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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, October 29, 1914

Letcher County voters will be asked to answer this question when they go to the polls to vote November 3: “Are you in favor of issuing bonds of Letcher County for the purpose of building roads and bridges in Letcher County?” The Mountain Eagle is among the county’s businesses and institutions urging citizens to vote for the bond issue, saying, “good roads are the life veins to any community.”

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Letcher County Judge H.T. Day is urging voters to approve the road bond issue. Day says that if voters do OK the issue, the bonds will generate $75,000 for the county, with “every dollar expended upon the building of good roads.” The state will also appropriate $75,000. Day proposes that the new roads start in “Whitesburg and build toward Hindman, Hazard, McRoberts and the Cumberland River section.”

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Neon’s Savoy Hotel, the hotel that’s nearest to the train station, is now charging $1 a day for “newly furnished rooms [that are] first class in every way.” The Brown Hotel in Jenkins is advertising rooms for $2 a day, the same rate being charged by the Ewen Hotel in Jackson.

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The inventory of the bankrupt Adams Brothers’ Store in Whitesburg has been purchased and the store will reopen November 3 at The Empire Clothing Store.

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“Prohibition has taken the ‘gin’ out of Virginia, the ‘sip’ out of Mississippi, the ‘kan’ out of Arkansas, most of the ‘tuck’ out of Kentucky, and reduced the ‘nois’ in Illinois.” — from western Kentucky’s Cadiz Record.

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Telephone messages Monday evening from Poor Fork stated that Lincoln Coldiron, son of Felix Coldiron and nephew of Judge and M.D. Lewis of Whitesburg, has been critically wounded by an accidental gunshot. The shots were fired by a peace officer attempting to quell a row. Coldiron was trying to stop the fight when he was wounded, apparently so badly that he wasn’t expected to live. He was taken from the scene to the Harlan hospital.

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The Baltimore Bargain Store is now open for business in the First National Bank Building in Whitesburg.

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“Woodrow Wilson, by reason of his unexampled characteristic of great statesmanship, has proven himself to be the biggest man of the age and the ablest man that has occupied the Presidential chair since Abraham Lincoln,” Mountain Eagle editor Emin Elam writes of the Democrat. “Even the leading Republicans of the nation are praising President Wilson and his administration.”

Thursday, November 1, 1934

Police say an Indian Creek man shot and killed his brother-in-law about 3 p.m. yesterday (Wednesday). Willie Martin and his two sons were passing by the home of Willie Hall when Hall ran from his home and started firing at the elder Martin, hitting him in the back with a bullet that killed him instantly. Hall also fired at the two Martin boys as they ran from the scene, but did not hit either of them. Hall is married to Martin’s sister. Both men were brothers-in-law of Henry Bentley, who was shot and killed just several days ago in the same area of Rockhouse Creek. In the earlier shooting, Willie Martin and five others, including Sam Bates, were at the Tolliver home at Big Branch when Bates shot and killed Bentley after the two began arguing. The elder Martin was about 45. Hall is being held in the Letcher County Jail.

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Former Kentucky Lieutenant Governor James Breathitt, widely considered the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for governor next year, died at his home in Hopkinsville this week after a very short, twoday battle with pneumonia.

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Kermit Grocery No. 2 will be open soon with a full stock of groceries on Main Street in Whitesburg in the First National Bank room. Owner Kermit Combs returned from Cincinnati this week with new equipment for his new store. The “best equipped store in eastern Kentucky” is selling an eight-pound pail of lard for $1.07. A 100-pound sack of potatoes sells for $1.25, while a 20-ounce box of Mother’s Oats is going for 10 cents.

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Work will begin at once on a new state road between Blackey and Ulvah. S.H. Hart Construction has been awarded the bid for grade and drain work for a distance of 4.4 miles.

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In a battle of schools in Consolidation Coal Company towns, the Jenkins Cavaliers defeated the Van Lear Bank Mules, 19-2, in a football game at Jenkins. The game between the two schools used to be played on Thanksgiving Day, but has been moved up on the schedule recently.

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The Stuart Robinson High School football team and its fans were greatly surprised when the Whitesburg High School 11 defeated the Pirates, 13-6. The win broke a twogame losing streak for the Yellowjackets.

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The powerful Evarts Wildcats trounced the visiting Fleming-Neon Pirates, 47-0. Evarts’ only loss this season was at Benham.

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“Anybody we ask tells us that work remains exceedingly good at most of the coal operations above Whitesburg. Anyway, people coming to town from up that way have money in both pockets.” Those are the observations of Mrs. C.L. Kilgore in her “Personal Column.” Mrs. Kilgore is the wife of Mountain Eagle owner and manager C.L. Kilgore. Nehemiah M. Webb is still the paper’s editor.

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A dozen or so workmen are rushing work on the walls of the new Presbyterian Church in Whitesburg. Joe Romeo is in charge.

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Mrs. John Palumbo of Whitesburg was admitted to the Bach Hospital early today (Thursday), where she underwent an operation for appendicitis.

