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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, October 18, 1934

An awful shock passed through Whitesburg Saturday when news circulated that Wayne Stamper, 19, high school student and only son of Letcher County Jailer James Stamper and his wife, Millie, was fatally injured while riding a motorcycle out on Sandlick Road. The young man was rushed to the Bach Hospital here, then to Seco, where he passed away. Wayne Stamper and two friends were riding a rather old motorcycle along the highway to Sandlick Gap and were returning to their homes when the motorcycle somehow dashed head-on into an automobile. The other two boys, Woodrow Williams and Curtis Adams, were only slightly injured.

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The excitement created by the finding of a person’s head — singed and covered with ashes — somewhere above Whitesburg still prevails, as the head is still on exhibition in Neon. The head belonging to the body of Jim Flinchum, found after Flinchum was hit by a train near Mayking recently, had never been recovered.

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Two Letcher County men have been sentenced to life in prison for murdering Dave Day during an attempted robbery at Big Cowan. Robert Day and Earl Brown were sentenced in Letcher Circuit Court last week after a jury found Robert Day guilty of murdering Dave Day and attempting to rob Dave Day’s mother. Earl Brown pleaded guilty to the same charges after the jury returned its verdict against Robert Day. Mrs. Sarah Day, the 70-yearold mother of the victim, told the jury, made up of Pike County men, about that dark night in the middle of July when she was sleeping in her home about midnight and awoke to find herself being choked by a man demanding her money. She said that her son had been sleeping with his wife in another room and awoke after hearing her struggle. Mrs. Day, a widow, said Dave Day was shot by one of the robbers as he came to her bedroom door to help her. She said the two men then fled the home. Earl Brown ran down Cowan Creek to his home, while Robert Day crossed Cowan Hill into Whitesburg. Both men confessed to the crime shortly after their arrests, but Robert Day recanted soon after. The courtroom was packed to near suffocation for the trial.

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Edgar Hall, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. George Hall, was arrested Saturday after he nearly shot the arm off his brother-in-law, Jesse Adams, son of Mr. and Mrs. Dock Adams of Colly. Adams was rushed to the Jenkins hospital, where his arm was amputated.

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Coming off a 13-13 tie with Hazard High School, the Stuart Robinson School Pirates went on the road to defeat the Witherspoon eleven, 38-0. The Stuart Robinson Pirates will play the Fleming Pirates on Saturday, October 20, at 2:30 p.m.

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The Jenkins Cavaliers traveled to Whitesburg Saturday to defeat the fumble-plagued Yellowjackets, 19-0.

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Health officials in Kentucky are attempting to stamp out diphtheria among children by immunization. Offi cials say that if 90 percent of the school children of Letcher County and Kentucky’s 119 other counties receive the proper dose of toxoid for five successive years, diphtheria, a disease which strikes the upper respiratory tract, would be stamped out in the state.

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Highway Commissioner Zach Justice tells The Mountain Eagle that just as soon as the rights-of-ways are obtained, work will begin on the proposed project to extend West Main Street in Whitesburg by tunneling through the hill directly across the North Fork of the Kentucky River. Two property holders — John P. Morgan and James P. Lewis — are holding out. However, members of Whitesburg’s business community have raised $1,239 to try to satisfy the demands of Morgan and Lewis.

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Brothers Henry Hogg, 12, and Carlisle Hogg, 9, are believed to have hopped a freight train headed for Lexington with two or three other boys. The boys are the sons of Mr. and Mrs. Sol Hogg of Whitesburg. Several weeks ago, Henry Hogg hopped a freight train here and ended up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The boy was returned to Letcher County by authorities.

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“Our correspondent from Indian Creek reported in our issue of October 4 that Sam Bates had beaten up Willie Hall,” a correction appearing in The Mountain Eagle says. “Ordinarily we would not let items like this slip in, but in this case it was overlooked. Mr. Bates was in to tell us that he never had an ill word with Mr. Hall in his life. We gladly make amends for publishing this statement.”

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I.B. Ritchie says he has sold the Ritchie Grocery Company at Neon to Booten Bates.

Thursday, October 19, 1944

The United States Supreme Court has refused to review the death sentence imposed on 35-year-old Tommy Nelson, a stove repairman from Logan, West Virginia who was convicted of murdering Freelin Estepp of Millstone and dumping his body near Kona. Nelson was convicted in February 1943 of killing Estepp, whom Nelson had given a ride after Nelson, his wife and Claude Ison had visited a Letcher County roadhouse.

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Seaman Second Class James Gladstone Perkins drowned during a training rescue mission, the Navy told his mother, Mrs. Mae Cornett Perkins of Cornettsville, by telegram. Not other information was provided. Young Perkins had served two years and nine months in the service, most of that time in the South Pacific. He attended school at Stuart Robinson and has several relatives in the Blackey area.

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Private Henry Mullins of Ermine has died of battle wounds he received September 7. Mullins, a son of Jonah Mullins of Pike County, lived in Letcher County with his uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hall.

