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Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908




 

 

Thursday, August 30, 1934

Mrs. Vicey Ingram, 98, regarded as the oldest woman in Letcher County, died at her home on Dry Fork of Linefork. “Only a remnant of the folks who lived and ruled back before the Civil War remain with us,” Mountain Eagle editor and publisher Nehemiah M. Webb writes of Mrs. Ingram’s passing. “Aunt Vicey was one of those that had resisted nearly a century, but finally fell gently to the ground.”

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All land and houses belonging to Mayking Coal Company at Mayking will be sold at auction September 8. Norman Realty Auction Company of Whitesburg is handling the sale.

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Only eight men lost their lives in coal mining accidents in 1933, newly released statistics show. In Harlan County, 29 miners were killed on the job in 1933. Pike County, Perry County and Floyd County lost 15, 11 and 10 miners respectively last year.

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The state highway from Blackey to Garner Mountain will be surfaced soon — with creek gravel. Contractor Emmett Blair was low bidder for the job and will begin work this week. The work is being rushed before bad weather arrives.

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Hugh Taylor, accused of burglary in the Dair Gibson case, has been found to have had no connection to the case whatsoever. “Mr. Taylor has always stood as one our most reputable citizens,” Eagle editor Webb writes.

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Letcher County Deputy Sheriff I.D. Caudill of Blackey was badly beaten and bruised a few days ago while attempting to arrest a drunken man. The drunk is now in jail awaiting action of the courts.

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The City of Whitesburg has adopted an emergency ordinance making it “unlawful for any dog to run at large upon city streets, sidewalks or other portions of the city outside the enclosed premises of the owner thereof.” The ordinance also says that “the owner of any dog permitting same to run at large, or if the dog is accompanied by the owner or other person, it shall be under leash and securely muzzled.” Dog law violators will be fined from $1 to $15 for each offense.

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Just after dark last Friday, friends and neighbors were called to the home of Mr. and Mrs. M.D. Lewis on Main Street to see the blooming of a wonderful flower. Those present for the after-dark blooming of the cereus, an elongated cactus often found in the southwestern United States, had never seen such a curiosity. Mrs. Lewis has owned the plant for several years. On the evening mentioned, Mr. Lewis noticed that the end of the stalk was in the act of bursting and blooming. And so it did. Like a thing of life, a large roll of white flowers began bouncing forth and springing into beauty. In an hour or more, or by nine o’clock, it was in its full beauty and grandeur. Persons who kept vigil over the flower say it remained in its magnificent beauty and glory until about the hour of midnight, at which time death apparently seized it. When this writer visited it the next morning, the lively red stalk had withered to about a shoestring and the beautiful flower was a drooping bunch of dead petals, only a fragment of what it had been only a few hours before.

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Miss Ollie Reynolds, the operator at Bell Telephone’s central office, is on her vacation this week. Miss Verna Hall, assistant operator, is relieving Miss Reynolds.

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“If Eagle readers will look at the dateline and on the left and right of it this week, he or she will read ‘Volume 27, No. 52.’ The figure means that the 27th year of your newspaper stands finished. We are young yet and don’t want to commit murder, but no man must have the indiscretion to call us old. But 27 years is a long time to wage such warfare and still live. We declare as we have a million times in the past, that the only ambition this little messenger has is to do good. No one can have a higher mission. Travel with us.” — N.M. Webb.

Thursday, August 24, 1944

Letcher Schools Superintendent Martha Jane Potter is leaving for Frankfort this week to seek approval of a higher salary schedule for teachers this year. Under the proposed schedule, basic pay for the school district’s 240 teachers will be $100 a month plus one dollar a year for experience up to five years and 45 cents for each college hour, which will give a teacher with 128 college hours a monthly salary of $162.60. Classes will begin September 4.

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Both white and colored schools parents are asked to observe the same boundary lines and bus schedules as last year in the Jenkins Independent school system when the schools open September 4.

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Paris has been liberated by French patriots and is now free for the first time in four years. Romania has capitulated to the Allies and Bulgaria is expected to follow within a week. Many are predicting that the war with Germany will end within another month.

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Mr. Herman C. Combs, one of Whitesburg’s most progressive businessmen, has established the Combs Motor Company in the building owned by Mr. Combs on Railroad Street. He says he will be the dealer for Ford trucks and cars, Jeeps and Lincoln cars.

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Representatives of the Maine Extension Service will be in Letcher County at the office of the county agent on August 30 and 31 for the purpose of interviewing workers to go to Maine to harvest the potato crop.

