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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, March 1, 1934

The L&N Railroad is advertising the following prices for one-way passenger train tickets on Pullman cars from Whitesburg: to Hazard, 63 cents; to Jackson, $1.30; to Irvine, $2.14; to Winchester, $2.37; to Lexington, $2.65; to Cincinnati, $3.92; to Louisville, $3.92, and to Knoxville, Tenn., $5.31.

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Letcher County’s indebtedness has grown to $1,050,713.78, a report from Letcher County Attorney J. Bennett Adams says. The amount of indebtedness has grown from only $24,876 in 1917 to $882,552 in 1925 to today’s figure. “The figures are staggering,” says Adams, “considering the present condition of the county to raise revenue.”

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Melting snows caused flooding in many businesses in downtown Whitesburg Sunday morning, including the offices of The Mountain Eagle. “The Eagle was almost completely submerged in water from the heavy snow melting,” writes editor Nehemiah M. Webb. “Linotype, presses, paper stock and nearly everything else took a soaking. … If the Eagle comes to you wet from beak to toe, charge it to the snow and rain man.” The flooding occurred after as much as 20 inches of snow began to melt under heavy rains, sending the North Fork of the Kentucky River out of its banks.

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The Eolia High School Catamounts ended a fairly successful basketball season with a 10-4 defeat of Stuart Robinson on Wednesday. High scorer for Eolia was Gordon “Graveyard” Boggs. Eolia’s win came on the heels of a 13- 12 loss to Kingdom Come High School five days before.

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“We’ll take the spuds,” says the headline on a frontpage story. “A month or so ago, several persons, minus money, proposed to bring the Eagle potatoes, onions, turnips, dried beans or other beans so as to pay their subscriptions. We are out of all these now and will take all we can get that way.”

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Dr. T.D. Vaughn of Jenkins says in a statement to the public there is no truth to rumors that he has filed for bankruptcy protection. “I would have been in much better financial condition had I filed such a petition and was advised at one time to do so but did not,” Dr. Vaughn writes.

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Deposits in the Bank of Whitesburg are now insured under the U.S. government’s new Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, established last year.

Thursday, February 24, 1944

A committee of bituminous coal operators from Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee is meeting in Lexington this week to develop methods for increasing the all-time high record of 589 million tons of soft coal mined in the United States in 1943.

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Three men were drowned in the City of Cumberland Friday night when their automobile plunged into the swollen Poor Fork of the Cumberland River after sideswiping a truck on a highway partly submerged in floodwaters. Dead are Press Rains, 42; his son, Curtis Rains, 19, and Enoch Bloomer, 29, all of Dione, Ky.

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Two infant Letcher County children, 14-day-old Ernest Pearl Morton of Whitco and six-week-old Peggy Ann Daniels of Premium, died of pneumonia on Valentine’s Day. The Morton boy was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Coy Morton. Little Miss Daniels was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Daniels.

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The Letcher County draft board has reported the names of 10 men to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for failure to comply with Selective Service regulations.

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The towns of McRoberts, Dunham, Jenkins, Gaskill and Burdine make up the Jenkins Red Cross Chapter Area. Quota for the area is $5,700 in the American Red Cross National War Fund Drive.

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The U.S. Army has announced the loss of 1,000 American soldiers aboard a transport ship sunk by the enemy in European waters.

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Professor C.V. Snapp of the Jenkins School System was in Seco last Thursday evening to address the 8th grade graduating class at Seco Elementary School.

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Corporal John Paul Crase was recently transferred from a hospital in Santa Ana, California to the Boston Navy Yards. Crase was injured while fighting for the Marines on Guadalcanal.

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The Army has presented its Good Conduct Medal to Thomas H. Wright, 23, of Whitesburg.

Thursday, February 24, 1955

The Kentucky Senate voted 32-1 this week to pass a bill to allow sick an physically disabled persons to vote by absentee ballot.

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Letcher County Sheriff Robert B. Collins says his deputies located a still on the Cumberland side of Pine Mountain and destroyed it. According to Collins, the still had a large capacity and had only recently been moved to the neighborhood. He said Deputies Jim Short and Boyd Caudill, who destroyed the still, said it contained a run ready to go.

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The vice-president of Pittsburgh Consolidation Coal Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania will visit Jenkins on March 4 to talk about “The Future of Coal.” The lecture by D.L. McElroy will begin at 7:30 p.m. next Thursday at the Jenkins High School Auditorium.

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Pfc. Charles L. Mullins of Dunham is now a paratrooper in the U.S. Army Airborne Troops.

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Pfc. Roge S. Vanover of Burdine is serving in Korea with the 70th Transporation Truck Battalion. In January, his unit transported anti-communist Chinese prisoners over the 75-mile route for Panmunjo to the port of Inchon, where they boarded ships for Formosa.

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Kentucky remains “in the running” for location of the proposed Air Force Academy, Sen. John Sherman Cooper (R-Ky.) announced this week. Cooper said Air Force Secretary Harold Talbott told him that two sites in Kentucky are among 10 of more than 300 proposed locations across the U.S. still in the running.

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The Whitesburg Ministerial Association has sent formal letters to State Rep. Harry Caudill and State Senator Archie Craft urging the two to use their influence in Frankfort to keep Letcher County as a “dry territory.” The letter, signed by ministers Clarence A. Lingle Jr., Clel B. Rodgers and E.H. Barnette, also calls on Caudill and Craft to work on laws prohibiting advertising of alcohol in newspapers and on radio stations. The ministers say they are also opposed to the proposed formation of state liquor stores in Kentucky.

