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New Johnson County Historian appointed

Jenny Johnson Manuel as the new Johnson County Historian after being unanimously recommended for the position by the Johnson County Historical Society  Submitted photo

By Jinifer Rae

Freelance Writer

The Johnson County Commission appointed Jenny Johnson Manuel as the new Johnson County Historian after being unanimously recommended for the position by the Johnson County Historical Society.

The role of Johnson County Historian was previously held by a beloved community member and longtime newsman at The Tomahawk, Jack Swift, who served in the position for 16 years.

Sadly, in August of this year, Swift resigned due to health concerns.

Manuel brings knowledge and passion to the role and promises to keep the community informed of its heritage.

“I am honored that I have been chosen as Johnson County Historian to follow in the footsteps of Jack Swift and Tom Gentry. They were both fine historians and served Johnson County well for many, many years.” Manuel said.

Manuel is indeed passionate about history as a sixth-generation Johnson County native born and raised here. “I would like to continue striving to promote, preserve and protect the history of Johnson County,” she said.

Manuel has been doing genealogy for at least fifty years. After working for two years in the Navy and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., she spent 47 years in Idaho and Washington State.

Manuel said, “I am happy to be home; I am happy to be in Mountain City.” She has a special fondness for family genealogy and has fond memories of enormous Stout family reunions held in Gamble Springs.

“Those family reunions were attended to by hundreds of people. I loved going. One of my goals is to record video and audio of the senior population for future generations.”

As the new Johnson County Historian, Manuel has committed to recording landmarks and oral histories of people from across the county. A personal goal, she said, “is to develop and maintain an archive to house original documents in a protected environment as well as digitizing records and photographs to make them more accessible to the public.”

During the 6 months working at the Johnson County Welcome Center and Museum, Manuel has built a library of over 700 books on family histories. In addition to archived history, Manuel reports being “available for people to stop into the Welcome Center and ask questions and learn about the history of Johnson County.”

The Johnson County Museum of History is located at the Johnson County Welcome Center & Museum at 716 South Shady Street in Mountain City, Tennessee, and is open to the public free of charge.

For more information about Johnson County, call 423-727-5800.