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The Way We Were




On Thursday, May 7, 1953, the Fleming-Neon High School senior class was in The Eagle after returning from its class trip to D.C.

On Thursday, May 7, 1953, the Fleming-Neon High School senior class was in The Eagle after returning from its class trip to D.C.

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908

May 11, 1933

Last Sunday, Lloyd Potter drove the first automobile over the mountain from Beefhide to Jenkins, a feat no one has undertaken before.

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The people of Whitesburg were shocked when word reached here Monday that Tom Day, 50, a well-known citizen, had been shot and killed by E.L. Hotchkiss, a sawmill and lumber man, near Day’s home on Big Cowan. The man who did the shooting is about 60. He is formerly from Pennsylvania and has been in the lumber business in the county for a number of years. The shooting is said to have resulted from a quarrel over dogging some hogs. A .22 rifle was used by Hotchkiss, who was brought to town and indicted by the Letcher County Grand Jury.

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In the August primary election, 8,303 ballots will be furnished for Republicans while 9,107 will be furnished to Democrats in Letcher County. Of those, 3,704 Republican ballots will go into Jenkins and Fleming. Democrats will furnish 4,464 ballots in those two precincts. The number of ballots being printed and furnished is based on the number of votes cast by each party during the November election last year.

 

 

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Jim Banks, a well-known citizen of the Smoot Creek area, was badly abused by a vicious bull a few days ago and is in very critical condition.

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“Though there was much static in the air Sunday night, the world’s ears were opened to hear President Roosevelt give an accounting of himself and his administration for the past two months,” writes Mountain Eagle editor Nehemiah M. Webb. “We all know that in all probability no man in all of history has passed through such a strenuous period as Mr. Roosevelt has this time. No man has met it with greater courage.”

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Early this week the steel mills in Cleveland called for up to 20,000 new workers. It is estimated that 100,000 workmen not employed in two or three years have found jobs at increased wages within the past week.

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“The best index in the world when business is coming back is the advertising in your local newspaper,” Eagle editor Webb writes in a front-page column. “And there is Ford! More than a year ago Ford’s business went on the bum and advertising ceased. Henry is throwing up his hands and screaming the Depression is over and business is back again. Read the Ford ad, and General Motors. These are two of the sure monitors of the return of business. And the sun shines bright in the Old Kentucky Home. Let the band play!”

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“Property that a few years ago would have brought thousands of dollars sold at the Letcher County Courthouse Monday for almost nothing. During such times, no effort should be made to settle debts this way,” writes Eagle editor Webb.

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The 16-year-old stepson of D.F. Maggard of Eolia accidentally shot off one of his fingers while handling a gun Tuesday.

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The Bank of Whitesburg, located in the First National Bank building, reports it has more than 400 depositors. Cashier Herman Hales says the banks has deposits of $116,301.86 and cash and U.S. Bonds totaling $117,174.33.

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The KYVA Motor Company reports that sales for the month of April equal the sales of six months in 1932.

May 6, 1943

UMWA miners in Letcher County returned to work over the weekend after President Roosevelt ordered the American flag placed over every coal mine whose workers are represented by the union, signifying that the federal government was taking charge. On Sunday night, Mr. Roosevelt delivered a message to the coal miners, pointing out the damage a shutdown would bring to the country’s war effort. “As we go to press we learn with a feeling of pride that the miners of Letcher County and eastern Kentucky have returned to their work after being out for only a short period,” writes Eagle editor W.P. Nolan. “We have always contended and still do that nowhere on earth are to be found a more patriotic group of people than [those who belong to] the UMWA.”

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William Caudill of Jeremiah received a wire from the War Department that his son, Pvt. Clyde Caudill, was killed in action in Africa.

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The body of Sgt. Vincent Watts is scheduled to arrive in Blackey on Saturday night, May 8, and burial will be in the Watts Cemetery on Linefork Sunday afternoon. Sgt. Watts, 21, died of burns he suffered in an accident, the commanding officer of the 74th Field Artillery at San Rafael, California reported to Mr. T.B. Watts, the uncle of Sgt. Watts.

