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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, September 7, 1944

The Army says Lt. William Chealis Hammonds was killed in France on August 5. The son of W.E. and Julia Profitt Hammonds, he was a graduate of Whitesburg High School and Richmond State Teachers’ College. Hammonds is remembered for his outstanding record in school. He graduated from the eighth grade at the age of 12 and from high school at the age of 16. At Richmond, he was rated one of 24 outstanding students in his graduating class and went on to teach school in Letcher County for a number of years. Hammonds was also an outstanding soldier since entering the service in July 1941. He received his commission in February 1943 and was rated as “excellent” at each post on which he served.

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Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Dixon of Whitesburg have received a telegram from the Secretary of War notifying them that their son, Sgt. Jimmie Dixon, 20, has been missing in action in Austria since August 22. A 1942 graduate of Whitesburg High School, Dixon had started his college work in Richmond when he volunteered for the Army Air Corps and was inducted into service in April 1943. Sgt. Dixon has been with the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy since May 15, 1944, where is has been a radio operator on a bomber.

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Memorial services were held at Cowan last Wednesday for Private Dishman E. Banks, who was killed in action somewhere in France on July 26, 1944. He was born July 26, 1906. Banks attended school at Little Cowan before gaining employment with Consolidation Coal Company, for which he worked at the time of his induction. He leaves behind his wife, Alice Day Banks, a son, Maurice Banks, his father, Floyd Banks, and six brothers.

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Mrs. Evaleen L. Davidson, granddaughter of the late I.N. Lewis, has received official notice that her husband, Captain Richard Lawrence Davidson, was killed on June 23 while with the 101st Airborne Division’s parachute troops in the invasion of France. The Captain and Mrs. Davidson last visited Whitesburg while he was on furlough in August 1943, shortly before he went overseas.

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New was received from the War Department by Mr. and Mrs. Howard Adams of Millstone informing them their son, Sgt. Bobby Eugene Adams, was wounded in action August 13 somewhere in France. Mr. and Mrs. Adams also have another son serving in the armed forces somewhere in the Southwest Pacific. He is Private First Class George Paul Adams, who received a medal for bravery in combat in the Georgia Campaign.

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Emmett Kiser of Camp Branch received word last week from the War Department that his son, Private Rex Kiser, was seriously wounded in France on August 17.

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Mrs. Stella DePriest of Burdine has received new stating that her brother, John Brown, was seriously wounded in France on August 5.

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Burdine residents have received a letter from Junior Brown, who was wounded on Siapan Island on June 15. He has been transferred to the Hawaiian Islands.

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Private Lester G. Bentley of Neon has been awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service in combat while serving with the 34th “Red Bull” Division on the Fifth Army front in Italy. Bentley was a member of a squad of military police manning two traffic posts on a one-way road crossing a river. Knowing the road to be a main supply route, the enemy continuously laid harassing artillery fire and numerous concentrations on this road. On four successive nights, the telephone wire connecting the two posts was knocked out by artillery fire several times. Each time, Bentley left the comparative safety of his foxhole and set out to repair the line and had the phones in operation again within a short time, preventing a choice target for the enemy artillery. Bentley’s mother, Tishie Bentley, lives at Neon.

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Private Jack Burkich, son of Mrs. Mary Burkich of Neon, has been transferred to AAF BTC, Buckley Field, Colorado for basic training.

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County Judge B.F. Wright says Letcher County’s government has not authorized anyone to visit roadhouses and other businesses that sell beer and tell the business owners they will have to pay a protection fee to operate slot machines and sell beer on Sundays. Says Wright: “I wish to state emphatically that if this practice does exist, and I am convinced that it does, that it is without my knowledge, against my will, and will use all of the powers of my office to check it.”

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Furlough ended last week for Sgt. Woodrow Whitaker when he was ordered to report to Miami. Sgt. Whitaker was given three weeks off after spending more than five years in the South Pacific.

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Letcher County has submitted an application for one of seven new tuberculosis sanatoriums to be built in Kentucky. The facility would be located at the Mayking Golf Course or on Pine Mountain on land owned by the Whitesburg Businessmen’s Club.

Thursday, September 2, 1954

A new dress shop will open in Whitesburg on September 7 after a style show the night before. The Vogue Dress Shop will be located in the Old Combs Motor Company building located next door to Rogers Dairy Bar. Mrs. Jennie Coldiron will be the manager of the company, which will be owned by Mrs. Coldiron, Mrs. Ruth Combs and Betty Jo Davidson. Some of the lines handles will be Vera Maxwell Originals, Dorothy Corby Sportswear, Sweaters by Huddlespun and many others.

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West Virginia was the leading coal-producing state in the U.S. last year, accounting for 133 million tons of the 450 million tons of bituminous coal mined nationally.

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Ann Cox of Letcher County has won a second appearance of Huntington WSAZ Television’s “Star of Stars Parade.” A young pianist of great talent, she has also been invited to appear soon on another program in which she will compete with 12 other pianists before a panel of judges, with the winner flying to New York to appear on Ted Mack’s famous Amateur Hour Program.

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Enrollment in the Jenkins Independent School District was 374 when school opened August 27, about 45 more than last year’s enrollment.

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Sergent School opened Monday with an enrollment of 120.

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The fall term at the University of Kentucky begins September 12.

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Private Lenville Vernon Jones, son of Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Jones of McRoberts, was awarded the Parachutist Badge recently. He is a member of Company “F” of the famed 188th Airborne Infantry Regiment of the 11th Airborne Division stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky.

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Ralph B. Bates of Neon was promoted recently from Corporal to Sergeant. Sgt. Bates is a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 710th Ordnance Battalion, 10th Division. Before entering the Army, he was employed as an inspector with the Detroit Transmission Company of Detroit, Michigan. He and his wife, Mrs. Nancy Bates, make their permanent home in Neon.

