Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, October 21, 1943

Funeral services will be held today for Remus Nathan Swisher, Letcher County’s first undertaker and embalmer. Mr. Swisher, who also served as Letcher County’s coroner for 12 years, died October 18, 1943 after a long illness. Born in Remus, Michigan in 1880, he came to Letcher County 30 years ago and married Cinda Pigman in 1918. The funeral home he established in Whitesburg was Letcher County’s first and only until 1932. Survivors include his wife, daughter Jeanette Yarlette Swisher of Whitesburg, and son Jack Remus Swisher, an aviation student at Furman University near Greenville, S.C.

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Mr. and Mrs. Archie Craft have moved from Neon to Whitesburg to operate Craft Funeral Home in the building formerly occupied by the Johnson Funeral Home. The move comes after the Crafts purchased the Johnson Funeral Home operations in both Whitesburg and Neon. The Neon home will also be known as Craft Funeral Home and will continue to be operated by Ferdinand Moore. The Johnson Funeral Home will no longer operate in Letcher County.

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A 24-year-old Seco man died Tuesday of injuries he suffered after jumping from a train moving between Neon and Seco. The fatal accident occurred after Farrell Fleming caught a ride on the train, but misjudged how fast it was going when he jumped off as it neared his home. Farrell’s body was taken to his former hometown of Clintwood, Va., for burial.

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Some of the speediest trials in the history of Letcher Circuit Court marked this week’s activities during the court’s October session. Tried and sentenced this week were Rufus Harrell, who was sentenced to 21 years in prison after being convicted of murdering Yerkes Saylor at Rado’s Place in Cumberland. Lawrence Hall was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to rape. Abner Bedwell was sentenced to five years in prison after confessing to breaking into the home of the widow Chelsa Hogg and stealing her late husband’s clothes.

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A Whitesburg father has been fined $1 and $11.50 in court costs for failing to require his 13-year-old son to attend school. The case was tried by County Judge B.F. Wright, the first delinquency case to come before him this year.

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Mr. S.S. Childers has leased the Salyer Service Station in Whitesburg, which will be the new bus station for the Greyhound buses.

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“The Constant Nymph,” starring Joan Fontaine and Charles Boyer, will be shown Oct. 26-27 at the Kentucky Theatre in Whitesburg.

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Ralph Frazier, who has been home in Whitesburg for a 15-day furlough, left today for Bluefield, California, where he will report for duty.

Thursday, October 22, 1953

A security officer for the Elkhorn Coal Corporation of Hemphill has been acquitted of murdering Earl Potter. During the trial of Johnny Belcher on Monday, Letcher Circuit Judge Courtney C. Wells issued a directed verdict of not guilty after hearing testimony from several witnesses. Belcher testified he had arrested Potter in a Hemphill restaurant for being drunk and was putting him in a car when Potter drew a knife. Belcher said his gun went off while the two were scuffling, killing Potter. Several other witnesses testified they witnessed the struggle and saw the knife during the incident that occurred in May.

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Herman Hale, cashier of the Bank of Whitesburg, is somewhat improving after a major operation at Baptist Hospital in Louisville last Friday.

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Fall hunting season is closed in Letcher County until significant rainfall improves drought conditions. Residents are not allowed in the woods at any time, day or night, with a dog or gun.

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Graveside services were held at the Kingscreek Cemetery Oct. 17 for John Fox Hogg, 20, who was killed in a plant accident at the Cummins Diesel Plant in Columbus, Indiana. Hogg was a son of the late Blackburn Hogg and Nancy Hogg of Kingscreek. He is survived by brothers Maynard, Howard, Morris and Wendell. He attended Whitesburg High School and Less Junior College, where he played basketball.

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In what is being described as “one of the greatest gridiron classics” ever to be held on the Whitesburg field, the Whitesburg High School Yellowjackets fought back from a 13-0 first-quarter deficit to defeat the Jenkins Cavaliers, 14-13, before a crowd believed to be the largest ever assembled at the Whitesburg field. Halfback Bob Kincer rushed for a touchdown in the second quarter and kicked two extra points to lead the Yellowjacket offense. Other WHS players who starred were halfback Buddy Fields, quarterback Burkie Holbrook, and linemen F.C. Hammonds, Garland Stallard, Ralph Ogelvie, Richard Adams, William Richardson, Bill Witt, Don Caudill, Gary Long and co-captain Bob Adams. Starring for Jenkins were halfback Burton Bradley, receiver Bobby Branham, and fullback Keith Sowards.

“We were not beaten by bad breaks, poor officiating, or people standing in the end zone,” said Jenkins head coach Jim Mackenzie. “We were beaten by the Whitesburg team. Those Whitesburg boys simply wanted to win more than we did. I have great admiration for any team that can fight back to win after trailing 13-0 in the first quarter.” Jenkins will next play Lexington Lafayette on Saturday. Lafayette is one of the strongest teams in the state. On Friday, Whitesburg will host the Fleming-Neon High School, who fell to Pikeville last week, 53-0.