Thursday, February 27, 1964

One hundred fifteen Letcher County men will begin on five local projects under a new program to aid fathers of dependent children. The men will be paid by federal funds at the rate of $1 an hour. The projects include doing work on 36 county roads, a cleanup in Jenkins, a cleanup in Whitesburg and repairs at county schools, and a cleanup at Skyview recreation project near Haymond.

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Letcher County will be included in a pilot program of disease detection in 18 eastern Kentucky counties by the State Department of Health community service program. A visiting health team will screen residents for cases of tuberculosis, diabetes, lung and heart disorders, anemia, nutritional deficiencies, vision difficulties, and other ailments.

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Letcher County scenes have been included in four major network television shows. The county is also a subject in several new books. The TV shows are a two-hour portrayal of poverty problems by the “Today” show on NBC; a “Twentieth Century” episode on CBS contrasting depression in eastern Kentucky with a boom in Houston, Tex.; “1964”, a saga of Western man, on ABC; and an hour-long documentary on NBC. The books are a novel by Frank Harvey concerning eastern Kentucky; a book by Philip M. Stern and photography by George de Vincent; and a book by Tom Bethell, a young editor for Houghton Mifflin Company in Boston.

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”The coal company here cut off 41 men because of lowering market conditions,” writes Marlowe correspondent A.P. Williams. “About all of them signed up for unemployment benefits. Hugh Pennington, the store clerk, went off to Chicago, Ill., for a job there.”

Thursday, February 28, 1974

As many as 141 underground mines in Kentucky, most of them small operations in the mountains, will be shut down March 30, 1974, for failure to comply with the federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act. James Day, administrator of the federal Mine Enforcement and Safety Administration, says his agency has “no choice but to enforce the laws.”

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Because of the gas shortage, local gas attendants and gas company distributors have agreed to a plan whereby all gas stations in Letcher County are to be open three times each day except Sunday. The times are 7:30 to 9 a.m., 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., and 5 to 6:30 p.m. Stations and distributors have also agreed to put a $4 limit on sales.

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According to photographer/writer Frank Majority, successful businessman Jim Frazier began at a young age by selling a poplar log for $7. With the $7, he bought goods and opened a little store in Whitesburg. He built a store building which later housed the Walgreen Drug Store on Main Street in Whitesburg, and at one time owned the biggest part of downtown Fleming-Neon. “So young people can see what a young boy is able to do when he makes up his mind and sticks to it and works hard,” writes Majority.

Wednesday, February 29, 1984

The Letcher Fiscal Court has cut the salaries of four county officials and laid off more than 20 county workers after losing more than $100,000 in federal Revenue Sharing money and more than $100,000 in coal severance tax funds the county had expected to receive from the state. The county officials whose salaries were cut were Judge/Executive Ruben Watts, administrative assistant Vernon Hall, Assistant County Attorney Randall Tackett, and County Auditor Lawton Allen. The Revenue Sharing funds were cut after mass unemployment in the county reduced the amount of federal tax money received from this area.

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The Jenkins Cavaliers defeated the Fleming-Neon Pirates to advance to the 53rd District finals. The win guarantees the Cavs a trip to the 14th Region tournament. Both the district winner and runner-up are to play in the regional tourney.

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The Whitesburg Lady Yellowjackets finished their regular season with a record of 23-3 by defeating Betsy Layne.

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McRoberts is getting a new water system, according to McRoberts correspondent Madelyn Barton. “They are now installing meters,” writes Mrs. Barton. “So we will have to be conservative with the water we use and it’s going to take a while to adjust because we have never had meters in our town before.”

Wednesday, March 2, 1994

The Letcher Fiscal Court is trying to decide whether to lay off at least 10 workers whose salaries aren’t protected by state law. The motion to lay off the workers was made at the request of the state Department of Local Government, which says the county is in violation of state law by keeping the people at work. The agency says the salary payments have to be stopped to help the fiscal court make up for a projected $180,00 deficit in its operating budget.

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A truckload of axles was going through Whitesburg when a chain broke and an axle landed on Kentucky 15 going up Whitco Hill. There were no injuries, but traffic was slowed for a while.

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Eleven well-known educators are retiring. Among those retiring are Loretta and Jimmie Arthur, math teachers at Whitesburg High School; Jackson Banks of WHS; Joye Cassidy of WHS; Joyce Whitaker of Letcher Elementary School; Carla Slone of LES; Shirley B. Sexton of Beckham Bates Elementary School; Sherrill Slone, principal of Letcher High School; Howard Stanfill, guidance counselor of LHS; and Ransom Holbrook, supervisor of the county bus garage and former principal at WHS.

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Scott Meade is being praised by Kingscreek correspondent Margie Ison for saving his friend Keith Miller. Miller’s home caught fire and Meade pulled him out. “Scott is the hero here on the creek,” writes Mrs. Ison.

Wednesday, March 3, 2004

The Letcher County Water and Sewer District will receive $960,000 to complete the Isom-Jeremiah water line extension project. The funds will come from the Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands and will be used to build water lines in sections of Doty Creek, Adams Branch, Blair Branch, Walters Branch and Garner Mountain.

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A groundbreaking was held for LifeNet’s new helicopter facility at Gateway Industrial Park in Jenkins. The new complex will include the medivac helicopter company’s landing pad, hanger and dormitories for maintenance and flight crews.

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The Fleming-Neon Lady Pirates pulled off a big win to gain momentum for tournament time, defeating Hazard 51-49.

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Dozens of Letcher County residents came forward last week to volunteer their services to a new anti-drug coalition called Operation UNITE. The meeting was organized by Blackey residents Dean and Nina Cornett and attracted a standingroom only crowd to the Letcher District Courtroom.


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