Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, February 15, 1934

A large number of lower Rockhouse residents were in Whitesburg Monday for the trial of Mrs. Louisa Caudill, who was acquitted by the Letcher Circuit Jury of shooting Jepp Bollen last year. According to evidence presented during the trial, a large number of people had gathered at Mrs. Caudill’s home for what was termed “a country party.” After a disturbance after dark, Mrs. Caudill ordered Bollen to leave the home, but he only went to the porch and began exchanging words with Mrs. Caudill, who stepped to the door and shot Bollen in the knee. Bollen was taken to the Blackey hospital, where his leg was amputated. The acquittal came Monday night after a short deliberation by the jury.

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Another trial of particular interest to lower Rockhouse residents started today in Letcher Circuit Court. Tinsley Ison is charged in the shooting death of Bud Stamper, who was killed near the old home of Jonah Ison on lower Rockhouse last September. Stamper had been on his way home from serving on jury duty in Whitesburg when he was killed.

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In a trial lasting two days and closing last Friday, Robert Burke, of the head of Rockhouse, was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in the state penitentiary for shooting and killing his nephew, Robert Quillen, last Christmas morning.

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The library at Ulvah High School has grown to 331 books, with the goal set at 400. Meanwhile, the school has ordered several hundred pounds of Korean lespedeza and bluegrass seed that is to be sown in hopes of making permanent pasture out of nearby hillsides at Ulvah.

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Radio star Lowell Thomas will stop in Jenkins for a bit on March 7 while on his way to Hazard.

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None of the Letcher County cities celebrated the 125th birthday of former President Abraham Lincoln. However, the day was celebrated in many of the larger towns and cities in the United States.

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Lewis Ammerman, well-known car dealer in Letcher County, is to be manager of a new Chrysler and Plymouth automobile sales agency to be located in the Sturgill garage on Webb Avenue in Whitesburg.

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The re-trial of three Smoot Creek men charged with “confederating” has ended in a verdict of not guilty. Will Combs and his brothers-in-law, George and Nath Banks, were accused of arming themselves to prevent Bent Frazier from clearing property at Smoot Creek to which legal ownership was being questioned.

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Several local boys have gone to Detroit, where work is said to be plentiful, in hopes of finding jobs. They are: Edgar and Hubert Maggard and their cousin, Delzy Maggard, Raymond Childers, and Denver and Chester Richmond. Edgar and Delzy Maggard and Childers stayed, but the others have returned home.

Thursday, February 10, 1944

Whitesburg’s new lunchroom for school children, located in the bottom of the Whitesburg High School building, appears to be a decided success after being in operation for only a few weeks. Nourishing meals can now be had for 15 cents, including milk and hot rolls in addition to meats and vegetables.

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George Branham of Pike County has surrendered to authorities after having been sought since Jan. 28 for the shooting of Bennie Bowling, 32, at a roadhouse in Pound. Bowling is being treated in the Jenkins hospital.

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The former U.S. ambassador to Japan, Joseph C. Grew, urged Congress this week to prepare for “a long, hard pull” in the war with Japan — “perhaps much longer and harder than our people are able today to realize.”

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Admiral Chester M. Nimitz revealed that his forces intend to drive straight across the Pacific to China to gain bases for the final defeat of Japan and challenged the Japanese fleet to try to stop them.

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An Army chaplain has written a letter of sympathy to the parents of Pfc. Rush Hall of Beefhide, who made what the chaplain called “the supreme sacrifice for his country” last July 16, when he was killed in action while leading the way in combat on New Georgia, Solomon Islands. “Your brave son was with us when our regiment established the beachhead on Rendova Island in June and a few days later led the way in New Georgia attacks. Rush fought gallantly until struck down by enemy fire.”

Thursday, February 11, 1954

Letcher County officials met with Linefork residents at Big Branch School for the purpose of securing rightsof way for the building of a highway from the mouth of Turkey Creek to the Big Branch School. Deeds were signed and many property owners agreed to give their land without cost to have the road built.

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Whitesburg resident Joe Romeo is at Good Samaritan Hospital in Lexington recovering from an auto accident last Monday afternoon near Pound, Va. Romeo was returning to Letcher County from Clintwood, Va., when his car went over an embankment.

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Thieves broke into Charlie Hall’s Lunch and Pool Room last Friday night and made away with an undetermined amount of cash. No arrests have been made.

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Paul Vermillion, assistant cashier of the Bank of Whitesburg, has been appointed to the advisory committee of the Kentucky School of Banking held each summer for senior and junior bank personnel at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

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The Kentucky Court of Appeals has reversed the conviction of Eddie Burke, who was charged with detaining a 12-year-old girl against her will while Burke was superintendent of a small orphanage and school on Smoot Creek. Burke had been given a two-year sentence by a circuit jury in Powell County, where the case had been transferred from Letcher County. The court said the prosecution and judge had failed to state specifically as required by law what particular alleged offense was “relied upon for prosecution.”

