This is a list of notable accidents and events that occurred in the Tri-Cities region:

  • In March of 1867, Rev. William B. Carter, of Carter County, Tennessee, lost a barn due to a fire. He lost two horses and the cost of the fire was estimated to be $5, 000. It was believed to be arson.
  • In November of 1897, a young man named Wilmet, worked at a cornsheller in Hawkins County, Tennessee. On the ninth, he caught his right hand in the teeth of the machine. His right arm was torn off with such velocity that his lungs were exposed. Death was almost instant.
  • In January of 1900, Bristol’s artesian well froze. The pump burst leaving the town with the original water source that muddied when it rained.
  • On November 12, 1900, King Campbell, of Bristol, took his 10-year-old brother hunting with him. He accidentally shot him in the abdomen and instantly killed him.
  • March 1, 1901- Hotel Erin, in Dungannon, Virginia, burned to the ground. The fire created a loss of $15,000. The hotel was owned by Col. Patrick Hagan and had been built around a decade earlier.
  • Roy Sproles was ran over and killed on the morning of August 23, 1902. He was hit by a freight train on the Virginia and Southwestern Railway.
  • In 1902, Alexander Walk was a native of Tazewell, Virginia. He worked with the Bristol Lumber and Door Company. On September 2nd, he tried to adjust a belt from one pulley to the other with the help of a stick. However, the stick was caught in the belt and flung back at him. He was impaled in the abdomen and died.
  • On February 28, 1903, the cottage of E. S. Godsey burned to the ground. The lumberman had no insurance and his loss was estimated to be $700.
  • Marcellus Sheppard, died in February of 1903. He was one of the first African-American attorneys in Bristol. Sheppard was educated in Knoxville. He died of paralysis at 34 years of age.
  • October 12, 1904- Joseph Smith of Scott County, Virginia, was crushed when a log wagon overturned on top of him. He left a wife and six daughters.
  • On January 8, 1905, Lydia Cooper warmed herself when her dress got too close to the open grating on the fireplace. Her dress caught fire. She was immolated, almost to a crisp, before anyone could get to her to help. She was the 18-year-old daughter of a Bristol jeweler. She was believed to be slightly demented.
  • In August of 1908, Mike Scobie, died in the Spear’s Ferry area of Scott County. The bridge expert from Cleveland, Ohio, fell 180 feet from the bridge. Today, the bridge is known as the Copper Creek Viaduct.
  • On October 18, 1909, Luther Rayfield was traveling with a wagon train through Johnson County, Tennessee. The wagon train carried apples from Watauga County, North Carolina. William Sevier closed the breech of his gun around the time the wagon train pulled through the area. The bullet traveled through two wagons without injuring anyone. Rayfield was in the 3rd wagon and the bullet hit him in the arm. He died at the Armstrong Hospital in Bristol
  • In 1911, Mr. O. V. Vance was a traveling man who maintained his headquarters in Bristol. He accidentally shot himself near Pulaski, Virginia, and died.
  • D.P. Davidson was 65 in 1911. On December 27, he was struck and killed by a passenger train in Bristol.
  • January 1, 1913, in Bristol, Virginia, a fire broke out during the early morning. The Louis Totz Company’s Saloon and Lodging House was gutted, costing a total of $20,000. No one was injured.
  • In July of 1921, C. F. Stewart, of Kingsport, Tennessee, performed some construction work on a house in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. He fell a mere eight feet from the scaffolding and broke his neck.
  • On January 20, 1930, Professor A. Fleetwood Roller died from blood poisoning. It was believed to have come from a rat bite. He was from Sullivan County, Tennessee, and taught at the State Teacher’s College. This is East Tennessee State University, today.
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