2017-03-15 / Columns

The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, March 17, 1927 The Letcher County Board of Education has awarded eight bids for construction of the new graded school building. Construction, heating and plumbing and other companies have 120 working days to complete the project, which is expected to cost $325,000.

. How’s this for a dog-goes-visiting story? When the early train stopped at Seco a few mornings ago, a dog walked up the passenger coach steps and into the coach. The conductors saw the dog and thought he belonged to a passenger. When the train stopped at Kona, a mile or so below Seco, the dog left the coach, walked down the steps and trotted rapidly along a path and into the yard of a home, where a man waiting at the gate greeted the animal. Not one thought too much about it until several hours later when a train headed to Neon stopped at Kona and the same dog got back into a coach. When the train stopped at Seco, the dog slowly walked down the steps of the coach and left, apparently happy with his visit to Kona. Various witnesses vouched for the truthfulness of this story.

. Charles Easterling, about 21 years old, drowned Tuesday night while he and another man, Porter Tate, tried to cross Jenkins Lake in a boat. A third man, Joe Bradley, visited the lake with Easterling and Tate, but remained on the bank on the bank of the lake while the two men got in the boat. Easterling’s body was recovered about 10 a.m. Wednesday.

. Mrs. Henry Day, daughter of Cowan merchant Floyd Banks, was shot accidentally Monday morning, but is expected to survive. No other details of the incident have been provided.

. All 31 applicants for certificates as mine foremen passed the examination given by the state board of mine examiners in Lexington last Tuesday and Wednesday.

Thursday, March 18, 1937 An 18-year-old Sandlick youth who was seriously injured by a gunshot wound last week appeared at the Letcher County Courthouse this week to ask that all charges be dropped against the accused shooter, Sid Hensley, who is said to have fired into a group of boys after they allegedly bothered him at his home. The 18-year-old, who was released from the Hazard hospital on Monday, is the son of Mr. L. Thornton. Hensley is being held pending action by the next Letcher County Grand Jury.

. The state of Kentucky is refusing to forward $187,000 in highway funds designated for Letcher County as part of $418,000 in federal disaster aid to fix roads damaged by the 1927 flood, which killed 17 county residents. Homes on Kingscreek and the lower section of the county were washed away and roads completely destroyed.

. The remodeling of the Kentucky Theatre in Whitesburg is well underway. The building is being enlarged and renovated throughout, with new seats and lighting added. The Isaac family, owners of the theater, said Whitesburg will have one of the most modern theaters in the mountains when the work is done.

. A 65-year-old W.P.A. worker died last Friday while working on the new road project at the mouth of Cowan. Witnesses say Sim Bates was pronounced dead after collapsing at the scene.

. Funeral services were held March 14, for Miss Marion Virginia White, who died of gunshot wounds she suffered in McRoberts on March 6.

. Funeral services were held Monday in Whitaker for 18-year-old Linzie Niece, who was killed by a train near there the day before.

. Dr. B.F. Wright of Seco has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination to the office of county judge in the August 7 primary election.

. Kentucky residents received average weekly pay of $16.38 in 1936, state officials say.

. The state Department of Welfare says

134 Letcher County residents are receiving old age pensions of $9 per month.

Thursday, March 20, 1947 Well-known Whitesburg barber Byrd Adams died tragically Saturday night after falling from a railroad trestle while walking home from work. Adams was walking home with his two little sons about 10 p.m. Saturday when he missed a step and stumbled off the bridge, striking his head and leaving him unconscious as a result. Authorities say Adams never regained consciousness before dying an hour later at the Jenkins hospital.

. Grady Bates, a fine young man from Roxana, was killed March 15 when a shot unexpectedly went off in the Joe Tolliver Mine at Thornton. Bates, 21, was a son of Andy and Zettie Bates of Roxana, who survive him. He also leaves behind his wife and several brothers and sisters.

. Little Betty Ellen Potter of McRoberts was burned to death March 12 when she fell into a tub of boiling water at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ben Potter Jr.

Thursday, March 21, 1957 Two new restaurants are opening for business in Letcher County. Keesee’s Café, Neon, will open this week. It is located in the Bates Building and is operated by Mr. and Mrs. D.W. Keesee. The Green Door Café, operated by Mr. and Mrs. Taulby Barrett, will open in Whitesburg April 1. It will be located in the Frazier Building across from the Letcher County Courthouse. Attached to the restaurant will be Taulby’s Billiard and Cue. Mr. Keesee operated a restaurant in Neon before World War II. For the past 27 months, he and his wife have worked at the Neon Post Office, where Mr. Keesee served as acting postmaster.

