2018-03-07 / Columns

The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, March 8, 1928 What has become the test case for the sale of malt for cooking purposes will be decided in federal court today in Jackson. The issue entered the court system in late February after the manager of the Whitesburg A&P Food Store, Joe Hatcher, was arrested for selling malt extract, which can be used to homebrew beer in violation of the Prohibition Act. A chemist has been employed by malt manufacturers and will testify that malt is not made of properties that violate the Prohibition Amendment. Whitesburg is currently the only place in the United States where the sale of malt extract is illegal.

. One mule, one horse, two saddles and two saddlebags will be sold at public auction in front of the Letcher County Courthouse in Whitesburg on Saturday, March 17 at 1 p.m. All animals and items for sale were forfeited to the U.S. government and ordered sold by decree of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

. Dr. D.V. Bentley has moved into his new brick home on Main Street in Neon.

. The Letcher County Fish, Game and Gun Club is celebrating is one-year anniversary by donated $110 to the quail fund drive. After that total is matched by the state organization, a total of $220 worth of quail will be released on Rockhouse, Cumberland River, and Pert Creek.

Thursday, March 10, 1938 Kentucky may be the home of Senate Majority Leader Alben Barkley, but that is of little value, observes The Mountain Eagle, as not even one of the nine proposed cross-country highways even touch the Commonwealth. Barkley will campaign in Pikeville on March 19.

. Whitesburg High School defeated Jenkins High School, 20-19, and Fleming High School, 38-23, to claim the championship of the 56th District Tournament. Honored as All-County players at the conclusion of the tourney were Bill Kincer, Ted Cook, and Audrey Pigman of Whitesburg; Milton Ticco of Jenkins; Harold Jenkins and Dee Conley of Fleming, and McIntyre of Stuart Robinson.

. A large part of the business section of the town of Vicco was destroyed by fire Friday night. Lost to flames were the town’s theatre, several restaurants and a number of stores fronting KY Highway 15. It is the second large fire to hit Vicco in recent years. The loss is estimated at $50,000.

. Mrs. Sherman White has been named postmistress at Hot Spot. She replaces Roy Gilley, who had been postmaster there the last several years.

Thursday, March 11, 1948 The bodies of two U.S. soldiers killed as a result of World War II were returned to Letcher County for burial last week. Army Staff Sergeant Chester F. Holbrook of Southdown was killed on July 8, 1944 after being wounded in action on Siapan. The Whitesburg High School graduate, age 24 at the time of his death, was buried March 4 in the Morgan Cemetery at Mayking. Army Private Paul Edward Stamper was killed of injuries he suffered in camp in Honolulu on August 24, 1942. He was buried March 5 in the Cinda Combs Cemetery at UZ.

. A total of 125 coal miners walked off their jobs yesterday at the Elkhorn Collieries Company mine at Farraday, company superintendent A.C. Slemp announced. Slemp said the men, all members of the United Mine Workers of America, left the mine after the company replaced veteran pumper Victor Blair with another employee. The mine is located on Thornton.

. A two-hour legislative battle ended with the Kentucky House of Representatives deciding there should be a threeday waiting period before marriages are permitted in Kentucky. Present state law lets couples be married in Kentucky immediately after obtaining a license.

. Preston the Magician will appear at the Jenkins High School Auditorium on Friday, March 12 at 8 p.m.

. Five-star U.S. Army General Douglas MacArthur announced this week that he is available to serve as president. MacArthur, 68, would face Gov. Thomas E. Dewey of New York, Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio, former Gov. Harold E. Stassen of Minnesota, and Gov. Earl Warren in the Republican Primary Election for the right to face incumbent President Harry Truman, a Democrat, in the fall.

. Quillen Drug of Whitesburg was burglarized Monday night after thieves prized open the front-door lock. Approximately $60 was taken from the cash register.

. Corbin, Ky., Mayor Ernest W. Williams, 49, committed suicide March 7 by shooting himself with a .38 caliber pistol in the bedroom of the home he shared with his wife, who discovered his body in their upstairs bedroom. Williams was elected to office in 1945 for a four-year term. Last year, he sold his ice cream and bottling business.

. Actor John Wayne stars in “Lucky Texan,” showing Friday, March 19 at the Haymond Theatre.

. Whitesburg’s Mohn Hotel will be called

The Southern Hotel and will be operated by new owners Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Gentile of Detroit and Mr. and Mrs. Ed William of Whitesburg.

