Whitesburg KY
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Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908




 

 

Thursday, September 7, 1933

A special judge has ruled that neither the apparent winner of the Republican nomination for Letcher County Sheriff nor the number-two vote getter are entitled to run for the office in the general election. The judge ruled that both candidates, J. Harvey Hogg and Stephen Combs, obtained votes through corrupt practices. Both candidates are appealing the ruling to the state Court of Appeals.

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“Notwithstanding the dull thud in general business conditions, the marriage market remains good,” writes Mountain Eagle editor Nehemiah Webb in listing the names of 30 men and women who paid $5 for marriage licenses. “Almost daily, folks find their way to the clerk’s office and become one for good or for worse. And there are others ripening and will soon be ready to pick. The five dollars is the only barrier.”

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A 60-year-old father surrendered Tuesday morning after shooting and killing his son at the head of Linefork the night before. Dick Smith, a farmer, said he shot and killed his son, Orville, after the son refused to stop coming to his parents’ home and abusing them. The elder Smith was allowed to return to his home after posting $500 bond. “The Smiths are an old-time mountain family and are well known,” a front-page story about the shooting says.

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A woman was robbed of less than $2 last Friday while she was eating breakfast in her home near Whitesburg. Miss Frances Blair said she handed her purse over to the robber, a man, after he assaulted her. She said that after she told the robber she only had the $2, he gave 75 cents of the money back to her before leaving. Miss Blair added that she was so excited she didn’t know who her assailant was or in which direction he ran from her home.

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“Neon was the liveliest town in eastern Kentucky Monday when the big Labor Day celebration was held there,” a front-page report says. “To look at the vast crowd, you would think there was hardly anybody left at home in the county. There surely must have been 2,000 or 2,500 men, and women and children on the ground, and the streets of Neon were almost suffocated by the crowd. … Another interesting and encouraging feature was that everyone seemed happy and had a little money to spend. Under the New Deal and the National Recovery Administration, the coal miners believe they are coming back and there are evidences on every hand that they are. … The least mention of Mr. Roosevelt by any speaker brought deafening cheers.”

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Mr. and Mrs. M.K. Marlowe and children are leaving for their new home in Lexington. While Mr. Marlowe will continue actively in the coal business here, he is moving his family so his children can get in touch with better educational opportunities.

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Whitesburg High School football coach John M. Horky has resigned after only a year on the job and moved to Danville, where he attended Centre College.

Thursday, September 2, 1943

U.S. Army Air Corps Major Narce Whitaker of Roxana has been awarded more medals than any other Kentuckian by Lt. Gen. Millard F. Harmon, commander of U.S. Army forces in the South Pacific. Whitaker, formerly a 13th Air Force bomber pilot, was presented by Harmon with seven more awards recently, including the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Oak Leaf Cluster for the DFC. Whitaker had already been presented with the Silver Star, the Air Medal and three other Oak Leaf Clusters. The awards cover his activities in the South Pacific, where he was one of the pioneer Army aviators, from February 13, 1942 to February 5, 1943.

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The Jenkins Independent School District has recorded its largest enrollment decline in many years, reports Supt. C.V. Snapp. The Central School’s student population has fallen from 792 to 684. Burdine is down to 387 from 409. Dunham is at 213 from 230. Enrollment at McRoberts fell from 499 to 457. The number of students in the colored schools fell from 316 to 237.

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Lt. John Verdell Back has scored a “victory” by downing an enemy plane during a dogfight over a beach landing in northern Sicily. Back was flying his plane about 5,000 feet above enemy planes before diving in on them from the side. The one he shot burst into flames. Lt. Back is a son of Mrs. Ella Back, who has two other sons and a son-in-law also in the armed forces. First Lt. Harold Back is a bombardier; Major Klair Back is an instructor at West Point, and Sgt. John W. Adkins has been serving with the engineers in North Africa.

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Two brothers, including one from Letcher County, were reunited for the first time since infancy this week after meeting at Keesler Army Airfield in Mississippi. Pvt. Dan Napier, 20, of Leslie County, and Pvt. Charlie Napier of Letcher County were separated when Charlie was 10 months old. Dan grew up on his father’s farm at Hyden. Charlie lived with his mother at Cromona.

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First Lt. Edwin C. Jenkins is in Whitesburg on a 20-day leave after spending 16 months in the war zone in the Middle East. A bombardier on a B-24, Lt. Jenkins has taken part in 40 raids over Sicily, Italy, Burma, Crete, Tripoli, Tunisia and other places and has 300 combat hours to his credit. Medals he has won include the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters. The son of Mrs. A.F. Stroud of Whitesburg, he was commissioned while overseas.

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Lt. Taylor W. Dixon, son of Mr. and Mrs. T.A. Dixon of Blackey, has been returned to limited duty after twice being wounded in action with enemy bayonets during the North African invasion.

