Whitesburg KY
Sunny
Sunny
83°F
 

The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, September 20, 1934

A nine-year-old McRoberts boy is charged with murder in the beating death of a 10-year-old boy. Virgil Holbrook is accused of murdering the son of Jesse Adams, who was reared on Middle Linefork. Police say the Holbrook and Adams boys were driving cows from a pasture in the McRoberts area when a fight broke out after a group of older boys took up a collection of money to give to Holbrook if he whipped the Adams boy. The Adams boy was fatally injured after being struck with fists, clubs and rocks. Several of the older boys have also been arrested in connection with the case. “The Holbrook boy is quite small for his age,” The Mountain Eagle reports in a front-page story. The image of the boy “standing in the door of the jail Sunday evening crying for his parents made a pitiful picture.”

.

The Kentucky Department of Highways proposes to tunnel the hill leading from West Main Street under the Wilse Fields home to help straighten the dangerous curves leading out of Whitesburg toward Hazard on Kentucky Highway 15. The Eagle reports that if rightsof way are obtained “there is to be no cost whatever to the county provided that property holders along the new way join heartily and reasonably in the project. Mr. Fields, who owns the hill through which the tunnel is to be constructed, we understand, will concede freely of the right of way.” The question now, The Eagle points out, is whether the Bentley, Frazier, Webb, Zimmerman and Lewis families will also agree to give up their properties for the project.

.

An election will be held in three Letcher County voting precincts on November 6 on the question as to whether or not cattle, hogs, horses, pigs and mules will be permitted to run at-large in the precincts at Hallie (No. 27), Polly (No. 30), and Bluefield (No. 45).

.

Dr. Robert McReynolds, who had been in bad health for several months, has died at his home in McRoberts. Dr. McReynolds, “a Mason and a sterling Democrat,” came to Letcher County as an employee of Consolidation Coal Company many years ago, The Eagle reports.

.

“We are asked almost daily what the purpose is of the vessel that is suspended over the cylinder press in this office,” Mountain Eagle editor and publisher Nehemiah M. Webb writes. “It was put there to catch the water that pours through the roof on rainy days — and how she do pour! It was found to be impossible to run the press during a shower, and hence the pitcher. The owner of the building promises to come down and see it work someday.”

.

“In Whitesburg, on a street called Broadway, is a stone building erected at public expense for the sum of $10,000,” says a story headlined “Two Houses” that appears on the front page. “The building you will, of course, recognize as the county jail. Alongside this building is another stone building in process of construction. Its site is paid for, the basement story erected, and [we are] now informed, the upper story is ready to be pushed to early completion. When this is done, the two buildings [the Letcher County Jail and the Presbyterian Church] will stand side by side. One is to hold criminals away from the public and the other is to teach boys and girls a better way of life. One is a temporary stopping place for he who gropes along the Low Way and the other an inspiration to he who climbs the Great Highway. In which building would you have your boy or girl be found? The jailhouse cost about $1 for each man, woman and child in the county’s population at the time it was built. To complete the church would require two cents for each of the present population. Which is the better investment?”

.

Dan Mitchell, five-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Willie Blair of Craft’s Colly, is the lucky buyer of the winning lottery ticket for a $1,500 house and lot at Kona. The lucky little boy held a single 50-cent ticket for the property.

.

The Cow Branch School at Tillie is said to be progressing nicely under the leadership of Principal Ray Collins and Assistant Principal Verna Polly.

.

The Sunday papers in Cincinnati carried accounts of the serious wounding of Mrs. Draxie Smallwood Johnson, daughter of Mrs. Daisy Smallwood of Whitesburg. The accounts stated that Draxie Johnson’s husband stabbed her with an ice pick, wounding her seriously, after trouble arose between the couple when Mrs. Johnson did not take interest in her lessons on a mandolin. The husband is a native of Pikeville.

.

An 11-year-old East Tennessee girl has given birth to a baby girl weighing seven and one-half pounds. The mother is believed to be the youngest ever to give birth to a child in this region of the United States. The infant, blue-eyed with black hair, is normal in every way. Mother and child are “doing fine,” the Jefferson Hospital in Sevier County, Tennessee reports.

.