. Two Letcher County residents were killed and seven other people were injured in three traffic accidents here over the weekend. Dead are Hage Hall, 35, of Deane, and C.B. Hall, 29, of Jackhorn. The Halls, who were cousins, were killed instantly when the automobile in which they were riding collided with a parked car at Deane and caromed into a store building. Seriously injured in that mishap was James Mullins of Deane, who was driving the Halls. A Deane girl, Jackie Yonts, was injured while she was sitting in the car that was hit by James Mullins, who was arrested on charges of drunken driving, racing on the highway, and driving with no operator’s license. Kentucky State Trooper Ottis Anderson said Mullins was racing a car driven by Don Hall of Deane, who was charged with racing and driving with no license. Two teenage boys from Dunham, James Johnson, 14, and Wesley Wyatt, 16, were injured when the car in which they were riding wrecked at Haymond. The boys were hitchhiking and were picked up by Clarence “Cotton” Davis, who was charged with reckless driving. In a third wreck, three Thornton residents — Lloyd Hodge, James Phillips, and a Williams girl who first name was not released — were slightly injured when the car in which they were riding went out of control on Thornton Hill.

. An editorial in The Mountain Eagle says it’s worth noting that February 25 marked the 44th anniversary of the federal income tax. A look backward is in order, The Eagle says, because in 1913, in the tax’s infancy, the normal income tax rate was one-percent while the highest rate was sixpercent. Today, the lowest rate on taxable incomes in 20-percent, while the highest is 91-percent. Writes Eagle editor Tom Gish, “The Portland Oregonian makes this wry and apt comment: ‘We didn’t invent the income tax … the British started using it to support their military campaigns in the late 1700s, shortly after we licked them at Yorktown and won our independence. Well, they have their revenge.’”

. Several Jenkins residents motored to Johnson City, Tennessee on Sunday to see the “Ice Follies.”

. Barbara Stambaugh, a 1955 graduate of Jenkins High School, was named to the “Fall Quarter Honor Roll” at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where she attends the UT College of Business Administration.

. The Bluefield Bridge was completed last Saturday, and the people of the community are very proud of it, reports Ulvah correspondent Lovell Caudill.

. The families of Henry Hatton and Junior Hatton moved into the Marlowe camp this week, from Belcraft and Whitco

respectively, reports Marlowe correspondent A.P. Williams. Meanwhile, Marlowe Company Store manager Dan Combs and his brother, Hugh, caught 18 fish during a fishing trip to Tennessee last week.

Thursday, March 16, 1967 Dr. Ronald N. Collier, a Letcher County native in the last year of his pediatric residency at General and Children’s Hospitals in Louisville, is being credited with saving the life of Joseph K. Brownlow Jr., who was near death when he was born 13 months ago. For the first 47 minutes of “Jody’s” life, the newborn did not breathe. Delivered by Caesarian section at 9:57 p.m., November 27, 1965, at Louisville General Hospital, the child was silent, made no attempt to begin breathing, his color was poor, and his muscles were limp. Fortunately, little Jody had a good heartbeat and Dr. Collier, a second-year resident who spent the next 47 minutes forcing oxygen into the infant’s lungs with a balloon like bellows and a fitted face mask. “Finally, about 10:40 p.m., Jody Brownlow began making little noise,” wrote Louisville Times reporter Dick Kirschten in an article reprinted in The Mountain Eagle. “He was trying to breathe. The 5-1/2 pound infant drew up his little legs. The tone was coming to his muscles. At 10:44 p.m., Dr. Collier laid aside the oxygen mask. The baby was breathing on his own. Just to prove it, Jody Brownlow for the first time began to cry.” The 27-year old Dr. Collier, son of Mr. and Mrs. Newt Collier of Mayking, hopes to return to Whitesburg to practice as a pediatrician after spending two years serving with the Armed Forces in Vietnam. He is a graduate of Whitesburg High School, Union College, and the University of Louisville Medical School.

. The Letcher County Board of Education has awarded a contract for construction of a new library-cafeteria building to serve Whitesburg High School and Whitesburg Grade School. A contract for a total of $288,000 was awarded to G. Marcus Jones Construction Company of Morristown, Tennessee.

. Three third-grade students from Cowan Elementary School scored high two weeks in a row on a regional television show and will represent their school a third time next Wednesday night. Linda Mahala Caudill, Timothy Wade York, and Lisa F. Kimberlin are the three students who are on their way to a triple victory in WCYB-TV’s “Kiddie College” quiz show. So far, the three students have earned Cowan Elementary $50 in prize money from the Bristol, Tennessee-based television station.