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James Otis Mohn has been promoted to the grade of corporal at Stinson Field, San Antonio Air Depot Group Station in San Antonio, Texas. Mohn graduated Whitesburg High School in 1935 and began operating a service station in Whitesburg. He enlisted on April 1, 1942 in Lexington.

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Mr. and Mrs. Joe Begley of Maytown were the guests of Mr. and Mrs. C.B. Caudill the past weekend, says an item in “Blackey News.”

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With pressure cookers in short supply during wartime, Mountain Eagle business manager Martha P. Nolan advertises she is looking for one in top condition and “will pay top price for same.”

May 7, 1953

A sale at the front door of the Letcher County Courthouse on Monday netted a total of $36,000 from property sold to satisfy liens held against Sam Bates and Elizabeth Bates by the Bank of Whitesburg and the U.S. Treasury Department. Six tracts were sold in the sale conducted by Master Commissioner Harry Caudill. The former Dave Blair home sold to Bill Conley for $3,800. The Gordon R. Lewis home sold to Floyd Mercer for $5,200. The William F. Mercer residence sold to Venters Cornett for $3,900. Two houses formerly owned by Mr. and Mrs. Cossie Quillen sold to Floyd Mercer for $3,550. The Sam Bates Apartments sold to Woodrow Dawahare for $6,000. The Southern Hotel lot and building sold to Willie Lucas for $13,550.

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A Whitesburg youth, Lloyd Woodrow Miller, was sentenced to five years in federal prison for failing to report for induction under the Selective Service Act after pleading no contest to the charge.

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A bell from one of several steam engines retired by the L&N Railroad has been donated to the Little Rock Church of Regular Baptist at Kona. The L&N says it has now donated 208 of these bells “from its scrapped steam engines to small, needy churches along its lines chiefly located in rural areas.”

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Two Whitesburg High School graduates, James Gose and Gardner Bates Jr., have been honored for their outstanding work with the Morehead State College football team for the 1952-53 season.

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In a front-page column, Mountain Eagle editor W.P. Nolan laments the defeat of previously unbeaten Native Dancer, the 3/5 favorite he picked to win the 79th Running of The Kentucky Derby on May 2. After Native Dancer, which entered the Derby with a record of 11-0, lost by a head to 25/1 longshot Dark Star, Nolan wrote: “Incidentally, we took Native Dancer for first [and] Correspondent for second, due of course to his name and jockey [Eddie Arcaro]. We became liberal and gave the better half a tip on Dark Star, thinking all the while, ‘You sucker!’ You, of course, know the rest.” (Note: Native Dancer, nicknamed “The Grey Ghost” was owned by Alfred G. Vanderbilt II and considered the first horse made famous by television, as 75% of the American TV audience then watched the Derby. He went on to win 21 of 22 starts before he was retired. After losing the Derby, when he was fouled three separate times, Native Dancer went on to win the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes — a feat that had only been accomplished at the time by Duke of Magenta, Man o’ War, and Whirlaway. Dark Star suffered a tendon injury in the Preakness Stakes, where he finished fifth after leading, and was retired to stud.)

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Little Jimmy Dickens, a 32-year-old county music star and member of the Grand Ole Opry, will appear May 14 at the Elinda Anne Drive-In Theatre in Whitesburg.

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The Whitesburg City Council has approved an ordinance creating an agency for slum clearance and redevelopment in the city. Five residents of the city will be appointed to a board of directors overseeing the agency.

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Mrs. Martha Jane Potter has returned to her home at Kona from Good Samaritan Hospital in Lexington, where she was confined for two weeks because of injuries suffered in an auto accident.

May 9, 1963

Whitesburg attorney Harry M. Caudill withdrew today as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for state representative from Letcher County. Caudill, who is being treated at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Johnson City, Tenn., says the illness he is currently suffering would prevent him from returning to the job he held for three terms before he decided not to seek a fourth term in 1962. Caudill’s withdrawal means incumbent Rep. W.R. “Bill” Jordan, a Democrat from Jenkins, will be unopposed for re-election.

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Partridge resident Jess Eversole was honored by the Letcher County Soil Conservation District for his outstanding conservation work.

