Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, November 11, 1943

Four mines operated by the Elk Horn Coal Corporation — three of them in Letcher County — suspended operations this week. The United Mine Workers said the company “locked out” the 1,500 workers the union represents, but an official at the Elk Horn’s Charleston, W.Va., office said the shutdown was not a lockout and that operations would resume “as soon as we can ship coal at a fair price.” The Letcher mines are located at Fleming, Hemphill and Haymond. The fourth mine is at Wayland in Floyd County.

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Tommy Nelson, 35, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death this week by a Pike Circuit Court jury. The jury deliberated evidence presented in the trial, which was moved from Letcher County, only 35 minutes before delivering its verdict an sentence. Nelson, an exconvict from Logan, W.Va., murdered 25-year-old Freelin Estep after robbing Estep and robbing and shooting 30-year-old Claude Ison near Millstone 33 days before the trial. Kate Nelson, 29, Tommy Nelson’s former wife who was traveling with him when the crimes occurred, was returned to the Letcher County Jail after the trial and is still being held here.

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Tuberculosis has destroyed the lives of 98,067 Kentucky residents since 1911 and remains the leading killer of state residents between the ages of 10 and 50.

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The Letcher County Board of Education met this week to approve the appointment of Dr. Ernest Skaggs of Fleming to fill the unexpired board term of Tommy Collier of Thornton, who resigned his position several weeks ago.

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Millard Profitt of Camp Branch suffered facial burns last week when his carbide lamp exploded as he prepared to enter the mine where he works.

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James Mason, who was killed Nov. 3 in a mine owned by John B. Caudill, was buried Nov. 6 at Schoolhouse Branch at Camp Branch.

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Verdell Caudill is in charge of operations at a mine at Camp Branch owned by Jarvie Adams.

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Effective Nov. 15, the No. 3 L&N passenger train bound for Fleming will leave Whitesburg at 8:20 p.m. instead of 8:30 p.m., the railroad announced.

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A pie supper at the Frank’s Creek School earned $55 for school-related activities.

Thursday, November 12, 1953

A crowd of people estimated at 600 or more attended the Nov. 7 groundbreaking ceremony for the Whitesburg Memorial Hospital, the last of a chain of 10 hospitals being built by the United Mine Workers of America. The hospital will be located on the scenic Lucas Farm, one mile east of Whitesburg. The principal address at the gathering was delivered by Tom Raney, a Letcher County native who is a member of the UMW’s International Executive Board. Mr. Raney turned back the pages of history and took the audience through the deplorable conditions at the mines during the Depression days and the hardships placed upon the miners by management during that time. He pointed to the long and strenuous hours and low wages of then and compared them to the much better conditions of today. Ground was officially broken by Letcher County Judge Robert B. Collins. The 92-bed hospital is expected to open in 18 months.

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Two bodies were found dead in bed in a motel in Winchester, Ky., Nov. 6, including that of a preacher who often conducted holiness services in the Letcher County Courthouse. The preacher was Mrs. Sallie Byrge, 64, of Whitesburg, whose body was discovered along with that of a male companion from Hamilton, Ohio. “No verdict has been reached as we go to press as to the cause of death,” The Mountain Eagle reports on its front page. “The windows to the room were were open, the pilot lights on the gas burners were burning, and the two lying on different beds showed no signs of violence. A small portion of wine had been taken from a bottle that was found in the room and it appeared that one can of beer had been taken.” Funeral services for Mrs. Byrge were held Tuesday at the Whitco Church of God.

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Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Miners Memorial Hospital in Whitesburg, Elk Horn Coal Corporation official N.D. Howard of Wayland promised that neither this hospital nor the nine other UMWA hospitals like it would ever be serving ghost towns. “We have an almost unlimited supply of the finest high volatile coking coal in the world,” said Howard, pointing out that the U.S. Interior Department says there are 1.756 billions tons of such coal in Letcher County alone. “Note this estimate is only of the coking coals,” Howard said.

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Mrs. C.V. Snapp, wife of the Jenkins school superintendent, will deliver an address over radio station WTCW Saturday morning at 11:15 concerning the growing problem of diabetes in Kentucky, particularly cases of the disease that go undetected in school children. The talk is being held in conjunction with “Diabetes Detection Week in Kentucky.”

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Miss Shirley Butcher of Whitesburg is among the bevy of beauties who will invade Paintsville Nov. 13 for the Big Sandy Bowl festivities. Miss Butcher, the 1952 Big Sandy Bowl Queen, will participate in a parade at 3 p.m., then present a bouquet of roses to the new queen during halftime of the Cumberland High School vs. Catlettsburg game. The parade will be televised live on WSAZ-TV, Huntington, W.Va. Two girls from Letcher County — Janice Fleming of Fleming and Phyllis Hall of Whitesburg — are among the nine candidates vying to be crowned queen for 1953 by Kentucky Gov. Lawrence Wetherby.

