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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, September 13, 1934

All assets of the Apex Coal Company near Thornton will be sold at auction October 1 to satisfy debts the company owes to South East Coal Company. The assets consist of five parcels of property situated on the North Fork of the Kentucky River, just above the mouth of Thornton Creek. The first parcel consists of a coal lease contract from South East Coal and all “fixtures, equipment and machinery” ranging from 600 pounds of trolley wire to a No. 112 A.B. Goodman cutting machine. The second parcel is the Craft heirs’ leasehold and equipment ranging from two picks to a Ridgeway motor generator set. The third parcel is the entire Apex coal camp, while the fourth parcel consists of the equipment required to run the commissary, including one large “Frigidaire.” Parcel Five consists of Apex Coal’s interest in a railroad sidetrack with the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Co. The amount to be raised by the sale is $1,200 for taxes, $1,900 for cost of receivership, $2,078.59 for labor and compensation claims, $1,342 for royalties due South East, $723 royalty to Dr. B.F. Wright, $554.58 royalty to Lettie Steele, $2,256.91 for claims arising during receivership, and $48,851.50 in common claims.

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Another large crowd gathers at the Mayking flying field on Sunday, this time to watch a man jump from a height of nearly 3,000 feet and land safely on the field.

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Government officials are investigating the cause of fire above the luxury ocean liner SS Morro Castle, which caught fire September 8 en route from New York to Havana, Cuba. The fire killed at least 137 of 500 passengers and crewmembers.

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Jesse Hall has been badly beaten at his home on Rockhouse. When in town yesterday, one could hardly recognize his face.

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The Jenkins Cavaliers football team will host Wise, Va., High School on September 22 to open the 1934 football season. Coach Roger Womack’s Cavs began practicing for the coming season on August 27, with 31 candidates for the team reporting to work.

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Citizens are eager to visit the Whitesburg home of Clark Day, where six huge pigs are said to already weigh at least 2,500 pounds together even though they are only 14 months old. Each pig is expected to way more than 500 pounds by killing time.

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A Vicco man bought the first piece of property during Saturday’s big auction of Mayking conducted Norman Realty Auction Company. The buyer, whose name was not available, bought the old commissary building for $1,000. The next property sold was the home and big lot on “The Rib,” which brought $980.

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Spencer Tracy and Alice Fay star in “Now I’ll Tell,” which will show for two days only, September 18-19, at Kentucky Theatre in Whitesburg. Coming September 20- 21 is “Here Comes the Navy” starring James Cagney.

Thursday, September 14, 1944

Jimmie Dixon, son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Dixon of Whitesburg, has been reported as missing somewhere over Austria by the War Department. Before he went missing, Dixon was a radio operator on a bomber.

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Sgt. Dennis Collins, son of Mr. and Mrs. Monroe Collins of Isom, was taken prisoner after being wounded in the European Theatre of war, but is now free and expects to come home soon. “By the way, I never told you about my experience when I got captured,” Collins said in a letter to his parents that appeared in The Mountain Eagle. “I didn’t think you would believe me after I got captured. I talked like hell to the Krauts and got them to surrender to me about 160. Sounds like Sergeant York, no? I was told I would get a Silver Star for it, but that isn’t what I want. I want to come home soon.”

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Senator George W. Norris, a liberal from Nebraska known as the “Father of the TVA,” died September 2. Speaking of the death of the Senator for whom the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Norris Dam was named, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said “a pillar of strength had fallen.”

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The U.S. government has taken possession of 15 more coalmines in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

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S.M. Banks has been hired by the City of Whitesburg as “night watchman.” Banks also covers the Marlowe and Sandlick coal camps by special arrangements with those two companies.

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Kitty Wells, known as the “Smokey Mountain Songbird,” Johnnie Wright and Smiling Eddie Hill from radio station WNOX in Knoxville, Tenn., and Smiling Eddie and Ernest Ferguson and his “electric mandolin” will join Cousin Nimrod, the “Old Maids’ Heartthrob,” for a concert appearance at the Letcher County Courthouse on Thursday night, September 21. Admission for adults is 50 cents. Children 12 and under will be charged 25 cents. The show is billed as “Radio’s Best Hillbilly Entertainers Invest in America: Buy War Bonds and Stamps.”

