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    1. Fwd: [TNGREENE-L] Greene County News item
    2. --part1_ea.6fba616.268365d2_boundary Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit We have all lost a wonderful source of information and we have lost a wonderful man. I spoke with him many times at the Greene County library and was always impressed with his knowledge, humility and generosity. He will be greatly missed by all --part1_ea.6fba616.268365d2_boundary Content-Type: message/rfc822 Content-Disposition: inline Return-Path: <[email protected]> Received: from ( []) by (v74.17) with ESMTP; Wed, 21 Jun 2000 20:18:08 -0400 Received: from ( []) by (v75.16) with ESMTP; Wed, 21 Jun 2000 20:17:29 -0400 Received: (from [email protected]) by (8.10.1/8.10.1) id e5M0FmI23660; Wed, 21 Jun 2000 17:15:48 -0700 Resent-Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2000 17:15:48 -0700 X-Original-Sender: [email protected] Wed Jun 21 17:15:47 2000 Message-ID: <[email protected]> From: "Jean Masoner" <[email protected]> Old-To: <[email protected]> Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2000 19:05:57 -0500 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="Windows-1252" X-Priority: 3 X-MSMail-Priority: Normal X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.00.2919.6600 X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.00.2919.6600 Subject: [TNGREENE-L] Greene County News item Resent-Message-ID: <[email protected]> To: [email protected] Resent-From: [email protected] X-Mailing-List: <[email protected]> archive/latest/4184 X-Loop: [email protected] Precedence: list Resent-Sender: [email protected] Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable X-MIME-Autoconverted: from 8bit to quoted-printable by id e5M0FmI23660 Greene County Online GCOL Internet Service 125 West Summer Street - Greeneville, TN - (423) 798-0545 MOSTLY SUNNY 81=B0F This should be of interest to all who have researched in Greene County. News Article Harry B. Roberts Dies At 85; Was Widely Known County Historian By: By JOHN M. JONES JR./Editor Source: The Greeneville Sun 06-21-2000 Harry B. Roberts, 85, of Monument Avenue, for decades one of Greene County= =92s most widely known and respected local historians, died Tuesday after almost a year of sharply declining health. Roberts died at Wellington Place of Greeneville, where he had been a resident since February. The funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at Timber Ridge Presbyterian Church. A partial obituary appears on Page 6 of today=92s issue= . Roberts taught school in the Greene County School System from 1951 until his retirement in 1981, almost entirely at the high school level. During his long career in education, he became noted in the county as an outstanding teacher of history and biology. He began his career in 1951 as principal and teacher at what was then Warrensburg School. He moved to what was then Mosheim School as a high school teacher in 1952 and continued there until the school was consolidated into the new West Greene High School in 1966. He taught at West Greene until his retirement in 1981. Roberts held both a bachelor=92s degree and a master=92s degree from the University of Tennessee and had written his UT master=92s thesis on the history of public schools in Greene County. He was locally acknowledged to be an expert on the subject, and the owner of copious reference materials of all types. Especially in the last 30 years, however, he was most widely known in the community at large for his extremely extensive knowledge of the general history of Greene County and Northeast Tennessee back to the 1780s and before =97 and, especially, for his knowledge of the life and career of President Andrew Johnson. He was named Greene County Historian in July 1995 by the Greene County Commission, following the death of previous County Historian T. Elmer Cox in June 1995. Roberts had continued to serve in that honorary post, to which he had been nominated by County Executive Alan Broyles: a former student from Roberts= =92 year at Warrensburg. Strong Champion For Johnson Over the years, he became an increasingly devoted admirer of the 17th president and an outspoken champion of Johnson=92s significance in the histo= ry of both Tennessee and the nation as a whole. Roberts wrote numerous articles and pamphlets about the life and career of President Johnson and was one of the local historians interviewed by C-SPAN when the cable network was preparing its profile of Johnson for C-SPAN=92s acclaimed =93American Presidents=94 series. A longtime friend of the late Margaret Johnson Patterson Bartlett, the last surviving great-grandchild of President