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Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907



Thursday, May 6, 1926 The town of Whitesburg was crowded last Friday with creditors trying to get their claims filed in the bankruptcy case of the Nagola-Elkhorn Coal Company of Jackhorn and Whitaker. Attorneys French Hawk, Stephen Combs Jr., and J.M. Young have been chosen as trustees to wind up the affairs of the company.

. “Time have been puny many times in the past, but, goodness knows, they are bad now,” notes The Mountain Eagle.

. A big “lot sale” will occur soon at the new town of Stidamville, located in one of the best farming sections of Letcher County, right on the big highway from the county seat of Whitesburg to the big mining operations on lower Rockhouse. Stidamville is situated on Little Colly Creek, one-half mile from the mouth of the creek and two miles from Elsiecoal. The lots should be of interest to miners who work at Sandlick or at Elsiecoal.

. Trial is underway in Pike County for a man named Turner, who had long been mourned dead in a mine blast but turned up very much alive after his wife cashed in an $89,000 life insurance policy. Turner’s wife is also on trial in Pike Circuit Court in connection with the swindle.

. A large Army balloon with two soldiers in the gondola oated very high over the northern end of our county last Friday, going in an easterly direction. The balloon eventually landed near Pennington Gap, Virginia.

. Consolidation Coal Company says it needs to hire men who would be “good coal loaders” at McRoberts.

. Prizes were awarded to Paschal Fields and Mrs. Archie Sergent for successfully guessing the weight of a large block of coal that has been on display in the window of Fitzpatrick Drug Store in Whitesburg. Each correctly guessed the weight of the coal block at 164 pounds.

. “The Mountain Eagle views Letcher County as one little Commonwealth,” writes Eagle editor Nehemiah M. Webb, “and it has no partiality for any particular section, neck or corner of it. The man on the head of Rockhouse, the mouth of Bull, the head of Linefork, or Marshalls Branch looks the same to it.”

. “From what citizens tell us, apparently all laws regulating the speed of drivers of automobiles have been suspended in the county,” writes Editor Webb. “We are told that all day Sunday the roads leading up Sandlick and toward Mayking were ‘set afire’ by ruthless flyers, and that it was venturing near unto death for peaceful and careful drivers to be on the road.”

Thursday, May 9, 1946 Passenger train service into and out of Whitesburg has been reduced to one train daily because of the continuing coal strike. Jammed passenger coaches and long stops have been reported along the route from Lexington to Fleming.

. Jenkins Cleaners has been forced to close its plant because of the shortage of coal resulting from the soft coal strike.

. Overseas veterans of Jenkins and other areas of Letcher County will organize a Veterans of Foreign Wars post within the next two weeks.

. William “Bill” Stapleton has been promoted from mine foreman to superintendent of Consolidation Coal Company’s mines 206, 206-B, and 207 in Dunham. He replaces M.E. Prunty, who will continue as superintendent of Mine 204.

. The Letcher County School System’s three high schools have been accredited by the Kentucky Board of Education. Fleming and Whitesburg were given “A” ratings, while Kingdom Come was given a rating of “BEmergency.”

. President Harry S. Truman met with his top advisors earlier this week to discuss the ongoing coal strike, now ending its sixth week, and the strike’s effect on the country as a whole. Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives has started hearings on a bill to outlaw UMW President John L. Lewis’s demand for a royalty on all coal miners to finance a union-operated Miners Welfare Fund. Truman says the strike is a national disaster.

. Dr. Garrett Craft, a graduate of the University of Louisville Medical School, has joined the medical staff at Seco Hospital. Craft recently completed his internship at Wheeling General Hospital in West Virginia.

Thursday, May 3, 1956 Effective this week, tolls are no longer being charged for telephone calls placed between Neon and Whitesburg. Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company says telephone subscribers in both communities will pay a slight increase in rates as a result of the tolls being dropped.

. Sam J. Bates, a Letcher County resident against whom the federal government has an income tax claim of $34,000, has been convicted on a liquor charge. A U.S. District Court Jury in Pikeville has convicted Bates of illegally carrying on the business of a retail liquor dealer. Punishment was set at a year and a day in prison and a $100 fine.

. The trial of Joe Bates, charged with arson in the burning of the clubhouse at McRoberts in December 1954, ended in a hung jury earlier this week. The two main witnesses in the case, Dan Berry and Gerald Sumpter, were transported from the Kentucky State Reformatory at LaGrange, where they are serving five-year terms for their roles in the fire. The two claim Bates hired them to burn the building for insurance purposes.

. Kyle Campbell has been installed as the new commander of VFW Post 5829 in Whitesburg. Campbell served as sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II.

. The nation is grieving the loss of U.S. Senator Alben B. Barkley, who served as Vice President in the Truman administration from 1949-1953. Senator Barkley, 78, died of a heart attack after slumping to the floor after a keynote address to Washington and Lee University students assembled in a mock Democratic National Convention. Barkley, whose funeral was held in Washington, D.C., on May 1, collapsed after telling the students he would attend the real Democratic convention in August, but would not be a candidate for president.

. Kentucky Governor Albert B. “Happy” Chandler has proclaimed the month of May a period of mourning for U.S. Senator Alben W. Barkley, the former U.S. Vice President who will be buried in Paducah on Friday.

. “The Mad Dr. Morris and His Dungeon of Death Show!” will appear live onstage at the Jenkins Theatre for the first time ever next Tuesday, May 8. Promoters say the show “makes Frankenstein look like a sissy!” Girls are invited to the show, but are advised not to “come alone.”