Thursday, November 2, 1944

In a “letter to the voters,” the Letcher County Board of Education says “due to the war we were forced to discontinue transportation service to our high school children.” The letter, signed by Board Chairman Dr. E.G. Skaggs, Frank Blair and Randall Maggard, says there is no truth to rumors the board has sold its school buses to neighboring districts. “We now hold the permits for two new school buses and assure the public these and others will be put into service as soon as they can be delivered.” The three board members also say that if they are re-elected they will vote to rehire Martha Jane Potter as the county’s school superintendent. “The present administration under the leadership of Miss Martha Jane Potter has made remarkable progress,” the letter says.

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A 45-year-old Wise, Virginia man was killed when he lost control of his vehicle while on his to work in Letcher County. Ballard Baker was traveling across Pine Mountain through Pound Gap when he lost control of his vehicle and attempted to jump out. The car overturned and caught him underneath, crushing his chest and shoulders. His wife and eight children survive.

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Steven Campbell, 54, died after being struck by an L&N Railroad train on October 26, about one mile from Blackey. He was never married and lived with his elderly mother.

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Staff Sergeant Ralph Perry Jr., 21, of East Jenkins, has arrived at Army Air Forces Redistribution Station No. 2 in Miami Beach for reassignment processing after completing a tour of duty overseas. As a B-24 Liberator gunner, Staff Sergeant Perry flew 51 missions during six months in Italy, winning the Air Medal. He is credited with shooting down a German plane.

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Staff Sergeant Wilce Coots is home in Letcher County on a 30-day leave after suffering a serious wound in France. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

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Moses Profitt, a colored brakeman at Mine 214, McRoberts, was killed instantly in a roof fall at 10:48 a.m. on October 24. The fall occurred after the front car of a trip wrecked and caused the slate to fall on him.

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Staff Sergeant Lloyd G. Mullins, 23, son of Mr. and Mrs. George W. Mullins of McRoberts and squad leader with an armored infantry battalion, has been cited for meritorious achievement in combat and awarded the Bronze Star by Major General John S. Wood, commanding the Fourth Armored Division. Mullins, a coal miner in civilian life, was honored for his actions in combat near Raids, France, when he led a patrol that successfully found the location of an enemy machine gun that was firing into American lines.

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Forty boys have reported for boys’ basketball at Jenkins High School, with more expected as soon as football season ends. The Cavaliers won the District Championship last year and hope to reach the State Tournament this season. Lettermen returning from last year are Walter Schubert, Woodrow Crum, Jack Dingus, Joe Pendleton, Billie Mabe, Ralph Owens, Bob Schockey and Jess Cantrell.

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Patrons of the Kentucky Theatre in Whitesburg on November 7 and 8 will see a film of the historic 1919 boxing match between “The Manassa Mauler” Jack Dempsey and “Pottawatomie Giant” Jess Willard, the reigning heavyweight champion whom Dempsey defeated in three rounds in what is considered to be the worst beating ever in a boxing ring. Dempsey, who went on to hold the heavyweight title until 1926, knocked Willard down seven times in the first round. The film will show between the film “Good Old Days,” with Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin, and “Ten Nights In A Barroom.”

Thursday, November 4, 1954

The first snow of the season is being blamed for low voter turnout in Letcher County, where only 8,001 voters made their way to the county’s 54 precinct locations to vote for Alben W. Barkley or John Sherman Cooper for Senate and for Carl D. Perkins or Curtis Clark for Representative. Democrat Barkley, former vice president of the U.S., carried Letcher County 4,143 to 3,858 to help defeat incumbent John Sherman Cooper. Democrat Perkins defeated Clark, 4,477 to 3,206. Perkins was first elected in 1940.

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Nationwide election returns indicate that Democrats have gains control of the U.S. House of Representatives and will also hold a narrow margin in the Senate.

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Basil Hall and Daniel V. Johnson have been elected to terms on the Letcher County Board of Education. Johnson defeated Arnold Hall in Division No. 1 while Hall defeated Hassel Stamper in Division No. 5.

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Dr. T.M. Perry and Oakie Greer were the two leading vote getters in the races for seats on the Jenkins Independent Board of Education. Dr. Perry received 969 votes. Greer got 927 votes.

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A 16-year-old orphan from Partridge was shot and killed accidentally Wednesday while hunting. Buckley Boggs was fatally wounded when his gun discharged when he sat down, authorities say.

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Electric Machine Company has announced it will build a new and modern plant on Jenkins Road at Pine Mountain Junction on property purchased from the L&N Railroad Company. The new plant is expected to cost $100,000. Founder and part owner Bill Conley said the expansion was inspired by the Letcher County Development Association and will be financed by private capital.

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Funeral services U.S. Marine Pepper Marcum were held yesterday at the Graham Memorial Church in Whitesburg. Marcum was killed in an automobile accident near Lexington last Friday. The former Whitesburg High School student is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Marcum. The Whitesburg VFW Post performed military rites at graveside.

