Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, October 4

A nine-year-old McRoberts boy has been cleared of criminal charges in the death of a neighbor boy, also nine, who died after the two were fighting. Virgil Holbrook, who weighs 69 pounds, was cleared after an examining trial in Whitesburg. According to evidence, the two little boys were out near McRoberts hunting cows with some older boys when one of the older boys offered Holbrook ten cents or 15 cents to whip Winifred Adams. The fight began and Holbrook struck Adams several times in the back with his fists. After considerable wrestling and rolling, the Adams boy returned home with his face flushed and complaining that he was injured. The Adams boy’s condition gradually grew worse until physicians were called and he was sent to the Jenkins hospital, where he died of kidney trouble 15 days after the fight. “The whole routine of evidence showed that it was a little boy fight with no intent of doing serious injury or placing a little life on the altar,” writes Mountain Eagle editor Nehemiah M. Webb. The editor criticizes “young men, and often older ones, [who] prompt and ‘agg on’ children to fight, making them believe it is brave and honorable for them to do so. Passions and [anger] in children, and in grown persons, create poisons in the body that may result in death.”

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Searchers have been unable to find the head missing from a body found on the railroad track at Mayking. The badly mangled body of Jim Flinchum, a sawmill man and farmer of about 55 from Sergent, was found Monday on the track behind Charlie Hogg’s home. Flinchum, who according to a Mountain Eagle report was “a drinking man,” was last seen “stirring around Mayking perfectly sober” on the evening before his body was discovered. Writes The Eagle: “Jim Flinchum when out of whiskey was an upright and honorable man, and when drinking was generally quiet and peaceable. He was a hard worker and reared a large family, most of who are grown.”

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A number of court-ordered sales were held Monday in front of the Letcher County Courthouse. Among the properties that generally went for low prices were Dr. B.F. Wright’s purchase of the 100-acre farm formerly owned by Dr. Fitzpatrick on Solomon in Whitesburg and Dr. Wright’s purchase of the entire Apex Coal Company. Sol Frazier became owner of the small vacant business lot on Main Street in Whitesburg, next to the First National Bank building. Frequently there was lively bidding. Mr. Fairchild bought several pieces of the Dr. Fitzpatrick property on behalf of the Fitzpatrick heirs. The property was sold for debts owed to the old National Bank.

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A captive whale billed as the “largest sea mammal ever captured” is on display today and tomorrow at the railroad depot in Lynch, Ky. Admission is 10 cents adults; children under 12 free.

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The Whitesburg Liquor Dispensary is opening for business this week at the corner of Main Street and Webb Avenue. The proprietor is Louis Budnick, who is known to many for his years as a merchant in Neon.

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Testimony began Wednesday in the trial of James Hughes, charged with the murder of Joe Drew. Two witnesses testified yesterday. Mrs. Drew, widow of the slain man, told of the quarrel she had with Hughes the evening before and of his coming to the house in Haymond the next morning and calling her husband outside. Mrs. Drew also told of two punches being thrown, one by each man, and then of Hughes shooting her husband to death. The killing took place on Sunday morning, July 8.

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The Little Colley basketball team defeated Smoot Creek, 17-10. Little Colley also won an arithmetic match between the two.

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A dedication ceremony for the new Presbyterian Church in the Cumberland River Valley will be held Sunday. The building replaces the old church that was built 30 years ago. Rev. H.L. Cockerman of Blackey will preach at the morning service.

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Miss Viola Combs, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Combs, and Ferdinand Moore, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Moore, announce their engagement to be married. The wedding will be held next June 9 in Mount Vernon, Ky.

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At this time on Wednesday, 42 persons are confined in the county jail on Broadway.

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“If our business people of Letcher and Perry counties do not do something at once, they are going to lose the great Appalachian Highway extending directly from the Great Lakes through Kentucky, through Hazard and Whitesburg and on to St. Augustine, Fla., and on to the Gulf,” writes Eagle editor Webb. “A great meeting of this highway association is to be held at Appalachia and Big Stone Gap on October 11. Arouse and we probably save it; sleep and we surely lose it. Harlan is armed to take it away from us.”

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October has been proclaimed “Hit Month” at the Kentucky Theatre in Whitesburg. Scheduled for showing are these top films released so far in 1934: “Dr. Monica” starring Kay Francis; “Little Man, What Now?” (Margaret Sullavan, Douglass Montgomery); “Housewife” (Bette Davis); “Side Streets” (Aline MacMahon, Paul Kelly); “She Loves Me Not” (Bing Crosby, Miriam Hopkins and Kitty Carlisle); “The Dragon Murder Case” (Warren William, Margaret Lindsay); “The Circus Clown” (Joe E. Brown, Patricia Ellis, Dorothy Burgess); “The Cat’s Paw” (Harold Lloyd, Una Merkel); “Ladies Should Listen” (Cary Grant, Frances Drake); “The Notorious Sophie Lange” (Gertrude Michael, Paul Cavanagh); ”Friends of Mr. Sweeney” (Charles Ruggles, Ann Dvorak); “The Scarlet Empress” (Marlene Dietrich, John Lodge); and “Stand Up and Cheer” (Shirley Temple). (Note: The Production Code Association (PCA) asked that “Dr. Monica” be pulled from theaters because of references to adultery and pregnancy.)

