Whitesburg KY

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908



Thursday, October 11, 1934

A Letcher Circuit Court jury was unable to reach a verdict in the murder trial of Jim Hughes, who is charged with killing Joe Drew. The jury spent a number of hours trying to reach a verdict before declaring it was hung. A new trial will be held in January. Hughes allegedly shot Drew in Haymond in July after the two traded punches in front of Drew’s home.

The Letcher County Grand Jury has indicted 130 dog owners for failing to pay their dog taxes. The indictments were among 200 returned.

Five-year-old Andrew Dunn was hit by an automobile while walking to school at Belcraft this morning and is not expected to survive the injuries. He was rushed to the Bach Hospital in Whitesburg after the accident, then transferred to Jenkins for treatment of severe fractures to his head. Who was driving the car that hit the child remained in dispute at press time.

A Letcher Circuit Court jury was again unable to reach a verdict this week in the case of Troy Triplett, 19, tried Monday for a second time on a charge of murdering Mose Webb at his home on the head of North Fork in December 1933. Webb was near the front porch of his home just after dark when he was wounded in the leg by a shotgun fired by someone standing near his gate. Maryland Bates was charged with the fatal shooting just after the incident, and police say Triplett was with him. Defense attorneys say Triplett was five or six miles away from Webb’s home at the time of the shooting. A third trial will be held in January.

A former Neon man is dead after having “a small controversy with a neighbor over a trivial matter.” Thomas H. Wylie died of a blood clot he received after the neighbor hit Wylie and walked away.

Many Whitesburg residents traveled to Partridge Sunday to witness the dedication of the new little stone Presbyterian Church building there. The new church replaces a smaller church that was built in a more out of the way location and donated by the late John Lewis. Two years ago, Lewis’s granddaughter, Mabel Mullins, donated a plat of land beside the highway for the new church. Construction of the church was then delayed by the Depression.

Twenty young men from Letcher County are among a total of 2,823 students enrolled at the University of Kentucky in Lexington for the first term of the 1934-35 year. This is a significant increase in UK’s enrollment over the first term last year, when 2,458 were enrolled. Students from all but seven of Kentucky’s 120 counties are on campus.

Said an observant Letcher County citizen a few days ago: “During the past three years in this country, numbers of persons [who are] ordinarily honest, contented and good citizens have resorted to criminal conduct in order to get a few dimes and dollars to keep their wives and children from freezing and starving to death. Very few men are strong enough to resist stealing and taking when they, as well as their wives and children, are crying for bread or freezing.”

The Kona Machine and Armature Company is open and located between Kona and Millstone.

Suede leather jackets, zipper style only, are on sale for $5 at W.E. Cook’s store in Whitesburg, the store that reminds you “it takes leather to stand weather.”

Mountain Eagle editor Nehemiah M. Webb says this week’s most important story is actually an advertisement from the Bank of Whitesburg celebrating its second anniversary. Webb writes that the bank, on October 10, 1932, emerged “Phoenix-like … from a pile of wreckage and dead ashes” to grow from deposits of $13,382.94 at the end of its first day to its current deposits of $394,546.40, “every dollar of which is safely and snugly insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.” Added Webb in remembering the bank’s opening: “There was confidence in the stockholders and management, and Herman Hale was cashier, bookkeeper, janitor and everything else.”

Thursday, October 12, 1944

First Lieutenant Jack Davis, 24, a native of Whitesburg and grandson of Mrs. Hester Salyer, has been killed in action. Lt. Davis was a photographer in the Army Air Corps and was wounded September 26 over Belgium. He previously had been assigned to photograph many major engagements in the South Pacific and was present for the D-Day Invasion of France. Davis had been hospitalized twice before for wounds to his right arm and left wrist.

. Sergeant Burnett Adams, son of Mrs. Lorrena Adams of Jeremiah, was seriously wounded in Germany on September 19, his mother has been informed via telegraph from the Army. He was seriously wounded in the side and is recovering in a hospital in France.

