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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, February 22, 1934

Trouble and disturbances have been brewing among members of the United Mine Workers in the coalfields in the Haymond section of Letcher County. About two weeks ago, several men from Haymond traveled to a business meeting of the union in Virginia. As they were returning to Letcher County, the men — all of them sober — stopped for refreshments at a restaurant on the Virginia side of Pound Gap. While there, two other union men, Engle Lowe and Byron Ring, stopped at the same establishment and a fight resulted after some harsh words were exchanged. Union miners in Haymond remain angry that seven other Letcher County men were charged after the scuffle in a warrant prepared by Virginia authorities while Lowe and Ring were allowed to go free.

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A photograph shows seven Letcher County residents who became friends after fighting on opposite sides in the Civil War. Sam Webb, Chunk Craft, John H. Jones and Noah Reedy fought for the South. James Collins, Hiram Mitchell and John Sexton fought for the North. Only Craft and Collins are still living.

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The hardest winter blasts in years are lashing the country, bringing intense suffering in the East.

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War clouds look darker over the Eastern world with heavy shipments of war materials going rapidly into the threatened war zones. Vessels from the U.S. and Japan are carrying heavy shipments of iron, lead and cotton, all of which can be quickly made into fighting materials.

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Both branches of the Kentucky state legislature have passed a probation law for the benefit of first-time offenders. Only certain classes of violators will qualify.

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Tinsley Ison has been sentenced to two years in the state reformatory after a Letcher Circuit Court jury convicted him of shooting and killing Bud Stamper.

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Muriel Panter, 14 and in eighth-grade at Kona School, has defeated 36 other contestants in the Courier-Journal spelling bee for Letcher County. The competition was directed by Superintendent Arlie Boggs. Muriel’s teacher is Miss Martha Potter. Miss Panter won when a boy from Ovenfork School misspelled the word “changeable.”

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King Albert of Belgium died last Saturday after falling while climbing a high precipice in his own country. Mountain Eagle editor Nehemiah M. Webb notes that while the old saying, “How the mighty have fallen,” rings true in this case, King Albert was a great leader of one of the greatest little countries in the world — brave and democratic Belgium.

Thursday, February 17, 1944

The Daniel Boone Hotel Dining Room was reopened to the public this week under the management of Joe I. Day and Earl Akemon.

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Sgt. Courtney V. Whitaker of Blackey has been awarded the Good Conduct Medal by the War Department. Sgt. Whitaker is a member of the worldwide Army Airway Communications System and is stationed at Freeman Filed in Seymour, Indiana.

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The annual stockholders meeting of the KYVA Motor Company of Whitesburg was held February 15, with members voting for the 23rd consecutive time to name Wilson S. Renaker as president and general manager of the company. KYVA has also announced the departure of a member of its board of directors, Ward Renaker, who has left the mountains. Ward Renaker, who became associated with the company as a mechanic at its Millstone operation, is credited with successfully guiding KYVA Motor through the Great Depression while many other businesses failed.

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According to a letter to The Bank of Whitesburg from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Letcher County had the largest increase in bank deposits of any county in a region consisting of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and some counties in West Virginia and Kentucky. Letcher County’s bank deposits grew by 187.4 percent. Second-place finisher Summitt County, Ohio recorded an increase of 173.9 percent.

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The Letcher County Fish and Game Club has reorganized and named barber Milburn Polly as its president. Dr. Lee Moore is secretary.

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Sgt. Starks E. Moncrief of Whitesburg has been awarded the Army’s Good Conduct Medal.

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Bluejacket Whipple Coyer, 38, husband of Dorothy Coyer of Dunham, is graduating from the U.S. Naval Training Station in Great Lakes, Ill. He will become a Machinist’s Mate, Third Class.

Thursday, February 18, 1954

More than 30 Letcher County businessmen met Monday night in Neon and agreed to form an organization to try to solve the county’s economic problems locally. Working with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the group will work to develop a chicken ranch, a glove manufacturing company and the formation of the Neon Manufacturing Company, which offered to accept pledges for shares of stocks.

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“Give us trade — not aid; give us jobs — not dole.” That was the theme heard at all stops of the recent five-day survey of labor-surplus areas of eastern Kentucky by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Considered the overwhelming problem in discussions at every stop is the region’s continued reliance on a single industry, coal.

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John Swisher celebrated his fifth birthday with a party at the Presbyterian Church in Whitesburg last Thursday. A lovely heart-shaped Valentine birthday cake with candles featured the occasion. Favors of Valentine hats and heart-shaped boxes of candy were presented to the guests.

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The Rev. Howard H. George, former pastor at the First Church of God in Neon, is scheduled to appear Sunday on television station WSAZ in Huntington, W.Va.

