The Below CD Title lists the dates of obituaries from Carter Co. and Johnson Co.TN. Johnson Co. TN says begins 1882, however there were only a few obituaries in those existing newspapers, most start in late 1920s.
OBITUARIES FROM CARTER & JOHNSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE NEWSPAPERS
Elizabethton Star, 1929-1950, The Tomahawk and Johnson County News, 1882-1970
Transcribed from microfilm by Jerry Ann Kinnear Stout and Neva Jane Stout Bryant