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Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908




 

 

Thursday, June 14, 1934

Dangerous and possibly rabid dogs have bitten about 20 people in Letcher County so far this year. Each of the bite victims has taken the $25 remedy and suffered its excruciating pain, but one little child has died of rabies because she could not have the serum. These statistics are made even more important as a Corbin-area woman died last night, 40 days after she and her two children and half-brother were bitten by a mad dog and contracted rabies. Authorities say the children, a seven-year-old girl and nine-year-old boy, and the half-brother, 14, will also die soon because they weren’t treated with serum in time to save them.

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Two young Letcher County men were killed last week when they were run over and crushed by a train. John W. Price and McKinley Crowder, both of Ermine, were in Harlan County looking for work when the mishap occurred.

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Speed Nicholson has retired as manager of the Daniel Boone Hotel in Whitesburg. Ownership is now renting the hotel to Ben and Albert Lewallen, formerly of Barbourville and Harlan. The Lewallens are among the best known hotel proprietors in eastern Kentucky.

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M. H. Boone, Dr. Boaz Adkins, and attorney H. M. Blair left Letcher County for Pineville on Sunday to attend the annual meeting of Kentucky’s Spanish-American War veterans. “About 400 of those now-old boys who donned the blue and marched out to bluff Spain were in the meeting,” the Mountain Eagle writes. “They report a fine meeting.”

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A 35-year-old Little Colley woman died at age 35 last Thursday after a short illness. Mrs. Lizzie Breeding, wife of Brent Breeding, was the mother of five children and was “at the point of being confined in childbirth” when she died, the Eagle writes. Adds the paper: “She was one of the best little mothers in her neighborhood.”

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Union coal miners traveled in a large cavalcade of cars that came from Perry County to Millstone earlier this week to bury 21-year-old Bennie Wright, who died in a mining accident in the neighboring county. The United Mine Workers conducted the burial service.

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Four weeks after it started, Judge R. Monroe Fields has closed the current session of Letcher Circuit Court and is now in Pikeville, where he will be holding court until the next session of the Letcher court begins July 2.

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“Mark my word,” Eagle editor Nehemiah M. Webb writes in an editorial, “if the world stands and people continue to live … the name of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, like that of other great men of the ages, will go ringing down through time. I say this not because he is of my political faith, but because I can see a human heart in all his pleadings and actions, and all history backs up that fact that where human hearts pervade and control, no country or nation can go far wrong.”

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The Kentucky House of Representatives has narrowly approved a bill authorizing a three-percent gross sales tax. The bill, which passed by a vote of 54-47, is also expected to clear that state Senate by a narrow margin.

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Residents of the Ulvah area are happy that the Klenco mines have reopened and are putting men and boys back to work. [Klenco was a Perry County railroad stop located in what is now known as Cornettsville.]

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Citizens of the City of Whitesburg witnessed their first shooting in years on Monday when Elbert Hatton, 45, was shot in the hand with a .22 rifle by his 23-year-old son-in-law, Otis Gibson. “Trouble between Hatton and his son-in-law seems to have resulted over a political spat down at Caudill [now West Whitesburg]. “Gibson secured the gun but had no cartridges,” the Eagle reports. “He fled up the highway to a store where he secured the necessary ammunition. … Hatton arrived on Main Street and words were spoken to Gibson. The shot rang out. With blood streaming from his hand, Hatton rushed his son-in-law and the battle started. Steve Frazier rushed to the scene, separated them and marched the infuriated men to the courthouse, where officers took charge of them.”

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Large crowds are expected to attend a planned Fourth of July celebration at Fleming and Neon. Among the speakers expected to appear at the event, which will include a meeting of the McClellan American Legion Post, is U.S. Rep. A. J. May. May’s address will be aired on WHAS radio station in Louisville.

