- [S4] Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tennessee), 5 Feb 2004.
William Jack Holt obituary
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 1 Apr 2007.
When I returned to the Plain Talk, passing by the former location of Giles Auto Parts, you will see that the windows are tinted dark and the building front is purple with the large letters, CSC. Not knowing what had happened, I saw Brownie Lichlyter next door at James Furniture-by the way, his real name is Paul. At first he did not recognize me and asked who I was. It seems that I had forgotten he cannot see well any longer-has not been able to for the past five years and mostly recognizes people by their voices. He said that the folks with White's Monument, Terry White, are using the building for a Casket Supplies Center warehouse.
Just Plain Talk - Everybody has a hounddog
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 21 Jan 2011.
Just Plain Talk: More of the past altered to prepare for new year
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 7 Jan 2011.
James Furniture name held dear by shoppers
(c)2010 NPT PHOTO BY DAVID POPIEL
It was the last day on the job for Brownie and Carolyn Lichlyter, as they officially closed the doors of James Furniture on Friday, Dec. 31. Brownie started with the business when Homer James opened it in 1948, but at a different location.
Author: David Popiel
Milder weather filled the highways with New Year's weekend travelers but at week's end winter reminded our hometown that cold days are here to stay. And with the New Year we are seeing changes on the less-lit landscape.
I was shocked and dismayed to hear that Newport Cinema 4 closed its doors as 2011 came in, because movie screens have been a mainstay of the community for more years than most can remember. We lost our outdoor theaters run by the incomparable Harold Smith, film exhibitor extraordinary, and now our indoor is gone too. At one time in the 1940s there were three indoor theaters. Perhaps this vacuum is only for a while. We also learned that Dairy Queen closed so there goes my stops for an Oreo Blizzard during January. Yet, folks are optimistic early in the year with new business and service ideas, such as Ed and Sissy Smith keeping open a restaurant, Newport Country Kitchen, Knoxville Highway. There is also the closing of a most prominent business that we will miss just next door to the Plain Talk.
It was an eerie feeling to walk thru the front door of James Furniture, our neighbor, and see almost nothing but a few odds and ends on the floor. And there, towards the back, a couple of chairs where Brownie and Carolyn sat chatting with long-time customers. After 62 years selling appliances and furniture, J.C. "Brownie" Lichlyter decided it was time to close the doors forever. That took place December 31, yet there remains a lot of junk on an expansive upstairs floor. But most will go to the landfill or be sold at some later date. Building owner Leon Bryant gave me a tour of the second floor and explained that the James Furniture building was the first in the series of brick buildings you see from East Broadway. This explains the windows on the building on a wall connecting the second floor that is above White's Monument. They have an interest in space left by the recent closing. They said the November death of 20-year veteran employee Dean Haney prompted the final closing decision. You may recall we chatted with him in recent years because of his Gospel singing,
With the store empty and only a few former customers coming in to say their "goodbyes" it was a good time to learn more about Brownie and his wife, the former Carolyn Ball. They grew up not far from each other near Indian Creek Road where they now live off Upper Rhinehart. Most of the Lichlyter family didn't fall far from that community. Brownie says his mother probably gave him his nickname. She was the former Florence Strange of Swannsylvania and married Hal Lichlyter, a farmer. They raised nine children. Brownie at 85 is not the oldest but Francis Dennis, 91, is. Other siblings are Ralph, of Dandridge, Hubert. Helen Bradley, Vivian Grice, Bernice Shropshire, and Gladys Fox. Margaret Dennis is deceased. Brownie does have some health problems; especially obvious is his poor eyesight caused by macular degeneration. He suffers from diabetes and had a low blood sugar episode while we were shooting some photos. A few crackers with peanut butter perked him up, thanks to Carolyn.
As a young man, he entered the Navy in 1943 serving in the South Pacific on the aircraft carrier, the Franklin Roosevelt. Fortunately, their ship was never attacked and he did not see combat as a deck hand. Today, he carries attached to his keychain his dog tag. In 1946, he returned to Indian Creek to ponder his future and spent some time in the Stokely cannery's labeling department. Hunley Keller was his boss and some of his coworkers included Herman Snapp and "Shorty" Strange. Then, Brownie joined TVA, which was rolling out rural electrification. The crew he worked with cleared brush and trees for the new poles and lines. While working in Lenoir City, he got homesick and quit. Another fellow from this area on the crew was Joe Shepherd, of Newport. It was still the late 1940s and Brownie got a chance to work in his Uncle Walter Strange's grocery store at Sugar Fork. Strange ran the popular grocery across from the Dandridge courthouse. After the war years, gasoline for cars was more available and sold for a quarter per gallon. Many new businesses sprang up during the time including one started by Homer James and his brother, Paul James. James Furniture opened in 1948 where National Bank is located downtown. Brownie brought his interest in sales and ability to help people to the store. Paul was superintendent at the A.C. Lawrence Leather Company tannery off Edwina Road and didn't stay in the store operation but sold out to Jim Maloy, Later, Brownie bought out Maloy's interest. Homer died about 1986.
