Whitesburg KY
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The Mountain Eagle

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908



Thursday, May 14, 1925 Alonzo Blevins Watchmakers & Jewelers are celebrating 10 months of business in Jenkins, coming to Letcher County from Coeburn, Virginia, where they had been in business for 25 years.

. The Letcher County Jail has been filling over since the juries went to work, with bootlegging convictions being the reason why.

. Death has taken Ned Webb, 92, of Bottom Fork near Mayking. He was known as one of the best blacksmiths in the county.

. Mr. and Mrs. Willie Long are seriously ill with typhoid fever at their home on Wat Long Branch in Whitesburg.

. Three Letcher County men — one Negro and two white — were given prison terms after one was convicted of housebreaking and two of forgery. The white men got one year each and the Negro two years.

Thursday, May 17, 1945 Mr. and Mrs. Burnett and Tina Ison of Isom have received a telegram informing her that her son, Private First Class James Ison, died in February of wounds he suffered at war. A volunteer since April 1942, Pfc. Ison was captured by the Germans October 6, 1944. He has three brothers also in service overseas. Five sisters and one small brother also survive.

. Staff Sergeant Charles J. Phillips of Cromona has been awarded the Bronze Start medal for his heroic achievement in Germany during the period between February 10 and February 12. He is the son of Mrs. Bessie Phillips of Cromona. During the Army’s initial crossing of the Sauer River, Phillips was serving as a forward observer of a mortar platoon. Even though wounded on the first day of the crossing, he continued to give effective support to the bridgehead troops. Disregarding his own personal safety, he remained with the forward elements for three days and nights without relief.

. Several Letcher County soldiers who had been prisoners of the Germans months have been liberated. Among them: Private First Class Ralph Brashear, son of Mrs. Emma Brashear, and Private Junior Ray Nichlos, son of Mrs. Asberry Nichlos, all of Blackey. Another soldier, Private First Class Orville Caudill, has been returned to military operations after being freed, said his father, Charlie Caudill of Blackey. Mrs. Emil Dixon has received word that her son, Staff Sergeant Poe Johnson, has been liberated after being taken prisoner in August 1944 and will be home soon. So far, no word has been received from Staff Sergeant Emil Cornett or Private First Class Ollie James Back, both of them also from Blackey. Sergeant Cornett was shot down over Yugoslavia last August and was known to have been in the same German prison camp as recently liberated Staff Sergeant Jimmie Dixon, son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Dixon of Whitesburg.

. Mr. and Mrs. John Back of Sandlick received word that their son, Private First Class Freelin Back, has been missing in action somewhere in Germany since April 8.

. Mrs. Lee Moretz of Eolia has received a letter from her son, Adam Moretz, saying he had been liberated and expects to be home soon after being held prisoner by the Germans for three years.

. Mr. and Mrs. Emmett Kiser of Camp Branch have received the Purple Heart medal awarded to their son, Private Rex Kiser, for wounds he suffered in action last August 17. Private Kiser is now a patient at Nichols General Hospital in Louisville.

. Herb Shepard of Eolia has accepted a job with the A&P Food Store in Cumberland.

Thursday, May 12, 1955 Plans are complete for the annual Letcher County Strawberry Show, which will be held May 28. The event, which will be held in front of the Daniel Boone Hotel, is sponsored by the Whitesburg Junior Chamber of Commerce.

. The L&N Railroad is operating normally in Letcher County this week after the end of a 57-day railworkers strike.

. Workers for Southern Bell Telephone Company remain on strike in Letcher County and other locations served by the company.

. Fleming-Neon High School senior Oliver C. James will deliver the valedictorian’s address at the school’s graduation ceremony set for Thursday, May 15. Patricia A. Sturgill is the salutatorian.

. Whitesburg High School senior Bert Francis will deliver the valedictorian’s address at the graduation ceremony set for Thursday, May 19. Doris Banks will deliver the salutatory.

. Norma Ann Addington of Cromona and Eleanor Ann Collier of Mayking are members of the 20-voice choir of Pikeville Junior College that will tour the U.S. later this month. The tour will end with a performance in Los Angeles.