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The City of Whitesburg annual financial statement shows the city’s receipts for 1962 were $41,518.84. Expenses for the year were $37,586.29.

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An editorial in The Mountain Eagle speaks of the federal funds the county is receiving to build a new courthouse, and goes on to say, “Had Letcher County done as Perry and Breathitt counties did, it could have obtained the new courthouse money last year out of last year’s federal program, and now would be in a position to move ahead this year on a second and third project out of this year’s federal funds . . . Letcher County has finally received a half-million dollars for a new courthouse, and let us all be properly grateful even though Perry County is out-stripping us by the rate of about 40 to 1.”

May 10, 1973

Harlow Motor Company will hold a grand opening of its Ford-Mercury-Ford Truck dealership that has been relocated to a new building in West Whitesburg. Owner Clarence Harlow said he has been told the garage is the largest in Kentucky.

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Sixty Letcher County teachers who do not have tenure are to receive letters telling them they might not have jobs for the next school year because of cutbacks in federal aid to education funds and because of a loss of attendance in Letcher County schools.

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Three persons walked away from a plane crash. The plane, a Cessna 172, landed in the treetops near the top of Pine Mountain on property owned by Sam C. Webb. The three, a man and two women, spent two and half house climbing down the mountain to reach a road.

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Blackey correspondent Charles Ann Mullis advises readers on how to kill cabbage worms. She says to combine one quart of wood ashes with one quart of flour and one small cup of fine table salt and dust the mixture on cabbage plants.

May 12, 1983

A proposal to force the Letcher County School System’s classified employees to apply to individual school board members before they could be hired or rehired to their jobs died for a lack of a second. Superintendent Jack Burkich, who opposed the motion, said, “I think it’s a very dangerous precedent . . . There’s something about it that’s very distasteful.”

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Whitesburg High School juniors Ingrid Imperial and Roger Boggs have been chosen to attend the Governor’s Scholars Program, which is in its first year.

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A federal judge has ordered Scotia Coal Co. to donate $60,000 to local organizations which assisted in rescue attempts during the Scotia mining disaster of 1976. The donations are in lieu of fines against the company, which pleaded guilty to two charges and no contest to three others resulting from the March 9, 1976 explosion that killed 15 miners. Nine members of a work crew and three federal mine inspectors were killed in a second blast at the mine two days later.

May 12, 1993

Two Letcher County students have been chosen to attend the National Student Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. Candi Bates, a Whitesburg High School student, and Rebecca Gibson, who attends Letcher High School, are among 100 students nationwide who have been selected to attend the meeting.

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Members of the Cowan Elementary School and Letcher High School councils complain that their principals have not yet called meetings of the councils. A school referendum on starting a council at Whitesburg High School was ruled a failure, despite that fact that a two-thirds majority of the teachers voting want a council. Four WHS teachers were absent when the vote was taken, said Letcher County Superintendent Jack Burkich, and the local school board’s policy is to count their votes as if they had voted “no”.

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”Belinda”, an Appalshop documentary on the life of Belinda Mason, will be shown here. Belinda Mason, daughter of Rep. Paul Mason, died of AIDS in 1991. She contracted AIDS in 1987 from a transfusion of contaminated blood, and spent the rest of her life as a spokesperson about AIDS and its victims.

May 14, 2003

An eight-man, four-woman jury found April Boggs guilty of facilitation of the murders of Timothy ‘Blister’ Cook and his 4-year-old son, T.J., facilitation to first-degree robbery, and complicity to trafficking in marijuana. The jury recommended a sentence of 14 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

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An ordinance that would have required businesses to pay employees at least $7.50 an hour failed again this week on a three-three vote of the Letcher Fiscal Court.

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Beavers have moved in at Fishpond Lake and have built their own dam in the upper end of the lake. They have tried to build two more in the lake’s spillway, but county workers concerned about the safety of the manmade dam tore those out.

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Demolition is underway on a damaged coal preparation plant silo that caused Cook and Sons Mining Co. to lay off about 350 of its 388 employees. The company could be back at work by late next week.


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