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Jack Dempsey Adams of Burdine is among 18 young Letcher County men scheduled to leave Whitesburg at 9 a.m. September 19 for induction into the armed forces.

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Rome Frazier, 13, son of Mrs. Carrie Frazier Ingram of Kingdom Come, died Sunday at the Fleming hospital 12 hours after he was shot in the left lung when a .22-caliber rifle he was carrying somehow discharged. Rome was standing just a few yards from the home of his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Drew Frazier, when the mishap occurred. Rome, who lived with his grandparents, called out for help after the accident and was rushed to Fleming by his grandfather. He attended Kingdom Come School, where he was well liked and very much interested in 4-H Club activities, having just returned from a 4-H camp at Quicksand just a few weeks ago.

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Among the Letcher County residents who plan to travel to Louisville later this week to hear Republican Presidential Nominee Thomas Dewey speak are Stephen Combs Jr., Lee Adams and Sam Collins.

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First Lt. Leonard Peterson of Fleming has been awarded the Army’s European Theatre Ribbon with one star. Peterson, who has been serving in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations as a bombardier with the oldest B-26 medium bomber group in the Army Air Force, has completed 56 missions over Axis territory.

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Corporal Joe Wenix of Jenkins, who was wounded in France and is now in a hospital in England, has been awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster.

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The Millstone School opened September 4 with 179 pupils.

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Staff Sergeant Hager Blair has received the Air Medal for his courageous service. In a letter to his sister Miss Reecie Blair, Commander George C. Kenney says Staff Sgt. Blair “was cited for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flights in the Southwest Pacific area from November 18, 1943 to April 28, 1944. Your brother took part in sustained operational flight missions during which hostile contact was probable and expected. These flights included bombing missions against enemy installments, shipping and supply bases, and aided considerably in recent successes in the Theatre.”

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James Salyers, 23, of Carbon Glow, was killed last Thursday. Salyers was helping clean a well when a 20-pound pail fell from the top of the well and hit him.

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Mr. and Mrs. R.D. Combs of Carbon Glow have received word from the War Department that their son, Cpl. Orville Combs, has been killed in action in France. He became a member of the Presbyterian Church at age 15 and wanted to become a minister.

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Three soldiers who saw action in Africa, Sicily, and Italy have returned to their homes in Blackey for 24- day furloughs. Sgt. Lawrence Dixon, son of Mrs. Florida Dixon, was with a tank destroyer division and served overseas 27 months. He is wearing two Gold Stars on his campaign ribbon and also the Good Conduct Medal. Pvt. Everett Hogg, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Hogg, was with a medical corps unit and served overseas for 21 months. He is wearing four Gold Stars on his campaign ribbon and also the Good Conduct Medal. Pvt. Paul Dixon, son of Mrs. Wilson Hampton, was with a field artillery unit and served overseas for 25 months. Both Sgt. Dixon and Pvt. Dixon received injuries early in the African campaign. All three soldiers will report to Miami, Fla., after completion of their furloughs.

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Mr. and Mrs. T.A. Dixon of Blackey are being hailed as “true star parents” with three sons and a son-in-law serving in the armed forces. One son and son-in-law are in the Army Air Force: Pvt. Charles Dixon, is now stationed at Bowman Field, Kentucky and expects to be sent overseas soon, and Flight Officer William C. Simonsen is now in England with the Ninth Air Force. The other two sons are in the “Queen of All Battles,” the infantry. Staff Sgt. James A. Dixon is somewhere in England with the famed 29th Infantry and Lt. Taylor W. Dixon is now stationed at Camp Robinson, Arkansas. Lt. Dixon will be remembered by many for his capture of a pair of Italian officer’s boots before returning from overseas duty in North Africa last March. Sgt. Dixon and Flight Officer Simonsen met in England on July 12 for the first time. Sgt. Dixon participated in the invasion of Normandy while F.O. Simonsen carried troops and equipment into Southern France in “The Beards,” his glider.