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Dalna Hays Hale, wife of Whitesburg banker Herman Hale, has lost her 11-year battle with a form of arthritis that causes nerve damage. Mrs. Hale was one of the bestloved and best-known school teachers in Letcher County in the late Twenties and Thirties. She died Monday night in the Louisville hospital where she had been being treated for the past three weeks. Funeral services were held Wednesday at the First Baptist Church in Whitesburg.

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The Sergent Sunday school reported an attendance of 42 on Nov. 8. At the Camp Branch Church, Sunday school attendance was 67.

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Members of American Legion Post 104, Neon, have voted to help pay the cost of school lunches for children at the Hemphill and Fleming-Neon schools who are unable to pay for their own lunches.

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Letcher County merchants are stocking up on television sets in the wake of an industry study which says county residents are expected to buy more than 400 television sets between now and Christmas. The study says at least 10 percent of Letcher County homes will have television sets before Christmas. More than 30 million sets are now in use throughout the U.S.

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James G. Blankenship, son of Mr. and Mrs. H.C. Blankenship of Burdine, was recently elected president of the freshman engineering class at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

Thursday, November 14, 1963

McRoberts native Wayful Frederick Painter, 16, was killed when the car in which he was riding was hit by a 34-car C&O Railroad freight train at a crossing near the home of his parents, Fred and Ruth Painter, in Yale, Michigan. The driver of the car, also a youth, is in the hospital in satisfactory condition.

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Hiram Simpson Caudill, 72, of Little Cowan has died. His life and that of his father, Isham Caudill, spanned the entire history of the United States from the treaty with England in 1783 which marked the end of the Revolutionary War. The father lived to the age of 105.

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The Kennedy administration has proposed two programs involving eastern Kentucky — on a short-range relief program and the other a long-range program of economic development. President Kennedy says the effort is intended to “enable those requiring assistance to have adequate food, shelter and medical attention during the difficult months of the winter season nearly upon us.” The long-range program is based on proposals in four areas — transportation, human resources, physical resources and water.

Thursday, November 15, 1973

Subcommittees in the House of Representatives have reached an agreement on a proposed strip-mining bill. Under the bill, no strip mining operation would be permitted on slopes steeper than 20 degrees unless the operator guaranteed that he would leave no highwall exposed and would not do any permanent dumping on slopes below his excavations. In addition, all mining operations, regardless of slope, would have to result in complete backfilling of spoil material to cover the highwall and return the terrain to its original contour.

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Kentucky Education Television (KET) is back on the air in Letcher County after its Cowan Creek translator was stolen in August. Thieves had broken into the translator building and removed all the equipment.

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Winter is here, reports Millstone correspondent Mabel Kiser. “The cold winds are making the last leaves of autumn sail through the air,” she says. “The leaves will fall to earth and make the earth richer, which reminds us that every living think must die so that every living thing might live.”

Wednesday, November 9, 1983

The City of Jenkins has initiated action to set up an independent water commission to operate the city-owned water and sewage systems. The city council is creating the commission to better its chances of obtaining enough federal money to construct a new water system.

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Halloween pranks resulted in trees felled across the highway in several places between Kingdom Come School and Gordon, says Jeremiah correspondent Hassie Breeding Helton. She says she wonders if it could have been done “by teenagers who hoped the school bus wouldn’t make it.”

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The Whitesburg boys’ cross-country team finished second in the state and the girls’ cross-country team finished fourth. Upon returning home from the state competition, the teams were greeted by fans at the Knott- Letcher County line.

Wednesday, November 17, 1993

Former Letcher Circuit Judge Larry Collins was denied shock probation and is now serving a five-year prison sentence he received after pleading guilty to accepting a bribe.

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A Letcher County grand jury indicted 10 people on charges of fraudulently obtaining prescription drugs.

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A Georgia Tech researcher is experimenting with making paper from kudzu. Jeffrey S. Hsieh, director of pulp and paper engineering at Georgia Tech, says early experiments produced a poor-quality paper sample, but kudzu has enough potential to warrant more experimentation. Kudzu was introduced into the U.S. in 1876 at the Centennial Exposition’s Japanese Pavilion, where it was used as a shade for exhibits. By 1902 botanists were warning that kudzu can be “invasive”, and by 1993 Congress’s Office of Technology Assistance listed the plant among 4,500 foreign species costing billions to control in the U.S.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

A truck hauling heating fuel knocked over a fire hydrant on Parks Street at the east end of the Whitesburg High School football field. The hydrant was being served by a four-inch water line with very little pressure. At the urging of Mayor Nathan Baker and the Whitesburg City Council, officials with U.S. Filter, a private company which operates the City of Whitesburg waterworks, agreed to replace the old hydrant with a new one tapped onto an eight-inch water line.

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Letcher County residents are being urged to get a flu vaccination as soon as possible to guard against what federal officials are calling a potentially very serious flu outbreak.

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The appointment of James D. Collins to fill one of two vacancies on the Fleming-Neon City Council was approved this week.


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