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The Lower McRoberts voting precinct No. 29 is being consolidated with McRoberts voting precinct No. 11 and will now officially be known as McRoberts Voting Precinct No. 11. Meanwhile, a new voting precinct to be known officially as the Ermine Voting Precinct is being carved out of the East Ward Whitesburg Precinct No. 1. According to a legal ad published by the Letcher Fiscal Court, the new precinct will begin in “the territory above the corporate limits of Whitesburg, including all of Pert Creek, Craft’s Colly up to the old splash dam of Harvey Stallard, deceased, and the Kentucky River up to and including all the original home farms of W. M. Hall and Tommy Hall.”

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Citing his ministerial work, Letcher County Attorney G. Bennett Adams says “it will only be on rare occasions when I can be in my office on Saturdays, and never on Sunday.” Adams says in a notice to the public that the other five days of the week “are being entirely devoted to your interests.”

Thursday, June 8, 1944

Funeral services were held Monday for Charles Fugate, a 17-year-old Jenkins boy who died after being struck by lightning on June 3. According to Jenkins undertaker J. M. Fuller, Fugate and another teen, Herbert Houze, son of Jenkins physician Dr. H. H. Houze, were scouting on Cumberland Mountain [now known as Pine Mountain] near Jenkins when a storm came. Seeking shelter, the two teens climbed up and inside a fire tower, which was soon hit by a bolt of lighting that killed Fugate and badly shocked young Mr. Houze. Even though the lightning bolt knocked Houze’s shoe off his foot and left him temporarily unconscious, he recovered enough to attempt artificial respiration on his friend, said Fuller. Unable to revive Fuller, Houze was able to walk the walk the two miles back to the highway from the tower and summon help. Fuller was later called to the scene to pronounce Fugate dead.

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Andrew J. May Jr., the 40-year-old son of U.S. Rep. A. J. May, died in Cumberland June 3 while in that town attending to business matters related to his father’s timberlands.

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Myrna McNichol has charge of the Carcassonne Community Center this year. She replaces Mr. and Mrs. Lark Sloan, who had to give up their duties after Mrs. Sloan became too ill to continue working. McNichol, a graduate of Cornell University with a master’s degree from Radcliff, taught last year at Caney Junior College in Knott County. She says the Carcassonne Center will not tuition this year, but adds that each student is expected to furnish his or her own linens, uniforms, towels, etc.

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Cpl. Eugene Polly, son of Mr. and Mrs. Howard Polly of Isom, was wounded in battle on February 12 and is being treated for his injuries in a hospital somewhere in Italy. Cpl. Polly, a graduate of Whitesburg High School, was presented with the Purple Heart in recognition of his services in battle.

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Army Air Force Lt. Col. Narce Whitaker, a bomber pilot who last September became the most decorated Kentucky soldier to fight in the South Pacific, is now stationed in Washington, D.C. Lt. Col. Whitaker, a multiple Silver Star recipient, recently visited his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Squire Whitaker of Roxana.

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Four Letcher County furniture and appliance stores — Baker Maytag and Furniture of Whitaker, and Ford Furniture, Jackson House Furnishings, and M. D. Collier Furniture, all of Neon — will begin closing on Wednesdays at noon to “grant our employees this time off that they may devote to ‘victory gardens.’”

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Army Pvt. Clyde R. Lambert, better known as John Lambert, was presented the Distinguished Flying Cross in New Guinea for his participation in a B-25 flight over Kavieng, New Ireland last February.

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Lt. Ollie Harris of Jenkins scored a single air-kill recently when American fighters, battling airmen in dogfi ghts, downed 88 German planes.

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1st Lt. John P. Looney of Jenkins has been awarded a bronze Oak Leaf Cluster for meritorious achievement while participating in sustained combat operational missions of a hazardous nature. Looney was awarded the medal by Gen. Millard F. Harmon in the South Pacific Area on May 13, where Looney served as bombardier from March 12 to March 20.

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Tech Sgt. France Ison of Letcher County has been awarded the Silver Star, Purple Heart and Oak Leaf Cluster for his performances in the African, Italian and Pacific Theaters.

