2018-02-21 / Columns

The Way We Were


When Kennedy visited Neon … One week after his meetings with residents in Neon and elsewhere in Letcher County and eastern Kentucky, U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy said he would meet soon with U.S. Rep. Carl D. Perkins (D-Hindman) and U.S. Sen. John Sherman Cooper (RKentucky) to prepare a list of recommendations based on Kennedy’s observations during a multi-day trip to examine poverty conditions in Appalachia. In the photo above, Kennedy (foreground) and Perkins, chairman of the House Labor Committee, were in Neon on February 15, 1968, for a public hearing held in the Fleming-Neon Gymnasium. (AP Photo) When Kennedy visited Neon … One week after his meetings with residents in Neon and elsewhere in Letcher County and eastern Kentucky, U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy said he would meet soon with U.S. Rep. Carl D. Perkins (D-Hindman) and U.S. Sen. John Sherman Cooper (RKentucky) to prepare a list of recommendations based on Kennedy’s observations during a multi-day trip to examine poverty conditions in Appalachia. In the photo above, Kennedy (foreground) and Perkins, chairman of the House Labor Committee, were in Neon on February 15, 1968, for a public hearing held in the Fleming-Neon Gymnasium. (AP Photo) Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, February 23, 1928

A bill imposing a three-cent tax coal mined in Kentucky was introduced into the state legislature this week by Representative W.M. Duncan of Anderson County. Revenue from the tax would be used to provide free textbooks to public school students, with 10 percent of the money paid in a fund to the University of Kentucky, 15 percent paid to the state “Normal Schools,” and 10 percent to the state’s charitable organizations.


… and Jackson visited Hazard Presidential candidate Jesse Jackson shrugged as a shy four-year-old Walter Moore of Hazard looked away during a campaign stop in Hazard and elsewhere in Perry County on Thursday, Feb. 25, 1988. The visit by Jackson, who was seeking the Democratic nomination for president, came 20 years after the late Robert F. Kennedy visited Letcher County and elsewhere in eastern Kentucky. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke) … and Jackson visited Hazard Presidential candidate Jesse Jackson shrugged as a shy four-year-old Walter Moore of Hazard looked away during a campaign stop in Hazard and elsewhere in Perry County on Thursday, Feb. 25, 1988. The visit by Jackson, who was seeking the Democratic nomination for president, came 20 years after the late Robert F. Kennedy visited Letcher County and elsewhere in eastern Kentucky. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke) .

A treasure hunt is underway at the Quillen Bentley farm near Neon, where Sam Rose, W.K. Collier, and others are searching for a large amount of cash believed buried by the grandfather or great-grandfather of Dr. D.V. Bentley, who is financing the search. An Englishman, the elder Bentley was an early settler of Letcher County who, according to The Mountain Eagle, may have “buried a large amount of money on the Quillen Bentley farm.” The Eagle also reports that Sam Rose “has a queer instrument which is supposed to locate such treasures. He began the search several weeks ago, but instrument is so made that it burns out when the treasure is too great. While working in this search this is what happened and it had to be sent to New York for repairs.” The tool is back in Letcher County and available for use.

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The Whitesburg High School boys’ basketball team finished the regular season with a 10 to 4 win over Jackson High Saturday night in a game The Mountain Eagle saw “as one of the fastest and most satisfactory, from our point of view, that has been played on the local floor this season.”

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“When you pay $1,195 for a car you’re entitled to Buick quality,” says an advertisement for Kyva Motor Company of Millstone and Whitesburg. The ad is placed just above an ad stating that Studebaker’s Erskine Six is available at Miners’ Motor Company in Neon for the price of $795.

Thursday, February 24, 1938

A 45-year-old Marlowe man is charged with murder in the stabbing death of Edgar Hall, of Ermine. Elbert Hatton is accused of stabbing Hall on Saturday night in a fight on Tunnel Hill. Hall died at 5 a.m. today in the Jenkins hospital.

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The Neon City Council voted unanimously to set the license fee on retail liquor stores at $500 per year, the same rate currently levied by the City of Whitesburg.

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The Neon City Council has authorized City Clerk Maurice E. White to draft an ordinance to extend city limits to include the areas known as Acme Hill and Neon Junction. In a statement to The Eagle, White says, “The majority of our citizens are opposed to the movement and I feel confident that our city limits will not be extended.”

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Taking advantage of Tuesday’s holiday for former President George Washington’s birthday, Whitesburg Postmaster W.G. Holbrook and his assistants moved the city’s post office into the new federal building on Main Street. The new building will provide “plenty of space for the needs of the city for many years to come,” The Mountain Eagle says.

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Coal miners in Sergent are getting little work “and even though we like to be as optimistic as possible we are fearful of getting less work through the summer,” the community’s correspondent writes this week.