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First Lt. Charles R. Blair, 23, of Whitesburg, recently used his P-47 Thunderbolt to help his fellow pilots in the Ninth Air Force destroy a battalion’s equivalent of German equipment. And almost unbelievable total of 180 motor vehicles were destroyed and more than 60 were damaged, more than 30 tanks were destroyed, 135 trucks were put out of action, and 10 half-trucks were also destroyed. Also blasted were three important enemy headquarters building and more than 40 German troops. Lt. Blair, a member of the “Arbo’s Oboes” squadron of Lt. Col. Harold N. Holt’s Hun Hunters, has flown more than 70 missions since his arrival in the European Theatre of Operations and France. He wears the Air Medal and five Oak Leaf Clusters. The husband of Mrs. Lucille J. Blair, he was formerly employed by Gulf Oil in Whitesburg.

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Pvt. Less Shepherd of Linefork is a prisoner of war in Germany.

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Sgt. Alfred Hall of Linefork is the father of a new baby boy born at the Lynch hospital. Sgt. Hall fell while in the Nichols Army Hospital in Louisville and broke his leg.

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Pvt. Astor Lewis went home to Linefork on furlough and found a new son there. The baby was born at the Pine Mountain Hospital.

Thursday, September 9, 1954

Phil Holston, popular young employee of Salyer’s Radio & TV Shop in Whitesburg, was injured in a fall from a television tower on Cowan Mountain around 5:30 p.m. on Monday. Holston fell about 16 feet, suffering injuries to his right elbow and a fractured pelvis. The son of Mrs. C.F. Holston was rushed to the Fleming hospital after the accident.

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Whitesburg barber Milburn Polly was rushed to Sharon Heights Hospital in Jenkins at midnight Wednesday after suffering a heart attack. Mr. Polly had been seriously ill some time ago but had been able to return to his job at City Barber Shop.

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Benton Back has been named football coach and basketball coach at Stuart Robinson School. A former student at Morehead State College, Mr. Back served as assistant coach in both sports at Stuart Robinson, his alma mater, the past two years.

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Nina Bartley of Nina’s Beauty Shop in Jenkins is among 160 southern beauty technicians, including 12 from Kentucky, who returned to their shops this week with certificates for having completed the Institute on Cosmetology at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

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Airman Charles Lee Caudill, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Caudill of Roxana, died after suffering a heart attack at Walker Air Force Base in Roswell, New Mexico on September 1. Burial was in the family cemetery at Mill Branch.

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Floyd Meade, 44, of Neon was killed about 10 p.m. Monday when he was hit by a train at Whitaker. Letcher County Coroner Virginia Craft said Meade apparently did not see or hear the train, and that it was impossible for the engineer to see him. His wife and four children survive Meade.

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A new wing of the Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church in Whitesburg will be dedicated September 12. The extension is called the New Education Building and is constructed of hand-cut stone that matches the rest of the church building. The new wing cost about $40,000 to construct.

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Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall star in “How To Marry A Millionaire,” showing at the Alene Theatre Sunday and Monday, September 12 and 13.

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Col. Narce Whitaker, a native of Roxana, has assumed command of the Wilkins Air Force Depot in Shelby, Ohio. Col. Whitaker came to Wilkins from Headquarters Air Material Command, where he was chief of the air material area inspection division. Rated a senior pilot, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps as a flying cadet in June 1938. During World War II, he served in the Asiatic- Pacific Theatre, where he flew 63 combat missions. Col. Whitaker is authorized to wear the Silver Star with three clusters, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross with two clusters, the Air Medal with three clusters, the Commendation Ribbon, the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Ribbon with two battle stars, the American Defense Ribbon, and the World War II Victory Medal.

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Members of the Neon Lion’s Club entertained their wives and children last Thursday evening at the McRoberts Swimming Pool.

Thursday, September 10, 1964

The Letcher County Economic Opportunity Committee has asked the federal government to provide pay of at least $1.50 an hour for persons employed on projects under the new anti-poverty program. The federal minimum wage is $1.25 an hour, but persons working under the “jobless fathers” program for the unemployed received only $1 an hour at present.

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Robert Lee “Bobby” Blair, son of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Blair of Whitesburg, has attained the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouting.

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The total enrollment in the Letcher County school system is 6,697, Supt. Dave L. Craft said. The figure shows a loss of 205 from last year’s enrollment.

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The Whitesburg City Council refused this week to take back its passage on the anti-union “right to work” ordinance which attempts to limit union activity within the town’s city limits. The issue was raised by Mayor Ferdinand Moore, who said several businessmen in Whitesburg feel there has been an “adverse reaction” to the ordinance and had asked the council to consider repeal.