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Actor Bill Elliott has his first starring role as detective Mike Hammer in the 3-D film production of Mickey Spillane’s “I, the Jury,” showing at Isaac’s Alene Theatre in Whitesburg Oct. 25-26.

Thursday, October 24, 1963

An editorial in The Mountain Eagle says, “. . . there is every likelihood that our problems will become a key issue in the 1964 presidential election.” The editorial goes on to ask, “Can a new economic base be build for eastern Kentucky, providing jobs for those able-bodied individuals who need them? What kind of economic base? Can factories be brought into the area? If so, what kind? How about new lakes, new dams? Can people be retrained for other jobs? How? What jobs? Where?”

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Buck Creek and Trace Fork are dry, and Rockhouse Creek is very low as the drought continues, reports Millstone correspondent Mabel Kiser. She also warns that there are nine paydays and 49 shopping days left before Christmas.

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Mr. and Mrs. Jess Day of Whitco, celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary. The couple are the parents of seven children.

Thursday, October 25, 1973

A number of arrests were made at the Duke Power Co. mine at Brookside in Harlan County as the United Mine Workers completed their third month on strike. Negotiations between the miners and the company are scheduled, but union spokesmen are not optimistic about reaching an agreement. The strike at Brookside is regarded as the beginning of an effort by the union to reorganize the numerous middle-size to large mine operations in eastern Kentucky which are non-union.

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Sandlick correspondent Daisy Halcomb reports she has been visiting in the new housing addition. She says she doesn’t know if it has a name or not, but that it will always be Graveyard Hollow to her. There are many new homes, she says, and it is a pretty place to live.

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Groundbreaking ceremonies were held at McRoberts for a new $250,000 health center to be built by Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation. The land on which the center is to be built was donated by Beth-Elkhorn Coal Corp.

Thursday, October 19, 1983

Thirteen eastern Kentucky horsemen left Letcher County in a driving rain to race all the way to Mount Sterling on their horses. Rodney Wynn of Thornton was the second rider to arrive at Mount Sterling. Jimmy Niece of Sandlick was leading the race when he crossed the Knott County line, but had to drop out when his horse became lame.

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The Fleming-Neon High School sports program has been placed on probation by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association after angry fans surrounded the referees as they attempted to leave after a football game. The incident began when the umpire of the officiating team was separating players after an incomplete pass and touched a Fleming-Neon player’s facemask. The player’s father then came onto the football field and hit the umpire.

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Letcher County septic tank cleaners say the county’s failure to provide a place to dump raw sewage is making “outlaws” of them. A septic tank service company owner says the best he has come up with is to lease some land from private citizens and dump the sewage in a place where it won’t drain into a creek or river.

Wednesday, October 27, 1993

Letcher County Jailer Gene Banks has resigned. He says he stepped down because of the stress of the investigation of public corruption in Letcher County, which is going on its third year. Banks has been indicted in an alleged kickback scheme.

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Many Letcher County families find their houses covered in thousands of small, black-spotted red beetles, but, according to Extension Agent Paul Morris, they have nothing to fear. He says the beetles are lady beetles or ladybugs, “good bugs” that benefit agriculture and the environment. He said they like to spend the winter as adults in protected places — including the sides of buildings or houses — but will do no harm. He said they will remain inactive until spring, when they will leave and begin to feed on aphids and other pests.

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Mr. and Mrs. Reamus Phillips of Payne Gap, are celebrating their 5oth wedding anniversary. The couple, who were married Oct. 30, 1943, are the parents of four children.

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Whitesburg correspondent Mary Majority tells of finding some of the prettiest little red fluffy balls of animals when she was a small child. She says she picked up an armful of them and looked up and saw a long red animal. The animal sprang through the air and landed very close to her while snarling. Miss Majority says she dropped the little ones and ran away. Later, she learned the animals were red foxes.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

About five cars belonging to CSX Train C882 derailed in Hazard Oct. 22. Two of the loaded cars crashed into a trackside building used for storing furniture. Eightyfive other hopper cars, each carrying about 120 tons of coal, remained on the track. No one was injured, even though the derailment happened in a residential area of Hazard.

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Two males placed a pipe bomb loaded with nails into the mailbox of the Letcher County Area Vocational School and detonated it, destroying the box. Whitesburg Police Chief Paul Miles said the bomb blew the front of the mailbox against the vocational school building the blew the back into the North Fork of the Kentucky River.

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A man tried to force his way into a Little Cowan home shortly before he robbed a convenience store at Ermine, police believe. In both instances, which occurred last week, the suspect wore a Halloween mask.

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Cassel Caudill died October 21 at the age of 102. He is survived by his wife of 74 years, Beulah Gibson Caudill.


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