Tracy Becker answers your questions

Jay asks: I live with an addict. I am scared to take any action for fear of things getting worse. What do you suggest I do?

I’m so sorry to hear this, Jay. Living with someone who has a substance abuse addiction or any other untreated mental health illness is extraordinarily difficult. The impacts are long lasting for you and any other family/ friends that are impacted by the addict and their behavior.
I’m not sure what it is that is making you scared, but this is one of the first issues I would recommend you get help with. Once you have a solid program through using community resources for counseling and group support, like Al-anon, you will be able to see more clearly what is holding you back. If you are feeling powerless (depressed) and unclear (confused, scared and anxious) there is help.
The unfortunate thing is that living with an addict is very common. The fortunate thing about this is that there are lots of counselors, programs, books and on-line support and education. Start today by going to Al-anon website http://al-anon.org/al-anon-meetings/ and find a meeting nearest to you. You will find on-line meetings and educational materials on this website to get you started.
Secondly, call your insurance company and talk to one of their specialists. They will find a counselor in your area to help you with your personal struggle. Thirdly, go to your local library and pick out a few books on addictions, living with addicts, co-dependency, treatment options, etc.
Make time for yourself to get well, get help and gain understanding. During you own healing journey you will be receiving valuable information on the best course of action for people living in situations like you.In your one on one counseling you will be able to address your own thoughts, behaviors and feelings that have gotten you “suck” in an unhealthy situation. Once you get a stronger personal foundation you can begin to make choices that are best for you. Choices that make you happy and lift you up. Choices that are healthy, fulfilling and joyful.

Jack Switf, This ‘n’ That: My time as Sports Editor at the Tomahawk

Football has already begun. It seems to have just slipped up on me. After all Baseball is still in full swing. So now, there are two major sports to be entertained by and others as well. As baseball winds up to the ultimate destiny of the World Series, football will be on its way to the Super Bowl in professional football and conference championships in college and high school play.
As a youngster, I followed the exploits of The Tennessee Volunteers on our Philco table model radio. Television would be far in the future. Before I owned a football, the neighborhood kids and I played with a cylinder-shaped oatmeal can. I don’t remember when I got my first real football, but I know I was a happy Kid. The era of Volunteer Football I enjoyed most was when such stars as Hank Lauricella, Johnny Majors, George Cafego and others were going strong at UT.
After serving in the Army, I worked at a number of jobs. But, in 1973 I found myself working at The Tomahawk newspaper, a weekly paper with a long and interesting history. The paper was owned and operated by Derl McCloud and his late wife Gladys. Over the years, the paper was sold a couple of times. I covered sports as well as a few other tasks around the newspaper. Before long I was named sports editor and began a 30-year career in that field at the Tomahawk.
I guess the fans got used to seeing me run up and down the sidelines taking notes and snapping pictures of the action in football. I also covered basketball, golf, tennis and baseball. Those were the days of film cameras. I used a Monolta film camera for several years, but while I was a bit dubious about digital cameras, after I started using one, I was sold on them.
My time at the Tomahawk was a valuable experience for me. I worked over time with some of the nicest people you could find anywhere. I am extremely grateful to those who I have worked for over the years. I have written over 700 columns, since I started writing them in 2003. I hope to continue awhile longer as my health permits.

You got this!

Charlene asks: How can I help a friend make and follow through with life changing decisions without interjecting my feelings and thoughts?

What a wonderful question, Charlene. I want to start by saying you can not make anyone do anything, you can only support and love them where they are in their own process. Having said this, I would ask you to let yourself off the hook for their choices, and not choosing is a choice.
Secondly, it is rare that anyone truly wants someone else’s opinion. Most people are very attached to their own opinions and the stories they tell themselves regarding these opinions. This is true for you and this person you are referring to. Your power lies in recognizing your own thoughts and feelings as your own, and be willing to understand they may or may not be relevant or accurate to the other person. I would encourage you to start by saying: I recognize I am feeling (insert a feeling word such as sad, scared, irritated, disappointed, etc.) when it comes to my friend and his/her situation. I keep telling myself that if only he/she would (insert your opinion here) things would go better for them.
Yet, I now realize that he/she has their own way of looking at this and their own feelings. I will never know the depth of their pain. Knowing this, I will now send them love and wish for a happy outcome. If I am ever asked my opinion, I will give an honest answer, and allow for my friend to do as he/she wishes.
In this exercise you are taking full responsibility for your feelings, opinions and recognizing that their issue is not your own. In this you allow the other to make the choices that they deem necessary even if it doesn’t make sense to you. Be loving and supportive no matter their choices, and take care of yourself by not getting overly involved in the situation. If you need to keep your distance until it is settled, that is okay too.You’ve got this, Charlene!