. Miss Nilla R. Cook and Leonard Logan Collins were wed Thursday afternoon. After spending their honeymoon in California, the couple will return to Whiteburg, where Mr. Collins operates a coal mine.

. The Jenkins Cavaliers are the name of professional baseball team from Letcher County that has joined the newly formed Class D Mountain State Baseball League. The league also includes teams from Oak Ridge, Morristown, and Newport in Tennessee, Pennington Gap in Virginia, and Jenkins and Harlan in Kentucky. The team will be operated by the Jenkins Baseball Club, which is being incorporated for $20,000. Jenkins will play a 120-game schedule this coming season.

. Roads in Blackey are in very bad shape. Hard freezes, bad weather, and heavy coal trucks have caused extensive damage.

Thursday, March 13, 1958 Coach Ernie Trosper’s calm, cool, and collected Whitesburg Yellowjacket climaxed one of the best tournaments in Letcher County’s history by trouncing Fleming-Neon’s jittery Pirates, 66 to 51, Saturday night at Jenkins to win the boys’ district tournament. Overflow crowds were the rule as approximately 3,500 persons witnessed the tourney’s five sessions, reports Mountain Eagle sportswriter R. Percy Elkins. Whitesburg defeated Kingdom Come, 71 to 40, Letcher, 60 to 55, and Fleming, 66 to 51, to get to the final game. Fleming-Neon defeated Jenkins and Dunham, 87 to 56, on its way to the final tilt.

. District champion Whitesburg High School and runner-up Fleming-Neon High School will play tonight (Thursday) in the first round of the 14th Region Basketball Tournament at Hazard. The game is set to tip off at 7 p.m. CST.

. Representatives of the Kentucky Department of Education will come to Letcher County late this month to talk over school problems with local school officials and other citizens. The principle topic of discussion will be possible ways of replacing Fleming-Neon High School, which was destroyed by fire a month ago.

. Neon Homemakers President, Mrs. Frank Gish, has appointed a committee to work with the Neon Lions Club on the issue of reconstructing a high school for Fleming-Neon.

. Ulis Hunsucker will serve as commander of the Whitesburg Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 5829 for the coming year. Hunsucker was elected Monday night at the post’s regular meeting. He has served as quartermaster for the past eight years.

. Letcher Insurance Agency will move into its new home next week on the ground floor of the Daniel Boone Hotel Building.

. Fats Domino stars in the movie “Shake, Rattle and Rock!” set to play at the Alene Theatre in Whitesburg on Friday and Saturday, March 14-15.

Thursday, March 7, 1968 S/Sgt. Jimmy Ellison Tolliver, 28, killed in action in the Vietnam War, was brought home to Letcher County for funeral services and burial. Tolliver, a member of a helicopter crew, was shot and killed as the vehicle flew low on a mission, reports said. He died Feb. 16. Tolliver was the son of Johnnie D. Tolliver and the late Lavada Caudill Tolliver, and was a native of Jenkins. He was married to Rita Hampton in 1959.

. An editorial in The Mountain Eagle says, “… one of the overwhelming obvious facts is that Letcher County, along with Knott, Floyd, Pike and other coalfield counties, is emerging as a major gas field and center of gas production. Equally obvious is the fact that the gas is producing no benefit to the area but is simply another excuse for its destruction at the hands of those outside firms who come into the area and take the wealth of the people, putting nothing back and leaving nothing.”

. “I’ve been listening for the peewee birds,” writes Ice correspondent Siller Brown. “If they don’t come out till about the 20th of March and then stay out, we soon will have spring. But if they come and then leave we must look for 20 more days of cold weather.”

. The Jenkins Cavaliers are the 53rd District basketball champions. They won the title by defeating Leslie County.

Thursday, March 2, 1978 Members of the United Mine Workers of America will vote whether to ratify a new contract proposal. The proposal would end the longest coal strike in American history. It was agreed on by negotiators from the UMWA and the Bituminous Coal Operators of America after intense pressure from President Jimmy Carter and members of his administration. The proposal provides pay raises for miners but does away with the union-supported health care plan which has provided quality health care in the coalfields for the past 20 years. The new health care plan, to be administered by private insurance companies, reportedly will save coal companies $150,000,000 over the next three years.

. Kentucky Power Company has asked its customers to cut back their use of

electricity by 25 percent to help stretch out the utility’s coal supplies which are shrinking fast because of the coal strike. Waldo S. La Fan, executive vice president, said coal supplies at generating plants on the American Electric Power System, of which Kentucky Power is a part, fell below the 40-day level this past weekend.

