Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, May 3, 1934

The first killing in some time in Letcher County took place on Kingscreek Saturday when 76-year-old Joe Creech waylaid and shot to death Ira Eldridge, about 30. The two had been arguing over Creech’s wife for more than a year. Officials say Creech concealed himself in or around the Head of Kingscreek in the school, then shot Eldridge as he passed by the school. The shot hit Eldridge in the back, killing him instantly. Eldridge belongs to one of the best families in Letcher County, and one of the first families to settle here. Creech, who surrendered to authorities after the shooting, arrived in Letcher County about 20 years ago and has lived in several different parts of the county, including Sergent, Millstone and Kona. Creech’s second wife is from Kingscreek. The Letcher County Grand Jury will take up the case in the middle of May.

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The Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled that E. L. Hotchkiss must serve the 10-year prison term he was handed after being convicted of murdering Tom Day of Big Cowan about a year ago.

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The old home of the late Dr. J. M. Bentley on Second Street, now known as the Johnson Funeral Home, was purchased from Mrs. Clerina Bentley a few days ago by Dr. C. G. Passmore. The residence is one of the best oldtime homes in Whitesburg.

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Whitesburg auto dealer Lewis Ammerman says it pays to advertise in The Mountain Eagle. Ammerman placed a small ad in the paper offering for sale five used cars. He said he sold all five of the cars by Tuesday of the following week.

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Howard Mallard, about 20, was killed in a Jenkins mine Monday night after being caught under a slate fall. He is a son of Mrs. William Mallard of Mayking.

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Mr. and Mrs. Harry Moore have gone to Louisville after receiving word that their son Ferdinand has fallen seriously ill. Young Moore has been working with the CCC for a year or more, and has been in poor health since his involvement in an accident a few months ago.

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Mr. and Mrs. Tom Haymond are back at their home in Fleming after spending time in Washington, D.C.

Thursday, April 27, 1944

Pfc. Logan L. Collins of Jenkins was Kentucky’s representative among a group of enlisted men of the U.S. Army welcomed last week by the Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Nottingham at the Civic Hall, where a banquet was held to give officers and men the chance to meet local dignitaries. The flag of each of the 48 U.S. states was displayed on the table in front of the soldier to represent that state.

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The parents of two Ermine brothers have just received word that two of their sons met while serving overseas at Anzio Beachhead in Italy. Cpl. Sid Combs and Pvt. Bill Combs, sons of Mr. and Mrs. James Combs, had not seen each other in almost two years. Sid Combs has been overseas 17 months, while Bill Combs has been overseas six months. A third brother, Pvt. Dan Combs, is serving overseas with the U.S. Army Air Force somewhere in England.

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University of Kentucky President Herman Lee Donovan will speak on Sunday, May 7, at the fifth annual Farmers Roundup, set to be held on J. H. Gibson’s farm on Little Cowan Creek. The public is invited.

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Among the Letcher County boys who left for service this week were Woodrow Vance, Lonza Hall, Millard Morton, Prova Amburgey, Frank Risner and Joseph Profitt.

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W. M. Turnblazer, considered one of the most prominent labor leaders in this region, has died. Turnblazer, a colorful figure who served many years as president of UMWA District 19, fell ill some time ago while meeting with coal company officials in New York and never recovered.

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Kingscreek correspondent Louise Roark writes that Quenton Day, Arnold Boggs and Starling Roark have gone to Detroit seeking employment.

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Carcassonne High School held its commencement ceremony on April 21. Edna Whitaker delivered the valedictorian’s address. Dorse Back sang “Coming In On A Wing And A Prayer.”

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At least 20 “nice and clean” mining ponies and mules will be offered for sale April 29 at the Stock Yards in Isom.