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An advertisement for Whitesburg Wholesale Company says it is now carrying Oertel’s ’92 beer. The beer is brewed in Louisville.

Thursday, October 5, 1944

Private Bill Ison of Letcher County was killed in action in France on September 12. His mother, Mrs. Virgie Ison of Oscaloosa, learned of her son’s death by a telegram sent by the War Department on September 27.

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A Letcher County soldier who was killed in action in the Marianna Islands died while trying to clear Japanese soldiers out of a cave, his parents have learned. George Blanton is described as “a fearless and very brave boy” in a letter to Blanton’s mother, Mrs. James Howard of Thornton, written by Sergeant John Gumbo. “It was on the 22nd day of fighting in Saipan, our company was sent to clean out the caves along the beach,” writes Sgt. Gumbo. “As we were moving up, some of the boys spotted a cave from which Jap snipers were firing. George, who always was a fearless and very brave boy, went up to the ledge to plant a demolition charge to clean the Japs out of the cave. It was during the course of this that George was killed by sniper fire from within the cave.”

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Corporal Willie Webb was in the war zone for 34 months, which is quite a feat. He has seen action in North Africa, the Marshall Islands, New Guinea, Australia and other places. His father, Riley Webb, was injured recently when he fell from an apple tree and had to be taken to the Fleming hospital for treatment.

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Dr. B.F. Wright and S.J. Bates have purchased the mining operation owned and operated by John Holcomb on Camp Branch. They paid more than $7,000 for the works.

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The Whitesburg High School Athletics Association has been formed by 25 to 30 businessmen from Whitesburg. The men, who met and organized at the Daniel Boone Hotel on Friday, have already raised $600 for the purpose of buying new football and basketball uniforms.

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In spite of government restrictions and shortage of labor and building materials, several improvements have been made to homes and businesses in the City of Whitesburg. In addition to three beautiful new homes being constructed, the Kentucky Theatre has beautified its entrance, enlarged its lobby, and made a comfortable window box for the ticket seller. The theater is now as pretty as one you can find in a big city. There have also been changes at Dawahare’s Department Store, where the rear section of the adjoining building as been annexed and made into a roomy and convenient men’s department. The front half of the building has been remodeled for the Adams Beauty Shoppe, which is now one of the prettiest shops in town. Coy Holstein has purchased the building in which his hardware store is located, and will soon occupy the entire building.

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Private First Class Homer Tackett has been awarded the Bronze Star for heroic service an action while serving in a medical detachment on the Fifth Army front in Italy. He is the son of Samuel W. Tackett of Cromona.

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Mr. and Mrs. Joe Toth of Dunham have three sons in the service. Stephen Toth serves in the Navy and is stationed in Seattle, Washington. Sam is stationed in India, and William is stationed somewhere in the South Pacific.

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Mr. and Mrs. W.C. Hall of Dunham have three sons in the service. Forest Hall is now serving in North Africa, Charles Hall is stationed at Sampson, New York for Navy training, and Herman Hall is training at Camp Lee, Virginia.

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Mr. and Mrs. Bob Lester of Dunham have one son and six nephews in the armed forces. Their son, Private Edward Lester who fought in the invasion of France, is still serving overseas. One nephew, Thomas Hunt, was wounded in the invasion of Italy and presented with the Purple Heart. One nephew, Technical Sergeant Asey Hurley is stationed at Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi. Asey’s brother, Private Elster Hurley, has been in the service for nearly four years and also fought during the invasion of France.

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The Army reports that Challis F. Ison, 23, of Premium, has been promoted to the rank of corporal. Ison, who is fighting somewhere in the South Pacific, was rewarded for “his faithful service and efficient performance of his duties.” He is the son of Mr. Roosevelt Ison of Premium.

Thursday, October 7, 1954

Former Whitesburg resident George Dewey Polly is president and leading stockholder of a company that is building the first radio station to serve Naples, Florida. Visitors approaching Naples from Miami can now see the 210-foot tower with the flashing red light on top to warn low flying planes of its existence. The station’s call letters are WNOG (Wonderful Naples on the Gulf). It will only operate in daylight hours at first.

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The football teams of Jenkins, Stuart Robinson, Fleming-Neon and Whitesburg high schools and their coaches and principals have been invited to be guests of Morehead State College at the Morehead-Western game Saturday afternoon for “High School Football Day.”

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Vice President Richard Nixon and Kentucky Senator John Sherman Cooper drew crowds of several thousand persons Monday in appearances at Pineville, Barbourville and Lexington. Nixon is on tour of Kentucky on behalf of Cooper’s campaign for re-election. “There isn’t a Senator who stands higher in the respect of President Eisenhower,” said Nixon, who was accompanied to Kentucky by his wife, Pat.