Johnson, Roberts worked closely with her from 1980 to 1983 in sorting and organizing a large volume of Johnson-related material that had come down to her through her family. During that decade she became increasingly frail and in April 1983 entered a local nursing home, where she died in 1992, at the age of 88. Recalled Experience In a 1983 interview for The Greeneville Sun=92s =93Bicentennial=94 publicati= on, marking the community=92s 200th year, he recalled the experience of working with Mrs. Bartlett on the Johnson material, and its impact on him. =93When I taught school, including American history,=94 he said, =93I never=20= gave him (Johnson) due consideration. =93My perspective changed when I started taking Mrs. Bartlett to meetings of the (Greene County) Heritage Trust and (Greene County) Historical Society. =93President Johnson=92s official papers had been given to the Library of Congress in 1905, but she had a great amount of personal things, such as books, letters and pictures. She realized she had nobody to hand it all to. Well, I volunteered to go through it. =93The more I read and saw, the more involved and interested I became. I realized it was a rare opportunity to go through the papers of a president.= =94 He also said in that interview that he thought he would have liked Johnson. =93He was such a sincere person, so conscientious and dedicated. There was n= o sham =97 no deception.=94 After her death in 1992, he sometimes consulted with the late Ralph M. Phinney, the co-executor of her estate along with John D. Cartwright, on matters concerning Johnson-related materials in the estate. In interviews with the Sun during the 1990s and earlier this year, he noted that he took much satisfaction in having played a crucial role in her decision to help establish the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library at Tusculum College. The museum and library formally opened in 1994. The effort that resulted in the museum and library was established, he said, when Mrs. Bartlett agreed in the early 1980s to place many of the family=92s personal Johnson-related materials at Tusculum rather than in museums or libraries in other cities or states. The decision was significant, he explained, because Mrs. Bartlett had felt over the years that President Johnson had been neglected and undervalued in this, his hometown for most of his life. For that reason, Roberts said, she was at first adamantly opposed to placing the materials here. Interest In Local History A descendant of local pioneer settlers, Roberts had a passionate lifelong interest in the historical heritage of Greeneville/Greene County and was for the past several decades a major force in a wide variety of local history-oriented organizations and projects, including the Greene County Historical Society, the Greene County Heritage Trust, the Nathanael Greene Museum, the Dickson-Williams Historical Association, and the Andrew Johson Memorial Association. A former president of the Historical Society and one of its most persistent members and leaders, he was also a member of the original board of directors of the Greene County Heritage Trust in 1972 and had continued to serve as an active board member ever since. Among numerous Heritage Trust projects in which he was significantly involved, he headed the successful efforts by the organization to preserve and restore the Bible Covered Bridge at Warrensburg and to establish a =93Ro= ll of Honor=94 monument at the Greene County Courthouse in 1988-1989 commemorating 13 individuals for =93Achievement at the Price of Great Sacrifice.=94 The =93Roll of Honor=94 Memorial was a joint project of the Heritage Trust a= nd the Glenwood Old Timers Association, an organization in which he was the key organizer and board chairman. In December 1988 he was presented by the Trust with a special Outstanding Service Award recognizing him for distinguished lifetime achievement in the fields of local historic preservation and restoration. =91Growing Up In Greene County=92 Roberts was also a former board member of the Nathanael Greene Museum and frequently took a role as an historical =93actor=94 in the museum=92s annual =93Growing Up in Greene=94 presentation for all Greeneville and Greene Count= y third-graders. The program is designed to dramatize for the students the contributions and personalities of several of the most important figures in the pre-1865 history of the community. A strong supporter of fellow local historian Richard H. Doughty=92s successf= ul effort between 1987 and the present to restore the Dickson-Williams Mansion to its mid-19th century grandeur, Roberts had served as a member of the board of directors of