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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


WAR IS DECLARED — This week 72 years ago, on December 11, 1941, The Mountain Eagle told the story of how the United States Congress declared war on Japan two days before after a seven-minute speech by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Congress took the action in response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7.

WAR IS DECLARED — This week 72 years ago, on December 11, 1941, The Mountain Eagle told the story of how the United States Congress declared war on Japan two days before after a seven-minute speech by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Congress took the action in response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7.

Thursday, December 4, 1943

Staff Sgt. Edgar B. Fletcher has been missing in action over Germany since Nov. 13. Earlier this year, Fletcher was seriously wounded in the North African campaign and sent back home to recuperate from his injuries that resulted in him losing a kidney. Fletcher, son of Mr. and Mrs. B.J. Fletcher of McRoberts, had been back at the battlefront only a short time before he went missing. An enlistee before the war began, he had seen action on several fronts before his first injuries. After returning home, he had learned that his brother, Sgt. Jessie Fletcher, had been killed in action about the same time he was shot down and near the same location in North Africa. While here, he was never able to rest and was impatient to return to battle. He was known to say, “Boys, we are playing mumblety-peg while a real ballgame is going on.”

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The new Dry Fork Road is under construction just below the mouth of Cowan. The road is being built according to a plan County Judge Dr. B.F. Wright hopes to use to get all county drivers out of the creeks while dredging the waters at the same time. The road is being built by lifting all the rocks and gravel out of the creek, placing it on the new road bed, then using a roller or other heavy machinery to compact it.

 

 

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The Letcher County Community Cannery is now ready for use. It is equipped to render lard, grind sausage, and can meats and vegetables. Established in Whitesburg as a not-for-profit enterprise, users will pay a small fee of ranging from one-cent per pound for grinding sausage to six-cents for each new can and the use of the canning equipment. Proceeds pay for fuel, water, lights and janitorial service.

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U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin met in ancient Persia last week to reach full agreement on how crush Germany.

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Simeon S. Willis, Kentucky’s first Republican governor in 16 years, took office Tuesday, Dec. 7, a day he said will never be forgotten because he was sworn in as governor, but because of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on the same day in 1941. Willis is replacing Gov. Keen Johnson, who said he will return to his profession of publishing a newspaper. “I have learned that I can tell the other fellow better how to run our government than I can run it,” Johnson professed. Whitesburg residents Steve Combs Jr. and Sam Collins were among those attending the Frankfort ceremony.

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First Lt. William E. Quinlan, a close relative of Letcher County retailer Chas. E. Quinlan, has set a new scoring record for the Army’s physical efficiency test. According to the public relations office at the Army Special Services School at Washington and Lee University, Lt. Quinlan scored 682 points out of a possible 700 points at the Lincoln, Neb., Army Air Base. The average soldier can only score 350 points in the seven feats tested. Chas. E. Quinlan manages Miner’s Store in Whitesburg.

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The commander of the U.S. Navy’s casualties and allotments section has confirmed the telegraph of Dec. 1 notifying Boaz Adkins of Whitesburg that his son, Electrician’s Mate 1st Class Ralph Langley Adkins, is being held prisoner of war of the Japanese government at Fukuoka Camp, Japan.

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Renfro Valley will present Charlie Moore and his Kentucky Partners in concert at Fleming High School on Friday, Dec. 17, at 8 p.m.

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Mr. J.S. Farinash of Jenkins is moving his family to Fairmont, W.Va., where Mr. Farinash has accepted the job as Labor Commissioner for Northern West Virginia after serving here the past 4-1/2 years as personnel manager for Consolidation Coal Co.

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Dr. P.E. Sloan has announced the re-opening of his dental office in the Bank of Whitesburg building.

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Notice is given that Polly Motor Company is closing it Ford Motor dealership in Whitesburg.

Thursday, December 10, 1953

High winds early on the morning of Dec. 4 destroyed the screen of the Elinda Ann Drive-In Theatre in Whitesburg. While the loss of the screen is estimated at $7,500, drive-in owner/manager Billy Wayne Wright says it will cost in the neighborhood of $10,000 to replace the original screen with one that will accept the new Cinemascope pictures now being made by movie producers, but not yet released to theatres. Theatre employees are expected to be out of work until at least Feb. 1.