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A Little Cowan soldier is listed as missing in action. Jeff Banks, son of Hiram Banks and son-in-law of J.H. Gibson, was fighting in southern France before he went missing.

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A Blackey man died Monday of injuries he sustained in a coal mining accident October 10. Wilson Miller was near the end of a day’s work when he was caught in a slate fall.

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A mining accident at Millstone has claimed the life of 50-year-old Annias Holbrook. Funeral arrangements can’t be made until his three sons arrive back in Letcher County from the service.

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Private McKinley Day has been wounded in action and is now in a base hospital in Italy.

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W.L. Stallard Jr. was seriously wounded somewhere in France. Stallard’s father, Whitesburg High School teacher W.L. Stallard, says his son lost a foot as a result of the wounds and will be treated at a hospital in Louisville when he returns to the United States.

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Clyde Flannery of Dunham is a member of the first-year class that entered the Yale Divinity School on September 25, at the opening of the fall term marking the New Haven, Connecticut school’s 123rd year. Flannery is a 1944 graduate of Berea College.

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Private Earl Halcomb, a rifleman from Hallie; Sergeant Elbert Hatton, a platoon guide from Whitesburg, and Private James D.S. Collins, also from Whitesburg, are members of the 350th Infantry Regiment, one of the 88th Infantry Division units which paced Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark’s Fifth Army smash from the Garigliano River to north of the Arono River in Italy. Men of the 350th, hardened mountain fighters, went into action in early March and paved the way for the advance of other Fifth Army units, who were the first to enter Rome when it was captured June 4. After rest and reorganization, Holcomb, Hatton, Collins and the rest of the 350th Infantry Regiment returned to the lines on July 7.

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A nephew of late educator and orator Booker T. Washington will speak October 25 at McRoberts and in Jenkins. He is Colonel Roscoe Conkling Simmons of Chicago, who is also considered one of the country’s great orators. Simmons has delivered addresses in nearly every state in the U.S.

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Among the last inspections given aircraft engines before they are shipped to operational bases of the U.S. Air Forces in England and the European continent is the checkup performed by Private First Class Dunk Quillen of Deane. Private Quillen, son of Mr. Scroge Quillen of Deane, is an engine checker at the huge Air Service Command Depot in England. His alertness in spotting flaws in newly overhauled engines often saves wasted man-hours by avoiding the placing of improperly assembled units on the test blocks. Quillen was employed by the Elk Horn Coal Corporation at Hemphill before entering the Army Air Force.

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Two soldiers from Letcher County have earned the right to wear Wings and Boots of the U.S. Army Paratroops. They are Private Bill J. Blair of Farraday and Private George W. Caudill of Premium.

Thursday, October 21, 1954

Whitesburg City Police Chief Odie Amburgey has announced that a new police walkie-talkie, two-way radio system has been installed in the city police and fire chief cars with the master station located in Whitesburg City Hall.

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Letcher County is an ideal location for growing strawberries, says the Letcher County Cooperative Extension Service. The Extension Service recommends property owners order plants now to be so they can be set in March. Many local farms could profit greatly from onehalf acre to an acre of strawberries, as returns per acre should range from between $800 and $3,500.

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Virgil Picklesimer of Whitesburg, an official with South East Coal Co. and member of the Kentucky Board of Education, has been invited to attend the inauguration of Dr. Adron Doran as the seventh president of Morehead State College.

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U.S. Senator John Sherman Cooper will speak at the Jenkins Field House on Tuesday, October 26 at 12:30 p.m. The public is invited.

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The Whitesburg Hep Cats will provide the music at Whitesburg VFW Post 5829’s Halloween Dance on Saturday, October 30. Admission is $2, stag or drag.

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Jenkins Schools Supt. C.V. Snapp has been elected as a member of the board of directors of the Kentucky Education Association. He will serve a three-year term.

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Cecil Hensley has returned to Whitesburg after finishing four weeks of intensive training in soil and water conservation. Henley runs the Letcher County office of the U.S. Soil Conservation Service.

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Corporal Davis L. Sexton, son of Mayme Wright of Neon, is leaving Korea with the 28th Infantry Division for its home station, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. The 25th “Tropic Lightning” Division, which saw more combat in Korea than any other unit, arrived on the peninsula in July 1950, shortly after the communist invasion. Sexton, a squad leader in the 14th Regiment’s Company L, entered he Army in January 1953 and arrived in Korea that August. He is a graduate of Fleming High School.

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Twenty-five Kentucky residents died in 1952 after being poisoned by furniture polish, Paris Green rodenticide, or from taking too many pills such as barbiturates, the Kentucky State Health Department says. The 25 are among 567 Kentuckians who died of accidental death in 1953. Most of the total deaths were caused by accidental falls.

Thursday, October 15, 1964

Four men have been indicted on charges of violating Kentucky’s liquor laws. The men are charged with possessing apparatus designed for the unlawful manufacture of alcoholic beverages, and with manufacturing moonshine whiskey.

