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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, May 24, 1934

After deliberating evidence for two days, a Letcher Circuit Court jury on Wednesday convicted Maryland Bates of murdering Mose Webb and sentenced Bates to life in prison. Testimony began at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

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A Letcher Circuit Court jury is hearing evidence in the murder case against Joe Creech, an elderly man accused of killing Ira Eldridge on Kingscreek about three weeks ago. The murder allegedly occurred after a domestic dispute involving the wife of Creech.

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“Rumors repeated often promote belief,” says an advertisement by Kentucky & West Virginia Power Company Inc. “We are taking this means — a series of letters in the newspaper — to give you the facts,” the ad says. “They speak for themselves and will serve to refute the rumors.”

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The body of an infant child has been discovered in the Poor Fork of the Cumberland River. The body was found wrapped in the lining of a woman’s coat. Authorities expect to arrest the child’s mother soon.

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The Letcher County Grand Jury has been called back into session to investigate the robbery last Tuesday of an elderly paint salesmen near Jenkins. The salesman, J. R. Vest of Monroe Paint Company of Cleveland, Ohio, was robbed of his watch and pocketbook that contained only a small amount of money. The car in which the alleged robbers were said to be traveling wrecked while fleeing toward Jenkins. Arrested after the vehicle wrecked were three young men, Bill Potter, John Potter, and John Wright, and two young women, Billie Fleming and Jiggs Bates. One suspect apparently fled the scene while another is undergoing treatment at the Jenkins hospital for wreck-related injuries.

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Authorities say a fire that destroyed a vacant store building at Mayking was intentionally set. The store, owned by Charlie Hogg, burned around 2:30 a.m. on Monday. No arrests have been made.

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The Taxpayers League of Letcher County has adopted a resolution calling on the Kentucky General Assembly to approve a bill under consideration that would authorize a general sales tax. The local citizens group says that without the tax, “the doors of education are about to be closed to shut out the boys and girls of Kentucky who seek an education.”

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Rabies, also known as “mad dog infection,” is prevalent again in Letcher County. A local physician reports he has just given the anti-rabies vaccine to seven people who were bitten by a dog or came into contact with the saliva of a positively known mad dog.

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“Corn hoeings are all the go around here,” reports Jeremiah correspondent Aunt M. “Hisey Caudill had one with 18 good, willing hands last Friday. Then on Saturday, about as many waded into the fields of Leander Caudill and did business with the weeds.” Aunt M also reports that “for the first time in many years, the ‘Big Field’ — the large bottom on what is now known as the J. T. Smith farm — is all in corn. This field contains 40 acres by actual survey, so, with a moderate yield you will see some pile of corn here this fall.”

Thursday, May 18, 1944

The Navy says Seaman First Class Jerry Profitt Hampton has been killed in action. The news was delivered to his father, Mr. Solomon Hampton. Seaman Hampton had been in service for a year, having volunteered for service after his graduation from Stuart Robinson in May 1943.

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Staff Sergeant Wayne Back was seriously injured in a plane crash in England, the War Department says. Sgt. Back was enjoying a recess from aerial warfare after completing 30 missions when the crash occurred. He is the husband of Mrs. Nola Back.

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Anderson Cornett, 81, of Blackey, died instantly after being struck by the L&N Railroad’s daily local train on Monday afternoon. The accident occurred while Mr. Cornett was walking along the railroad tracks on his way home from the funeral of Mrs. Mary Fields at Roxana.

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Letcher Schools Superintendent Martha Jane Potter asks that all qualified citizens interested in teaching in the county visit the school district’s offices to file applications “at once.”

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Garland Nichols, 28, of Smithtown in Knott County was killed early Sunday when the car in which he was riding wrecked after failing to make a curve at a railroad crossing on Highway 7 near Blackey. The car, driven by Forrester Helton of Cody, overturned into Rockhouse Creek, pinning Nichols, who had jumped out of the car, beneath it. Helton was not injured. Nichols leaves behind his wife and two daughters.

