Issues of the Bryson City Times and Smoky Mountain Times Document “Lady Mayors” and More

Black and white article text and photo of adult in glasses with checkered dress looking down at paperwork on a desk or table
From the September 21, 1967 Smoky Mountain Times

Recently added to DigitalNC are issues of the Bryson City Times (1895-1938, 1940-1945) and the Smoky Mountain Times (1947-1984, with 1963-1984 being the most complete). Fontana Regional Library and Western Carolina University are the two partners who requested that these papers be added.

Published in Swain County, the Times includes local news items related to urban development, social life, businesses, sports, relgious organizations, crime, and elections. Issues from the late 1960s – 1970s document the election of “lady mayor” Ellen Hyams. Longtime secretary at the local bank, Hyams was unanimously elected mayor by the local Board of Aldermen in September 1967. This happened right after her husband – who was serving as mayor at the time – passed away. Hyams went on to serve a second term when she was elected by a margin of 6 votes in the 1971 election.

Hyams wasn’t the first woman who wasn’t initially elected Bryson City mayor by popular vote. In the mid-1940s, Mary Moody, who was married to Mayor Bill Moody, stepped in to his position when he left to serve during World War II.

You can view all of the issues we have of the Bryson City Times and the Smoky Mountain Times via their newspaper title page.

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