Licensedcounselor Tracy Becker answers your questions.

Please submit questions to [email protected]

You’ve got this!

By Tracy Becker Licensed counselor tracy becker answers your questions.

Susan asked: What is a good parenting program?

I am so delighted to tell you all that she and I have been working to get Positive Parenting with a Plan by Dr Mathew Johnson together for her family. She couldn’t be happier.

Here are the positives she reported to me: 1) that the stress in the home is drastically decreased, because now everyone knows what is expected to them at all times. There is never any questions about behavior or consequences.

2) The children, ages 4 and 6, both boys, are thriving. The school year ended great. There are a lot fewer incidents of bickering, fighting and tattling. 3) She and her husband are now on the same page about parenting where this had been a struggle in the past.
4) She realized that both she and her husband were parenting from their own personal emotional state of mind, thus their reactions to the children were based on this and not on family values.

5) They feel completely empowered as a family and confident about the success and happiness of everyone through using this program. 6) The boys were very excited and enthusiastic about the program, and even at such young ages, understood all the family rules (based on family values) and participated in designing the program.

7) Both children love that the program is fair, and that parents have to abide by the rules too. 8) By using the Good Habit cards (the consequences) the children learn valuable life lessons and learn how to make positive contributions to their family and community.

Susan stated that the only downside was taking the time to train her and her husband to use the program all the time and not fall back into emotional parenting. She said it took about 2 weeks to adjust and now things run more smoothly than they ever thought they would.

I would like to thank Susan for trusting me to help guide her and her family on this journey. I am very happy for them. Please know I am available to teach you one on one, or you can always organize a group of parents that want to learn together.

You’ve got this! Rebecca asks: How do you deal with demanding friends?

Good day, Rebecca. Thank you for this question. I could answer this one in very few words, yet I know you and others are requesting more
Sometimes friendships grow apart. I want you to know, this is okay. I would highly recommend that you have no demanding people in your life at all.
Some may feel shocked by this statement, others who have cleaned up their relationships will be rooting me on.

Healthy boundaries! Healthy boundaries! Healthy Boundaries!

Healthy boundaries are what I am talking about. People that choose to allow or invite in people that only lift them up, support them, put the effort into understanding them, and in-kind ways challenge them are the happiest, most fulfilled and satisfied people.

People that challenge you through fear, guilt or shame are teaching you that you have some personal areas of your life that need tending to. I would have you imagine a healthy thriving garden, and anyone who wants to bring fear, guilt or shame (emotional words for demanding) into your life are the weeds.

You must first deal with your own proclivity to be willing to have people like this in your life. Next, be willing to shift your life perspective and the people that you have allowed in, or have allowed to stay as you have grown and evolved as a human.

My recommendation to you Rebecca is to tell your demanding friend that the way they speak to you, or the things that they ask of you are not reasonable. They don’t feel kind or loving, and they don’t take into account your personal priorities.

If you value this person, you can attempt to redirect their approach with you and watch if they are willing to make necessary changes to be in relationship with you. If after a certain time they show themselves to be selfish and continue to be demanding, you need to move on and let go. They are ultimately telling you they want it their way and are not interested in you as you are.

I know its difficult. I have done it many times, but if you continue to practice self-love you will know what’s right for you to do.

