2017-06-14 / Columns

The Way We Were

Changes George H. Goodman took these photos of the McRoberts School (above) and Jenkins School (right) sometime between 1934 and 1942 when Goodman was director of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in Kentucky. The WPA, a federal employment project started as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, was responsible for building a new school building in nearly every community in the United States, including these additions to the buildings in McRoberts and Jenkins. This week in 1947, the Jenkins Board of Education was busy making changes in the school system, as the board voted unanimously to close the McRoberts school to high school students and start busing them to Jenkins. (Photos courtesy Goodman Paxton Photographic Collection, University of Kentucky Digital Library)Changes George H. Goodman took these photos of the McRoberts School (above) and Jenkins School (right) sometime between 1934 and 1942 when Goodman was director of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in Kentucky. The WPA, a federal employment project started as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, was responsible for building a new school building in nearly every community in the United States, including these additions to the buildings in McRoberts and Jenkins. This week in 1947, the Jenkins Board of Education was busy making changes in the school system, as the board voted unanimously to close the McRoberts school to high school students and start busing them to Jenkins. (Photos courtesy Goodman Paxton Photographic Collection, University of Kentucky Digital Library)
Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, June 16, 1927 The state division engineer for highways in Letcher County and other locations in eastern Kentucky visited Whitesburg from Winchester last Thursday night and promised that the state would restore the road from Jenkins to Whitesburg to “traveling condition.”

. All Letcher County residents are encouraged to get inoculated against typhoid fever, a disease of the small intestines.

. The City of Blackey is advertising for bids for construction of a concrete street extending from the post office to the corner at the Blackey State Bank building.

Thursday, June 17, 1937 Death stalked the highways Sunday night and two young men in the prime of their life gave their all to the grim reaper. While riding on their motorcycle, James and McDonald “Don” Frazier, both in their early 20s, were hurtled onto the railroad track near No. 5 Hollow in Jenkins after being hit by a speeding Pontiac sedan. The young men were headed toward their home in Fleming when the car, driven by an unidentified man, attempted to pass a line of cars and ran head-on into the oncoming motorcycle.

. Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray star in “Maid of Salem,” showing June 20-21 at the Kentucky Theatre in Whitesburg.

. Lynch resident Ferdinand Moore spent the weekend in Whitesburg.

Thursday, June 19, 1947 Jasper Nease of McRoberts stood calmly last week and heard Louisville Criminal Court Judge Lorraine Mix sentence him to death by electrocution on November 21. Nease was convicted of the armed robbery of Vernon Hodge of Louisville, who was later killed near Hazard. Nease was one of three soldiers who escaped from prison at Fort Knox. Daniel T. McPeak, of Dublin, Virginia, was given death in the case last week. The third soldier, Herbert Workman of Tesla, West Virginia, has not been tried yet.

. The Mountain Eagle was published a day early this week so that it could be presented to members of the Louisville Board of Trade, who will arrive in Whitesburg from Kentucky’s largest city aboard the 4 p.m. train today.

. A tract of beautiful bottomland located off KY 15 on Breedings Creek at Redfox in Knott County will be divided into 50 residential lots and three large tracts and sold at absolute auction on Saturday, June 21. The property, which also includes two houses, is owned by Uncle G.W. “Pud” Breeding.

. The nation’s housewives reached the end of a five-year coupon ordeal June 11 when the government ended rationing of sugar for households, hotels and restaurants. However, price controls will remain in effect until October 31.

. A steam shovel and a bulldozer are now at work on the Carcassonne-Elko road. When the road is finished it will be about a 15-minute drive from Carcassonne to the highway at Elko.

Thursday, June 20, 1957 The Jenkins Independent Board of Education has agreed to transport all McRoberts High School students to Jenkins if the board can afford an additional bus and classroom space is available. It has long been the board’s goal to transport students in grades 9 through 12, leaving only the elementary school operating at McRoberts.

. Kendall Boggs will leave his job as principal of Whitesburg High School and Whitesburg Grade School August 1 and will return to Cumberland, where he taught for 13 years before coming to Whitesburg four years ago. Boggs will be principal at Cumberland High School, which is slightly smaller than WHS but has better facilities and offers a better salary.

. Jack Taylor, Whitesburg High School band director, has resigned to accept the position as band director at Pikeville. He will also attend Pikeville College. Taylor was band director at WHS for two years previously before leaving for Georgetown High School and then returning here last year.

. All four Letcher County high schools —Fleming-Neon, Kingdom Come, Letcher and Whitesburg — are now accredited as “A” schools by the state Department of Education and the Kentucky Association of Colleges and Secondary Institutions.

. Jenkins Schools Superintendent C.V. Snapp says the teacher situation there “is near the critical point” after only 32 teachers returned their acceptance forms for jobs during the next school year. Snapp said the district requires 65 teachers and principals to operate.

. Bert Bach of Whitesburg, a senior at Eastern State College in Richmond, has been selected as editor-in-chief of the school paper, The Progress. The son of Dr. and Mrs. B.C. Bach, he is completing four years’ of college work in three years.

Thursday, June 8, 1967 A 60-year-old grandmother was killed Friday night as she pulled her young grandson from the path of an oncoming train. The woman was Mrs. Ella Jane Turner of Ingram’s Creek. She was killed instantly when she was struck by an L&N freight train at the Mill Branch crossing near Roxana and was thrown beneath the train. The grandchild,

a five-year-old boy, was seriously injured but escaped death when his grandmother threw him out of the way of the train. Mrs. Turner and the boy had been riding in the car with the child’s parents, Mary Lou and Cecil Jones, at the time of the accident. The family was returning to Ingram’s Creek after visiting Mrs. Turner’s son, Turner Turner, when their automobile skidded on the wet road, resulting in a tire getting stuck between a railroad tie and the track. Then the engine stalled. Upon hearing the approaching train, the family left the automobile but Mrs. Turner realized that the boy was still in the auto and went back after him. The train also hit Cecil Jones, but the others escaped unharmed.