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Sgt. Hite Maggard, son of Mr. and Mrs. Shade Maggard of Van, has been awarded the Presidential Citation, the Bronze Star, the Good Conduct Medal, the American Defense Ribbon, and the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon for his work overseas with the 502nd Military Police Battalion since July 1943. He is now serving in India.

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Apparently angry that his girlfriend has two-timed him while he is away at war, Letcher County soldier Bill Taylor, serving somewhere in Italy, submitted a poem to The Mountain Eagle entitled “Two-Faced Woman.” The poem begins: “A two-faced woman will never do/When you are called to the service they will cheat on you./They tell you they love you, they tell you they are true,/But while you’re away they will be cheating on you …”

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Spencer Tracy and Irene Dunne star in “A Guy Named Joe,” a movie being shown June 11 and 12 at the Kentucky Theatre in Whitesburg.

Thursday, June 10, 1954

The new Whitesburg Municipal Swimming Pool is now open and being enjoyed by many. Operating hours will remain from 3:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. while construction continues on the bathhouses and concession stands. The price for swimming is 25 cents for teens and children and 50 cents for adults.

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Lillian Kiser, Utah Haley and Carbide Mullins were arrested this week on alcohol-related charges and convicted, reports Letcher County Sheriff Robert B. Collins. According to Collins, Mrs. Kiser was fined $50 and sentenced to 30 days in jail for possessing five gallons of moonshine whiskey. She has been placed under a peace bond of $1,000. Haley and Mullins were each fined $24.50 for drunkenness.

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A report in last week’s edition of The Mountain Eagle concerning the shooting of Fult Combs in Virginia contained an error. The report said Combs was shot in front of The Stone Gables in Wise, Va. The incident actually took place at the Whitehouse CafĂ© in Pound, Va. The Stone Gables is also located in Pound and not in Wise, as was reported.

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Recent Whitesburg High School graduates Garland Stallard, William C. Witt, and Billy E. Wright have enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and are now undergoing basic training at Sampson Air Force Base in Geneva, New York.

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Corbitt Hammonds is a patient at Sharon Heights Hospital in Jenkins, where he is being treated for broken ribs and other injuries he suffered after accidentally fell on a keg of nails at Lewis Wholesale in Whitesburg, where he is employed.

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Quick action helped to nab two young men who robbed Ed Williams at his Gulf station at old Pine Mountain Junction in Whitesburg last Friday morning. Here is how Mr. Williams described the incident to The Eagle: “At about 10 a.m. last Friday, two young fellows drove up in an old model Ford car, came into the store, and one said, ‘I want a cigar.’ The other asked me to check the oil in his car. I felt a little suspicious, and when the boys came out and asked me the way to Jenkins and took off hurriedly, I saw they did not go toward Jenkins but toward Cumberland. I went in and checked my cash register and saw that about $80.00 had been taken. I immediately called the county sheriff and a roadblock was set up. The two men who robbed me went through Cumberland and on to Clutts where they live. The officers in Cumberland said two boys went through [the roadblock], but they said they knew the boys and felt sure they were not the guilty ones.” At the urging of Letcher County deputies, police did go to the Clutts home and found the money on Conley Boggs Jr., 17 and married, and Dewey Wayne Collins, age and marital status not listed. After being returned to Whitesburg, both boys admitted their guilt in recent burglaries at Kincer Grocery Store and Pigman Service Station at Mayking.

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William Curtis Asher, son of Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Asher of Letcher, received his master’s degree from the Department of Anatomy and Physiology at the University of Kentucky on June 4.

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Ronald Lee Sergeant, a graduate of Whitesburg High School, has graduated with honors from the University of Kentucky and has been accepted into Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine.

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Among the 1954 graduating class of 107 from Whitesburg High School on May 21, seven families had two members each getting their diploma. They are: Dixie Adams and Richard Adams, daughter and son of Mr. and Mrs. Riley B. Adams; Guinivere Crase and James Crase, daughter and son of Mr. and Ted Crase of Roxana; Amelia Ison and Douglas Ison, daughter and son of Mr. And Mrs. Marion Ison of Oscaloosa; Angeline and Janice Fay Watts, daughters of Mrs. Caroline Watts of Sergent; Barbara West and Claude West, daughter and son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack West of Isom; and Glenora Bryant and Lenora Bryant of Premium.