Thursday, May 13, 1965 A road program providing for $25 million of new road construction in Letcher County during five years was approved by the Appalachian Regional Commission.

. Boone Boy Industries, Letcher County’s upholstered furniture industry, has been sold to two residents of Manchester. The company was evicted from Stuart Robinson School after the campus was sold, and could not find another site.

. Austin Napier is valedictorian and Randy Bentley is salutatorian of the 1965 senior class at Whitesburg High School. Larry Breeding is valedictorian and Mary Kaye Asher is salutatorian of Letcher High School.

. Six sticks of dynamite damaged the home of Orval Hughes, manager of Elkhorn and Jellico Coal Company properties at Marlowe. State police are investigating.

Thursday, May 15, 1975 The Letcher Fiscal Court has approved a contract with Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital to rent the hospital’s three ambulances and pledged $25,600 toward a proposed regional ambulance service.

. A Mountain Eagle editorial questions where the

county’s federal revenue sharing funds have been spent. “Why with so much money are the county roads in such bad shape, the courthouse in such a rundown condition?” says the editorial. “These questions gain double measure when it is recalled that coal severance tax funds pouring into the county greatly exceed federal revenue sharing funds. Where has all the money gone? A public accounting is long past due.”

. Sample ballots in The Mountain Eagle list the candidates for governor in the primary election. They are: Republicans Tommy Klein and Elmer Begley Jr. and Democrats Todd Hollenbeck and Julian M. Carroll.

Wednesday, May 22, 1985 Security was unusually tight as the murder trial of William Edward Pennington opened in Letcher Circuit Court. Pennington is charged with capital murder, burglary, and two counts of attempted murder in connection with the shooting death of his mother-in-law, Juanita Banks Hatton.

. Letcher County School Superintendant Jack M. Burkich said he will fight the county school board’s attempt to remove him from office.

. International Harvester announced Benham Coal will be closing in a month if a buyer is not found by then. The company employs 145 hourly workers and 46 salaried workers.

. Dean Bentley of Neon, was elected president of District 30 of the United Mine Workers union. He has been a union member for 18 years and has worked as a field representative for the union’s international headquarters.

Wednesday, May 17, 1995 State Education Commissioner Thomas C. Boysen suspended all five members of the Letcher County Board of Education and dismissed School Board Attorney Rick King. Boysen said it was necessary to suspend school board members Tommy Vanover, Terry Cornett, Wesley Doughman, Dr. Sam Quillen Jr. and William Smith because of behavior he described as “disruptive and

adversarial” to the Kentucky Department of Education’s attempts to correct problems of mismanagement in the county school system.

. A group of 30 Russian folk performers are touring eastern Kentucky including Letcher County as part of a Russia/Appalachian Folk Exchange. While in Whitesburg, many of the performers visited Walmart and other discount stores to purchase good to take back to Russia.

. Letcher County Judge/Executive Carroll Smith proposed new regulations governing logging in the county that would protect the rights of those who own the surface and also protect the future economic potential of land and water resources in the county. He said the ordinance would cut down on erosion of soil and sedimentation of streambeds which have resulted in the past from “unplanned or poorly planned timber cutting and removal, road construction, log skidding and other land-disturbing practices which occur with timber removal.”

Thursday, May 18, 2005 Bids have been opened on the proposed water storage tank to serve the Craft’s Colly community and the new Letcher County Central High School at Ermine. Construction will begin after a 30-day comment period.

. Letcher County Economic Development Director Joe DePriest told Letcher Fiscal Court that there will be a delay in the opening of BJ Services, the Texas-based gas and oil well service. The company, which could provide as many as 90 jobs, is behind schedule on its plan to open its new Jenkins facility in June.

. New Letcher County postmasters were installed in a ceremony at the Whitesburg Post Office. The new postmasters are Steve King, Jeremiah; Danny Staton, Thornton, and Shannon Collins, Seco. Letcher County resident Kenna Webb is the new postmaster at Topmost in Knott County.

. Chezrai Kincer is the valedictorian of the eighth grade class at Fleming-Neon Elementary School.

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