City Renames Street to Honor East Knoxville Community Advocate, Businessman

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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News item

City Renames Street to Honor East Knoxville Community Advocate, Businessman

Posted: 08/16/2016
Milligan Street, between Magnolia and Martin Luther King Jr. avenues, will be renamed Beal Bourne Street to honor the longtime community advocate and local businessman.

The dedication will take place at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, at the corner of Milligan Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, near Austin-East High School.

“Beal is an energetic individual who believes in the Knoxville community and does whatever he can to help people achieve their dreams, often going out of his way to serve people in need,” said Rev. Harold Middlebrook, a legendary civil-rights and community leader and longtime friend of Bourne.

Originally from Virginia, Bourne – who calls himself an “Army brat” – graduated from the University of Maryland. He discovered an interest in the mortuary profession when his father died. The experience left him desiring a career as a funeral director and licensed mortician.

Now, Bourne is the funeral director of Jarnigan & Son Mortuary on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. Jarnigan & Son Mortuary, established by Clem Jarnigan in 1886, is believed to be Knoxville’s oldest black-owned business.

Bourne also expressed a love for helping people in need. Since moving to Knoxville in 1973, he has been dedicated to serving East Knoxville’s community. He is a member of the C.C. Russell Masonic Lodge, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Commission and a former member of the Knox County Library Board.

“This is truly an honor,” Bourne said of the street renaming. “In my line of work, you always hear people say that they wished they had told someone how they felt when they were alive; I’m happy that people thought enough of me and appreciated my work in the community to have a street named for me while I am still here to enjoy it.”