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Seven Fleming-Neon High School students were in Lexington Saturday to see a University of Kentucky football game and a majorette and cheerleading clinic sponsored by the YMCA. Attending were cheerleaders Betty Faye Adams and Patricia Collier. Representing the YMCA-affiliated Hi-Y and Tri-Hi-Y clubs were students Alma Sue Holbrook, Jim Burchwell, Julia Ambrifi, Ernest Hunter, and Charles Bentley. Before the game, all the visiting cheerleaders and majorettes paraded on the field in uniform.

Thursday, October 29, 1964

The Whitesburg Municipal Housing Commission announced it will accept bids Dec. 1 for construction of its 40-unit low-rent public housing project. The project, to be located in West Whitesburg in the area below the intersection of Whitco Road and Highway 15, will be the first in Letcher County financed by the federal Housing and Home Finance Agency.

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A Mountain Eagle editorial says, “A heavy eastern Kentucky vote for President Johnson in Tuesday’s general election could go a long way toward convincing the President that eastern Kentucky wants and needs his program to help us. . . . Senator Goldwater, on the other hand, has done nothing but criticize federal aid programs, saying they are ruining the area, and has offered no solutions of his own. He prefers to let the poor remain poor.”

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Students named to the All A Honor Roll at Fleming- Neon High School are Sandra Benge, Carol Bates, Leslie Quillen, Adienne Goode, Jimmy Meade, Wayne Stapleton, Alneta Gail Hall, Robbie Pigg, Ethel Faye Johnson and Robert Looney.

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Mr. and Mrs. Boyd Banks of Ice recently celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary. Mr. Banks, who is 75, still works as a bookkeeper at the Caudill ramp. Mrs. Banks is 67.

Thursday, October 31, 1974

A fourth person was arrested in connection with the fire, which severely damaged The Mountain Eagle office August 1, 1974. Bennie Ray Bentley was charged with willful and malicious burning of a building other than a residence.

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The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) seized two coal mines owned by Arch Mineral Corporation of St. Louis, Mo., after Ashland Oil Company, to which Arch is affiliated, defaulted on loans totaling nearly $20 million that had been guaranteed by TVA.

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Dedication ceremonies have been set for a new section of Hwy. 119 from Cumberland to Lewellyn in Harlan County.

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Homecoming queen Medina Blair cheered the Whitesburg Yellowjackets to their first victory of the season, a 30-0 win over Breathitt County.

Wednesday, November 7, 1984

Two hundred Beth-Elkhorn Corp. employees have been laid off, bringing the total idled by the company to 700. Beth-Elkhorn’s only employees still on the job are 195 salaried employees in Jenkins and 26 persons in a longwall production unit at Mine 26 in Pike County.

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Letcher County produced 1,058,326 tons of coal in the second quarter of 1984, divided about evenly between deep and surface mines. An average of 289 miners were employed at surface mines during the quarter, and 608 were employed at deep mines.

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Kentucky Gov. Martha Layne Collins has requested that the federal Health and Human Services provide an addition $350,000 to Mountain Comprehensive Health Corp. to help provide health care for unemployed miners and their families. She estimates the unemployment rate in Letcher County at 40 percent.

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”I am so glad the election is about to be over,” writes Blackey correspondent Grace Caudill. “I get so tired hearing so much about it. I just hope the best, if there is a best, man will win.”

Wednesday, November 2, 1994

Cumberland Surety Insurance Inc. of Lexington, a bonding company, refuses to complete construction of Whitesburg’s new water treatment plant on the grounds that plans for the plant were faulty. The company charges that the project is defective and unfit for its intended purpose. The company filed suit against Nesbitt Engineering Inc. of Lexington and Hazard, which served as both project designer and supervising engineer, and the City of Whitesburg. GRAE Construction Co. was building the project but ran into financial problems and the City of Whitesburg terminated GRAE’s contract. The City then turned to Cumberland Surety to complete or arrange for completion of the project.

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Half the basketball team at Letcher High School and two teachers shaved their heads to show support for teammate Brian Baker, who has been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Friend Larry Baker said, “It just seemed like the right thing to do.”

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”When I was in grade school we always put out our ‘tater onions and fixed the pea rows while we were out of school (for Election Day) to help,” writes Ice correspondent Sara C. Ison. “When it came time to plant peas, mostly in the month of February, even if the ground was frozen or it there was water in the rows, Moma would plant them and carry dry dirt to cover them. I can never remember not having peas early. Our parents knew what they were doing.

Wednesday, November 3, 2004

The City of Whitesburg and Veolia Water North America have reached an agreement that will keep Veolia as operator of the city’s water and sewer facilities. The city agreed to pay Veolia $482,000 to operate the utilities for another year.

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The Letcher High School Eagles football team played their final game in their first and last season. The school will consolidate with Fleming-Neon High School and Whitesburg High School next year.

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A groundbreaking ceremony took place October 29 at the site, which will become the Little Shepherd Kingdom Come Amphitheatre. The amphitheatre is expected to hold 200 to 300 people.

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Joyce Whitaker of Blackey, was named the Alice Lloyd College Alumna of the Year. She received an associate degree from Caney Junior College (now ALC) in 1951.


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