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Word has arrived in Letcher County for the first time since the fall of Corregidor Island that Capt. W.W. Buckhold is being held prisoner in the Philippines, making him the only known Kentucky physician in the hands of the Japanese. Captain and Mrs. Buckhold have a daughter, Mrs. I.D. Caudill.

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The Letcher County Courthouse was filled to capacity Monday morning by people wishing to view the presentation of the Silver Star and Purple Heart to the family of a Letcher County soldier killed in Africa. Mrs. Millie Hart received the medals after being presented posthumously to Private First Class J. Hugh Hart by Major Guy G. Napier of Fort Knox, who read the citation noting Hart’s gallantry in action while under direct enemy fire. The presentation ceremony was sponsored by Douglas Day Post 152 of the American Legion and is the first of its kind to be held in Letcher County.

Thursday, September 3, 1953

Charlie “Chad” Sizemore, 29, was killed in the early morning hours Tuesday after a family brawl at the home of his mother-in-law, Mrs. Etta Bentley [address not listed]. Letcher County Sheriff Hassel Stamper said Mrs. Bentley gave this version of the killing: “She said when she was suddenly awakened Sizemore was standing outside her bedroom door and she asked him to go away. He refused and she and he fought for quite some time, she hitting him over the head with a poker when he suddenly drew a gun and fired on her, hitting the lobe of her left ear.” Stamper said Mrs. Bentley’s son, Noah, was sleeping in a small building in his mother’s front yard and heard the commotion and ran into the house, wrestled with Sizemore, took the gun away and shot Sizemore two times in the head. Sizemore, son of Letcher County Deputy Sheriff Alonzo Sizemore, had been sued for divorce by Mrs. Bentley’s daughter and was under indictment for child desertion and non-support. He had been working in Ohio. The Bentleys were charged with willful murder and were being held in the Letcher County Jail.

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Uncle Bazz Adkins, who is past 80, continued his hobby of squirrel hunting this week despite the high heat. Uncle Bazz killed one squirrel and saw others but did not feel inclined to take more than the one. Squirrel season is said to be the best it’s been in 20 years this season. Among others who have reported success hunting here, particularly those who went to Lilly Cornett’s farm on Linefork, are Arthur Dixon, Bill Long, Deputy Sheriff Jim Short, County Clerk Charlie Wright, County Judge Robert B. Collins and Mountain Eagle printer Gene Anderson. Sheriff Hassel Stamper also reported good luck during his squirrel-hunting trip to Pulaski County.

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Opening of the new Fleming-Neon Grade School has been delayed another week, reports Letcher Schools Supt. Dave L. Craft.

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As of Wednesday, September 2, Whitesburg High School had an enrollment of 674 — 236 freshmen, 206 sophomores, 119 juniors and 113 seniors.

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James C. Duncan, Letcher County’s first prisoner of the Korean War to be returned to his native county, received a royal welcome by the citizens of Whitesburg, a large number of whom organized a motorcade with Mayor Arthur T. Banks and met young Duncan at the Isom Junction. After arriving in front of the courthouse, Duncan told the crowd, “I am so happy to be back. I came back not expecting anything, and now I want to say over and over I thank you one and all.” Duncan arrived at the courthouse perched on a red convertible coupe with his nearest relative, his uncle Emmett Duncan, and his girlfriend, Rita Jo Jarrett.

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Two more Letcher County soldiers have been released from prison camps operated by the Chinese army during the Korean War. They are Carlos Hays, son of Mrs. Bertha and the late Sherman Hays of Hemphill, and Kenneth Wright, son of Ben Wright, formerly of Hemphill but now living in Jackson, Ohio. Both are expected to be home soon.

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Whitesburg City Police Officer Oda Amburgey arrested a Letcher County man who works as a night clerk in a Hazard hotel and charged him with selling liquor in a dry territory. Amburgey said he arrested Albert Peters on Monday after observing Peters get off the bus from Hazard with a large parcel, get into a cab and go to his home about two blocks away. Amburgey said he kept watch until he saw Peters deliver a half-pint of whiskey to a customer. A search of Peters’s home turned up 22 more half-pint bottles of the same brand of whiskey.

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Enrollment at Jenkins High School climbed to 337 this year, up from 326 last year. Other enrollment numbers are: Jenkins Elementary, 386; McRoberts Junior High, 132; McRoberts Elementary, 292; Burdine Elementary, 363; Dunham Elementary School, 143; Jenkins Elementary (Negro), 86; Dunham High School (Negro), 55; Tom Biggs (Negro), 42.