By the 1950s, brothers Ophas and Charlie Bryant continued adding to the two-story building that exists today as James Furniture. It was packed with General Electric products and many small appliances and televisions. It was the beginning of the TV era. As electric lines were strung into the various hollows and communities, it was a great opportunity to sell these new electric washers, ranges, TVs and other appliances. "We would load up a truck and send it out the road where they put in the lines and sold right out of the truck," said Brownie. "Imagine doing that today!" One of the most popular items on the floor was the Gate City chrome dinette set that sold from $29.95 and up. GE's lineup was also popular with ranges priced at $129 and $99 and up for dryers. Many of you have seen, or do have in your bedrooms, the five-piece cedar sets that sold for $495. "We sold a lot of cotton mattresses for $14.95 and coil springs, too," said Brownie. When he and Homer went out to deliver, they just placed a sign in the door that stated: "Be back in one hour." By the 1960s, James Furniture and many other retailers such as Freemans, Driskill's, Furniture Palace were booming. James Furniture had 14 employees some of whom included Troy Pierce, Burnette and Junior Cummings, Bobby James, Derry James, Jimmy James, who was a brother to Homer and worked as the service manager. Later, Charlie Walker joined the staff.
Walmart was not even on the horizon and Roses ruled the national southern retail market. The Newport businesses sold radios, toasters, lamps, mixers, electric skillets and many more new electric-powered inventions waiting to be bought. For Newport Utilities it was the golden age and no doubt brought a smile to then NUB Manager Jim Franks.
Brownie has a tale or two to tell. "We sold a lady in Bybee a wringer washer on credit. She was supposed to sell her tobacco crop and then pay for it." When she failed to show up, Brownie located her and asked for payment. "She blinked her eyes and said 'Just to tell you the truth, I don't have any tobacco.'" Carolyn said that Brownie was always an easy-going fellow and very likeable. They sold to the parents, then their children and finally the grandchildren. One of his many long-time customers
- [S112] Census, 1930.
Name: Paul Lichlyter
Event Date: 1930
Event Place: District 5, Jefferson, Tennessee
Marital Status: Single
Estimated Birth Year: 1925
Relationship to Head of Household: Grandson
Father's Birthplace: Tennessee
Mother's Birthplace: Tennessee
Enumeration District Number: 0009
Family Number: 29
Sheet Number and Letter: 2A
Line Number: 39
NARA Publication: T626, roll 2256
Film Number: 2341990
Digital Folder Number: 4548170
Image Number: 00903
Household Gender Age
John Lichlyter M 49
Nannie Lichlyter F 59
Hal Lichlyter M 37
Florence Lichlyter F 36
Margaret Lichlyter F 14
Gladys Lichlyter F 12
Frances Lichlyter F 10
Hubert Lichlyter M 8
Paul Lichlyter M 5
Helen Lichlyter F 1
- [S112] Census, 1940.
Name: Paul Lichlyter
Titles and Terms:
Event Type: Census
Event Date: 1940
Event Place: Civil District 5, Jefferson, Tennessee, United States
Marital Status: Single
Race (Original): White
Relationship to Head of Household (Original): Grandson
Relationship to Head of Household: Grandson
Birth Year (Estimated): 1925
Last Place of Residence: Same House
Family Number: 71
Sheet Number and Letter: 5A
Line Number: 29
Affiliate Publication Number: T627
Affiliate Film Number: 3908
Digital Folder Number: 005461350
Image Number: 00300
Household Gender Age Birthplace
Head John Lichlyter M 69 Tennessee
Wife Nin Lichlyter F 69 Tennessee
Son Hal Lichlyter M 47 Tennessee
Daughter-in-law Florence Lichlyter F 44 Tennessee
Grandson Herbert Lichlyter M 18 Tennessee
Grandson Paul Lichlyter M 15 Tennessee
Granddaughter Helen Lichlyter F 12 Tennessee
Granddaughter Bernice Lichlyter F 9 Tennessee
Grandson Ralph Lichlyter M 6 Tennessee
Granddaughter Vivian Lichlyter F 3 Tennessee
- [S113] Manes Funeral Home, (http://www.manesfuneralhome.com), 19 Jul 2013.
