Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, June 19, 1924

The Louisville & Nashville and Atlantic Coast Line railroads have been given permission by the government to lease for a period of 999 years the Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio railroad lines and its subsidiaries. Plans now call for the proposed connection of the L&N and CC&O lines by going through the mountains from McRoberts to Elkhorn City. The shortest connection to be built from L&N to CC&O lines is from McRoberts and Dunham. The L&N also plans to “double-track” its McRoberts division and has leased land in the Whitesburg area for use as rail yards. “Should this be done, Whitesburg and environs will be second to no city in the mountains,” a front-page story in The Mountain Eagle says.

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The Commonwealth of Kentucky this week is celebrating its first settlement, Harrodsburg in central Kentucky. While Harrodsburg was being settled, pioneers had also ventured into the mountains of eastern Kentucky via Black Mountain and Pine Mountain. These were men and women who had chosen not to take the long way west through Cumberland Gap. “They mean no doubt to go on, but they had found an Eldorado that appealed to them,” says an article headlined “Kentucky in the making” that appears on the front page of The Eagle. “The high hills were full of bear, deer and wild turkey …. The wild mountain air blew a difference, the skied overhead lent a different enchantment — they were in time to become a different people.”

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The Woman’s Club of Whitesburg is gaining support for its drive to keep cattle off the streets of Whitesburg at night. The matter will be referred to the Whitesburg City Council.

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“Rev. Williams made a stirring address in the interest of the Ku Klux Clan at the [Letcher County] Courthouse Monday night and another at the [Whitesburg] Methodist Church Tuesday evening,” says a front-page story in The Eagle. “Both places were jammed with listeners from up in the state somewhere. Rev. Williams is a minister of the Baptist Church.”

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“Oh no,” proclaims a front-page commentary in The Eagle. “The Fiscal Court and the hundreds of good citizens behind it did not mean to open up a highway to moonshine regions when they planned to build the Whitesburg-Eolia road. They were working of the very reverse of this, for where good highways go … generally peace and prosperity result. It is generally in the dark and dismal places far out from the haunts of industry and activity that violations are most likely to exist, and the Eolia and the Cumberland sections are far this side of there. It is one of the best sections of the world and its people are among the noblest.”

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Well known Eolia citizen Joe Collier, about 70, was found dead near the mouth of Cowan yesterday morning sitting in his wagon. He had been driving the wagon and team to Whitesburg. A jury impaneled by Justice Blair reported a verdict of death by heart failure.

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Among the advertisements appearing in this week’s edition of The Mountain Eagle were those purchased by Letcher State Bank (Whitesburg), Blackey State Bank and First National Bank (Fleming).

Thursday, June 21, 1934

A new Kentucky law setting a three-cent tax on all products sold by merchants and dealers has been signed by Governor Laffoon and will take effect July 1.

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Gilly Webb, 40, an air tester of railroad cars at the C&O yards in Jenkins, was killed Friday after he became caught between two of the cars.

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Commodore W. Craft and his mother, Mrs. Polly Webb of Thornton, have called a work day at the Thornton Cemetery which they own. “We are expecting on that day (June 23) to locate any and all unselected burying lots and assign them to anyone interested in owning a little lot here, and in the meantime we are expecting all who have designated or claim a lot in the cemetery to be on the ground and arrange in some way to mark the lots as theirs in order to avoid any dissatisfaction in the future,” an announcement says. “Everybody come that can (and) pull a week or cut a briar or set a flower in the little city we all hold so sacred.”

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At least 1,500 people showed up for Sunday morning services at the old Thornton church at Mayking, which was organized in 1856. The present church was built 32 years ago to serve a membership of 36. Church leaders are now trying to raise $3,000 with which to build a larger church building.

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Ford Motor Company has announced price reductions on its V-8 passenger cars and V-8 trucks. The Tudor Sedan with standard equipment is now $520, with the deluxe edition selling for $560. The deluxe model Ford Victoria now sells for $600. A Ford truck chassis with 131-inch wheelbase now costs $485.