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7th AAF Technical Sergeant Ollie E. Day of McRoberts has been taking care of one of the most hazardous jobs in the military. Not only was Day charged with the alreadydiffi cult task of waking up his fellow men at four in the morning, he has been doing the job while under Japanese sniper fire. As sergeant of the guard, Day was obliged to awaken aircraft mechanics to preflight their planes before the dawn patrol. On a night less than a week into the job after the 7th AAF units moved onto the field, two Jap snipers opened fire. “I dived into a foxhole, then jumped for the nearest tent,” Day said. “I’d wake up a mechanic and then jump for another foxhole, and then another tent. The snipers kept me hopping, but our guards were shooting back and some of the mechanics came out firing, so the Jap fire wasn’t too accurate.”

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Pfc. H. Herbert Mullins is back home on leave with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. C.C. Mullins of Head of Cumberland, after an absence of 39 months. He was stationed at Pearl Harbor when the Jap attack was heard around the world. He has since seen many of the islands in the Southwest Pacific, serving many months in the Solomons.

He was among the infantrymen sent to relieve the Marines on Guadalcanal. He has four battle stars and the badge of combat infantryman.

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Mr. Sam Johnson has been elected president of the Carbon Glow Local Union No. 7504. He has been a coal miner for about 22 years and is a well-known citizen of the county.

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Kentucky River Concrete Block Manufacturers is now open for business in Whitesburg. The manager is Joe Draughan.

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Technical Sergeant John W. Franklin, who was wounded in France on June 6, is in the hospital again. However, he has notified his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ben Franklin of Millstone, not to worry as he is getting along fine.

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Red Hogg’s truck mine are said to be putting out a lot of fine coal in Millstone.’

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The new Ermine School is near completion and looking good. Officials are hopeful it will be finished before school begins September 4.

Thursday, August 26, 1954

A federal grand jury will examine the case of an Eolia man and his housekeeper who were charged with possessing and selling moonshine whiskey after a large still was found under the man’s house. Willard Sturgill and Mrs. Lillie Bowman were charged last Saturday by Letcher County Sheriff Robert B. Collins, who said the still found under Sturgill’s home is one of the largest ever found in this region. [See related story elsewhere on this page.}

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The Craft Funeral Home in Whitesburg is starting an intensive remodeling and improvement program under the supervision of Joe Romeo, local contractor and builder. Archie Craft says the facilities will be second to none when the project is finished. The present embalming room will be moved and a chapel will be built in its place. A new section of the building will house the office, a storage room for caskets, and a restroom.

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A 1936 Whitesburg High School graduate is the first student to receive a PhD in metallurgy from the University of Tennessee. The metallurgical degree went to Marion L. Picklesimer, now employed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Marion is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Picklesimer and attended high school at both Jenkins and Fleming-Neon before graduating from Whitesburg. He was a First Lieutenant in the Army Air Force in World War II, completing 50 missions in the North African and Mediterranean Campaign as a B-52 pilot. He is now in charge of experimental work at the Oak Ridge lab, working with the new and remarkable metal Zirconium.

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The Whitesburg Jaycees will sponsor an appearance by the Stanley Brothers (Carter and Ralph) and the movie “Suspicion,” starring Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine, at the Elinda Ann Drive-In in Whitesburg on Friday night. The cost is 49 cents, with proceeds going to help buy new uniforms for the Whitesburg High School marching band.

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Dr. Glen McDavid, optometrist, has announced the opening of his office on Main Street in Whitesburg.

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Lt. Lubert Wing has been honored by his General for being an excellent rifleman and for outstanding service to his company. He is the husband of Mrs. Gladys Wing of Seco and is now stationed in Korea. Lt. Wing has been in the service 12-1/2 years, having fought in World War II where he served in the 82nd Airborne division as a master jumper. He and his wife plan to make their home at Fort Sill, Oklahoma when he returns to the states.

Thursday, August 27, 1964

A new Letcher County Development Council will be organized next week to guide the county’s participation in the new billion-dollar federal government anti-poverty program. The council also will supervise and plan Letcher County’s part of the Appalachian development program now being considered by Congress.

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Billy Caudill and his brother Jerry caught a 25 3/4– pound catfish from the swinging bridge below the mouth of Elk Creek.

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Four more one- and two-room schools have been closed in Letcher County. The four are Upper Millstone, Bear Branch, Whitco and Hot Spot.

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The Whitesburg Fire Department and Letcher County Civil Defense organization will sponsor a fall fair festival at the Bates showgrounds in Whitesburg. The festival was decided on after plans for the Letcher County fair were abandoned this year.

