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A nostalgic look at old newspapers

The Tomahawk Newspaper has gone through five name changes since its debut as The Taylorsville Reporter in 1874. Over the years it has been The Tennessee Tomahawk, The Johnson County News, The Johnson County News-Bulletin and The Tomahawk — the name it has today. Recently while I was looking through my files I found six copies of The Johnson County News.
Three copies of the newspapers were edited and published by D. M. Spurgeon and three copies were edited and published by E. E. Barry. Both men were well known citizens of Johnson County. The newspaper was published as The Johnson County News from 1915 until 1950.
One of the editions that caught my eye was a June 30, 1949 copy. D. M. Spurgeon was the editor and publisher. It was four-page paper with a lot of local news. As I have written a great deal about the green bean industry in Johnson County, one of the first articles that I saw was an announcement that the Johnson County bean market opened on June 25. The article stated that the market opened with the largest opening sale in its history with more that 1,000 bushels sold — nearly twice as many as last year’s (1948) opening sales. The average price was $1.90 per bushel.

Another item that interested me was a one-column story announcing that the streets in Mountain City will have trash receptacles. Apparently there had been nowhere to deposit trash on the streets of the town. The trash receptacles were reported to be a project of the Jaycees.
Another front-page story was of interest to me. The story concerned the effort to get all of Mountain City’s streets surfaced with asphalt. The story told that the project was started the previous week.
There was a 5-column advertisement of the new Chevrolet automobile. The ad touted several advantages of the car such as Hydraulic Brakes, Valve-In-Head Engine, Center-Point Steering, etc.
One ad announced The Pan-American World-Wide Animal Exhibit and Menagerie was to take place July 11 and 12 behind Hodge’s Service Station. On display would be Texas Nell, one of the worlds largest horses; Big Ben, last of the longhorn herd; Little Richard, baby buffalo from Yellowstone park; Kilroy, big brahama (sic) bull from Argentina; Professor Cogozzo and his performing monkey circus; and clowns galore. To allay any fears of a fire, the ad added “All Tents Flame Proof.”
There was a half page ad featuring Dotson Cleaners. “The South’s Most Complete Laundry and Dry Cleaning Service,” the ad shouted with large letters at the top of the ad.
I enjoy traveling down the nostalgic road. It is interesting to see the way things were in 1949. I was 11 years old when that edition of The Johnson County News was published. I remember some of the events that took place then. The Tomahawk with its various names, editors and publishers has kept Johnson County folks informed and entertained for many years. And it still does.