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Elvis Presley stars in two roles for the first time in “Kissin’ Cousins,” which will show at the Alene Theatre in Whitesburg September 12-15. Admission is 80 cents adults, 30 cents for children.

Thursday, September 12, 1974

A rock weighing a ton or more fell off a strip mine access road on Elk Creek and struck a Letcher County school bus loaded with children. Bus driver Howard Stanfill said the rock bounced as high as his head and struck a front fender of the bus. No one was injured.

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South Central Bell Telephone Co. has requested a rate increase which would add 65 cents a month to the basic one-party residential rate in Whitesburg and Neon and $1.60 to the basic business rate. The new rates would be $5.85 and $14.10.

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”In the days of my childhood when there were no supermarkets in our mountains and we could not buy fresh fruits and vegetables the year around,” writes Linefork correspondent Thelma N. Cornett, “we had to wait for the wild salad, crowsfoot, poke, and what have you. We also waited on the season to bring new potatoes, peas, lettuce, beans, corn, etc. We now hear people say that our food doesn’t taste the same as it did in those old days. I think maybe the waiting sharpened the appetite and made it taste better.”

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”Hilliard Caudill, Doty Creek, is a wealthy boy and may not realize it,” writes Jeremiah correspondent Hassie Breeding. “His sow has a litter of 15 pigs and any kind of meat is sky high.”

Wednesday, September 19, 1984

Reports are circulating of the sale of U.S. Steel’s coal properties at Lynch to Arch Mineral Corp. of St. Louis, Mo., but neither firm will confirm or deny that the sale is either planned or has taken place.

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A special postal cancellation (or postmark) is commemorating the 1984 Mountain Heritage Festival. Whitesburg postmaster Sue Holbrook obtained the special cancellation stamp from the U.S. Postal Service. Mrs. Holbrook said the special cancellation was mentioned in magazines for stamp collectors and she has received about 500 letters from “first-class cancellation collectors” enclosing envelopes to the canceled with the special stamp and returned to them.

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The National Parks Service has approved a $76,140 grant to the Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission to help buy the Bad Branch Falls area of Letcher County.

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Two twin cinemas are coming to Whitesburg. Blackwood Theaters of Coeburn, Va., is planning a movie theater near the new Whitesburg Plaza shopping center. Rigdon Isaac of Whitesburg, whose family operated the Alene Theater for many years, is remodeling the Alene building located on East Main Street to develop twin cinemas.

Wednesday, September 14, 1994

Kentucky State Police Captain Danny R. Webb, former Letcher County Sheriff Lewis Hall, retired teacher Cora Reynolds Frazier, retired teacher James Leonard Morgan, and the late Beckham Bates have been named to the Mountain Heritage Hall of Fame.

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The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources denies rumors that it is dropping snakes in eastern Kentucky from helicopters as part of a stocking plan.

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Kentucky State Police officers conducted a series of raids on suspected drug dealers in Letcher, Knott and Breathitt counties. Sixty-three sealed indictments and arrest warrants were served on 30 suspects in the three counties.

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The 24th annual Carcassonne School reunion will be held at the Carcassonne Community Center.

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A 78-yard punt return by junior tailback Billy Stamper and two goal-line stands by the defense highlighted Whitesburg’s 10-7 win over Prestonsburg.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Letcher Fiscal Court voted 4-2 to award a special permit to Equitable Resources to proceed with natural gas drilling operations in the Limbo Hollow Road area of Flat Gap. The motion was introduced by District One Magistrate Jim Ward after the court was unable to reach satisfactory language to approve an ordinance to allow gas companies to haul overweight drill rigs on county roads.

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Members of a Letcher County family have filed a civil lawsuit demanding that Begley Lumber Co. of London, and Pine Mountain Lumber Co. of Whitesburg return timber the family alleges was stolen from its property near Blackey. The suit charges that the two lumber companies “knew of should have known” that logs they bought from an Isom logger were stolen.

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Banners encouraging citizens to vote and take part in democracy are now hanging on lampposts throughout downtown Whitesburg. The banners were painted at Appalshop as part of a national gathering of artisans known as Art & Democracy.

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The second annual reenactment of the Civil War Battle of Whitesburg will take place Sept. 19 behind Parkway Plaza at Whitesburg. This year marks the 141st anniversary of the battle.


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