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Surface mining methods last year accounted for the production of more than 8.25-million tons of bituminous coal by 166 companies in West Virginia.

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The Whitesburg Yellowjackets defeated Hazard, 34-0, in what many believe to be their best effort of the 1954 campaign. Whitesburg was again led by Buddy Fields.

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The Prestonsburg Blackcats stunned Jenkins Friday night, scoring three touchdowns before the Cavaliers could recover to cut the final score to 21-13.

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Clark Gable, Lana Turner and Victor Mature star in “Betrayed,” a spy thriller set in World War II showing at the Alene Theatre in Whitesburg October 10-11.

Thursday, October 1, 1964

The Blackey Community Economic Opportunity Committee has requested funds to establish a “Mountain Family Service Center” — which would be something of a supermarket for services in health, educational, recreational and vocational matters. Included would be an out-patient clinic, an after-school study center, vocational counseling service, an arts and crafts center, housing for senior citizens, a model instructional farm, a community park, adult education, a youth center and vocational training.

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A group of Whitesburg merchants announced this week that they did not know anything about the city’s right-to-work law until after it was passed. In a letter to the editor of The Mountain Eagle, the merchants said they hope the city council will repeal the ordinance.

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Babies who received all three doses of Sabin oral polio vaccine before their first birthday need a booster dose, the Letcher County Health Department said.

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”It all depends on how you look at it,” writes Millstone correspondent Mabel Kiser. “Squirrel hunters on Millstone are afraid it won’t rain — schoolchildren are afraid it will.”

Thursday, October 3, 1974

A teachers’ strike has closed down the Letcher County schools. The teachers are demanding salary increases.

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Stanley Finley, owner of the Finley Coal Co. deep mine at Hurricane Creek in Leslie County where 38 miners were killed in 1970, is reportedly involved in opening another deep mine with Southern Mississippi Electric Power Association of Hattiesburg, Miss. The mine would be near the Daniel Boone National Forest.

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About 50 students at Letcher School staged a sit-in to protest conditions at the school. The students say they were protesting lack of place for students to smoke, quality of the food in the lunchroom, teacher mishandling of parents, and the need for parents to come to the school for unexplained absences for students who left class to use the restroom. The students are also seeking organization of a parent-teacher group for the school.

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Kentucky Gov. Wendell Ford proclaimed Oct. 12 “Hoover Dawahare Day,” citing Dawahare’s “qualities of integrity, compassion, industry and wisdom.” Dawahare will be the guest of honor at the annual Southern Kentucky Homecoming Festival at Booneville.

Wednesday, October 10, 1984

A fire in downtown Neon put families out of 11 apartments, destroyed a dance academy, and caused extensive smoke and water damage to several businesses. The cause of the fire is undetermined.

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”Letcher included about half of Knott County (in 1858) and yet only 112,156 acres had been patented and taken into private hands and available for taxation,” writes Whitesburg attorney and author Harry M. Caudill. “The entire tax base of the county on land, town lots, 63 slaves, 622 horses, 19 mules, 1 jenny, 3,707 cattle and 6,013 hogs amounted to $291,101. There were five stores in the county.”

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Fifty-six Letcher County mining operations were shut down because of problems in qualifying for permits under the “permanent program” of the Kentucky Department for Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. The mines have been operating under an “interim program” bridging the time during which the state agency took over control of the permitting process from the federal Office of Surface Mining.

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The Ison family held its annual molasses stir-off on Cowan. Friends and family gathered to help Clarence and Sara Ison make molasses from sorghum cane.

Wednesday, October 5, 1994

The annual preliminary assessment test scores for Kentucky schools were a mixed bag in Letcher County. Whitesburg High School showed the fourth largest percentage declined (19.4 percent) from earlier scores among the schools across the state. Campbell’s Branch and Letcher middle schools showed marked improvement (50.8 percent and 43.1 percent respectively) as did Kingdom Come elementary school, which for the second year posted the greatest improvement of any fourth grade in the state (334.9 percent).

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The Whitesburg Yellowjackets football team remains unbeaten in district play, while the Jenkins Cavaliers are on a four-game winning streak.

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Thirty parents from the Sugar Grove area attended a meeting of the Letcher County Board of Education to complain over changes in the scheduling of buses, which transport their children to and from Kingdom Come Elementary School. They said the buses have started running as much as an hour earlier and delivering their children back home as much as an hour later since the beginning of the school year.

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Tom and Pat Gish, publishers of The Mountain Eagle, have been honored with a new journalism award bearing their names from the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues. The Gishes are also the first recipients of the Tom and Pat Gish Award.

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The Letcher County Board of Education approved a proposed tax increase of four percent, up from 44.5 cents to 50.5 cents per $100 value of property.

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”We must have been having a ‘wild duck spell’ as the old folks used to call these little cool spells in early fall,” writes Ice correspondent Sara C. Ison.

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The fall forest fire hazard season began Oct. 1 in Kentucky. Until it ends Dec. 15, burning within 150 feet of a woodland or brushland is illegal from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.


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