Thursday, August 29, 1974

Letcher Fiscal Court voted to divide up the county’s $371,000 in coal severance tax money: $100,000 toward cost of a factory building on the Whitesburg industrial site; $100,000 for improvements at Fishpond Lake; $125,000 for recreation projects with $25,000 going to each magisterial district; and $5,000 toward purchase of a bus for use by the county program for the elderly.

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United Mine Workers organizers are reportedly doing “homework” on companies, towns, mines and public officials in eastern Kentucky. The organizers are guiding UMW activities in Harlan County, where coal miners are striking at Eastover Mining Co. at Brookside and are preparing to spread out across the coalfields.

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The Jenkins Board of Education asked the Letcher Fiscal Court to join in a $1.25 million suit against the architects, engineers and contractors who built the new Jenkins High School. School officials say the school was built upon a fill and that it is sinking and cracking. Fiscal court has agreed to join the suit.

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The Jenkins Independent School District’s financial report shows the district received $844,563.66 for fiscal year July 1, 1973 to June 30, 1974. The salary of the superintendent was $9,318.68. The highest paid high school teacher received $5,919.02. The highest paid elementary school teacher received $6,035.42.

Wednesday, September 5, 1984

One hundred sixty-five employees of Beth-Elkhorn Corp. at Jenkins have been laid off indefinitely. The company said the layoffs are the result of the declining market for steel and general economic conditions in the United States. Beth-Elkhorn is the largest coal-mining operation in Letcher County, and its workers are the only Letcher County miners represented by the United Mine Workers of America. The layoffs leave 515 people working at Beth- Elkhorn’s operations run out of the Jenkins office. In 1983 there were 750 people working.

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Seven Letcher County public water supplies are among 175 statewide classified as “persistent violators” by the state Division of Water. The Ermine Senior Citizens Center and the Blackey Senior Citizens Center were cited for “exceeding the maximum contaminant level for coliform bacteria.” The other Letcher County water suppliers were cited for failure to submit an adequate number of water samples for bacteriological analysis.

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The Kentucky Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet said it intends to continue issuing mining permits even if the landowner objects. Landowners, the state agency said, will have to get the courts to decide whether they can stop unwanted mining operations. The decision to issue permits was made despite a “broad form deed” bill which had been passed by the state legislature. The bill essentially says the landowner who sold mineral rights to a coal company early in the 20th century sold only the right to mine coal under methods then in use.

Wednesday, August 31, 1994

The Letcher County School District will be among the first in the state to join the Kentucky Education Technology Systems (KETS), a statewide computer network which plans to provide a communications link for students, teachers and administrators in every classroom in the Commonwealth. KETS plans call for a minimum of one computer for every six students, a printer in every classroom, and a laser printer for student use in the school.

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Letcher County native Bill Blair Jr. has been named the head coach of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves. Blair spent the previous season as an assistant coach to Larry Brown with the Indiana Pacers.

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The annual Isom Days celebration will include a rodeo with skydivers, a parade, horseshoe and volleyball tournaments, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, and musical entertainment.

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A federal official praised the Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation, saying, “Health reform doesn’t get any better than this.” Pauline Wicks, chief of the Alabama/ Kentucky Section of Region 4 of the Department of Health and Human Services, was Letcher County for the groundbreaking of MCHC’s new $4 million clinic building in Whitesburg.

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Whitesburg correspondent Mary Majority writes that Phoebe Fields put 100 ears of corn in the freezer and is also pickling some corn.

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

The Kentucky Court of Appeals says a Letcher Circuit Court jury was presented with enough evidence to support its decision in 2003 to find April Dawn Boggs guilty of facilitating the murders of Timothy L. “Blister” Cook of Whitesburg and his four-year-old son T.J. Boggs was tried after her husband, Jerome Watson Boggs, pleaded guilty to the February 2002 murders.

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Blackey correspondent Diana Combs writes that her neighbor, Loretta Henrikson, was bitten by a copperhead snake as she stepped out of her car which was parked in her driveway. She was hospitalized for two nights.

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The Ermine Senior Citizens Center hosted a luau and hula hoop contest. Among those participating were Carl Parrott, ImoJene Sexton, Opal Mason, Coleen Hart, Jeanetta Cook and Trenda Kincer.

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The Pine Mountain Trail Conference has received a $1,000 grant from the Kodak American Greenway Awards Program in Arlington, Va. The grant will help in continuing the construction and development of the planned 110-mile hiking trail along the ridge of Pine Mountain throughout southeastern Kentucky and southwestern Virginia and into northern Tennessee.


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