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The Whitesburg City Council failed to respond this week to a United Mine Workers of America request that it repeal the city’s “right-to-work” ordinance.

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”Mrs. Marion Clay went out to see about a batch of apples she had drying in the sun,” writes Colson correspondent Mabel Kiser, “and found that the yellow jackets had been there first, leaving her only a small batch of apple dust.”

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JFG Peanut Butter is on sale at Hall Supermarket for 99 cents for a three-pound jar. JFG Instant Coffee is $1.59 for a 10-ounce jar and pork chops are 43 cents a pound.

Thursday, October 17, 1974

Two bank robbers were captured by Kentucky State Police on the Little Shepherd Trail. An apparent plan by the two to rob the Bank of Hindman was thwarted by 76-year-old Mrs. W.R. Smith, wife of the bank chairman of the board, who slammed her front door in the robbers’ faces. State police had expected an attempt to rob the Bank of Whitesburg or First Security Bank in Whitesburg, and had stationed troopers throughout Letcher County.

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The Jenkins City Council voted to raise all city water bills by $1.15 at a crowded, noisy session. The new minimum flat rate is $5.31 a month, and the new base rate for those homes with meters is $4.40 for the first 2,200 gallons used. Jenkins residents at the meeting complained not only of the new higher water bills, but also of low pressure, muddy and impure water, inaccurate meters, faulty reading of meters, and waterline leaks.

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Letcher County Judge Estill Blair says he will ask Fiscal Court for severance tax on all minerals and all timber production in Letcher County. Blair estimates a 10 cents a ton tax on coal will produce about $600,000 annually, and that limestone, timber, oil and gas fees will boost the total to about $1 million annually.

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A Mountain Eagle editorial on the coal boom says, “It is absolutely impossible to predict whether the boom and the millions are only a passing event of the moment, or whether it will all continue for the more or less indefi- nite future . . . Beyond doubt, there is a kind of stirring underway throughout the mountains — displaying a great unrest, as through textbook riots and strikes in West Virginia, and a growing aggressiveness, as the efforts of Hoover Dawahare, and various county judges and fiscal courts to get new tax revenues, to an expected determination, as in the recent strike by Letcher County teachers. We hope the stirring continues to spread and build until we can as an area move into the kind of situation where we be, if not richer than certainly no poorer than the rest of the nation; if not the nation’s leader, then not its follower, but a full and equal participant.”

Wednesday, October 24, 1984

Letcher County Judge/Executive Ruben Watts denied rumors that the county jail would be closed because it is in violation of state fire and building codes. He said the county is installing a second fire exit in the jail, which is on the third floor of the courthouse, and the project will be completed before the Nov. 22 deadline set by the state Corrections Cabinet.

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Golden Oak Mining Co. has shut down all of its surface mining operations in Letcher County, putting about 300 miners out of work.

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Kyle Campbell of Whitesburg, caught a 44-inch rockfish at Norris Lake near LaFollette, Tenn. The fish weighed 35 pounds.

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Five person have been inducted into the Letcher County Sports Hall of Fame. The inductees are: Lynn Perry, a former Whitesburg High School girls’ basketball standout; Buddy Roe, a former WHS baseball coach; Phil Greer, a former football and basketball star at Jenkins High School; John Rufus Hall, a former WHS football star; and John Bastolla, a Letcher County teacher who started the hall of fame.

Wednesday, October 19, 1994

Representatives of both teaching and non-teaching employment of the Letcher County school system have agreed to join forces to try to obtain pay raises for both groups. The management team sent in by the State Education Department to oversee operations in the county schools has offered small raises, but both teachers and non-teachers say the proposed increases are too small.

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Letcher Fiscal Court has voted to move into the basement of the Harry M. Caudill Memorial Library in Whitesburg while construction on the renovation of the Letcher County Courthouse is going on.

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The Whitesburg Yellowjackets football team secured the district championship with a 50-7 win over Shelby Valley, the school’s first since 1988.

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”Once again we have been invaded by ladybugs,” writes Colson correspondent Darlene Pettibone. “My house has been swarmed with them. They have gotten inside my windows and come inside. I am told they are not harmful, but they are annoying. We had some from last year that stayed all winter in our house.”

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The Letcher Fiscal Court has been informed that the Letcher Fire and Rescue Squad can no longer answer some calls for ambulance services because of cuts in the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs.

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School officials were pleased to hear testing score results of the Letcher County Public Schools. Beckham Bates Elementary School, Martha Jane Potter Elementary School and West Whitesburg Elementary Schools all met accountability goals in the 2002-2004 biennium based on results of the Commonwealth Accountability Testing Scores (CATS). None of the Letcher County Public Schools fell into the assistance category of performance.

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Goebel F. “Tex” Ritter, 80, a former coach and Letcher County Schools administrator, died Oct. after a long illness. He was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of World War II, and played professional basketball for the New York Knicks from 1948 to 1951.

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The Whitesburg Yellowjackets volleyball team wrapped up its second straight district title with a win over Letcher High School.


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