. Joan Crawford and Jeff Chandler star in the film Female On The Beach,” showing at the Alene Theatre in Whitesburg May 6 and 7.

. Williams Motor Sales of Madison Street, Whitesburg, a new dealer for Studebaker.

Thursday, May 5, 1966 The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees voted unanimously this week to put Letcher County’s longawaited UK community college in Hazard.

. The entire 13-member staff of the Appalachian Volunteers resigned this week after three key officials of the Council of the Southern Mountains were fired by Perley F. Ayer, executive director of the council.

. The Letcher County Economic Opportunity Committee Inc. will hold its May meeting at 7:30 p.m., Monday, May 9, in the fiscal courtroom at the courthouse in Whitesburg. The committee is the official agency for sponsoring local programs in the war on poverty.

. Funeral services were held Sunday for Charles Bowman Caudill, 70, a widely known merchant who operated the C.B. Caudill General Store in Blackey for the past 34 years. Caudill died at the Whitesburg hospital April 27 after suffering a heart attack. Caudill was a descendant of pioneer settlers in the mountains and in Kentucky whose family traces back in record to the War of the Revolution.

. Paul Edward Rose, 21, Haymond, is in the Letcher County Jail on a charge of murder in connection with the fatal shooting last Saturday of Edgar LeMaster, 35. The shooting occurred in front of the former “fountain” at Haymond. The two men scuffled, and Rose went to his home and returned with a gun. The two scuffled again and Rose shot at LeMaster twice, missing him the first time, but wounding him fatally the second time, Letcher County Sheriff Maynard Hogg said. Hogg said the gun was a .22 German-made pistol.

Thursday, May 13, 1976 The two Clinchfield Coal Co. mine rescue teams that participated in rescue operations following the Scotia explosion have donated $2,000 they received for their work to relatives of the 26 victims.

. Letcher County had an unemployment rate of 11.9 percent during March, according to Robert McDonald, chief labor market analyst for the state Department for Human Resources. The figure was considerably higher than that for eastern Kentucky as a whole, which had an unemployment rate of 8.8 percent during the month.

. Abundant blackberry blossoms now appearing should herald a big yield of one of the mountains’ special treats later on this summer, but for now they are signals of the annual cool spell known as “blackberry winter,” which follows “redbud winter” and “dogwood winter” and usually is the last really cool weather before warm days take over.

Wednesday, May 14, 1986 Letcher County jail improvements should be completed within three months. At a special meeting May 7

the fiscal court heard a report by Letcher County Judge/ Executive Ruben Watts concerning improvements on the jail. Watts said several changes were being made, and the jail should meet state approval in the near future.

. Two men accused in the August, 1985 slaying of Tammy Dee Acker at Fleming-Neon were transferred to the Pike County Jail after a search of their cell in the Letcher County Jail revealed articles apparently intended for use in an escape attempt. A tip from the Federal Bureau of Investigation led officials, state police and a deputy U.S. marshal to “shake down” the Letcher County jail cell of Roger Dale Epperson of Perry County and Benny Lee Hodge of Tennessee.

. Scattered weekend thunderstorms brought temporary relief to the drought-like conditions that threatened much of eastern Kentucky, but public officials and gardeners are still monitoring the situation with watchful eyes.

Wednesday, May 15, 1996 A “study group” of citizens will ask Judge/Executive Carroll Smith and the Letcher Fiscal Court next week to consider establishing a county-wide sewer/water district to handle the county’s growing water and sewer problems. The “Letcher County Sewer and Water Study Group” was named by Smith after discussions with local officials and representatives of the Kentucky River Authority, a state agency which oversees the entire river from its source in far-eastern Letcher County to its junction with the Ohio River at Carrolltown.

. Cases of scoliosis are no more prevalent in Letcher County than in other parts of the state. But enough children here do have the condition — commonly referred to as abnormal curvature of the spine — to warrant a visit every four months by a team of specialists who treat the disorder. Two doctors, two nurses and an x-ray technician from the Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children in Lexington were in Whitesburg Saturday for the first of what will be a regularly-scheduled Shriners Crippled Children’s Clinic.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 Letcher County’s hourly employees will receive a $1-an-hour raise thanks to a motion by District Four Magistrate Randall Caudill at the May meeting of the Letcher Fiscal Court.

. A Letcher Circuit Court jury has convicted four men of beating and sexually abusing an inmate in the Letcher County Jail. The jury recommended maximum prison sentences of 15 years each for Robert L. Fields, Michael T. Fugate, and David L. Lucas. The jury asked Letcher Circuit Judge Sam Wright to sentence the fourth man, Frank S. Campbell, to 30 years in prison after finding Campbell was a persistent felony offender.

. An early morning fire heavily damaged the home of Susan Mitchell in Jenkins. Thanks to the efforts of a neighbor, Eddie Honeycutt, both Mitchell who is bedfast, and her caretaker Margaret Honeycutt, were spared serious injury. When Jenkins Police Officer A.B. Swindall arrived at the home, he found all the occupants were safely out of the house.

. The parents of a baby whose photograph was found outside a Winchester bank after it was robbed April 7 had nothing to do with the robbery, police determined. Morgan “Bucky” and Andrea Reynolds of Letcher County had ironclad alibis for the whereabouts at the time of the robbery, Winchester Police Detective Tom Lewis said.



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