Thursday, February 26, 1948

The trial of Letcher County Constable Booker Wright, 40, of Jenkins is underway in Pike Circuit Court in Pikeville. Wright is charged with the November murder of Mrs. Lizzie Anderson Adkins, 24, of East Jenkins on Beefhide Creek, a few miles from Jenkins and over the Letcher-Pike county line. Mrs. Adkins is said to have accompanied Booker Wright’s wife to Beefhide to look for him. Police say an argument resulted in Wright shooting and killing Mrs. Adkins, who died while be rushed to the Jenkins hospital.

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Letcher County Sheriff Herman C. Combs and his deputies have captured a Floyd County murder suspect who jumped bail before he could be tried. Dewey Gibson was arrested at the home of relatives in the head of Little Colley. Gibson was captured on Friday and picked up here by Floyd County deputies on Saturday.

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The L&N Railroad is spending $10 million on equipment updates including 22 new M-1 (2-8-4) class steam freight locomotives and five diesel pusher engines for use in the eastern Kentucky coalfield engines. Also to be purchased are 4,581 50-ton hopper cars.

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Fourteen-year-old Crawford Casebolt of Ford’s Branch in neighboring Pike County was back in custody Tuesday after running away from Father Edward J. Flanagan’s Boys Town in Omaha, Nebraska. Casebolt was sentenced to life in prison last October for his part in robbing a motorist of his auto, watch and some money. After the sentence drew national attention because of Casebolt’s young age, Lexington attorney John Y. Brown led the fight to have Casebolt’s sentence remitted so he could be admitted to Boys Town. Brown said he still believes Casebolt was “a good boy,” adding, “I still have high hopes for

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A bullet wound in the abdomen proved fatal late yesterday to Samuel Evan “Tarzan” Collins, 49, former Cumberland police officer. Collins died in the Benham hospital from complications of a wound he suffered February 15 when he was shot by Andy Baker Jr. at the Cumberland home of Mrs. Vina Clark Scott. Baker, who had been free after posting $3,500 bond, was taken to the Harlan County Jail last night and charged with murder. Baker told police he “had to shoot” Collins after Collins refused warnings to stop advancing toward him.

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The Red Ash Eagle Coal Company is extending its operating hours at its ramp at Cowan Creek to give small coal operators time to haul and extra two or three loads of Elkhorn coal each day. The ramp will now open at 10 a.m. and close at 10 p.m.

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Four Southern governors have promised to use “whatever means are necessary” to block President Truman’s race equality program. U.S. Senator Richard Russell says Truman “wants to force whites and negroes into the same schools, churches and amusement parks.”

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Barbara Stanwyck and John Boles star in “Stella Dallas,” showing Sunday and Monday at the Gem Theatre in McRoberts. The theatre is now under the management of James M. Hall.

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The local-option bill approved the Kentucky General Assembly last week will become operative June 17, after which cities of the first four population classes can vote separately from their counties on whether to permit sale of alcoholic beverages.

Thursday, February 27, 1958

Whitesburg’s water system was nearly back to normal today after a week of on-again, off-again operation that had everybody from housewives to filling station operators tearing their hair. The Whitesburg City Council will be asked this week to authorize the city water board to purchase a new pump. Mayor Arthur Banks said the water board also plans to put its men to work installing larger lines to supply residents of the College Hill and Field Cliff areas, which often are without water when the rest of city is well supplied.

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New owners of the Daniel Boone Hotel in Whitesburg are L.C. Banks and his wife, Kathryn, and Ralph B. Bates. They purchased the hotel stock this week from the estate of J. Speed Nicholson, who died February 16. The price was reported to be $80,000.

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Letcher County Attorney F. Byrd Hogg plans to file suits to collect delinquent real estate taxes in Letcher County. Hogg said he plans to start with the year 1952 and work forward. The matter of delinquent taxes was brought to Hogg’s attention shortly after he took office by members of the Letcher County Citizens School Committee. Hogg said “the tax collection problem in Letcher County is in a serious condition.”

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John R. Pack was voted “outstanding Kiwanian of 1957” in Jenkins. Pack, the chief clerk for Bethlehem Mines Corporation in Jenkins, is secretary of the Kiwanis Club.

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The Letcher County Health Department is calling for better enforcement of existing dog laws in Letcher County. The department points out that just Monday it had to request a 45-day quarantine for dogs in the Cowan Creek area because of the continued increase of rabies among dogs and wild foxes in the area. Dr. R.D. Collins, the county’s health officer, said rabies wouldn’t be a problem with dogs in Letcher County if their owners followed the law and had them vaccinated against rabies beginning at age six months.

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A bill introduced into the Kentucky state legislature by Senator J.E. Johnson, a Pike County physician, would force the closing of the Whitesburg Memorial Hospital and all other hospitals within Kentucky operated by the UMW health and welfare fund. Dr. Johnson’s bill would prohibit any medical service that denies the patient the right to select his or her own physician. Sam Caddy, president of UMW District 30, says the bill “definitely would put all our hospitals out of business with locks on their doors.”

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The 53rd District Basketball Tournament opens this week at the new Jenkins Field House.