All the best,

Bonny Kate, Revolutionary War Heroine

This ‘n’ That

By Jack Swift

In Elizabethton, Tennessee fronting on Sycamore Street is a somewhat large building known as the Bonnie Kate Theatre building. Opening in 1926, the Bonnie Kate was a leading place of entertainment for miles around.
As a young person traveling through Elizabethton, I often wondered about that name. But I never asked.
The theatre showed popular movies of that era of course. From time to time bluegrass bands would play there. A Saturday morning radio program called “The Barrel of Fun Time” took place on the Bonnie Kate stage. Now, before I had the opportunity to study much history I often wondered just who this woman Bonnie Kate was and why she had a theatre named after her. Her name was Bonnie Kate Sherrill. (some references spell her name Sherril).
It was only after finding her name listed in a number of history books and reading her story that I got to know a little more about this heroic woman. She was the second wife of John Sevier. Sevier was a frontiersman, military leader, and first Governor of Tennessee. Sevier County is named in his honor.
History books give varying accounts of her fame. But a common thread that runs through them is that she proved to be a brave lady. The story is told that during the long siege
of Fort Watauga, she ventured outside the fort and found herself chased by Indians. She ran
toward the fort but the gate was closed and she only had a short time to escape capture or harm. She ran to another part of the stockade and jumped over the top and fell into the arms of Sevier.
After Sevier’s wife died Bonnie Kate became his second wife and when Sevier became the first governor of Tennessee,
She became the first
“First Lady of Tennessee.” Bonnie Kate was originally buried in Russellville, Alabama but was later reburied in 1822 next to her husband on the lawn of the old Knox County Courthouse in Knoxville.
I understand that the Bonnie Kate Theatre is being restored and programs are already being held there.

The Johnson County Center for the Arts

This ‘n’ That; By Jack Swift

It had been awhile since I visited the
Johnson County Center for the Arts on College Street and I decided to visit the Center and see what new works that might be featured there. As always I was very
impressed by the quality of the works presented. I’ve always felt that there is a great deal of talent in Johnson County. Visiting the Johnson County Center for the Arts bares that out.
While I’m certainly no expert in art, I can appreciate it for its beauty, its impact and its value in the world of today. We read and learn about it, we attend museums to view it, and perhaps sometimes draw it out of ourselves in moments of extreme emotion in our lives. Art takes many forms. Often the word art brings to our minds various kinds of painting. Landscapes, seacapes and still life are just a few of the many types of painting that people have produced in the annals of time. The making of pottery dates back many hundreds of years. Cave drawings has been discovered that date back thousands of years.
I have painted a couple of pictures using oil as a medium. I tried watercolors once, but that just wasn’t for me. I was fortunate to know Mrs. Blain Cole when I was a youngster. She was a local artist who lived on Highway 67 about three miles west of Mountain City. She taught me a lot about painting. Her paintings hung in every room in her spacious house. I wonder what happened to them. I also took some lessons in painting under David Huyard, who was once a Johnson County minister and artist.
Art can take many forms. Other than painting, there is sculpture, pottery and more. I suppose drawing is an art form as well. My experience in drawing occurred when as part of my job at the Tomahawk, I also sold advertisement. One business owner would only advertise if I would draw a cartoon strip and charge him with the space. The cartoon I drew featured characters Rhea and Bo and their various activities concerning the place of business being advertised. Anyway, it was a pleasure indeed to visit the Art Center and see the talent displayed there.

You’ve got this! Celeste asks: I often get called codependent, but I think I’m compassionate, what’s the difference?

By Tracy Becker

Licensed Counselor

Licensed counselor Tracy Becker answers your questions.

Celeste, people who are codependent do believe they are being compassionate, but codependency is the likely culprit. So let me give you the results of some recent research.

If you are codependent you will likely relate to these behaviors: your sense of purpose involves making sacrifices to satisfy other’s needs; it is difficult to say no when other’s ask for your time and energy; you minimize problems or addictions that others have; you constantly worry about others’ opinions of you; you feel trapped or like you can’t say no; you keep quiet to avoid arguments; you devalue your wants and desires; you are a people pleaser at the cost of your own wellbeing; you often feel resentful or taken advantage of.

Here’s the good news, Celeste, everyone can heal from codependency and release themselves from codependent relationships. To gain more personal power and fulfillment you’ll need good guidance and to start setting limits and boundaries with yourself and others.

Having and setting healthy boundaries is a good thing for everyone’s well-being. The definition of a healthy boundary is to honor your personal limits so that you can live and/or work together with another person in kind and loving ways. They also allow everyone to have the limits to heal. If they are done correctly love grows, not resentment.

