2016-04-20 / Features

The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, April 22, 1926 Four young Letcher County boys were arrested and charged with making moonshine after sheriff ’s deputy raided the house and property of a Bull Creek widow. The four are the sons of Nancy Fields, who has been struggling to feed her family since the death of her husband, Stephen Fields. Two of the boys, both well under 20 years old, were sent to jail with heavy fines. The youngest two boys were released under the condition they remain on good behavior. Deputy Sheriff J.D. Blair said he had warned Mrs. Fields several weeks ago that action would have to be taken if the boys didn’t stop making moonshine. “Every bit of the family’s earthly possessions except a little scrap of land was invested in the moonshine outfit, which was destroyed,” the deputy said.

. The Dudley School began the current school year with an enrollment of 92 students and two teachers. The Dudley Coal Company, with operations near Carbon Glow, has built an addition to the crowded school and added a third teacher, says the Letcher County Board of Education.

. The Nagola-Elkhorn Coal Company of Fleming and Whitaker was adjudicated bankrupt on April16.

. The Mountain Eagle is now owned by Lewis E. Harvie and is edited and managed by its founder, Nehemiah M. Webb, according to the paper’s annual “Statement of Ownership, Management, Etc.,” that is required by act of the U.S. Congress.

. Letcher County Sheriff Morgan T. Reynolds says he and deputies from his office have arrested 40 persons recently and charged them with infractions of the prohibition laws.

. L&N Railroad Vice President E.S. Jouett met with a large crowd of citizens at the Letcher County Courthouse in Whitesburg yesterday to explain why the railroad is opposed to connecting the McRoberts Branch of the L&N with the C.C.&O. Railroad at Jenkins. Calling the proposed route “impossible and impracticable,” Jouett said he believes a proposed route from Ulvah up Linefork and on to Chad in Harlan County is the only feasible way to connect the two railroads. He said the L&N would first build a line up the Poor Fork section of Letcher County as part of its Black Mountain Division.

. Two railcar loads of 1926 model Dodge automobiles have arrived at Wright Motor Company’s garages in Neon and Jenkins and are now ready for sale.

Thursday, April 25, 1946 President Harry Truman took a hand in the 20-day bituminous coal strike this week in an unheralded White House talk with UMW President John L. Lewis and Labor Secretary Schwellenbach. After a 15-minute conference, the White House said the meeting failed to reach a “conclusive result.”

. With the United States having assumed almost half of the world’s famine-relief load, President Truman is calling for two “starvation days” a week in the American home. By “starvation day,” Mr. Truman means that Americans should eat meals that those in hunger areas sit down to month in and month out. Truman’s comments come as his famine relief expert, Herbert Hoover, reported from abroad that unless Americans eat less, unnumbered thousands will die elsewhere.

. Don English and Sandy Adams will open a new plumbing and heating business in Whitesburg on May 1. The new concern will be located in the Dawahare building.

. Two persons were injured and more than 100 pairs of nylon hose were destroyed in Sunday morning when fire gutted the Rose Brothers department store in Jackson.

. Homer Easterling, the man charged with murdering Howard Johnson at Dunham about five weeks ago, pleaded guilty in Letcher Circuit Court today to that charge and a charge of attempting to murder James Adams, and is now asking for the court’s mercy. The killing took place after Johnson and Adams hired Easterling to drive them back to Whitesburg from a nightspot at Pound, Virginia. After Easterling refused to continue the trip to Whitesburg, Johnson and Adams exited his vehicle, after which Easterling began assaulting them with the car.

. Taxi driver Oscar Isaacs, 25, of Neon, was sentenced to life in prison late Wednesday evening after a Letcher Circuit Court jury found him guilty of murdering Wade Hall, a 24-year-old ex-serviceman, at Hemphill in January. Hall, who was discharged from the Army on January 1, was wearing his military uniform when Isaacs shot him six times on January 9 after an argument that began at the Falcon Inn, near the Pike-Letcher County line. Isaacs claims he was acting in self-defense, but prosecutors say Isaacs recruited three other men and drove to Hemphill to confront Hall, resulting in the shooting. Isaacs said his dispute with Hall began at the Falcon Inn after Isaacs fought with Hall’s brother after the brother called him a “4-F” [a classification the Selective Service System uses for males who cannot serve because of medical or psychological problems]. Hall gave his account of the shooting to authorities before he died of the gunshot wounds at the Marine Hospital in Louisville on March 10.

. Army Major Ernest A. Sallee of Fort Knox was designated by the Commanding General, Fifth Service Command, to present to Mr. Byrd Bates, Route 15, Whitesburg, the Bronze Star Medal posthumously awarded to his son, Private Poney W. Bates. The medal will be presented at the Letcher County Courthouse on Saturday at 10 a.m.

Thursday, April 19, 1956 Members of the Jenkins High School Senior Class have returned from their six-day senior trip to Washington, D.C., and New York City. After a visit to the U.S. Capital, where their photograph was taken, and a moonlight cruise on the Potomac River on Monday night, class members arrived in New York City on Tuesday, where they toured upper and lower Manhattan, Chinatown and Harlem. They also took a boat ride around Manhattan Island, toured the Empire State Building, the United Nations Building and the National Broadcasting Company before seeing the famous Rocketts perform at Radio City Music Hall. Among those making the trip were Franklin Bullion, Don Vanover, Larry P. Mullins, Windell Stidham, Harold Winchell, Charles Sizemore, Ronald Blevins, Eddie W. Bowling, Ronald Polly, Gene Gallion, Elmo Ratliff, Jerry Farley, Lonnie Webb, Mescal Baker, Patsy Baldwin, Dorothy Brewer, Bobbie Holmes, Anna Sue Bentley, Mickie Haynes, Carol McCoy, Arlena Webb, Patty Dorton, Doris Whitaker, Mary F. Finch, Pat Chandler, Shirley Fleming, Alva Baker, Shirley Virginia Asbury, Barbara Pritchard, Reeda Reasor, Dorsey Walker, Homer C. Davis, Mary Ellen Mullins, Billie Pritchard, Yvonne Back, Jewell Anderson, Betty Wassum, Freddie Scott, and Donna Webb.

