2017-08-16 / Columns

The Way We Were


Woodstock Festival was underway 48 years ago This August 16, 1969 photo shows part of the crowd that converged on Bethel, N.Y. for the Woodstock Rock Music Festival. More than 200,000 were estimated to have attended the three-day event, which began August 15. (AP Photo/NY Post) Woodstock Festival was underway 48 years ago This August 16, 1969 photo shows part of the crowd that converged on Bethel, N.Y. for the Woodstock Rock Music Festival. More than 200,000 were estimated to have attended the three-day event, which began August 15. (AP Photo/NY Post) Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, August 18, 1927

A lawsuit has been filed contesting the results of the August primary election for Letcher Circuit Court Clerk. Incumbent Jody P. Adams was awarded a three-vote victory in the Republican race, but J.H. Hogg claims he is the true winner. The vote was recorded on election night as 796 for Adams and 793 for Hogg in the fiveman race.

Thursday, August 19, 1937

A freak automobile accident Monday morning caused the deaths of two people traveling in a car on Pine Mountain near Pound Gap. Dead are John C. Boggs, age not known, and Hazel Mullins, 22, of Pound, Virginia. The two were among five persons riding in a car that backed over the mountain near the rock crushing plant on the Virginia side of the mountain while the driver, whose name was not listed, was trying to turn the vehicle around. Boggs died instantly. Miss Mullins died at the Jenkins hospital Wednesday night. The other three passengers suffered only minor injuries.

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Work on the new post office and agricultural building on Main Street is well underway. The excavation for the basement is being rushed, but has been hindered by the ledge of rock encountered. The building will cost $48,947 when completed.

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Coronation of Queen of the Coal Field, a mile long parade of floats, and fireworks display and the Coal Carnival Ball are among the events scheduled for the Labor Day Coal Carnival to be held in Hazard in an exhibit hall built of Hazard No. 7 coal in a 10-day period. The queen will be crowned on Labor Day on a coal throne with a crown of coal.

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Four Seameked out a1to 0 win over the Whitesburg baseball nine at Lothair Sunday.

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The Eastern Kentucky Automobile Club’s road report for August 19 lists U.S. 23 north of Jenkins as being “in good condition except about six miles north of Paintsville, where there is six miles of dusty gravel.” The report says that KY 15 between Whitesburg and Jackson is “in good condition,” but cautions drivers about the ongoing construction of U.S. 23 between Pound and Wise, Virginia, which “is slippery when wet.” Listed as popular “tours” are road trips from Hazard to Asheville, North Carolina via KY 15, U.S. 119 and U.S. 23, and from Whitesburg to Louisville via KY 15 and U.S. 60.

Thursday, August 21, 1947

Ernest Dorton, 34, of McRoberts, died en route to the Fleming hospital today after he was thrown from a rodeo horse and crushed when the animal fell on him. Jenkins Police Chief R.L. Lester said Dorton, a motorman for Consolidation Coal Company, was riding the horse, described as “wild natured,” when it reared up and threw him to the ground before falling on him.

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The 16-day strike against coal ramp owners in Letcher County has ended, The Mountain Eagle was told. However, coal production remains low because of a shortage of railroad coal cars. Operators are said to be getting the requested price increase of 25 cents to 31 cents per ton “from practically all of the ramp owners.” Nearly 400 operators of small truck mines started the strike August 5 in support of demands for higher prices per ton of coal and loaded for resale by the ramp owners.

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A photograph on the front page of The Mountain Eagle shows a Joy 14 BU loading machine, operated by Jack Craft, loading out the first cut of coal in a new mine being started by Consolidation Coal Corporation in the No. 4 Elkhorn seam at a point almost directly above Consol’s Central Preparation Plant. The coal at what will be known as the Wright Mine is being loaded into a Joy 6 SC shuttle car being operated by John Stanley. Consol hopes to use the Wright Mine and other smaller operations to produce 3,000 tons daily to replace production lost because of the gradual working out of Mines 204, 206, 207 and 214.