. The nation mourns for Wendell L. Wilkie, the smalltown Indiana boy who became a corporate lawyer, the Republican presidential candidate in 1940 and, later, America’s most influential private citizen. Wilkie, known for his fight against the formation of the Tennessee Valley Authority, died October 8 after suffering a heart attack.

. U.S. Senator Alben W. Barkley of Kentucky spoke Saturday afternoon to a large crowd at the Letcher County Courthouse. Barkley, a Democrat, contrasted the years under President Roosevelt, whom he supports, to the 12 years under Republicans Harding, Coolidge and Hoover.

. Bottom Fork and much of the rest of Letcher County was saddened beyond measure Sunday afternoon when the news came that one of our beloved sons had laid down his life for his country. Bruce Webb, son of Dock and Betty Jane Webb, died Saturday night in his barracks near Cape Hatteras, Va. A member of the U.S. Coast Guard, he died of a heart attack. He was only 28 years old.

. Sergeant Woodrow W. Fultz, son of the late J.J. Fultz of Millstone, has been awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action. He is now in a hospital in England recovering from wounds he received during the invasion of France. An Army citation said Fultz was awarded the Silver Star “for gallantry in action in the vicinity of Djebel Ksour, Tunisia on May 7, 1943. Despite heavy enemy fire, Sergeant (then Corporal) Fultz placed his machine gun on his company’s flank and inflicted serious casualties on attacking enemy forces. His skillful firing materially assisted his company in repulsing two enemy counter attacks.” Sergeant Fultz belongs to the 26th Infantry and saw action in the invasions of North Africa, Sicily, Italy

and France. He has been overseas nearly two years.

. John D. “Old Hickory” Amburgey died last Thursday at the Fleming hospital, 10 days after being hit by a truck at the Isom Stockyard. Amburgey had just gotten off the Whitesburg-Hazard bus and walked into the path of an oncoming truck. He was a Spanish American War veteran and 80 years old.

. Ten students from Letcher County are among a total of 1,761 students enrolled for the fall semester at the University of Kentucky at Lexington. The number is an increase of 280 students over the same period last year.

. The Douglas Day Post of the American Legion will hold a special meeting in the Quarterly Courtroom at the Letcher County Courthouse in Whitesburg on October 13.

. Davis Coffee Shops of the cities of Muncie and Anderson in Indiana are advertising in The Mountain Eagle, seeking eastern Kentucky residents to come north and work for them.

. Martha Nolan, wife of Mountain Eagle publisher W.P. Nolan, says she has found “a man” who will come to Letcher County to drill water wells if enough homeowners are interested.

. The Army says that Private Stamper Collins of Whitesburg took part recently in a terrific barrage of 105-millimeter shells, officially recorded at 751 an hour, against advancing German infantrymen on the Fifth Army front in Italy. “We were all streaming wet with sweat after a few minutes of that barrage,” Collins is quoted as saying by a reporter with the Fifth Army. “We never worked so hard or handled so many shells, even at the big push off in Italy on May 11.” Collins is the husband of Iva Lee Collins of Whitesburg and the son of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Collins of Whitesburg.

. Corporal Mitchell F. Tamer, 26, was killed in France on August 30. A former resident of Middlesboro and Appalachia, Va., he is survived by sisters Mrs. Abraham Hazen and Mrs. Sam Hush, both of Neon. A third sister and five brothers also survive.

Thursday, October 14, 1954 Letcher Circuit Judge Courtney Wells has ruled that Letcher School Board Division No. 1 and not No. 2 is entitled to elect a school board member this fall. The ruling results from the redistricting that was done about four years ago. Division No. 1 includes Neon, Fleming, Hemphill, Upper Millstone, Democrat, Colson and Polly. Division No. 2 includes Seco, Haymond, Payne Gap, LaViers, Thornton, Beefhide, rural Dunham and rural Burdine.