Thursday, February 22, 1968

Flames started by boys lighting firecrackers raced through Graveyard Hollow Saturday. Fed by high winds, the flames filled Whitesburg with thick smoke, and for a time threatened to jump over into Caudilltown with its several homes. A renewed outbreak Saturday night lighted up Whitesburg’s skyline. The fire was brought under control by state forestry and Whitesburg Fire Department personnel. Fire Chief Philmore Bowen said this is the third fire recently started by firecrackers, and he cautioned both boys and parents to become alert to potential danger and destruction.

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A federal bill that would levy a severance tax of 5 percent of gross income on coal and other minerals was introduced in the U.S. Senate this month. Meanwhile, Rep. Gene Snyder of Kentucky’s Fourth District said he would introduce an identical bill in the House this month. Under the new bill, coal companies would have to pay the tax to the federal government unless an equal amount was paid to the state under a severance tax.

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Sen. Robert F. Kennedy said this week he will meet soon with Rep. Carl D. Perkins and Sen. John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky to prepare a list of recommendations based on his observations during a trip to eastern Kentucky last week.

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“It is good to hear that Bill Ellish wrote to his folks telling them he is O.K. and still fighting,” writes McRoberts correspondent Madeline Combs of a Letcher County man serving in Vietnam. “Bill is the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Ellish and is in the helicopter division of the armed forces in Tui Nhon.

Thursday, February 16, 1978

Construction of both the Whitesburg and Hazard bypasses will get underway during the coming year if a proposed $240 million energy road package is approved. Under the plan to be submitted to the Kentucky legislature by Gov. Julian Carroll, $12 million would be spent on the Whitesburg bypass, and $22 million on the Hazard bypass.

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The United Mine Workers has added three members to its contract negotiating team, reportedly in response to the union bargaining council’s insistence and partly in response to demands from the coal operators. The change in council membership came as President Carter called union and coal company representatives to the White House in an effort to reach a settlement in the record coal strike.

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Appalshop’s Roadside Theater will perform its acclaimed play, Red Fox/Second Hangin’, March 1-26 off Broadway in New York City at the Manhattan Theatre Club.

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Eddie Narramore, a Jenkins High School track team member, has set a new record for the Mason-Dixon games in Louisville. He ran 3,000 meters in a time of 9:06.4 and won the event by about 25 yards. The previous record was 9:09.7.

Wednesday, February 24, 1988

The entire Fleming-Neon Police Department will be laid off February 29, Mayor James Seals said. He said the city cannot afford to pay $40,000 in back overtime wages to police officers. The announcement came at a continuation of the city council’s February meeting, about two hours after a Letcher County Fiscal Court meeting where county officials declined to help the city.

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The Rev. Jesse Jackson will be in Hazard later this week and will talk about unemployment and the working poor, his campaign officials say. He will come to eastern Kentucky to try to gain support in his bid for the Democratic nomination for president.

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The Jenkins Cavaliers, with easy victories last week at home against Pound, Va. and Riverside Christian, are now the 53rd District’s winningest team with a record of 13-12.

Wednesday, February 18, 1998

The unemployment rate in Letcher County fell to 6.9 percent in December, according to figures released by the state Workforce Development Cabinet.

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The old Kingdom Come Settlement School building at Linefork, which has been deteriorating over the past few years, succumbed to the Feb. 3-9 snowstorm, which collapsed the building’s roof. Demolition crews pulled the rest of the building down last week. The school was built in the early 1920s on land donated by the late John D. Huff and his family. A group of Methodist women who came into the area early in the 20th century had recognized the need for a school and urged residents of the community to help with its construction, which took two years.

Police have made no arrests in connection with the armed robbery last week of the Neon branch of Community Trust Bank. The investigation of the robbery by a lone gunman wearing a mask is now being coordinated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. About $20,000, mostly in small bills, is believed to have been taken during the heist.

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Joe and Gaynell Caudill Begley of Blackey were presented with the award for community leadership by the Mountain Association for Community Economic

Development. The award included a check for $1,000 and a sculpture by artist Robert C. Thompson interpreting the words of Miles Horton, “There is no path, the path is made by walking.”

Wednesday,

February 20, 2008

The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission allotted 400 elk hunting permits at its December meeting for the 2008 elk season. The deadline to apply is April 30, three months sooner than in previous years.

. Several members of the Letcher County Tourism Commission may have been appointed in a manner that is not compatible with either the original county ordinance or with state law authorizing the creation of county tourism boards, Letcher County Attorney Harold Bolling told the Letcher Fiscal Court this week. Bolling said he had found the original members had been appointed to staggered terms. Bolling said he would examine both the ordinance and Tourism Commission records to determine if any of the remaining members on the board have exceeded their term of service. He also said he believes the board now contains more members than is legal.

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A new baseball field being constructed at Letcher County Central High School could be ready for use this spring, the Letcher County Board of Education learned at its February meeting. April 10 is the substantial completion date for construction of the new field.

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A portion of KY 805 between Jenkins and Dunham was scheduled to be closed today while workers demolished and removed an old coal camp house located on a hill beside the highway.

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