By Jack Swift
Johnson County Historian
Johnson County is not without citizens who have excelled in their various fields. In fact, there are many over time that have left Johnson County and gone on to great careers beyond the borders of our great county. In this column I want to feature two men that came to mind as I was deciding on the subject of this column. As far as I know, they are the only persons from Johnson County who have attained so high a status in their respective fields.
The only person from Johnson County that I know about who has attained General Officer status in the US Army is Brigadier General Billy J. Stalcup (retired). General Stalcup was born in Butler, Tennessee, on February 3, 1935. He earned a bachelors degree in Business Administration from East Tennessee State University. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1958 and served over 30 years as an active duty officer. He retired in 1989.
The list of honors and distinctions while he served in the military is long. He was named to the Quartermaster Hall of Fame in 2002. Moreover, he was known for his leadership and capability. I know him personally and have talked with on several occasions.
The other person I wish to profile is a man that Johnson County folks followed via radio during the forties and fifties. His name was Clyde Mitchell Shoun but early on he was dubbed “Hardrock” due to his ability to throw a baseball so hard. Shoun is as far as I know the only man from Johnson County who played in the Major Leagues. Shoun was born in Johnson County on March 20, 1912. He died on March 20, 1968 at the age of 56.
One of the highlights of his career was his no-hitter against the Boston Braves on May 15, 1944. A walk by an opposing player kept him from a perfect game. Shoun played for five different teams during his career: Chicago Cubs, St Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, Boston Braves, and Chicago White Sox.
He batted and pitched left-handed. I understand there have been a number of minor league players from Johnson County but so for no major leaguers. Both Stalcup and Shoun were outstanding Johnson Countians in their various fields.