The East Kentucky Stave and Lumber Company has installed a third mill in the Ulvah area.

Thursday, September 21, 1944

Private Dishman E. Banks was killed in action in France on July 26, the War Department confirmed in a telegraph sent to his widow, Mrs. Alice Banks of Dongola, on August 28. “It is with regret that I am writing to confirm the recent telegram informing you of the death of your husband,” writes Major General J.A. Ulio. “I fully understand your desire to learn as much as possible regarding the circumstances leading to his death and I wish that there were more information available to give you. Unfortunately, reports of this nature contain only the briefest details as they are prepared under battle conditions and the means of transmission are limited. I know the sorrow this message has brought you and it is my hope that in time the knowledge of his heroic service to his country, even unto death, may be of sustaining comfort to you.”

.

A September 11 telegram from the War Department reports that Sergeant Silas M. Crase, formerly of Whitesburg, has been missing in action over Germany since August 27. Crase, a tail gunner, has been in Italy in the 97th Bomber Group since July.

.

Funeral services will be held in Whitesburg today (Thursday) for George H. Fuller, a native of San Antonio, Texas who died September 18 in a slate fall in the coalmine at Fleming. Fuller was raised on the Cross Road Cattle Ranch in Texas before leaving at age 15 to enlist in the U.S. Army. After enlisting in the Army a second time in May 1917, Mr. Fuller was wounded twice — on August 8, 1918 and September 10, 1918 — in the Argonne Forest and was honorably discharged in June 1919. He came to Letcher County in August 1923 and was employed by Consolidated Fuel Company at Elsiecoal.

.

Japs hiding in caves behind Marine lines have found a nemesis in Private First Class Arthur R. Black, 26, of Whitesburg. Black, leading small cave patrols throughout the campaign, routed more than 20 Japs from about 100 caves. His patrols numbered four men with rifles and grenades. Marine Black is a son of Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Black of Whitesburg.

.

The Kellogg Foundation has appropriated a large sum of money to be used in a program of “Health Education in Kentucky” in conjunction with the state, county and Jenkins education departments and the Letcher County Fiscal Court. The Kellogg Foundation is donating the money after becoming concerned by the “enormous number of rejections for military service” in the Letcher County “due largely to physical defects which could have easily been prevented or corrected had early knowledge of their existence been brought to light and proper corrective measures taken.”

.

U.S. Senator Albert B. Chandler of Kentucky called attention this week to a provision of the government that makes a large American flag available to the families who have had a boy die while serving in the Armed Forces. To get the flags, said Chandler, eligible families should secure Veterans Administration Form 2008 from the nearest VA office or local post office, produce the notice of death, state that they have not received a flag, fill out the form and either take it or mail it to the nearest VA office.

.

Sergeant George W. Short of Jenkins is a member of a B-24 Liberator Squadron which has been cited by Major General William E. Kepner, Second Bombardment Division Commander, for completing 54 missions against objectives in Germany and occupied territories without loss of a single airplane or crew member. A propeller specialist, Sergeant Short worked as a dispatcher for Consolidation Coal Company in Jenkins before joining the Army in 1942. He has been in the European Theatre since last November.

.

In a letter to the editor written by Letcher County resident T.E. Morton, the late Harold B. Thornton is remembered as a brave soldier who left many friends behind when he was killed in action recently. Thornton was born at Jenkins in 1918 and lived at Hotspot and Bellcraft. He attended Whitesburg High School before dropping out to be employed by Sandlick Coal Company at Bellcraft. He joined the Armed Forces in February 1942.

Thursday, September 16, 1954

The FBI has announced that James Halcomb, who escaped from the Kentucky State Reformatory at LaGrange several years ago after being convicted of attempting a bank heist here, has been captured in Dubuque, Iowa and returned to prison to serve the remainder of his life term. Halcomb and Carmen Stacey were arrested while trying to break into the Bank of Whitesburg on Sunday, November 5, 1946. Whitesburg Police Judge Clark Day, who was serving as temporary night watchman, was beaten unconscious by the two men when he caught them in the act. City Patrolman Joe Blair then apprehended the two men, who were later convicted and sentenced to life by a federal court jury.

.