Thursday, April 29, 1954

The Ermine railroad crossing, located about 2-1/2 miles east of Whitesburg, has claimed the life of another person. William L. Wright, a 41-year-old employee of the state highway department, died after the truck he was driving struck a fast-moving L&N coal train. Sources tell The Mountain Eagle the warning signals were not working at the crossing at the time of the accident. The diesel engine’s cow catcher drug Wright’s truck, which burst into flames after impact, about 1,000 feet. Wright was pronounced dead at the Fleming hospital. Wright was a heavy equipment operator for the state highway department and was returning to his McRoberts home after working on a road in the Kingscreek area. The Eagle wrote: “It will be recalled that previous accidents at this crossing have claimed the lives of several people, among them Hobert Combs, Rev. Kernel Sexton and daughter, a Spurgeon boy who was killed when his car hit the bridge near the crossing, and also a son of the late Judge Noah Bentley.”

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Members of the Whitesburg Lions Club entertained the ladies last Thursday night at the Pine Mountain Hotel. All present joined in singing “Good Night Ladies.”

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Miss Betty Kegan of Jenkins has been hired by Delta Airlines after completing her training with the Weaver Airline Personnel Training School in Kansas City, Missouri. Delta flew Miss Kegan, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Seth Kegan, to Indianapolis, where she will begin working in the Reservations Department at Weir Cook Airport. Miss Kegan is a graduate of Jenkins High School. She also attended Eastern State College at Richmond.

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Ordered to report May 26 for induction into the Armed Forces by the local draft board are Douglas Gene Adams, Charlie Lee Whitaker, Hoyt Cupps Jr., Dell Fields, James Borden Breckons, Thurman Ray Ratliff and Jack Dean Williams. Ordered to report for induction May 17 are Benny Johnson Jr., Virgil Kenneth Maggard, Lynn Lee Patrick, Walter Hall Jr., Clacie Sexton and Albert Chance.

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Russell Price has been appointed to the board of di- rectors of the Kentucky Automobile Dealers Association. Price will serve the unexpired term of E. Bruce Walters of Pikeville, who is leaving the automobile business to enter a new field.

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President Eisenhower was in Lexington last Friday, where he spoke to a crowd of thousands in honor of Transylvania University’s 175th celebration. Several residents of Letcher County attended the event. Transylvania is the oldest institution for higher learning west of the Allegheny Mountains.

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Among the Letcher County soldiers serving their country while we are at war are Army Cpl. Patterson Cesco, 22, of Turkey Creek; Army Pvt. Arlie Whitehead, 21; Navy Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Franklin C. Jacobs of Blackey, and Army Pvt. Roland Trent of Whitco. Cesco, serving in Korea with the 328th Ordnance Battalion, was recently awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation. Whitehead is serving with the 3rd Infantry Division in Korea, where he is a driver in the 64th Tank Battalion’s Company B. Jacobs is aboard the submarine USS Toro. Trent is serving with the Infantry near the 38th Parallel in Korea.

Thursday, April 30, 1964

A Letcher Circuit Court jury acquitted Berman Gibson of Hazard, and six former “roving pickets” of charges of armed robbery and assault with intent to kill. The men were charged with beating several non-union miners on top of Pine Mountain in October 1962, as the miners were on their way from their homes in Harlan County to work for South East Coal Co. in Letcher County.

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The April Letcher Grand Jury reports it has found no evidence of narcotics being used by any school children or others. The jury also found no evidence of anyone traffi cking illegally in narcotic drugs in the county.

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Commenting on President Lyndon Johnson’s recent visit to eastern Kentucky, an editorial in The Mountain Eagle says, “. . . funds in the Appalachian program will go for roads, airports, sewer, water systems and other public facilities which in themselves are desirable but which do not provide jobs and do not feed the hungry. Nevertheless, we find hope in the mounting evidence that the president himself understands this point and that he will, in time, do something for the people of the area themselves.”

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The Elinda Drive-In is showing “The Slave” starring Steve Reeves and “The Trap” starring Kirk Douglas.

