This week in local history

Published 6:10 am Monday, January 7, 2019

The following events occurred during the week of Jan. 6-12 in Bell County:

1890: The Southern Presbyterian Church building at 30th and Edgewood was completed. (This was the first church building built for that purpose in the new city of Middlesborough.)

1891: The newspaper reported that another prisoner had taken “leg bail’ and the jailer could give no account of his disappearance. “It seems that nearly every time the police get a prisoner charged with a grave crime, he manages to leave jail in the same manner.”

1891: A number of men met at city hall to organize an Odd Fellows Lodge. Twelve men subscribed as charter members.

1897: Hog cholera was again attacking hogs in Middlesboro, already killing several.

1899: The Barrel House Saloon was destroyed by fire. It had a saloon in front with a bowling alley in the rear. A gallery overhung the main saloon room and upstairs there was a billiard and pool room. The newspaper reported that, “While the place was a hot one during hot times … of late … a more orderly saloon would be hard to find. (It was located at the east end of the bridge on Ashbury.)

1901: Charles H. Waring died in Middlesbrough, England. He was head of the engineers that laid out Middlesboro and was in charge of the beltline railroad.

1916: The post office on 20th Street officially opened. The building cost $85,000.

1922: The school bond issue passed. Middlesboro school children had marched to demonstrate in support of the bonds.

1941: The Middlesboro Stockyards opened near the Tannery

1944: Kirby Smith was presented with the Boy Scout “key” in recognition of his services as a scoutmaster and as a commissioner.

1951: James Roy Shoffner Jr. was accepted for cadet training by the Air Force.

1954: The Middlesboro Street Department was paying $.50 an hour for newly hired workers.

To learn more about local history, visit the Bell County Museum, located just north of the Middlesboro Post Office, Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.