This week in local history

Published 12:10 pm Monday, February 19, 2018

The following events occurred during the week of Feb. 18-24 in Bell County.

1891: Alexander Arthur returned from England and headlines read, “Behold! The Conquering Hero Returns.” The Middlesborough Town Company had declared a 10% dividend and made 30 percent in 18 months.

1893: One half of Middlesboro was under water. Yellow Creek was within 4” of the bridge on Cumberland Ave. Chester Ave. was described as a “raging torrent” and the Rhine as “a vast lake.”

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1898: Postmaster Cooke received a fumigating apparatus from New Orleans. Due to the smallpox epidemic, all outgoing mail was to be fumigated. Letters were punctured, put in the fumigating box and smoked with sulfur for five hours.

1907: The newspaper reported that Middlesboro had a skating rink for African-Americans only and that, “The only white person allowed around or in it is a policeman.”

1911: Because he hoped for the success of the postal saving bank plan, J. H. Bartlett, the president and director of the American Association, started a bank account, with a small sum on deposit, for every school child in Middlesboro, regardless of race. That amounted to 1145 Caucasian children and 358 who were African-American.

1915: Construction was begun on the post office building on 20th.

1943: Rationing book No. 2 was being issued and sixty ladies volunteered to help at the distribution centers.

1948: Middlesboro had 56 registered taxi cabs.

1947: George Schneider agreed to move his meat packing plant in order that the National Park could have the land where his plant was located.

1960: The Bell County Health Officer reported that TB was the biggest communicable disease problem in Bell County.