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Eddia Ellen Profitt, 16-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Profitt of Sandlick, died on Wednesday, 10 days after she was hit by a truck while she and her two sisters were on their way to the home of a neighbor to get milk for the family.

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The Kentucky Tax Commission has ordered Letcher County to increase its assessments on lots and improvements and land and improvements by 20 percent. The state says the additional revenue is needed because Letcher County has a bonded debt of $908,000.

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Mr. and Mrs. Follace Fields and son are leaving Whitesburg within a few days for Pikeville, where Mr. Fields has been employed as coach at Pikeville High School.

Thursday, May 20, 1954

The new Fleming-Neon Elementary School will be dedicated Sunday afternoon at a ceremony to be attended by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Wendell P. Butler. The consolidated school will replace the old Neon and Fleming school buildings, and can house more than 600 students.

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The Stuart Robinson School at Blackey is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Dr. E. O. Guerrant founded the school as Stuart Robinson College in 1914. Instead of the original three frame buildings located on four acres overlooking the town of Blackey, the school now has a campus of 16 acres and 40 acres of pastureland adjoining, and is now located about a mile from Blackey on Rockhouse Creek. It also has a farm of about 100 acres formerly known as Burton Hill Farm. Stuart Robinson is now a graded and high school with six brick buildings — administration, library, two dorms, gymnasium and a teacherage that also houses the home economics department. It also has two frame buildings — kitchen and dining room and the superintendent’s cottage, a dairy barn and milk house and numerous garages. After opening at Blackey with two teachers, the school now employs 22 men and women.

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The “Jenkins Farm” near Whitesburg is getting a “scalped look” thanks to excavation work being done for the new UMWA Memorial Hospital. The new hospital is part of a chain of 10 and will cost more than $1 million to build.

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The Kentucky Court of Appeals has upheld a decision by Letcher Circuit Judge C. C. Wells that left the Division Five seat on the Letcher County Board of Education vacant. The Appeal Court said Wells acted properly when ruling that former Board Member Dr. Lundy Adams vacated the seat when he accepted the job as Republican Party Chairman in Letcher County.

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Buddy Poppies will be on sale May 29 by members of the Whitesburg VFW’s Ladies Auxiliary. Disabled veterans assemble the poppies, and funds raised are used exclusively for the benefit of them and the widows and orphans of veterans who died.

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The coal industry, a victim of an acute economic sickness, wants the federal government to help cure its ills by adopting a policy to encourage the use of coal. The industry says it must sell 50 million more tons of coal a year to survive and has offered a long list of ways it believes the government can help to prevent its death. Included in the list are requests that the government limit imports of foreign oil, require European government to remove import restrictions that discriminate against U.S. coal, guarantee credit risks on exported coal, limit imports of Canadian natural gas, protect coal from excessive natural gas competition by ordering raises in natural gas prices, and require the use of coal in government buildings.

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Letcher County’s annual Strawberry Festival will be held in Whitesburg on May 22.

Thursday, May 21, 1964

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr., U.S. undersecretary of commerce, and First Lady Mrs. Lyndon Johnson are visiting eastern Kentucky. Roosevelt said the Appalachian regional recovery program should be put into action before the end of the summer of 1964. At Jackson, Mrs. Johnson dedicated the new high school gymnasium and visited a rural school where she ate lunch with the students benefi ting from a school lunch program.

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Ernest Gay Amburgey, son of Mr. and Mrs. Willie Amburgey of Premium, is valedictorian and Sandra Bloomer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Bloomer of Cowan, is salutatorian of the 1964 graduating class at Whitesburg High School.

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”Take Her She’s Mine” starring James Stewart and Sandra Dee is being shown at the Alene Theater. Also at the Alene is “The Raven” starring Vincent Price.

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A 1964 half-ton Dodge pickup truck is advertised for sale for $1,957.25 by Jordan Motor Co. of Jenkins.

