Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

July 8, 1943

Despite the objections of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and warring coal miners and operators alike, a House committee has voted 13-11 against extending the 1937 Guffey Coal Act that has stabilized the bituminous coal industry by putting a floor under prices at the mine and preventing unregulated competition.

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The Letcher County Schools will open for the 1943-44 year on the following dates: August 2 — Marlowe, Neon, Stuart Robinson, Main Blackey, Fleming, Haymond, Hemphill, Whitesburg, Whitco, Millstone, Kona, Seco; August 9 — Carcassonne and Kingdom Come. All other county schools will open July 13, said Letcher Schools Supt. Martha Jane Potter.

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No fruits and vegetables raised in Letcher County this year should be allowed to go to waste, says William H. May, the state’s commissioner of agriculture. Residents who expect to have a surplus are advised to report them to the state’s Division of Markets 10 days to two weeks in advance of harvest.

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“There will be a woman to preach at the Courthouse on Saturday, July 10” says a notice from the Holiness Church.

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Expected to return home to Letcher County today from Pratt Air Base in Kansas is Pfc. Clyde Frazier, who has been serving his country in Panama and South America for the past several months. He will visit Mrs. Frazier and son, Henry Gerald, and his mother, Mrs. Minalee Frazier at Hot Spot.

July 9, 1953

Spectators estimate that between 3,000 and 4,000 people gathered at the Pine Mountain Resort near Whitesburg to see a coon-on-the-log contest sponsored by the Letcher County Fish and Game Club. Forty-two dogs participated in the event, which was won by a reddishbrown Airedale named Brownie. The dog, which removed the coon from the log and brought it out the required distance in 19 seconds, is owned by Chalmer Watkins of Marlowe. Watkins was presented with $25 award.

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One of Whitesburg’s most prominent citizens, former Letcher County Sheriff Herman C. Combs, died July 7 of complications of a heart attack. Combs, 54, died at Mount Mary Hospital in Hazard, where he was taken for treatment after the attack. In addition to being president and manager of Combs Motor Co., Whitesburg, Mr. Combs was president of the Dr. Pepper Bottling Co. of Whitesburg, which serves 12 southeastern Kentucky counties. He also operated the Whitesburg Wholesale Co. for many years. Mr. Combs served as sheriff from 1946 until 1950.

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H.B. Reedy, who founded Reedy’s Plumbing and Heating Company Inc. in 1945, announced this week that he is no longer connected with Reedy’s and will start his own plumbing and heating business. The new business, named H.B. Reedy Plumbing and Heating, is located in the rear of the Daniel Boone Hotel.

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Adams Construction of Paintsville submitted the low bid of $42,979 to put a bituminous surface from the end of the hardtop road at Hotspot, extending southwesterly 2.3 miles to Roxana; thence south 3.6 miles to the end of state maintenance for a distance of 5.9 miles.

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The Elk Horn Coal Corporation’s Jackhorn Store is offering a cash reward for information leading to the location and recovery of a maroon Roadmaster bicycle stolen from Tensley Stamper while he was in Smoke House Pool Room at Neon on June 20.

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Some 400,000 bituminous coal miners returned to mines throughout the nation this week as the annual 10- day miners’ vacation came to an end. In the Hazard Field, only 1,800 tons of coal were produced during the vacation period compared to 5,650 tons for the same week the year before, according to figures released by William B. Sturgill, executive secretary of Hazard Coal Operators Association.

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Four teen-agers were injured, one seriously, when the automobile in which they were riding collided with a truck on the highway two miles below Blackey at about 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The driver of the truck, from Kingsport, Tenn., was not injured.

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The Whitesburg Lions Club will host the Whitesburg Rotary Club tonight at 6 for a picnic at the Nolan Picnic Ground on Pine Mountain (at the big road bend).

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A donkey softball game will be held at the Whitesburg Football Field on Saturday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m. CST.

July 11, 1963

The old wooden bridge on Letcher Street leading into the Upper Bottom section of Whitesburg was condemned by the city council after a support on the bridge gave way under the weight of a large truck, weakening the structure. The bridge will remain open for use by passenger cars and pickup trucks.