Hexie Maxie, the lone survivor of a car wreck that killed 11 people, has been released from the Fleming hospital. Maxie, a 40-year-old coal miner whose wife and three children were among those killed, was severely burned in the crash. The wreck occurred near Whitesburg on July 31 when the car in which the group was riding crashed into a cliff on Pine Mountain and burned.

.

Letcher County Judge James M. Caudill wants a rightof way survey made for the proposed road that would connect Linefork with the road leading to Pine Mountain Settlement School. Judge Caudill and the Linefork Improvement Group hope the road will be included in the state primary road system and connect with Pineville in Bell County.

.

The Whitesburg Rotary Club is pleased with the progress of its first Community Birthday Calendar. The cost of getting a name put on the calendar is 50 cents. If four or more names from the same family are placed on the calendar, that family gets a calendar for free. Copies of the calendar will sell for 50 cents to everyone else.

.

Gulf Oil is introducing a “super refined” gasoline to the Letcher County market. The new product, which became available September 15, is called Super-Refined Gulf No-Nox.

.

Fifty wild turkeys were released this week in the Pine Mountain Game Preserve. Game Warden Bill Long urges the public to give every protection to the birds and other wildlife that are being replenished. The Preserve has already been stocked with deer.

.

The Stuart Robinson School at Blackey reports its highest enrollment to date, with 309 high school students and 241 grade school students now attending classes. Forty-three boys — eight of them foreign students — live in the boys’ dormitory, while 30 girls live in the girls’ dorm.

.

The Whitesburg Church of God is the recipient of one of 10 bells the Louisville and Nashville Railroad removed from steam locomotives it is scrapping. “An end will soon come to the silencing imposed previously by ‘old age’ and the march of progress,” an L&N release says, referring to the switch from coal- to diesel-powered locomotives. “Henceforth, however, the bells will ring from atop churches instead of locomotives as a result of their recent donation by the L&N.” Churches in Lexington, Louisville, and two in Alabama also received one of the 10 bells. The L&N has now donated a total of 320 engine bells from locomotives it has scrapped over the past four years. The railroad said the recipients mostly are “small needy churches alone its lines, located in rural areas for the most part.”

.

The Whitesburg Yellowjackets opened the 1954 football season with a 19-6 win over Paintsville, which entered the game as one of the most highly regarded teams in the Eastern Kentucky Mountain Conference.

Thursday, September 17, 1964

Roxana native Major Bernard Boggs, until recently the commanding officer of the U.S. Army Strategic Communications Command’s East Coast Radio Transmitting Station at Woodbridge, Va., has received the Army Commendation Medal. Major Boggs was cited for “exceptionally meritorious service” in his job at Woodbridge and as assistant chief of the logistics division USASCC-CONUS.

.

The Letcher County Board of Education voted unanimously not to permit residents of the Payne Gap section near Jenkins to transfer into the Jenkins School System. The State Board of Education said it will not approve the transfer unless the Jenkins School System agrees to pay the Letcher County System a proportionate share of the cost of building the new consolidated school now under construction at Kona.

.

”Residents in and around Van were saddened last week to learn of the tragic drowning of Charles and Sammy Holcomb, 9- and 11-year-old sons of Charles and Willie Marie Isom Halcomb, grandchildren of Mr. and Mrs. Monroe Holcomb and Mrs. Dora Bell Adkins, all of Van,” writes correspondent Mabel Kiser. “The boys, only children of the Charles Holcombs, were attending a picnic with their parents near their home in Powell, Ohio. They were fishing on raft a little way from shore on the Miami River. Sammy fell overboard and Charles jumped in after him and both boys drowned.”

.

Jan Anderson of Haymond is expected to help handle kicking chores for Georgetown College’s football team this fall. Anderson is also a quarterback.

.

“Folks flip for Pet fresh milk,” boasts an advertisement purchased by the dairy company. “Just be sure it’s PET … you bet!”

.

The Kentucky Department of Highways is calling for bids for the sale and removal of nine buildings at Isom and Little Colley Creek located on highway department right-of-way needed for improvements to the Whitesburg Hazard road (KY 15).

.

Mr. and Mrs. Sherman Baker of Sandlick celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary earlier this month.