Thursday, June 22, 1944

Arthur Dixon of Whitesburg was elected district commander of the American Legion June 18 at a meeting in Pikeville.

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Three Perry County women were killed June 18 after being hit by a car as they were walking along a road one mile south of Sassafras. The women, two of them age 60 and one age 61, were hit by a car driven by Rev. John M. Mullins, 70, a Baptist minister who was en route to his home from his church at Scuddy. The three victims were members of Mullins’s congregation. Police say the mishap, which they called unavoidable, occurred when Mullins lost control of his car after he got off the pavement and into dirt and gravel.

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Sgt. H. Hudgins is missing in action in France. Sgt. Hudgins attended Fleming High School and is married to Letha Mae Amburgey, daughter of well-known Whitesburg restaurateurs Mr. and Mrs. Cas Amburgey. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Grover Hudgins, are formerly of Fleming but now live in Louisville.

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Cpl. Harold Long has been wounded somewhere in France. A former student at Whitesburg High School, he is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Long.

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Letcher Schools Supt. Martha Jane Potter has announced that rural schools will begin classes July 17. Classes in all other schools are set to being September 4.

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A delegation of Letcher County leaders returned from Frankfort on Wednesday after being told “no” on their request for construction of the much-discussed Linefork Road. The men were told that road construction money has been greatly curtailed because of the war.

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Sgt. Willard Niece of Whitesburg, wounded in the Italian campaign, has returned to the U.S. aboard the hospital ship St. Mihiel, which docked June 14 at Charleston, S.C.

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Pvt. Billy Wayne Wright, son of Dr. B. F. Wright of Seco, won the right to wear Wings and Boots of the United States Army Paratroops after completing four weeks of jump training during which he made five jumps from a plane in flight.

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Mae Bates has applied for a license to sell retail package liquor and distilled spirits and wine. The name of her business will be Bates Liquor Store and will be located in the Bates Building on Depot Street in the City of Neon.

Thursday, June 17, 1954

Dawahare’s Department Store in Whitesburg is now air-conditioned. Store manager Woodrow Dawahare said the new system was manufactured by Frigidaire and cools the entire store, including the basement, main floor and balcony, making shopping much more pleasant.

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A Pound, Va., man was arrested early Wednesday near Jenkins after sheriff ’s deputies found he had four gallons of moonshine in his possession. Letcher County Sheriff Robert B. Collins said the suspect, Simon Boggs, has been bringing large quantities of moonshine into the county for some time. Boggs was fined $50 and placed under a $1,000 peace bond.

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Many Letcher County citizens were shocked and grieved to learn of the death of Jack Banks of Cowan, who was killed in a motorcycle crash at Cumberland. Banks was an employee of the Kentucky Department of Highways. Wife Vera Brown Banks, five-year-old son Jack Kenton, and six-year-old daughter Barbara Jean survive him. The accident occurred near the Cumberland Drive- In Theatre. The driver of the car has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

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Emory Lewis has been installed as the new president of the Whitesburg Jaycees. The new vice president is Herb Caudill. William Kiger is secretary and Jack Little is the treasurer.

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The Letcher County Fiscal Court’s operating budget for Fiscal Year 1954-55 is $167,470. The county lists its main source of income as property tax levies ($150,125).

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Miss Sibyl Dawahare, Mrs. Edward Dawahare, and Mrs. A. B. Kawaja are attending commencement at Harvard University this week. Their brother, A. F. Dawahare, is a member of the graduating class.

Wednesday, June 18, 1964

Letcher County’s budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1964 totals $170,406.

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An article in The Mountain Eagle asks why roadside trees which do not hang over the road are being cut by the State Highway Department. The article says, “Most places in which the cutting has occurred have been hillsides which as far as we can see now have nothing left to hold the soil and prevent slides when winter comes . . . Personally we prefer the sight of redbud and dogwood blossoms in the spring and colorful foliage in the fall to empty tin cans and old car bodies.