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Dr. B.P. Wright has replaced Ray Collins as vice chairman of the Letcher County Board of Education. Members of the board also voted to adopt a redistricting plan that will move the Isom area out of District 4 into District 1, and Eolia into District 4. The plan had been adopted by the board Feb. 11, and then rejected on Feb. 25. An election is scheduled in District 4 in 1964, while District 1 will not vote again for three years.

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The annual financial statement by Letcher County Court Clerk Charlie Wright shows an income of $24,568.05 and $18,344.52 in expenses.

July 12, 1973

The Millstone Sewing Center, widely regarded as one of the most successful anti-poverty programs, will close its doors. Center Director Mabel Kiser says cutbacks in federal funds have made it impossible to continue operating.

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Singers from the Old Regular Baptist Church performed at the Festival of American Folklife presented by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Letcher County residents who sang at the festival, which highlighted Kentucky, were Ray and Estelle Collins, Charlie and Birdie Maggard, Benton and Iva Sergent, and N.L. and Lydia Combs, all of Whitesburg. Joining them were Adrian and Olive Rose Hall of McDowell, Edna Bradley of Martin, and Virginia Bates of Wheelwright, a Whitesburg native.

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Hundred of Letcher County residents gathered at Harlow Motor Company to witness the giving away of a new Pinto in celebration of the opening of Harlow’s new building in West Whitesburg. The Pinto was won by Hattie Ison.

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Garden vegetables come in handy with the cost of living getting higher all the time, says Blair Branch correspondent Callie Blair.

July 7, 1983

Officials of Golden Oak Coal Company have agreed to withdraw their appeal of an assessment of their property and to accept an assessed amount 10 times greater than what they had asked to property to be valued at. The assessment of $33.5 million means Golden Oak will pay $500,000 more in taxes to the county.

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Mr. and Mrs. Wiley Adams celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with a family reunion at their home on Bottom Fork. The couple were married June 9, 1923 by the Rev. A.M. Tate, then pastor of the First Baptist Church in Whitesburg. Attendants were Martha Kincer and Bennett Sparks.

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A memorial meeting at the Johnson’s Fork Cemetery at Roxana drew a large crowd of three to four hundred people. The meeting included old-time singing and preaching by the Rev. Alva Caudill, H.B. Whitaker, Arnold Whitaker, Jimmy Hampton and others.

July 14, 1993

A team of state, area and local officials is working to put together the Letcher County Industrial Development Plan by July 20 so Letcher Fiscal Court can put coal severance tax money into a proposed new lumber mill in Whitesburg. The fiscal court says it will put $400,000 in coal severance tax money into Pine Mountain Lumber. Lumber company officials say the mill will provide 25 to 50 new jobs in Letcher County.

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Seeking a world record tomato, Eagle columnist Ike Adams reports he had planted tomato seeds from Czechoslovakia and Poland. After no rain for 30 days, he says he has given up on the record tomato and is trying to save his Buford Caudill Fall Bean crop.

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Funeral services were held for Warren Wright, a Letcher County preacher, farmer, sawmill operator and activist against strip mining. In the 1960s, Wright turned back bulldozers coming to strip mine above his farm and helped other mountain property owners protect their land.

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The Letcher County AARP Chapter is planning trips to Branson, Mo., and Canada.

July 16, 2003

Kentucky First Lady Judi Patton said her family is honored that Whitesburg’s new domestic violence center will bear the name of Mrs. Patton’s late mother, a Letcher County native who was one of the first women to hold the office of sheriff in the state. The Esta Craft Conway Center for Families and Children is still under construction in downtown Whitesburg, but was dedicated to Conway during a ceremony Sunday afternoon.

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Straight-line winds of up to 80 miles an hour blew through the mountains Saturday, downing trees and knocking out electricity from Leslie County to Wise County, Va. Letcher County Judge/Executive Carroll Smith said 2,900 people were without power in the county after the storm passed through.

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Three inmates tried to escape from the Letcher County Jail last week after stabbing a guard with a weapon fashioned from a metal bolt used in the roof of the jail. The three were captured before they were able to get out of the Letcher County Courthouse, where the jail is located.

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Mine safety officials are concerned over the rate that coal miners — 20 nationally, seven in Kentucky — are being killed in mining accidents this year. Kentucky’s deaths, experts say, reflect the special safety problems of small, underground mines that are common in the state.


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