Richard Wesley Acker is one of six Kentuckians who were among Marine Corps recruits who survived an unscheduled disciplinary night march into a swampy area on Sunday, April 6, at Parris Island, South Carolina. Six recruits drowned during the march of 74 men from Platoon 71 that was ordered by drill instructor Staff Sergeant Matthew McKeon. [The march became known as the “Ribbon Creek Incident” and resulted in McKeon being found guilty of manslaughter and drinking on duty. He was also reduced in rank to private and discharged for bad behavior.]

. The L&N Lake at Neon is now open for fishing after being stocked with bass, catfish and pike. Bene and Nerva Howard operate the lake.

. The Office of the Kentucky Attorney General has filed ouster proceedings in Letcher Circuit Court against Letcher County Board of Education members Basil Hall and Daniel Johnson on the grounds that neither is qualifi ed under state eligibility laws.

. State Representative Harry M. Caudill of Whitesburg introduced the second bill in two days to set up a system of state-owned liquor stores. Caudill’s bill is modeled after the Virginia State Liquor Monopoly Law.

. Whitesburg High School senior basketball stars Rex Polly and Jimmie Blair were guests of Coach C.M. Newton of the Transylvania Pioneers and given tryouts for basketball scholarships at Kentucky’s oldest college. Polly and Blair will also try out for the basketball team at VPI [Virginia Tech] on Friday.

. The Perry County coroner has ruled the death of a 15-year-old M.C. Napier High School girl a suicide after the girl overdosed on barbiturate pills after returning home from classes last Friday night. The girl was said to be despondent over the illness of her mother.

. Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Cook of Whitesburg are receiving congratulations on the birth of their second daughter, Jerrie Lee, born at Fleming Hospital on March 22. Their other little daughter is Terry Lynn.

Thursday, April 21, 1966 Letcher County school officials announced today the employment of 287 teachers with degrees, indicating a sharp increase in the number of qualified teachers in the schools next fall. By this time last year only 264 teachers with degrees had been employed.

. Letcher County has received approval of plans to spend federal funds totaling $223,000 to build a new library and cafeteria for Whitesburg High School.

. ”Spring with its cool rains has arrived at last,” writes Eagle correspondent Mabel Kiser.

. Power mowers are on sale at Holstein Hardware for 54.95.

Thursday, April 29, 1976 Tentative plans for the new Whitesburg parking lot were shown to the Whitesburg City Council at the group’s monthly meeting held Monday night.

. In an effort to straighten out a muddle of rumors circulating

in the aftermath of two Scotia Mine explosions, a high-level mining safety official flew to Whitesburg last week for a special briefing session with relatives of men killed in the mine disaster.

. Fewer trucks were cited for overweight violations on Kentucky highways last year, largely because of an increase in allowable weight limits which took effect in January 1975.

Wednesday, April 30, 1986 Appalachian Regional Hospital officials this week turned down a proposal that would bring striking United Steelworkers back to work under most of the same provisions of the three-year contract which expired last month.

. The Jenkins Independent School System has been rated “exceptional” in an accreditation report by the Kentucky Department of Education.

. Four Letcher County students will be in Louisville May 10 for the finals of the Governor’s Cup academic competition. Three are high school students — Srini Rao and Debbie Imperial, both of Whitesburg High School, and Paul Johnson of Jenkins High School. The fourth is Bill Adams, a student at Jenkins Middle School.

Wednesday, May 1, 1996 Disabled miners and their families crowded into the bleachers at the Whitesburg Middle School gymnasium to hear Gov. Paul Patton and other state officials explain the new $6.8 million state fund which will provide some help for them.

. Present customers of the Fleming-Neon Water Company will not have to share in the cost of extending city water lines to the community of Haymond, officials said at the Fleming-Neon City Council meeting.

. Brenda Gross, of Eolia, has received the Oris Conley Good Citizenship Award given annually by the Letcher County Local Governance Project.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 A photograph of an eight-month-old Letcher County baby which appeared in The Mountain Eagle April 20 was identified as the same photo found outside Community Trust Bank in Winchester after it was robbed April 7. A relative said the baby’s parents could not have been involved because the father was in West Virginia welding gas lines and the mother was in Neon on the day of the robbery.

. Letcher County Judge/Executive Carroll Smith hope to sign a contract this week with a Tennessee company to provide helicopter medevac services for the critically ill and injured in Letcher and surrounding counties.

. Two miners were killed over the past two days in Kentucky, bringing the number of coal fatalities so far this year to 26 nationally. The two miners were Rick McKnight, 45, of Cumberland, and David Chad Bolen, 28, of Harold.

. Burnice ‘”B.L.” Caudill celebrated his 99th birthday with a party at the Benham Inn, writes Cowan correspondent Elsie Banks. “B.L. was surprised by this party and a film of his life was shown.”

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