. Mrs. Alpha Hart Hall went on trial Wednesday for the murder of her husband, Frank Hall, who was killed at his home August 17 after a “family altercation.” Family members are the only witnesses to the killing. The trial was still going on at press time.

. Dr. E.G. Skaggs of Neon has come out in support of Basil Hall for the Letcher County Board of Education seat in Division No. 5. Skaggs is a Neon medical doctor who currently serves on the school board. He says he favors Hall because Hall is running in the interest of Superintendent William B. Hall, former principal at Fleming-Neon and Kingdom Come high schools.

. Seventeen students from Letcher County are enrolled for the fall semester at Berea College. A total of 1,510 students are registered for the term.

. Last Friday, October 8, marked the first homecoming celebration in the history of Whitesburg High School and it turned out to be a huge success. By 1 p.m. on Friday, hundreds of people lined the streets of Whitesburg and saw a parade that included the school’s first homecoming queen, Miss Margaret Day, and 15 parade floats. The Whitesburg Hep Cats, a small orchestra made up of 17 Whitesburg band members, performed the music at the homecoming dance.

. The Jenkins Cavaliers failed to score Friday night against the Elkhorn City Cougars. Luckily for Jenkins, the Cougars also failed to score and the game ended in a scoreless tie. Meanwhile, the Whitesburg Yellowjackets, in what many believe to be their worst effort this season, fell to the Lynch Bulldogs, 28-12, after leading by 12 points entering the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers (1-4) will host the Yellowjackets (4-2) this Friday.

. Lowell Sparks, Mayking, and Frank T. Welch, Neon, have been chosen as members of the staff of The Record, the student newspaper at Pikeville Junior College. Miss Sparks will be assistant editor and Welch will be business

manager of the paper, which will begin its 34th year of publication.

. Harold E. Williams, fireman, U.S. Navy, son of Mr. and Mrs. Dan C. Williams of Seco, is taking part in “Operation Passage to Freedom,” the evacuation of thousands of Vietnamese refugees by the Navy. The evacuees are being transported from Haiphong in Communist-dominated North Vietnam to Saigon, 800 miles to the south. The Navy is supplying more than 40 ships for the operation at the request of the French and Vietnamese governments.

Thursday, October 8, 1964 First-grade pupils in all Letcher County schools will take part in a health screening program to be conducted by the U.S. Public Health Service and the local health department. The testing program is part of the emergency winter relief program set up last year by President Kennedy and continued by President Johnson.

. Two persons were burned fatally this week in separate fires in the Cowan area. Rebecca Ann Cornett, 83, died of burns received when fire destroyed her home at Day. Rosetta Johnson, the seven-month-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Lovel Johnson perished when fire destroyed her family’s home. Five other children escaped the flames.

. John Belcher of Fleming stood on top of his furnace room to harvest “tommy toe” tomatoes that grew above his housetop at Fleming. Belcher said the vine came up as a volunteer and he fertilized it. The vine grew to 15 feet in height.

. David D. Jones, airman U.S. Navy, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jim R. Jones of Millstone, is participating in a naval training operation called “Exercise Union Square” off the coast of California with Attack Squadron 153.

Thursday, October 10, 1974

Letcher County teachers have returned to work while a search is being made for new sources of funds to give them pay increases. The schools were closed for several days while teachers were on strike. Under an agreement between the Letcher County Teachers Organization and the county board of education, a joint committee has 15 days in which to review school finances and come up with a proposal for finding new funds for teacher pay.

. The Jenkins City Council voted to raise all city water bills by $1.15 at a crowded, noisy session. The new minimum flat rate is $5.31 a month, and the new base rate for those homes with meters is $4.40 for the first 2,200 gallons used. Jenkins residents at the meeting complained not only of the new higher water bills, but also of low pressure, muddy and impure water, inaccurate meters, faulty reading of meters, and waterline leaks.