Thursday, May 2, 1974

Residents along the old Smoot Creek road complained to the fiscal court that they are being run off the road by coal trucks. Another person said school buses would no longer travel up Carbon Glow because of the deep ruts in the road and school children have to walk out to the main highway to catch the bus. Also at the meeting, Magistrate Monroe Hogg made a motion that the fiscal court “boycott” The Mountain Eagle because the newspaper had criticized county officials for meeting with coal truck drivers and deciding how to ignore laws governing truck weights. Hogg’s motion died for lack of a second.

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Blackey correspondent Charles Anne Mullis writes of her father, C.B. Caudill, “. . . he got up very early and chewed on an unlit cigar and you could hear him holler for Sugar Daddy (Chester Dagnan), ‘Come on and let’s get these pop bottles straight.’ That was when pop was a nickel.”

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”It really takes a lot of smart planning in many cases during this period of merciless prices which we encounter daily to make ends meet for the bare necessities,” writes Linefork correspondent Thelma N. Cornett. “And when calamities come, people almost have to borrow from Peter to pay Paul.”

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Students from Fleming-Neon High School are traveling to Washington, D.C. for their senior trip.

Wednesday, May 2, 1984

Two Knott County men have been charged with forgery for passing phony $100 bills to businesses in Letcher and Knott counties. The two men allegedly manufactured the fake $100 bills by clipping corners off one end of a legitimate $100 bill and gluing them to a $1 bill.

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Sergent correspondent Vendetta Fields writes of moving to the head of Cowan from Indiana in 1943: “You made your mattresses from grain sacks for the ticks and shredded cornshucks for the filling. You learned to make soap for the laundry and also for your bath when you couldn’t do better. There were homemade brooms and your mop was a bunch of rags tied on a stick if you had linoleum, if not you scrubbed with a broom and lye water. Quilts were made from worn-out clothing and sheets were made from boiled flour sacks.”

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Dancer Mary Bruce Blackburn, an “artist in the schools”, completed her year’s stay in Letcher County with a concert performance by her students. She worked with 2,600 students during the year in public schools and private classes. The dance program was sponsored by the Letcher County Arts Council.

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Whitesburg senior track star Monick Wampler is featured in the April issue of Kentucky Track and Fields News. Wampler has competed in track and cross-country since the sixth grade. Early in 1984 she was named an All-America by the National High School Association of Cross-Country Athletes.

Wednesday, May 4, 1994

DLX Inc., formerly known as South East Coal Co., has shut down. The company, which was once the largest family-owned mining firm in Kentucky, employed 178 workers in Letcher, Knott and Estill counties. The company had as many as 1,500 employees in the 1970s, but a legal dispute with Kentucky Utilities Co. over coal prices in a long-term contract caused the firm to declare bankruptcy in 1990.

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Mountain Eagle columnist Ike Adams says he has been taking a lot flack because the National Association of Woolly Worm Weather Watchers (NAWWWW) failed to predict the roughest winter in years. The NAWWWW has decided, he said, to make up for failing to predict the winter weather by predicting the winner of the Kentucky Derby.

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Thirteen trash drop-off stations have been set up around Letcher County as part of the countywide cleanup.

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The Letcher County Board of Education has set a tax rate of 46.2 cents per $100 of assessed property value. The new rate is a 6.2 percent increase of the 1992-93 rate of 43.5 per $100.

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Graveside services were held in Seymour, Tenn., for Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher E. Watts, a Fleming- Neon High School graduate who was one of three sailors killed in Iraq 10 days ago during a suicide attack at an oil terminal.

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Harlan “Tootie” Seals is appealing his impeachment as mayor of Fleming-Neon in a lawsuit filed in Letcher Circuit Court. Seals is seeking a temporary restraining order and temporary and permanent injunctions from the court to regain his office.

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April Damron of Jenkins, a senior at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, pitched a spectacular game for the Cavaliers in her final appearance at Hilltop Park. Damron, who was last week voted by conference coaches as the AAC’s Pitcher of the Year, threw seven shutout innings, scattering three hits while striking out eight Milligan (Tenn.) College batters UVa-Wise won the game 1-0. The win clinched the Appalachian Athletic Conference regular season title for UVa-Wise.


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