Thursday, September 5, 1963

Diesel-powered underground mining equipment is in use in Letcher County and Kentucky for the first time after Letcher Circuit Judge J.L. Hays issued a restraining order against the Kentucky Department of Mines. Scotia Mining Company’s permit to use the machinery had been revoked by the Department of Mines after the company had spent $107,000 for the new equipment.

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Representatives of six eastern Kentucky area councils and other groups met in Jackson, urging creation of a federally-sponsored Appalachian regional authority, designed to undertake broad programs of economic recovery, based on electric power production. An editorial in The Mountain Eagle says of the proposal, “The greatest opportunity in all history is on hand for eastern Kentucky — a chance to create a new type of economy that will make the area the leader of the nation in many important aspects instead of its tail. Two words summarize the opportunity that is at hand — public power.”

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Fifty-five cases of beer and four cases of whiskey and gin were taken from one auto and 12 cases of whiskey were taken from another in arrests made over Labor Day weekend by the Letcher County Sheriff ’s Department and the Kentucky State Police

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The Stanley Brothers and Clinch Mountain Boys are scheduled to perform at the Whitesburg Ball Park. Admission is $1 for adults, 50 cents for children.

Thursday, September 6, 1973

Twenty residents of Thornton Creek say they plan to withdraw their pledges of road frontage to the county unless work is completed on the road up Thornton Creek before winter. Work had started on the road but stopped, leaving it in worse shape than before the work began.

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Ten thousand Letcher County voters have not signed up under Kentucky’s voter reregistration law. If they do not sign up by the end of September, they will not be eligible to vote in the November election. Under the law, all voters are required to register again, no matter how long they had been registered previously.

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Henry Ison of Linefork, pulled in a 32-inch catfish weighing 28-1/2 pounds while fishing in the Cumberland River. Relatives say the fish nearly caught Ison, as he got his legs tangled in the fishing line and had to struggle to keep from being pulled into the river by the fish. Ison also caught a turtle which weighed 19 pounds.

Wednesday, August 31, 1983

Coal production in Letcher County fell to 14th in the state in total tons produced in 1982, according to the state Department of Mines and Minerals. Letcher County mines produced 4,884,761 tons of coal in 1982. Coal industry observers say the decline in coal production in Letcher County is a result of the depressed state of the nation’s steel industry, which uses the county’s high-grade metallurgical coal.

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A second Letcher County coal firm is nearing an agreement to send 500,000 tons of coal a year to the Orlando, Fla., Utilities Commission. Reading and Bates Coal Company, the parent firm of Golden Oak Mining Company Inc., is negotiating a contract with the Florida utility. Blue Diamond Mining Company is also close to signing a deal with the utility for 500,000 tons of coal a year. The city-owned electric utility is switching from burning oil to gas.

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Allen and Jerry Tyree led the Whitesburg Yellowjackets to a 37-14 win over the Elkhorn City Cougars. The Tyree brothers each scored two touchdowns in the victory. The Fleming Neon Pirates raised their record to 2-0 with a 44-0 thumping of the Wheelwright Trojans. The Jenkins Cavaliers fell to the Pound, Va., Wildcats, 20-6.

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Ivan and Cora Sparks of Sergent, are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

Wednesday, September 8, 1993

The Whitesburg City Council has signed a lease option with Pine Mountain Lumber Company for 12 acres of the Whitesburg Industrial Site behind Caudill Town. The lumber company proposes to put up a 15,000-square-foot mill to produce lumber and wood products and byproducts.

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Letcher Fiscal Court approved an ordinance setting up an industrial development authority to spend the county’s special coal severance tax fund set aside for economic development.

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All three county football teams had wins. The Jenkins Cavaliers thrashed the Pound, Va., Wildcats 51-7. The Whitesburg Yellowjackets defeated Sheldon Clark 9-0, and the Fleming Neon Pirates downed Allen Central 28-8.

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Two women were injured with a slab of coal fell at a Martin County Coal Co. mine. Faculty and staff members from Lexington Community College were touring the mine when a five-footlong, three-foot-wide slab of coal fell from the mine roof. It struck one woman on the hard hat she was wearing and broke on impact and hit the other woman.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

West Nile virus has been found in Letcher County. The Letcher County Health Department on Friday received results of a test on a dead robin found in the McRoberts area that showed the bird was infected with the disease.

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Protesters who briefly disrupted traffic around Hemphill Community Center last week after a bluegrass show was canceled say they want to see changes in the way the center is being operated. Several women stood outside the center and held signs urging Jackhorn residents to boycott the center because of the show’s cancellation.

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Police say a 15-yearold girl was given so much moonshine whiskey by a husband and wife at Colson that she suffered alcohol poisoning and passed out on a heavily traveled state highway.

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Music from the Mountains is the theme of the 2003 Mountain Heritage Festival. Among festival events are a Mountain Idol contest, line dancing, a talent show, and performances by local musicians.


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