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Sources for Johnson County local history

Do you want to add to or refresh your knowledge of the history of Johnson County? As Johnson County Historian, my aim is not only to collect area history, but also to promote the history of Johnson County and East Tennessee as well.
Two of the best books that deal with the history of Johnson County are available at the Welcome Center on South Shady Street right here in Mountain City. The Johnson County Historical Society has published two books with a large amount of information on Johnson County and its history. “History of Johnson County” was published in 1986 and “History of Johnson County, Volume II” was published in 2000. Not only do those books have a lot of county history, a large section in each book is devoted to family histories and is a valuable source of information for genealogists as well as historians. If you haven’t seen those books, you’ll be surprised at the information you can get from them. The Society last year published a “Pictorial History of Johnson County.” It is for sale now at the Welcome Center. It contains many pictures of Johnson County people, businesses, and government.
I have several books on Tennessee history and on East Tennessee in particular, but two of the most interesting books I own are “History of the 13th Regiment Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry” and “Adventures of Daniel Ellis.” Both books describe in much detail East Tennessee and Johnson County’s loyalty to the Union in the Civil War and some of the incidents that occurred during that war. I believe they are out of print.
A book titled “Butler: Old, New and Carderview” written and published by Herman Tester is a good source of Johnson County history. Tester’s book is a narrative of Butler, Johnson County, Tennessee from 1768 – 2006. For further information about Tester’s book, you may call him at 423-753-6961. Tester, a native of Johnson County, is a retired educator. His last post was as principal of Daniel Boone High School. His home is at Sulfur Springs, Tennessee.
Another great source of history of Tennessee and Johnson County can be found at the Johnson County Public Library. “Goodspeed’s History of Tennessee” is available for checkout. It is a comprehensive history of Tennessee and includes much information about East Tennessee as well. It was published not too long after the end of the Civil War. It is possible that some of the books I’ve mentioned can be found on the Internet.
Another book that could be helpful to genealogists is Jeffrey Carrier’s book “Upon a Lonely Hill” which is a cemetery census published in 1984. It lists each gravesite in each cemetery in Johnson County at that time. That book is out of print but a copy may be available for in-house investigation at the library.
You may check with Librarian Linda Icenhour and the staff at the library to see what is available about local history. The library has a genealogical section where a lot of information can be found about our great county and its people past and present. Nothing can be taken from the genealogy section but the books and material are available for historians and genealogists.
I believe it is important to not only remember the past but also to preserve the present so that future historians can have easier access to it. After all, the events of today will be history someday.