Compassion is defined as a deep awareness for another’s suffering. The human quality of understanding the suffering of others. It doesn’t mean that you necessarily act on the awareness, but feel it and wish for it to improve. You may help in some way by joining an organization, donating money or volunteering.

However, your self-worth isn’t connected to it. It doesn’t drain you. In fact, you’re uplifted by it. With compassion you will never feel unheard, or devalued. You will feel empowered and authentically able to be you and be appreciated by giving when and however you can.

All the best in this journey, Celeste.

Please submit questions to [email protected]

This ‘n’ That Do we really have to have it and have It now

Do we really have to have it and have It now

By Jack Swift

Johnson County Historian

We seem to be living in an era when folks “want it and want it now,” “It” being goods and services that make life easier and more pleasant. Perhaps it has always been so. But in my lifetime I believe I have seen a rise in the “want it now” philosophy. Of course, now there are a greater number of goods and services to have than ever before. In an earlier day, time wasn’t as important as it is now.
Folks just have to have the latest “device” that Silicon Valley can come up with. Who would have thought we would be carrying around a pocket-sized telephone. A number of machines have come about due to the miniaturization of electronics. I thought the so called “car phone” was about the ultimate in bringing the phone to us instead of us going to it. I was really wrong about that. Now comes along the smart-phone and it is amazing indeed, since it has a number of functions in such a small machine.
People want the latest fashions in clothing. And they want them now before they go out of style. Children have to have the latest in the toy line. They must have Elmo or whatever toy has been featured on television.
I believe our use of time has changed much in my lifetime. Folks often let time rule them instead of them ruling time. I’m reminded of a joke that I enjoyed a lot when I read it. It seems a man came along and saw a man holding a pig up and letting it eat apples off a tree. The man said “Don’t you know you can save time by letting the pig eat off the ground? The man replied, “What’s time to a pig?
Perhaps there are advantages to wanting it and wanting it now. But sometimes I believe it is better to slow down, be patient and let the world go by. Perhaps the item you want will be less expensive then.

This ‘n’ That By Jack Swift Johnson County Historian

Education in Johnson County

If you read my column of the last two weeks about me as a student at Dewey Elementary School, you may wonder how we came from the way things were then to the modern schools of today.
As I was gathering information for my last two columns, one of the most interesting bits of information I came across was the fact that there had been 67 different schools in Johnson County. Many were two-room, two-teacher schools. When consolidation came about, not a few citizens were unhappy that consolidation was taking place. Some people felt that the schools should be in their own communities. But consolidation advanced and now students have modern well furnished, well staffed schools to learn in.
I didn’t plan it but I thought it was ironic that last week’s column ran in the annual Progress Edition of the Tomahawk. From my description of Dewey School then and the way schools are now shows a great deal of progress. Progress is shown in the school plants, the modern equipment, the qualification of teachers, and in many other ways as well. While it took many years for education to become available for everyone, Johnson County was progressive in the field of education. Thomas Jefferson once said, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”
Our founding fathers were men who valued education highly. Early on the citizens of Johnson County or what would become Johnson County were descendents of the hardy sturdy, fearless frontiersmen who marched westward to claim the American Dream.
In the early existence of Johnson County few children were enrolled in the schools. In 1839 (three years after Johnson County was established), there were 787 enrolled in school. In 1840 there were 736 enrolled. In 1842 there were 768. The enrollment jumped to 1,189 in 1848.
The first Johnson County public secondary school was opened February 1, 1908. The semester was three months. The opportunity to achieve an education increased in Johnson County over time with a few blips along the way. To enable some students to attend high school who lived in outlying areas, a dormitory was constructed on North Church Street.
History shows that Johnson County folks were education-minded and they wanted their children and youth to become an educated citizenry.