. Staff Sergeant Delzie G. Adams, son of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Adams of Neon, recently received the Bronze Star Medal with “V” (Valor) Device for heroic action in Vietnam in February 1966. The award was presented to SSG Adams, 35, during a ceremony at Fort Knox, where he is presently assigned as an instructor in the Allied Officer Training Department of the Armor School. In February 1966, SSG Adams was an aircraft gunner with the First Squadron, 9th Cavalry, First Cavalry Division (Airmobile) at Bong Son, Vietnam. The aircraft crews were sleeping in or near their aircraft when the Viet Cong launched a mortar attack on their defensive position. SSG Adams and an aircraft crew chief were lying on their sleeping bags when the attack began. They ran for cover, but the crew chief was hit by shell fragments and fell in an open area with mortar rounds continuing to land around him. Reaching cover and discovering the crew chief was not with him, SSG Adams ran back and helped him to a protected position as mortar shells blanketed the area and caused extensive and serious wounds to Adams’s face, chest and legs, resulting in his being hospitalized after the attack. Adams was also presented with the Purple Heart during the ceremony, which was also attended by his wife, Norma.

. Miss Mary Lydia Hammond, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Hammond of Whitesburg, has been recognized with an academic award for being in the Top Three Percent of her class at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, where she is a junior.

. Anna Laura Caudill, daughter of Letcher County Judge James M. Caudill and Mrs. Caudill of Neon, is the new president of the Association of Women Students at Transylvania College in Lexington. A graduate of Fleming-Neon High School, she is a sophomore majoring in psychology.

. Miss Tamara Musgrave and friends celebrated

her eighth birthday Wednesday, March 6, at the home of Mrs. Albert Farley of Jenkins.

Thursday, March 17, 1977 The Whitesburg City Council rejected a bid by Kentucky Power Company for renewal of the company’s franchise in the city limits. The company proposed to pay 25 percent of the city’s annual street lighting bill, which would amount to $1,500 a year. The council voted to levy a four percent gross receipts tax on the utility, in which the estimated revenue would cost the company $16,000 a year.

. Carloads of state police in riot gear escorted security guards to the Stearns Mining Co.’s Justus Mine in McCreary County this week after more friction between miners and company officials and a court order restraining the number of pickets at the mine.

. Forest fires have blackened thousands of acres of woodland across eastern Kentucky within the past couple of weeks, marking the beginning of the spring fire season. Four fires in Letcher County alone charred close to 288 acres on Monday.

. Roadside Theatre’s “Red Fox/Second Hanging” will be presented this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Cowan Community Center. The play is the account of the life and death of Dr. M.B. Taylor, known as Red Fox.

Wednesday, March 18, 1987 Convicted murderer Benny Lee Hodge has denied an accusation that he tried to kill former Harlan County Sheriff Paul L. Browning. Hodge, of Harriman, Tenn., is a death row inmate at the Kentucky State Penitentiary at Eddyville. Along with Roger Dale Epperson of Perry County, Hodge was convicted in Letcher Circuit Court last summer of murdering Tammy Dee Acker and robbing her physician father of $1.9 million. Donald Terry Bartley, a Harlan County native, is also charged in the crime, but was granted a separate trial after he agreed to testify against Hodge and Epperson.

. A former Oak Ridge, Tenn., policeman used money stolen from Dr. Roscoe J. Acker to remodel his home and purchase thousands of dollars worth of expensive automobiles, jewelry, and counterfeit goods, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has charged. A 17-page affidavit filed last week details the purchases in answer to Detective Gene Foust’s plea of innocent to charges of concealing and spending stolen money. Foust is accused of accepting $683,000 of the nearly $1.9 million stolen from Acker’s bedside safe in August 1985.

Wednesday, March 19, 1997 The City of Whitesburg will let Golden Oak Mining Company deep mine cityowned coal reserves in West Whitesburg. The Whitesburg City Council cleared the way for Golden Oak to mine the property last week by agreeing to allow the company to sublease mining rights now owned by Enterprise Coal Company. A Golden Oak official said the deal could net the city as much as $750,000, but one city official cautioned that profits could be much lower.

. Thirty men and three women have applied for the position of superintendent of the Letcher County school system.

. Cowan School and the Kentucky Highway Department garage at Mayking will soon have city water service. Members of the Whitesburg City Council voted March 11 to lift their moratorium on water hookups outside the city limits to hook up the two public agencies onto the city water system.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007 The City of Whitesburg will hold an auction to sell its old water treatment plant, which was constructed more than 40 years ago. The old plant has been vacant since the newer plant went on line a decade ago.

. Jenkins police are investigating a robbery at Whitaker’s Music Shop. The owner and operator, Irvine Whitaker, was hit from behind after a man requested change. Whitaker, was then forced to open the register. The robber emptied the register and then fled.

. Whitesburg resident Marvin Jarrett was presented with a Key to the City of Whitesburg by Mayor James W. Craft. Jarrett was honored for his community spirit and long association with WMMT-FM, Appalshop’s community radio station.

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