Thursday, June 11, 1964

The deaths of two men at the Little Daniel Mine No. 3 near Colson have been ruled murder and suicide. Adeliah S. “Richie” Davidson of Neon, was apparently shot by King “Peter” Potter Jr. of Hemphill, who then shot himself. According to reports, Potter had walked off his job as a motorman at the mine and later asked for his job back. Davidson, the son-in-law of the mine supervisor, had refused to intercede for Potter. Potter and Davidson had been friends and fishing companions for many years and often rode to work together.

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A statewide rating system shows weaknesses in the Letcher County School System. Annual expenses per pupil average $276 in the state, $229.30 in Letcher County. Teacher salaries average $4,397 in the state, $3,468 in Letcher County. District supplement for teacher salaries average 17 percent in the state, none in Letcher County. Teachers holding master’s degree or higher average 14 percent in the state, 8.2 in Letcher County. Ninth-graders completing high school average 60 percent in the state, 53.5 in Letcher County. Cost of books and supplies per pupil average $3.77 in the state, $2.75 in Letcher County. The two areas where Letcher County tops the state average are attendance (93 percent state, 93.74 Letcher County) and community support of school based on ability to pay (0.80 state, 1.05 Letcher County). (This figure was arrived at by dividing local school funds by assessed value of property per child enrolled.)

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A Mountain Eagle editorial on county schools says, “Letcher County residents have plenty of cause for worry over the condition of their school system . . . We must begin now — we should have begun long ago — consider our schools and the education of our children — the quality of preparation they receive for getting along in the world the rest of their days — the most important unfi nished business before this county. Every day we delay puts us that much farther behind and puts our children at a further disadvantage when they leave Letcher County, as inevitably they must to make their way in an unbelievably complicated world.”

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Dedication ceremonies were held for the new First Baptist Church on Madison Street in Whitesburg. The building is considered one of the finest churches in Kentucky and is built of buff brick and native stone.

Thursday, June 13, 1974

Letcher County’s share of coal severance tax funds is estimated to be $250,000. State Rep. Hoover Dawahare recommends that the funds be used to build a factory building to be ready if a manufacturer decides to locate in the county.

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The Kentucky mountain caucus in the state legislature is talking about a renewed special focus on eastern Kentucky to include a Department of Economic Development and a special tourist promotion package for the mountains.

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Smoked hams are on sale at the A&P Food Store for 69 cents a pound. Ground beef is 79 cents a pound.

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”Isn’t it a shame that we don’t have more time to sit out on the porch or in the yard under a shade tree,” writes Millstone correspondent Mabel Kiser, “but then would we appreciate the rest so much if we never knew how hard it was to work in the sunshine?”

Wednesday, June 13, 1984

The Letcher Fiscal Court is expected to withdraw an application for federal money to be used to extend water and sewer lines from Fleming-Neon to Hemphill. The county, acting on behalf of Fleming-Neon, had requested $435,000 in Community Development Block Grant money for the project. More than 300 Hemphill residents signed petitions objecting to the water-sewer extensions, even though the Hemphill water system was under a “boil water advisory” from the Drinking Water Branch of the Kentucky Division of Water.

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A Pike County woman was charged in a check forgery scheme in eastern Kentucky and southwestern Virginia. The woman was arrested after she tried to cash a check on Daniel Boone Realty, a former Whitesburg firm that has been out of business for some time, at the Cavalier Drug Store in Jenkins. The store owner, Mary Eversole, recognized the name on the check from a newspaper story about the forged checks.

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Letcher County’s unemployment rate dropped slightly in April, but was still the sixth highest jobless rate in Kentucky. The county recorded a 23 percent unemployment rate in April, down from 25.9 percent in March.


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