This ‘n’ That, Jack Swift

Dewey School Continued

My last column was a trip down memory land as I mentioned some of the interesting facts about Dewey Elementary School that I attended from grade one through grade eight. Dewey School was typical of the many schools that dotted the countryside in the early days of Johnson County’s attempts to educate its children and youth. It was a two-teacher school with one of the teachers acting as principal who also taught grades five through eight. The other teacher taught grades one through four.
I remember most, if not all, of my elementary school teachers. I was blessed to have John A. Shoun, Mark Reece, R. Clyde Wilson and a Mrs. Robinson as my fifth through eighth grade teachers. A long-time teacher for the lower grades at Dewey was Mrs. Rena Shoun. I’m sure many of the readers of this column will remember her. Mrs. Alta Loyd was also one of my teachers. She was the only teacher that I remember that gave me several smacks with a ruler on the palm of my hand for a minor infraction. Back then there was a 30-minute break for lunch. There was a 15-minute break in the morning and a 15-minute break in the afternoon. Of course we students looked forward to those times of fun and games. I remember how excited we were when Ray Shoun and another gentleman came and erected two basketball goals in a level area in a corner of the school grounds.
After the hot lunch program was started, the meals were prepared in a small kitchen that was a part of the building. Lunch was served at the students’ desks. I believe the desks are popular collector’s items these days. The lower part of the desks was used to store books. Of course, there was a place to sit. The writing board had a place for pens and pencils. There was an inkwell on each desk. For why, I do not know. The era of the quill and fountain pen had long passed.
Anyway, Dewey Elementary School was typical of the type of schools that made up the educational system of Johnson County during my grade school days. As I mentioned in the beginning of this column, now, we have the beautiful buildings that came about as a result of consolidation.

This ‘n’ That Happenings In The Year 1836

The year 1836 is of particu-lar interest to me because
it was the year Johnson County was carved out of Carter County to become the most northeastern county in Ten-nessee. 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 consum-ing. 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 ap-propriate 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 over-whelmed and the entire gar-rison was killed. Two hun-dred 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 presi-dent in 1836. He had been a popular and successful gen-eral 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. Fol-lowing his marriage in 1836, he became a prolific writer with such works as David Copperfield, Great Expecta-tions 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. Eng-lish novelist William Makepeace Thackeray mar-ried Isabella Gethin Shawe.
Among the deaths in 1836 were Betsy Ross (1752 – 1836), Aaron Burr (1756 – 1836 and as mentioned ear-lier Davy Crockett (1786 – 1836). James Madison, who died in 1836, served as U. S. President from 1809 to1817. The Texas Capital City, Aus-tin, is named for Stephen F. Austin who passed away in 1836. I found a birthday that was quiet interesting. Win-slow Homer, a famous American Painter was born February 24, 1836 in Boston, Massachusetts. He died Sep-tember 29, 1910 at the age of 74. Homer is one of the most famous American painters. His maritime paint-ings 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.

You’ve got this! Alison asks: How can I help my friends and family that have depression or anxiety?

By Tracy Becker

Licensed Counselor

Thank you, Alison, for this question. It is estimated that approximately 16.2 million adults have at least one depressive episode per year.

The numbers for anxiety run as high as 40 million adults per year. Yet know these are not necessarily “real” numbers as a vast percentage of people do not seek help for either disorder.

Having said all this, it is quite “normal” for people to have episodes of anxiety, depression or a combination of the two in a life-time. There are situations that one would only expect this.

Some of these situations are death of a loved one; divorce; loss of income stream; or other life changing events. Your childhood life-experiences also have a great impact on your ability to cope with major life changes.

Some strengths that help us overcome would be having a strong emotional, spiritual and social support system, a positive outlook and mindset, and good physical habits of diet, exercise and a preventive care. If we lack in these areas, the struggle becomes more profound.

The most obvious way to help is to have your loved one get professional help. You can start with a licensed counselor who can easily
assess the level of impact, and determine what actions need to be taken to increase the person’s ability to overcome.

Yet, the main necessary ingredient is WILLINGNESS. If the person is not willing to overcome, change, or follow-up with treatment success will be greatly limited. Willingness isn’t something we can give to another person, they have to pull from deep with in to generate it, and have a great desire to feel better.

In a nutshell, it isn’t easy and may take patience, but keep trying with love and tenderness.

Resources: Insurance companies will help find a counselor. Google can be helpful too.
Books: From Tears to Triumph by Marianne Williamson; Top bestselling books on anxiety and depression

All information, content, and material of this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician,
licensed counselor or
healthcare provider.