Today in Milligan History (7/11)

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Today in Milligan History

an ongoing project of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society

appearing sporadically during the summer months

Good day, Milligan!

Proverbs 11:13 – A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.

This is Thursday, July 11, 2013, and on this day in Milligan history . . .

1859    G. M. Chiles had been a student at Bethany College, Bethany, [West] Virginia, for two years when he unexpectedly died.  A letter of condolence sent to his father held the signatures of the “faculty of Bethany College”: A[lexander] Campbell, R[obert] Richardson, J. D. Pickett, C. L. Loos, W. K. Pendleton, and R[obert] Milligan. The Millennial Harbinger, Fifth Series, Vol. II, No. VIII, August 1859.

1887    S.G. Sutton reported to Josephus Hopwood that he had been advertising on behalf of the college. Sutton enclosed in his letter new names to subscribe to the Milligan Mentor. Letter to Josephus Hopwood from S.G. Sutton dated July 11, 1887. Found in the Hopwood Correspondence Collection, Milligan College Archives.

1946    Since taking its name in 1883, Milligan College has influenced the naming of a variety of sites and institutions near the campus: a “Milligan” grocery, post office, church, day-care, even a highway.  James A. Goforth, retired Chief Engineer of the Clinchfield Railroad described “Milligan Hill” on which he travelled while taking a day-trip between Johnson City, TN, and Cranberry, NC, on the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railway: “Just out of the [Johnson City] yard we entered a deep, narrow cut, dropped down into a dip over Sinking Creek, then climbing a short grade we turned the hump and started down Milligan Hill.”  Goforth’s account tells how the grade on the hill had recently been cut.  “The grade up this hill is two miles long and was formerly 2% against the traffic from Elizabethton to Johnson City. The reduction program was started about two years before [1944] and was carried on during the summer months only. The roadbed was lowered at the summit by shifting the track from one side to the other, and the excavated material was carried to the lower part of the grade where it was dumped and used to raise the track. The project had been recently completed with the new grade being 1.4%. James A. Goforth, “A Long Day on the ‘Tweetsie’,” in The Blue Ridge Stemwinder, Vol. 1, No. 4, Spring 1989, pp. 3-5.

1965    The headline in The Stampede read, “Dr. Bryant and Miss Larson Exchange Wedding Vows.” The story related the wedding of Milligan professors Dr. Beauford H. Bryant (at Milligan 1956-1973) and Dorothy Larson. Officiating at the ceremony at Oak Grove Christian Church was psychology professor W. Dennis Helsabeck, Sr. (Fide et Amore, at Milligan 1963-1968),  Coach Harold Stout served as best man, and Thelma Larson, the bride’s sister, as maid of honor. The Stampede, July 26, 1965, p. 1.

1976    After a Sunday morning communion service in which they had to make do with bread and brandy, Milligan College students on the annual Humanities Tour entered Austria where they had to exchange their German Marks and Pfennige for Schillinge and Groschen. One Austrian shilling was worth about five American cents at the time. Valerie Lentz Wood (1978), tour scrapbook.

1989    The North American Christian Convention opened in Louisville, KY. Milligan alumnus Marshall Hayden (1963) served as Vice President of the NACC. Edwin V. Hayden, North American Gold: The Story of 50 North American Christian Conventions (Joplin, MO: College Press, 1989), p. 144.

2006    John Neth (Fide et Amore), Milligan College librarian (1953-1958 and 1962-1981) died. He was also a key developer of the library at Emmanuel School of Religion, and had served as the pastor of Hopwood Memorial Christian Church from 1954-1957. Milligan College press release, July 13, 2006

Birthdays: In 1274 Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland . . . in 1754 Shakespeare reviser Thomas Bowdler near Bath, England . . .  in 1767 John Quincy Adams in Braintree, MA . . . in 1900 Elizabeth Leitner Gregory, paternal grandmother of James, John, Joe, Jeff and Mary Ann Gregory and Henry Richards, in Roanoke Rapids, NC.   Major Milligan College donors Joe and Cindy Gregory and John and Joan Gregory named the Elizabeth Leitner Gregory Center for the Liberal Arts in her honor.


In 1656 Quakers Ann Austin and Mary Fisher arrived in Boston. Officials promptly jailed them for three weeks, and sent them back to England – for being Quakers.

In 1795 the territorial legislature of the Southwest Territory (now the State of Tennessee) ordered an enumeration of the inhabitants. The total population proved to be more than 77,000. Washington County reported a total of 10,105 inhabitants: 2,013 white males over 16 years of age; 2,578 white males under 16; 4,311 white females; 225 “other persons;” and “978 slaves.” Frank Merritt (1947), Early History of Carter County 1760-1861 (Knoxville, TN: East Tennessee Historical Society, 1950), p. 28.

In 1804 Vice President Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel near Weehawken, NJ.

In 1812 the United States of America invaded Canada.

In 1952 the Republican Party nominated its candidate for the United States Presidency, General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In 1960 Ivory Coast, Dahomey, Upper Volta and Niger achieved independence from the United Kingdom.

Do you know something that happened on this day in Milligan history?  Is this the birthday of a Milligan personality?  The anniversary of a Milligan event?  If so, send it to Phi Alpha Theta at