Thursday, May 23, 1974

Ramp and mine operators in Letcher County report they are getting only 30 percent of the railroad cars ordered from the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. Estimates are that at least 100 new mining firms opened up operations in Letcher County in the winter and spring of 1974, but the shortage of railroad coal cars means the mines cannot sell all the coal they are producing.

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Sheriff Ruben Watts said there was “absolutely no truth” to reports that law officers are mistreating teenagers or other individuals in Letcher County. Several parents of teenagers have complained to The Mountain Eagle that their sons had been arrested, threatened and sometimes beaten by local law officers including sheriff ’s deputies.

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The American Automobile Association (AAA) says it has received a number of complaints that sheriff ’s deputies are operating speed traps on the Mountain Parkway in Magoffin, Powell and Wolfe counties.

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Pole beans are on sale at the A&P Grocery Store. They cost $1 for three pounds. Boneless ham is 68 cents a pound.

Wednesday, May 23, 1984

Seventy-five Letcher County flood victims have applied for aid from the Disaster and Emergency Services (DES). Meanwhile, the county is preparing to apply for a loan to help repair county roads and bridges ravaged during flash flooding. The federal government has designated Letcher and 13 other eastern Kentucky counties a disaster area. The county is waiting for damage estimates from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before applying for help from DES to repair roads and bridges.

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The Jeremiah Post Office is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

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Letcher County’s jobless rate went down from 27.5 percent to 25.9 percent from February to March 1984, but remains the highest in the eight-county Kentucky River Area Development District.

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Mountain Motor Speedway at Isom is planning a big night of racing on Memorial Day weekend. “Scratch” Collins, owner of the track, said three races are scheduled at the track.

Wednesday, May 25, 1994

The Letcher Fiscal Court, against the recommendation of Judge/Executive Carroll Smith, has decided to continue contributing to the salaries of Deputy Sheriff Eddie Wayne Back and Trial Commissioner Harold “Straight Hair” Davis. Smith was trying to get the fiscal court to stop paying salaries the county isn’t required to pay under state law. The fiscal court learned the same night it voted to continue paying the salaries that there is no money to pay more than $80,000 in county bills.

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The superintendent screening committee, which is advising the Letcher County Board of Education on superintendent candidates, has decided which four candidates for the job it will recommend to the board. The four candidates are Dr. Linda Allen, principal of Harlan Elementary School; Phillip Carter, a high school principal in Ohio; Larry Ison, an assistant superintendent of the Letcher County schools; and Gary Jackson, a middle school principal in Taylor Mill, Ky.

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More than 200 people attended the dedication of the Harry M. Caudill Memorial Library in Whitesburg. Speakers at the dedication were Al Smith, host of Kit’s “Comment on Kentucky”; Mountain Eagle editor Tom Gish; and State Rep. Paul Mason, who dedicated the library’s children’s reading room to his daughter, the late Belinda Mason Cardin, a writer and AIDS activist. The library is named in honor of Whitesburg attorney Harry M. Caudill, author of Night Comes to the Cumberlands, a book detailing the poverty of eastern Kentucky.

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Appalshop’s 25th anniversary is the theme of its annual Seedtime on the Cumberland festival in Whitesburg. The schedule of the festival includes film screenings, concerts, craft displays, and performances by Roadside Theater, a square dance and a gospel sing.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Vandals burned a picnic table at the Fishpond Lake recreation area near Payne Gap. Witnesses saw the table burning and called police, but before officers arrived the hoodlums — believed to be two young men and a young woman — ran into the woods and hid.

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Unofficial returns from the 29th District senatorial race between incumbent Johnny Ray Turner and challenger Eric Shane Hamilton show Turner beating Hamilton here, 1,001 votes to 797 votes, in county’s 32 precincts

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The third annual Cowan Creek Music School will be held June 21-25. The school offers courses in banjo, fiddle, guitar, singing, square dancing and storytelling.

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Lois Adams Baker of Whitesburg, chief executive offi cer of Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation, received the 2004 President’s Service Award presented by Southeast Community College.

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