the Dickson-Williams Historical Association ever since its founding that year. Projects At Tusculum He was one of the founders of the Andrew Johnson Historical Association in 1981-82, and he researched and oversaw the construction at Tusculum College of a replica of President Johnson=92s humble Raleigh, N.C., birthplace. Built in the 1980s and financed by Mrs. Bartlett, the rough frame house was demolished in 1999. He also led and personally oversaw in the 1980s the effort to build near the Tusculum campus a replica of the historic Carter Fort. At the time, a non-local group had also indicated interest in establishing, possibly in the same approximate area, an ongoing historical pageant featuring the story of the Lost State of Franklin. Although a replica was built, the project was eventually abandoned, as was the tentative State of Franklin pageant concept. In 1987-1989, however, together with Louise Orr and her son, Dr. Robert Orr, he took a significant role in writing and coordinating an annual local historical production on the Tusculum campus dramatizing highlights of the life and career of Andrew Johnson. Roberts wrote for the county school system a 48-page booklet titled, =93A Brief History of Greene County: A Good Place To Live,=94 which concentrated mainly on the county=92s history from pioneer days through the Civil War. He also authored and published two softcover books on the life of famed frontiersman Davy Crockett, born at nearby Limestone in 1786. Old Timers Days A native of the Timber Ridge section of the Glenwood Community, he spent most of his early life in that community and later reared his own family there before moving to Greeneville several years ago. Working with fellow members of the Glenwood Ruritan Club, he was the originator and main moving force in the annual Old Timers Days event held at Glenwood School from 1972 through 1979. The popular event drew visitors from throughout the county and beyond, to enjoy true-to-life demonstrations by Ruritan members and other community members, dressed in earlier styles, of traditional Greene County agricultural methods of threshing wheat, making molasses and apple butter, weaving cloth, etc. Communities, Schools Over the years, he was the author of numerous local history-related articles and booklets, including a lengthy series of articles in The Greeneville Sun in the late 1950s detailing the history of many of the small rural communities of Greene County. The articles were published in 1983 in two volumes under the title, =93Olden Times in Greene County.=94 In the mid-1970s, he wrote a series of articles f= or the Sun on the history of the county from the period preceding white settlement here in the 1770s and 1780s until the Civil War era. One of his most strongly held convictions, expressed numerous times over the years both publicly and privately, was that the national historical significance of Greene County and the other Northeast Tennessee counties was extremely underrated by historians in general. For decades, in fact, he had been conducting research on a book dealing with that subject. All Day At Library Greeneville-Greene County Librarian Madge Walker, a close friend, noted Tuesday in an interview that, after he was named Greene County Historian, Roberts was typically at the library from 8:30 a.m. until it closed in the late afternoon, except for lunch. Using a desk at the library set aside for him, she said, he spent the time conducting research, writing on various local history-related projects, and, frequently, serving as a resource to students and to other visitors to the library with questions about local history, rural family cemeteries, President Andrew Johnson, etc. In 1976, he wrote more than 15 articles for a special history-oriented edition of The Greeneville Sun in July of that year tying in with the nation =92s bicentennial. The 200-page tabloid edition was titled =93Greene County:= A Place In History.=94 Roberts=92 articles focused mainly on the pioneer history of this part of Tennessee, including the pre-Revolutionary and Revolutionary period when the Cherokee were dominant here, and the era of the =93Overmountain Men=94 and t= he Lost State of Franklin in the late 1770s and the 1780s. For that special edition Roberts also wrote on the proliferation of local rural schools and colleges from the post-Civil War era to the early decades of this century, followed by the consolidation of the rural schools in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. =3D=3D=3D=3D TNGREENE Mailing List =3D=3D=3D=3D TNGenWeb's Project for Greene Co NEW URL --part1_ea.6fba616.268365d2_boundary--

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