Thursday, September 19, 1974

Letcher County Judge Estill Blair promised a group of 25 parents at Campbell’s Branch School that all county road equipment would be assigned to their area for two weeks. Campbell’s Branch School Principal Shelby Watts said road conditions on Turkey Creek, Bates Fork and Long Branch have forced the school to discontinue bus service to the Turkey Creek and Bates Fork area.

.

”The runaway inflation which now is hitting the United States has cast a shadow of fear in increasing numbers of households,” says a Mountain Eagle editorial. “We do not believe the nation can wait while President Ford takes us through a long series of monthly, or even weekly, ‘summit conferences’ about the economy. Action which should have been taken during the Nixon era when we really didn’t have a president is long overdue. The nation, and President Ford, have no time to waste.”

.

Another Mountain Eagle editorial says, “The City of Whitesburg has issued a building permit to Mrs. Aileen Howard, owner of the building housing the Mountain Eagle’s burned-out office . . . There is no estimate as to when the work can start or how long it will take . . . The continuing support of Eagle readers and their continuing patience as we publish under difficult circumstances are sources of great satisfaction to the entire staff.”

.

”We sure have been having a lot of rain lately,” writes Blair Branch correspondent Callie Blair. “Sure hope it dries up so everyone can get their potatoes dug. If it stays wet, they may rot.”

Wednesday,

September 26, 1984

The Letcher County school board is seeking an alternate location to the Whitesburg industrial site on which to build the proposed new Whitesburg High School. The City of Whitesburg is appealing a judicial decision saying the school board can condemn the industrial site. Supt. Jack Burkich calls the search for another site a “back-up plan.”

.

Coalfield property owners are hailing a ruling that a coal company cannot strip and auger mine the land of a Perry County woman under a 1910 broad form deed. A law passed by the 1984 Kentucky General Assembly recognizes a mineral owner’s rights under the broad form deed, but restricts mining to the methods in use at the time the deed was signed.

.

The results of the state Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills show both the Letcher County and Jenkins school systems rank near the bottom in the list of state school systems on achievement scores. Neither system is up to the level the state has set as a minimum.

.

The Jenkins Cavaliers broke away from a scoreless first quarter to defeat Elkhorn City 32-15. After dropping three games in a row, the Whitesburg Yellowjackets got back on the winning track by overcoming M.C. Napier 44-28.

Wednesday,

September 21, 1994

Letcher County has been chosen as the site of a pilot project to test some innovative sewage treatment programs aimed at cleaning up the Kentucky River. State offi cials planned to choose a small community which does not have access to a municipal sewage hookup. The officials will construct a sewage system there.

.

The first round of bills for Letcher County’s new mandatory garbage pickup service brought the first round of complaints from county residents.

.

An article on Letcher County native Martin Van Buren Bates describes his service in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Bates was 7 feet, 4 inches tall. After the Civil War, he joined John Robinson’s Traveling Circus as the “World’s Tallest Man.”

.

”Forrest Gump” starring Tom Hanks is being held over at the Whitesburg I & 2 cinema. Also showing is “The Next Karate Kid.”

.

Among activities scheduled at the Mountain Heritage Festival are a street dance, storytelling by Edith Wright, a carnival, and chess and horseshoe tournaments. The finale will be a salute to World War II veterans.

Wednesday,

September 22, 2004

A Mayking man charged with illegally shooting a black bear in his backyard was fined $250 this week after pleading guilty in Letcher District Court. He decided to enter an “Alford plea” after a six-member jury failed to agree on a verdict after spending about two hours deliberating. An Alford plea means a defendant does not admit guilt but concedes there is sufficient evidence for a conviction.

.

Teachers in the Letcher County School System have voted to participate in a one-day walkout to protest higher health insurance premiums order by Gov. Ernie Fletcher.

.

Sherd and Alma Martin of Millstone, will celebrate their 76th wedding anniversary on Oct. 18.

.

Homer “Buster” Brown of Jenkins, received the Outstanding Educator award during the Jenkins Days Festival. Brown came to Jenkins High School in 1973 as band director. In 1985 he was named assistant principal and athletic director. He served as principal of Jenkins High School from 1992 to 1996.


Leave a Reply