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Whitesburg attorney Baxter Jenkins has been named attorney for public works for the Territory of Alaska, Senator John Sherman Cooper has announced. A native of Whitesburg, Jenkins has practiced law here since 1950. Jenkins was the county’s Republican campaign manager during the past election.

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A bill providing for the appropriation of $50,000 to be used in the establishment of a Kentucky-Virginia state park at the Breaks of the Sandy area has been offered in the Virginia House of Delegates and is now in the hands of the committee on appropriations.

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A total of $664,705 was paid to residents of Letcher County in public assistance during 1953, a government report says.

Thursday, February 20, 1964

Five major areas of action are listed in a President’s Appalachian Regional Commission (PARC) report which will be presented to Congress, according to John Whisman, Kentucky’s representative on the PARC. The areas are roads, water resources, physical resources, human resource development, and creation of a permanent Appalachian Regional Commission.

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The Appalachian Committee for Full Employment has been organized by unemployed miners in eastern Kentucky. Several representatives of the committee appeared at a meeting of the Upper Kentucky River Area Development Council and asked questions of speakers and distributed a paper setting out their own suggestions. Most of the questions concerned the President’s Appalachian Regional Commission report which is to be presented to Congress.

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The State Department of Education turned a final thumbs down on any state use of the old Stuart Robinson School property at Blackey. The state cited the age of the buildings and the high cost of maintenance as the reasons.

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”Carr Creekers are all in a dither again this spring over the proposed dam at the mouth of Carr Creek,” writes Carr Creek correspondent Mabel Kiser. “Emotions are varied among the residents . . . Young folks love a change of scenery, but for older citizens it is sometimes a catastrophe.”

Thursday, February 21, 1974

A bill permitting oil and gas companies to take the mineral without consent of the landowners has been approved by the Kentucky Senate. It had already been approved by the House. Commenting on the bill, an Eagle editorial says, “It is a 1974 version of the notorious broad form deed, which has robbed mountain people of hundreds of millions of dollars of coal.”

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The gasoline shortage remains critical in eastern Kentucky. Most stations are pumping and selling gas only a couple of hours a day. Kentucky Gov. Wendell Ford has gone to Washington to ask for more diesel fuel and gasoline for the state’s coal mining areas.

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Watson and Frances Blair were honored on their 50th wedding anniversary with a surprise dinner hosted by their children.

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Sherd Martin was out planting his peas at 4:45 a.m. on Feb. 14.

Wednesday, February 22, 1984

Coal mining jobs had fallen from 240,155 at the beginning of 1983 to 198,039 at the end of the year, a total of 42,116 fewer jobs, according to the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.

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The Kentucky General Assembly has passed a bill which would allow a property owner to refuse to allow strip mining on his land even though he didn’t own the mineral rights. The law limits the kind of mining done under the broad form deed to the type which was considered when the deed was signed. Most mineral rights in eastern Kentucky were sold early in the 20th century before development of the machinery which makes strip mining possible.

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More than 100 eastern Kentucky coal truckers are in Frankfort in an attempt to get the legislature to pass a new law which would permit coal trucks to haul overweight.

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Sheriff Ben B. Taylor says his office will begin cracking down on drunk drivers. According to Taylor, 10 of the 20 people he and his deputies arrested the previous weekend are charged with drunk driving.

Wednesday, February 23, 1994

The Whitesburg City Council delayed action on a proposal to double the pay of the town’s mayor. Mayor Jack Howard asked the council to delay the action, citing criticism of the proposal from members of the community. The proposal would have raised Howard’s salary from $12,000 a year to $24,000.

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A student protest disrupted classes at Whitesburg High School. The walkout and subsequent sit-down by about 25 students came about after the Friday afternoon break was canceled to make up for class time lost after someone sounded a fire alarm earlier in the day.

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Kristi Dixon, daughter of Teresa and Danny Dixon of Ulvah, was graduated summa cum laude (with highest honors) from Eastern Kentucky University with a degree in communications. She was named the Most Outstanding Student in her field.

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”There is one thing about Kentucky weather,” writes Ice correspondent Sara C. Ison, “if you just stick around during one of the spells, sometimes your preference will come up.”

Thursday, February 25, 2004

Three men are charged in connection with the armed robbery of Parkway Inn earlier this week.

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Officials say they hope a jury’s decision to give a Mayking man the maximum sentence for dealing in prescription drugs is a sign that citizens are ready and willing to do something about the county’s drug problem.

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Two men and a woman were charged in a bizarre crime spree in Letcher and Knott counties. The three are accused of stealing automobile license plates, street signs and highway construction warning devices over the last two months.

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Brandon Jent was the first-place winner of the Letcher County Spelling Bee. Second place went to Shane Sparkman, and third place to Mariah Mullins.

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The Committee for the Class of 1974 will hold a meeting March 4 to discuss the 30-year reunion of the class.


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