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The Letcher County Board of Education voted to install new lights in the Whitesburg Grade School building. The board okayed the project after a delegation from the Parent-Teacher Association came before it to request new lighting. A survey made by Kentucky Power Company shows some grade school rooms have only seven candle power when they should have 70.

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Harlow Motor Co. is advertising compact Ford Falcons starting at $1,985. Luxurious Thunderbirds are much more costly — they start at $4,486 — while sporty Mustangs start at $2,368.

Thursday, June 20, 1974

The parents of five teenage boys arrested by a Whitesburg City policeman complained to the Whitesburg City Council. The teens were arrested on the bridge across the Kentucky River on Main Street in Whitesburg. Parents told councilmen they believe city police are deliberately harassing the group of youngster who frequently gather on the Main Street bridge.

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An editorial in The Mountain Eagle suggests that the City of Whitesburg use federal revenue-sharing money to build a bridge — a drawbridge to keep out all the Letcher Countians who live outside the city limits. “The town can, of course, permit outsiders to continue coming into town to spend their weekly paychecks or their dirty old government pensions,” the editorial says, “but once the shopping is done, the money is spent, the town has no use for them.”

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Another Mountain Eagle editorial says, “We have seen nothing that so measures the absolute contempt the Nixon administration extends to the working man as does the job the U.S. Department of Labor has done in the past year in administrating the Black Lung Law . . .Whoever would have thought, in his wildest moments, only nine — that’s right, nine — applications would be approved for the entire state of Kentucky since July 1, when the Labor Department took over administration of the program.”

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Three hundred Letcher Countians attended Letcher County Day in Louisville.

Wednesday, June 20, 1984

Arson is suspected in the fire which destroyed the headquarters of Douglas Day Post 152 of the American Legion. The building, constructed in 1978, is listed as a total loss.

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The chances of getting a new road across Pine Mountain don’t look good. Highway engineers had considered, then abandoned, proposals for a tunnel through the mountain. Estimates to rebuild the 10 miles of US 119 across Pine Mountain are as high as $20 million a mile.

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A South East Coal Co. mine — No. 403 in Knott County — is one of the nation’s top-ranked underground mines in safety, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. A Leslie County mine, Leeco No. 29, is named the safest underground mine. It logged 271,170 hours without employee injury.

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Tommy Day has been named basketball coach at Fleming-Neon High School. Mark Johnson has been named baseball coach and assistant basketball coach at the school.

Wednesday, June 22, 1994

State officials have cut $40,000 from the Letcher County operating budget for 1994-1995 to pay an overdue bill for workers’ compensation premiums. The money was owed from the last two quarters of 1993.

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Despite the objections of some Mayking residents, the Letcher Fiscal Court voted to designate property adjacent to the county highway garage as a site for a new animal shelter.

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Mountain Eagle columnist Ike Adams writes he had solved the mystery of the shorts which he wrote last summer and which had shrunk about three inches in the waistband. The answer, he writes, is ozone. According to his friend Roger Hatfield, ozone is “attacking the wardrobe of men over 40 all over central Kentucky.”

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”I do not know how we could stand to work in the fields when we were growing up,” writes Ice correspondent Sara C. Ison. “I guess we were not used to having all these cooling systems. I know it was as hot then as now. This modern stuff has made us more vulnerable to the weather.”

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The Letcher Fiscal Court defeated a proposed “nuisance ordinance” by a vote of four to two.

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Funeral services were held for Robert B. Collins, a former Letcher County judge/executive, sheriff and legislator who died June 18 after a lengthy illness. He was 89.

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A campaign is underway to save the athletic fields at Isom. A forum will be held June 24 to discuss the pending sale of the Isom Baseball Fields by the land’s owners. The fields have been home to Letcher Little League and the Letcher School’s softball teams for many years.


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