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As the number of “dry” counties has grown in Kentucky, the consumption tax on whiskey and other hard liquors dropped 45.5 percent, totaling just $272,778 last month compared to $500,420 the year before.

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A group of about 100 faith healers yesterday called upon the Lord to make the walls of the Wise County (Va.) Jail come tumbling down, but the bricks remained in place — and so did two women cultists imprisoned for handling poisonous snake in a public gathering.

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The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that all officers of labor unions must swear they are not communists before their unions or affiliates may use the board’s services. The ruling was an interpretation of the anti-communist provisions of the new Taft-Hartley labor law that goes into effect Friday.

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Madam Mary is available to advise you on your past, present and future daily from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. in Neon in front of the Neon Taxi Company on Main Street.

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About 500 Letcher County veterans of World War II are now eligible to wear the Victory Medal, which will be available after August 21 at the Army recruiting station in Whitesburg.

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After a trial run last year, the Whitesburg Lions Club will again sponsor the Whitesburg Kindergarten. Enrollment will be limited to 20 children.

Thursday, August 22, 1957

The Fleming-Neon High School Pirates will host Belfry, the Jenkins Cavaliers will travel to Loyall, and the Whitesburg Yellowjackets will host Wallins as the 1957 high school football season kicks off this weekend.

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Harlow Motor Company of Whitesburg has been named dealer for the Edsel automobile in Letcher County.

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“With the squirrel season open we hear more shooting in the mountains, but the fellows that we have seen coming by after the hunt say that most of the squirrels got away,” writes Thornton correspondent S.L. Blair.

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South-East Coal Company is installing a substation on Thornton Creek.

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J.W. “Buck” Jones, an engineer with the L&N Railroad since 1917, has made his last run between Neon and Hazard. He retired August 17 after 46 years on the job.

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“Unless Letcher County and eastern Kentucky in general find a way to raise salaries closer to the going scale elsewhere, the day will come when we will be without qualified teachers,” Mountain Eagle editor Tom Gish warns in an editorial.

Thursday, August 17, 1967

Mr. and Mrs. Alan McSurely, staff workers for the Southern Conference Education Fund, were arrested Friday night at their home in Pike County and charged with sedition under a state law that prohibits encouraging “the expediency of physical violence to bring about political revolution.” A hearing on a petition by the McSurleys is scheduled for today. In the suit, the couple allege Atty. Thomas Ratliff, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, and Pike County Sheriff Perry Justice had prosecuted the McSurleys “without any basis whosoever in law or fact” and that their property had been seized illegally.

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Danny C. Collins, 19, of Isom, was killed and Maurice Caudill, 11, of Van, is listed in critical condition after a head on collision involving a car and a pickup truck Tuesday night. Also hospitalized are five other members of Maurice Caudill’s family, and Donald Collins and L.C. Collins, who were passenger in Danny Collins’s car.

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The VFW Ladies Auxiliary fed soldiers from Fort Knox, here for the funeral of Pfc. Jerry Ray Holbrook, 20, son of Mr. and Mrs. Bennett Holbrook of Mayking. He was killed in Vietnam July 26.

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Joe Hardy, 32 of Pikeville, a Federal Alcohol Tax Unit agent, was injured when he was struck in the head with a hammer as he arrested two men at Shea’s Fork in McRoberts. Sheriff Maynard Hogg said Hardy had been watching moonshine still in the Shea’s Fork area for about two weeks. He saw two men making moonshine at the still and arrested them as they carried the liquor away, Hogg said. As Hardy turned to put down a jug of moonshine he had seized, one of the men struck him with a hammer, said Hogg.

Thursday, August 11, 1977

The concrete bridge that crossed the Cumberland River and linked Cumberland Estates with the rest of Letcher County was destroyed in flooding April 5. The bridge is still gone and families are asking for another bridge to be built. Residents are now using a log nailed over with two-by-fours to cross the river.