. Pupils in the Letcher County school system will attend the first of a series of 11 Saturday sessions March 4 — weather permitting. The sessions are necessary because of vacations from school enforced by severe winter weather throughout January and February. As of March 1, Letcher County schools had missed a total of 35 days during the current school year because of weather.

. The tail waters at Carr Fork Lake will be stocked with trout throughout the spring, summer and fall of 1978. Stockings planned at the Corps of Engineers project call for release of 600 trout each month from March to October by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Wednesday, March 9, 1988 Letcher County Commonwealth’s Attorney James Wiley Craft says he is sick of litter and will recommend a “far-reaching” anti-litter ordinance to the Letcher County Fiscal Court. “We are doing a countywide ordinance to require garbage haulers to tarp their trucks, to raise the penalty on people who are caught littering, and we’re going to go to Judge Collins about enforcing it stringently,” said Craft. “And there is a jail term included in that.” He said Letcher Countians are “drowning in our own garbage.”

. Construction of the first stage of a countywide water system could begin as early as the spring of 1989, engineers say. Ora Main of Kennoy Engineers in Lexington said that if by this summer the county receives $1.4 million in federal grants for which it has applied, work on the proposed system could begin next spring.

. Heritage Chair Company, the furniture factory that moved to Whitesburg less than a year ago, has apparently moved out. The city last week received a letter from owner Leo Trimpe announcing his intentions to leave Whitesburg and relocate in western Kentucky.

. A “rough” final game of the boys’ 53rd District high school basketball tournament ended in what Letcher County Sheriff Ben Buster Taylor called a “pure riot.” According to Taylor, about four seconds were left to be played in Fleming- Neon’s victory over Letcher at Letcher’s gym when “two players started swinging fists, the officials ran, both benches emptied and parents and fans and everybody started fighting.”

Wednesday, March 4, 1998 More than 100 residents of the Camp Branch area spoke with state and federal mining and reclamation officials about water problems they have had since Golden Oak began mining underneath their property. Last March, residents filed a complaint with federal and Kentucky mine reclamation officials about damage

to their water supplies. It was signed by 95 persons and was reported to be the large complaint ever filed with the federal Office of Surface Mining. The officials say they will continue to work with citizens and mining officials to try to find a permanent solution to the water supply problem. They say they will return to Letcher County every six weeks or so to meet with residents and learn whether any progress has been made.

. Timber theft is a “rapidly growing cancer in eastern Kentucky,” says Letcher Commonwealth’s Attorney William Lewis Collins. He is asking the Kentucky legislature to give prosecutors and timber owners a “weapon to prosecute timber rustlers” by passing a bill setting up a requirement for a “Notice of Intent to Log.”

. Letcher County Sheriff Steve Banks said all prisoners in the county jail will now be “shackled and chained” before they are taken from the jail for court appearances. Banks announced the change in policy after he and a deputy sheriff captured a jail inmate who escaped hours earlier while being taken from the jail to a nearby building for a court appearance.

. Josephine Whitaker, 79, died February 27. She was a daughter of the late Gordon and Lucinda Caudill, and was married to the late Kirby Whitaker. She was a member of the original Hound Dog Hookers, a crafts group which was begun in Blackey in the early 1960s. The rugs the group made were sold nationally.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008 David Slavin, 32, has agreed to plead guilty to helping to murder Jackie Von Quillen, his landlord, and will spend the rest of his life in prison. He also agreed to testify against Misty Franks, his ex-wife, when she goes on trial in April. Although Slavin originally told investigators that it was Franks who choked Quillen with a nylon strap, he later tried to change his story and take full credit for the crime. Authorities have always believed Slavin’s original story, that Franks choked Quillen and then made sure he was dead by using her foot to keep his head submerged in a lake while she smoked a cigarette.

. Formal sentencing is set for April 24 for Shannon Garland of Ovenfork who pleaded guilty to participating in the murder of Lisa Jenkins of Partridge. He pleaded guilty to helping girlfriend Rosemary Fields McClain murder Jenkins by stabbing her to death. The crime took place March 22, 2005. Garland has confessed to hiding the body of Jenkins after abandoning her automobile on Little Shepherd Trail.

. The Letcher County Central High School Cougars won the 53rd District championship. Sports columnist Ira Combs said Coach Raymond Justice prepared and the Cougars “executed a perfect game plan” in the upset of defending 14th Region champion June Buchanan.

. The Hemphill Community Center will hold a Breakfast with the Easter Bunny from 8 to 11 a.m. on March 15. An Easter egg hunt will begin at 11 a.m.

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