2017-07-19 / Columns

The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, July 21, 1927 Members of court juries in Kentucky are now being paid $3 per day instead of $2. The Kentucky State Legislature approved the increase recently, marking the first pay hike for jurors in 50 years.

. An inspector with the state board of health will make Letcher County his headquarters while he visits rural schools to inoculate children against typhoid and smallpox, investigate whether well water supplies to the schools are sanitary, and to deliver hygiene discussions to pupils.

. Lakeside Drive in Jenkins was open Sunday for public use.

. A breakdown in the Linotype machine caused The Mountain Eagle to arrive late this week to subscribers.

. Clark Day, the prohibition officer from Letcher County, and Deputy U.S. Marshal Archie V. Sergent returned from Knott County Saturday with 11 alleged moonshiners. The two officers reported the destruction of eight moonshine stills, 2,000 gallons of “still beer,” and nine gallons of moonshine whiskey. Those arrested were brought here to appear before U.S. Commissioner Stephen Combs Jr.

. Hallie’s Hat Shop is open for business in the Neon Hotel in downtown Neon.

. Prices for women’s hats and dresses have greatly reduced at M.E. French & Co. in downtown Whitesburg.

Thursday, July 22, 1937 The Letcher County Grand Jury has charged a man with killing his wife by throwing her out of his moving car. The accused, Odus Brown, had been estranged from his wife for some time.

. Two Letcher County boys working on Sergent farm captured a four-foot long rattlesnake earlier this week. The two, Major Day and James Day, were working in the farm’s orchard when they found and caught the snake, which had four rattles and a button. They will keep in in a wire topped box for now, but hope to send it away for mounting.

. The Letcher County Grand Jury has indicted Troy Triplett for murder in the shooting death of Dolphy Hall, who was killed last Friday near the head of Kentucky River. The shooting occurred after Hall and two other men, J.H. Addington and boy who goes by his last name of Akeman, were returning home after picking huckleberries and met Triplett and Homer Rose along the way. Shortly thereafter, Triplett began discussing the fact that Hall had been a witness against Triplett when Triplett was being tried in Letcher Circuit Court last year for the murder of Mose Webb. Triplett pulled his pistol and began firing at the three men, hitting Hall three or four times. The other two men were able to get away. Triplett was later heard bragging that he had shot and killed Hall and a mule belonging to Addington.

. Five organizers with the United Mine Workers of America’s Benham and Lynch locals of District 30 were jailed over the weekend after being accused of “confederating and banding with intent to cause bodily harm.” The five are accused of threatening to injure “an organizer for the company union.” UMWA officials told The

Mountain Eagle the arrests and charges were a “frame up” intended to discredit the union in this area.

. The first United Mine Workers of America meeting to be held in Benham since the arrival of the union in Harlan County was held Sunday and attended by as many as 1,000 people. The meeting was held on property owned by the state highway department and the railroad after Wisconsin Steel, the owner of the Benham mines, refused to allow the organizers onto company property. Union officials say they were ordered off the company’s property by “gunman” Doll Trent.

. In its weekly feature “It Is So,” The Mountain Eagle reports that Spencer Adams was the first sheriff in what is now Letcher County. Born in 1760, Spencer Adams was the eldest son of John Adams and migrated with his father to what is now Letcher County around 1800. Spencer Adams’s home was near the mouth of Bottom Fork. He was appointed magistrate in 1808 and elected sheriff of Floyd County in 1815.

Thursday, July 24, 1947 Soft coal production increased this week and so did soft coal prices. The Southern Coal Producers Association says U.S. consumers will pay $800 million additionally during the next year to offset the recent $1.20 per day wage increase granted to coal miners under a bargain reached by operators and United Mine Workers of America President John L. Lewis. Lewis said the wage increase will add only 65 cents to the cost of producing a ton of soft coal.

. The trial of two men accused of killing Clinton Cornett of Linefork ended in a hung jury earlier this week. Luther Holcomb, 30, and his 16-year-old brother, Roscoe, were accused of beating Cornett and leaving him to die on Pine Mountain, near Gordon. Cornett was rescued after crawling his way to a neighbor’s house for help and identified the Holcomb brothers as his assailants. He died while being treated at the Lynch hospital. At trial, the Holcombs admitted to drinking whiskey with Cornett, but denied harming him. Informed sources say two jurors voted for acquitting the Holcombs, three voted for sentencing them to death, and seven wanted to sentence them to 21 years in prison.

. A grand opening will be held in downtown Whitesburg on Saturday, July 26, as the new Western Auto Store opens on Main Street. The store is owned and operated by Owen W. Wright. Among the items being offered for sale at reduced prices Saturday are Davis Deluxe Tires, available for $11.95 each.

. Photographs of a Consolidation Coal Company mining operation at Dunham are featured in this week’s edition of The Mountain Eagle. One photo shows part of the No. 5 Whaley Crew, including motorman Earl Boggs and brakeman James Shockey. Shockey is pictured with a hook in his right hand that is used to link and unlink mine cars without endangering his fingers. A whistle hanging on his chest is used to signal to Boggs when he wants him to move the locomotive.

. Carcassonne residents have contributed $500 for bulldozer work in their roads in addition to the work done by the rural highway commission. Meanwhile, members of the community are concerned that only one teacher has been assigned to the Carcassonne School, which has an enrollment of more than 50 students in all grades.

Thursday, July 25, 1957 Lloyd Hodge of Whitesburg High School and Harvey B. Johnson of Fleming Neon High School will play fullback tackle, respectively, on the East All-Stars in the annual East-West All-Star Game at Lexington August 10.