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The Letcher County school board is asking the Kentucky Department of Education to rein in on plans to consolidate three county high schools into one central facility, but it approved state proposals to consolidate Hemphill, Upper Cumberland and Kingdom Come grade schools.

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The Neon municipal building was heavily damaged when a fire, apparently set by a prisoner, broke out in the jail recently. Police Chief Carlos Slone estimated the fire destroyed $5,000 of city property. The building was not insured.

Wednesday, August 12, 1987

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has joined the search for Anthony Smith, 21, and his wife Carolyn Smith, 22, and Steve Adams, 20, and his wife Rebecca Pennington Adams, who are accused of murdering Mrs. Smith’s parents, Sie Shepherd and Judy Shepherd, and her mentally retarded brother Buster Shepherd, who died in an early-morning fire August 1 at a mobile home near Leatherwood. Autopsy reports show Sie and Judy Shepherd had been beaten before the trailer burned. Arson has been ruled as the cause of the blaze. Police say the Smiths’ two-year-old daughter, who had been legally adopted by the Shepherds, was kidnapped shortly before the blaze.

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Howard Ratliff, of Kingscreek, has obtained a criminal warrant charging the Kentucky Power Co. with “massive killing of fish.” The warrant says Kentucky Power “caused to be placed in a waterway owned by Howard Ratliff certain hazardous and injurious substances which caused said water to be unfit for support of wildlife, causing massive fish kill.” Ratliff owns a small lake in an area where several people have complained their water supplies were damaged by large-scale spraying of pesticides by the power company.

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Former Whitesburg and Morehead State University football player Randy Frazier played some quality moments in the National Football League annual Hall of Fame game on Saturday in Canton, Ohio. Frazier is a rookie free linebacker who signed in June with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Wednesday, August 13, 1997

Whitesburg native Anna Hall was chosen this summer to paint the official portrait of Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton. After she finishes Patton’s portrait, her next project will be to paint a portrait of former Kentucky Gov. Bert Combs. Patton’s portrait will first go in the new capitol building in Frankfort and then to the new historical building, while Combs’s portrait will be hung permanently in the capitol building.

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Reba Brock, 21, of Jenkins, was killed when the car she was driving collided with a pickup truck driven by Richard Compton, 40, of Callao, Missouri. Police said the wreck occurred after Compton’s Chevrolet Silverado failed to stop for a red light at the junction of highways U.S. 119 and KY 15 and hit the driver’s side of Miss Brock’s Pontiac Grand Am. Miss Brock’s infant child and boyfriend were riding with her at the time of the crash but were not seriously injured. Compton was arrested and taken to the Letcher County Jail.

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The state Court of Appeals overturned the manslaughter conviction of Phyllis Barker, of Partridge, who claimed she shot her husband because of a “battered spouse syndrome.” She had been sentenced to eight years in prison for second degree manslaughter after she shot Paul Barker in front of a number of witnesses including a Kentucky State Police trooper.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Drifters, featuring longtime member Benny Anderson, are coming to Jenkins next week to cap off the Jenkins Homecoming Days Festival. The Drifters were formed in 1963 and started their careers as a trend setting rhythm and blues group.

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Jenkins Mayor Charles Dixon told the Jenkins City Council at its August meeting that if a citizen wants to complain about a police officer’s actions, he or she must submit the complaint in writing. Dixon said the written complaint would then be presented to a review committee that will compare the charges contained in the complaint to the video recording of the arrest or traffic stop that resulted in the complaint. He said that all city police cruisers are equipped with video cameras, and that all arrests and traffic stops will be recorded. Dixon said if the complaint turns out to be fraudulent, the person who wrote the complaint could be sued for libel.

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“The Kingscreek and Cowan senior citizens have not been to the center in two weeks because of the lack of transportation,” writes Cowan correspondent Elsie Banks. “The van is in the garage. Surely there is an extra van for problems like these, or there should be.”

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