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Historical society to publish history of Johnson County Volume III

A few days ago my wife and I were privileged to have visiting with us Herman Tester and his wife Nancy. Both of the Testers are natives of Johnson County but have resided in the Jonesborough, Tennessee area for several years. Herman is a retired educator having been a teacher and administrator during his career. He retired a few years ago as principal of Daniel Boone High School. Nancy is a retired teacher.
It is always interesting to talk with the Testers. Herman has a wealth of historical knowledge about Johnson County. Some folks are content with being idle in their retirement years, but not Herman. Over a period of time, he has produced a number of books that are very interesting and informative. One of Herman’s most important and useful projects was when he and Dan Stansberry teamed up to edit and reprint the cemetery census called, “Upon a Lonely Hill,” first printed by Jeffrey L. Carrier in 1984. With carrier’s permission Tester and Stansberry reprinted the book in a larger format. It is a valuable book for genealogists as well as anyone who just wants the information the book provides.
Tester also has 1930 census books available for Old Butler, Mountain City, Carter County and Johnson County (Volume I and Volume II). Tester has printed what I consider to be one of the best books on local history. It is titled, “Butler, Old, New and Carderview.” As the name implies, there is much information about the TVA project that flooded Butler and the surrounding area and the pathos of those who were forced from their home in the interest of “progress.”
Tester’s most recent project is the publication of a series of books titled “Portraits of the Past.” His most recent offering is Portraits of the Past Volume IV. The subtitle to Volume IV is, “A Fourth Pictorial Glance at Lower Johnson County and the Elk, Roan and Watauga Valleys.”
If you are interested in any of the books, you may call Tester at 423-753-6961 for more information.
While I’m on the subject of books on area history, I don’t want to forget the current project of the Johnson County Historical Society. The society is currently working on a Volume III History of Johnson County. Volume I was published in 1986 and Volume II was published in 2000. Both books have a great deal of general history as well as a tremendous amount of family histories — a boon for genealogists and others who just want information about their county.
Recently, the Johnson County Historical Society felt the need to begin work on a third volume of History of Johnson County. If you didn’t get your family history in either Volume I or Volume II, now is your chance to have your family history published. Family histories and accompanying pictures are now being accepted. You can get 500 words or less FREE. All words over 500 are 10 cents each. One photograph is free. Extra photographs are $12.50 each. Volume III will also enable those who have family histories in Volume I and Volume II to update them. Family histories in the first two volumes cannot be repeated but information left out of Volume I and/or Volume II may be submitted. Brochures with details may be picked up at the Johnson County Welcome Center at 716 South Shady Street, Mountain City Tennessee. The deadline for entries is January 31.
As Johnson County Historian and a member of the Johnson County Historical Society, I encourage everyone to appreciate the unique history of Johnson County and read about it often. There are lessons to learn from the past. The Historical Society’s motto is, “Bringing the Past to the Present.” That is a noble endeavor indeed.