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Millstone native Sam Potter has been named Kentucky High School Coach of the Year in the Louisville Courier- Journal’s annual poll of fellow coaches. Potter, who guided Lynch High School through a one-loss season (to Mt. Sterling in the playoffs), won more than twice as many votes as his nearest opponent, Lexington Lafayette’s Bill Shafnit. Potter is a graduate of Whitesburg High School and the University of Kentucky, where he starred in basketball and football. Potter appeared in Ripley’s “Believe It or Not” after he scored 234 points for Whitesburg during the 1931 football season. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Bob May Potter of Millstone.

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Funeral services were held Dec. 6 for James Banks, 59, who was killed in an accident at Sandlick Coal Company on Dec. 4. Banks, who leaves behind his wife and nine children, was killed after being pinned between two coal cars. He was climbing down the side on one car when another car on another track rushed by and struck him.

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Bobby Collins, 19, of Sackett in Letcher County, was killed instantly about 5 p.m. Dec. 4 in a truck wreck on Garner Mountain. Funeral services were held Dec. 6. He was the son of Mac and Alta Frazier, also of Sackett.

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A 94-year-old Akron, Ohio woman who died Nov. 29 left $20,000 (an amount equivalent to about $236,000 in 2013) to the Stuart Robinson School at Blackey. Ten-thousand dollars of the money willed to the school by Miss Sudie Jane Bowman is to help pay for a chapel at the school, while the other $10,000 is for student scholarships. Miss Bowman, sister of the founder of the First National Bank in Hazard, is a native of Madison County, Ky. She decided to leave the money for the school after visiting here.

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The Letcher County Board of Education has re-hired Supt. Dave L. Craft for a new four-year term. Board Chairman Dr. Lundy Adams of Blackey made the motion to re-hire Craft. The motion was seconded by Board Member Kerney Day, with Board Member Ray Collins also voting for the motion. Board members Dr. B.F. Wright and Dr. E.G. Skaggs did not vote on the motion.

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Outgoing members of the Letcher Fiscal Court have voted to pay the county’s $60,000 for a proposed new center that would be used by county health and sanitation officials.

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Letcher County Judge-elect James M. Caudill said the county residents asking for welfare benefits will have to be able to prove a real need and hardship before being placed on the County Pauper List again. Caudill’s comments came after outgoing County Judge Robert B. Collins and members of the current fiscal court reported that all paupers were dropped from the list effective Tuesday. Caudill said all children and widows proven to be needy are taken care of by the state welfare program or Social Security. Caudill said it is illegal for people to obtain and spend two different kinds of welfare checks.

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Letcher County Judge Robert B. Collins said he will leave his term of office in January with the county treasury in good financial condition. Collins said 35-percent of the county’s budgeted money is still available and should have the county in good shape until June 30, when the current fiscal year ends. County Clerk Charlie Wright said the county now has $23,073 in its general expense fund, and $11,018 in its road and bridge fund.

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“The Joe Louis Story” will be shown on the big screen Thursday and Friday at the Alene Theatre in Whitesburg. On Saturday, Johnny Weismuller stars as Jungle Jim in the film “Killer Ape.”

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Peggy Burkich, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. V.M. Burkich, and O.C. James, son of Mr. and Mrs. Tipton James, were crowned recently as Queen and King of Fleming-Neon High School. Both are members of the junior class.

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Whitesburg will soon have a new General Electric appliance dealer. Williams Electric Sales and Service will have its grand opening Dec. 18 and 19 at its new store located in the Daniel Boone Hotel, across Main Street from the Bank of Whitesburg. The store is owned by Mr. and Mrs. James Williams.

Thursday, December 12, 1963

Edward T. Breathitt was inaugurated governor of Kentucky, and Harry Lee Waterfield was inaugurated lieutenant governor.

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An editorial in The Mountain Eagle warns of the problems brought about by “frugal” government. “One of the easiest and most painless ways to economize is to delay, postpone or avoid the building of roads and dams and the improvement of school conditions in the mountains of eastern Kentucky — all in the name of economy, all to save tax dollars,” says the editorial. “Eastern Kentucky is about to be ‘frugaled’ out of roads, dams and any kind of development program needed to start the area on a new future.”