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Are Letcher County people “letting history and our ancestors down by sitting idly by waiting for the govern- ment to help us?” Have we “done all that is possible to for us to do to help ourselves?” Those are among the questions Sam Quillen, president of the Neon-Fleming Lions Club, hopes will be discussed during an open meeting on Monday, February 15, at the Neon-Fleming Consolidated Grade School. Quillen said the meeting, sponsored by the Lions Club, is being held in an “attempt to arouse Letcher County to meet the crisis” it is now facing.

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Letcher County school employees and the county school district’s creditors cannot be paid until enough members of the Letcher County Board of Education show up at a meeting to make quorum. According to Supt. Dave L. Craft, only two board members — Chairman Ray Collins and Vice-Chairman Kerney Day — attended the regular meeting on Feb. 4. Because the board has only four members after the recent disqualification of Dr. Lundy Adams, a third member is needed to show up at a meeting called for Feb. 15 for meeting the board’s financial obligations. “School board members are servants of the whole county and should regard their position as a public trust,” Craft said. “They are to give freely of their time and energy for the schools and community, and should not expect any favors beyond public appreciation of services unselfishly performed.”

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Buddy Fields returned to the lineup after being out with a sprained ankle to lead the Whitesburg Yellowjackets to a 64-51 win over the Carr Creek Indians.

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The nation’s college basketball coaches are being called upon to improve their behavior during games to slow down the growing problem of poorly-behaved fans.

Thursday, February 13, 1964

Contrary to published reports, the roving pickets who toured eastern Kentucky coalfields in 1962 have no plans to resume picketing, according to picket leader Berman Gibson. Gibson said he and the unemployed coal miners he led are going to concentrate their efforts on various government programs in an attempt to provide new jobs for the unemployed.

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Delays in paperwork and interviews have bogged down the emergency winter relief program in Letcher County. The gap between the time a family applies for state aid and the time it receives its first check is amount three months.

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The Federal Aviation Agency has allocated $43,000 for improving the Whitesburg Municipal Airport. The funds will go for paving a runway, construction of a parking apron for aircraft, construction of a taxiway to the parking area, and installation of a wind cone.

Thursday, February 14, 1974

Virtually every gas station in Letcher County and throughout eastern Kentucky is closed down as gas shipments have failed to arrive due to a 10-day independent truckers’ strike.

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The Letcher County Board of Education says construction of a new high school in Whitesburg will be its next major building project. Supt. Kendall Boggs said it will be two years before planning for the new building can start.

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It is a coal seller’s market with the price of coal in Letcher County reaching $32 a ton in at least one case, and many tipple prices well above $25 a ton.

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Commenting on the high prices of coal, a Mountain Eagle editorial says, “Coal was being mined and solid in the area a year ago profitably at $8 a ton . . . Wouldn’t it be wonderfully miraculous if the coal industry became so prosperous it no longer would have the nerve to go around poor-mouthing itself or the area? Can’t we still dream of the time when the mountains would have the best schools, the best of public facilities generally, all produced by the vast wealth which is here?”

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Members of the cast of “The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come” outdoor drama performed in Letcher County, promoted the show at the Cincinnati Travel and Boat Show. The group included Ted Judson, Sue Breeding, Jeff Kiser and Norman Banks.

Wednesday, February 15, 1984

A cold winter and fear of a contract strike by the United Mine Workers has combined to increase the demand for eastern Kentucky coal. Industry observers agree that more coal trucks are rolling, more mines are working, and more miners are employed than have been for many months.

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One hundred twenty-six classes in the Letcher County school system are being taught by teachers out of their field and many students are achieving below their ability, according to a Kentucky Department of Education report.

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Renee Adams of Letcher, is the county winner of the Letcher County Teachers Organization spelling bee. Penny Cornett of Kingdom Come, is runner-up.

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The Whitesburg Lady Yellowjackets defeated Belfry, the state’s No. 2 ranked team, 91-76. Whitesburg’s Sandy Brown had a game-high 35 points and 10 rebounds. The Lady ‘Jackets raised their record to 21-3.

Wednesday, February 16, 1994

Snow, ice and heavy rain fell for the second time in less than a month causing streams to overflow throughout Letcher County. Downtown Neon was under two feet of water for several hours, many roads are flooded, and power lines are down all over the county.

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The Letcher and Fleming-Neon middle school academic teams tied for best overall team in county competition. Whitesburg was third and Campbell’s Branch fourth.

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Letcher County’s unemployment rate fell to 7.2 percent in December 1993. The December rate was down from 8.2 percent in November 1993.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

The drug problem in Letcher County will never get better if cases don’t start moving through the courts faster. That was the message delivered last week to explain the workings of Operate UNITE (Unlawful Narcotics Investigation Treatment and Education). A law-enforcement official is also warning Letcher County to prepare for the arrival of the powerfully addictive stimulant methamphetamine.

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Letcher County Court Clerk Winston Meade reported his office had $39,799.65 in excess fees for the year 2003. The money will go into the county’s general fund.

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Whitesburg forward Camille Cook passed the 1,000-point plateau during a victory over county rival Fleming-Neon, and teammate Whitney Hogg joined the Whitesburg 1,000-point club the following week during another win.


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