. Former Jenkins High School football star Phil Greer was switched to end last year at the University of Kentucky and has now settled on the defensive secondary as his new home. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound son of Mr. and Mrs. Goff Greer of Burdine was signed to UK as a quarterback. Greer’s willingness to move to the defensive secondary has drawn praise from UK head football coach Charlie Bradshaw.

. Two Whitesburg civic clubs — Lions and Rotary — are trying to raise enough money to pay for liability insurance so the City of Whitesburg can open the Whitesburg Municipal Swimming Pool this summer. Don Childers is serving as chairman of the drive for the Lions Club. The city announced a few weeks ago that it would be unable to open the pool this year because of the high cost of the liability insurance it would have to carry and because it had no money for needed repair work. Since that time several clubs and private citizens have discussed appeals for donations.

. Construction of a new vocational high school building in Whitesburg is expected to begin about July 15. Letcher Fiscal Court will hold a special meeting at 10 a.m. on Saturday to sell $130,000 in school revenue bonds to finance the local share of the $450,000 building. The new vocational school will be an extension of the Hazard Area Vocational School and will be operated by the Letcher County Board of Education. It will serve all of Letcher County.

. A 10-ounce package of miniature marshmallows is on sale at the Whitesburg A&P for 25 cents.

. Four Whitesburg High School students made perfect all-A standing for the last semester of the school year. They are Judy Hammock, a senior, and juniors Barbara Poloskey, Beatrice Day, and John Elliott.

Thursday, June 19, 1977 The Letcher County Ambulance Service has been ordered to stop billing people for services it did not give. Magistrate L.P. Sumpter told Letcher Fiscal Court Monday that the company that operates the ambulance service has “been billing people for bills incurred to the service before they had the franchise.” Sumpter said the agency, now operated by a private firm, has been trying to collect payment for ambulance service given when the county still operated its own ambulances.

. The Jenkins City Council voted Monday night not to enforce a new ordinance requiring trucks hauling coal, gravel, or other loose material through the city to cover their loads with tarpaulins. The ordinance had been passed at the council meeting April 5 and was scheduled to go into effect June 6 at midnight.

. The first recipient of the annual Scotia Mine Disaster Memorial Scholarship awarded by the Student Association at Eastern Kentucky University is Deborah Morgan of Oneida.

. Peaches are on sale at the Whitesburg A&P store for 59 cents a pound. Sweet corn is 11 cents a year.

Wednesday, June 10, 1987 The 71st birthday of Kentucky’s first Dawahare’s department store apparently will not be a happy affair for the town in which it is located. A stock liquidation sale began at the chain’s Neon store this week, and a company official said there is little hope of keeping the business open as a fullline Dawahare’s store.

. Letcher County Sheriff Ben B. Taylor says he will pay $100 to anyone with information regarding who vandalized a cemetery on Pine Creek, near Mayking. Vandals broke 47 monuments and scattered flowers about the cemetery grounds.

. The City of Fleming-Neon hopes to increase the usage of its new treatment plant next month. The city will advertise for bids to “tap-on” lines to homes next week and hopes to award a contract at its next regular city council meeting.

Wednesday, June 11, 1997 If you stop by the Letcher County Courthouse these days, you’ll notice a few things are missing — namely, its regular workers. No, they haven’t closed up shop, but they have moved to allow the renovation of the courthouse and the building of the new county jail to be completed. All of the offices

in the courthouse have now moved temporarily to the old Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation/Daniel Boone Hotel building (107 E. Main St.) three doors east of the courthouse, with the exception of the probation and parole office, which has moved to 223 East Main St.

. State Rep. Paul Mason has formally protested the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s decision to reverse its earlier plan to spend $3 million this year for further reconstruction on the Pine Mountain crossing section of US 119. “We are helpless without a good road across the mountain,” Mason wrote Governor Paul Patton. “We must be on a good road to somewhere or we are forever stuck on the road to nowhere.” Mason said transportation official Fred Mudge told him last July that the cabinet intended to start a $22 million widening and shoulder improvement project on the road across Pine Mountain, but he learned last week that Transportation Cabinet Secretary Charles Codell had reversed an earlier decision to spend $3 million authorized by the 1996 General Assembly for construction beginning this year.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 The Letcher County Chamber of Commerce honored Carter Bevins, chief of Neon Volunteer Fire and Rescue; the Rev. Elwood Cornett, who is at the front of the community’s efforts to bring a federal prison to the county; Roy Crawford, president of R.R. Crawford Engineering, who has sponsored three cultural events since the opening of Letcher Central High School’s auditorium and gymnasium; and Mable Johnson, chairperson of the Hemphill Community Center Committee, for their continuing work as community volunteers.

. A group working on the proposed Pioneer Horse Trail on Pine Mountain got a double dose of bad news this week. Officials with the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD) said the because the group does not control the land for the trail it will not quality for a GOLD grant. The group then saw a letter from Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources setting out a number of steps that could prove difficult for the group to meet in order to get state approval for use of the Hensley-Pine Mountain Wildlife Management Area.

. Hilton Dixon, 11, of Whitesburg, tried out the new waterslide at the Whitesburg Municipal Swimming Pool Whitesburg Mayor James W. Craft said the city bought the $2,900 slide to give children who haven’t learned to swim well enough to jump off the diving board a way to enjoy the pool more.

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