. ”People have been saying they have never seen such low temperatures during the first days of October,” writes McRoberts correspondent Madelyn Combs. “We are dreading winter for the expenses of heating our homes are so high that it makes ends hard to meet with everything else out of sight in price.

. Whitesburg Postmaster R.C. Day Jr. spoke to the fifth grade social studies class at West Whitesburg Elementary School. He explained the operations of a post office, including the types of workers and types of mail that are handled.

Wednesday, October 17, 1984

Letcher County School Superintendent Jack Burkich and county school board member Bobby Joe Ison have been ordered by a federal court judge to pay Billy K. Banks $6,000 as a partial settlement of a lawsuit Banks filed against Burkich, Ison and present and former school board members Lucille Holbrook and Frank Wright. Banks, principal at Kingdom Come Elementary School, filed the suit early in 1983 after the county school board refused by a 3-2 vote in December 1982 to reinstate Banks to his former job as county pupil personnel director (more commonly known as truant officer).

. Around 600 miners from Letcher and Knott counties are affected by a temporary shut-down of all mining operations owned by South East Coal Co. Reports are widespread that most other major coal firms in the county are also planning to shut down or cut back their operations. Local coal mines are adjusting to an overproduction of coal brought on largely by fear of a United Mine Workers strike which didn’t happen.

. In describing a visit to Indiana, Sergent correspondent Vendetta Fields writes, “It seems like I met more Kentuckians on my trip than native Hoosiers. Everywhere I stopped there would be someone from Hazard or Jackson.”


The Fleming-Neon Pirates survived a rash of penalties and two nullified touchdowns to defeat the Knott Central Patriots 18-7. It was the Pirates’ second victory of the season. The Jenkins Cavaliers raised their record to 7-2 with a 42-22 victory over the Virgie Eagles.

Wednesday, October 12, 1994

“It’s way too early to see the significant effects” from the takeover of Letcher County schools by the state education department, said a member of the Kentucky State Board for Elementary and Secondary Education. The state board approved a plan for improvement and a 1994-95 working budget submitted by the Letcher County school board and administrators. The state took over management of the Letcher County school system in July 1994 after an audit of the district revealed widespread problems.

. Actress Jane Alexander, chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts, visited Appalshop, the Appalachian media arts center in Whitesburg. She praised Appalshop for “producing art to be consumed by the region,” and “integrating the art into people’s lives.”

. Major Roger Yonts, 101st Airborne, presented a medal honoring World War II veterans to his great-uncle, Bert C. Banks of Cowan, at the finale of the Mountain Heritage Festival. He also presented medals to his three uncles, Clyde Yonts, Russell Yonts and Herbert Yonts, all of Indianapolis, Ind.

. Writing about the Mountain Heritage Festival, Jim Cornett of Somerset, a Letcher County native, says, “Coming back year after year to the festival is like coming back home after being gone a long time. It’s wonderful seeing and talking to so many friends and neighbors of long ago.”

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

There is a shortage in the amount of flu shots that will be given out this year because of manufacturing problems at the Chiron Corp. factory in England. British health authorities suspended the vaccine producer’s license because of contamination.

. The Letcher Fiscal Court voted unanimously to combine delinquent garbage bills with the annual property tax bills that will be sent out by Sheriff Danny Webb. County Attorney Harold Bolling read a resolution that all sanitation bills that are more than three months delinquent will be combined with property tax bills.

. Jamie Stidham, daughter of Jimmy and Rhonda Stidham of Dry Fork, was crowned Whitesburg High School homecoming queen before Whitesburg’s game with Shelby Valley. She will be the last WHS homecoming queen as WHS will consolidate with Letcher and Fleming- Neon high schools next year to form Letcher County Central High School.

. Letcher County native Wes Addington, an attorney with the Appalachian Citizens Law Center, is the new head of the Mine Safety Project. Equal Justice Works of Washington, D.C., is funding a fellowship to restart the Mine Safety Project, which has been inactive because of a lack of funds.

Leave a Reply