(February 25, 1925 - July 19, 2013)
U.S. Veteran James C. (Brownie) Lichlyter, age 88, of Dandridge passed away Friday, July 19, 2013 at Morristown Hamblen Hospital. He was a member of the First Church Of The Nazarene and a veteran of the United States Navy having served during WWII. He was preceded in death by his first wife Dorothy Holt Lichlyter; parents Hal and Florence Lichlyter; brother Hubert Lichlyter; and sisters Margaret Dennis, Francis Dennis, Gladys Fox, Bernice Shropshire, Vivian Grice, and Pearl Hazel Lichlyter. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn B. Lichlyter; sons David (Connie) Lichlyter of Rutledge and Marty (Mitzy) Lichlyter of Dandridge; grandchildren Miranda (Jack) Oakes of Newport, Brittany Wright of Sevierville, Andy Lichlyter of Rutledge and Morgan Lichlyter of Dandridge; great grandson Alec Wright of Sevierville; sister Helen Bradley of Dandridge; brother Ralph (Joyce) Lichlyter of Dandridge; and several nieces and nephews and other family and friends. Funeral services will be held at 7:00 pm Sunday, July 21, 2013 at Manes Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Mark Kitts and Rev. Leroy Davis officiating. Burial will be held at 11:00 am Monday, July 22, 2013 at Resthaven Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm Sunday prior to funeral services. Family and friends may sign the guest register on line at: www.manesfuneralhome.com. Manes Funeral Home in charge.
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 26 Jul 2013.
'Brownie' Lichlyter, longtime Newport businessman, dies at 88
Author: Duay O'Neil
NEWPORT-Another part of Newport's downtown history, James Paul Lichlyter, died last week.
Known as "Brownie," Lichlyter, 88, died Friday, July 19, at Morristown-Hamblen Hospital and was buried Monday, July 22, at Resthaven Memorial Gardens.
From 1948-2010, Lichlyter's was a familiar face as co-owner and then owner of James Furniture Company on East Broadway.
A native of the Indian Creek community of Jefferson County, he was one of a large family of children born to Hal Lichlyter and his wife, the former Florence Strange. His great-great-great-grandparents, Frederick and Margaret (Denton) Lichlyter were among the area's earliest settlers, moving there from Shenandoah County, Virginia about 1804. Frederick Lichlyter was a trustee of Pine Chapel Methodist Church, one of the area's first religious congregations.
In an interview with Newport Plain Talk Co-publisher David Popiel in December of 2010, Lichlyter, on the eve of his retirement, said he entered the United States Navy in 1943 during World War II and served in the South Paci? c on the USS Franklin Roosevelt.
In 1946, he returned to Tennessee and, for a time, worked at Stokely’s, then joined TVA as part of a crew clearing brush and trees to make way for new power lines and poles. He said homesickness brought him home from Lenoir City in the late 1940s and he went to work for his uncle, Walter Strange, who operated a grocery store in Dandridge. Meanwhile Homer and Paul James, brothers, opened James Furniture in Newport in 1948, and Lichlyter went to work for them as a salesman. Eventually he purchased an interest in the business from Jim Maloy.
In the boom following the war and with the spread of electrical power throughout Cocke County, the demand for appliances and furniture soared. “We would load up a truck and send it out the road where they put in the lines and sold right out of the truck,” he recalled. “Imagine doing that today!”
According to Lichlyter, one of the most popular items of the era was the Gate City chrome dinette set that sold for $29.95 and up.
Lichlyter also said when he and Homer James went out to deliver items, they simply put a sign on the door that stated: “Be back in one hour.”
Over the years, Lichlyter sold to as many as three generations of families. One customer trusted Lichlyter so much she would simply call and tell him, “Send me a range.” The lady told her granddaughter she had known the James Furniture folks “for 50 years and trusted their judgment.”
Lichlyter, who was a member of First Church of the Nazarene, was married twice. By his ? rst wife, the former Dorothy “Dot” Holt, he had two sons, David and Marty. Following her death from cancer, he married the former Carolyn Ball, who survives.
- [S58] Marriage Certificate.
Groom's Name Bride's First Name Bride's Maiden Name County Date of Marriage File #
LICHLYTER JAMES C CAROLYN B [NOT GIVEN] COCKE 08-06-1983 32507