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A total of 2,174 telephone subscribers is listed in the telephone directories for Whitesburg and Neon. That is an increase of 175 subscribers from the previous directories.

Thursday, December 13, 1973

A proposal for relocating U.S. 119 was explained to Letcher County residents in a hearing held by the Kentucky Department of Transportation. The proposed route would follow the valley of Poor Fork of the Cumberland River at the base of Pine Mountain, then cross the mountain at essentially the same location as 119. The road would be wider and have a third lane for passing. The plan would displace 68 families and call for the relocation of 316 graves. The highway department is recommending this route because it would save $23 million to $27 million over other proposed routes.

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The gasoline shortage is causing problems for the school bus operation of the Letcher County School System. Superintendent Kendall Boggs said some runs are reducing the number of stops, field trips have been cancelled, and the use of buses for athletic events has been cut.

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A trial run for Meals on Wheels to elderly people is planned in Letcher County, says Blackey correspondent Charles Ann Mullis. “I always had hoped the churches in each community would take on this responsibility,” she writes, “but as usual they out-waited the federal men.”

Wednesday, December 7, 1983

A rally was held to support a Perry County woman who is fighting a coal company’s attempt to strip mine her land under a broad-form deed. Elizabeth Wooten’s case is expected to go to the Kentucky Supreme Court to become a test case against the broad-form deed, which allows mineral owners to do whatever they choose to recover the coal under the surface owner’s land.

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Eastern Kentuckians must learn something besides coal mining, start practicing trash disposal and consolidate into large counties, says Letcher County resident Harry M. Caudill, a noted author, lawyer and University of Kentucky history professor.

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The Whitesburg High School Lady ‘Jackets won the championship of the Capital Classic, while the Jenkins High School Lady Cavaliers won championship of the Dorton Invitational. The Lady ‘Jackets defeated the Lexington Lafayette Lady Generals in the final game of the tournament. The Lady Cavs overcame Dorton in their championship game.

Wednesday, December 15, 1993

Letcher County ranks 75th among Kentucky’s 120 counties in a survey which tracked the status of children county by county. The report ranks counties according to their performance on six key indicators of child well-being: poverty, single-parent families, infant mortality, early prenatal care, teen pregnancy, and high school graduation.

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Clifton and Ruby Caudill of Carcassonne, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. “We married in 1933 — in the midst of the Depression,” says Clifton Caudill. “Like most everybody else, it was rough going for us, but by hard work on the farm, faith, and good management, we survived to raise and educate five children.”

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Five-, six- and seven-year-old West Whitesburg Elementary School students were asked what questions they had for Santa Claus. Here is what some of them asked: “What is your real name?” (Mashawna Gilley) “How do you see everybody at the same time and know if they are bad or good?” (Brook Collins) “Do you really eat the cookies under the tree?” (Autumn Morris) “Do you really live at the North Pole?” (Jamie Taylor and Jonathan Pigman) “Can your sleigh and reindeer really fly?” (Matthew Amburgey, Ryan Smith, C.J. Hall, Conda Mullins, Andrew Fleming, Emily Craft, Brittany Boggs, Samantha Hall, Austin Ison, Andrew Farr, Kelli Niece, Emily Sergent, Whitney Blair and David Burns) “How did you get your reindeer?” (Casey Pease and Jamie Hall)

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

A Letcher County grand jury was expected to hear evidence early this week in the case of Kathy Ellen Walters-Williams, who is charged with murdering 19-year-old Forrester D. Caudill.

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Members of the Whitesburg City Council and Letcher Fiscal Court are expected to reach an agreement later this week that will clear the way for the construction of public water systems in the communities of Dry Fork, Sandlick and Craft’s Colly.

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The Fleming-Neon Utilities Commission is asking that a temporary restraining order against Mayor Harlan “Tootie” Seals be made into a permanent injunction. Letcher Circuit Judge Sam Wright issued the temporary restraining order against Seals in October. Seals is under orders not to interfere with the utilities commission, its employees or its equipment.


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