. Adequate schooling for its children, urging public assistance recipients to help themselves, better health facilities and the involvement of local officials and citizens in efforts to make our community better are all necessary steps that must be taken before eastern Kentucky can make business gains beyond the coal industry, says a state study commissioned after the January 1957 floods.

. Whole barbecued chickens are available to take home for $1.50 each from the Rainbow Grill in Whitesburg, now under the management of Willis Hampton.

Thursday, July 20, 1967 In a sudden and unexpected move this week, Gov. Edward T. Breathitt suspended the permit of a Pike County strip miner whose bulldozers were about to enter the land of Jink Ray, a Pike County resident who has been fighting for the past three weeks to keep the strip-mining operations off his land. Breathitt revoked the mining permit of Puritan Coal Company on the grounds that its operations constituted a hazard to property. He acted under terms of the Kentucky strip-mining and reclamation law. The move comes a week after Breathitt asked strip-mine operators to cease mining under the broad-form deed until the state Court of Appeals rules on the rights of owners of surface property.

. The Babe Ruth team of the Jenkins Pony League is champion of District 6. The boys won three of four games last week in a tournament at Elkhorn City and were to play this week in a regional tourney at Ashland. Team members include Eddie Elswick, Steve Narramore, Bobby Tucker, Gary Tucker, Chuck Mullins, “Jim Bo” Fleming, Paul Faulkner, James Addington, Norman Page, Jerry Newman, Shannon Gallion, Mike Short, William Gayles, and Sam Greer.

. The Letcher County Board of Education will ask Letcher Fiscal Court to raise the county school tax rate 10 percent this year. Superintendent Kendall Boggs said the increase would provide about $22,500 more in local school funds for next year.

. Mr. and Mrs. Jesse S. Holbrook of Millstone celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Sunday with an open house given by their son and daughter. About 150 guests attended.

Thursday, July 14, 1977 A bill to reform and extend the federal aid program for miners suffering from black lung disease is in serious trouble. For two months the bill has been stalled in the House Rules Committee, awaiting the return of Rep. John Dent, D-Pa., who has been ill. Supporters of the bill hope Dent can sway the skeptical committee to release the bill for consideration by the full house.

. Four miners died in a methane explosion at P&P Coal Co. in St. Charles, Va. The average ages of the four miners, Harold Johnson, Danny Tester, Randall Wells and Bill Perkins, was 29. All were married and had children.

. Circuit Court Judge F. Byrd Hogg dismissed the Letcher County Teachers Organization suit against the Letcher County Board of Education over an August 1976 teachers’ striker. The LCTO had asked the court to order the board to continue contract negotiations, which broke off a year ago. Whole fryers are on sale at the Whitesburg A&P store for 39 cents a pound. Cantaloupes are 68 cents each.

Wednesday, July 15, 1987 Westmoreland is coming! Westmoreland Coal Co. of Philadelphia has paid nearly $24 million to Bethlehem Steel Corp. for 38,000 acres of coal reserves in Letcher, Knott and Pike counties. But a Bethlehem Steel spokesman says the purchase will “have no effect whatsoever” on the 428 employees who now work for the Jenkins division of Beth Energy Mines Inc., a Bethlehem subsidiary based in Charleston, W.Va.

. Matthew Figger, Shane Dixon, and Derek Hall will battle for the quarterback spot on this fall’s Jenkins Cavaliers football team. Also returning for the Cavs are Chris Clark, Kevin Greene, Phillip Bentley, Craig Hall, Shane Mullins, Kenny Mullins, Keith Wright, Judd Nash, and Lanier Gray.

. Plans for the 1987 Mountain Heritage Festival are well under way, said Jeanette Ladd, chairperson of the Mountain Heritage Committee. The 10-day event will begin on Sept. 18.

Wednesday, July 16, 1997 Whitesburg City Council member Lois Baker warned the council about being “penny wise and pound foolish” on the construction of the new Whitesburg water plant, as the engineer in charge of the project assured the council that this time around the plant would work properly. Engineer Paul Nesbitt had suggested the new water plant should be a continuation of the work begun in 1994 which was halted after the original contractor went bankrupt, and design and construction problems were discovered.

. A detour around the on-going construction work for the new Jenkins By-Pass will be in place soon for all motorists traveling north and south on U.S. Highway 23 and U.S. Highway 119 south of Jenkins. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says the section of the existing roadway from the U.S. 23-119 intersection at Payne Gap to the old railroad trestle near Jenkins High School will be permanently closed so that construction of the new road may continue.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards will be in Whitesburg today for the next-to-last stop of his “Road to One America Tour.”

. The Letcher Fiscal Court voted to allocate $100,000 in coal severance tax funds to Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital for a women’s health center. The women’s center is part of a planned $8 million renovation to the hospital.

. State Rep. Leslie Combs and State Sen. Dan Mongiardo joined members of the Letcher Fiscal Court in honoring Lois Baker, retired chief executive officer of Whitesburg-based Mountain Comprehensive Care Corporation.

. The Fleming-Neon Little League All Star Team is the champion of District 7. The team is now participating in the state tournament with finals schedule for today. Members of the team are Ashlee Meade, Siera Kiser, Brooke Webb, Leshia Fleming, Hillary Brashear, Stacia Collins, Jessica Mullins, Nataza Hall, and Emily Walker. Coaches are Dale Isaac and Mike Webb.

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