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Dr. J.E. Skaggs of Neon is back in his office seeing patients after returning from an extended vacation in Florida with his wife. Dr. Skaggs says his health is much improved now and he will continue seeing patients until further notice.

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More people planted trees in Letcher County in 1953 and 1954 than in any other county in Kentucky. Since 1953, farmers and landowners in Letcher County have planted 250 acres of trees, sown 30 acres of new Arlington strain sericea lespedeza hay, built one mile of tile lines, planted 30 acres of wildlife plantings consisting of 60,000 multiflora rose fence and bicolor lespedeza plants for quail food and cover, says the Letcher County Soil Conservation District.

Thursday, September 3, 1964

Letcher County, possessor of more per capita poverty than almost any other county in the nation, now has an “Economic Opportunity Committee” to wage President Johnson’s “war on poverty” on the home front. County Attorney Stanley Hogg was chosen chairman of the new committee and attorney and author Harry M. Caudill was elected vice chairman.

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President Lyndon B. Johnson is quoted in The Mountain Eagle, saying “The contest today . . . is between courage and timidity. It is between those who see what can be, and those who want only to maintain the status quo. It is between those who welcome the future and those who turn away from its promise. This is the true cause of freedom. The man who is hungry, who cannot find work or educate his children, who is bowed by want — that man is not fully free.”

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Whitesburg garageman Lewis Ammerman had a distinguished customer this week — and almost didn’t recognize him. It was “Tennessee Ernie” Ford, television star, who was on his way to his parents’ home in Bristol.

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An advertisement in The Mountain Eagle announces the auction sale of the H.L. Combs farm on Rockhouse Creek consisting of 200 home sites and business lots.

Thursday, September 5, 1974

The United Mine Workers and the Bituminous Coal Operators Association have begun negotiations to draft a new contract to govern the coal industry. The union presented a formal contract proposal. The UMW packet includes 33 position papers covering 210 specific proposals.

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A Mountain Eagle editorial about the UMW contract proposal praises the union for emphasizing retraining in case of layoffs. The editorial says, “Just maybe, adequate training coupled with unemployment insurance can ease the decades of pain which otherwise will occur when the next bust comes in the booms and busts of coal mining. We hope coal operators will enthusiastically join in this proposal.”

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A truck driver who struck a bridge on KY 7 near Blackey in December 1973 and his employer are being sued by the Kentucky Bureau of Highways for money to pay for the cost of replacing the bridge. The suit claims the driver negligently operated the truck at a gross weight in excess of the legal limit, and asks for $20,031.61.

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Among the new television series scheduled for fall 1974 are “Planet of the Apes” starring Roddy McDowell, “Manhunter” starring Ken Howard, “Rhoda” starring Valerie Harper, and “Sons and Daughters” starring Gary Frank and Glynnis O’Connor.

Wednesday, September 12 1984

Twenty-two salaried employees of Beth-Elkhorn Corp. at Jenkins have been laid off. The company says it is reducing its salaried workforce in coordination with the reduction of hourly employees. One hundred sixty-five hourly workers had been laid off the previous week.

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The Whitesburg City Council decided it can no longer rent out parking places on downtown streets for private use. The city had been renting out five downtown curbside parking spaces to individuals.

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Former Jenkins mayor R. Percy Elkins advised the Jenkins City Council to cut down on turmoil and allow the city water and sewer commission to do its job. Elkins, the director of the Kentucky River Area Development District, attended a council meeting to talk about the prospects of the city receiving enough federal money to update its dilapidated water system.

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A special section of The Mountain Eagle is devoted to Letcher County “Heritages” in honor of the upcoming Mountain Heritage Festival. Among those listed are coal mining, Italian stonework, farming, crafts, country stores, homeplaces, old cemeteries, and country living.

Wednesday, September 7, 1994

Letcher County’s unemployment rate fell nearly two percent, but the county still ranks among Kentucky’s top 10 in joblessness. Letcher County’s jobless rate in July 1994 was 9.8 percent, down from 11.4 percent in June 1994.

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Southeast Community College is getting $1.25 million in federal funds toward construction of a new building on the Whitesburg Campus. Persons involved in the campaign to raise money for the proposed building said $250,000 will go to help retire the college’s $387,000 debt on its existing building, and the rest will go to the new building.

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The Whitesburg Yellowjackets defeated Sheldon Clark 44-18. The Fleming-Neon Pirates overcame district foe Allen Central 19-0.

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Martha Craft Blair celebrated her 105th birthday in Cincinnati, Ohio, with all three of her children present. Mrs. Blair was born in 1889 in the house her father built for his bride at Mayking in 1879. She was one of 10 children.

Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Two Letcher County women are accused of going into the home of a cancer patient to steal her prescription pain medication. The two women were indicted after the grand jury heard testimony from Kentucky State Police Trooper David Combs.

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Letcher Countians are being given the opportunity to get of old tires for free through Kentucky’s “Tire Amnesty” program. John Cleveland, Letcher County solid waste coordinator, said the purpose of the program is “to give people an opportunity to legally remove tires and eliminate eyesores we have around the county.”

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Despite rain showers early Saturday evening, record crowds turned out for the second night of the annual Isom Days rodeo and a Labor Day fireworks display. In addition to the rodeo, the festival included music, games, the Shriners’ tram, face painting and a horseshoe tournament.

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”Mike and Karen Eldridge of Elk Creek went on vacation last week to the Bahamas and had to evacuate because of Hurricane Frances,” writes Blackey correspondent Diana Combs. “They were lucky enough to get the last two plane tickets to come home.”


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